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Old 03-10-2011, 10:29 AM   #1
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How much difficulty will I have setting up a DirecTV HD dish? Any tips or shortcuts?
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Old 03-10-2011, 10:40 AM   #2
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I can usually have my dish and stand setup and a strongsignal in less than 10 minutes. I have the dish in the trailer set at 55* elevation and have been all over the State and never had to changethat settingand I use my GPS and aim the dish South and makeslight adjustments from there (Southeast) until I have a signal. I made my own stand out of PVC that keeps the dish low to the ground which helps in higher winds. It also takes up little room in the trailer as it breaks down into smaller pieces. You can check it out at the rallyif you like.
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Old 03-10-2011, 10:45 AM   #3
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Sorry Art, I just realized you said HD and I am talking about a regular dish in the above post. I don't know how much different the HD would be to setup as we only use it at the house and not on the road.
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Old 03-10-2011, 11:35 AM   #4
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I use the Vue Qube, it takes less than five minutes where ever I am at. Once more it is not HD that I have at the house either is the revceiver I use, that come from upstairs. I know people say they can tell the difference, but I can not. or hear in stero any more, so it is not that important to me

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Old 03-10-2011, 12:03 PM   #5
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HD isn't like stereo, most people can tell the difference.That being said,I don't take HD in the camper because it is harder to get set up.I have used it in the camper just to see how much trouble it was and the dish I had was the normal home style and fairly heavy, thus you had to have a good stand for the weight and room to carry it.The problem is you have to hit three Satellites to get full service.If your in your area,the settings should be about the same, but if you move east of west, there are changes.If you go thru the setup and enter the zip code you get the settings and than you can make any changes needed or not.I would try the non HD for a while until I felt like I knew what I was doing and than try the HD.I have set up several and its never easy for me.But I'm sure its easier for some others.Its really easier if you have a TV set up outside where you can see the signal instead of depending on a relay from somebody else.I also use a compass from Wal-Mart for direction and keep it away from the metal dish also make sure the connections are tight and correct the first time. I don't know how many times I did this in the dark and had to redo the connections because of something.You can do this, just takes practice.Good luck
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Old 03-10-2011, 11:31 PM   #6
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You should try setting it up at home just to practice tuning in the signal. I use a compass to to find the correct direction to point to. I try to pick out a tree or building or something on the horizon in the direction that i need to point the dish to using the compass. Then i stand behind the dish and point it at the object on the horizon. In most cases the elevation and skew will not change so as long as you have the stand level you should only need to move the dish east and west to catch the satellites you need. HD or not it can be tricky but like anything else, you do it a few times and you get the hang of it. Good luck.
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Old 03-11-2011, 02:37 AM   #7
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I have a Dish HD system. Usually can have it set up in 10-20 minutes. I use this site to locate the birds from anywhere in the USA. http://www.dishpointer.com/. I use this site to find true south as it will tell you where the sun is atfor aspecific time anywhere in the USA. http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/grad/solcalc/. I do not see any reason Direct TV would be any different.
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Old 03-11-2011, 06:48 AM   #8
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The dish is large and does weigh close to 50 lbs with tripod. I wanted HD as we'll be in the RV for a long time this year. Both TVs in the RV are HD. I'll preassemble the dish and put it in the bed of the truck for traveling. I'll anchor it down on the ground with suitable ballast and attempt to aim. My son and I will practice at the house before we hit the road.



I do not intend to bring the dish to the rally.
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Old 03-11-2011, 07:13 AM   #9
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The method I use if fairly simple. Using the tools in the previous post will help you find the direction of the satellite and should get you spot on as long as you ensure that the base is level, the post is vertical, the scale on the back the antenna is pretty accurate, and you get the compass set correctly. Lacking all of those things, it can still be done by pointing your antenna up around 50 degrees and due south in the central US. If your toward the east coast, point it just a little more to the west a few degrees, or to the east a few if your closer to the west coast. Make sure you have a nice clear shot between 40 and 60 degrees elevation and 170-190 degrees to the south - tree leaves soak up the signal.

Hook up all the cables, turn on your receiver and tv, and use the sat remote to bring up the installation/set up menu. Somewhere in there is screen for signal strength where you can select an audio - wish I could be more specific, but I don't recall exactly where it is in the menu and the actual screen to start it varies somewhat between receivers and providers.

Open a window or turn on the outside speakers, crank up the volume a bit. Stand behind the dish, grab it on each side and rock it a little bit up and down and twist it side to side slightly, slowly and listen for the beeps. When it starts beeping, a stronger signal is indicated by the beeps getting closer together - the volume will remain steady. When you start getting beeps, note the position and adjust your stand and antenna accordingly. You may have to repeat the procedure a couple of times until it gets to the point that you are making very small adjustments to the antenna mount. Small changes can make a big differnce.

Some times find it in just a few seconds, some times I have to search a while, mostly a matter of luck in getting the antenna set up.

Good luck!
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Old 03-11-2011, 01:21 PM   #10
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It's not really difficult to set up a satellite dish, just requires attention to details. You must first have a level, stable base and the mast must be plumb before setting the elevation of the dish which can be determined by the zip code where you are currently located. Then it's a matter of swinging the dish from left to right until you acquire the signal. I used a "satellite signal meter" (Radio Shack about $20) which is installed at the dish and allows one person to set up, aim the dish and get the strongest signal.
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