Bad Transponders on 101 - NFL Sunday Ticket

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ralph Summa, Oct 14, 2002.

  1. Ralph Summa

    Ralph Summa Supporting Actor

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    I was unable to receive two games yesterday and the Colts game kept "pixellating". I did a system test and found that transponders 11 and 16 were in the mid 30s and transponder 14 was "0". All other transponders were reading from 90 to 100 as usual.

    Anyone else have this issue? Weather was overcast but not exactly bad, and as I said only three transponders seemed to be affected.

    Ralph
     
  2. Pete M

    Pete M Stunt Coordinator

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    I watched yesterday with no problems. I don't think I saw every game, but I did see a lot of the Colts game without any pixelization issues.

    See if it keeps happening - maybe a LNB problem?
     
  3. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

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    The stock answer is that those transponders are used by the spot beam satellite and a low or zero signal on some of them is normal depending on where you live.

    But yours is not the stock question. The spot beam transponders are 4, 12, 18, 20, 26, and 28. Not 11, 14, and 16.
     
  4. Ralph Summa

    Ralph Summa Supporting Actor

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    Could a bad piece of RG-6 affect only three transonders? Earlier in the week I replaced an old cable with an Acoustic Research 6' COAX cable. As I said before, all other transponders did not show a degraded signal. I'm reaching here...
     
  5. Bill Slack

    Bill Slack Supporting Actor

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    Yes, a bad cable could only cause problems on certain frequencies, and hence certain transpoders. Not likely, but look into it, at least...
     
  6. Ralph Summa

    Ralph Summa Supporting Actor

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    Turns out that the problem was my new Acoustic Research cable. I don't know if it's defective or just crap. I have used AR component cables and S-Video cables without issue. I have two pieces of the AR COAX hooked to my OTA antenna and I don't see a problem there. I put back my old hand-made cable and the numbers on most transponders stayed basically the same. Maybe a point or two up or down. The differences on transponders 9-16 were much greater, especially 10, 14 and 16. Here are the before and after signal strengths for transponders 9-16.

    Transponder # 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
    ==========================================
    (A/R cable) 91 55 89 87 62 0 86 0

    (Hand made) 98 91 91 97 100 59 92 44


    My hand-made cable is constructed from a 4' piece of quad-shield RG-6 (60 cents) and two Radio Shack screw on F - connectors ($1.29). The A/R cable MSRP is $15.99.

    Strange that a few other transponders went up a point or I did a few diffeent readings over the course of a couple hours and the results didn't change. Thanks for all your help.

    Ralph
     
  7. Bill Slack

    Bill Slack Supporting Actor

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    Was the AR cable RG-6 (or 56)? If it was (5)9 then it can't carry the full range of frequency that the DTV signal uses.

    The quality of the cable in this situation as rather moot (though frequency and stength are another matter) because it's simply an analog carrier carrying digital data. It either gets there, or it doesn't.
     
  8. Ralph Summa

    Ralph Summa Supporting Actor

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    Bill,
    Funny you should mention that. I can't find verification anywhere. It's so simple that it never even crossed my mind. I saw "75 ohms" "High Definition Video Cable" printed all over the packaging and never thought twice. Of course Recoton's and AR's websites are down today. I sent their CS team an email yesterday noting the problems I had experienced. Today I followed up with an email asking about the cable they use in construction of these RF cables. We'll see if they respond. It's my fault for never checking what cable was being used, but if AR is advertising that these cables are ideal for digital transmission of signals and they are using RG-59 in their construction, it's misleading and just plain inaccurate. I'll have to check the packaging when I get home. It won't make me feel like less of an idiot though. [​IMG]
    Ralph
     
  9. Ralph Summa

    Ralph Summa Supporting Actor

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    I finally got confirmation from AR that these cables are made with RG-59. They recommended that I use RG-6 for digital and gave me a nice sales pitch to buy more of their cables. [​IMG] GEE, THANKS!
    Lowes was selling them as a closeout because they will no longer be carrying AR products and I cannot return them. These things say "High Definition Video Cable" all over them and the packaging claims that the cables are 75 ohms. In short, I feel like I was misled. Do I have any recourse to get my money back from AR?
    Ralph
     
  10. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

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    Unless the package or cable said it was suitable for the RF connection between dish and receiver, they didn't mislead you. Analog high definition video has a bandwidth of about 75 MHz, and the satellite signal has considerably higher bandwidth, perhaps 750 MHz or even 1 GHz.
     
  11. Ralph Summa

    Ralph Summa Supporting Actor

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    Wayne,

    I wondered about that myself, so I did some testing. I put two of these cables in place between my OTA antenna and STB and from my OTA antenna to my TV's antenna loop. They killed my OTA HD signal anywhere from 30% to 40% rendering one channel completely unwatchable. Although I couldn't measure the analog signal strength, some of the analog stations' broadcasts got worse. Some were harder to bring in clearly, and I did see an increase in EMI in some of the VHF analog stations. Again, I did multiple cable swaps and checks of connections etc. I even found an old Monster cable that was too flimsy to be RG-6 and that even performed better. End result was that that the AR cables didn't cut it. Maybe it's not an RG-6/RG-59 issue. Maybe its a design flaw or something entirely different. As I stated in my first post, I use AR Pro cables throughout my system and never had a problem before. I've always been a advocate of AR's products based on build quality and performance.

    I didn't set out with an agenda to see which cables performed better. I was just searching for better cable that would make my OTA signal resistant to dropouts and a DirecTV signal that would be resistant rain fade. I didn't get that with these cables. in hindsight I'm a little aggravated that there was no mention of the cable type (RG-59 or RG-6) on AR's website or on their packaging. I will certainly be more careful next time.

    Ralph
     

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