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aligning dish

Discussion in 'DIRECTV SD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by Nosey, May 8, 2006.

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  1. Nosey

    Nosey Legend

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    Mar 12, 2006
    Carl,
    during your test, did you leave the screen on the searching for sat sig then go out and align and come back and have a signal??

    If that works then I can still fine tune the alignment after I get a tone on the meter without have to align/reboot/align/reboot etc...

    while I wait on your response I'm going to give it a try real quick, I have to leave in 20 minutes but if I can get a signal using that method then I can record my 2 shows tonight while I am gone, ncis and the unit..

    thanks
     
  2. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

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    Actually, I set the R15, the TV, and the dish all in one place so had direct access to all 3 as I did the test.

    I tried many variations of what screen(s) were used. But yes to your specific question.

    I mis-aligned the dish. I did a reset on the R15. When the "searching for satellite" message appeared I pressed the Exit button on the remote which exited that screen to nothing. I pressed Menu on the remote and got the menu. I selected the Satellite > View signal and set up the signal strength meters. I left the meters on the screen and moved the dish back into alignment. Nothing. No signal reading of any type. I then tried several different things. I tried doing a system test, and both tuners failed. I tried going through a complete satellite dish setup, and failed. I went into the special menu (where you can implement stacking and other stuff) and selected a "special" installation. No help there. I simply pressed the red reset button, and presto, it came back up with both tuners working.

    I used an Accutrac Pro meter (connected to a different port on the dish, not in-line with the receiver) to verify alignment, as well as having marked the mast and dish so I knew where correct alignment point was. There is no doubt that I had a good signal.

    Now, if you use a separate meter to get some type (any type) of signal with the dish, then reset your R15, you should be okay. When it starts up, instead of getting a "searching for satellite" message you should get an "acquiring satellite information" message. Let the R15 boot all the way up, then you can use the signal strength meters to peak the alignment.

    If you get a "searching for satellite" message instead of an "acquring satellite information" message, you are not aimed at the correct satellite. Using your separate meter, find another signal then reset the R15 again.

    It does not take a lot of movement of the dish to go in and out of signal. In my case, a horizontal movement of less than one inch at the end of the LNB arm would take me from peak signal to no signal. Six inches as you noted, would easily move you from one satellite to another.

    Carl
     
  3. Nosey

    Nosey Legend

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    Mar 12, 2006
    ok, 2 questions..

    1. maybe I didn't ask correctly about the initial screen... if it says searching for sat, as I fine tune the dish, after I have aquired a tone with the eternal meter, will it acquire the sat if I find it or will it timeout and not look for anything...

    2. if I get any type of tone with the meter then I should get some type of signal on the receiver correct?? even if it is a low signal, any tone would mean there is atleast a signal.. that is as long as I am on the correct sat

    this is crazy, when I first set it up 3 months ago, I eyeballed and got a 90% signal, now I eyeball, use a meter, etc and can't get anything!!
     
  4. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

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    1. Don't know, did not actually try that (but I should have). Next time I get a chance, I'll try it.

    2. If you are on the correct satellite, then yes, you should be able to reset the R15 and then get a signal (but you need to do the reset or power up from unplugged). If you are not on the correct satellite, the R15 will still not see the correct signal, and will not get past the original searching for satellite. In that case, swing the dish until you get another tone and try again. Etc.

    Carl
     
  5. Nosey

    Nosey Legend

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    Mar 12, 2006
    OK I now have my sat back!!!!!!

    This is gonna be kinda long, but only way to explain the problem and what we did...

    Sorry


    My dad came over this morning (after I worked 11p-9a) and we spent from 1030 until 1130 with his receiver trying to get my dish aligned, since the old brackets were causing the mount to be loose, I got 2 new brackets and re-did my mount, making sure it was level, etc...

    after an hour with his receiver (an old basic model, we got NOTHING!!!

    He left for an appointment, on his way back at 130 he picked up his tripod and his dish for his rv, same recveiver, he uses it at home and on the road..

    we got a signal with his tripod and dish, about 6 feet away from my setup, but it was on cement ground..

    we moved his dish to my mount and got a signal, we made markings and put my dish up... NOTHING...

    we switched lnb's (I have an old single and my current double) on his dish on my mount lnb's worked....

    put mine back, nothing...

    we couldn't figure out the differance between the two dishs....

    finally he said he would leave his dish and try to figure out what the deal was later..

    then around 3 (1 1/2 hours into this 2nd session, 2 1/2 hours total time today), I put my dish on his tripod, got a signal, moved the tripod directly infront of my mount, got a signal...

    ok, now we know my dish is fine...

    put it to my mount, nothing... put his back, got a signal...

    looked at his for a minute, then put mine back..

    ok, ready for this...

    the bracket that holds the arm to the dish, his has a nice angle in it, mine, a small angle...

    also his dish sat lower on the pole then mine would go, about an inch...

    now remember, my mount is on the jack of my trailer in the front..

    the angle was just enough to not allow me to get the correct azth needed to get the signal...

    strange, his dish was 43 and mine was 39...

    but, it's now working....

    now if direct can add to their list of fixes, let the meters work for a setup to help find the sat!!!!

    thanks guys for all the help... it's been an interesting learning experience... but one's troubles may help anothers with the different things and ideas people came up with....
     
  6. Clint Lamor

    Clint Lamor Hall Of Fame

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    Glad you got it working. When I did my last install I had a TON of problems getting the alignment at my house. Clear view and all. Took my 3x what it had usually taken for me to get it setup. Sometimes it's just frustrating.

     
  7. cabanaboy1977

    cabanaboy1977 Hall Of Fame

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    Glad you figured it out Nosey. It's always the little things that get you.
     
  8. Nosey

    Nosey Legend

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    Mar 12, 2006
    what gets me is my 1st install of it some 2-3 months ago I eyeballed and got in the 90's on the first shot..

    after 1 bad storm and got it back, in the mid 40's, kept getting worse, ended up being loose mount and me tired when trying to get it aligned..

    but, not having the meter's when I thought I did (since it worked all the other times, by chance).. if I had known that, I would not have spent an avg of 2 hours on 5 different days (and 2 times for about an hour at 1-2 am)... I would have immediatly gotten my dad, who is retired navy captain and doesn't have much to do with his free time, to come over with his receiver..

    those meters need to be turned on at all times like the other receivers, since it shows both tuners, it shouldn't matter if one or the other are not connected, just need to have them working..
     
  9. cabanaboy1977

    cabanaboy1977 Hall Of Fame

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    Agreed, they where on all the time on my UTV. During a storm the history would show changing tuners, new tuners 0, new tuners 1, new tuners 2 and so on. I just shutter with this fact, what if they active them all the time and it makes the unit slower and lockup up more?
     
  10. CCarncross

    CCarncross Hall Of Fame

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    SO the elevation adjustment had come loose if I read your post correctly? No wonder it wasnt working correctly...

    Thats part and parcel with making sure the mount is plumb and level.....
     
  11. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

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    And to add to the testing I have done, I did try the technique Nosey asked about with the R15. Did not work.

    Set everything back up, but this time I put the signal meter between the receiver and the dish so I could see what the receiver was doing.

    Mis-aligned the dish.

    Reset the R15.

    When I finally got to the "acquiring satellite info" screen, I immediately brought the dish back into alignment. Nothing - the R15 just sat there and never acquired anything.

    Reset the R15 (with the dish in alignment). Came back up and worked properly. No problems.

    Now, what I noticed with the meter in the line was that when you reset the R15, very early in the start up process it appears to be going out and looking at the dish. The meter shows the R15 is toggling between 13V and 18V (odd and even polarity) several times early on. I suspect it is also looking for a valid signal at that time.

    When you finally get to the "acquiring" screen, if the R15 did not see a valid signal previously, it stays on 13V (odd polarity), and never proceeds to acquire data. If the R15 did see a valid signal previously, it goes to 18V and stays there throughout the acquiring process.

    So, if it does not detect a signal during the early steps of the reset process, it appears to lock out the tuner and never again tries to look for a signal until you do another reset.

    There does not appear to be any possible way to use the R15 to align a dish unless it is already very close to being perfectly aligned to start with (close enough to receive a usable signal).

    Carl
     
  12. Nosey

    Nosey Legend

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    Mar 12, 2006
    actually, the initial problem was the direction (nsew) is what was loose, when we remounted the pole we made sure it was plum..

    where the problem was today was that my dish the bracket that holds the arm on is cut differently, when we remounted the pole we used my dads dish to get a signal.
     
  13. Nosey

    Nosey Legend

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    Mar 12, 2006
    how about this, go to the meter screen and select an odd transponder, since the receiver is switching to 13V then maybe an odd transponder will work on the meter..

    Thanks Carl for doing all these tests, it's not only helping me but we are learning some new things that others will probably need one day (hopefully not though)..
     
  14. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

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    No, that doesn't work. Once the R15 discovers it doesn't have a signal, it just simply won't even look for one. You get zero's on all transponders on all satellites, even if you subsequently align to a good signal (until you do a reset, then it starts over and checks again).

    Cabanaboy and I are working on the FAQ, and I did these tests to help us clarify some items we had in the FAQ to make sure we were telling it right. Glad that we can help out.

    Carl
     
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