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Guest Message by DevFuse

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are hd channels any better in the rain yet?


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44 replies to this topic

#26 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 09:17 PM

so from what im seeing here, an amplifier would be better than a bigger dish?

Not exactly.
The question first has to be which is losing signal first?
The end of the chain is the receiver giving the 771 error.
If the dish still has a weak signal, that is getting weaker through the coax to the receiver and the receiver has fallen below its minimum level, then an amp can help.
If the LNB has dropped to the point it can't output a weak signal, then the larger dish is the only help.
The "if money wasn't a concern" had the larger dish, the SWiM with it's AGC [which is important because just adding gain can cause problems when there isn't rainfade] that will both attenuate the LNB signal in good weather and amplify as the signal drops, and then an amp, that also can't have too much gain, but would be used to compensate for the coax & splitter losses to the receiver. The receiver shouldn't have more than -20 dBm.
A.K.A VOS

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#27 OFFLINE   Davenlr

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 09:32 PM

The best it can do for you is cut a few seconds off the time during which you get no signal, at the "edges" of the storm event.


In practice (I have a Slimline and 1M co-setup), the difference is measured here in minutes depending on the storm. Average signal loss here from a front passing with a 5 mile wide patch of red can knock my signal out for about 5 minutes. With the 1M dish, its more like 2 minutes.

Where it really helps, is the summer pop up thunderstorms, which often contain <50dbz radar returns (yellow on radar), which is where most of my issues occured. In almost every one of these events, the 1M dish held signal (down to about 20-35 on the quality meter) where the Slimline shows "Satellite not acquired".

So, it all depends on the type of storms. Since the OP was in Florida, which when I was there, had heavy rain events, but usually NOT extremely high thunder clouds, a larger dish would probably help quite a bit, 5 db plus the extra signal the satellite already puts into Florida would be a benefit. Hurricanes also tend to have thick, but low clouds, making the signal attenuation less than a supercell, where a 5db gain might make a significant difference.

Last week we had a 5" rainfall (several storms training over the same area for 24 hours). I lost KA signal 0 times on the 1M, while the slimline would pixelate, show 771, pop back on, and repeat, over and over for hours. Those extra 5db helped a lot in that rainstorm.

Whether its worth the expense is up to the OP, and how handy he is on modifying dish arms and LNB mounts, or if he wants to spend the big bucks for the DirecTv version.

I love mine.

Tivo Premier XL4, Tivo Premier, Tivo HD whole home on Xfinity HD, DirecTv Whole Home with 39" high gain KaKu dish, Roku3,SageTv 8 TB Win8 Server -> DVDO Edge-> Denon AVR, Klipsch KB15's/Panasonic 55ST60 plasma"


#28 OFFLINE   texasbrit

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 10:12 PM

Interesting info. Just FYI though most of both Florida and Texas are in a higher "rain rate" zone than Arkansas. Certainly here in DFW most of our rain fade is related to "supercells" where the attenuation is very high (dark red on the radar) but relatively localized. Unless the radar is showing red returns, I don't have a rain fade issue at all, with Ka and a slimline SWM.

#29 OFFLINE   NR4P

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 10:34 PM

I'm wondering if SWM has been a help or detriment to rain fade?
I do understand that the gain helps but it also made it possible to install Directv in homes with lousy quality RG59 cable buried in walls, and using old wall plates with crimp connectors.

In other words, it allows a poor "chain" to be used more often.

I think this is sometimes the case due to a friend who had a Directv install 2 years ago, it was a SWM system but 100% of his old builder in wall cable was used. He never had signal above 92 on 99/103c's. But me on the other hand not too far away with nice RG6 originally run for the older style systems has nothing below 94 on 99/103c's.

He has since left Directv due to constant rain fade and numerous service visits.

#30 OFFLINE   Davenlr

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 10:39 PM

But me on the other hand not too far away with nice RG6 originally run for the older style systems has nothing below 94 on 99/103c's.


Even with a 1M dish, Im not getting those readings. They are all in the 90's. but I have some 91's. Average 95, and highest conus is 97. So that extra power from the sat must be helping you some.

Another interesting anomaly I havent solved is my HR24-500 has about 3-4 points higher readings than my HR34 off the same 4 port splitter.

Tivo Premier XL4, Tivo Premier, Tivo HD whole home on Xfinity HD, DirecTv Whole Home with 39" high gain KaKu dish, Roku3,SageTv 8 TB Win8 Server -> DVDO Edge-> Denon AVR, Klipsch KB15's/Panasonic 55ST60 plasma"


#31 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 11:45 PM

I'm wondering if SWM has been a help or detriment to rain fade?
I do understand that the gain helps but it also made it possible to install Directv in homes with lousy quality RG59 cable buried in walls, and using old wall plates with crimp connectors.

In other words, it allows a poor "chain" to be used more often.

I think this is sometimes the case due to a friend who had a Directv install 2 years ago, it was a SWM system but 100% of his old builder in wall cable was used. He never had signal above 92 on 99/103c's. But me on the other hand not too far away with nice RG6 originally run for the older style systems has nothing below 94 on 99/103c's.

He has since left Directv due to constant rain fade and numerous service visits.

Not so sure of whether 91 matters compared to 97, as ever since I first started testing SWiMs, I've lost maybe 5 points, without any change to the dish, and with several different SWiMs too.
Your friend might have been able to offset any extra loss of using RG59, with an amp.
This whole thing [rainfade] really needs to be looked at as a whole system, or the whole chain from the SAT to dish, to coax feed losses, and finally the levels at the receiver.
You can't throw gain in where it won't do any good, but at the same time, knowing the losses will help you add gain where it will do some good.
Adding an amp for poor weather if not done correctly can cause problems during good weather.
The SWiM acts a bit like a switched amp that only adds gain to the weak signals, and attenuate when they're strong ones.
A.K.A VOS

#32 OFFLINE   marker101

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 04:34 AM

but more than me, my wife will flip out if she loses signal.

That's harsh over a silly TV show :lol:

It is one of the minor drawbacks..a brief outage every once in awhile. I find that snow outages (snow clinging to the dish) are worse than rain outages.

But, my cable company can only dream to have the amount of HD DirecTV does, so that alone is my motivation to suck it up for the rare occurrences of dreaded number 771.

#33 OFFLINE   trh

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 05:27 AM

If the OP went to a 1.2M dish, is he still covered under OTARD?

#34 OFFLINE   robl45

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 05:34 AM

That's harsh over a silly TV show :lol:

It is one of the minor drawbacks..a brief outage every once in awhile. I find that snow outages (snow clinging to the dish) are worse than rain outages.

But, my cable company can only dream to have the amount of HD DirecTV does, so that alone is my motivation to suck it up for the rare occurrences of dreaded number 771.


see this unfortunately is the problem of a national forum, you just don't understand, it isn't minor, its why so many people I talk to down here switch away from satellite. when i had dish, it was brutal in the summer, always dropping out. I had dish for years in Boston, the dish got covered with snow, I never lost signal, rain, nope, I thought people were crazy talking about rain fade. but down in florida, its very real.

#35 OFFLINE   MysteryMan

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 05:48 AM

There are drawbacks no matter what type of service provider one uses. With satellite there's rain/snow fade. With cable if the lines are down (accident, severe weather) or crews are doing maintenance you loose service. I subscribe to DirecTV and use Time Warner for my internet service. Cable serevice goes out far more then rain/snow fade with DirecTV.

DIRECTV customer since 1995.


#36 OFFLINE   CCarncross

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 06:32 AM

If the OP went to a 1.2M dish, is he still covered under OTARD?


No....OTARD covers up to 1m IIRC.

#37 OFFLINE   robl45

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 07:09 AM

There are drawbacks no matter what type of service provider one uses. With satellite there's rain/snow fade. With cable if the lines are down (accident, severe weather) or crews are doing maintenance you loose service. I subscribe to DirecTV and use Time Warner for my internet service. Cable serevice goes out far more then rain/snow fade with DirecTV.


again differences of living in other parts of the country. my uverse never goes out, EVER, since i've had it, the only thing that has taken it out is the box physically breaking which was replaced in 24 hours.

now of course hurricanes is a different story, but I consider that an extreme category. when I had dish during the last hurricanes, yes I was up before the cable people but it did take luck as I found someone that had a dish they weren't using so I could get the parts and fix my damaged dish.

#38 OFFLINE   robl45

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 05:30 PM

i kept forgetting to ask this, if I had it installed, is there anyway to test for rain fade while the installer is here, like spraying a hose over the dish or something?

#39 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 05:43 PM

i kept forgetting to ask this, if I had it installed, is there anyway to test for rain fade while the installer is here, like spraying a hose over the dish or something?

There isn't any standardized method to test for it.
If you could measure the output in dBm, dBmV, or dBµV, you could then monitor the output as you used things like wet towels on the reflector, or metal screen [layers] covering the LNB. These would attenuate the signal like what happens with rainfade, but you need to keep measuring the output, as none of these are calibrated.
"Maybe a good system" would still work with a 40 dB drop of signal.
A.K.A VOS

#40 OFFLINE   robl45

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 05:48 PM

well for measuring I was figuring if the tv is still showing the program, then it works, is that not good enough?

#41 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 05:54 PM

well for measuring I was figuring if the tv is still showing the program, then it works, is that not good enough?

That would work for "if you get" a signal, but can't work to know how much attenuation you have used.
A.K.A VOS

#42 OFFLINE   fleckrj

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 06:36 PM

i kept forgetting to ask this, if I had it installed, is there anyway to test for rain fade while the installer is here, like spraying a hose over the dish or something?


No. Rain fade is from huge quantities of water (as in multiple miles of dense cloud cover) between the satellite and the dish. Spraying the hose over the dish would not do anything unless one of the RG6 connectors was installed incorrectly, but those either fail immediately (without water) or else they take weeks to months to fail.

I only get rain fade when the storm band runs the same direction as the LOS from my dish to the satellite. Rain overhead does nothing. When storms come from the southwest, then I sometimes loose the signal for a few minutes before the storm gets to my house, but by the time the rain is actually hitting the ground at my house, the signal is back.

Hurricanes, on the other hand, come from the east or southeast. I did not loose the signal through several hurricanes and tropical storms, even though I got more than 8 inches of rain in an hour.

#43 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 06:49 PM

No. Rain fade is from huge quantities of water (as in multiple miles of dense cloud cover) between the satellite and the dish. Spraying the hose over the dish would not do anything...

It would depend on how much water you could put on the dish.
Wet towels do work VERY WELL, as I've used them, "but" without a meter or way to measure the attenuation, you have no idea if you're simulating a "light sprinkle" or the "monsoon from hell", making the whole test meaningless.
A.K.A VOS

#44 OFFLINE   CCarncross

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 12:58 AM

i kept forgetting to ask this, if I had it installed, is there anyway to test for rain fade while the installer is here, like spraying a hose over the dish or something?


WHen installed correctly, you should only lose signal in the worst conditions and usually only for short periods of time. Everyone occasionally experiences rain fade, if that is a non-starter for you, you need to stick with a provider that is hard wired and doesnt depend on line of sight to work.

#45 OFFLINE   TBlazer07

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 05:52 AM

are had [HD?] channels any better in the rain yet? My coworker down here in south florida says he switches to SD during the rain, is that the only solution?



Your co-worker is a fool, it's very dangerous to have TV's outside in the rain whether HD or SD. It will ruin your TV. But in any case wet HD is the same as dry HD sans the shock hazard.


;)




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