Lacey is a technical writer in the civil engineering field who enjoys DIY home projects.
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:
- Re-setting your DIRECTV receiver.
- Re-peaking your satellite dish.
- Re-securing your satellite dish.
Note: Before re-peaking your satellite dish, read the Safety Instructions that either came in your DIRECTV receiver box or are available on 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
1. 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.
2. 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.
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, which is adjusting 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.
3. 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.
Will Horton on August 05, 2020:
I need the correct azimuth and elevation for zip code 43229.
Are there marking on the dish or mounting to guide this adjustment?
Muaxu auwal on March 11, 2020:
Samuel on November 29, 2019:
My dish is open can I still get my sigal
Is c band
Mr evaresti kimaro from dsm tz,I'm istoll in mapinga bagamoyo on July 18, 2019:
Naomba kazi za kufunga madishi yenu kokote Tanzania.
robert okeefe on May 17, 2019:
Hello. Robert O:keefe I am try to to set my foxtel dish
JoJo on November 14, 2018:
Van Joyner it says your settings are
Van Joyner on November 01, 2018:
Need azimuth and elevation for 36862
Victoria on September 06, 2018:
I am a 66 year old woman who has had terrible reception on my DTV for quite some time. Today I happened upon your website. I did not have to move my dish at all. Your suggestion that I reset my connection (unplug and wait 30 seconds and replug) improved my reception imediately.
Next I checked my settings and had it reset per your instructions and now my reception is great. If an old woman like me can handle this anyone can. Thank you so much for your assistance
Paul on July 25, 2018:
From the comments I see below many should just call a service technician. I found the article very easy to understand and use but I also have many years in antennas that help me understand it. If I didn't know anything about azmith and bearings (or a compass) I can understand how difficult it can be.
Thanks for the quick instructions and remember that you can't please everyone all the time.
Jessy on July 22, 2018:
What is the azimuth for 39482
bru.yay. on June 19, 2018:
really useless document. you wrote a very difficult steps. my suggestion is first you have to provide easiest program.
Jonathan mcgatha on June 04, 2018:
What is a myth and elevation for 35960
Ivan Sheley on March 13, 2018:
Can’t get my HD channels
O. FELIX on January 23, 2018:
Beloved. I have problems with setting my Dstv dish, after using my matter, and I got the signal with this parameter: 11842 / 27499 H. But, by the time I connected it to my DSTV Decoder the channels where not still showing. Please, direct me on what to do before my budget time expire.
Thanks, love ones.
Julius on January 22, 2018:
Signal strength screen want come up
Engineer Solomon on January 13, 2018:
I have done all this yet there is no signal coming up
todd souza on December 06, 2017:
need correct azimuth and elevation for 94928
Dean on July 31, 2017:
Need correct azimuth for 93442
Ebrima Colley on July 28, 2017:
how 2 secure ones system
plc1624 on July 02, 2017:
When checking for the vertical you are checking for "plumb"
mark on June 18, 2017:
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
Mary B Johnson firstname.lastname@example.org on March 24, 2017:
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!
David on December 07, 2016:
I have a portable system for my RV. It would not be cost effective to call a tech out everytime I move my RV.
David Jones on October 08, 2016:
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!
Frank on August 31, 2016:
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?
Jerry on July 02, 2016:
Can't get dash do anything with the receiver
Jroo420 on June 04, 2016:
Bs on the installer only charging you $50 when we called to get our satellite moved it was gonna cost is $200.
wltw from Northern Maine on October 23, 2015:
What is the approx. cost for a top-of-the-line-dish system (everything from soup to nuts?)
DirecTV tech on October 10, 2015:
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.
TTGReviews on January 27, 2015:
I think that would be a dish issue, not an issue with your personal equipment.
Jim jelen on November 24, 2014:
Missing some channels but not others on dish
Lacey Taplin (author) from Colorado Springs, CO on November 05, 2014:
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.
Ed on November 05, 2014:
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 (author) from Colorado Springs, CO on May 12, 2014:
What sort of help do you need? Are you unable to adjust your dish?
email@example.com on May 10, 2014:
.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
Mike on September 19, 2013:
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!
Lacey Taplin (author) from Colorado Springs, CO on July 31, 2013:
Thanks for reading! What parts are you having trouble with so I can revise them to make them more reader friendly?
JR Krishna from India on July 31, 2013:
Wow. A lot of information in this article though I didn't understand fully...
Voted up and shared