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Upgraded to HR20 - Signal Strength issue?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by Travisimo, Aug 20, 2007.

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  1. Travisimo

    Travisimo Cool Member

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    I was hoping to get some help/advice. I recently upgraded from the HR10-250 to the HR20 with the new 5 LNB dish replacing my old 2-dish setup. At the time of the upgrade (about 2 weeks ago), I had the Family package with the HD package and DVR service. Everything seemed to be okay except for an ocassional "Searching for signal (771)" message when switching between channels.

    However, a couple of days ago, I upgraded to the Plus HD-DVR package in anticipation of the new HD channels coming (hopefully) next month. So of course I was playing around and checking out all the channels I previously didn't get. Then I did a signal strength test on all the sats just to make sure I was prepared for the upcoming HD channels and because a couple of the XM music stations for cutting out quite a bit.

    So here's what I'm getting on the different sats. I need someone to tell me if this is normal or if I need to have it checked out. For reference I live in the Davenport/Rock Island DMA which is located on the border of IL/IA. My area currently does not have HD locals, so I'm getting HD locals OTA and sat locals via sat 72.5. Okay, here goes:

    Sat 101 -

    101 seems to be okay. I'm getting 80-100 on all TP's except 4 and 12 (which are 0 and I guess that is normal in some areas, right?).

    Sat 110 -

    110 also seems to be okay because I'm getting 90-100 on the 3 active TP's (8, 10, and 12).

    Sat 119 -

    Here's where I think I have a problem. According to the HR20, sat 119 has 11 active TP's starting at 22 and ending at 32). I'm consistently getting good signal on TP 22 (90-100 signal) but get a bunch of zeros after 22. I'm getting about 60-70 on TP 30 and about 70 on TP 32. The rest are 0. Here's the results from 3 different tests on Sat 119:

    TEST 1

    1-8 NA
    9-16 NA
    17-24 - - - - - 95 0 0
    25-32 0 0 0 0 0 65 0 72

    TEST 2

    17-24 - - - - - 95 0 0
    25-32 0 72 0 0 0 0 0 0

    TEST 3

    17-24 - - - - - 95 0 0
    25-32 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

    So as you can see, TP 22 is consistently good, but the rest are very inconsistent and mostly zeros. I assume this is NOT normal but what does it mean? My line of sight I think is good on my roof. Does it just mean it's not pointed right? If so, why would TP 22 always be so good but not the others?

    Sat 103(a)

    I'm not getting ANY signal strength on Sat 103. Always zeros on all of the active TP's. Shouldn't I be getting some signal from Sat 103 or is this only when the new channels are active? I noticed in some other signal strength threads that some people show numbers for Sat 103. If they aren't supposed to be zeros, then what does this mean?

    Sat 99b

    I'm getting good signal strength on the even TP's but zeros on the odd. Here's what it looks like on Sat 99b:

    1-8 0 95 0 96 0 95 NA NA
    9-16 NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA
    17-24 NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA
    25-32 NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA

    I don't know if I even get any channels on this TP but should I be getting some signal on the odd ones or not?

    Sat 72.5

    I get my SD locals on sat 72.5, I believe and the locals are working perfectly fine. However, again only getting signal on the even TP's. The even ones are in the 8-95 range but nothing on the odd ones. Maybe that's normal for this sat?

    Sorry for such a long post, but I want to make sure I'm thorough and give you guys enough info to diagnose my problem. I looked at the internet site that shows what channels are on what transponder and I am indeed having some issues on the 119 channels (some of them). For example, XM channels 871 and 874 appear to be on 119 and when i switch to them, it shows the "Searching for signal" off and on and the music cuts out a lot. It looks like a couple of HD channels (HDN and ES2H) are on 119 but they seem to be working fine (though I do sometimes see a "Searching for signal" message just for a second or two when switching channels. oddly, that TP shows a 0 on my tests???

    Anyway, any help is appreciated.

    EDIT 8/22: To update title
     
  2. Coffey77

    Coffey77 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '07

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    I'm not sure on this but do you need a separate dish to grab the 72.5?
     
  3. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    So can you look and see what model multi-switch you have?
    There is something wrong with your 119 readings. I don't know how the 72.5 should look, since I don't have one to see, but if you're getting your local SD channels, there doesn't seem to be anything to worry about [except for the 119 readings].
     
  4. spidey

    spidey Hall Of Fame

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    Aug 31, 2006
    call DTV and have installer come out my initial 5LNB I had a bad wire so never saw odd or even transponders similar to what you are seeing.
     
  5. Canis Lupus

    Canis Lupus You make it, We break it

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    Yes Coffey I have the same setup. I get my HD locals OTA for the HR-20, but because I also have a DirecTiVo SD in the bedroom, I have a second dish pointing at the 72.5 to get the SD LIL for that DirecTiVo box.

     
  6. Travisimo

    Travisimo Cool Member

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    Aug 4, 2007
    Okay, I have scheduled a service call to check out what's going on. For what it's worth, I checked the switch and it's a WB68 by Zinwell. There are 5 inputs going into the switch (one is on the flexport, maybe the 72.5?). 2 Outputs going to my HR20.

    Also, I assume it's okay that I'm getting all 0's on the 103 since there isn't any HD locals in my area (or anywhere near me), right? I just want to make sure that when the national HD channels go live, I'm good to go and don't have to reschedule another alignment for that too! Is there any way to know if the 103 is pointed properly?

    Thanks to all.
     
  7. Canis Lupus

    Canis Lupus You make it, We break it

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    Oct 16, 2006
    Hey Travisimo,
    Yes that cable coming into the flexport would be the 72.5 dish.

    I wouldn't worry about the 72.5 if in fact you're getting your locals fine. You'd only have a few active channels on that dish anyway. The bigger question is whether you even need that dish, which would only be required if you have any more receivers in your house beyond that HR-20, in which case you'd be getting your locals from the SAT to send to that/those receivers. I have a setup that requires the 72.5 because I have a second SD receiver, and obviously no antenna cabling running to that 2nd box. If you only have the HR-20, and your locals in HD are coming in fine OTA, you no longer need that 72.5 dish unless you're planning on having any additional non-HD receivers in your setup that are not connected to an antenna, or you don't want to run additional cabling from that antenna to any other receivers.

    For the new SATS, you can do a minimal test for now for the 103b. This would require having your B-Band Converters connected and tuning to channel 499. If you get a "searching for satellite signal" error, this means that at least one of your B-Band Converters is working. For actual pointing though, the installer should be fine-tuning the dish in advance for the 103 and 99 (but no real way to know for right now). I'd make sure he's doing that, and also testing the B-Band Converters to make sure they work as well.


     
  8. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    99 looks good and if they can fix your 119 [maybe a bad cable, dish or WB68] you should be fine.
     
  9. Travisimo

    Travisimo Cool Member

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    Aug 4, 2007
    Thanks, I've done the BB test and it does show "Searching for Signal" so I think I'm okay there.

    Here's one additional question. When I check the signal on Sat 101, the first couple of transponders (1 and 2) show 0 sometimes. Is that normal? For example, I'll check the 101 and it'll show 0, 0, then start to show 90-100 for the rest. Then I'll run the test again and it'll show 90-100 on 1 and 2 also. Could it be that it just isn't seeing the signal right away and thus shows 0 sometimes on the first two?
     
  10. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    It shouldn't be doing that, which points back to your bigger problem.
     
  11. Coffey77

    Coffey77 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '07

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    Should we try a reset to see if they come back?

    I do have an odd feeling that is will be your cables but it's entirely possible you have a bad LNB assembly. Either way, good to have the installer coming out. Just hope you bought the insurance otherwise it may cost you $75 or so. Hopefully not as they just put it up.
     
  12. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    It's only been two weeks, so it's well within the 90 day warranty.
     
  13. Travisimo

    Travisimo Cool Member

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    Aug 4, 2007
    Right! They are coming out on Wednesday to check it out - no charge. I just hope they get it right this time. I will let you guys know how it goes, and thanks for all the help. :)
     
  14. Travisimo

    Travisimo Cool Member

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    Aug 4, 2007
    UPDATE AFTER SERVICE CALL:

    Well, the D* technician came out today to see what was going on with my signal strength (particularly on Sat 119). When he arrived, I met him outside and described the problem to him. I thought for sure he'd want to come in the house first and check what I was talking about, but he said he would check the lines from where they hook into the switch to make sure the signal is good from there first.

    Just a few minutes later, he said there appeared to be a bad connector on one of the wires that hooked into the multiswitch. So he cut all of the wires and installed new connectors on the ends of them.

    We went into the house and I performed the signal test on all of the sats and VOILA! As simple as that. Not only did the 119 sat show signal good, but the flaky ones on 101 were A-okay now too. Furthermore, I was getting all zeros on the 103 sat before and now I'm actually getting signal in the 90's on a few transponders (and we don't even have HD locals anywhere nearby).

    So my troubles are gone (I hope) and I should be all set when the national HD channels go live (hopefully) next month. The service call took at most 30 minutes altogether!

    Thanks again to all who responded. :)
     
  15. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    FWIW: what he did and what you now see, makes perfect sense. You should be "good to go".
     
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