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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Typical signal strength?


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52 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Amerikes

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Posted 13 July 2006 - 10:37 AM

My signal strength is always in the mid 70's, and I lose the signal during mid to heavy rain. Is this typical, or should I be getting a better signal?

I think the installer was in a rush to get this job done, and it would seem to me that the signal strength should be in the mid 80's to 90's anyway. It this too much to be expeceted, or did the installer not do a very good job of aligning my antenna.

I have only had directTV two months.

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#2 OFFLINE   Clint Lamor

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Posted 13 July 2006 - 10:41 AM

I just looked at the transponders on the 101 sat and most are in the mid 90's with some hitting the high 90's and 2 at 100.
R15 (500)
Sony A10 (Hooked to SA Tivo)
HR20 (Hooked to Toshiba Plasma)

#3 OFFLINE   Spicoli

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Posted 13 July 2006 - 10:53 AM

As long as there's not an obstruction in the dish's line of sight, you may need to do a little tweeking with the alignment.
-Jeff

#4 OFFLINE   directvfreak

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Posted 13 July 2006 - 03:00 PM

What receiver are you using. If it is an H-20, then your signal looks alright. Any other box, that signal is low.
Matt

#5 OFFLINE   Amerikes

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Posted 13 July 2006 - 03:08 PM

What receiver are you using. If it is an H-20, then your signal looks alright. Any other box, that signal is low.


Yes, it is the H20, and that is normal?

#6 OFFLINE   boba

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Posted 13 July 2006 - 03:30 PM

H20 receivers seem to display 10-20% lower than other receivers on the same dish.

#7 OFFLINE   Amerikes

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Posted 22 July 2006 - 07:50 PM

Ok, just lost my signal again during a moderate to heavy rain. Then is it safe to assume that with the H20 receivers, having a signal in the 70's, then I will be losing my signal more often due to rain.

This is not what I bargained for at all....:(

Will DirectTV be coming up with a better receiver, or what? Any answers?

Weather Channel Radar for Charleston shows a hardly perceptible patch of showers just in the area.

#8 OFFLINE   scott T

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Posted 22 July 2006 - 08:06 PM

If any of us are going to recite signal strength.
We must also have the following:
Location in USA
Dish type
Receiver model # or type

The signal strength depends on the WHOLE system. Not just one piece.

My D* is:
Location in USA = Cleveland, Oh
Dish type = 5 LNB (Mgf by Andrew)
Receiver (reading came from) model # or type = R15
Signal on transponder #1 = 91 on clear day
Signal on transponder #2 = 86 on clear day
Scott T

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#9 OFFLINE   Cap'n Preshoot

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 08:34 AM

As scott T correctly stated, your location has a great deal to do with what signal levels you can or should expect. Comparing signal levels in Charleston, WV with signal levels in Lutz, FL is not a fair comparison.

I would next like to address the comment made about signal levels on the H20 being 10 to 20% lower. I'm sorry, but I respectfully disagree. While it is normal to see some reasonable deviation in signal readings between the different receiver models, it will seldom be 10%. Although I have access to only a limited number of receivers, my old Hughes E86 compares right-on, transponder for transponder (101 bird) with my new H20. Our old RCA 420 reads only slightly higher, about 5%.

All of the above notwithstanding, if all or most of your signal levels are in the 70s and this is a new install, then I would ask that they come back and re-peak the dish. With the H20 in that area of the country I would expect signals in the mid-80s with your 101 spot beam transponder somewhere in the 90s.

..
The Cable and Satellite TV industry does not hold the patent on alienating its customers, but COMCAST in particular has succeeded in making an art form of it, garnering them the distinction of "Most Universally Despised" of all PAY-TV providers in the industry.

#10 OFFLINE   JLucPicard

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 10:53 AM

As far as signal meters in the receivers go, it was my understanding that the H20 versus other receivers was similar to reading temperatures on a Farenheit scale versus a Celsius scale. 95 degrees F is the same as 35 degrees C. Exact same temperature, lower "number" because it's using a different scale.

So what reads as in the 90s on a DirecTivo, for example, could transalte to a reading in the 70s on the H20 simply because the scales being used are different - the power of the signal being received is identical, even though the "number" on the H20 scale is lower.

That was just my understanding and I could certainly be wrong.

#11 OFFLINE   Larry G

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 05:32 PM

As far as signal meters in the receivers go, it was my understanding that the H20 versus other receivers was similar to reading temperatures on a Farenheit scale versus a Celsius scale. 95 degrees F is the same as 35 degrees C. Exact same temperature, lower "number" because it's using a different scale.

So what reads as in the 90s on a DirecTivo, for example, could transalte to a reading in the 70s on the H20 simply because the scales being used are different - the power of the signal being received is identical, even though the "number" on the H20 scale is lower.

That was just my understanding and I could certainly be wrong.

That is my understanding as well. I've seen posts in this and other forums that tell of H20 signal levels 10-20 "points" lower than other D* receivers in the same house.
That said, Amerikes, if you consistantly lose signal during "moderate to heavy rain" there is a problem with your system.
Dish alignment, moisture in connectors... something like that.
I say that because I have signal levels on my H20 in the 70's and it takes some very heavy cloud cover with really heavy rains for me to lose signal and then its back seconds after the "searching for satellite" screen appears.

#12 OFFLINE   Cap'n Preshoot

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 07:37 PM

Well gents, I am able to comment on this signal strength comparison thing because when D* came out to do the AT9 upgrade yesterday, they left the old dish, wiring, multiswitch, etc., all still hooked up because we still have 3 old receivers on the "old" system. The main reason for leaving the old gear was the 40" dish, which I told them was not leaving under any circumstances without them first prying my cold dead fingers from around it.

Now, having said that, yes, comparing system A (the old system) vs system B (the new AT9 system and the signal levels are indeed substantially lower on the H20 when it's connected to the AT9. However, if you connect the new H20 to "old" 1-meter Winegard (sooper-dooper signal scooper), the levels are right up there in the mid 90s (and a few 100s) right where they belong and almost exactly what they are on the old Mpeg-2 Hughes E86.

So for the sake of argument we hooked the old E86 up to the AT9 and yup, just as we suspected, substantially lower signal levels, by almost 20%.

So next it's "Up on the rooftop, click-clack-click" dragging the DRAKE TSM-1000A along for the ride. (Yes, I just happen to have one of these in my closet, doesn't everyone?). What the Drake meter tells us is that in spite of the accolades I awarded them previously, Direct Tech did a crappy job of anchoring the new dish to my roof.

I made no adjustments to the new AT9 but I did flex it a bit, pushing left & right then up and down. That's when I noticed the signal on the Drake jumped a full 10 db upwards (stronger) and that's when I also discovered that that the AT9 is just barely clinging to the roof. You can move it a good 5 degrees or more just by pushing lightly on it. Obviously this will never do.

Granted there is a 6 db gain disparity between the specs of the 1-meter Winegard and the AT9, but I honestly believe that if the AT9 had been properly installed, the playing field would be much more level.
The Cable and Satellite TV industry does not hold the patent on alienating its customers, but COMCAST in particular has succeeded in making an art form of it, garnering them the distinction of "Most Universally Despised" of all PAY-TV providers in the industry.

#13 OFFLINE   redmption

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Posted 24 July 2006 - 06:23 AM

I came on here this morning because I was woried about my signal strength and the first post I see is this one. I have the H-20 and all my signals are around 76% expect for the spot check which is around 92%. Glad to see its not just me

#14 OFFLINE   HockeyKat

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Posted 24 July 2006 - 06:44 AM

Here's my .02 for what it's worth -

I have an R15, a H20, and a DTivo (I forget the model #) all connected to the same multi switch going to my AT9 dish. Last time I checked, my H20 was getting signal strength readings in the high 70s to low to sometimes mid 80s. The R15 usually gets somewhere in the mid 90s. I haven't checked my DTivo in a while, but I think it's also somewhere up in the mid 90s. So it seems to be something in the H20 that doesn't register quite as high or something.

#15 OFFLINE   Stevies3

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Posted 24 July 2006 - 08:59 AM

Here's my .02 for what it's worth -

I have an R15, a H20, and a DTivo (I forget the model #) all connected to the same multi switch going to my AT9 dish. Last time I checked, my H20 was getting signal strength readings in the high 70s to low to sometimes mid 80s. The R15 usually gets somewhere in the mid 90s. I haven't checked my DTivo in a while, but I think it's also somewhere up in the mid 90s. So it seems to be something in the H20 that doesn't register quite as high or something.



Ditto for me, I have HDR-250, H20, R15 & D11. The H20 gets the lowest readings & they are all hooked up to same dish.

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#16 OFFLINE   Homebrew101

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Posted 24 July 2006 - 09:18 AM

I just had the AT9 and H20 installed on Friday. Signal strengths on previous equipment was in the low 90's. On the H20/AT9 it's in the low to mid 70's.

I commented on this during the install and the installer told me that his signal strengths up on the roof are almost 20 db higher than reported on the H20's screen. He said that the first time he installed the H20/AT9 setup he spent 2 hours trying to increase the signal strength after seeing it in the low 70's on the screen. Only after he called some one else did he find out that that's just the way that setup is.

BTW, it rained hard after he left and I still get rainfade but I do have poor line-of -site due to many mature trees. Rainfade had been discussed in great length with the installer. He tried readings at many possible mounting locations and picked the strongest one. He had to aim the dish under the trees at about a 35 degree azimuth. It looks like I always will have a problem unless I cut some trees down.

#17 OFFLINE   NVBlue

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 07:16 PM

90's, if not it is not properly aligned. Some installers are better than others. Ask for installer that is a "geek" and your installation should be better. One with a pencil protector would be the best. LOL

#18 OFFLINE   Cap'n Preshoot

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 07:28 PM

The trees are only a problem if they obscure the direct line of sight between the capture surface area of your dish and the orbital slot of the bird up in the sky. Compare to sighting-in a hunting rifle; if you can see the target, you can hit it. Nearby trees or foilage will have no adverse affect unless they are blocking this view. "Close" only counts in horseshoes (& hand grenades).

When I figure out how to take a good digital picture of the H20's transponder summary screen for the 101 bird and showing readings in the 90s & a few 100s I will post it here for y'all to see. Methinks someone is selling someone a bill of goods about "accepting" these lower readings. If the H20 can get 90s and 100's on one dish, it doggone well better be able to repeat that feat on the AT9 (or else the AT9 will give-way to 5 individual dishes and Cap'n Preshoot will have his old antenna farm back) ;)
The Cable and Satellite TV industry does not hold the patent on alienating its customers, but COMCAST in particular has succeeded in making an art form of it, garnering them the distinction of "Most Universally Despised" of all PAY-TV providers in the industry.

#19 OFFLINE   scott T

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 08:15 PM

..... Granted there is a 6 db gain disparity between the specs of the 1-meter Winegard and the AT9, but I honestly believe that if the AT9 had been properly installed, the playing field would be much more level.


Cap'n Preshoot - Where did you find the spec (gain) on the AT9?
Scott T

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#20 OFFLINE   Cap'n Preshoot

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 05:34 PM

Cap'n Preshoot - Where did you find the spec (gain) on the AT9?



I have not actually seen a published spec. Our Satellite contractor who did the pro system for us at my office "told me" it was approx equivalent to the 46 cm dish, saying that the "capture aperture" or footprint for each of the Ku LNBs was equal to that of the standard round 18" dish. He said he did not know how the Ka spec would compare except to say that the Ka gain figures would likely be much greater due to the dish size versus the much shorter wavelength of the Ka signal. This is evidenced somewhat in the much tighter 3-db (1/2 power) beamwidth of the Ka signals (response curve), making accurate dish alignment so very critical. Ask yourself, when ever has anyone gone to the trouble of providing the installer with an integral bubble level in every AT9 mast and why do you suppose that is?
The Cable and Satellite TV industry does not hold the patent on alienating its customers, but COMCAST in particular has succeeded in making an art form of it, garnering them the distinction of "Most Universally Despised" of all PAY-TV providers in the industry.




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