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Guest Message by DevFuse

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"Longish" cable run (Non HD) -- need in-line amp?


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9 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   BeeKeeper

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 08:14 AM

Had signal drop-outs on some transponders -- with "Searching for Satellite Signal) -- others down in the 40's (as reported by the receiver menu display). RG6 cable run is a bit more than 165' with one in-line set of sealed connectors.

Went out and peaked everything with my "Satellite Finder" analog meter. Got most everything in the 80's and 90's. Disconnected and it went back to not much better than it was before. Some transponders even showed zero. Many channels gone.

Looking online, I discovered hat the "Satellite Finder" has a built-in amplifier. Ah ha!!! It's out there now, wrapped up in three baggies to keep it out of the weather.

Can't I just install an amp such as a Sonora DBS 14 dB Gain Line Amplifier (LA141) out at the dish?

Thanks for any informed opinions... :)

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#2 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 09:30 AM

You'd need to have the amp a bit farther down the coax than at the dish.
The amp has about the same output as the LNB, so it wouldn't help there. I'd mount it at least 100' away from the dish so the cable loss would allow the amp to not saturate.

Model LA141, LA142 or LA143 inserted between the receiver and the dish boost the DBS signal level the equivalent of 150 feet of RG-6 cable.


A.K.A VOS

#3 OFFLINE   BattleZone

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 06:01 PM

165' of cable run is nothing, and not the cause of this problem. I routinely go 250' and more (commercial installations).

I recommend replacing that run of cable with a single piece of solid-copper center-conductor RG6 with compression connectors, and all cable-related problems should go away.

#4 OFFLINE   netraa

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 06:03 PM

165' of cable run is nothing, and not the cause of this problem. I routinely go 250' and more (commercial installations).

I recommend replacing that run of cable with a single piece of solid-copper center-conductor RG6 with compression connectors, and all cable-related problems should go away.




Ya beat me to it.

I was gonna ask if the 'sealed connectors' were just 2 crimp on fittings on a regular barrel wrapped in e-tape?

if so, cut that open and i'd wager that one side or both sides of the splice are rotting off.

#5 OFFLINE   Manctech

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 06:05 PM

Yea, if it's solid copper core RG6 and only SD then 150-200ft is nothing. No need for an amp. Most likely you either need a dish alignment, a new lnb, or have something in the way (trees)

TWC Technician (Huntersville, Cornelius, Davidson Area)


#6 OFFLINE   BeeKeeper

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 08:37 PM

I appreciate the responses and ideas about the cable... and yes, the splices/connectors are not up to commercial standards (and I will check them)but... :scratchin

...to repeat, with the "Satellite Finder" meter and its built-in amplifier in the line at the dish, I have terrific signal strength even in the rain. Take it out and some transponders simply don't show up. I couldn't figure that out at all until I discovered that the meter had an amplifier. That's why it's in the line now and why I am considering just adding an amplifier. (Maybe I will use it instead of the barrel fitting at the splice.)

Thanks again!

#7 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 09:39 AM

...to repeat, with the "Satellite Finder" meter and its built-in amplifier in the line at the dish, I have terrific signal strength even in the rain. Take it out and some transponders simply don't show up. I couldn't figure that out at all until I discovered that the meter had an amplifier. That's why it's in the line now and why I am considering just adding an amplifier. (Maybe I will use it instead of the barrel fitting at the splice.)

Thanks again!

"If this is exactly the case" and there are no other variables, then the LNB output is too low allowing the amp in your meter to compensate. This could be due to low DC voltage at the LNB or simply a LNB that isn't outputting -15 dBm or so.
If the LNB is outputting the -15 dBm, then your meter/amp would not be able to make a change, as it would be in saturation.
A.K.A VOS

#8 OFFLINE   texasbrit

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 03:00 PM

Art 165ft and SD with RG6 there should not be a signal problem. More likely the LNB isn't getting enough power - the meter is powering the LNB, so things are OK with the meter there, nothing to do with amplification. Is your cable solid copper core? If not then there is probably your problem. CCS cable has larger voltage drop than SCC and you are getting too much voltage drop over the 165ft cable run.

#9 OFFLINE   BeeKeeper

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 05:43 PM

You now have me thinking about the cable. It does, as I recall, have a solid copper core. However, there may be an additional issue.

As I said, I never had a problem until this year. But 2-3 years ago, a slip of my chain saw seriously impacted the signal continuity. :blackeye: That's why I had to splice it (about 50' from the receiver end).

I used Radio Shack screw-on F connectors (not crimped) and a single barrel connector between them. All this was tightly taped over 3-4 inches and even now doesn't look like there's a chance that moisture could get in. Could that connection degrade over time without oxidation or moisture?

Finally, the "meter" is powered by the voltage on the line. It has no power of its own. I don't see how it could power the LNB. And, just to remove it as a variable, I did change the LNB and did get a little bump in signal strength.

Thanks again. I really do appreciate the help and ideas.

#10 OFFLINE   netraa

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 05:59 PM

I used Radio Shack screw-on F connectors (not crimped) and a single barrel connector between them. All this was tightly taped over 3-4 inches and even now doesn't look like there's a chance that moisture could get in. Could that connection degrade over time without oxidation or moisture?


no, but it doesn't matter how tightly you tape up the splice it will get water in it and then rot out the fitting.

i've lost count of how many 'well taped' splices i've had to cut out of lines but i know it's more than several hundred.

go get yourself another cable, bypass your line and see if the IRD works, If it does, you know it's your cable, if it's still broken, then it's not your cable.




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