Dishnetwork Signal Lost on 119

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Tommy G, Jun 19, 2003.

  1. Tommy G

    Tommy G Screenwriter

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    OK, I'm looking for some advice here. First off, I'm not very good with the technicalities of satellite TV. I lost my signal last fall and when winter came it was perfect again. So I attributed it to a tree getting in the way (was also a lot worse on windy days). Anyway, spring came around and I again lost the signal because the leaves came back. I eyeballed where I thought the tree was and took 2 of them down. After taking them down, I now find myself still dismayed because there is still no signal. I don't want to get into a situation where I am just chopping down trees left and right. I was wondering if there is some tool that maybe Radio Shack or someplace sells where I can get up on the roof (which is another problem because I have height issues) and use a tool to pinpoint which tree it is that is blocking the signal. I don't want to pay a dishnetwork guy to come out and tell me that it is "x" tree I need to get rid of and then pay him $75 to tell me that. Any advice is appreciated.
     
  2. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    If you are using a Dish500 dish, it is not pointed a the satellite. It is pointed exactly between the 110 and 119 satellites.

     
  3. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Screenwriter

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    If you go into the setup screen on your receiver, on the installation / point dish menu (can't remember specifically what it's called and I'm at work so I can't check)... anyway... where you can see the signal strength meter...

    UNCHECK the Dish 500 box, then select the 119 satellite. Make sure your zipcode is right, and the resulting altitude and azimuth are where the ACTUAL line of sight is for the 119 satellite. Select the 110 satellite and you'll see the alt and az for that satellite. Regardless of where the dish is pointing (somewhere in between) these are the points in the sky that you need clear sight of. Write the numbers down. Re-check the Dish500 box and exit the menu. It will probably tell you to Check Switch. You may as well wait until you have a signal to do that.

    Get a compass with inclinometer from your nearest sporting goods store, or borrow one from a friend. Note that the numbers that your receiver gave you are for magnetic north, not true north, so don't compensate for magnetic deviation with your compass. Get yourself near your dish, but try to stay at least 3 or 4 feet behind it with relation to the direction it is pointing, and at the same height (getting too close to the metal dish will mess up your compass reading). Site in the azimuth for 119 and note a landmark in the sight for re-pointing with the inclinometer. For the altitude measurement with a compass/inclinometer, you usually turn the bezel to 270 degrees, flip the mirror to about 45 degrees, turn the compass on its side, and read the inclinometer scale throgh the mirror, sighting along the long side of the compass (which will be on top). Find the landmark you noted earlier, point the side-turned compass to it, and raise and lower the angle along the edge until the inclinometer scale reads the same as the ALTITUDE that your receiver gave you.

    You should be able to get with in 1.5 degrees of accuracy, and the offending branch should be obvious. You can probably figure it close enough to just trim the branch, rather than cut down the tree.

    If there is nothing in the way, you may have a bad cable, switch or LNB. If your Dish has its two LNBs in separate housings, you can't hurt anything by swapping their positions. If you get 119 back, but lose 110, then you have to replace your LNB. Similarly, you can switch cable positions at the LNB to check the cable... things get trickier if you have the DishPRO LNBs, since the two LNBs and the switches are all in the same housing.

    -Scott
     
  4. Richard Gilmore

    Richard Gilmore Stunt Coordinator

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    I had this happen (lost the satellite) and found a loose connection where the coax was screwed together. Hopefully that is your only problem.
     
  5. Tommy G

    Tommy G Screenwriter

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    Thanks for all the advice. My only question is if it was bad in the fall fine in winter and bad again in spring, is it still possible that the dish is off a bit or that a coax is loose? I think I'll try repositioning the dish and see if that works according to the coordinates given in my point dish portion of the menu. Thanks again. [​IMG]
     
  6. Robert Bailey

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    If it's good only in the winter, chances are that it's related to the leaves on the trees. Leaves contain quite a bit of moisture and absorb the signal quite well.

    Also, remember that the LNB is offset, so the signal comes in at an angle that is higher than it appears to, so the leaves could be higher in the sky than you'd expect.
     
  7. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Screenwriter

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    If you have an intermittent signal, you don't need to align your dish... unless the signal strength isn't high enough when you have it...

    Since your intermittent signal seems to cycle with the seasons, it's most likely a problem with foliage in the LOS. Start there, then move on to other possibilities.

    Like Robert said, the LNB is offset. In your location, though the dish appears almost vertical, the sightline is actually in the neighborhood of 25 degrees elevation.

    -Scott
     
  8. Tommy G

    Tommy G Screenwriter

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    Alrighty then. Since it is most likely foliage, how do I figure out which tree to whack? My wife is about to chop me in two if I take down one more tree and it still doesn't solve the problem. I have tried to look from behind the dish on the roof and eyeball it that way but I always seem to take down the wrong tree.
     
  9. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Screenwriter

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    It's really extremely difficult to eyeball it... you need a compass / inclinometer. Follow my instructions above.

    I have a hickory tree that needs pruning every few years to maintain a satellite signal. Using a compass/inclinometer, I can tell exactly what branch is in the way and just cut away that branch. No need to take down the whole tree.

    -Scott
     
  10. Tommy G

    Tommy G Screenwriter

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    Scott, is this what I should be looking for?

    [​IMG]

    It looks like the readings on the side are for incline. Thanks again
     
  11. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Screenwriter

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    Hmmm... I'm not sure... I don't think so. Usually, the inclinometer scale will go from -90 to +90... and I'm not seeing the extra pointer for the clinometer reading. There's the compass needle and the deviation pointer visible here, but there needs to be another pointer.

    The compass would definitely say on the packaging "inclinometer" or "clinomoeter."

    I use the Suunto Navigator, though there are many out there that fit the bill.

    http://www.sonomaoutfitters.com/acc_...unto_nav_l.jpg

    Some people just use a protractor and a piece of cardboard, a level, and an assistant to read the level while you're sighting down the cardboard. Not nearly as accurate for pruning a sightline, plus you'd need two people on the roof. A compass / inclinometer is a good thing to have for sighting satellite installations.

    -Scott
     
  12. Tommy G

    Tommy G Screenwriter

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    Scott,

    Thanks for all the advice. As it turns out, a branch was in the way and I had to have the dish guys come out and move my dish. Now I'm getting the signal in at 123. Woo hoo. Thanks again. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     

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