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Loosing satillite signal at night HELP


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24 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   cattledog36

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 06:44 PM

Can someone help me out? I have a slimeline 3 dish with aHR21/100 hd dvr.

During the day my signal readings are

101 96-96
99c 95-95
99s 77-77
103s 77-77
103ca 95-95
103cb 95-95
SWM 100-100

But at night around 10-11 my signal goes bad low 60 or gives me the 771 error. My FX, TNT SPIKE and some others for example will pixal and just freeze and i cant watch anything on these channels. But as soon as the sun comes up mid morning all is good. Also no trees or ubstructions are in the way, clear sight. This is driving me nuts. Has anyone had this problem and what could the problem be. Thanks

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#2 OFFLINE   Go Beavs

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 07:06 PM

The first thing I would look for is cabling and connectors. Look for loose and corroded connectors and damaged coax. The temp change at night might to be causing a poor connection to go out completely, only to work again when it warms up.

A while back, there were LNBs that were failing in cold weather so that might be a culprit too but I would look at cabling first.

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#3 OFFLINE   cattledog36

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 07:09 PM

I checked all the cables at the dish and they are tight I installed the dish this summer
so it fairly new.

#4 OFFLINE   davring

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 07:13 PM

I think Beav called it right, I've had two LNB's fail in the heat of the day and return to normal once they cooled. I'm sure the the same can happen in reverse, borderline electronic components can be finicky with temperature change.
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#5 OFFLINE   carl6

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 11:31 PM

Are you watching the same channels during the day, or different ones? In other words, possibly you are switching to a different transponder or polarity for the channels you watch at those times, and that transponder or polarity is bad all the time, but you are only detecting it when you change to those channels.

Check your signal strengths for all transponders on all satellites and make sure they are consistent (and high). In particular look for major differences between even and odd transponders, and between different satellites.

If that isn't the problem, then I would agree with cabling, connectors, or LNB as the likely culprit.

#6 OFFLINE   AntAltMike

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 05:55 AM

When you check the connectors, make sure that the center conductor is at least flush to the end of the connector or maybe even protrudes beyond flush by a sixteenth of an inch or so. I recently was having intermittent problems with off-air antenna reception and when I checked the connector that went into the pre-amp, the center conductor was protruding about 3/16" or so, so I knew I'd find that at the other end, it was short, since it meant the center conductor had migrated about an eighth of an inch.

#7 OFFLINE   Nick

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 08:14 AM

...the center conductor had migrated about an eighth of an inch.

OMG! :eek:

What unknown forces in the universe have been loosed upon the planet that would cause an RG-6 center wire to migrate .125" ?

God help us! :rolleyes:

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#8 OFFLINE   phlevin

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 08:58 AM

OMG! :eek:

What unknown forces in the universe have been loosed upon the planet that would cause an RG-6 center wire to migrate .125" ?

God help us! :rolleyes:


no comment on the migration, but a short stinger certainly can cause an intermittent connection.

#9 OFFLINE   jrwinter

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 09:06 AM

check your lnb!

#10 OFFLINE   JohnTSmith

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 10:37 AM

I have been having a problem with intermittent signal loss, and found this discussion

I am going to check my dish later today (have to get a ladder out of storage) but from the ground, the connections all look the same as when installed two years ago (still bright and no visible corrosion)

My 3 LNB assembly looks like it is all-in-one, meaning (I think) that if an LNB is going bad, I would have to replace the entire assembly (or call DTV for a service call, if they do not just send out a new assembly for owner replacement)

If the connections do still seem to be good... tight and no corrosion... is there anything I can spray on the connections to keep water out?

#11 OFFLINE   Go Beavs

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 11:57 AM

I have been having a problem with intermittent signal loss, and found this discussion

I am going to check my dish later today (have to get a ladder out of storage) but from the ground, the connections all look the same as when installed two years ago (still bright and no visible corrosion)

My 3 LNB assembly looks like it is all-in-one, meaning (I think) that if an LNB is going bad, I would have to replace the entire assembly (or call DTV for a service call, if they do not just send out a new assembly for owner replacement)

If the connections do still seem to be good... tight and no corrosion... is there anything I can spray on the connections to keep water out?


Dielectric grease would be one thing that pops into my mind for displacing water.

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#12 OFFLINE   AntAltMike

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 01:23 PM

OMG!...What unknown forces in the universe have been loosed upon the planet that would cause an RG-6 center wire to migrate .125" ?...


The combination of gravity and "wriggling", as this downlead is simply hanging vertically and swaying in the wind, unsecured. I've seen center conductor migration occur more often on very short coaxes that get frequently flexed.

#13 OFFLINE   TomCat

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 05:19 PM

When you check the connectors, make sure that the center conductor is at least flush to the end of the connector or maybe even protrudes beyond flush by a sixteenth of an inch or so. I recently was having intermittent problems with off-air antenna reception and when I checked the connector that went into the pre-amp, the center conductor was protruding about 3/16" or so, so I knew I'd find that at the other end, it was short, since it meant the center conductor had migrated about an eighth of an inch.

Please.

You are not trying to tell us that the center-conductor actually moved within the dielectric the full length of the cable, are you? The dielectric is all but bonded to the CC, for one thing, often literally so. Even if not bonded the amount of resistance to it moving independently is pretty formidable once the cable length gets over about an inch or so. All the Astro-Glide in the world wouldn't help.

Assuming this could be done, what moved it? Temp changes would act on the dielectric and CC nearly evenly, and even if they didn't the odds of the CC being able to move microscopically yet randomly only in one cumulative direction and not the other at every temp change are pretty small. That would be about as likely as the molecules of cream in your coffee all randomly migrating to one side of the cup. The physics just isn't there to support either of those things happening more than about once in a few billion years.

Back in the real world, there can be a number of reasons for a short CC. Having cut at least 10,000 F fittings over the decades myself long before I stopped counting, I can safely say that the second-largest reason is due to the person cutting the cable nicking the CC during the cut through the dielctric, the avoidance of which is a learned skill where you cut almost through the dielectric so that it actually has just a tiny bit close to the CC that is undisturbed, then you break that by pulling on the dielectric, never touching the CC with the cutting implement.

But lazy, tired, or unskilled workers can nick the CC in this process, and it eventually breaks off at that point.

Most of us were also trained to cut the CC for length by, as the last step, laying the Kleins against the body of the end of the fitting and cutting, which naturally leaves the CC exactly a 16th proud of the connector due to the chamfer of the beveled edges of the cutting surface. It's an easy way to get a consistent proper cut. It also makes mating the connector easy; insert the CC first, then you can engage the threads (if the CC is short, inserting the CC comes last in this process, in the dark, with no real confidence that it didn't just fold over instead).

But if you use a 3-in-1 cutter instead of using a knife (and an improperly set cutter can also nick the CC and/or cut it the wrong length) the CC length is pre-cut. If the fitting is not pushed on far enough before crimping, it can also be too short, and that is the chief reason you see short CCs.

The old-school method of using a knife is still the best for a number of reasons, but contractors have migrated to the 3-in-1 cutters because they are quick and more consistent despite the fact that method does not do as good a job, and you don't have to wait for new hires to build up the chops to cut a fitting properly, which can take a good couple of hundred failed tries before they really get the hang of it, even assuming they are that motivated in the first place. The cutter sort of takes much of the potential for human error out of the equation, but it adds some of its own in short CCs.

But you really have to have it recessed about a 1/4 inch or more before it becomes problematic, because the female F is designed with teeth that grab anything within a 1/16 of an inch from its end, meaning even a short CC usually is not really short enough to be an issue; there is a lot of margin for error.

But your advice is still well-taken.

I'm still curious how a long CC on one end of a cable portends a short one on the other. As we all know, length is important. Some like a little more length than others, and if one end is a little long, it usually means the guy who cut both ends left the other end a little long as well.
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#14 OFFLINE   Brubear

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 06:58 PM

another possibility is that you may have a compromised weather seal and some moisture may have gotten in. In the heat of the day it's ok, but at night it could be condensing and effectively grounding it out. Just a possibility...

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#15 OFFLINE   TomCat

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 04:26 PM

another possibility is that you may have a compromised weather seal and some moisture may have gotten in. In the heat of the day it's ok, but at night it could be condensing and effectively grounding it out. Just a possibility...


That's good advice, and the most-likely possibility when you can track a problem day to night. All F fittings worth their weight have an "O" ring at both ends, but that won't work if the fitting is not tight, which is defined as finger-tight with an extra 1/4 turn using a wrench.

But don't just check to see that they are all wrenched down, because the "O" ring can also just flat fail, and in that case "tight" is of little value. Open the connector and look for corrosion or discoloration (really best done with all STBs unplugged).
It's usually safe to talk honestly and openly with people because they typically are not really listening anyway.

#16 OFFLINE   scottp461

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 07:07 PM

I had exactly the same problem a while back; the culprit was the LNB!

#17 OFFLINE   AntAltMike

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 10:19 AM

...You are not trying to tell us that the center-conductor actually moved within the dielectric the full length of the cable, are you?


Yes, I am.

The dielectric is all but bonded to the CC, for one thing, often literally so.



Not always. I have had spools of RG-6 in which, on short cut jumper wires with lengths or one foot long or so, I can easily push the center conductor in with my fingertip.

Even if not bonded the amount of resistance to it moving independently is pretty formidable once the cable length gets over about an inch or so. All the Astro-Glide in the world wouldn't help.


I didn't say it was Gliding, Astrologically or otherwise.

Assuming this could be done, what moved it? Temp changes would act on the dielectric and CC nearly evenly,



Actually, the effect of the shrinkage differential that takes place due to temperature cycles is common enough and significant enough to have its own term, "suck outs". One commercial antenna company I briefly worked for called them "creepers" It was easy to find contemporary use of the term "suck outs" using google, but "creeper" didn't come up on the first twenty results, so I don't know if other installers ever embraced that term or not.

...and even if they didn't the odds of the CC being able to move microscopically yet randomly only in one cumulative direction and not the other at every temp change are pretty small. That would be about as likely as the molecules of cream in your coffee all randomly migrating to one side of the cup. The physics just isn't there to support either of those things happening more than about once in a few billion years.


But in my work environment, it's not random. I am in the commercial master antenna service business. Over the last twenty years, I have serviced the off-air reception systems in several hundred tall buildings. The common, non-randomizing factor in my environment is gravity. All downleads are vertical, and unlike cable TV home run wiring, which is horizontal, nearly all master antenna system distribution wiring is also vertical.

Last year, I troubleshot a couple of downleads on the channel 7 and 9, cut to channel antennas on Cathedral Park West, where they had had sporadic signal level fluctuations for years, and the center conductor in each F connector at the antenna end was sunk into the connector, and the center conductor at the other, lower end of the connector was correspondingly a little long. At the Regency Condominium, which uses vertical loop distribution wiring, I found that on the ten foot, floor to floop jumper between two apartments, the short center conductor was on the top of the jumper and the correspondingly long one was at the bottom, and recently, on my own sloppy home installation, where I have been experimenting with different antennas at my leisure and don't bother to tie down the wiring, I recently experienced the same thing, and I KNOW I didn't trim the lower end conductor slightly overlength, which is the way I found it when I also found the upper end downlead connector short. That's four in the last two years, and they weren't the first four I had ever encountered.

Edited by AntAltMike, 15 November 2012 - 05:39 PM.


#18 OFFLINE   cattledog36

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 11:58 PM

Ive checked all the connections and everything looks fine, I have a new LNB on order I will see if the problem is fixed most of the problem happens on the 103 ca sat it is doing it now during the day intermitten. Then it gets better so it makes me think the LNB is going bad.

#19 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 01:28 AM

also check if a reflector is not warped

#20 OFFLINE   xmguy

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 12:30 AM

I think Beav called it right, I've had two LNB's fail in the heat of the day and return to normal once they cooled. I'm sure the the same can happen in reverse, borderline electronic components can be finicky with temperature change.


I had this same issue with a cellphone a while back. It would not power on at room temp or while hot but if I put it in front of a window AC it would then work. Temperature changes make metal shrink and expand. I'd bet on that.
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