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Can high heat affect signal strength?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by Avder, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. Avder

    Avder Hall Of Fame

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    Feb 6, 2010
    Here in Fargo today we are approaching 100 degrees of actual heat and 110 degrees on the heat index. By coincidence, despite the fact that it is sunny, my signal readings are in the toilet. The 101 sat which usually reads high 80s to perfect 100s is reading mid 60s to mid 80s, and every other sat is anywhere from the high 30s to low 80s depending on the transponder. I am wondering if the high heat could be a factor. I don't remember it getting this hot at all last summer, and aside from rain fade lately due to unusually heavy rains my signal has been solid ever since it was installed in January of '10.

    Could the heat be the reason? Some kind of LNB issue with heat, or maybe some other heat expansion of the dish parts or the roof itself? I dont like watching baseball games and seeing the signal flicker for a second every few minutes.
     
  2. texasbrit

    texasbrit Well-Known Member

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    It will have no effect unless you have a fault somewhere. A badly-made connection could be affected by the expansion that you get in hot conditions, or you could have a heat-sensitive LNB.
     
  3. curt8403

    curt8403 Hall Of Fame

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    I agree with Texasbrit, except that high heat might change the signal strength by one or two points (but not more than a couple of points.)
    my statement is based on the fact that you might get a tiny bit of metal expansion.
     
  4. maartena

    maartena Hall Of Fame

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    I can't speak for Arizonians.... but they have cities like Phoenix that live through 110-120 degree heat sometimes for WEEKS at a time. I don't believe the heat by itself would have an effect.... just like -30 cold would not. (Ice, snow sure.... but not necessarily the cold itself).

    That said, Arizona is a very DRY heat, where in Fargo.... the humidity factor is probably extreme, so there could be condensation somewhere were it shouldn't be, such as exposed wire-ends etc.
     
  5. lesz

    lesz Legend

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    I'm in northwest Illinois and currently have very similar weather/temperature conditions with temperatures in the 95+ range and lots of humidity. Out of curiosity, I just checked my signal levels. For the 101, 110, and 117 satellites, signal levels seem about normal with most transponders running between 95 and 100. For the 99 and 103 satellites, signal levels might be a point or two lower than normal and running from the high 80s to the mid 90s, but, even there, I'm not sure whether there might be slightly lower signal levels because of temperature or, perhaps, because of the haze in the atmosphere, which does affect the Ka signals more than the Ku signals.

    As others have said, expansion of metal parts (or haze) might have a minor impact on signal levels, but it shouldn't be to the extent that you are describing.
     
  6. Avder

    Avder Hall Of Fame

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    Well thats lovely, so I either have to fork out some cash to ask a tech to come out, or hope that my reciever reports low signal consistently enough that I get one of those "Youve got low signal, would you like a free tech visit" calls.

    And my car broke down today. This is just effing perfect.
     
  7. ThomasM

    ThomasM RF Engineer

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    Milwaukee, WI
    We have heat indexes over 100 posted for tomorrow (7/1) here in SE Wisconsin also. But in my prior experience with DirecTV the only thing that affects a PROPERLY INSTALLED/AIMED SATELLITE DISH is heavy rain and/or ice & snow.

    There were some defective LNB's out there I recall that went belly up in the cold, but I can't recall any producing reduced output in high temperatures.

    More likely, a reduction in signal strength could be due to the receiver if it is overheated in a non-air conditioned home or even worse locked in an unventilated cabinet. That would be easy to determine by "checking it's temperature" from the system setup/info & test menu.
     
  8. mini1

    mini1 Icon

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    I'm seeing the same signal strength no matter the temp here in S. FL. It can be 110° in the sun during the day and I'm still 95-100 on 101 and 93-99 on 99/103. The only thing that knocks down the numbers or makes the signal drop out is a heavy rain cloud/monsoon rainstorm over the Southwest sky.

    Your dish may have been thrown out of alignment.
     
  9. RobertE

    RobertE New Member

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    LNB, possibly but unlikely.
    I'd put my money on whatever it's attached too expanding (moving) ever so slightly in the high heat or the reflector is partially shaded and the difference is causing it to warp a little bit.
     
  10. Avder

    Avder Hall Of Fame

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    Well, for what its worth I checked everything just now at 5 am and all the signals are normal again. I doubt its the reciever overheating cause the a/c had been on all day and its right by the TV, not in a cabinet or anything. But I will keep investigating. I hope I dont have to pay to have my dish redone.
     
  11. texasbrit

    texasbrit Well-Known Member

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    Just to add to the data - here in DFW it has been at 99-102 every day for weeks and there has been no change in my signal levels.
     
  12. usnret

    usnret Icon

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    Avder. What does it do when it's -20, same thing?
     
  13. David MacLeod

    David MacLeod New Member

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    am wondering about loose mount or flexing.
     
  14. Avder

    Avder Hall Of Fame

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    Didnt lose signal once at all last winter or the winter before that, not even during a blizzard.

    Might be. Right now the signal loss is tolerable. I'm going to wait and see if it becomes intolerable before I get some kind of call because my receiver keeps reporting bad signal.
     
  15. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

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    I've never had problems in the summer myself. I would think theoretically, rapidly rising air in front of the dish could diffuse signals but I doubt it would really account for more than a 1 or 2 point drop.
     
  16. Gene Steinberg

    Gene Steinberg AllStar

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    Echoing what someone else said. We had 118 degrees in Phoenix yesterday — no problem with DirecTV. If any of those services suffered with high temperatures, they wouldn't last one season here in the desert.

    Peace,
    Gene
     
  17. Avder

    Avder Hall Of Fame

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    Well today I'm losing signal like crazy so I went outside and looked at the dish and then looked around and saw something I never saw before...a big fricking tree in my neighbors yard that I think is getting in the way. So I think the tree is the problem. I don't know if its something that they just put in or if its something that's grown into the beam just this year, but I am convinced I need to get my dish repositioned now.

    Is there any way I can get a free tech visit and dish relocation out of this? Aren't installers supposed to ensure X amount of years before trees or whatever grow and get in the dish's way?
     
  18. curt8403

    curt8403 Hall Of Fame

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    I think they are required to check LOS at time of install, not for years later.
    Trees are specifically excluded.
     
  19. n3ntj

    n3ntj Hall Of Fame

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    Lancaster,...
    Heat is one of the major enemies of electronics but most electronic equipment (such as satellite equipment) is most often designed and tested for extreme conditions (down to at least -20 degs F and up to at least 120 degs F at least). I know because I am an Electrical Engineer. I would check all coax connections, dish connection to your home, etc.
     
  20. Avder

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    I thought they were supposed to place it so it would be at least two years before any growth got in the way.
     

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