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Lots of signal problems lately

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Tips and Resources' started by peter17319, Nov 6, 2010.

  1. Nov 6, 2010 #1 of 13
    peter17319

    peter17319 AllStar

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    Dec 11, 2007
    I'm getting ready to put in a trouble call to DTV, but before I do I want to confirm that it's just me. There haven't been any widespread signal issues lately, have there?

    My setup:
    • HR21-700 and HD antenna (whatever that's called...)
    • SWM
    • I've had this setup for about 2.5 years

    For the past few weeks I've been getting a lot of sporadic signal problems, resulting in a lot of choppy DVR recordings (even on days with little-to-no clouds). I usually don't catch it as it's happening since I don't watch live TV, but I did get this error code once during a test:
    43-70-73-684

    Which is the more likely culprit -- the receiver going bad, or the dish being out-of-alignment?

    If there is a dish alignment problem, would that result in those kinds of symptoms? --> usually a perfect signal, but occasionally going wonky? Or would a mis-aligned dish just be "all crappy, all the time"?
     
  2. Nov 6, 2010 #2 of 13
    veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Dec 9, 2006
    [table] 43 | Installation Verification Failure. Caused by low signal or distribution problem. | Troubleshoot cause of low signal.[/table]
     
  3. Nov 6, 2010 #3 of 13
    litzdog911

    litzdog911 Well-Known Member

    12,221
    66
    Jun 23, 2004
    Mill Creek, WA
    Please post back with your signal readings for each satellite's transponders (and both tuners if applicable). You'll find these readings under "Menu" -> "Setup" -> "System Setup" -> Satellite -> "View Signal Strength". Note the "+" and "-" symbols next to the "Satellite" and "Tuner" entries where you can toggle the readings between the various satellites and both DVR tuners.

    Fill in your readings for each satellite and tuner using these examples. A properly aligned dish will show 80-90s on most of the relevant transponders (although some will be low or zero):


    Satellite transponders (32 total at 101º)
    [Most of your standard definition channels are beamed from 101ºW]
    1-8 # # # # # # # #
    9-16 # # # # # # # #
    17-24 # # # # # # # #
    25-32 # # # # # # # #

    Satellite transponders (3 total at 110º)
    [No channels are currently beamed from this satellite]
    1-8 NA NA NA NA NA NA NA #
    9-16 NA # NA # NA NA NA NA

    Satellite transponders (11 total at 119º)
    [Local SD channels for some cities, Spanish package]
    17-24 NA NA NA NA NA # # #
    25-32 # # # # # # # #

    Satellite transponders (16 total at 99º(s)) [or 99º(b)]
    [Local HD channels for some cities]
    1-8 # # # # # # NA NA
    9-16 NA NA NA NA NA NA # #
    17-24 # # # # # # # #
    [Note: these can be very slow to appear]

    Satellite transponders (14 total at 99º(c)) [or 99º(a)]
    [National HD channels]
    1-8 # # # # # # # #
    9-16 # # # # # # NA NA
    [Note, these can be very slow to appear]

    Satellite transponders (16 total at 103º(s)) [or 103º(a)]
    [Local HD channels for some cities]
    1-8 # # # # # # NA NA
    9-16 NA NA NA NA NA NA # #
    17-24 # # # # # # # #
    [Note, these can be very slow to appear]

    Satellite transponders (16 total at 103º(ca))
    [National HD channels beamed from D12 satellite]
    1-8 NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA
    9-16 # # # # # # # #
    17-24 # # # # # # # #

    Satellite transponders (14 total at 103º(cb)) [or 103º(b)]
    [National HD channels beamed from D10 satellite]
    1-8 # # # # # # # #
    9-16 # # # # # # NA NA
    17-24 NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA

    Satellite transponders (9 total at SWM)
    [You'll only see this if you have a Single Wire Multiswitch (SWM) dish]
    1-8 # # # # # # # #
    9-16 # NA NA NA NA NA NA NA
     
  4. Nov 6, 2010 #4 of 13
    peter17319

    peter17319 AllStar

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    Dec 11, 2007
    The problem is that the signal strength right now registers fine -- the problem is totally random and sporadic. And if I don't catch the "771 no signal" right when it's happening, the signal test will not really show anything.
     
  5. Nov 6, 2010 #5 of 13
    litzdog911

    litzdog911 Well-Known Member

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    Jun 23, 2004
    Mill Creek, WA
    Intermittent issues like this a more likely caused by a loose, moist or corroded coax connector at your dish, multiswitch or ground block.
     
  6. Dec 2, 2010 #6 of 13
    peter17319

    peter17319 AllStar

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    Dec 11, 2007
    It's been a couple weeks since my service call, and everything is peachy keen.

    What a fantastic experience. First of all, DTV didn't charge me anything for the service call. That was completely unexpected, but I wasn't going to argue! :hurah:

    The technician checked all the connections inside and out, and found one or two possible trouble spots. But he went ahead and replaced my LNB anyway at no charge. He wasn't sure if it was bad or not, but he was authorized to replace it with this sort of service call, so he was like, "f**k it, why not?" The best part is that my new (& free) LNB has the multi-switch built in. So not only do I no longer need my separate SWM-9 & Power Inserter, but I can sell them on eBay. So I end up with a better satellite setup and a profit on the service call.

    I don't always tip repair guys (cable, plumber, etc). But this time, how could I not? :)

    FWIW -- this was DirectSat USA in central Pennsylvania.
     
  7. Dec 2, 2010 #7 of 13
    litzdog911

    litzdog911 Well-Known Member

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    Jun 23, 2004
    Mill Creek, WA
    Good to hear. Thanks for the update. Enjoy!
     
  8. Dec 5, 2010 #8 of 13
    EmitFlesti

    EmitFlesti New Member

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    Nov 4, 2007
    Thanks litzdog for bringing me back to the basics.

    I read your advice and decided to finally figure out what was wrong with a flaky signal problem i had on a handful of channels. i went out in 20deg chicago weather (and 6" of snow) to check the coax at the ground block. One conductor was totally gone!!! see pic.

    5 min later, all was good. New termination and no bad signal.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Dec 5, 2010 #9 of 13
    litzdog911

    litzdog911 Well-Known Member

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    Jun 23, 2004
    Mill Creek, WA
    A picture is worth a thousand words! Thanks for posting!
     
  10. Richierich

    Richierich Hall Of Fame

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    Did it just corrode away? Wow, I've never seen corrosion like that.
     
  11. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

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    Jul 28, 2004
    I'd normally say WOW....only if that was the first time I saw a coax connection that bad....but I've seen them like that before. Indeed ugly and basically non-functional.

    Weather does ugly things to materials...metal, plastic, and cable. For that very reason...when folks start to see signal failures...connectors is one of the first things to consider inspecting...especially outside.

    Glad to hear that connector end was corrected, and you are back in business watching your HDTV.
     
  12. EmitFlesti

    EmitFlesti New Member

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    Nov 4, 2007
    It just corroded away. Why, i'm not sure. I suppose the conductor is copper and the ground block is some form of pot metal. Perhaps electrolysis?
     
  13. CCarncross

    CCarncross Hall Of Fame

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    Water ingress had to be a factor as well
     

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