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Is D* Using Our Boxes for Signal Testing?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by aramus8, Sep 13, 2007.

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  1. aramus8

    aramus8 Godfather

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    Nov 20, 2006
    At 2:40 this morning, Mountain time, I received an unusual prompt when I tried to check on a new signal from 103(b). I got the warning prompt that this test would interrupt "signal test". There was no channel number listed and the time it started showed 2:39AM. Since my HR20 is networked, I have to wonder if D* is checking signal strengths on select boxes. There was no signal on 103(b) at the time and I got the prompt that the unit was busy with "signal test" when I tried to change channels. I couldn't duplicate this after I reset the box.
     
  2. garydean

    garydean AllStar

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    Sep 1, 2004
    This is a known issue with the firmware of the HR20. It's happened to me twice in two days. I notice it happens when...

    Menu -> Help & Settings -> Setup -> Sat & Ant -> View Signal Strength

    ...and nothing happens. So I click "View Signal Strength" again, and I get the message.

    All seems to go well until you click Done. The HR20 will complain that it is using both tuners. The only way to fix it is...

    Menu -> Help & Settings -> Setup -> Reset -> Restart Recorder

    Again, I notice it happens when I click "View Signal Strength" once and nothing happens.
     
  3. krock918316

    krock918316 Hall Of Fame

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    I had that happen to my HR20-100 yesterday afternoon as well.......
     
  4. Coffey77

    Coffey77 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '07

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    It's quite possible they are doing something like that. The new Satellite is in place and they're working on tweaking it and repositioning it for best quality. Last night out of the blue, I got "Acquiring Guide Data..." or something similar to that. Should be interesting to see what happens these next few days.
     
  5. aim2pls

    aim2pls Icon

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    Jun 18, 2007
    they can't just reposition the satellite .. it has a specific parking slot ..... can you imagine everyone saying ... hey i like this lane better than that one and changing lanes no signals at will .... while talking on the cellphone and fixing makeup
     
  6. paulman182

    paulman182 Hall Of Fame

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    I can see them checking their signal in various parts of the country this way.

    Are the antennas on the satellite at all steerable?

    They also would like to be able to estimate how many people have problems with their dish alignment, I'm sure.
     
  7. aramus8

    aramus8 Godfather

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    Nov 20, 2006
    I have had the box hang up three previous times doing satellite tests recently, but this is the first time it warned I was going to interrupt a "signal test".
     
  8. Steve Robertson

    Steve Robertson Hall Of Fame

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    Jun 7, 2005
    I just had to reset mine after checking signal strength
     
  9. alv

    alv Godfather

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    Aug 13, 2002
    I also had to restart
     
  10. houskamp

    houskamp New Member

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    Sep 14, 2006
    sounds more like the box started to go into signal test and got stuck there..
     
  11. markrubi

    markrubi Icon

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    Oct 12, 2006
    I bet they have people in the feild reporting signal strengths back to them. I also bet they are monitoring severals threads about signal strengths on this site and a few others. :)
     
  12. LameLefty

    LameLefty I used to be a rocket scientist

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    I think that indeed, it's likely DirecTV is using some boxes (a random or perhaps even targeted sampling) to collect signal data which will then be phoned in or sent over the internet for analysis. And yes, the shape and power levels of the beams can be controlled from the ground for the most efficient use of satellite power and bandwidth resources - this kind of data would help them tweak those configuration parameters. Throw out the spurious low signal levels (from a bad LNB or poorly-peaked dish) and see how the rest of the data looks in various geographical regions . . . sounds very smart to me.
     
  13. ShiningBengal

    ShiningBengal Godfather

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    Jan 24, 2003
    Of course it does. The 5 LNB dishes expect the satellite to be at 102.8 deg W longitude. It has been moving over the past few days from its temporary slot at 102.6.

    Moving a satellite isn't quite as easy as finding a new parking spot and driving to it. There are no brakes on a satellite, so a fair amount of fuel is used to fine tune a satellite's final position. Thrusters must be very well orchestrated and controlled to get a bird into an assigned parking spot...AND stop there. Yaw, pitch and roll must also be corrected and stabilized.

    The testing that was being done yesterday on TP 11 probably had to do with that process, as the engineers have already put it through its paces before the final move.
     
  14. ShiningBengal

    ShiningBengal Godfather

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    Jan 24, 2003
    Since the vast majority of subscribers got 5-LNB dishes specifically to receive HD, and since most of them are getting HD LIL from either 99b or 103a, the alignment of dishes shouldn't be a significant issue. If you are getting a strong (90+) signal from one or the other of those satellites, it is assured that 103b will be received without a problem. It isn't DirecTV's issue if the dishes are improperly aligned--the contractor who installed the dish will have to take care of the few re-aiming issues. The contractors don't need 103b in place to do a proper aim.
     
  15. MalibuRacing

    MalibuRacing Legend

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    Mar 2, 2007
    I also got the message about testing when I tried to check on the 103b signal. The first prompt asked if I wanted to stop testing in progress. I did, then checked the signal. Then exited. It would display the channel information, then it went to black screen. If I tried to change channels, it would say recording in progress and wouldn't allow you to change channels. Stuck with black screen, so I did a RBR.
     
  16. LameLefty

    LameLefty I used to be a rocket scientist

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    This has ALL been covered to death in the thousands of posts in the D10 Tech Info thread (now closed do to ever-increasing "noise" on the thread yesterday), and in much greater technical detail by some who know spacecraft engineering and operations.

    The difference between 102.8 and 102.6 is less than 100 miles at GSO altitude and the difference in slots is but a tiny fraction of a degree in azimuth for a ground dish. Furthermore, Spaceway 1 has been moved to 102.87 or thereabouts for a couple weeks to give slightly more operating clearance to D10, so anyone getting locals from that sat has already seen it move and not even noticed it.
     
  17. ShiningBengal

    ShiningBengal Godfather

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    Jan 24, 2003
    I don't normally research every post to see if some part of it may or may not have been covered in the past before responding to it. Do you?

    I responded to a single post--just like you did. What's your point? That you haunt this forum more than I do? OK, I give you that.:rolleyes:
     
  18. LameLefty

    LameLefty I used to be a rocket scientist

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    No, my point is that the information you provided was simplistic and incomplete, to the point of being inaccurate in some key issues (esp. the difference in 102.6 v. 102.8). THAT was my point. Thank you for making me spell it out.
     
  19. FeelForce1

    FeelForce1 Legend

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    Jul 19, 2005
    Hmmmm...Tough room.:)
     
  20. RoundRockJohn

    RoundRockJohn Legend

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    Apr 24, 2007
    If DirecTV wants to send someone out to the house to use my dish for testing, they're welcome to, anytime.

    I'll even barbecue.

    :lol:
     
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