How to use your Satgear satfinder meter to align your satellite dish to Astra 2
1. Connect up
Firstly connect the LNB OUT on the Satfinder to the LNB on the dish and connect the receiver (your sat box) to the RECEIVER connection on the Satfinder.
2. Set the meter
Note that there are two indicators on the meter to help you recognise the strength of the signal. The needle rises with increased signal, and there is a tone that gets higher in pitch as the signal gets stronger.
There is a small knob which is used to reduce or increase the sensitivity of the meter. Start with the knob fully to the right (most sensitive) and the dish pointing off target. Now move the dial on the meter slowly to the left anti-clockwise to the point where the tone stops. It will probably be between zero and 2 on the scale. If you don't follow this step and the dial is at or close to its maximum level you won’t be able to tell when the signal gets stronger. Also don't think that the needle needs to get to 10 to be locked on. It doesn't! Think of the needle as a ‘peak signal detector’.
3. Positioning the dish
The Satfinder is designed to indicate the signal level being received from any satellite which your dish is pointing at. It will help you to fine tune the dish position once you have it roughly targeted. Don’t get bogged down aligning to exact quoted bearings from the start. The satfinder will tell you!
- So first set the elevation. There is a chart in all Satgear kit booklets which shows the elevation angles required for the UK. However, if you follow the procedure outlined below, the elevation angles stated are not critical to follow but they are useful as a rough guide. Same applies for compass bearings. A good guide to use for the satellite bearings for your location can be found at www.dishpointer.com website. (Elevation should be roughly as follows – if you are in Scotland - around the 20 degree mark. If in the Midlands then around 23 degrees and if in the south of the UK around 25 degrees).
- To begin with set the elevation LOWER than you expect it to be. The Astra 2 satellite is slightly lower in the sky than its neighbouring satellites. Hence, when moving the dish slowly clockwise from the EAST to the SOUTH, if you have the correct elevation set - the Astra 2 satellite will be the first one you’ll come to. If you don’t get a reading then you are too low and need to notch the dish up by a degree and move the dish again. Follow that procedure until you come to the satellite. As you get close to a satellite the needle will move higher on the scale and the sounded will get higher in pitch. Now fine tune the alignment to the peak reading.
Remember, there are lots of satellites in the sky, one every few degrees and the satfinder will give a reading for every satellite that the dish sweeps by. That’s why we say, start low on the elevation because Astra 2 is the lowest in the sky in the South Easterly direction. If you have a strong signal indication on the meter but no picture on the screen, you are aligned to the wrong satellite.
Also note that for Astra 2 the LNB needs to be ‘skewed’ clockwise (when you are facing the dish with your back to the satellite) by roughly 8-10mm again depending where you are in the country. This is not critical but it does need to be skewed for the best signal possible. At worst, the cable needs to be pointing downwards.
4. Finishing Up
You'll know when you have aligned the dish to your desired satellite because you will be able to watch live TV. Once you have finished alignment, tighten the dish mounts securely, remove the satfinder and connect the long sat cable from the receiver directly to the LNB. Finally, if you choose, once you are aligned to the satellite you can use your receiver to scan for the latest channels being broadcast on your satellite. Note though that all receivers supplied by Satgear are pre-tuned and pre setup with the UK channels ready to go.
Now if you are lucky enough to own a Satgear kit, we are just at the end of the phone to give you the support that you need if you get a bit stuck ;)