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Checking Your Satellite Signals

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Tips and Resources' started by RACJ2, Aug 13, 2010.

  1. RACJ2

    RACJ2 Hall Of Fame

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    I thought it might be beneficial to post the signals strengths by Satellite Transponder in this "Tips and Resources" section. So if anyone ever is wondering how well their dish is aligned, they can just refer to this thread.

    The readings in the listing below that are important, are the ones with the # symbol. For best results, the closer the signal strength is to 100 the better. Below 80 is probably getting questionable. (Note: lines that are all N/A have been omitted from the table).

    If you are not familiar with how to check signal strength, here are the steps:

    1. Press <Menu>, <Select> "Parental,...Setups", <Select> "System Setups", <Select> "Satellite", <Select> "View Signal Strength"

    2. Once in the menu, use the "+" next to "Satellite: XX(s)" to change transponders.

    3. To check the second tuner, <Arrow> down to the "+" next to "Tuner 1:" and press <Select> & "Tuner 2" will appear. Then repeat step 2.

    (I want to thank "shedberg", as I copied the info below from his post and then enhanced a bit)

     
  2. Sim-X

    Sim-X Godfather

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    Here is a shot of all my signal levels. Everything seems to work good, not sure what some of those low levels are on the 99°(s).

    [​IMG]
     
  3. raoul5788

    raoul5788 Guest

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    99s is the spotbeam from that location. You should have some low numbers there. No all, if any, are pointed in your direction.
     
  4. Sim-X

    Sim-X Godfather

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    Oh ok, I'm guessing my locals are on the 17-24 range then?
     
  5. Sep 1, 2010 #5 of 19
    jimisham

    jimisham Legend

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    If this is accurate, your locals are on 16 and 20.

    http://home.comcast.net/~directvlocals/
     
  6. Sep 1, 2010 #6 of 19
    Sim-X

    Sim-X Godfather

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    Cool site, signal looks pretty good then. When I originally got it installed I told the installer to spend a few extra min to maximize signal to minimize rain fade. I tipped him of course. I can only recall a few times of the dish being out from rain.

    I remember shortly after we got it installed I had some friends over and we were watching Monday Night Football. Sure enough it starts raining pretty hard and it goes out. My friend says stupid satellite bla bla, let's go to the bar to watch it(I don't have OTA or cable backup). I'm like where do you think the bar gets their feed of ESPN from you idiot. The game was back on in a few minutes. Pretty much all the bars and restaurants around here have DirecTV.

    Although Benihana has comcrap at their bar which I find very odd since Benihana is a more upscale place.
     
  7. Sep 4, 2010 #7 of 19
    dminches

    dminches Godfather

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    What do the SWM Satellite readings refer to?
     
  8. Sep 4, 2010 #8 of 19
    mikeny

    mikeny Hall Of Fame

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    I don't know how important some of the mid 80 TP readings are on 103CB. Tech just tried to peak it and couldn't really get better than below: Any other impressions?
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Sep 5, 2010 #9 of 19
    mikeny

    mikeny Hall Of Fame

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    Based on the TPN_MAP document 103cb TP 4 is CN E HD and TP 8 is YES HD!! (my most important channel) I keep seeing these transponders dip to as low as 81-83 with a clear sky.

    How could some transponders be in the 90s and other so much lower. Are they broadcast with less power?

    Hopefully it's not a big deal. Everything seems to be working well now.
     
  10. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

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    Satellites have amplifiers, typically 50W, that can be "bonded" together. Two amps will output about 100W, and three amps will output about 150W. But there will always be some variation in output power, which is one of the reasons (and the primary one) why you see transponders of varying signal strengths.
     
  11. mikeny

    mikeny Hall Of Fame

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    Do the sats have amps or transponders?
     
  12. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    They have amps for/in their transponders.
     
  13. mikeny

    mikeny Hall Of Fame

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    Gotcha VOS, can I ask you, what do you think of my numbers? Leave it or tweak it?
     
  14. dminches

    dminches Godfather

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    Oct 1, 2006
    What do the SWM Satellite readings refer to?
     
  15. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    The 9 SWM channels from the SWiM to receivers.
     
  16. dminches

    dminches Godfather

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    If I have a SWM16 does that mean I have 16 channels? Why are some 0? (As you can see, I am still trying to understand SWM).
     
  17. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    "No problem" ;)
    The SWiM-16 has two outputs and is really 2 SWiM8s, so each output has the 9 channels [1 guide data channel and eight tuner/program channels], and has a crossover between the two for the DECA signal.
    You will see "zeros" on the screen for channels being used by other tuners on the same SWiM. When you go into the signal level screens, the receiver you're using stops "using" channels, so if you have all the receivers on the signal levels screens, there will be no zeros shown. Then as you exit the screen, the receiver will start using a channel or two and if you go to another receiver still on the screen, you'll see zeros showing.
     
  18. cypherx

    cypherx Hall Of Fame

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    PA - Berks...
    If you get real high 90's or even 100's on any of them, will the signal still go out during really bad storms?

    We had some severe storms and lightning last night, and we got the dreaded "Searching for Sattelite Signal" message, along with intermittent pixelation. I'm new to D* and the install was just done on Monday.

    Can we expect this every time there's bad weather? Most of my numbers are in the high 80's to mid 90's ie) 86 - 96, and a few N/A's some real low ones (must be spot beams) and some 0's (maybe not used).

    Well does 0 mean not used or does N/A mean not used? Trying to figure out how much bandwidth they have left ie) how many more HD channels could they add? Theres quite a few I'm missing that I had with Comcast before I moved out of that area.
     
  19. CCarncross

    CCarncross Hall Of Fame

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    Yes, If there are bad storms between you and the sats in the sky, weather doesnt actually have to be at your place, you can and will lose signal. I typically lose it a few times a year for 5-10 minutes at a time. HD will go out before most SD, and SD locals if offered, will typically be the last to go.
     

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