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DIY Satellite Installation

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Tips and Resources' started by Greg Alsobrook, Dec 26, 2008.

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  1. Greg Alsobrook

    Greg Alsobrook Lifetime Achiever

    Apr 1, 2007
    Either of two HD satellite dishes receive DIRECTV HD channels. They are about 2' X 3' in size and require a clear view of the southern sky.

    Older AT9 "Sidecar" Dish

    Newer AU9 "Slimline" Dish

    What is that side brace in the AT-9 photo?
    That is a "monopole." For proper installation, either dish typically requires two monopoles.

    What are those things out in front of the dish?
    LNB's (low noise block converters) are mounted just in front of the dish to receive the satellite signals. Either "5 LNB Dish" is a reflector that focuses the satellite signal on the LNBs. It's the LNB that does the work.

    Where are the satellites?
    DIRECTV has 7 "orbital positions" 22,240 miles above the equator. That is why your dish points south.


    What channels do those satellites provide?
    11 satellites are needed to provide a projected total of 3,200 local channels and 550 national channels.

    Satellite Locations: Click links to see channel lists.
    99° W Longitude - HD Local channels
    103° W Longitude - Some HD Local & the "new" HD channels
    101° W Longitude - SD national and Local channels and more
    119° W Longitude - SD national and local channels
    110° W Longitude - HD national channels

    There are two other satellites: - These require additional dishes.
    95° West Longitude - International channels
    72.5° West Longitude - Small market local channels

    Which satellite broadcasts my local channels?
    Local Channels

    It looks like there are only 3 LNB's. How does that work?
    Each LNB can receive more than one satellite.LNB #1 receives from the 99°, 101°, and 103° orbital locations.LNB #2 receives from the 110° orbital location.LNB #3 receives from the 119° orbital location.

    Thank you to Milominderbinder2, dmurphy, Tom Robertson, and Stuart Sweet!

    Attached Files:

  2. Greg Alsobrook

    Greg Alsobrook Lifetime Achiever

    Apr 1, 2007
    Reasons to Properly Ground a Satellite Dish Antenna:
    1. Safety
    2. Manufacturer’s Warranty
    3. Local Code and Ordinance.
    4. Insurability
    5. Proper Operation of Electronics
    6. Dischage static electricty

    How Do I Know If My Dish Is Properly Grounded?
    A qualified professional can review your installation including a proper "grounding block" as highlighted in yellow below:


    A professional can verify that you have a correctly sized grounding wire (highlighted in green above) attached to the metal part of the antenna and the grounding block. He can also insure that the grounding wire is connected to an outside metal cold water pipe at point of entry, 8-foot ground rod, etc.... The diagram and text above is taken from the AT9/AU9 manuals. See your satellite dish manual for details. While the dish manuals show Option 2, the NEC never recommends daisy-chaining grounds. Also in Option 1, you should not combine ground taps on the cold water pipe.

    Per FEMA, each year there are approximately 67,800 electrical fires that result in:
    - $868 million in property damage.
    - 2,305 injuries
    - 485 deaths

    Some electrical fires and shocks could have been prevented with proper grounding and wiring. A Ground Loop can occur when two points expected to both be the same potential (ground in this case) are at different voltages. Ground Loops can cause deadly currents.

    Manufacturer’s Warranty
    DIRECTV gives detailed instructions in the proper installation of a satellite dish antenna in the AU-9 Manual, AT-9 Manual, and AT-9 Installation Videos.

    Local building and electrical codes (NEC) require the antenna and the coaxial cables to be connected to a grounding electrode. Improper installation may seriously damage the equipment or the building, as well as cause injury or death to you.

    If you suspect your dish is not properly grounded, contact DIRECTV. Your home may not be properly grounded either.

    Local Code and Ordinance
    The 2005 National Electrical Code states in part:
    Section 810.15 "Masts and metal structures supporting antennas shall be grounded in accordance with section 810.21"
    Section 810.20 "Each conductor of an antenna lead-in shall be provided with a listed antenna discharge unit."

    Failure to comply with the National Electrical Code may violate your state, county, and city laws. Check with your local building code officer. As a sample, here is the code for the State of Minnesota. The 2008 NEC is expected to strengthen five key areas including Grounding & Bonding.

    Your Homeowners Insurance Policy may cover damage due to electrical surge or lightning. But your policy under Section I – Losses Not Insured may exclude: “Latent defect of material or workmanship.”

    Ask your insurance carrier if failing to follow manufacturer requirements or local code could affect future claims.

    Proper Operation of Electronics
    • Improper grounds may cause noisy signals. You may hear "hum" in your phone lines or through speakers.
    • A Floating Ground can occur when an improper ground allows the voltage to float. It can cause lost data due to insufficient voltage differential.
    • Lost data can cause video pixelation or Caller ID to not work.
    • Using a surge suppressor does not correct the problems of an improper ground.

    If you suspect that your DIRECTV dish is not properly grounded, click here.

    1. This is a simple overview that in no way represents the views of DIRECTV or DBSTalk. Refer to your owners manual, state, and local laws.
    2. The information above is not warranted or guaranteed nor is it offered as recommendation or expert opinion. Trust nothing you see on the Internet.
    3. Hire a qualified professional. Verify the dish and home wiring and grounding. Do not attempt dish installation without proper training.
    4. Proper grounding does not prevent all lightning strikes. As NASA states, lightning can be up to 5 times hotter than the sun and up to 300,000 volts.

    Thanks to Milominderbinder2, Hasan, Doug Brott, Tom Robertson, Coffey77, Stuart Sweet, and Carl6!
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