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These two great satellite apps make lining up satellite dishes easy

Here are two great satellite apps for lining up the satellite dish. Dish Align and SatFinder Lite have changed my RV setup time and lowered my frustrations. As we migrate to the tree-filled North from the treeless Arizona desert, finding satellite signals on our dish becomes increasingly difficult.

Not to mention we have satellite overkill: a Winegard Trav’ler on the roof at the back, a motion satellite on the roof in front (that has never worked), and a portable satellite dish.

Suffice it to say, my husband needs his TV. The last three days in a national park with no hope of service was his Waterloo. We couldn’t even get cell service.

Booking sites for satellite reception

When we have a choice of sites, I will just ask for the most open. If I’m booking a site online, I sometimes use Google Earth to check out the spots ahead of time. Once arrived, I pull out the phone and use these apps.

Satellite finder apps

Dish Align

Dish Align finds your location and points in the direction of the satellites.

How to use Dish Align

  • Open the app.
  • Select the satellite numbers for your unit. Hint: Star them to find easily the next time.
App for satellite dish
Dish Align satellite finder satellite choices
  • Dish Align will use your location and point toward the satellites.
  • Make sure you orient your device in the correct direction.
Dish Align locator
  • Note the direction of the satellite so you can point your satellite dish in that same direction. If your satellite dish is not portable, park your RV or vehicle in that direction instead.

SatFinder Lite

SatFinder Lite is our newest app. While deep in the woods in Arkansas, a helpful park host saw us moving the portable satellite dish back and forth. He came over and showed us the app he uses. SatFinder literally shows where the satellites are in the sky. It’s pretty cool, but a little unsettling at the same time. I wonder if it can spot UFOs, too…

How to use SatFinder

  • Open app.
  • Choose satellites for satellite type or just view all the satellites.

  • Point your phone toward the sky and move until the satellite numbers come into view.

  • Position portable dish or vehicle dish toward those satellites.

I used both apps last night when being able to choose the campsite in an almost-empty county park. My husband had just driven the motorhome more than 350 miles in the wind and I knew a little TV would soothe him, probably to sleep. Sometimes the value of the TV is just to watch him.

##RVDT1872

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chris
4 months ago

I’ve been a DTV subscriber for 20 years, but lately I’ve found aiming the dish to be getting much more difficult for one reason: my old HD receiver doesn’t respond quickly enough. What used to take about 5 minutes can now run into an hour or more because of how I have to point the dish, then leave it there and wait. It’s very frustrating.

I discovered this quite by accident when I left the dish to go inside and rest, and by the time I got back to the coach the TV was beeping.

Last edited 4 months ago by chris
NYDutch
4 months ago

I use the DishPointer ($) app from DishPointer.com and the free Winegard TV Signal Finder app that also locates OTA stations. Both apps use augmented realty to overlay the sats on your camera view making finding those elusive holes in tree cover quite easy. DishPointer.com also works well for finding the exact elevation and skew settings for manually adjusted dishes.

Nathan
4 months ago

Directv boxes tell you what angle to set the dish to. Enter the zip code of your park, set the dish to the tilt and angle, pull up any compass app, set the phone on the ground under the dish, and line the bracket up with the edge of your phone. The box has a signal meter page that beeps faster and louder the stronger the signal. No special app needed. Use an HD dish and you can still get HD channels. From what I’ve seen, those auto-finding domes don’t support HD channels. Get the Genie system and have whole-camper HDTV.

Brian Burry
4 months ago

We stopped wasting money on dish, and merely bought a $15 cable HDMI to our Apple I-phone, and we mirror anything on our Apple phone from; Netflix to prime to Hulu to whatever, for free with our unlimited data plan. I guess if you’re a hard-core Boondocker, you need satellite, if there’s no cell phone coverage. We don’t do that, we go Glamping at RV Parks, and we’re happy to have our television the same as we receive at home.

MrDisaster
4 months ago

I use the Winegard Pathway X2 and the SatFinder Lite App. I use the app to find the open spot and then the antenna does the rest. By the time we are setup we have a signal. Then a quick call to Dish to get the local channels.

Rich
4 months ago

the best and easiest way to find the Dish Network sats is the app Dish For My RV ($). Just point your phone at the sky to see where the sats are. 👍👍

Fred
4 months ago

We use the app Dish Pointer, which is just like Sat Finder. It has gotten us a tv signal many times on sites where, without the app, we would have parked the rv in a spot where tree foliage would have blocked the signal. With the app, we’ve been able to find the sweet spot on many sites that allow a clear shot from the dish to a satellite in the sky. The key is to walk the site before pulling in & setting up, so you can find exactly where the dish needs to be positioned

Henry Nelsen
4 months ago

Winegard also has an app for satellite and over the air antenna pointing which is pretty good.

Tommy Molnar
4 months ago

After almost 20 years of setting up the tripod and Dish receiver, we bit the bullet down in Quartzsite and bought a Dish Playmaker. Plug the wire into that receptacle on the side of the trailer, place the dome on the roof right next to the ladder (which is how I get it there), and in fairly short order we’re hooked up. Easy Peezy.