How to Re-Peak a DIRECTV Satellite Dish for Better Signal
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
- DIRECTV receiver
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.
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:
- Press the menu button on your remote.
- Select Settings and Help on the left hand menu.
- Select Settings.
- Select Satellite on the left hand menu.
- Select View Signal Strength on the bottom right-hand screen (scroll to it using the arrows on your remote).
- 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:
- Check that the mast is level.
- Adjust the azimuth of the satellite dish.
- 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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Remove your satellite dish and gently place it on the ground or other secure location.
- Place your 7-inch magnetic bubble level on the mast to verify that it is perpendicular (or 90 degrees) to the ground.
- Re-level the mast as necessary to re-position it to be perpendicular to the ground.
- 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:
- Use your compass to determine which direction is west.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Once the signal meter has reached the highest signal strength, stop lifting your satellite dish.
- 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.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.