how to turn an old satellite dish into an antenna

How to Turn An Old Satellite Dish into A TV Antenna 

April 22, 2022

Unfortunately, you cannot legally get regular satellite TV service for free. You can’t also use your satellite dish as a TV antenna because they don’t receive the same type of frequencies. 

However, this doesn’t mean that all hope is lost. You can use some good parts of the existing wiring for your TV antenna. 

We’ll show you how to go about that in this article. 

For starters, you can use the mast that held your satellite dish to hold your antenna. Other parts you can use are the pre-installed grounded coax cables that you used with your dish. Installing a TV antenna can be a hustle, and having an old dish can make the process smoother.  

Start By Removing your Old Dish 

Your satellite dish comes in two parts this is the dish assembly and the mast. So, what should you remove, and what remains? You should keep the mounting bracket and the mast. This will give you a mast to work with and make it easier to set up your TV antenna. 

Another part you should retain is the end of your coaxial cable. This is what was connected to your satellite receiver box. This is important to remember if you don’t want to drill any new holes on your roof or run a new cable throughout your house. 

Steps to Follow to Turn Satellite Dish to TV Antenna 

1. Locate Transmission Towers 

You want to point your TV antenna in the right direction. This means locating any broadcasting towers near you and facing the front of your antenna in that direction. 

Feel free to Google and find information about transmission towers near you. 

2. Purchase Your New Antenna 

As you choose the Over-The-Air (OTA) antenna you want, ensure that its range is greater than the farthest tower in your area. 

This is where the research you’ve done above comes in handy. Depending on your likes, you can either get a unidirectional antenna, a multidirectional antenna or an omnidirectional antenna. 

3. Get Your Tools

If you are doing the TV antenna installation yourself, you’ll need to get the right tools to do the job.

The tools you need depend on whether you’re getting an assembled antenna or not. Read the instructions carefully to know whether you’ll need to assemble the antenna again or not. 

You don’t want to get on the roof only to find that you need to screw some parts first. 

4. Remove the Dish

This is the part you’ve been waiting for. But, you want to be careful because you don’t want to damage the mast or cabling as you’ll use these for your TV antenna. So, how do you go about it? 

Remove the cap (LNB) of the dish to gain access to the coax cable and wire. You’ll find the cap on the arm of the dish. Unscrew the cable and remove it from the dish. 

Once that’s done, you can now remove the rest of the dish from the mast. Loosen the bolts that hold it in place using a wrench. You should see two or three bolts in place. Once you’ve loosed the bolts, it should be easy to slide the dish out. 

You can throw away the dish, sell it, or give it to a friend. 

5. Mount Your TV Antenna 

You want to be careful with this part to avoid having to boost the TV signal later on in the future. Now that you have the post intact, this part should be short and sweet thanks to the old dish. 

Use the U clamps and mounting bracket that come with the antenna. Don’t panic if the antenna doesn’t fit the mast. This is because you can simply buy a fitting from local hardware near you. 

This will allow you to make the pole smaller or bigger so that it works well with your new TV antenna. 

6. Face the Antenna in the Right Direction 

Whether you want to watch TV channels only or combine them with streamed channels from Roku, you want to get the clearest signals. Positioning your antenna in the right direction ensures this. 

Because you already know the direction of the transmission tower you’re targeting, this should be fairly simple. Next, go through the instructions on the antenna guide to see what else they recommend. 

7. Connect the Coaxial Cable 

Remember the coaxial cable that you were using with your old dish, this is where it comes in. It’s a great thing that we didn’t get rid of it, isn’t it? 

Take this coaxial cable and connect it to your new antenna using your tools. These can be the ones that come with the antenna or others from your own collection. 

Once you’re sure that everything is good up here, go down and connect the other end of the coaxial cable that was previously connected to the receiver box directly to your TV.

Final Thoughts 

Have you understood how to turn your old satellite dish into a TV antenna? Let us know how your new setup goes along with what channels you’re most excited to see.

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