DishNetwork/transponder question

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Michael_T_Jones, Feb 23, 2001.

  1. Michael_T_Jones

    Michael_T_Jones Auditioning

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    I have the Dish 500 setup and was wondering about the transponders.
    If I go into setup on the receiver and then check my signal strength, it varies with using different transponders.
    And it varies differently with both satelites.
    What is the reason for this? I don't know what a transponder is or does.
    Also, when I pick the transponder that has the highest signal strength and then do the "switch test" and then get out of that option, I figure it will keep that transponder in use. But if I go back into that setup feature, it doesn't use that transponder #. It seems to pick either the one it was on before, or another tansponer # altogether.
    Could anyone explain this to me? I've only had the Dish for a very short time(3mos.), so I don't know much about this.
    I did a search on the HTF website, but couldn't find much.
    Thanks,
    Mike
     
  2. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Screenwriter

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    >If I go into setup on the receiver and then check my signal strength, it varies with using different transponders.
    This is normal.
    >And it varies differently with both satelites.
    This is also normal.
    The transponder is essentially a digial transceiver - it receives the signal from Dish Network's uplink facility and then turns it back around and sends it back to Earth. Each transponder has several channels of video on it.
    The power output of a transponder is proportional to the signal strength of the signal going in, I believe. So the input level, combined with minor variations in the alignment of the transponder on the satellite, among other things including atmospheric effects, can cause variations in signal strength on your meter.
    -Scott
     
  3. Michael_T_Jones

    Michael_T_Jones Auditioning

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    Scott,
    Thanks for clearing that up for me. I had no idea what a transponder was. [​IMG]
    But do you know the answer to my other question?
    ***Also, when I pick the transponder that has the highest signal strength and then do the "switch test" and then get out of that option, I figure it will keep that transponder in use. But if I go back into that setup feature, it doesn't use that transponder #. ***
    Sorry, I need to learn UBB. [​IMG]
    Mike
     
  4. Jon_T

    Jon_T Agent

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    Michael,
    Each transponder transmits a certain number of channels on it and that is designated by Dish. When you change channels, the receiver switches to the transponder that carries that particular channel. ESPN could be transmitting from transponder 5 and HBO could be transmitting from transponder 13. When you switch from ESPN to HBO, the receiver switches from transponder 5 to 13. Going to the signal strength screen and changing the transponder to the highest signal strength does nothing because it will always revert back to the last channel that you were watching.
     
  5. Bob Jackson

    Bob Jackson Stunt Coordinator

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    Also E* still has some single powered transponders out there. Most are double powered and should give a higher reading than the single powered ones.
     
  6. John_Bonner

    John_Bonner Supporting Actor

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    Another questions along the same lines:
    Every few months I climb the ladder and adjust the dish slightly in an effort to increase signal strength. Since I had to pole mount my dish, wind, heavy snow etc. move it a bit (never enough to lose picture thankfully). Whenever I do this I go to the setup screen and set the SAT to 119 and the TRANSPONDER to 1 (these were the instructions for initial installation).
    My question: should I continue to choose SAT 119, TRANS 1 for tweaking or put it on the transponder with lowest signal strength? Thanks in advance.
    JB
    "Let the full moon rise today"
     
  7. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Screenwriter

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    I don't think it makes a whole lot of difference if you tweak to the weakest transponder. What is weakest now may not be 6 months from now. My guess is they recommend lining up to transponder 1 on your initial setup so they might be able to compare your signal strength on that transponder as a reference to others in your area who have recently installed, should you have difficulties during install and need to call tech support.
    I wouldn't worry about tweaking a pole-mount until there is a problem. I have two separate dishes tree-mounted (which everyone says NEVER do - but what can I say, I live in the woods and have no choice - I needed about 30ft elevation at a distance of over 50ft from my house to shoot over trees). Anyway, my average signal strength varies a bit from year to year, but it has always seemed to go both ways. One of the dishes has been untouched since its installation 4 years ago - and it still averages over 90 on the meter.
    Just FYI: the trees I mounted to are very large, slow-growth hardwood trees. Growth has not been a factor in the alignment. However, wind gusts in excess of 40mph from the exposed east will cause the trees to move enough so my signal is intermittent. This happens rather infrequently. I can count the times on one hand.
    -sk
     
  8. John_Bonner

    John_Bonner Supporting Actor

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    Thanks Scott.
    Due to tree problems my dish is mounted to a pole which is attached to my roof. It's bolted on pretty good and I haven't yet lost the picture (knock wood). Before my father-in-law and I bolted it on, I was getting signal strengths of 90+ and some over 110. The day we bolted the dish to the pole was very nasty, cold & rainy. Needless to say we wanted to get it on there and get down ASAP. The signal strengths then averaged in the 70's. It's now 4 months later and the signal strength's are about the same although some transponders occasionally drop to the 50's. In a month or 2 I will probably go back up there and tweak with my wife watching the signal strength so I can get it back in the 90+ range. It's amazing how much an inch or 2 either way makes a big difference. (There's a penis joke somewhere in that last sentence but I won't go there! [​IMG]
    JB
     

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