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Signal Strength Question from rubyc4

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Old 01-07-2005, 08:15 PM   #1  
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Default Signal Strength Question from rubyc4

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Hello Rbinck,

You seem to be very informed so I was wondering if I could bother you to ask a question about HDTV.

I have Direct TV and have 2 non HD outlets and 1 HD outlet. I am having a problem with freezing (which I see other viewers have as well) but I can trace my problem to the strength of the signal. For example, last night at 7:00, the satellite was on A and my signal strength was 67%. At 8;30 when I checked again, the satellite was on B and the signal strength was 89-90%. My question - is this normal. Is there any was to keep the satellite on B to ensure a stronger signal? And, if not, I know that there is such a thing as a booster (our local cable company gives this out for free if your cable connection is weak because of long wiring) - is this something that I should consider?

Any guidance that you could provide would be very much appreciated.

Ok, satellite A and satellite B are two different satellites. It sounds like your HD dish is not aligned correctly.

Sat-A is the main SD satellite @ 101 deg.
Sat-B is at 119 deg.
Sat-C is at 110 deg.
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Old 01-07-2005, 08:18 PM   #2  
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Your right, sounds like the dish has moved. You need to re-aim the dish using the set up menu on your unit. Depending on your location, you should be hitting around the high 90's on the signal stregth meter.
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Old 01-08-2005, 03:59 AM   #3  
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heres a quick way to check out your system
SAT-a or 101 transponder 01 & 02 are main
SAT-b or 119 transponder 26 & 27 are main
SAT-c or 110 transponder 08 10 &12 are main for HD signal
Now if you tweak your dish to to all the (main transponders) you will not have any problems as far as picture freeze, audio lag etc.etc.. keep in mind that the azimuth, tilt & rotation suggested in the setup menu are very crucial to being able to pickup the strongest signals possible. Start with SAT-A check transponders 1 & 2 write down your signal strenth, then go to SAT-B check transponders 26 & 27 write down your signal strenth. Now comes the tricky part SAT-C check transponders 08 10 & 12 these all have to be in the 90's
cause these are your HD transponders. GOOD LUCK
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Old 01-08-2005, 09:26 PM   #4  
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I am having a similar problem......this past Monday I expanded my DTV usage by adding a second HD receiver and 2 standard receiver....now I have a total of 2 HD receivers (1 of which I have no problem at all) and 1 standard (total of 3). I have had DTV tech out late this week and he thought that the LNB was bad so he replaced it...of course, it worked while he was here and then soon after he left it did it again....One HD receiver is getting most channels but CBS East, local channels on occasion, and the Disney/Nick channels pixel or freeze on me. On the standard receiver, it is continually searching for satellite......I wonder if the tech who expanded my coverage accidently moved my satellite dish a little? According to my tuner, the dish "seems" to be on the right angles, but it does seem a little off......the signal strength with Satellite A is very low.....what should I tweak first?
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Old 01-08-2005, 09:33 PM   #5  
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I also wanted to mention that I have on HD receiver that is not having any problems at all.....just the other two...not sure if that is normal.....???
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Old 01-08-2005, 11:06 PM   #6  
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Sounds like it could be a cable problem. Swap receivers around to see if the problem moves with the receiver or not. If the good receiver acts up where the bad one is now, then it is either the multiswitch or cable.
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Old 01-09-2005, 08:56 AM   #7  
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When the tech came out last Thursday, he actually replaced the multi-switch because he thought it was the problem. I have had my first HD tuner since last January and had no problems until the two new ones were put in......

The one downstairs has pixeling on certain channels...all on satellite A.....the one standard one upstairs......it keeps cutting in and out and the message is "searching for satellite."

Do you still think that I need to switch our receivers?
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Old 01-09-2005, 12:24 PM   #8  
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Switching the receivers will eliminate the receivers as a possible problem.


Troubleshooting over a forum like this can be difficult due to not being there to see everything. For example, you say the tech changed the multiswitch. Where was the multiswitch he changed? Was it the one built into the dish, or one somewhere else? Some HD dishes have an integral multiswitch and in order to change it, the LNB's have to be changed as well.

What channel are you watching when on satellite A?
What channel are you watching when on satellite B?

You see what could be happening is the tech could have used existing cabling to hook up the problematic receivers. Cable that was previously used for cable TV. There could be some CATV splitters buried in the wall somewhere which could explain the problems you are having. I've seen this before, much to my tech's suprise.

The sure way to eliminate the receivers as a potential problem is to try them on the cable you are not having a problem on. If they all work fine on that cable, then the problem is either in the other cables (most likely) or in a multiswitch.

After verifing that the receivers are not the problem, then identify which cable feeds which receivers at the multiswitch. Label the #1, #2, #3, etc.

For the purpose of these instructions, let's say the good location is fed by cable #1 and the searching for satellite location is cable #2.

Take the #1 cable off of the multiswitch. We know there is not a problem with this connection on the multiswitch. Then connect the #2 cable to this known good multiswitch connection. You can also connect the #1 cable to the multiswitch where the #2 cable was connected. If the receiver that was searching for satellite now finds a signal, and the receiver connected to the #1 cable looses signal, then there is a multiswitch problem. If the receiver that was connected to cable #2 is still searching for satellite, there is a cable problem.

Move to cable #3 and repeat.

Note: Is there is a CATV splitter in a satellite cable, some of the channels will work fine and others will not work at all. To understand why, you can read the thread: Multiple Directv Receivers - Hook up

Now if there were to be two splitters in a cable line, most likely there would not be a signal at all after the 2nd splitter.

Once you have determined where the problem is, then you can go about fixing it.

Last edited by rbinck; 01-09-2005 at 12:28 PM..
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Old 01-09-2005, 02:02 PM   #9  
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Thank you....on the standard hook up it does look like there is an issue where the cable attached to the receiver....so, this may have been the issue...I have re-connected and tightened it....it may be the connector piece......probably needs to be replaced.....have not done that before.

I retightened the connection on my HDTV tuner that I have had for a year or so.....it is performing much better.....93% signal strength right now.....

I will keep your instructions to investigate if it happens again....thanks so much....you are very helpful.

You need to stay healthy....
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Old 01-09-2005, 04:32 PM   #10  
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I should have added....

Or it could be a bad connection.
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