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Should I lose my signal everytime it rains?


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75 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   75sides

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Posted 01 September 2007 - 12:26 PM

I am a new DirecTV customer (about a month) and every single time it has rained this month (4 or 5 times) I lost my signal to the satellite. Is this common? Before I switched I talked to some people who said that they very rarely lose signal. There are no trees nearby to interfere and when I go out to look at the dish, it isn't moving in the wind. Is there something the installer could have done wrong to make my dish more sensitive to rain? If I call customer service will they just tell me that this is common and they can't do anything about it?


Thanks for the info. :)

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#2 OFFLINE   ryu

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Posted 01 September 2007 - 12:32 PM

No you shouldn't. I had the same problem, get your dish aligned.

What is your signal strength when it isn't raining?

#3 OFFLINE   boba

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Posted 01 September 2007 - 12:33 PM

You are in Fl. so your rains can be brief and heavy. Tell us what you have which dish, how many receivers, what models are they? What are your signal strengths on the satellite(s)?

#4 OFFLINE   Kevin Dupuy

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Posted 01 September 2007 - 12:46 PM

Which dish do you have, by the way? I rarely lose signal, but maybe twice in a month for two minutes each.

It's possible that your dish may not have a good lock, or maybe a little off on the signal from the sats. The 5-LNB Slimline is really susceptible to that.
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#5 OFFLINE   JLucPicard

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Posted 01 September 2007 - 12:47 PM

75sides,

If this is a dish alignment issue (sounds on the surface like it is), there should be no charge for the realignment within 90 days of the install, so I wouldn't hesitate to call and have it done.

#6 OFFLINE   armophob

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Posted 01 September 2007 - 12:50 PM

Your signal levels should be in the 80's or higher for each satellite you can get. Check them in the setup menu.

I lose mine in big storms briefly, but usually just before as the thunderstorm clouds block the horizon.

Even lotto loses signal in heavy rain.:)

#7 OFFLINE   toph

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Posted 01 September 2007 - 01:01 PM

I lose my signal during heavy thunderstorms like we've been having in Tampa. It gets very old, but no one else has the Sunday Ticket, sigh.
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#8 OFFLINE   Redlinetire

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Posted 01 September 2007 - 01:25 PM

I've found that my 5-LNB is much better (if aligned properly) than the 3-LNB I had previously. We get plenty of steady rain and thunderstorms here in Michigan but I lost signal for a total of 5 minutes for the 10 straight days of rain we had a few weeks back. But since it was during a tornado warning, I was in the basement anyway!

I understand the storms in FL may be smaller and more intense but I would still check into the dish alignment. You shouldn't lose signal in an average rainstorm in my experience.
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#9 OFFLINE   Herdfan

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Posted 01 September 2007 - 02:52 PM

One thing to remember is that in FL and other southern locales, the dish is pointed at a much higher elevation that in the north. As a result, it takes less extreme rain to produce rain fade. This makes dish pointing more important than up north.

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#10 OFFLINE   cbeckner80

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Posted 01 September 2007 - 02:57 PM

No you shouldn't. I had the same problem, get your dish aligned.

What is your signal strength when it isn't raining?


I have had the same problem since I had my D* installed. I have two R15's and one HR20.

My signals are over 96% on 101 and 119 and 86% on 110, but I still loose the signal when we have rain, and sometimes even when it doesn't seem that heavy. Based on what I've read in other posts, I shouldn't have a problem with that kind of signal strength. I just live with it and look at something I've recorded.

#11 OFFLINE   donshan

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Posted 01 September 2007 - 03:05 PM

I have had D* since 1999 and only had three times that it was raining hard enough to cause a loss of signal. In one of them I noticed I lost the signal when the thunderhead cloud hit the path to the satellite some 20 minutes before we got any rain at all.

However, I live in the desert area of SE Washington State where our rains rarely exceed 0.1 inch in an hour and 0.5 inches in a day is exceptional. I mention this because my experience is it is not just any rainstorm that is the problem with D*, but rather it is the intensity of the thunderstorm and rain that is the problem. When we get normal steady rains ( 0.1 inch /hr type), that can last hours, but without thunderstorm activity, we never lose the D* signal.

I think it is those high altitude, severe thunderstorm clouds with intense internal rain and hail that really block the signal. I expect that is common in Florida. I grew up in Texas and know what 'real" thunderstorms are like and tell my wife that I had yet to see a "real" rainstorm here in WA.

Edit: Forgot I had one incident where enough snow stuck to the dish to block it. Brushed it with a long handled push broom and it was back OK right away.
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#12 OFFLINE   Stuart Sweet

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Posted 01 September 2007 - 03:19 PM

Agreed, get your dish repointed right away.
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#13 OFFLINE   75sides

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Posted 01 September 2007 - 05:50 PM

5 LNB dish, HR 20 and 3 regular receivers
(A:222, E:50, T:58)

I waited until the rain was over and ran my signal tests in clear weather.

Signal Strength:
I assume the 0s are bad. Is 77 considered low? Also, my readings for the 99 (B) satellite seem low as well.

101 - Tuner 1
----
96 98 96 0 96 100 95 100
96 100 97 77 97 100 96 100
97 0 96 100 96 100 96 100
96 0 93 100 94 100 95 100

101 - Tuner 2
----
97 97 96 0 97 100 96 100
95 99 96 77 96 100 96 100
96 0 96 100 96 100 95 100
96 0 92 100 93 100 95 100

110 - Tuner 1
----
8=96 10 = 91 12 = 95 , rest N/A

110 - Tuner 2
----
8=96 10 = 88 12 = 95 , rest N/A

119 - Tuner 1
----
N/A until 22, then
100 91 98 96 100 100 100 100 100 0 100

119 - Tuner 2
----
N/A until 22, then
100 91 98 96 100 100 100 100 100 0 100

99 (B) - Tuner 1
----
0 59 0 51 0 53 rest N/A

99 (B) - Tuner 2
----
0 57 0 50 0 57 rest N/A

103 (a) - Tuner 1
----
89 92 91 92 90 94 17=0, rest N/A

103 (a) - Tuner 2
----
91 93 92 93 91 95 17=0, rest N/A

103 (B) Tuner 1
----
All 0 and N/A

103 (B) Tuner 2
----
All 0 and N/A

Thanks for all the responses.

#14 OFFLINE   RobertE

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Posted 01 September 2007 - 05:57 PM

5 LNB dish, HR 20 and 3 regular receivers
(A:222, E:50, T:58)

I waited until the rain was over and ran my signal tests in clear weather.

Signal Strength:
I assume the 0s are bad. Is 77 considered low? Also, my readings for the 99 (B) satellite seem low as well.

101 - Tuner 1
----
96 98 96 0 96 100 95 100
96 100 97 77 97 100 96 100
97 0 96 100 96 100 96 100
96 0 93 100 94 100 95 100


The 0's and the 77 are for spot beams not aimed at you. From those levels and from the ones I snipped, your getting great signals.

At this end, I'd rule out an alignment issue. I'd look for a connection/cable issue somewhere where moisture may be getting in the lines an causing an issue when it rains. Moisture could also be getting in the LNB as well, causing an issue.
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#15 OFFLINE   davring

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Posted 01 September 2007 - 06:16 PM

75, which channels are you losing? The reason I ask is because your MPG4(HD locals) are far more prone to rain fade. Depending where you are in Florida your HD locals come in from 99 or 103. I live in Laud (99) Tampa/Orlando(103). I am not sure on the rest of the state. If you get yours on 99, the signal is too low.

#16 OFFLINE   75sides

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Posted 01 September 2007 - 06:39 PM

75, which channels are you losing? The reason I ask is because your MPG4(HD locals) are far more prone to rain fade. Depending where you are in Florida your HD locals come in from 99 or 103. I live in Laud (99) Tampa/Orlando(103). I am not sure on the rest of the state. If you get yours on 99, the signal is too low.


I am in Orlando so it sounds like those are fine.

I lose all of them that I tried at least. Today I lost the big ten network for half of the third quarter of the game I was watching. I get a message that it is trying to locate the satellite.

#17 OFFLINE   armophob

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Posted 01 September 2007 - 07:01 PM

I just lost mine for 2min if you want to check Fort Pierce weather.

#18 OFFLINE   davring

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Posted 01 September 2007 - 07:10 PM

I am in Orlando so it sounds like those are fine.

I lose all of them that I tried at least. Today I lost the big ten network for half of the third quarter of the game I was watching. I get a message that it is trying to locate the satellite.


BTN comes from the 101, I believe. It is the hardest to get knocked out by the rain. It must have been a real gully washer. Trust me, I know how hard it can rain in Florida. We lose our signal at times, and on occasson for longer periods, but rarely for more than more than a couple of minutes. I have had D* for many years and have not found it to be a problem. When cable went out because of weather, it was out for hours. After Wilma, (huricane) my neighbors were without their precious cable for two to three weeks, I was up after one pull on the generator.

#19 OFFLINE   Tom Robertson

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Posted 01 September 2007 - 07:21 PM

RobertE knows of what he writes. You signals are actually quite awesome and balanced across all the Ku satellites (101°, 110°, and 119°) and look very good for 103°. Your problem is almost guaranteed to be something other than dish alignment.

So his analysis of water entering the parts of the system where water shouldn't oughta enter is most likely spot on. Sometimes an LNB cover can be cracked, letting water inside. Loose connectors, loose connections, or cable splits all can ruin a great signal, alas.

Since your install is less than 90 days ago, call DIRECTV. If the first CSR doesn't help, ask for installation support(?). This is not correct.

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#20 OFFLINE   davring

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Posted 01 September 2007 - 07:27 PM

RobertE knows of what he writes. You signals are actually quite awesome and balanced across all the Ku satellites (101°, 110°, and 119°) and look very good for 103°. Your problem is almost guaranteed to be something other than dish alignment.

So his analysis of water entering the parts of the system where water shouldn't oughta enter is most likely spot on. Sometimes an LNB cover can be cracked, letting water inside. Loose connectors, loose connections, or cable splits all can ruin a great signal, alas.

Since your install is less than 90 days ago, call DIRECTV. If the first CSR doesn't help, ask for installation support(?). This is not correct.

And welcome to the forums and DIRECTV! :welcome_s

Cheers,
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#21 OFFLINE   75sides

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 08:18 PM

I had a tech come out on Tuesday to take a look at my lines and dish to see if water could be getting into the lines somewhere.

My window was from 1 to 5 on Tuesday. At 5:15 I hadn't heard anything so I called D*. I was told he would be at my house at 5:30. At 6:15 it started to rain and I still hadn't heard from him so I went to the gym (my in-laws were at the house). He showed up sometime after 7 and told them the lines were fine and that I should just expect my signal to drop in the rain. He left his number in case I had any questions.

It rained Tuesday and Wednesday and both days, the signal behaved like I would expect it to. The transponder signals dropped into the 70s, I had the occasional stutter, and on Wednesday I lost signal for about 30 seconds in the worst part of the storm.

Tonight it rained again with about the same intensity as Wednesday. This time, the transponder signals dropped to 0 for every transponder (in multiple rooms) and stayed that way for close to an hour. I called the tech and left him a message but haven't heard back yet.

The behavior I saw tonight definitely does not seem normal based on all the great feedback I have received here (and also on the phone when talking to the D* CSR). If I get in touch with the tech and he tells me it is normal, what should my next course of action be? In my brief history with D* it seems like they don't want to take any responsibilty for the work their installers do (I had a problem with the install and they kept pawning me off on the installation company, even when the installation company wasn't resolving the matter in a way I felt was satisfactory). Is D* going to stick with whatever the tech says? Should I find an independant installer to come doublecheck the lines and dish? Will D* reimburse me if I do this?

Thanks again for all the great info.

#22 OFFLINE   cawgijoe

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 08:38 PM

I live in the Northern, VA area near Washington DC and we can get some doozy thunderstorms in the summer. I've been with Directv now going on thirteen years and have had very little rain fade problems. It will go out for short periods of time in a heavy rain or once, in a very heavy snow storm. Comes back pretty quickly though.

I would insist Directv come back out again when you are around and check everything out again. Follow the tech around if you can. He should check for cracks in the lnb shields and also whether the connectors are on tight or not.

Make sure you stay on Directv.

Maybe ask if a different tech can come out......

#23 OFFLINE   ziggy29

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 08:55 PM

Getting in late, but...it depends on what your signal strength is on nice days.

In the last house we owned in Houston, we used to see the reception pixelate badly in light rain oln some channels, and lost in almost any stronger rains. When I checked the signal strength, most of the transponders were in the 50s and 60s and even the spot beam for the locals (usually the strongest) was less than 80.

One day I went up on the roof to see if I could improve it with an adjustment, and after about five minutes of messing with it I was getting 98 or 99 on the spot beam by merely increasing the elevation a tad or two. Checking the other channels which were usually horribly pixelated and with strength in the 50s were in the high 80s or low 90s. After that it took a ridiculously hard rain to completely wipe out the signal.

So in conclusion, check the signal strength in good weather. If most transponders are checking in at the 80s or higher in good weather, maybe the rain is just that heavy. But if it's lower, chances are the dish needs realignment. A properly aligned dish should get 90+ on just about any transponder intended for your consumption in good weather.

#24 OFFLINE   PeaceOfMind

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 09:17 PM

I have been with Directv since 1994....with the old dish(90-95% signal), when it rained, the signal was lost(tried dish alignments, dish covers...the works). With the new dish(90-95% signal), when it rains, Directv signal is lost(tried dish alignments, calling Directv...the works). Now, when it rains and the Directv signal is lost, I call no one....I either watch the DVR recordings or do some house chores until the rain stops and the Directv signal returns. I learned to take the good with the bad....aka, lets say you really only want to purchase the 30 channels that you really watch...no can do....you must purchase a high price package of 1 or 2 hundren channels that you will never watch, just to get the 30 channels that you wanted in the first place....thus, learn to take the good with the bad....rain fade and the purchase of channels that you will never watch. I still like Directv over their competition. When Directv has tried all that it knows to do and you are still getting rain fade....watch a DVD, DVR, or VCR movie, until the rain stops.

#25 OFFLINE   MIMOTech

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 06:41 AM

With the 5 LNB dish it takes lots of very heavy rain to loose sigs from the 101 110 and 119 sats. This dish has as much area as my old 3 dish system in one dish. For the KA band there is even more gain, but I find that frequency band has far more loss and will be the first to go in such a heavy rain storm. Alignment is critical, you can have very good signal levels on 101, 110 and 119 and still loose signal if it is not aimed correctly. I have my own meter (Accutrac 3) and my signals on 99b which is what I get my locals on are mostly 100 with one 97 at the lowest. If the aiming for the 99 and 103 sats is perfect you will see the results on 101, 110, 119 as greatly improved fade resistance.




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