AM-21 Issue

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by Athlon646464, Jul 4, 2019.

  1. Jul 4, 2019 #1 of 29
    Athlon646464

    Athlon646464 Yada Yada Yada DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Picked up an AM-21 on Ebay. Installation on my HR54 was easy and straight forward.

    A couple of weeks ago I set up my antenna and used it by attaching it directly to my TV. The antenna pulls in all Boston market stations and most Providence market stations for me. (It's pointed at Boston.) It works great when connected directly to my TV.

    When I set up the AM-21 on my HR54, most of the stations I was getting with the direct connection were added to my DTV's guide. All was working fine - for about 2 hours. Then I started getting 'your signal is too weak' messages on a black screen on ALL OTA stations all at once. I thought it might be a bad USB cable (I was using the one they sent me), so I changed it with one I have that I know works for something else I have. I've since tried a third one, and even gone back to the original one - there is no difference in terms of the symptoms I'm getting with any of the cables.

    If I remove the USB cable from the HR54 (leaving both the HR54 and AM-21 on), and plug it back in, all the stations reappear like new. About an hour or two later, they go back out. It doesn't matter if I leave the HR54 on, or turn it off. (The AM-21 turns on and off with the HR54.)

    I've checked the OTA signal strength in the menu for that. Most stations are 85% and above, all are at least 60% and above. So, most stations are 'green' on the graph, some yellow.

    One thing that concerns me there, however, is tuner 1 - the signal strength is almost always much lower than it is on tuner 2. Sometimes tuner 2 will show 90%, and tuner 1 will show nothing. Sometimes both tuners will show the same signal strength. Because this is new to me, I don't know if this is normal or not.

    I've rebooted both the AM-21 and the HR54 a few times - it hasn't changed a thing. I also reset the AM-21 connection in the menu (went through setup again) - that did not work either.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Jul 5, 2019 #2 of 29
    techguy88

    techguy88 Well-Known Member

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    I've not heard of this with an AM21 before. I have 2 of them but I'm currently using 1 but they both work as expected with no video/audio issues.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2019
  3. Jul 5, 2019 #3 of 29
    techguy88

    techguy88 Well-Known Member

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    Although I'm having a different issue (not a big deal) I haven't seen this before. So previously I was using a leaf style antenna in my window and I was picking up my local 3, 8, 11, 29 and 30 with their sub-channels. At the time ch 30 (WQCW-CW) didn't have any sub-channels. In order to get ch 13 (WOWK-CBS) that is part of the Nexstar dispute I had to get my more advanced table-top antenna out.

    I went through the setup again so it would rescan to pick up ch 13 and noticed that chs 3, 8, 11 and 29 have the listings for all the sub-channels that are in D*'s updated database but then it has duplicates of these channels with their PSIP name but says "Regular Schedule". Only ch 13 shows normally with no duplicates and ch 30 now has the 2 new sub-channels that were recently added but not part of D*'s database (they just have the PSIP name with "Regular Schedule")

    Is there something wrong with the AM21 or should I just let it be? I took some pictures to show what I'm talking about.

    IMG_1338[1].JPG IMG_1339[1].JPG
     
  4. Jul 5, 2019 #4 of 29
    Athlon646464

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    I believe 'Regular Schedule' indicates they have not updated their database for your area yet. There are only a few left to do, by the way.
     
  5. Jul 5, 2019 #5 of 29
    Athlon646464

    Athlon646464 Yada Yada Yada DBSTalk Gold Club

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    I think a 'weak' tuner in my AM-21 might indicate bad (swollen) capacitors. At least that's what I'm finding in a few threads around the 'net. I may open mine up later and take a look.
     
  6. Jul 5, 2019 #6 of 29
    techguy88

    techguy88 Well-Known Member

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    The confusing part is for some channels like my ABC affiliate WCHS they have all the sub-channels in the database but after doing a rescan to add ch 13 to my guide after hooking up the more powerful antenna I'm now getting duplicates on channels I already had. The two new sub-channels for WQCW I can understand as they haven't updated the database yet to include them.
     
  7. Jul 5, 2019 #7 of 29
    Athlon646464

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    Ahh - I didn't notice the duplicate listing, just the 'Regular Schedule' bit. Try rebooting the DVR your AM-21 is attached to.
     
  8. Jul 5, 2019 #8 of 29
    texasbrit

    texasbrit Well-Known Member

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    Or just ignore it and see if it goes away
     
  9. Jul 5, 2019 #9 of 29
    Athlon646464

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    Well, I took my AM-21's cover off and everything looked pristine. I was hoping I'd see a bad cap or something I could easily replace.

    Sure is empty looking in there - they could have made that box about 1/4 the size they did. Maybe they wanted to almost force folks to put it at the bottom of their stack?
     
  10. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    Probably would have cost more to make it a DECA sized dongle back then so they figured if they can't make it small they might as well make it exactly the same size as the HR2x/H2x was at the time...
     
  11. scottchez

    scottchez Icon

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    Wonder if its a heat related issue after so many hours of use.
    In other words defective unit. I notice a lot of these being dumped on the market lately, many seem to be going to someone that has many dozens of them. Got to wonder why they have so many sell when just years ago there were shortages of them and they were going for $150 each.
    Could be defective.
     
  12. texasbrit

    texasbrit Well-Known Member

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    Idoubt it. Probably just a guide data issue that will clear itself up
     
  13. Athlon646464

    Athlon646464 Yada Yada Yada DBSTalk Gold Club

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    All I have to do though, to get it to work for a while, is unplug the USB from the hr54 and plug it back in.
     
  14. ejbvt

    ejbvt AllStar

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    I have noticed this with mine, too. All of my subchannels except one is in the database but they are almost all showing twice now. One listing with the WXXXDTX Directv calls and guide data and one with the PSIP calls and "Regular schedule" guide data. Rebooting didn't fix it and just waiting it out didn't clear it up like it has in the past. It's been like this for me for about two weeks I'd say. The duplicates don't appear on the master list to edit them out either.
     
  15. TXD16

    TXD16 Icon

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    If you haven't already done so, you should completely clear the OTA DB and do a rescan, which you can do by first selecting and running the "Reset Settings" option under Over-the-Air Antenna Setup, disconnecting the AM21 USB cable from the HR44, doing a double soft restart of the HR44 (or you could simply do a "clearmybox" or "clearmybox 2" keyword search) with the USB cable still disconnected, confirm that no antenna setup option is available under Settings and that no OTA data appears in the guide, reconnecting the AM21 USB cable to the HR44, doing another soft restart, and then going through the regular Sat & Antenna setup procedure.
     
  16. ejbvt

    ejbvt AllStar

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    I've done that before. It's soooooo fun.
     
  17. TXD16

    TXD16 Icon

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    Yeah, I know it doesn't rank high on the list of fun things to do with an AM21, but it has proven to remediate a number of AM21/OTA issues for me over the past ten years or so that I've been using AM21s, including the issue you're reporting. Try it and report back with the results...
     
  18. techguy88

    techguy88 Well-Known Member

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    I just followed @Athlon646464 advice and rebooted my HR44. I just pressed the red button on the front and it removed all the duplicate entries leaving only the ones in the database (like with the WCHS example). Since WQCW-DT2 and WQCW-DT3 are not in the database yet it kept the 30-2 "H & I" and 30-3 "StarTV" with "Regular Schedule". I didn't have to do the reset settings, clearmybox or disconnect the AM21 from the HR44.

    Funny thing is I help people with technical issues all the time and my first line is "did you try rebooting" I don't know why I didn't think of this first :eek::rolleyes: sometimes I just have to laugh at myself lol :tearsofjoy:

    I'm not sure why rebooting didn't fix it for you @ejbvt but it did for me :confused:
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2019
  19. ejbvt

    ejbvt AllStar

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    Rebooting for a different issue is what brought them there to begin with! I rebooted it today and the duplicates are still there. I will fiddle with the complete reset hopefully this weekend.

    When my market's database was updated and I rescanned, the same thing happened in that many stations showed up twice like this, but the situation corrected itself within a few days.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2019
  20. techguy88

    techguy88 Well-Known Member

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    Ah sorry I was unaware that a reboot caused the issue to happen again for you. Hopefully the complete reset will work. I'm thinking this might be a bug where they are allowing the HR44 and HR54 receivers to scan for sub-channels not included in the database again.
     

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