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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How can I go and stand out on the balcony of my apartment and figure out if it has a clear line of sight to the Azimuth and Elevation values that the DirecTV website gives me for pointing a dish?


DIRECTV Dish Pointer

Azimuth - 169.0

Elevation - 48.9


Would finding the azimuth just be to use a standard compass and point it to 169 degrees?


How can I figure out where it would be pointing at based on that elevation number? I could possibly construct a crude measuring device that will kind of measure it for me? See the attached image for a visual of kind of what I'm thinking about...


Anyway, any help so that I can try and figure out exactly where it would be pointing would be great. I don't know if we will be able to clear the side of the building or not...
 

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Here's a little trick you can use, if you're willing to wait about another month and a half...


Twice a year, the sun will fall directly in line with the satellites (the sun behind them, obviously). I've seen a website that, given your longitutde and latitude, and the satellite you want to know about (101, 110, 119, etc), it will tell you the exact date & time that this will happen. (Does anyone have a link to that site? I used to have it, but lost it).


Anyway, if the day is sunny, you can look where the sun is shining at the appropriate time, and anywhere that's lit by sun will have line of site to the satellite. (If it's cloudy, you can go a day or two before or after and it really doesn't matter).


To find a location that can see more than one satellite, you have to note where the sunny areas are for the appropriate time of each satellite (given to you by the website) and any area that is lit for all of them will have line of site to all the satellites.


Hope this is helpful.


- Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, that is very helpful! Maybe it will come in handy. :D


On the plus-side, my father-in-law told me that they have some newer DirecTV equipment that they aren't using any longer (he just upgraded his dish and bought a new receiver about 3 months ago when they got a plasma), and he is going to let me borrow them to run the setup on and see if I can get connection to the satellite. I think that will definitely give me an indication as to whether I should order or not! :p :D


If that doesn't work out, though, does anyone have a URL to the site that was mentioned above? :)
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by galomyr
How can I go and stand out on the balcony of my apartment and figure out if it has a clear line of sight to the Azimuth and Elevation values that the DirecTV website gives me for pointing a dish?


DIRECTV Dish Pointer

Azimuth - 169.0

Elevation - 48.9


Would finding the azimuth just be to use a standard compass and point it to 169 degrees?


How can I figure out where it would be pointing at based on that elevation number? I could possibly construct a crude measuring device that will kind of measure it for me? See the attached image for a visual of kind of what I'm thinking about...


Anyway, any help so that I can try and figure out exactly where it would be pointing would be great. I don't know if we will be able to clear the side of the building or not...
Yes you could use a standard compass and point it to 169 degrees. Since the satellites are hovering over Texas, unless you've got huge buildings in the way, you have a good shot at the elevation being OK. Are you in between building? I recently used a standard compass to find a place on my property where I can put my dish. If it wasn't for that compass, I wouldn't have D* right now. The first guy that came out was a total buffoon, and just didn't want to put a pole mount on my land. The next guy that came out just move back a little further and presto, D*!. Are you looking to just get the round dish or the triple sat dish? With the triple, you'll need about 18 degrees (nine degrees on each side) of the primary compass point that D* tells you to point.

Good luck!
 

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Technically speaking the sats are actually somewhere over the equator -- the 101 sat is a few hundred mile west of the Galapogos islands which is a couple thousand miles due south of Houston, Texas if memory serves. The other 2 sats are further west out in the middle of the Pacific. From the NE sector, Texas would be a good intermediate reference point, but from the South -- Texas is due West of me so that doesn't help.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Calabs
Yes you could use a standard compass
I want to get a mirror compass/clinometer for my balcony sighting.


However, I don't know how to use it, specifically the clinometer and mirror. Can anyone give me some instructions?


There appears to be a sighting hole at the top of mirror, but I wonder, if it is equal in scope to the satellite 'beam'.


(I would just sight each of the three satellites separately.)
 
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