Installing an AstraConnect dish and modem

Installing satellite broadband equipment is slightly different to installing satellite television … for the latter, you really need a professional meter to squeeze the last drop of signal from a dish.

Installing and pointing an SES AstraConnect system is different as the pointing mechanism is built in and the installer just has to give the dish a helping hand with his 13mm spanner. Here’s the official installation video complete with irritating background music … you should know that ‘Gilat’ is the equipment hardware manufacturer and producers of this video and ‘CPE’ means Customer’s Premises Equipment or just dish and modem to you and me.

Have a look at my notes and observations while you watch the video, they’re time stamped to correspond with the action:

  • 0.34: The video shows a compass as being a necessary piece of equipment, I don’t think it is but it helps if you know where South is. The dish will find the signal for you and the signal comes from Astra2 which is exactly the same satellite that you get your Sky or Freesat television signal from. Use your existing dish as a guide and avoid at all costs the compass app on your smartphone.
  • 0.55: The video says that you must get your mounting pole perfectly vertical … easy on a flat wall but not so easy on a Limousin stone wall that I normally have to contend with. The dish assembly has a mechanism to compensate for a slightly off-vertical pole and that’s described at 4.30 on the video. Personally, if you can get the pole within 2 or 3 degrees off-vertical, you should be OK.
  • 4.51: The video shows the terminating of the screw-on connectors, make sure that around 4 or 5 mm of inner conductor wire protude … this is not made clear on the video.
  • 5.11: This shows the navigation to the sky.manage web page to start pointing the dish. Just to be clear, the sky.manage page is built inside the modem itself … you’re not accessing a web page via the internet. You can’t do that because your dish is not pointed … I know that this has caused confusion in the past and it’s not very well explained.
  • 7.25: The video reckons that the modem takes around 5 minutes for its Service Activation, I reckon it’s more like 30 minutes so that’s the time where I tidy up the cables and drink the coffee generously offered by the client.
  • 7.27: Once the modem returns the ‘Installation Completed Successfully’ message, you may have to restart your computer and then you should be automatically directed to the Activation Page for your Europasat account … click on the button and you will then be on-line.

I’ve been helping and encouraging DIY installers for years and have learned a bit over those years … you have that back up and experience to help you, both included with your order.