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How to Re-Peak a DIRECTV Satellite Dish for Better Signal

Updated on June 5, 2013
DIRECTV satellite dish.
DIRECTV satellite dish.

If you are experiencing little or no satellite broadcast signal, you may need to re-peak (or re-aim) your satellite dish to acquire or fine tune the broadcast signal. If you prefer to fix the problem yourself rather than calling out a technician, the following instructions guide you through the following steps: (1) re-setting your DIRECTV receiver; (2) re-peaking your satellite dish; and (3) re-securing your satellite dish.

Note: Before re-peaking your satellite dish, read the Safety Instructions that came in your DIRECTV receiver box or available at DIRECTV's website.

Equipment and Tools

You will need the following equipment and tools to re-peak your dish:

  • Ladder of appropriate height to reach your satellite dish
  • 7/16-inch or 1/2-inch crescent wrench depending on size of satellite dish
  • 7-inch magnetic bubble level
  • Compass
  • DIRECTV receiver
  • Television

Warning: Follow proper ladder safety precautions when using your ladder. Failure to do so could result in bodily injury.

Re-Setting Your Receiver

If you are seeing the Searching for Satellite message on your television screen, disconnect the power cord from your DIRECTV receiver for 30 seconds. After waiting 30 seconds, reconnect the power cord to your DIRECTV receiver. If the searching for satellite message returns to your screen, you will need to re-peak your satellite dish by adjusting the azimuth and elevation settings.

Settings and Help menu
Settings and Help menu
Satellite Dish Setup menu
Satellite Dish Setup menu
Signal Strength screen
Signal Strength screen
Test Signal Strength screen
Test Signal Strength screen

Re-peaking Your Satellite Dish

Before re-peaking your satellite dish, access the Signal Meters menu from the Settings and Help menu on your receiver to use the signal meter to monitor the broadcast signal to your satellite dish. To access the Signal Meters menu:

  1. Press the menu button on your remote.
  2. Select Settings and Help on the left hand menu.
  3. Select Settings.
  4. Select Satellite on the left hand menu.
  5. Select View Signal Strength on the bottom right-hand screen (scroll to it using the arrows on your remote).
  6. Select Signal Meters on the bottom right-hand screen.

Re-position your television to be in your line of sight while re-peaking your satellite dish. If possible, have a friend monitor the signal meter and relay the broadcast signal strength to you while you are re-peaking your satellite dish.

To re-peak your dish you will need to perform these tasks:

  1. Check that the mast is level.
  2. Adjust the azimuth of the satellite dish.
  3. Adjust the elevation of the satellite dish.

Warning: Use caution when adjusting the mast. The weight of the satellite dish may cause the mast to swing down and hit you, a bystander, or nearby objects. This could cause bodily injury or damage to nearby objects and the satellite dish. Always grip the mast around its outside circumference to prevent injury to your fingers.

The support sleeve nuts are located on the back of your satellite dish.
The support sleeve nuts are located on the back of your satellite dish.

Check that the mast is level. If the broadcast signal strength is lost because of strong wind or other inclement weather, the mast supporting your satellite dish may no longer be level. If the mast has not moved, you can skip to the next step, Adjust the azimuth of your satellite dish. To check if the mast is level:

  1. Position your ladder as necessary to reach your satellite dish.

    Warning: Ensure your ladder is positioned on a stable and level surface to prevent falling and bodily injury.

  2. Use your 7/16-inch (or 1/2-inch wrench, depending on the size of your satellite dish) to unscrew the support sleeve nuts on the back of your satellite dish.

  3. Remove your satellite dish and gently place it on the ground or other secure location.

  4. Place your 7-inch magnetic bubble level on the mast to verify that it is perpendicular (or 90 degrees) to the ground.

  5. Re-level the mast as necessary to re-position it to be perpendicular to the ground.

  6. Place your satellite dish carefully back onto the mast and re-tighten the support sleeve nuts so that your satellite dish is secure, but still movable.

Once you have placed your satellite dish back on the mast, you can adjust the azimuth.

Adjust the azimuth of your satellite dish. The azimuth refers to the rotation of the whole satellite dish around a vertical axis (the mast). It is the horizontal (side-to-side) angle. To adjust the azimuth of your satellite dish:

  1. Use your compass to determine which direction is west.

  2. Rotate your satellite dish slowly from the west towards the east, while monitoring the broadcast signal level on the signal meter of the Dish Pointing menu.

  3. Rotate your satellite dish towards the east once you see the broadcast signal start to increase. When the broadcast signal starts to decrease again, rotate your satellite dish back towards the west until the signal meter has reached the highest signal level.

  4. Tighten the support sleeve nuts completely and ensure your satellite dish can no longer move.

If the broadcast signal strength is still not to desired level, you can also adjust the elevation of your satellite dish. The elevation of your satellite dish should only need adjustment if the elevation bolts have come loose.

The elevation bolts are on either side of the back of your satellite dish.
The elevation bolts are on either side of the back of your satellite dish.

Adjust the elevation of your satellite dish. The elevation refers to the angle between the satellite dish pointing direction, directly towards the satellite, and the local horizontal plane. It is the vertical (up-down) angle. To adjust the elevation of your satellite dish:

  1. Loosen the elevation bolts on either side of the back of your satellite dish, while supporting your satellite dish, so that it is still movable.

  2. Lift your satellite dish vertically, while monitoring the broadcast signal on the signal meter on the Dish Pointing menu. If the signal level starts to decrease, lower your satellite dish until the signal meter has reached the highest signal level.

  3. Once the signal meter has reached the highest signal strength, stop lifting your satellite dish.

  4. Tighten the elevation bolts completely and ensure your satellite dish can no longer move.

Once you have tightened the elevations bolts, you can re-secure your satellite dish.

Re-Securing Your Satellite Dish

After you have adjusted the azimuth and adjusted the elevation, confirm all support sleeve nuts and elevation bolts are tightened. Confirm on the signal meter of the Dish Pointing menu that the broadcast signal strength is at its highest level.

Comments

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    • thumbi7 profile image

      JR Krishna 3 years ago from India

      Wow. A lot of information in this article though I didn't understand fully...

      Voted up and shared

    • Lacey Taplin profile image
      Author

      Lacey Taplin 3 years ago from Highlands Ranch, CO

      Thanks for reading! What parts are you having trouble with so I can revise them to make them more reader friendly?

    • profile image

      Mike 3 years ago

      Hi,

      Not sure if the values on my dish to gauge signal strength are good or not?

      Can someone reach out to me so i can share this info?

      Any help would be great!

      ttmcampion@hotmail.com

      Mike

    • profile image

      tattorob13@gmail.com 3 years ago

      .Could I get some help on the adjustment on direct.tv dish ..on azumith and adjustment so I can

      Get signal ...im in L.A Watts area zip.code 90059...need help thanks

    • Lacey Taplin profile image
      Author

      Lacey Taplin 3 years ago from Highlands Ranch, CO

      What sort of help do you need? Are you unable to adjust your dish?

    • profile image

      Ed 2 years ago

      I've read through several of these guides and it's not clear if the signal strength numbers change real time as you adjust the dish or if you have to refresh the sat receiver signal strength screen.

    • Lacey Taplin profile image
      Author

      Lacey Taplin 2 years ago from Highlands Ranch, CO

      It depends on the model of the sat receiver. If you see a signal bar it's in real time; if you only see transponder numbers, then you may want to refresh for accuracy.

    • profile image

      Jim jelen 2 years ago

      Missing some channels but not others on dish

    • TTGReviews profile image

      TTGReviews 2 years ago

      I think that would be a dish issue, not an issue with your personal equipment.

    • profile image

      DirecTV tech 21 months ago

      Dont align your own dish. Cant tell you how many times I have been to a house where the owner had issues with signal, tried to align the dish and made things worse. There are 3 sats for HD and you are not using all the transponders you see on your TV screen. You could be dead on the 101 and way off the 103 and then your out half your channels. The tuner levels are of no use to you when aligning. Call your provider. Im a tech. I can align your dish in under 3 minutes, know how to work on a ladder safely and can tell you if your problem is actually alignment. FYI its almost never alignment. The internet is full of bad info from people who think they know how to do this. Lots of former techs. Satillite techs make grest money and theres barely any education involved. So if they say they used to be a tech and arent there is a great likelyhood that they werent very good at it otherwise they would still be doing it. Name another job you can do with a highschool education and 2 weeks of training where you can make 50k a year. Call a professional. It costs $50 and its 100% right when they leave.

    • wltw profile image

      wltw 21 months ago from Northern Maine

      What is the approx. cost for a top-of-the-line-dish system (everything from soup to nuts?)

    • profile image

      Jroo420 13 months ago

      Bs on the installer only charging you $50 when we called to get our satellite moved it was gonna cost is $200.

    • profile image

      Jerry 12 months ago

      Can't get dash do anything with the receiver

    • profile image

      Frank 10 months ago

      I don't know a 54 from a 186 in the signal strength screen. I guess I shoot for the highest numbers and hope for the best?

    • profile image

      David Jones 9 months ago

      Your instructions were concise and easy to follow. After rebooting the receiver sat tv came on! My wife thinks I am real hero! Of course I work with aviation Sat tv which made it easier to understand. Suggest a note to unplug the receiver and let it reboot. Thank you very much!

    • profile image

      David 7 months ago

      DirecTV tech,

      I have a portable system for my RV. It would not be cost effective to call a tech out everytime I move my RV.

    • profile image

      Mary B Johnson mary.john80401@gmail.com 4 months ago

      My movie stopped right in the middle of my movie. I have hit all the buttons requested and they say they are resetting the satilite but a half-hour has passed with no change. HELP!

    • profile image

      mark 5 weeks ago

      i just had a roof put on aand was getting 771 er i did wht u said and now im getting a 97 percent signal can i get 100 and all is working good

    • profile image

      plc1624 3 weeks ago

      When checking for the vertical you are checking for "plumb"

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