How to Find the Azimuth for a Satellite Dish

By Billy Kirk

Despite the precise nature behind some dish adjustments, azimuth readjustment of a satellite dish can be performed by a non-professional. As long as you have your satellite receiver on hand, a hand-held level tool, and an ability to constantly check the signal meter screen from your satellite receiver, the correct azimuth can be reached.

Things You'll Need

  • Level tool
  • Satellite dish
  • Satellite receiver
  • A/V cables

Step 1

Check that your dish is correctly mounted before proceeding. The satellite dish should be flush with the mounting surface. Also, use a level tool to check for level orientation along multiple points of the dish.

Step 2

Hook up the satellite receiver to your television. This is critical to finding the azimuth for your satellite dish, as the correct azimuth cannot be judged without the use of the signal meter screen provided by the satellite receiver via your television. To connect the receiver, check that the wiring from the satellite is led into the receiver without the use of splitters. Splitters cannot be used, else the signal will be diminished.

Step 3

Check that the receiver is correctly plugged into the TV via the use of A/V cables. These are the standard red, white and yellow cables used in many setups to connect an electronic device to the television. The A/V cable will plug into the back of the TV and the back of the receiver through the use of matching, color-corresponding sockets on the back of these two devices, respectively.

Step 4

Turn on the receiver. Wait for the receiver to initialize and for the signal meter screen to come up on your television. Have a friend stay by the receiver as you return to the satellite dish to adjust the azimuth.

Step 5

Correctly point the satellite to the southern sky. To adjust the azimuth, keep in mind that this is left-to-right movement of the dish, as opposed to up-down movement in respects to adjusting elevation. First, loosen the nuts around the LNB dish arm of your satellite. To aid in finding these exact nuts on your specific satellite dish, refer to your dish manufacturer's documentation.

Step 6

Make slight adjustments to your satellite dish. Sweep it gently left to right. Have your friend report back from the signal meter screen on your television after you make each movement. Use the signal meter screen as a guide to making further azimuth adjustments. Once the signal meter screen gives a reading of 70 to 80, you are set and the dish adjustments can end. This is considered the ideal achievable signal reading for most satellite dishes.