Dish 500 Install

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HELP! - Newbie - Can't Tune in Satellite

12/24/99 11:59 PM EST

I spent 2 hours today trying to tune in the 119 satellite and could never get any signal strength on the bar at the bottom of the “Point Dish & Signal Strength” screen. Evidently I have the older software on my 4700 receiver, as it doesn't include the Dish500 options; I understand that I'll download this once I connect.

I spoke with customer service and she told me to try 10 degrees up and down from my azimuth and a few each way on the elevation, but still no luck.

Am I doing anything weird? I've followed the directions in the Installation Instructions:

  1. Assembled the dish
  2. Connected the signals from the dual LNBFs to my two Multi-Dish Switches (customer service suggested that I disconnect the combiners and run the line directly for set-up)
  3. Set the azimuth, elevation, & skew for my ZIP code for the 119 dish per the supplemental booklet (included)
  4. Connected one of the 119 outputs to a cable going directly to the Satellite Input on my receiver
  5. Set the dish on the mast and pointed towards my azimuth (228)
  6. Swing the dish slowly back and forth on the mast while having my wife look at the signal meter on the set-up screen

PLEASE HELP - this would mean a lot to my family for Christmas!

Re: HELP! - Newbie - Can't Tune in Satellite
From: jbuff
Sent: Fri, 24 Dec 1999 21:11:40 PST

First of all, you have gotta get your wife out of the tuning loop. You need the direct feedback from the tuning bar or tone to really know what you're doing.

If you don't have a small TV and enough RG-59 or extension cord to get the TV out by the dish, then use a cell phone to call your home phone (which you place by the TV speaker). Tune by the tone.

Be sure you have a clear line of sight to the satellites. The signal cannot penetrate buildings, and while the trees may be bare now, in the spring, their leaves will block the signal.

The dish mounting pole must be precisely plumb, this is critical for the Dish 500.

You MUST connect the receiver directly to the LNB for dish alignment, since the receiver cannot properly control the switch when there is no signal from the satellite.

The dish needs to be moved in small increments, and there is some delay before the tone (or bar) changes, be patient.

Most important, many Dish 500 dishes were mismarked at the factory. Increase the elevation 4 to 5 degrees higher than the recommended settings and try again. [Revised 01/06/00] (See below)

Assuming that you now get a signal from 119, Remember that you need to use transducer 3* on 110W to peak the 110W bird.

*[01/15/00] Since this was originally posted, Transponders 1 and 2 have been activated on the 110W bird. This may have been for testing purposes only, so don't rely on this. (As of today 2 is active, 1 is not).

Small adjustments may be made in EITHER azimuth or elevation to peak from both birds, but if you're getting 75 or better from both birds, you can put that off for better weather and/or daylight.

Once you have confirmed that you have adequate signal from both birds, you can install the switches, and run the check switch routine.

You can push slightly on the top, bottom, left, or right of the dish, once the bolts are tightened, to see if you are truly “peaked”.

You're now ready to enjoy Dish TV. Move the receiver to its final resting place, and hook up all the connections. Call a CSR at DISH to establish your service.

Re: HELP! - Newbie - Can't Tune in Satellite
Sent: Sat, 25 Dec 1999 14:34:25 EST

I finally got it working! I gave up on the side of the house and attached it to the edge of my deck; much easier to work with also. I used the default settings and instantly got a signal. In terms of the tree across the street, it was probably about 50 feet high - but that isn't a problem anymore!

I got the signal strength up to 97-98% for the 110 & 119 satellites.

Dish 500 correct install plus 5 degrees? NO!

From: dishtvaddict 01/06/00

I have seen a number of posts recommending adding 4 or 5 degrees to the dish-recommended elevation. Not knowing any better at the time I just carefully followed the directions with the Dish500 that I installed on 12/25/99. My dish had some red paint on the elevation pointer and the instructions said to use the “edge” of the red marker when setting the elevation. Well I use the elevation off the provided chart, plumbed the mast, installed the dish and started sweeping out the azimuth a few degrees at a time as shown in the nice little video they include with the install kit (I set the initial azimuth by eyeballing off of a good quality compass, not the piece of junk they give you in the install kit) I've got 97-100% signal readings without any tweaking of the elevation! Since the scale ends at 100% I guess I don't need to do any further adjustments...

So if your Dish has some red paint on it, just follow the instructions carefully, be “plumb” and you may not even need to tweak the elevation.

01/15/00 Since the Dish 500 “free” upgrade program began over a month ago, it is expected that existing stocks of the old mis-marked Dish 500 have been depleted. It is quite likely that Dish 500s being shipped by Dish currently are all correctly marked. A few mis-marked units may still exist in dealer inventories, so if you got your Dish 500 from a dealer, you may or may not have one of the original mis-marked units.


See The DISHPlayer and Dish 500. Some important installation facts which recommends upgrading the factory software before connecting a switch.