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Need memory refresh on which satellites I actully use.

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by Soulweeper, Nov 30, 2012.

  1. Soulweeper

    Soulweeper Icon

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    Jan 9, 2005
    I'm in Northern California....about 2 hours north of San Francisco, to be exact, and we're getting some serious rain tonight, and had some rain fade, and even got a 771 a couple times, so I checked my signals. On the 101 I had some down in the low 70's, and normally they're all in the mid to high 90's, but I checked the others, and they were all low, across the board. The 103(cb) had some numbers in the 50's and 60's, and I'm pretty sure I get some channels from that, but I could be wrong. The 103(cb) is usually nothing lower than mid 80's to low 90's, so those numbers would definitely be too low.

    All that being said, I moved my dish on to an under eave mount a few years when I did a new roof, and pointed it without a meter with the help of fine folks here, and got good numbers, and (knock on wood) it's essentially just worked with no problems ever since, until this issue tonight. After I moved it, I did what a lot of people do....checked the signal strength every so often, just for the hell of it, and then got tired of it. If it works, why check. I used to know exactly which satellites matter to me, but I'm a little rusty, and this issue may come up again, especially with the rain they're predicting, so I want to know which satellites I use specifically.

    So, I can get numbers off the
    101
    99(c)
    99(s)
    103(s)
    103(ca)
    103(cb)

    I'm pretty sure I only use the 101 and the 103(cb), but I simply can't remember for sure.

    Also, is it normal for numbers in the 80's to low 90's to drop into the 50's and even some 50's? I mean, we're getting a good rain, but it's not a hurricane. Just seems like a big drop.

    Since they came back up to where they were a little while later, it could only be either the heavy rain, or maybe the LNB having intermittent issues. If the dish had moved, it couldn't re align itself, it would just be off until aligned, so it has to be a common denominator. I did check both tuners, and they were consistent with each other, so it's not just a tuner. Didn't check the other receiver in the other room....but doubt it's the receiver. Obviously I'll keep an eye on it at least over the weekend, with the rain we're supposed to get. I have a spare LNB, and also have the protection plan, if it comes down to it, but I don't mind going out and making an adjustment or swapping an LNB. Right now it's all good, so see how it goes.

    Any input greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
     
  2. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Dec 9, 2006
    101 is SD & 99 & 103 are HD. Local HD will be one of the "s" tps from 99 or 103.

    This looks like what you had:

    [​IMG]

    I've been able to "barely" keep watching down into the high teens.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

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    Sep 16, 2006
    The standard def channels are on satellite 101.
    The HD cable channels are on 103ca, 103cb, and 99c
    Your local HD channels are either on 103s or 99s...

    THe 101 satellite uses KU band, which does not have as much rain absorption as the KA band satellite 99 and 103, hence the lower numbers on those latter two satellites.
     
  4. Soulweeper

    Soulweeper Icon

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    Jan 9, 2005
    Thank you both.

    So, it sounds like I pull channels from basically all of them, correct?

    For whatever it's worth, I was watching Discovery HD when it happened, which sounds like it's more susceptible to rain fade. Seeing that the numbers are back up, I'm assuming it was simply the heavy rain, and considered "normal"? I guess no matter how well the dish is pointed, or what signal strength you have, enough rain will take you out. It seems like I can remember heavier rain with no problems at all, but I guess there are other factors with every storm.
     
  5. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

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    Sep 16, 2006
    Happens all the time here where we get big storms.

    One trick, unhide SD duplicates if you are expecting heavy rain, and switch from the HD channel you are watching to the SD channel when the signal starts to break up, and you might be able to continue watching.
     
  6. Soulweeper

    Soulweeper Icon

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    Jan 9, 2005
    Yeah, I've got it set like that, just in case of any issue. It's helped before.


    Well, my OCD kicked in, and here's what I got a few minutes ago, and I didn't hear rain hitting the roof while writing these down, but it's just a momentary break. It's pretty nasty here.....flood watches and whatnot. But anyway.....see anything really unusual about these, or any indication I need to re align? Like I said, it's solid, and has just simply worked for a few years now.
    101
    92 96 94 100 92 98 93 98
    91 96 95 99 95 99 95 98
    94 0 95 100 96 99 96 100
    95 0 95 0 96 100 95 100

    99(c)
    88 86 84 79 84 84 83 78
    84 84 81 79 88 86 NA NA
    NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA
    NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA

    99(s)
    97 0 94 0 94 0 NA NA
    NA NA NA NA NA NA 96 0
    96 96 0 0 0 0 93 85
    NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA

    103(s)
    0 0 0 0 NA NA NA NA
    NA NA NA NA NA NA 97 0
    95 95 31 0 0 42 94 95
    NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA

    103(ca)
    NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA
    85 82 88 84 82 78 85 85
    80 78 89 85 80 77 89 86
    NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA

    103(cb)
    86 87 85 81 80 84 83 82
    79 82 85 83 80 83 NA NA
    NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA
    NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA
     
  7. Diana C

    Diana C Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    New Jersey
    We get numbers pretty close you yours here on the east coast (maybe a tad higher on 103), so I think your signal is fine.

    It is often less about the amount of rain than it is about the location and size of the rain clouds. The more rain cloud in the path between your dish and the satellite the more trouble you'll have getting a signal. Another factor is that a consistently low signal will often work better than a fluctuating one that is higher.

    Ka (used for all HD) is more sensitive to rain fade than Ku. You will often be able to pick up the SD versions of channels long after the HD versions have blacked out.
     
  8. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

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    IF those were numbers from a clear sunny day, I would say they were a bit low. I believe the directv install test is no signals on 99c, 103ca, or 103cb below 85. I am not sure about California, since that would be on the edge of the beam rather in the bullseye like the center of the country.

    If you have time when it gets nice...just pick the lowest reading you are getting on 99c, and peak it. That should bring them all up, assuming the mast is plumb.
     
  9. studechip

    studechip Godfather

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    Those numbers are too low. In fact, they wouldn't pass if it was a company install. Your dish may need realigning. The lowest numbers you should have on 103ca/cb and 99c is around 85. That's in good weather, of course. Check them when the weather is clear.
     
  10. fleckrj

    fleckrj Icon

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    Cary, NC
    That cannot be emphasized enough. On the east coast, our dishes point towards the southwest. I have been through tropical storms and hurricanes where I received 6 to 10 inches of rain per hour without ever losing signal (at least not before the electricity went out), but those storms come from the east. A summer thunderstorm, though, that comes from the southwest will knock out the signal for a few minutes. Usually by the time the rain actually hits the ground at my house, the signal has returned. Map your line of site to the satellite. It is when the clouds are between your dish and the satellite that you will lose signal, regardless of how much (or even if) it is raining at your house.
     
  11. Soulweeper

    Soulweeper Icon

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    Jan 9, 2005
    The mast should still be plumb....it was when I first did it. Which should I try first, Azimuth, or elevation? I don't have a meter, other than a cheap Channel Master 1007a, that I bought for WildBlue service calls, and have never used, so I'm assuming I'd be doing like the last time.....watching the lowest transponder on the screen. I do have the protection plan though, and it would be a simple thing to have them come out and do it. I have it mainly to keep my owned receivers as owned receivers, but might as well take advantage of it. If I tell Directv those numbers, they probably won't send anyone, correct?

    Last night, a little while after I posted those numbers, it really started raining, and I got a 771 again, checked the numbers, and had some in the teens through 30's on the 103(cb).
     
  12. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Nobody can tell you if it needs a tweak to azimuth or elevation "first".
    To "dial in" your dish, you need to dither both. Being that you're on the west coast, "more than likely" the 99c [being the farthest away] will be the best to focus on.
    If you have a meter that can read the Ka signals, what you want is the highest CNR value.
    Since it's still raining here, it isn't worth checking my reading, but what you posted aren't that much lower than mine. I've used a AIM to dial in my dish on a clear day. Without the SWiM the numbers are higher than running through the SWiM. This has been true at two location, with 4 or 5 types of SWiMs, and a couple of dishes.
     
  13. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    One of the reasons you need to enter the zip code into the AIM for the IV test is because where you are gets 4 dB higher signal than where the OP is.
     
  14. HoTat2

    HoTat2 Hall Of Fame

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    Los...
    Yeah ...

    Here in the LA market my 103ca levels have always been mostly in the mid 70s with a few readings in the low 80s at best. 103cb in the mid 80s with a few in the high 70s, and 99c all in the mid 80s.

    Yet every time I've has a service call here and an IV retest is called for on the WO, it passes. :confused:
     
  15. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    From working with the AIM, the IV test is very critical of the SNR [CNR] for certain tps on each SAT. IIRC, the pass/fail for one of mine was less than 1 dB.
     
  16. Soulweeper

    Soulweeper Icon

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    Jan 9, 2005
    I checked earlier today, with a break in the rain, but still solid rain clouds, and saw an 83, and a couple 84's on the 103(cb), so it may be ok on a clear day. I'm not going to mess with it though, I've been paying for that protection plan, mainly for my owned receivers.....so I'll have them come out and peak it. I don't have the right meter anyway.
     
  17. Soulweeper

    Soulweeper Icon

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    Jan 9, 2005
    Just checked a few minutes ago, with essentially clear skies, here's my 99c, 103ca, and 103cb

    99(c)
    91 92 89 85 88 89 89 85
    88 89 86 84 92 92 na na
    na na na na na na na na
    na na na na na na na na

    103(ca)
    na na na na na na na na
    92 87 95 90 89 84 94 90
    89 86 95 91 91 86 96 94
    na na na na na na na na

    103(cb)
    91 92 89 86 85 89 88 86
    85 88 89 88 86 88 na na
    na na na na na na na na
    na na na na na na na na


    A couple 84's out of the bunch.....anyone think these numbers warrant a peaking of the dish? Seems borderline to me, and it took a very heavy rain the other night to get pixelation/771.
     
  18. litzdog911

    litzdog911 Well-Known Member

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    Jun 23, 2004
    Mill Creek, WA
    Those readings look fine.
     

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