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Getting Started with FTA, Step 3

making a connection

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Install

Installing a new FTA system can look difficult, but it's really not bad if you take it one step at a time. If you really don't think you can manage it, you can pay a local satellite installer and skip these steps.

1. Install the pole. Whether it's a short pole on the roof, a longer pole on the ground, or any other configuration, this is a crucial first step. Use the spot and the angles you found in Step 1.

As you install the pole, the most important point is the pole must be perfectly plumb. If it's not straight up and down, the rest of your work will be much more difficult. Use a level to check it in all directions, then make sure that the pole will not move.

2. Install the dish and LNBF. If you don't have a motor for your dish, mount the dish to the pole according to instructions. Connect it snug but not tight; you'll need to move it around when you aim it. Mount the LNBF to the dish arm. Point the dish in the general direction of the satellite. When you raise the dish to the proper inclination, don't judge by the angle of the dish arm. Most dishes are offset, so their elevation is higher than it would appear if you pointed from the dish to the LNBF.

(If you are installing a motor with your dish, the process is a little more complicated. Use the instructions that came with the motor to install the dish with the right offset. The first satellite you want to find with a motorized dish will be your "true south" satellite, which is the satellite closest to your longitude.)

3. Connect the receiver. Whenever you connect or disconnect anything to the coax, make sure the FTA receiver is off and unplugged. Connect the coax from the LNBF to the receiver, and connect the receiver to a television. This is where a portable TV can be very convenient. Plug in the receiver and turn it on.

4. Aim the dish. Use your receiver to check signal strength, and more importantly, signal quality. Use frequency and signal rate settings that match a channel that you know is there. Move your dish left and right until you determine the direction with the strongest signal quality. Then move it up and down until you find the perfect angle. Once it's just right, tighten the dish in place.

The hard work is done. Run the coax connections inside, set up your receiver by your television, and get ready to find some channels to watch.

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