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Dishplayer 508 and sudden signal loss

Discussion in 'General DISH™ Discussion' started by DBSJedi, Sep 16, 2011.

  1. DBSJedi

    DBSJedi AllStar

    58
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    Mar 25, 2002
    Wednesday evening my Dishplayer 508 on old Dish 500 setup (dual LNBs and SW-21) stopped being able to tune channels. I checked the signal.. 119 and 110 had about 50 out of 125 bars. That seems like it has always been enough signal. I spent no less than 6 hours last night changing RG-6 cables from the LNBs,& into the house, trying a different SW21, re-pointing the dish.. nothing! It's the behavior one gets when a big thunderstorm is blocking the signal.. the glitchy noises on a black screen and occasionally a very broken up big blocky, jumbled screenshot of something from the USA network (on any channel attempted to be tuned). The receiver acts like it is not getting enough signal. Today I got a DishProPlus Twin LNB and without the need for switches I figured I would rule that out. I had the same result of seemingly not enough signal as before, so I went all out and moved the dish from one end of the yard to the other. The line of site is wide open, so I don't know what to do.

    Anyone with a 508 can tell me how many signal bars numerically you have for 119 and 110? With the dish's new position and DPP twin LNBs I got the signal up to 71 on 119 and around 55 on 110. Still not enough or is my 508 toasted?

    Do I have the right LNBs installed now to call Dish and try to get whatever DVR receiver swap is for the 508? I only recently found out about DN making my owned DVR obselete and ending my free grandfathered DVR service in 2 years. I wouldn't mind the swap to the DVR. it doesn't have to be HD. I just want them to ship me the receiver and allow me to install it. I've installed my dish and moved it several times since I first became a customer in 1999 and prefer to always be able to do the installs myself (they used to give a service credit on self-installs). I kinda have a couple options.. I technically never 'moved' my dish (I never updated the home address, only had the billing address updated over the years). I'm just worried I will have to go through an another annoying process with UPS to get the replacement DVR, as I did when Dish discontinued my Dishplayer 7100 for this 508.
     
  2. DBSJedi

    DBSJedi AllStar

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    Mar 25, 2002
    106 views and no advice? :(

    Is my 508 broken? Just need someone with a 501/508/510 to tell me the lowest signal on 119 and 110 that they have that gives them a lock\stable tuning. I swear 50 out of 125 was always sufficient until recently. I have not changed the outdoor setup in more than 5 years so to have it suddenly quit on the receiver (and when a thunderstorm passed over), I am suspicious my receiver could be damaged.

    Can I get that 311 swap now? I just have the notice that came on my Dish bill about the phase-out of the 500-series Dishplayers. My account shows I lease my 508, but that isn't true.. I bought my Dishplayer 7100 that DN forced me to swap with the 508 and I was told I own the 508.
     
  3. boba

    boba Hall Of Fame

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    May 23, 2003
    I suspect you will have to argue with DISH about ownership of the 508 though it really dosen't matter who owns it. I got my 508 the same way basically mine was an exchange under the protection plan for a 7100 and is sitting on a shelf unused so I can't give you a signal strength to compare. I replaced the 508 with a 625 and that with a 612.

    Your 508 was a refurb when you got it so it has several years of use on it probably before you ever saw it. Failure of the unit isn't surprising. I don't know what DISH is offering as free upgrades but I wouldn't accept anything less than a DVR or a 211 with external hard drive.:):):)
     
  4. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

    21,192
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    Jun 14, 2003
    Salem, OR
    If everything else was alright and the 508 wasn't getting enough signal, it would pop up a "signal lost" error window. Signal levels down to 30 are usually sufficient.

    Chances are pretty good that the hard drive has failed. I had a failure a while back that only showed a black screen with no errors and the hard drive had gone away.

    If you haven't already, you should try to get to a technical support person at DISH Network Customer Service. They often have access to diagnostic button press sequences that may give quick answers to major failures.
     
  5. Paul Secic

    Paul Secic Hall Of Fame

    6,226
    23
    Dec 16, 2003
    I've forgotten about Dishplayer.
     
  6. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

    21,192
    182
    Jun 14, 2003
    Salem, OR
    Getting old sucks.
     
  7. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    Jul 25, 2002
    W.Mdtrn Sea
    Isn't the flaky PVR508 reporting the signal levels ? If so, then the levels are OK. I could give you my numbers, but I'm not sure we are on same tectonic plate :).
    DP or DPP or legacy will works for the PVR508 fine.
    Seems to me you get close to be found the sat tuner chip (Conexant) is dead. I know the models has the chip bad history and I did replace those by myself for a few boxes. Each time after the repair I did install small heat-sink on top of the chip. So different version of the chip and proper design would allow to run it for a few more years before the swap.
     
  8. DBSJedi

    DBSJedi AllStar

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    Mar 25, 2002
    Inexplicably I turned the receiver off and back on after work today and it is tuning with great picture and sound again! Who broke in my house and fixed it? :lol:

    I was tearing my hair out over trying to solve this. I find it highly unlikely that both long runs of RG-6 going into the house were drenched in water, but maybe that's what it was? I best go play the lottery now if it were. ha

    Or as P Smith is suggesting.. the Conexant chip in my 508 is flaky\going out. Or could be the harddrive too eh? Fortunately when I first got this 508 I had some help from a very generous guy in a Yahoo group that extracted the virgin firmware so I could write the sector to other specific drives I bought extras of and marry additional disks. I hadn't considered the perceived signal problem could be the harddrive. If the receiver starts misbehaving again I will swap in another of the married extra drives and see if that fixes it more permanently. Thanks for suggesting this possibility.

    Gotta love problems that solve themselves after enormous effort is spent troubleshooting, you throw in the towel and the problem magically goes away. Nice!
     
  9. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

    21,618
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    Jul 25, 2002
    W.Mdtrn Sea
    Nay. You're mixing different things in one pot, young Jedi. :)

    Signal is a signal, could be cabling[wetting]/connectors[bad]/switches/LNBF/dish pointing/tree grows/etc.

    Drive could make picture/sound bad during play only.

    That help from Yahoo group came with two sectors off your disk, not virgin firmware. Keep those if you'll come to the point when you'll need replace the drive, but those sectors will works on -exactly- same model.

    Dying chip is most likely, because of a fan close to it, it's control by drive's temp and sometime could help cool down the chip when the HDD overheating ...
     
  10. DBSJedi

    DBSJedi AllStar

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    Mar 25, 2002
    The thing is the signal had not changed much despite all the efforts. The best I could get with the dish being moved was 71 out of 125 on 119W and 55 on 110W. It wasn't working any better at the new dish location after the move, but then it works the next day (?!?!?). I ruled out switches by changing from legacy LNBs to the DPP twin LNBs. I ruled out cables by trying the other cables when I had a second receiver (only have the 508 in operation, but used to have a second receiver.. 2700 model). I tried every combination between cables and LNBs at the old dish location and the new dish location. I only got slight signal improvement at the new location (7 points more on the scale) and it wasn't originally working.

    So could it be the chip getting hot? Things are working normal\great again so I don't have to call DN. I just wonder if I should proactively do something with the chip. I have thermal paste from working on proc installs on PCs and can add a heatsink (or fan) if there isn't one already there. What do you recommend? The drive is mounted in an external enclosure. I used to rip a lot of my TV shows off the drive on the 7100 and figured I'd use it with the 508 though I haven't ripped a show off of it. The enclosure has a separate fan so I know it's keeping the drive cool and since the drive is outside the receiver it is not adding heat to inside the receiver.

    So how will the receiver swap work? Will I receive a letter in the mail from DN telling me it is the end of the line and I HAVE to do the receiver swap? I am wondering if I need to get the documentation together showing I paid for the Dishplayer 7100, then DN did the mandatory swap to this 508. I think I have a copy of the letter I sent in with the 7100 stating the agreement to send me the 508 that I own. I only have the word of the DN representative that worked with me on the swap. I am just concerned my online access shows the receiver is leased, when it is not. I am not charged a lease fee and like I said, I paid for the 7100 and swapped it on agreement that I would own this 508.
     
  11. boba

    boba Hall Of Fame

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    May 23, 2003
    Many that exchanged owned 7100's have found their replacements are leased just the usual DISH crap. What difference does it make the 508 can't be used for anything once the data stream changes. There is no cost difference on monthly fees except what they are called, on primary receivers there is no additional receiver fee or lease fee.
     
  12. DBSJedi

    DBSJedi AllStar

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    Mar 25, 2002
    I guess it doesn't matter then. It's not like DN will want the 508 hardware back. I'll just have to think of it as a player for existing recordings after the data stream change, much like my parent's and their 8-track tape player and assortment of 8-track tape 'albums' in a box in a closet at home. :)
     

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