How to check for line of sight to the HughesNet Gen4 Satellite?
To receive a good signal from the new HughesNet Gen4 satellite, you need a clear line of sight between the satellite and the satellite dish antenna located at your home or business.
Trees, mountains, buildings and other solid obstacles will impair, or prevent the signal from making the necessary connection to the internet.
To understand how to find the satellites you must first understand how the satellite stays in the same position relevant to earth’s surface. For those of you that have been following this blog, you can jump over this as we covered it about a month ago.
The satellites are located above the Earth’s Equator, approximately 23, 000 miles, in a belt known as the Clark Belt. When the satellite is placed in its orbital position, it will stay in the same position relevant to the earth’s surface. This is why you do not have to have a motor and tracking device on your dish. The satellites do have a minimal amount of propellant to make minor adjustments. So, once your installer points your new HughesNet dish at the satellite, there should be no need for any further adjustments (unless you drive a lawn tractor like me!).
There are many sites on the internet that will give you the coordinates to locate the satellite from your home. This is where those merit badges from boy scouts or those sailing courses from collage will come in handy. The HughesNet Gen4 is located in the 107.1 orbital positions. You will need to locate two angles: the azimuth and the elevation.
The azimuth is the compass direction the dish must face to point towards the satellite. The second angle is the elevation; this is the angle above the horizon that you will target to reach the satellite. Generally, the farther north you go, the lower the angle. Because the satellites are located in the western hemisphere, most HughesNet dishes located in the United States will point towards a location on the equator that is south of Texas.
One of my favorite sites for finding dish angles is dishpointer.com.
Here you can enter your address and zip code, select your satellite (EchoStar 17 for HughesNet Gen4) and their program will calculate your angles and display a line to the satellite on Google maps. Remember that there is a difference between true north and magnetic north. If you are not sure of the deviation in your area, call your local airport.
At Dish Pointer you will also find a link to a great little tool that every professional installer should have: An Android or I Phone Satellite Locator App. The app is worth its weight in gold to any installer that doesn’t live in a desert.
This app can be purchased at dishpointer.com.
I personally would like to thank the people that created this app as it has made is possible to get installation in that I would have never attempted in the old days. A worthwile $20 investment!!