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Should I call DTV or a tree pruner?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by itzme, Jul 5, 2010.

  1. Jul 5, 2010 #1 of 46
    itzme

    itzme Hall Of Fame

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    I'm looking for a good strategy to fix a situation where a tree has begun to block my dish's line of site. The tree is about 10' away from the dish.

    Symptoms:

    -System Test fails dish pointing and I get the 42-018 error message on all Receivers
    -I frequently get the on-screen Missing Guide Date for X hours error. Again, 42-018
    -Some recordings on servers appear jittery with occassional pixelating (native and MRV)
    -Those same recordings pixelate or freeze when viewed on client (MRV)

    So I need to do something about that tree (or a dish alignment?) but line of site seems to indicate that some pruning should clear things for the dish. Just where to prune is hard to tell because the dish is about a story high and the tree is 2.5 stories, all are on a slope. As I visually survey and walk around, it is really hard to determine which branches could be the culprits. Best case it is a few branches, worst case about 30% of the tree, which is a beautiful tree that I want to keep.

    Questions:

    Is there a sat whose Signal Strength I could watch live as someone climbs up to prune the tree? So that I'd instantly see when the line of site was cleared? If so, which Satellite should I watch?

    I wonder who to call first, DTV (cost= free to $75) or a tree pruner (about $150). I feel like an alignment could be a waste of time, if the tree really is an issue.

    Just curious, which sat carries the Guide Data for my HR2xs? Can I tune to a certain channel for a certain amount of time to get the guide data when I get the error msg (maybe ch 201?)

    Signal Strength Readings:

    99(c)

    1-8: 85 86 79 84 82 85 77 84
    9-16 80 86 77 86 82 88 na na
    17-24 na na na na na na na na
    25-32 na na na na na na na na


    99(s)

    1-8: 33 85 0 0 51 0 na na
    9-16 na na na na na na 89 79
    17-24 18 0 86 83 88 89 94 83
    25-32 na na na na na na na na


    sat 110

    1-8: na na na na na na na 63
    9-16 na 71 na 65 na na na na
    17-24 na na na na na na na na
    25-32 na na na na na na na na

    sat 103(cb)

    1-8: 85 88 82 81 88 81 86 80 88
    9-16 82 86 82 89 82 87 na na
    17-24 na na na na na na na na
    25-32 na na na na na na na na


    sat 103(ca)

    1-8: na na na na na na na 63
    9-16 94 92 89 91 90 90 85 92
    17-24 88 97 88 97 89 89 91 90
    25-32 na na na na na na na na


    sat 103(s)

    1-8: 0 0 0 0 0 0 na na
    9-16 na na na na na na 0 0
    17-24 79 89 0 0 86 0 0 0
    25-32 na na na na na na na na

    sat 119- all na or 0

    sat 101- all 95-100


    Thanks for any advice!
     
  2. Jul 5, 2010 #2 of 46
    veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    "It seems" you've got something to the west that is causing you problems.
    You'd need to leave the receiver tuned to the 101/99 channels for the guide data. Leaving it on a channel from 103, will mean the guide data needs to come off the 119, which is blocked.
    Options:
    Look to the west 18 degrees and see which tree.
    Change LNB to the 3LNB and not worry about 119. These LNBs get all their guide data off 101 all the time.
    Go to dishpointer.com and see which tree is the problem.
     
  3. Jul 5, 2010 #3 of 46
    itzme

    itzme Hall Of Fame

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    I was hoping you'd chime in VOS. I'm going to try to post some pics here, to see if that helps your recommendations. So you can see my dish type and the issues.

    Dishpointer puts my dish one house away, so I have to move the indicator north by one house. I'll send you a PM with my address. I'm not gleaning anything helpful from Dishpointer, can you help me better understand it?
     

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  4. Jul 5, 2010 #4 of 46
    hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure VOS will add his guidance....

    But from the photos...if you don't have issues now...you will some time in the near future, especially that tree next to the house.

    Its also posible a Dish alignment might make sense, especially with the error message you're getting.
     
  5. Jul 5, 2010 #5 of 46
    veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Dishpointer [well really google] seems to have a bit out of date image.
    You've got a 5 LNB and changing to the 3 LNB would mean the tree blocking wouldn't need pruning.

    Otherwise it looks like this needs to go:
    PICT0013.jpg
     
  6. Jul 5, 2010 #6 of 46
    itzme

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    Hi HD. Actually when the installer upgraded that dish about 2 yrs ago, he mention that tree could become a problem. When there no foliage, all is fine, but each year the problem gets worse. I actually paid $100 this spring to prune it back, but apparently not enough or not in the right places :(

    As I look at Google Earth on Dishpointer, the tree isn't even really visible at all. The photo could be old or was taken in the Fall/Winter. I'm not sure if I fully understand all of Dishpointers tools (obstacles and all).

    If I understand VOS, I think I need to pay a pruner in first, then see if I need alignment. Does my question about watching a certain Sat Signal's readings during the pruning make sense? Maybe look at sat 119? Would asking DTV to change the LNB (am I a 5 now?) to a 3 get me all my channels and fix things?
     
  7. Jul 5, 2010 #7 of 46
    jal

    jal Icon

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    I've also got a signal problem, but its slightly different. 99 and 103 conus are in the 50s. 101, 110, 119 are in the 90s. Initially, my thought was a tree, but then 101, in the middle, would also be blocked. Thoughts?
     
  8. Jul 5, 2010 #8 of 46
    veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    "Thoughts", mine would be the dish isn't aligned that well.
    Look at where the dish is pointing. You'd need to have trees such that it would look like \_/ , where only the 101 would be in the _ and a tree would be \ and /.
     
  9. Jul 5, 2010 #9 of 46
    veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Set one of the receivers to the 119 transponder screen and maybe get someone to throw a rope over the branches and pull on them. Otherwise simply have them trim a bit and monitor the TPs.
     
  10. eakes

    eakes Godfather

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    itzme: Your signal strength readings indicate that 119 is completely blocked and 110 is partially blocked, 103, 101 and 99 are OK. You have a 5LNB feedhorn, changing to a 3LNB feedhorn will clear the present problem although as the tree continues to grow it may block the present dish location completely. For now, however, changing the feedhorn is the easy solution.

    Pruning in the area VOS has indicated should clear the present problem, although future tree growth could bring it back.

    Another option would be to relocate the dish higher on the chimney (near the top - need a longer ladder).

    Dish alignment alone would do nothing for the present problem.

    jal: your problem appears to be dish alignment. With 101, 110 and 119 in the 90s and 99 and 103 in the 50s, a few turns of the fine adjustment screws should bring 99 and 103 into the 80-90 range.
     
  11. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

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    I'd agree with VOS and the others that the 3LNB would be your best solution...but pruning not a bad additional idea.
     
  12. Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

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    The...
    Boiled down, either move the dish east or move the tree west. :)

    Problem solved, and FYI, it's "line of sight', not site.
     
  13. itzme

    itzme Hall Of Fame

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    The rope idea is a GOOD one! Let me see if that's possible.

    Assuming there's an alignment issue at plat, is it possible to get a really good re-alignment job if the tree is also an issue? Also are you sure that I should be getting SOME readings from the 119? That one reads N/A all the way through to transponders 21, then 22-32 all read 0. Do you know what readings I should be reading there, which tps?
     
  14. Barcthespark

    Barcthespark Godfather

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    I'm having the same problem except it is a neighbors tree that is in the way. I'm pretty much screwed. :(
     
  15. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    "What you're questioning me"? :lol:

    The zeros on 119 are your biggest clue. Alignment won't do squat.

    Change the LNB to one that doesn't look at the 119, and problem solved [for now] since all the guide data then comes off the 101.
     
  16. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Moving the dish to another location and/or changing to the 3 LNB are about your only options, if there are any at all.
     
  17. itzme

    itzme Hall Of Fame

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    The rope idea didn't help, yet. I gotta find someone with a stronger arm for the higher limbs.
    Would I lose any channels or features by going down from a 5 lnb to a 3 lnb ? If not, why did they give me the 5lnb?

    Thanks to all for your advise! I'm going with the "move the tree east" idea. jk!
     
  18. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

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    Standard Def local channels (if your market is using 119), and possibly a couple obscure Sonic Tap music channels. Markets with SD locals on 119, that has at least 1 local that is not mirrored on HD, usually install 5 lnb dishes. I doubt you would lose anything that will be missed.
     
  19. Barcthespark

    Barcthespark Godfather

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    Thanks!
     
  20. w3syt

    w3syt Legend

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    I may have had the protection plan ( I do now). But, I called and got a tech who really knew what he was doing. He didn't like the looks of the trees and moved my 5 LNB halfway across the roof !

    Now that is service.
     

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