Instructions for Adding a 61.5° Dish to your System

By Larrystotler @ at
Copied from original post, used by permission ©2005 - REVISED 4/22/06.

Echostar Knowledge Base
The Dish Network User's Resource

Echostar switch configuration help:

Please, read this and LOOK for your switch information, and then read over the suggestions provided. This is pretty much everything that you need to know.

Right now, the VOOM and new HD channels are ONLY available on 61.5° (separate dish required) and 129° (Dish1000 or separate dish). This may or may not change.

The first thing you need to do is find out what equipment you have. This can be easy, but it can also require a little work on your part depending on what you already have. (On most receivers, go to Menu, 6, 1, 1, Check Switch, Summary. You may also need to visually inspect your LNB and/or switch. Ed.) The first part of this is for LEGACY systems. The second will be for DishPro (DP). Please keep in mind that you CANNOT mix legacy and DP DBS LNBs and switches. It is either one or the other.

PLEASE EVERYONE NOTE THAT a switch that starts with SW is a LEGACY switch and that a switch that starts with DP is a DISH PRO switch. It is VERY important that you keep this in mind when you post because you will create confusion for those who are newbies....

Almost ALL E* installs are connected to 110° and 119° with a Dish500. Yours may use 2 dishes to do this. Generally, if you have a Dish500 and another dish, it is for 61.5° or 148°. SuperDISHes will be discussed in the DishPro section.

IF you need 61.5° (or 148°), you will need an 18" Dish. A D500 CAN be used, but it is recommended that you DO NOT use a Twin LNB unless you don't have access to another LNB. Due to popular demand, a new section about using this equipment has been added below.

A DirecTV or VOOM dish CAN be used with ANY legacy setup. All the D* and V* LNBs are INTERCHANGABLE (EXCEPT the special “SAT C” D* LNB). A Dish PRO install will need either an E* dish or a D* dish that had the D-shaped arm. A rectangular arm dish CANNOT be used with a DP LNB without modifications (and it's not worth doing You CAN add the E* I-bracket, but it will make the arm too long and mess with the signal. However, the arm can be shortened - modify at your own risk).

E* is now installing a Dish1000 or second dish for 61.5° with new ViP receiver installations.

Keep in mind that ONLY an HD receiver can SEE HD channels, and ONLY a new MPEG-4 receiver can see the new HD content. Therefore, unless you plan to add an HD receiver soon, you may only have to hook 61.5° up to 1 receiver (or both tuners of dual-tuner models, Ed.) and not all of your receivers.

IF you are UNSURE, PLEASE call a professional. A local retailer or E* will be more than willing to help you for a reasonable price if necessary.

IF you have a VOOM dish already pointed at 61.5° and are using legacy E* equipment, you do NOT have to repoint it. If you are using DP equipment, you will need a new D-Arm Dish.


Find out what you have. The following is a list of available legacy E* switches and what they are:

Additional Check Switch Summary results:

See also What are switches, and why do I need them?.

IF you have a 500 Twin or Quad - You will need an 18" dish and a Single or Dual LNB to get 61.5° as well as an SW21 (or 2 for 2 receivers). Connect the line from the 500 Twin to the SW21 and connect the other LNB to the SW21. DO A CHECK SWITCH.

If you have an SW44 - You can connect the SW44 and the another LNB with an SW21. DO NOT USE PORT 1 due to the power inserter. It will DESTROY the SW21! OR you can replace the SW44 with an SW64 and add the new dish and DUAL LNB to the SW64. DO A CHECK SWITCH.

If you have an SW64 and do not get 61.5° - You can connect the SW64 and another LNB with an SW21. DO NOT USE PORT 1 due to the power inserter. It will DESTROY the SW21! DO A CHECK SWITCH.

PLEASE NOTE: You CANNOT cascade 2 SW21s. You MUST have another switch cascaded to the SW21. Microyal offers E* compatible switches. They offer the SW21X, which is basically 1/2 of an SW42, and CAN be cascaded with an SW21. You CANNOT cascade an SW21X with a 500Twin or Quad.

Please keep in mind that legacy switches like the SW44 and SW64 HAVE to have 2 lines from each LNB/location to work properly, whereas an SW21 only needs 1.

PLEASE NOTE: Cascading multiple SW64 switches together (photo) is beyond the scope of this and should ONLY be done by a professional to protect the equipment.

Dish Pro

ALL DP LNBs or switches have a dp logo or a DPPlus logo on them, and it is usually very visible.

SuperDISH 105° or 121° - Used with the FSS satellites at those locations. The SuperDISH comes with a DP34. It can be connected to a DP+44 as well. SuperDISHes DO NOT pick up 61.5°, so you NEED a second dish. E* is currently planning to eliminate the SuperDish, so check where your channels are at before installing one.

Dish1000 - Dish's newest dish system, this dish allows you to receive the 110°, 119° and 129° locations. Comes with a DP+Twin and a DP Dual. However, different combinations of switches can be used depending on how many receivers you have and what type. (Special Note: A D* Phase I dish can be used as a Dish1000 with legacy LNBs with no modifications. A Phase II dish can also be used, but only if the multi-switch in the W bracket can be removed. A Phase III dish, the newer 18x20 dish, CANNOT be used with ANY Dish Network multi-sat config. DP LNBs will not fit a Phase I or II dish without modifications.)

You CANNOT run a DP21 into a DP34, DP+44, or DP+Twin. It does NOT work that way. It only works BETWEEN these switches and the receiver (unsure about the DP+Twin, but don't see why it won't work). Also, using a DP21 with a DP+ switch removes the ability to use the DP+ Separator, so PLEASE keep this in mind.

The DP21 cannot be used with the DP+ separators as used on dual tuner receivers as it is NOT DP+. IF you use a DP21 with a DP+44, you MUST use 2 DP21s and 2 lines to the receiver.

If you have a DP Twin or Quad - You will need an 18" dish and a DP Single or DP Dual LNB to get 61.5° as well as a DP21 (or 2 for 2 receivers). Connect the line from the DP Twin or Quad to the DP21 and connect the other DP LNB to the DP21. DO A CHECK SWITCH.

If you have a DP34 - You can connect the DP34 and another DP LNB with a DP21. OR you can replace the DP34 with a DP+44 and add the new dish and DP LNB to the DP+44. DO A CHECK SWITCH.

If you have a DP+44 and do not get 61.5° - You can connect the DP+44 and the other DP LNB with a DP21. DO NOT USE PORT 1 due to the power inserter. It will DESTROY the DP21! DO A CHECK SWITCH.

Please keep in mind that a DP switch, like the DP21, DP+Twin, DP34, or DP+44 REQUIRE 1 wire from each LNB/location.

When trunking 1 DP34 into another DP34, if you want the same satellites on all tuners, you MUST connect each output from the first DP34 into each input on the 2nd DP34 (they do NOT have to be in the same order). Same goes for the DP+44. You can also trunk a DP+44 into a DP34, but you will lose 1 satellite in this configuration. Also keep in mind that when trunking DP34s that at least 1 receiver on the first switch MUST be plugged in to power the switch. With the DP+44s, you MUST have the power inserters plugged in for each switch for them to see the signals.

Using a DP Twin on a D500 to get 61.5°

  1. Set the skew of the D500 at 90 degrees so that the arm is NOT tilted.
  2. Connect the DP Twin DIRECTLY to a receiver.
  3. Cover the 110° LNB of the DP Twin with a piece of tin foil or thick cloth.
  4. Set the elevation. Tune the dish.
  5. Once you have the signal locked, connect the dish to your equipment. Remove the cover.
  6. Run the check switch. It SHOULD show 4 locations with 1 as an X for signal and NC for sat (assuming you are connecting to a DP34. A DP21 should only “see” the 119° side to begin with).

When using the DP Twin with a DP21, you may have problems when using a DPTwin on the 110°/119° since the DP21 only “sees” 1 switch. You may have to re-run the switch check a few times. The DP34 should not have any problems.

I would NOT try using a 500 Twin (legacy) since the SW21 may not see the second 500 Twin.

Good Luck!

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Also see Switch Selector, above options laid out in chart form

Subscribers with local channels in the following cities automatically qualify to get a FREE dish at 61.5°.

An FCC ruling states that if Dish offers some local channels in any local market on a side slot like 61.5° Dish must provide free equipment and installation in order to receive the additional local channels.  No strings attached.  The only condition is that you subscribe to your local channels at the time you order the side slot dish and at the time of installation.  The number in parentheses is the number of local stations in that market.  For details go HERE

The new Echostar X satellite at 110° placed into service beginning in April 2006 will be the source of nearly all Dish local channels. Many of the cities on this list no longer qualify for free installation and by late May or early June there should be none remaining.

List deleted as Dish has met the deadline to comply with the “one dish rule.”

See also What programming is at 61.5°W and 148°?