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Concerned about possible signal issue

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by lilstone87, Jul 28, 2012.

  1. lilstone87

    lilstone87 AllStar

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    Jul 13, 2010
    Well for a while now we have on and off again problems with losing signal. I understand some of it is due to strong storms causing some problems. But I have notice random drop outs during the day when its clear sky's outside. So yesterday, and today I started looking around since football season will be coming back soon, and I don't want to be dealing with a signal problem then.

    Anyways I ran system test on two of my boxes, and got error 43. Which says there is a dish alignment problem, so I am wondering if what the box is saying is true, and do I need to have the dish realignment done? Also I happen to redo the satellite test, and it shows a red X under 103(13v) Odd, and says errors found on tuner 1. the 103(18v) even has a check mark. So then I looked at the signal levels and 101,110,119 are all low to mid 90's which is good. But 103(cb) is high 80's/low 90's, 103(ca) is mid to low 80's, one of them showing 79. So is there anything I should be looking at to be corrected? Like I said if something needs to be done, I rather do it soon before football season is back.
     
  2. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

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    Unplug the power inserter or unplug all the receivers (whichever applies). Check the connections, remove the coax and inspect the connections for corrosion on all outside connections. If all looks good, and signal is still low, fine tune the dish using the two fine tuning adjustments (after loosening the lock down nuts) using the meter on one of the receivers, set to the C,CA or CB sat transponder on 99, or 103 showing the lowest reading.

    Once aligned, you should have several 101 transponders reading 100.
     
  3. lilstone87

    lilstone87 AllStar

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    Jul 13, 2010
    Well I have a SWM system, having 2 HD DVRs, and 3 HD boxes. I will check all connections for any sign of trouble. If the dish needs realignment, I will probably have directv send someone out to correct it. I just know something isn't right, and causes random loss of signal, and I personally think the 103(ca/cb) level could be better. As I think I can remember both of them use to having levels at least in the high 80's/low 90's. Also I have had ongoing signal issue with directv over past couple years. I know last 3 tech visits I had, one was for signal issue's, another was for signal issue's which they replaced the LNB's(?) on the dish, and last visit I think involved them changing system over to SWM.
     
  4. Beerstalker

    Beerstalker Hall Of Fame

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    Peoria, IL
    Yes, your signals on 103ca/cb should be in the upper 80s or lower 90s. Sounds like your dish needs adjustment. DirecTV should send someone out to do it for free if you have the protection plan, or it could cost $50 if you don't. However, some people are able to get the $50 fee waived if they haven't had a tech out for a while so it doesn't hurt to ask to see if they can give you a discount on it if they try to charge you the $50.
     
  5. Aug 2, 2012 #5 of 17
    lilstone87

    lilstone87 AllStar

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    Jul 13, 2010
    Well I setup for a tech visit today, as I again notice signal dropping out randomly the last two days when the skys were clear. The phone rep had me run the system test on the box, which I told him all the boxes have been reporting error 43 relating to a dish alignment problem. He has me unplug the coax to the box, touch the middle of the coax, and reconnect, and rerun test. Which still showed the error 43 with dish alignment problem. So I have a tech coming out sunday, and yes I have had directv's $5 protection plan for a while now. So shouldn't be no charge, and hopefully the tech sunday, will check dish, and do some minor adjustments to better the 103(ca/cb) signal levels. As I want signal level back at there best before this upcoming season of football. I am sure the dish is just a little off, as it hasn't been messed with in a while. Which there has been many of storms, and a few of them had some pretty strong wind gust at times.
     
  6. Aug 2, 2012 #6 of 17
    ladannen

    ladannen Legend

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    I have similar problems as the OP. Is there somewhere that shows the process to perform a self adjustment of the Directv dish (tools needed, step by step directions, etc)?
     
  7. Aug 2, 2012 #7 of 17
    inf0z

    inf0z Legend

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    It's highly reccomended that you have a tech come out and do this if you have HD because they have a signal meter that helps out with the dithering process a lot. Any thing more than a 10th of an inch off and you're going to get signal problems. With HD you not only have to worry about azimuth and elevation for the 101 but you also have to worry about the tilt of the dish for the 99 and the 103.
     
  8. Aug 2, 2012 #8 of 17
    ladannen

    ladannen Legend

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    You are correct, having a tech do it is the smart choice. But I think the tilt is just slightly off and thought I could save 50 bucks to attempt it myself (with the wife reading the signal meter from the living room in the process).
     
  9. Aug 2, 2012 #9 of 17
    inf0z

    inf0z Legend

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    Oct 15, 2011
    This may give you some guidance
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_P35osbRxU

    These videos give a little more of the how and why, they are for a simline 5 and you probably have a slim line 3 but the basic process is the same with out the connection to the 110 / 119 feed.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/grandpasghost/videos
     
  10. fleckrj

    fleckrj Icon

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    Cary, NC
    The "signal meter" on the receivers is just measuring the signal to noise ratio. If the signal is clean, even if the strength is low, the numbers will be high.

    The signal meter that the technician uses actually measures the strength of signal. That is what you need to align the dish properly
     
  11. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

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    I think it is measuring some parameter of bit error rate (as opposed to s/n), but the point is valid - it is not actual signal strength. While there will be some correlation between signal readings on a receiver, and actual signal strength, it is not a direct relationship.
     
  12. lilstone87

    lilstone87 AllStar

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    Jul 13, 2010
    Well had tech visit for today between 12-4pm, tech called at 2:30pm to say he would be here between 3:30-4pm. He didn't show up till close to 5pm, but not like I was out of service, and he at least called. Anyways when he first got here, he asked about the signal problem. Which I told him we lose signal on, and off on clear sky days for about a minute or two, and box's show complete loss of signal. Also showed him the signal levels which the 103(ca) was low 80's, and a couple in the higher 70's.

    So he said he couldn't activate someone's service with readings in the 70's. He then mention replacing the LNB's, after what I told him. I then told him, like two tech visits ago probably at least 6+ months ago. I was pretty sure a tech replaced the LNB's, so he then did some minor adjustments to the dish to bring up signal levels a bit. Also he said he added a couple barrel connectors on cable lines up on roof, as he said with the way it was ran. It was possible rain could cause a issue.

    So now dish has been realigned, and couple barrel connectors added to coax up on the roof. Hopefully everything starts working good again. But if problems do keep happening. I guess the next tech visit, I will mention last tech talked about replacing the LNB's. Because of me telling him how signal levels dropped out randomly, during clear sky's outside. So I am guessing LNB's with problems can cause these random signal dropout's during clear sky's? One last thing, even after the tech left I did rerun satellite setup on my one box, and it still showed a red X under 103(13v) odd, and said errors found on tuner 1. Anyone has any ideal exactly what this means?
     
  13. lilstone87

    lilstone87 AllStar

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    Jul 13, 2010
    Well the tech who was out yesterday, is coming back tomorrow. After I had to call directv last night, due to one of my boxes losing power, and going back to factory defaults for some odd reason. I had to call to have the box reauthorized, which then it did its test after, and failed due to errors on tuner 1 showing red x under 103(13v) odd.

    So I am guessing me worrying about the 103(13v) odd red x was for good cause. As I can't get past it. So hopefully the tech who was out here yesterday, can find the problem involving 103(13v) cable. The reason this problem wasn't found yesterday when he was here. Is due to the test he needed to run was on a box in a room he couldn't access, which he had to call in, and get a waiver.
     
  14. dshank522

    dshank522 Cool Member

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    Sep 13, 2009
    Is it realistic to expect 100% on signals ? I don't know....just curious. I can only get to lower 90's. Thank you !
     
  15. texasbrit

    texasbrit Well-Known Member

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    Aug 9, 2006
    A "perfectly" aligned dish will show several TPs on 101 at 100, and all 95c/103ca/103cb signals in the mid-90s.
     
  16. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

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    I would say "at least one" rather than "several" TPs on 101 at 100. Those are typically spot beams and depending on where you are located will determine how many spot beams you might receive. Most other TPs on 101 should be in the mid to upper 90's (some spot beams may be zero).

    I agree, the 99c/103ca/103cb signals should be mid to upper 90's.
     
  17. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Having spent some time lately with the AIM and measuring many aspects of the LNB outputs, "Almost everything" relates to the SNR/CNR reading, until the power level drops significantly low to around -40 dBm to fail the IV test. The receiver, with a good SNR works down to -60 dBm.
    The unaligned LNB [SNR=0] output can be -30 dBm and above.

    The SAT signal screens do seem to be related more to bit-errors, which indirectly come from the SNR/CNR, they don't reflect the true LNB output as much as the system test error for dish alignment and the SAT setup screen that shows the red x or a √. These two tests are closer to the much stricter IV test that uses predefined TPs and their CNR to pass. IV test fails for SNR long before it fails for signal level/power.
     

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