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Does the Official D* dish alignment procedure now use a 103(b) Ka band meter?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Installation/MDU Discussion' started by donshan, Nov 2, 2007.

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  1. donshan

    donshan Godfather

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    Jun 18, 2007
    This question is whether D*is currently requiring installers to use a meter capable of checking the Ka band signals during install and alignment and has the install procedure changed from using only a meter on the 101 sat for azimuth alignment?

    This past June my new 5 lnb dish was properly installed using the procedure of using a meter on the 101 sat and adjusting the azimuth dither stops and then centering the dish azimuth. When the D10 HD arrived I was getting 103(b) readings from 80 to 86, but it appeared to be working with good pictures on my HR20-700. OK, but not as good readings as many were getting.


    On Oct 15 I had a second HR20 installed that required removing the LNB, so the D* installer ( in D*uniform with D* truck) did this same 101 meter adjustment centering alignment over again. However this second time , the 103(b) readings were even lower than the original first alignment. After the second alignment all 103(b) readings were now 73-79 vs. 80--86 range on first alignment in June.

    When I pointed out the 103(b) transponders were now lower and I would like to tweak the install for the 103(b) readings since I was primarily interested in the HD from the HR 20 he just installed, the tech was cooperative and understanding. However, he said he did not have a meter that could directly measure the signal off 103(b). At my suggestion of doing a "tweak", he did his best and used my 103(b) HR20 screen meter for quick dish tweak adjustment. In five minutes he got 103(b) up into the 83 to 93 range and said that was the best possible. I was happy it was a little better than the first alignment. However, I suspect if he had a proper Ka band meter I might have received an even better alignment and gotten even higher readings on 103(b).
     
  2. RobertE

    RobertE New Member

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    Jun 9, 2006
    No.
     
  3. Jhon69

    Jhon69 Hall Of Fame

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    I have always thought a signal meter was a signal meter,but if the installer does not align the dish the way it was designed to be aligned.Then the rest of your signal levels can suffer and cause extreme rainfade on the other satellites.;)


    P.S. There is a post on this forum concerning bad 103 LNBs.Might be worth checking into.;)
     
  4. texasbrit

    texasbrit Well-Known Member

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    Aug 9, 2006
    The "official" alignment procedure for the 5-lnb dish does NOT require the use of a meter that will read the 103(b) satellite. It still relies on peaking the dish for 101 and then "hoping" that will give decent 103(b) signals, which often it will not. Most techs do not have meters that will read 103(b), the Birddog will not and if you use Accutrac you need the new Accutrac III.
     
  5. donshan

    donshan Godfather

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    Jun 18, 2007
    Thanks! Now that you remind me with the actual meter names, the D* installer mentioned those same models and told me and he did not have one of the new Accutrac III models. IIRC he said they cost over $500. He seemed like he wished his company would get him a new model so he could do better. He was interested in doing a good job and that alone made me feel better.

    This does raise another question however about D* and the new HD rollout. D* is investing Billion dollar amounts in all this new Ka band HD system( new satellites, ground uplink centers, LIL HD signal acquisition and ground networks , new MPEG 4 receivers & swaps and install subsidies). I would think that they could afford to be sure all installers have an Accutrac III or equal meter so that they can actually measure the new Ka band signals with the new HD channels when doing installation of HD recievers and dish alignment. As you say, if this alignment is not done right, then performance could suffer, especially rain fade issues. If I were in this install business having the right tools for the job would seem obvious. Ka band is the future for D*
     
  6. CJTE

    CJTE Hall Of Fame

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    Isnt the latest and greatest birddog capable? I only ask because an ex-installer I know told me if I was going to start doing HD Dishes I'd want to spend the couple hundred bucks to pick one up, and he specifically mentioned birddog.

    As far as the install tools... Its contracted out, so... Its not entirely up to D* how the tech does the procedure/what tools. The tech could take an old RCA receiver and a portable TV on your roof if he wanted to.
     
  7. Grydlok

    Grydlok Icon

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    Mar 31, 2007
    SuperBuddy and it cost 600 dollars.
     
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