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99 / 103 Signal Strength -- Oddities

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by Chilli_Dog, Aug 27, 2007.

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  1. Chilli_Dog

    Chilli_Dog AllStar

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    Dec 26, 2005
    I had a Slimline Dish installed recently, and was checking the signal strength for transponders on the 99 and 103 satellites. When I check the signal strength, I will see certain transponders -- usually the same ones -- show 0 intermittently. However, if I retest them, they will jump up to middle or upper 80s. These transponders are denoted in red below.

    For example:

    Sat 99

    Transponders 1 - 8: 86 62 88 91 95 73 NA NA

    Sat 103

    Transponders 1 - 8: 85 93 87 95 86 90 NA NA
    Transponder 17: 0 (always)

    My concern is that I will have intermittent problems switching to channels on these satellites (especially with DirecTV 10 going live very soon). Any thoughts on why this would be happening? Alignment issues? Cabling problems? Software glitch in HR20 receivers?

    For reference, I checked the signal levels on two different HR20-100s receivers and got the same results. Location: Springfield IL.
     
  2. Chilli_Dog

    Chilli_Dog AllStar

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    Dec 26, 2005
    FWIW, I cannot duplicate this on my HR20-700. The "intermittent" transponders seem to always bring back the expected number. Only the HR20-100S models seem to have this issue. All receivers are running software version 0x17e.

    Earl, if you happen to be reading this, any chance that version 0x17e for the HR20-100 might exhibit different behavior than 0x17e for the HR20-700? Or should I start checking my cables, etc? Seems odd that both 100s would have problems with the exact same transponders...
     
  3. Ken984

    Ken984 Active Member

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    Dec 31, 2005
    Bossier...
    I would think that since its only on one set of receivers and not the other its probably the software. But if you want to check the cabling and all just swap a 700 for a 100 and see if the problem follows it( if it does its the receiver/software) or if it stays at the same location(bad cable/MS maybe).
     
  4. Chilli_Dog

    Chilli_Dog AllStar

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    Dec 26, 2005
    Excellent suggestion. That would be a great starting point.

    I've also noticed there is quite a delay when getting the signal strength on even transponders of the 99 satellite. Is this normal?
     
  5. Tom Robertson

    Tom Robertson Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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    Nov 15, 2005
    Different receiver models take different amounts of time to bring up the transponder maps. (Some can be oh so slow.)

    One thing to know is that currently all the transponders on 99° and 103° are spotbeams. So you can have almost any number for everything but the spotbeam aimed at you. That one you want to be 95 or higher. :)

    Cheers,
    Tom
     
  6. aramus8

    aramus8 Godfather

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    Nov 20, 2006
    I've never seen this problem on the HR20-700, but have seen just the opposite on my standard definition box. When you do a signal test it always shows the first transponder on each satellite at 100 until you run the test again. Figured it was buggy software and since I hardly use it, just let it go.
     
  7. Directvlover

    Directvlover Legend

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    Aug 27, 2007
    Had my slimline installed a couple months ago, and at that time updated my reciever to the HR20.

    All is working well, but the other night i was clicking through the signal tests and realized i wasn't getting any signal strength on both the 99 and 103...no transponders are being detected. The other 3 all are fine with really high signal strength, but the 99 and 103 are virtually dead....is this normal...should they be dead since they're not broadcasting national hd from them yet? Or should i have directv out to realign?
     
  8. max190

    max190 Cool Member

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    Jul 21, 2007
    When I check the signal strength on 99 and 103 on my H20, it takes at least 2 to 5 minutes for it to show on the transponders.
    Maybe you did not wait long enough?
     
  9. Directvlover

    Directvlover Legend

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    Aug 27, 2007
    Wow 2 - 5 minutes...yeah i definitely didn't wait that long. I will try again and wait longer. Why does it take so long?
     
  10. max190

    max190 Cool Member

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    Jul 21, 2007
    I do not know exactly why. I guess its because they are spot beams for individual cities that Tom mentions above. For instance, my HD locals come in on 103 in St. Louis.

    I have read that when the new D10? comes on-line, that the transponder signals will jump much higher on 99 and 103.
     
  11. texasbrit

    texasbrit Well-Known Member

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    Aug 9, 2006
    If you are in a city with HD locals then your locals come from either one or two transponders on either 99 or 103, not both. So any other transponders you see today on your "own" satellite or on the other one, are spotbeams pointed at other cities so you will see anything from good signals to zero depending on how close these spotbeams are to you. If you are in the eastern part of the U.S. where the cities with locals are close together you see lots of signals on 99 and 103. If you are in the northwest you might only see one or two transponders with any signal.
    When DirecTV10 comes on line you will see some of the 103 transponders move from showing N/A to having a signal strength. Since they are national channels, my guess is that people with a correctly-aligned dish will see high 80s to 90s on these transponders. The transponders currently showing up with a signal strength on 103, even if it's zero, should not change unless there is a change in the HD locals broadcast by the Spaceway satellite that is already in the 103 slot.

    There will be no national HD signals on 99 until DirecTV11 comes on line, forecast for early 2008.
     
  12. gdn

    gdn AllStar

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    Aug 5, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Along these same lines - I had a new slimline and HR20 installed last Friday - I have no signal from 99 at all - it fails as I go through Satellite setup. Based on what I read here - I don't think I'm too concerned - except the installer worked on it for 30 minutes (he seemed to be a fairly knowledgable installer) trying to get a signal from 99 - he adjusted the dish slightly a couple of times - then he said - oh yeah - not everyone gets a signal from 99. I couldn't tell if he really knew that or he was tired of messing with it and giving up.

    All else works well - and will say he was doing setup with version 15 of the software as it came out of the box with. As soon as he left it downloaded 17 on its own immediately and last night I got the upgrade to 18. Each version of the software reports the same thing for the 99 bird - Failed during setup - all the other 4 report just fine.

    Is this a problem? Do I need to call in - or do I have no worries?

    Thanks.
     
  13. max190

    max190 Cool Member

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    Jul 21, 2007
    Since I have a H20 with a different version of software I am unable to comment on your HR20. But, I do not think that 99 should show failed during setup.

    Did the tech install your (2) BBC's?
     

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  14. gdn

    gdn AllStar

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    Aug 5, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Yes - both BBC's installed - and I get the 771 searching message on both tuners for channel 499.
     
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