311 receivers frequently failing

Discussion in 'Standard Definition Receiver Support Forum' started by Enrique, Jul 9, 2009.

  1. Enrique

    Enrique New Member

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    Jul 9, 2009
    I have inherited a commercial installation to maintain, installed by another company.
    The system is comprised of 15- 311 receivers, 4- DP34 switches, and one 18" dual LNB(119/110) dish. On a hilltop, no trees around.

    My BIG problem is, the receivers frequently intermittently fail. We find them with black screens, on channel 9600/9800, Dish500 screens, you name it. Sometimes we get a multi-dish switch failure message, where changing switch ports gets everything working. Normally resetting power restores operation, today operation returned after running a Check Switch, but it may have been because it was on channel 9XXX instead of 418. Usually 1-2 fail per week, sometimes more. Failure occurs in clear, rainy, & stormy weather.

    This rack of 3 per shelf produces much heat in an already hot room, so we installed 5 fans to help cool each group of 3 stacked receivers. We also added taller rubber feet for greater spacing. We installed UPSs to power the receivers to rule-out power problems.

    The signal levels are under 75% and that will be improved this week hopefully.

    Could heat be causing this?
    Are these receivers junk?
    Is it from low signal levels?

    To clarify, when the receivers fail, we always manage to get them going again. We have never swapped-out or replaced one. They have all failed at one time or another, and were returned to normal operation. Early on, the tech-support person walked us through different checks, and they ended up working -- we've never reached the point where they suggested replacement.

    Any suggestions appreciated.
     
  2. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

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    Nov 13, 2007
    It sounds heat-related to me. Normally when these receivers are used in a head-end system, we mount them sideways to increase airflow, but the room still needs additional cooling.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. scoobyxj

    scoobyxj Godfather

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    Apr 15, 2008
    How are the 44 switches configured? IIRC Dish only recommends two switches on each line from the dish. Also FWIW unless you're running DP+ equipment DP34 switches would probably be a better choice. They don't require as much power therefore less heat. On regards of heat that would be my first guess as to the problem, but I find 322's stacked on top of each other, or DVRs setting on top of 322's in homes. However there usually in a cool basement not a heat laden head end.




    EDIT: Sorry I reread the OP, and caught that you're already using DP34 switches.
     
  4. scooper

    scooper Hall Of Fame

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    I don't think you're supposed to run 3 switches off a main like that - so you probably should think about a 2nd dish for at least one of the DP34 switches. But yes - more cooling is ALWAYS a good idea with packed electronics.
     
  5. scoobyxj

    scoobyxj Godfather

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    Apr 15, 2008
    Not necessarily a second dish, but if your using two duals I would run another pair of lines down, if your using a DP Twin I would recommend going to DP Duals, or a DP Quad. If you have a DP+ Twin I definitely would swap it out for a DP LNB set up. Using a + LNB on any kind of external switch (regardless if it's supposed to be compatible) is asking for issues.
     
  6. BobaBird

    BobaBird EKB Editor

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    Mar 30, 2002
    Diagrams from Dish show up to 3 DP34 or DPP44 switches chained off each output of a Dual.
     
  7. woodybeetle

    woodybeetle Legend

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    Feb 27, 2008
    If this is in a commercial application, which I assume it is, check and make sure the software is up to date. I have seen the 311 receiver get "bitchy" and go to black screen or the shopping networks if it is not current with the new software.
    We have our techs force a software download every three months by holding the power button in until the led goes out, wait 15-30 minutes, repower the receiver, verify software issued to what Dish says is the current.
    This should solve the black screen issue, now for the 3 receivers on top of each other, place them vertically on the shelf, 8 will fit on a shelf in that position. A properly built headend should have temps of no more that 115 on the modulators if it is properly cooled in a room at 70 degrees on the AC unit. Any hotter and you run the risk of a premature failure. We recently had to remod a complete 84 channel system due to the security guard turning the AC off in one of our properties over the course of a weekend. Our last reading in the room before out wed temp sensor went out was 197 degrees, and they wondered why they had bad reception on their tv's.
     
  8. scooper

    scooper Hall Of Fame

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    True - which is why I suggested if they have all 4 DP34's in one daisy chain there is a problem. The OP did not say how the switches were wired, though..
     
  9. BobaBird

    BobaBird EKB Editor

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    Mar 30, 2002
    Maybe they just need a little TLC, as shown in post #2. ;)

    BTW, where is our illustrious Thread Starter?
     

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