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Dish Alignment For Sky Digital

Aligning a satellite dish to receive programs from the Astra 2 group of digital satellite's, at times can be a bit of a daunting task. Hopefully, this guide will aid you with aligning your satellite dish in the quickest possible time, and also dispel some of the confusion surrounding what you require to do the job successfully.

Whether you are using a free-standing or roof mounted satellite dish, before you can align your system, you will first need to make sure that you can be in a position free of any trees or obstacles. A clear line of sight between the satellite and your dish, is crucial to receiving a strong enough signal for trouble free viewing.

The first step to setting up your dish is to point the dish in a South to Southeast direction, this can be achieved either using the position of the sun or using a compass (B2022).

Although the orbital position of the satellite is 28.2 degrees East of South, the actual compass bearing will be slightly different. To work out the correct compass bearing you will need to know the magnetic variation of the continent you are on. The variation needed for the UK is about 5 degrees, this will mean for the United Kingdom you will need to align your dish to a compass bearing of about 23 degrees east of south

Now that you have the dish roughly aligned left to right with the compass bearing The second step is to align the dish vertically. The correct elevation of the dish will be dependent on the region of the world you are in. For the main part of the UK, the elevation is about 21 to 27 degrees. Supplied with each of the Maxview satellite dish pack's, is a 'Zone Map'. The 'Zone Map' will give you a rough indication of the elevation the dish will need to be set to.

With the dish now roughly aligned with the compass bearing and the elevation angle, you should only now need to fine tweak these settings to give you a picture.

The use of a 'Sat-Finder' (B2031) will also greatly help with locating the satellite signal. The 'Sat-Finder' will give you an audible indication of signal strength as you move the dish.

A further aid to successful dish alignment, especially to find the correct satellite, is to use the "Signal Test" menu that is built into the Sky Digital Decoder. To access this menu you will have to 'press' the "Services" button on the Sky remote. In the "SERVICES" menu you will then need to access the "SYSTEM SETUP" (number 4) then "SIGNAL TEST" (number 6).

The display will then show, from top to bottom: -

Signal Strength, Signal Quality, Lock Indicator, Network ID and Transport Stream.

Move the dish in slow discrete steps in order for the digital meter in the satellite receiver to respond correctly. You may need to consult the manufacturer's instruction manual for more details.

Alignment is fairly critical and the dish will need to align until there is at least a quarter of the 'Signal quality' bar displayed. When there is sufficient signal quality the 'Lock indicator' will then show 'OK'. The correct setting for the 'Network ID' for the Astra 2 satellite is "0002" with the 'Transport Stream' showing '07d4'. If the 'Network ID' is showing any other details, you have locked onto the wrong satellite and will need to re-align the satellite dish and reset your Sky decoder. When you are receiving a clear signal, take care when tightening the dish mounting bolts or clamps, as not to move the dish position.

Troubleshooting Dish Alignment in Southern Europe

Programmes on the ASTRA 2 cluster of satellites are beamed down to create three footprints, NORTH, SOUTH and UK. All FREE TO AIR and SKY programmes are received in these footprints. Whilst travelling in the UK, you should be within all three of the footprints and with the right equipment, you should not have any problems with receiving all of the ASTRA transponders. Outside of the UK, problems of reception and aligning the dish can start to occur. The default frequency of the SKY ‘Digibox’ is set to a transponder on the north beam. As you travel south and move out of the north footprint, you may need to change the default transponder of the ‘Digibox’ to match the south beam.
To change the default transponder setting, you will first need to access the hidden ‘INSTALLER SETUP’ menu. First press the ‘SERVICES’ button on you SKY remote and the ‘4’ to access ‘SYSTEM SETUP’. Although it is not displayed, you will need to press ‘0’ then ‘1’ then ‘SELECT’ to access the ‘INSTALLER SETUP’ menu, then ‘2’ to enter ‘DEFAULT TRANSPONDER’. The display will then show, from top to bottom:-

Frequency (GHz), Polarisation, Symbol Rate (Nbaud), FEC and Save new settings.

Select ‘ FREQUENCY (GHz) and by typing in the relevant numbers, change the settings from ‘11.778’ to ‘11.597’. Using the arrow keys, change the settings to 11.597, V, 22, 5/6.
When the changes have been made you will then need to ‘SAVE NEW SETTINGS’.
Press ‘BACK UP’ to return to main screen.

An up to date list of programs that are available on each footprint, can be obtained from (WWW.ASTRA.LU)

Astra 2 North and South Beam Footprints

Astra 2 North and South Beam Footprints


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