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Look Angle Calculator

by Don Bradner

Updated 3/15/2005 to fix incompatibility with new D2 firmware
Mobile satellite users have to consider trees and obstacles in choosing places to park. This utility is an aid in determining where the satellite can be found in the sky from a particular latitude and longitude.

To use the calculator, select the appropriate satellite and enter your latitude and longitude. The program auto-calculates as values change. Latitude and Longitude are in decimal degrees. If you have readings in degrees and minutes, divide the degrees by 60. Do not worry about seconds - you can't point that accurately! At this time the program expects values in the western and northern hemispheres. Satellites available are those used by Direcway, plus popular TV satellites.

Under the compass you can choose true or magnetic azimuth. Use true when comparing against a map, magnetic when using a compass. The calculations used by the program are not precise, particularly for magnetic compensation, but should typically be within one degree.

The elevation value refers to the angle above the horizon where the satellite is found. Dish elevation is a term used by Datastorm users, where zero degrees is when the dish is folded down flat.

The program remembers all settings between sessions.

Download the program here. 732K installation, primarily because of the graphics and graphics engine. Like the rest of the DatstormUsers utilities it is free, does not require registration, does not install any spyware, etc. Feedback in the forums is always welcome.

The option to enter location by zip code will not appear unless a zipcode database is found at program startup. Download here (539K) unzip and place zips1.txt in the dslookangle folder - that will enable the zip code function.Note: new more complete zipcode database uploaded 5/5/05. Requires Lookangle program or later to use.

screen shot

updated 8/3/04 version added Dish 500 support.

updated 9/2/04 version added option for the D2 and Degrees/Minutes . Degrees/Minutes and Decimal Degrees update each other. The D2 Datastorm controller option is only of interest to people who have one; the compass will autotrack wih the D2 compass and GPS to show look angles relative to the vehicle orientation.

updated 1/7/05 version Changed from 2000 to 2005 magnetic Decimal Degrees Degrees/Minutes D2 Option


updated 5/5/05 version Significant upgrade. Added option for Vehicle Front instead of North compass top. Added support for user-added satellites (click the add button). Added support for an expanded zipcode database.

updated 5/11/05 version Fixed bug that produces error when elevation is between 19 and 20 degrees.

updated 7/8/05 version Fixed bug that could produce errors in magnetic azimuth of up to 1 degree.

For support with this program, contact the author through the forums at or the e-mail address below.

About the author: Don is a semi-retired pet shop owner and long-time programmer who runs this site for the fun of it.

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