I’ve installed a few Satellite Dishes for friends, family, and myself — I really hate it. Most of the installs I have done involved setting the Dish up on a roof or far from the receiver, thus rendering the tone and display generated from the Dish Setup screen useless. I have bought all the standard setup tools… the digital compass and inline satellite signal meter, but those tools still don’t make it a 15-minute setup job. miniTV.jpgSolution, use an old Realistic PocketVision 22. I think my pocket TV is circa 1989, but any pocket TV with miniplug antenna port will work — I’ve seen these things as cheap as $10 used. Most, if not all, Satellite installs these days require at least a dual LNB, for multiple tuners or multiroom installs. When I built my house I ran six RG-6 cables to the roof, so if you don’t have the the extra cables, you’ll need to use the cable that is meant for the second tuner (the one connected to the second connector on the dual LNB). Plug that cable into the satellite receiver output labeled, “Out To TV”. Be sure to slide the toggle to Channel 3 and also make sure the other end of the cable is not connected to the LNB (wouldn’t want to fry something). The “Out To TV” cable will be what you’ll plug into the Pocket TV via a F-Connector to Miniplug adaptor. The other cable remains plugged into the “Input From Satellite”. Once everything is connected, turn on your regular watching display via S-Video or Composite and set the receiver into Setup Mode (On Dish Networks it’s Menu,6,1,1 via the remote). Select the satellite you want to lock on, this screen will give you the tone and the signal strength (the same picture is being output from the modulated Channel 3 output). Now, you can go to Satellite Dish, plug your Pocket TV to the cable from the “Out To TV” output of the receiver, set it to Channel 3 and BAM! You get both setup tone and visual signal strength, right next to you… exact signal the receiver is getting. Now all you do is adjust the dish until you get locked and tighten up all the bolts, plug the second cable back to the second LNB output, plug the output from the second LNB to the second tuner and grab a beer.

Here is a photo from the back of my satellite box, you can see the connections I’m refering too. Post a comment if you have any questions.