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Slimline Installation Advice

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by shendley, Sep 1, 2007.

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  1. Sep 1, 2007 #1 of 16
    shendley

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    I'm supposed to be having my AT9 dish replaced with the newer Slimline AU9 this Friday and I was hoping some of you might have some tips as to what to look for to make sure the alignment is done properly. I ask this because when my AT9 was installed a little over a year ago, the installers never did the dithering to fine tune the signal. They peaked one satellite (I forget which) and told me that a high signal here would be sufficient for everything else. And, to be fair, I have been getting a good picture with solid signals strengths on almost all my transponders (mid to high nineties except for ones with 0s or very low signals in the 20s to 40s). But this doesn't jibe with what I've read elsewhere about how to align a 5 lnb dish. The only signals I get which look a bit low to me are on sat 103 where I get a 79, 85, and 79 on the three transponders that aren't N/A or 0. Should I ask the installers to get my numbers higher on 103 or are these good enough? Or is there anything in particular you think I should look for to make sure they do the job right?
     
  2. Sep 1, 2007 #2 of 16
    Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

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    Make sure that signals on 101, 110, and 119 are in the 80s as much as possible. Don't be afraid to ask over and over.
     
  3. Sep 1, 2007 #3 of 16
    aim2pls

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    80's is marginal at best ..... for me that would be totally unexceptable
     
  4. Sep 1, 2007 #4 of 16
    shendley

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    I've always been a bit vague as to what comes down on what sats. Are these the key sats for the channels most folk care about? Will the new HD channels be coming down from these sat locations?

     
  5. Sep 1, 2007 #5 of 16
    dminches

    dminches Godfather

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    Is there any advantage of the Slimline dish over the AT9 other than size and aesthetics?
     
  6. Sep 1, 2007 #6 of 16
    shendley

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    I was told by a technician that they've had fewer problems with it - apparently the lines connecting the one side of the LNB to the other on the AT9 has caused some problems. I've been having a wierd, very intermittent problem losing my reception of mpeg2 hd broadcasts on one tuner at one location in my house. Having ruled out the machine as the culprit, the techs replaced my multiswitch a couple of weeks ago and told me if that didn't do the trick - it didn't - they would replace the at9 with the slimline.
     
  7. Sep 1, 2007 #7 of 16
    RobertE

    RobertE New Member

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    From the consumers point of view: No, no advantages.

    From a techs point of view: Yes. About 5-7 pounds lighter. Easier assembly (no side car with zones for the 110/119 LNB). No stupid jumpers to go bad between LNBs. Ability to remove the LNB *after* the fine tuning. Interchangeability of parts (LNB, reflector, etc) between manufacturer.
     
  8. Sep 1, 2007 #8 of 16
    Racer88

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    Being in Birmingham and thusly being within the spotbeam footprint of the HD locals on the Spaceway bird at 99 west then your installer should use that bird to peak your alignment with. Given he has a meter capable of showing signal strengths on the Ka birds.
     
  9. Sep 1, 2007 #9 of 16
    JFHughes08088

    JFHughes08088 Godfather

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    Are you saying a signal in the 80's results in less of a picture than a signal in the 90's?
     
  10. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

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    Most of DirecTV standard definition programming comes from 101. The current HD channels (in the 70's) come from 101, 110 and 119. Most of the Spanish language programming comes from 119. All of the new HD, including HD locals, will come from 99 and 103.

    The proper way to align the 5-LNB dish is to align it using 101 and 119. Using either 99 or 103 to align it is NOT the proper way

    Properly aligned, the dish should give you transponder readings in the mid 80's to high 90's. Anything lower suggests an improperly aligned dish. However, there are some transponders that will be low or zero, as they are spot beams that are not aimed at your location. That is okay.

    Carl
     
  11. RD in Fla

    RD in Fla Icon

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    "unacceptable" too I suppose.;) 80's signal will look the same as a 90's signal btw.
     
  12. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

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    No. What a lower average signal means is that you are more susceptible to rain fade. There is a lot of forward error correction in the satellite signal, which means the dish/receiver can lose some of the signal, but figure out what was lost and fix it automatically. If you start losing too much of the signal, it will exceed the ability to self-correct, then you will see picture blocking/pixelation, picture freezing, etc. But as long as there is enough signal to fix the missing bits, there will be no difference in the picture quality between a signal of 65 and a signal of 99. It's sort of all or nothing.

    Carl
     
  13. shendley

    shendley Hall Of Fame

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    Yeah, that's always been my understanding as well. Get the signal as high as possible to minimize rain fade issues.

     
  14. Racer88

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    Only because the majority of locations currently receive little to no significant signal from 99 or 103. Hence the whole "dithering" scenario. Also not many people doing self installs own or will buy an expensive meter capable of reading Ka signals either. OTOH many consumers do have the less expensive meters capable of doing it via the Ku dithering method.

    Once 99 and 103 are online nationwide dithering will be the "poor man's" way of aligning a 5 LNB.
    PROPER alignment will be using 101 and 119 to coarse align the azimuth, elevation, and tilt(obviously tilt will always be set with 119). Then PROPER fine adjustments will be made using direct readings from 99/103 with a PROPER meter capable of reading those signal levels. (i.e. a acutrac III or better meter) Any professional installer still using the dithering method after 99/103 is lit up nationally won't be a very "professional" installer.
     
  15. aim2pls

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    no not at all ...... digital video are there or NOT there ..... the signal level is a measure of the signal strength and accuracy of the pointing of the dish .... the higher the signal level the better and more rain fade margin
     
  16. aim2pls

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    lol yeah ... damn fingers vs brain connection

    and yes they do ... except during a bad weather
     
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