101 Alignment Relative to 99 and 103?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Installation/MDU Discussion' started by J Blow, Oct 12, 2020.

  1. J Blow

    J Blow Legend

    803
    62
    Nov 2, 2008
    Working through pesky 775 and 771 issues, I'm trying to get my alignment to a place where I know it's not an issue. I have the slimline dish with the 13 tuner LNB.

    I get mid 90s on 101 and mid 70s on 99 and 103. I know I have always had lower signals on 99 and 103 in comparison to 101 but it hasn't been this drastic of a difference in the past. I did move my dish so it seems like it would be an alignment issue. What I don't get is how would I still be getting the same on 101 but lower elsewhere - especially since it's a single LNB that can't move independently?

    Is 99 and 103 possibly more sensitive to the mast being absolutely level than 101? I'm in the upper midwest so do some locations lend themselves to lower signal on 99 and 103? What else could there be?

    Thanks
     
  2. jimmie57

    jimmie57 Hall Of Fame

    10,028
    851
    Jun 26, 2010
    Texas City, TX
    The 101 signal is not near as susceptible to alignment as the 99 and 103.
    Since you have weaker signals on 99 and 103,
    I think your alignment is off on the elevation.
    If it was side to side alignment you would have better and worse signals on the 99 and 103.
    When you adjust the elevation, mark the edge so you can move it back in case you move the wrong direction. Move it about the width of a pencil mark and give it 3 to 5 seconds to acquire the signal and then repeat until you get them in the high 80s or low 90s.
     
  3. J Blow

    J Blow Legend

    803
    62
    Nov 2, 2008

    If I had to guess, I would say that my elevation and side to side adjustments are as good as they are going to get. I spent a ton of time making adjustments with the two fine tuning dials to get max signals. I started on 101 to max that and then moved to the others. Once I had that maxed I really couldn't gain anything at all on the others but easily dropped signal with slight moves.

    As much as I hate it, I think I'm going to check out the level of my mast. It's mounted on a concrete foundation so I may have to shim corners of the mount to reach optimum level....or am I really barking up the wrong tree here?

    Thanks.
     
  4. litzdog911

    litzdog911 Well-Known Member

    12,485
    175
    Jun 23, 2004
    Mill Creek, WA
    Where are you located?
     
  5. J Blow

    J Blow Legend

    803
    62
    Nov 2, 2008
    Western South Dakota - the Black Hills.
     
  6. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

    21,738
    280
    Jun 14, 2003
    Salem, OR
    Perhaps your dish or LNB support arm is bent. Even if the mast weren't plumb, you could eventually arrive at an optimum setting (>90 on 99C and 103C) by tweaking with the adjustments.
     
  7. J Blow

    J Blow Legend

    803
    62
    Nov 2, 2008
    Kinda my thought until it was stated that 101 was much less sensitive to aiming, at which point I thought again that maybe the mast was out of level but good enough for 101.

    Maybe while I'm replacing the LNB I'll just replace the whole dish with the LNB since I have an extra one.
     
  8. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

    21,738
    280
    Jun 14, 2003
    Salem, OR
    Part of the problem may be that you're using 101W to do your alignment when you would be better served to use either 99W or 103W. If you get 90s on 99W and 101W but not 103W, then your skew probably needs to be tweaked. 101W is just too easy to grab to make it an effective choice for aiming.

    Have you compared your skew, elevation and azimuth settings with those recommended on dishpointer.com to see if you're getting something different?

    Things are orders of magnitude easier when you reduce the number of variables and the number one variable that will ruin all of the other settings is the mast not being plumb. It is the frame of reference for all of the other scales.
     
  9. J Blow

    J Blow Legend

    803
    62
    Nov 2, 2008
    So I started completely over tonight with making my mast as perfectly level as possible. I also installed a new dish and LNB but couldn't even get it to work - so went back to my old unit. I checked all the recommened settings in a couple places including dishpointer and I'm positive I have it correct.

    The weather was quite cloudy/rainy today so that might impact signal some but I can't get over low to mid 70s on most 99 and 103s. A couple are even in the high 60s. 101 topped out about 88 even when I tried to align that individually. Maybe something is bent as it does seem like I should be able to do better than that.

    I think I may have found the connection that's giving me the 775 errors, though....maybe.
     
  10. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

    26,414
    567
    Jul 25, 2002
    W.Mdtrn Sea
    I would try to fix the dish, then slightly move the LNBF arm … to left, to right, up and down, while watching signal level right there by your eyes... but moving very slow !
     
  11. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

    21,738
    280
    Jun 14, 2003
    Salem, OR
    I'd try the "new" dish with the old LNB since I'm assuming that the long-term dish or arm may be bent. If the results are similar, then the LNB is likely the problem. This diagnostic is uniquely to test the Ka signal level issue since you're not replacing the LNB assembly.

    An available parts diagnostic for the 775 issue would be to connect a fresh coaxial cable from the working LNB assembly to the PI and on to an HR24 (connected to the "Signal to IRD" port of the PI) and finally a display (when the weather isn't threatening) to eliminate the splitter and exiting cabling. This would require a couple of lengths of cable but everyone has that laying around, right?

    It is possible that "old" LNB assembly may also be the source of the 775 errors so I'm disappointed that your "new" LNB didn't work.
     
  12. J Blow

    J Blow Legend

    803
    62
    Nov 2, 2008
    The arms on the new dish and old dish aren't interchangeable. The old one says slimline on it, the 'new' came as a part of a complete tripod setup that I keep around for emergency use. I couldn't make the new LNB work at all...it was literally new - dish and all straight out of a box. I even went through the complete setup to change the LNB configuration, even though I thought you could get a signal without doing that. I couldn't get one either way. The one thing I didn't do is the new LNB on the old arm but since I couldn't make it work on a new dish, I knew I wouldn't be changing anything using the old. It's not an alignment problem as I know exactly where it needs to be to get a signal.

    I am starting to wonder if I didn't have a corroded or partially lose connection that impacted the 775 issue. At first I was getting the SWM not found message, of course after moving things around, but upon disconnecting and reconnecting a barrel connector just beyond the LNB arm exit, it went away.

    I have 1000 feet of RG6 so that wouldn't be a problem. The problem is that the 775 message is very intermittent. I might not get it for days or even weeks but then it's frequent at other times. It seems to mostly come out on Sundays during football! Tonight I will try to new LNB again but with old dosh (though I can't imagine it working) and then try the new dish with the old LNB to see what I get.

    Thanks for the thoughts!
     
  13. J Blow

    J Blow Legend

    803
    62
    Nov 2, 2008
    I did do this and really couldn't exceed the best signal levels much. I was also having the wife read numbers which is always more difficult, though.

    Thanks.
     
  14. J Blow

    J Blow Legend

    803
    62
    Nov 2, 2008
    Are there locations in the US where 99 and 103 signal levels in the 70s are just as good as it's going to get? Most of them are hitting mid to high 70s right now with one 99 sat about at or just under 70 - which is about 20 below what I'm getting on 101. Normally I could get mid 90s on 101 but haven't quite hit that recently. What's acceptable? If I have 90 for 101 am I wasting my time trying to aim for 95 again? How about 99 and 103? Ideally, what should I be striving for there?

    Is there a dish I could get that's made for lower signal areas if I can't improve it much...and would it be worth it? Finally, I am currently mounted on a concrete foundation wall so it's rock solid. Is there a reason to connect the support arms, too? I know it shouldn't matter when I'm aligning and the wind isn't blowing, but...

    Thanks for the considerations.
     
  15. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

    26,414
    567
    Jul 25, 2002
    W.Mdtrn Sea
    I would stop mocking for a few days … to see if the error comes up again... if channel's pictures would stable
     
  16. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

    21,738
    280
    Jun 14, 2003
    Salem, OR
    A photo of the "new" dish would be useful. Since your backup setup doesn't work, you should probably approach this as if you're going to end up with a new (to you) dish anyway.

    Since you're less than 500 miles from centroid of the US, there's no excuse for CONUS readings less than the mid 90s.
     
  17. compnurd

    compnurd Hall Of Fame

    3,711
    638
    Apr 23, 2007
    Evans City PA
    There should be no location in the US where 70's are as good as it gets.. You should be aiming for mid 80's and up
     
    J Blow likes this.
  18. J Blow

    J Blow Legend

    803
    62
    Nov 2, 2008
    It's still a slimline dish, just looks different. Here's basically what it is with a tripod. It looks exactly like that and has the SL3S LNB.

    [​IMG]
     

Share This Page

spam firewall

Advertisements