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Re-aim Dish or get rid of Directv


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24 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   mogulman

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 07:53 PM

I've noticed that since the new satellite went into service that we've been getting more skips/drop outs and rain fade is worse. Probably coincidence...maybe..

Anyway.. I have an HR20 and an H21 hooked up to a Slimline dish. It was installed about 2 years ago as an upgrade from SD service.

I've attached signal strengths from the 103 sats.

Is this something that can be fixed by re-aiming my dish. If so... is there anyway for me to get this done without paying for it?

I lost my job a few weeks ago.. I can't really afford to pay to have someone make this better. I've been contemplating getting rid of Directv to save money, and if this is going to cost something, then that might make my decision for me. I'll either go to bundled cable (with my internet) or just do OTA with my HTPC.

I'm kind of handy myself, but I've tried aiming my dish (older dish) a few times in the past without really making anything better.

BTW.. I've had service for about 8 years. I'm not under contract right now.

Any suggestions?

Attached Thumbnails

  • 103CA.jpg
  • 103CB.jpg


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#2 OFFLINE   Carl Spock

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 07:59 PM

In a recent thread, somebody recently got a free realignment which I think was defined as a $49.99 service call. The CSR said a subscriber is entitled to one free alignment per year.

Can anyone confirm this?
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#3 OFFLINE   Manctech

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 08:09 PM

In a recent thread, somebody recently got a free realignment which I think was defined as a $49.99 service call. The CSR said a subscriber is entitled to one free alignment per year.

Can anyone confirm this?


It's called a loyal customer service call which each customer gets one a year starting AFTER their first year.

Customers after the 90day-> 1year have to pay. After that it's 1 a year free.

Ask for "Loyal Customer" credit.

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#4 OFFLINE   Carl Spock

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 08:18 PM

Whoa, you mean I wasn't full of crap? :eek:

No one's more surprised than me.
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#5 OFFLINE   HDTVsportsfan

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 08:25 PM

Whoa, you mean I wasn't full of crap? :eek:

No one's more surprised than me.



For once. :P

J/K :)

To the OP....the new satelite going up has nothing to do w/ your drop outs.
It sounds like you might be in luck w/ a free service call. I hope your financial situation gets better.
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#6 OFFLINE   Renard

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 08:33 PM

Well, if it's about money, realign the dish by yourself, it is pretty easy, I moved several times and I don't have the protection plan, and I didn't want to deal with movers connection. my word of wisdom, take a small TV with you, a receiver, look for sat 103 ca, Cb, 99 Ca, without touching the screws, exert pressure on the dish (up and down), and look if the signals go up or down, do the same thing for right and left, then unscrew the bolts (but not too lose) and check signals for sat 103 and 99. 101, 110 & 119 should be all good once you have sats 99 & 103. I installed my dish that way, and i have good signals on all sat 95 to 100% on most sats. it takes time and patienc, but I am sure you can do it. I just re install my dish from scratch with a TV and the signal meters on the receivers, and I never had any problems. Obviously, you just have to tweak your dish so it should be way easier.

#7 OFFLINE   mogulman

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 09:48 PM

Yeah.. It seems like the new sat shouldn't affect things, unless the channels I watch are on the new sat and my signal strength on that sat isn't as good.

I'll try calling Directv tomorrow and see if they will do anything. If not, I guess I'll try aligning it one more time myself.

#8 OFFLINE   paulman182

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 05:16 AM

Yeah.. It seems like the new sat shouldn't affect things, unless the channels I watch are on the new sat and my signal strength on that sat isn't as good.

I'll try calling Directv tomorrow and see if they will do anything. If not, I guess I'll try aligning it one more time myself.


Your signal strengths are stronger than mine and I haven't called.

I'm interested to see what they do for you.

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#9 OFFLINE   The Merg

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 05:29 AM

The OP's signal strengths can still be a lot better then what they are. Call up DirecTV and see if they will come out for an alignment at no cost.

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#10 OFFLINE   mogulman

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 08:44 AM

Called Directv. They had me swap cables on my tuners. Reboot. Do a system test.... (wasted my time basically)...

Then told me that in my area, there is nothing they can do unless the signal strength is in the 60s. Even if I was going to pay some $49.95 fee, they wouldn't send someone out because my signal was acceptable.

I asked if I wasn't happy with the signal quality, because my picture drops out in rain, then what should I do.. cancel and go to cable? The rep said.. it's your choice if you'd like to cancel...

So I guess that's it...

I'm probably going to go out there and see if I can adjust the dish a little myself..

Anyone know which things I should try messing with (up/down) left right... some kind of rotation?

What signals are considered good or great on the 103 sats?

#11 OFFLINE   jdspencer

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 08:53 AM

I'd like to know what the signal strengths are on 99c and 101?

Also, check the cables and connections. Broken insulation and/or corrosion can hurt the strengths.
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#12 OFFLINE   Carl Spock

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 09:00 AM

mogulman, I'd never recommend anybody lie to a CSR...

...but your numbers are in the 60s. You were mistaken. Many of them are in the 50s. A few are in the 40s. In fact, I think you posted your numbers here. Or was it here? I can't remember.

;)
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#13 OFFLINE   bixler

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 09:11 AM

mogulman, I'd never recommend anybody lie to a CSR...

...but your numbers are in the 60s. You were mistaken. Many of them are in the 50s. A few are in the 40s. In fact, I think you posted your numbers here. Or was it here? I can't remember.

;)


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#14 OFFLINE   nn8l

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 12:06 PM

I called in with numbers in the 50's and it didn't matter. I was told unless I called when I'm getting a 'searching for satellite' message they can't send anybody out. I have the protection plan and have been with D* since 2002, and before that I was with Pegasus, which I guess doesn't count. Between the loss of signal and the audio dropouts on the local NBC and ABC networks (counted 2 to 3 per minute Saturday), I'm happy I'm out of contract.

#15 ONLINE   dennisj00

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 12:19 PM

These responses are interesting since the installer that brought my HR24 (and SWiM/Deca) said he couldn't get the 24 authorized without all signals 90+.

Are there different standards for different areas of the country?

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#16 OFFLINE   cavman

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 01:03 PM

These responses are interesting since the installer that brought my HR24 (and SWiM/Deca) said he couldn't get the 24 authorized without all signals 90+.

Are there different standards for different areas of the country?



We were getting "searching for signal" almost every time it rained to the point that my wife said "let's go back to cable".

My satellite numbers were mostly in the low 90s so I couldn't understand why I was having rain fade with even the slightest drizzle.

Called into directv and they ran my situation up to "case management" (believe me, I am not important or a big shot in any way at all) and was set-up for one of their "top experts" to check out our situation.

So here's what is weird and I would love the views of any/all ofnthe experts here.

The guy looks at my dish and says it is angled down too much. He says it isn't really "locking onto the satellites" and is getting "the sides of the signal which appears to be a high number but really isn't". Therefore, this 90+ signal strengths I was showing were false.

I nodded (although I really didn't know what to think) as he replaced my control arm and the LNB and pointed the dish up higher in the sky. He was checking signals with a handheld device that had the 4 cables from the dish feeding into it.

When he was satisfied, we went inside and turned on the tv and all signals were in the mid 80s.

I asked if that was good, to which he replied "these are good numbers. " and then something like "I don't believe any signals in the 90s. These 80s are 'locked' onto the satellites better so you shouldn't have any rain fade anymore."

Is this guy telling me the truth or pulling my chain? Is it possible to catch the "side of the signal" which could suffer from rain fade more easily even though the signals show in the 90s most of the time?

Confused

#17 OFFLINE   mogulman

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 01:13 PM

Ok.. Here are the results of me trying to tune it myself. Are those good numbers? I couldn't get it any better. I tried adjusting the two Elevation and AZ bolts. Didn't mess with anything else.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 99.jpg
  • 101.jpg
  • 110.jpg
  • 119.jpg
  • 103_ca.jpg
  • 103_CB.jpg


#18 OFFLINE   paulman182

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 06:05 AM

These responses are interesting since the installer that brought my HR24 (and SWiM/Deca) said he couldn't get the 24 authorized without all signals 90+.

Are there different standards for different areas of the country?


I believe there are higher standards for installs than for systems already in service. They want the signals nice and strong upon installation to avoid issues for as long as possible. Once installed, they don't seem to want send someone out unless you're really having problems...hey, again, that avoids issues for as long as possible! Same goal.

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#19 OFFLINE   cavman

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 07:38 PM

I believe there are higher standards for installs than for systems already in service. They want the signals nice and strong upon installation to avoid issues for as long as possible. Once installed, they don't seem to want send someone out unless you're really having problems...hey, again, that avoids issues for as long as possible! Same goal.



We had some big storms roll through KC earlier this evening and the signal NEVER went out. My wife and daughter were pumped. As mentioned earlier, we previously lost signal at even the slightest hint of rain despite having signal strengths in the 90s.

So I guess there was truth to the fact that our 90+ signal strengths were false positives and were catching the "edge of the signal" rather than being locked onto the Satellite.

Thanks to DirecTV, Chris the installer and Nathan (my liaison in customer service). Great work guys. Very happy.

To the OP, have them come out and do a professional test of your dish aiming, if they won't waive the $50 (which they probably will if you complain or threaten that your wife is telling you to go to cable), then I still think the $50 could be well spent.

HUGE improvement for us, despite having signal strengths that are now (only) in the 80s (vs 90s previously).

Best of luck to you.

#20 OFFLINE   njfoses

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Posted 21 July 2010 - 02:46 AM

We had some big storms roll through KC earlier this evening and the signal NEVER went out. My wife and daughter were pumped. As mentioned earlier, we previously lost signal at even the slightest hint of rain despite having signal strengths in the 90s.

So I guess there was truth to the fact that our 90+ signal strengths were false positives and were catching the "edge of the signal" rather than being locked onto the Satellite.

Thanks to DirecTV, Chris the installer and Nathan (my liaison in customer service). Great work guys. Very happy.

To the OP, have them come out and do a professional test of your dish aiming, if they won't waive the $50 (which they probably will if you complain or threaten that your wife is telling you to go to cable), then I still think the $50 could be well spent.

HUGE improvement for us, despite having signal strengths that are now (only) in the 80s (vs 90s previously).

Best of luck to you.


90+ signal being a false positive and catching the edge of the signal? Signal in the 80's is better now than the 90's? Never heard this before? Anybody care to elaborate?
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#21 OFFLINE   eakes

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Posted 21 July 2010 - 10:42 AM

A few things here to discuss:

Mogulman: Your numbers are good enough although they could be improved slightly. The tilt is off as 119 should be about 95 plus a half turn or so on the fine adjustments to get 103c at 95s and 99 in the 85 to 95 range. However, you have it about as good as it gets as far as rain fade is concerned, that is, the additional adjustments would not materially effect onset and duration of rain fades.

cavman: Rain fade is a fact of nature and until some basic Laws of Physics are repealed will always occur. The real culprit in the rain fade equation is the thunderhead, filled with moisture, boiling up 50-60k feet to the SouthWest. A heavy rain can cause some attenuation, but its all the water in the thunderhead that does most of the damage. It is possible to have no rain at your house, but a thunderstorm passing to the south of your location will take out the signal. Conversely, it can be raining cats and dogs at your house, a real gully washer, but you will not lose signal.

The 'alignment procedure' you described by the 'expert installer' gave me a good chuckle. Given the same receiver, readings in the 80s are not better than readings in the 90s - no way! Now, it is entirely possible there were other issues (coax, connectors, etc.) that could be effected by weather and lumped in the broad category of 'rain fade' that could have been causing your problems. These could have been fixed as the 'expert' made changes to your system.

The antenna is either aligned on the satellite or it's not. The expressions "not properly locked in" and "receiving on the side of the signal" as reportedly used by your 'expert' would require some explanation for what he really meant for me to comment on what he was really doing. But on their face, they are nonsense terms when used in connection of aligning a DTV dish.

I don't wish rain fade on anyone and I would certainly like for you to never experience that phenomena again. But physics says you will, unfortunately. I suspect the recent rain event, when you did not lose reception, was a local thundershower almost directly overhead and the southwestern sky was clear or only partly cloudy.

#22 OFFLINE   wavemaster

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Posted 21 July 2010 - 01:21 PM

90+ signal being a false positive and catching the edge of the signal? Signal in the 80's is better now than the 90's? Never heard this before? Anybody care to elaborate?


In order to "Peak" the Ka band doesn't the Ku band go "off-peak" a little? I thought I read this in the install docs back when the sirdecar dish came out. It made dish pointing more of a science than than the old round dishes.

So smaller numbers on the Ku would make sense if the Ka were truly "peaked".

In our area in clear weather we will get 90's+ on most sats.

#23 OFFLINE   wavemaster

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Posted 21 July 2010 - 01:27 PM

The antenna is either aligned on the satellite or it's not.


Right - but which one? - lol. You can have a really good signal on one and still be bad on another.

#24 OFFLINE   domingos35

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 06:19 PM

I've noticed that since the new satellite went into service that we've been getting more skips/drop outs and rain fade is worse. Probably coincidence...maybe..

Anyway.. I have an HR20 and an H21 hooked up to a Slimline dish. It was installed about 2 years ago as an upgrade from SD service.

I've attached signal strengths from the 103 sats.

Is this something that can be fixed by re-aiming my dish. If so... is there anyway for me to get this done without paying for it?

I lost my job a few weeks ago.. I can't really afford to pay to have someone make this better. I've been contemplating getting rid of Directv to save money, and if this is going to cost something, then that might make my decision for me. I'll either go to bundled cable (with my internet) or just do OTA with my HTPC.

I'm kind of handy myself, but I've tried aiming my dish (older dish) a few times in the past without really making anything better.

BTW.. I've had service for about 8 years. I'm not under contract right now.

Any suggestions?


i say get rid of directv

#25 OFFLINE   RACJ2

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 07:08 PM

i say get rid of directv

You didn't even provide anything to validate your recommendation. I say, stick to the HD Lite forum, with the provider you obviously love.
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