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The good news is that you can usually find this information with help of your satellite provider. DISH Network for example features a Point Dish/Signal option in their on-screen menu to assist you in adjustment of your dish. Using your zip code, you can determine azimuth, elevation and skew. Pointing your dish is normally part of installation process so plan to do your install when you have time to follow through.
Your skew should be set before you mount your dish. Using adjustment number from your service provider, rotate dish horn to match recommended coordinates.
With your azimuth and elevation numbers in hand, grab your compass and go outside. Standing close to your dish but at least one foot away, rotate your compass until needle points North, or zero degrees. Starting from this point, locate azimuth number on compass and turn to face that point without moving compass itself. East is 90 degrees, South is 180 degrees and West is 270 degrees. If your azimuth number is 240 for example, you would face a direction that fell between South and West on your compass.
Now that you’ve found your direction, estimate angle of elevation. With ground representing zero, calculate distance going upwards using elevation number provided by your provider. Straight up would be 90 degrees so if your elevation number was 45, your elevation would be halfway between ground and looking straight up into sky. Got it? Good... There’s your satellite!
About the Authors: Gary Davis is owner of Dish Network Satellite TV and has written numerous articles on the satellite television industry. Kate Ivy has written for a variety of publications and websites and is the owner of Ivygirl Media & Design.