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Advice on an intermittent 771 problem


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36 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   HarleyD

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 05:24 PM

I recently added a second HDTV to my setup. I requested a pair of BBCs from D* and connected the new TV to my existing R22.

Before I added this TV I had two of the lines from my Slimline 5LNB going to my HR20 and the other two to a powered legacy 4X8 multiswitch that fed all of my old legacy MPEG2 STBs as well as the R22 and the world was a happy place.

When I added the second HDTV I connected the WB68 that the installer had left for me when he first installed the dish 5 years ago. I ran two of the WB68 outputs to the HR20, two to the R22 (with the BBCs) and two to the 4x8 multiswitch. Two outputs are unused. And for the first few weeks the world was again a happy place.

Recently I began getting intermittent 771 errors on Satellite in 2 on the R22, only on HD channels, only in the evening and not every evening. As a troubleshooting measure, I moved the cables for the R22 to the two previously unused outputs on the WB68 and the problem persisted. Then I swapped the satellite connections on the back of the R22, BBCs and all between SAT1 and SAT2 and sure enough, the intermittent 771 errors moved from SAT2 to SAT1. Tonight I am going to swap just the cables and leave the BBCs in place and see if the problem follows the cable or stays with the BBC as a final measure to isolate the problem.

I am however more suspiscious of the cables. The cables from the WB68 to my DVRs are pre-fabricated 100' RG6 cables so it's a pretty substantial run but I've had no issues until now. I am not so naive as to not realize I may have just been lucky up to this point and I have now introduced a non-powered multisiwtch into the equation. I'm thinking that since the problem arose when I went to HD on the one DVR that it could be a problem with signal loss over the length of the cable. But since the problem is confined to the HD channels I cannot rule out the BBC (at least not yet).

I was looking into adding a Power Inserter/Polarity Locker. The Sonora HRPID1422A is frequently referenced but when I search Solid Signal's site it isn't found any longer, links to it from other threads in this forum now return just general multiswitch search results and I am suspecting it may be discontinued. What I do find is a Sonora 5SATPL-T SlimLine Ku/Ka Polarity Locker Power Inserter which appears to be a newer version of the same thing. Would this be the thing I need if in fact the problem is isolated as signal loss over the length of the cable? I also found a similar item from DirecTV a SR 6SPI DIRECTV Power Inserter but it is more expensive and quite frankly...it looks cheesy and doesn't have the "brand name reputation" of the Sonora.

I still hold slim hope that it is in fact the BBC that is bad, but in my lifetime I have not normally been that lucky.

I invite the comments and opinions of this learned community.

Oh, and I am not retarded. ;)
"Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible."
--Frank Zappa

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#2 OFFLINE   NR4P

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 07:05 PM

You may have had a marginal system before, introduced more connections and lost a few db of signal.

What are your daytime, clear day readings on Tuners 1 and 2 of the following Sats?
99C
103ca
103cb

If they aren't 90+ on just about all of them, then you are starting with a substandard system that will degrade quickly with long coax runs and multiple hardware connections.

#3 OFFLINE   MrShowtime

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 07:13 PM

I would check your connections, especially on the outside, the copper could be a little bit short. Or the b-band could be going
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#4 OFFLINE   HarleyD

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 07:25 PM

I'll check the signals in the morning. Can't be too sure. But I've always had solid signals in the 90's across the board on the HR20 for the last 5 years and of course from the 101 on all the legacy tuners.

But...assume nothing. I'll check them tomorrow.

Also, swapped the cables and left the BBCs where they were and everything is working fine this evening. I can't check anything right now. My wife is deeply immersed in Dancing With The Stars and then Castle comes on after that. I won't get to fiddle with it while she's watching those and she's settled in. I won't even try to chase her into the family room while I fool with this.
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#5 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 10:16 PM

You seem to be going the right direction.
I'm not sure your 100' is a problem "but" is it solid copper core, or copper clad?
If not solid copper core, the change to a non powered switch may mean you're having a voltage drop from the receiver to the switch and on to the LNB.

What happens if you have your HR20 tuned to the same channel you're having problems with on the R22?
A.K.A VOS

#6 OFFLINE   HarleyD

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 05:07 AM

About to check the signals. I'll post those in a moment.

I've been able to have the same program on the HR20 and the R22 without issue. When I am experiencing the problem I can tune IN an HD program in on the HR20 and been unable to tune in that same program or any other HD program on the R22.

The cables have been in place for many years. Some for as much as 11 years. I don't have the original specs and have not kept track of which were first, etc. All I know is that they are RG6 cable an 100' long.

I do recall buying 2 of them at WalMart with the "Philips" brand name plastered on them and I believe some of the others were branded "RCA" and purchased at Lowes, which bears no relationship to which Chinese sweatshop cranked them out at that time.
"Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible."
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#7 OFFLINE   HarleyD

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 05:29 AM

99c, SAT1
1 - 8 97 95 95 95 95 93 95 93
9 - 16 95 94 95 94 97 95 N/A N/A
17 - 24 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
25 - 32 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

99c, SAT2
1 - 8 96 95 95 95 95 92 95 94
9 - 16 94 94 95 95 96 95 N/A N/A
17 - 24 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
25 - 32 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

103ca SAT1
1 - 8 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
9 - 16 99 98 98 97 97 96 98 98
17 - 24 96 96 99 97 96 96 99 99
25 - 32 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

103ca SAT2
1 - 8 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
9 - 16 96 97 98 97 97 96 98 97
17 - 24 97 96 99 97 97 96 98 97
25 - 32 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

103cb SAT1
1 - 8 98 97 95 95 95 95 94 95
9 - 16 94 92 92 92 92 92 N/A N/A
17 - 24 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
25 - 32 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

103cb SAT2
1 - 8 97 96 95 95 95 95 92 92
9 - 16 93 90 92 91 91 89 N/A N/A
17 - 24 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
25 - 32 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

Not bad, considering that in March 2007 when the dish was installed a couple of these birds weren't even flying yet
"Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible."
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#8 OFFLINE   HarleyD

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 05:34 AM

Now something else occurs to me.

I haven't seen the problem again since I changed the cables to the opposite BBCs. Now I've gone a day without seeing it before so I'm not too excited yet, but what if the copper core is a little short on one of the cable ends coming to the STB? And what if it happens to connect better with one BBC than the other? Manufacturing variances being what they are. It wouldn't be the first time I saw a cable work in one connection and give me problems in another...or respond to a jiggle or a twist. Theoretically, the problem could just stop.

Oh and the cable from the WB68 to the dish was supplied by Mastec at the install so I think that's probably pretty good cable.
"Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible."
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#9 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 07:22 AM

I do recall buying 2 of them at WalMart with the "Philips" brand name plastered on them and I believe some of the others were branded "RCA" and purchased at Lowes, which bears no relationship to which Chinese sweatshop cranked them out at that time.

This suggests they might not be copper core, but it should be fairly easy to look at the end of the cable and see if it looks silver, or since copper clad has a steel core, use a magnet.
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#10 OFFLINE   HarleyD

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 07:42 AM

I can look when I get home.

So if the internal impedence can vary based on the construction of the wire core, just what does the classification "RG6" actually tell us?

I was always under the impression that one thing it specifically spoke to was the internal impedence of the cable. That doesn't mean I was right. I'm open to learning more as I go.
"Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible."
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#11 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 08:24 AM

I can look when I get home.

So if the internal impedence can vary based on the construction of the wire core, just what does the classification "RG6" actually tell us?

I was always under the impression that one thing it specifically spoke to was the internal impedence of the cable. That doesn't mean I was right. I'm open to learning more as I go.

There are two parts here:
RG6 is 75 ohm impedance coax. The is the RF signal component.
The center conductor for SAT service has a DC component, since the receiver needs to power the LNB.
CATV doesn't have a DC component, so solid copper core isn't needed.
Solid copper core has about 5 times less resistance than copper clad, so there is less voltage drop for the DC.
A.K.A VOS

#12 OFFLINE   cabletech

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 11:31 AM

I have read thru this post a couple of times to be sure I am tracking correctly and here is what I see.

The following is based on what I see to be a slimline legecy dish with 4 cable output.

1) You have two cables from your dish going directly to a wb68? You need to have all 4 cables feeding the wb68.

2) you say you have two cables from the wb68 to the legecy 4x8, remove the 4x8 and the power unit.

3) The prefab 100' cables are more then likely from Lowes or home depot and are very inferrier in quiality and are known to fail over time.

4) you say you try to tune in a HD program on the R22 at the same time as the HR20, as the R22 is NOT a HD reciever this will not work.

So..what you need is, 4 cables from your dish to the wb68 NO POWER INSERTERS OR AMPS, no 4x8, then 2 cables from the wb68 to each of your recievers with good connecters and you should be good to go.

#13 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 12:07 PM

4) you say you try to tune in a HD program on the R22 at the same time as the HR20, as the R22 is NOT a HD reciever this will not work.

R22 when on an account with HD service will also receive HD, since it's a HR21 by nature.
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#14 OFFLINE   HarleyD

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 02:38 PM

I have read thru this post a couple of times to be sure I am tracking correctly and here is what I see.

The following is based on what I see to be a slimline legecy dish with 4 cable output.

1) You have two cables from your dish going directly to a wb68? You need to have all 4 cables feeding the wb68.

2) you say you have two cables from the wb68 to the legecy 4x8, remove the 4x8 and the power unit.

3) The prefab 100' cables are more then likely from Lowes or home depot and are very inferrier in quiality and are known to fail over time.

4) you say you try to tune in a HD program on the R22 at the same time as the HR20, as the R22 is NOT a HD reciever this will not work.

So..what you need is, 4 cables from your dish to the wb68 NO POWER INSERTERS OR AMPS, no 4x8, then 2 cables from the wb68 to each of your recievers with good connecters and you should be good to go.


No, you misread. I probably wrote too much in the OP. All 4 cables from the dish are going to the WB68. The WB68 outputs go to....

2 to the HR20
2 to the R22 (which operates as an HD DVR when another active HD DVR is on the account) BBCs are in place on the R22
2 to the legacy 4x8 powered MS (Eagle Aspen if it matters)
2 unused.

The 4x8 is necessary as I have a total of 7 legacy tuners to support (2 R10s, 2 DRD420s and an old Hughes Silver Series E11).

Everything works most of the time. I get a 771 error on one tuner of the R22 occasionally, in the evening, on HD channels only.
"Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible."
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#15 OFFLINE   HarleyD

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 04:41 PM

OK, looking at the cable ends was inconclusive to my old eyes in the poor light behind an entertainment stand...even with a flashlight...but the magnet tells the tale.

Both cables have copper-clad cores.

So at this point I guess I wait for the problem to recur.

If it moves back to SAT2 after I swapped out the cables but left the BBCs where they were then it's cable-related.

If it remains on SAT1 I have a bad BBC.

If it doesn't recur I had a twitchy connection somewhere that was made more secure by my fiddling around.

Thank you.

BTW, my question in the OP never got spoken to. The Sonora HRPID1422A does not appear to be available from Solid Signal any longer. Is the Sonora 5SATPL-T an equivalent or better?
"Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible."
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#16 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 04:47 PM

BTW, my question in the OP never got spoken to. The Sonora HRPID1422A does not appear to be available from Solid Signal any longer. Is the Sonora 5SATPL-T an equivalent or better?

First I thought it would be valid to see if you needed one.
Since you have copper clad, there is a good chance one would help.
http://www.solidsign...cker-(4SATPL-T)

http://www.sonorades...rget=commercial
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#17 OFFLINE   dimeslime101

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 05:23 PM

You have a total of 11 tuners running off of a daisy chained 6x8. What you need to do is get another 6x8 and use power passing splitters to make a total of 16 tuners from the 6x8s

#18 OFFLINE   HarleyD

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 07:09 PM

I'd really like to preserve the 4X8. The powered 4x8 allows me to diplex an OTA antenna to all of the legacy boxes. Most of them don't matter since the sets themsleves have NTSC tuners (I do have a couple of ATSC converter boxes thanks to the Gub'mint) but on one of them I take the unstacked OTA at the other end and run the cable through the wall to the ATSC tuners on the HR20. That I use a lot. If I can solve the problem with a power inserter that would be my preference since my next option that would preserve the OTA capability at the HR20 and feed all 11 tuners would be a SWM16. That would free up one of the two runs to the HR20 for OTA exclusively and set me up to add an AM21 to the R22 but that's a good bit more expensive than just a power inserter.
"Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible."
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#19 OFFLINE   NR4P

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 07:30 PM

How many legacy boxes do you have? I am thinking a SWM8 may be a good choice for you. Have you considered that?

#20 OFFLINE   HarleyD

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 09:01 PM

Four legacy boxes, totaling 7 tuners.

2 DirecTivo R10s (two tuners each)
2 RCA DRD420s
1 Hughes HIRDE11
"Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible."
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