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Dish alignment - I'm at wit's end!

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Installation/MDU Discussion' started by stevecon, Sep 8, 2012.

  1. stevecon

    stevecon AllStar

    Sep 5, 2006
    I'm installing a second dish on my property to supply an HR22-100 in a guest house, because it's to far to run a cable from the original dish. I'm in the Boston, MA DMA and understand that all my programming is found on the 99, 101 & 103 birds.

    I was given a Slimline dish & SL5 for free from a neighbor that left DTV, so there was no expense to me outside of my time. I figured I could install it as it would be mounted on a pole in concrete in the ground and will be all of 2 feet from the ground to the bottom of the dish, and has an unobstructed view over a lake. I also thought this would be a good learning experience and was "gung-ho" to start it.

    The pole is perfectly plumb and I set the dish as per the the pointing directions on screen. I ran all 4 cables to a ground block and ran two from the block to the HR22-100. Eventually, I will probably add an SD-DVR to the unused pair of coaxes at the ground block. I chose SL5, multi-switch and dual tuners for my setup. I was told I didn't need to install the B-Band converters, so I didn't.

    Using my TV signal meters as a guide, I got signal levels in the 95 - 100 range on 101, 110 (or 119 - I forget) and 85 - 95 on the 103. The 99 however, resulted in all 0's. I couldn't understand why I could have a seemingly perfect alignment 3 or 4 birds and have zero signal on the 99. I assumed I had a bad LNB and ordered a new SL3. I could watch the HD programming that was available on 101 & 103 and the SD versions on those that weren't available.

    The SL3 arrived and I expected a plug & play situation. but this was not the case. I changed my setup to reflect an SL3 & multi-switch w/ dual tuners. I got the exact same signal results. The 99 was still elusive. I tweaked the dish and realized that I hadn't waited long enough for the 99S signals to appear on the TV. The signals on the even transponders gave 0s but the odd gave about 30. The 99C still gave 0s. When done with the set up, the test results showed only the 101 with check marks - and nasty red blocks with an "X" for BOTH the 99 and 103!

    I'm completely lost at this point. I don't know what the problem could be. Do I need a satellite meter (like an Accutrac MKII) to do this job effectively or something else? I refuse to be beaten, but realize I need some additional help.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. evan_s

    evan_s Hall Of Fame

    Mar 3, 2008
    You need the B-Band converters. Unless you have a HR-23 or a SWiM system (would only have one cable not 4 on the dish) you have to have the BBC to get the majority of the hd channels.
  3. jimmie57

    jimmie57 Hall Of Fame

    Jun 26, 2010
    Texas City, TX
    I have read several times that if you call DirecTV and ask for the B Band Converters that they will send you what you need for free.
    When you get those on it sounds like you will be in good shape.
  4. caseyf5

    caseyf5 Member

    Mar 21, 2009
    Hello stevecon,

    I'm no expert but you are using a legacy system with 4 cables coming from the dish. This is a legacy type multiswitch install (even if the multiswitch is not installed as you only need up to 4 cables) so it is not a SWM install so the BBC's are necessary to get the HD from the 99 and 103 degree satellites. It is much easier to align a dish with only 4 degree of difference (99 to 103 arc) than 20 degrees of difference (99 to 119 degree arc). Assuming the dish is not damaged in any way (examine it with a fine tooth comb) you should be able to align it to the maximum signal level on 101 and using the SL 3 it most likely would not need any adjustment. If you convert it to SWM then only one coax cable is needed for each receiver/DVR and no BBC's. The difference between the SL 3 and the SL 5 is that the SL 5 sees the 110 and 119 degree satellites while the SL 3 does not. Currently the 110 degree satellite has no directv programming while the 119 degree satellite has a very few English language programs, a few music channels and Spanish language programming. If you do not subscribe to the Spanish language programming I would just use the SL 3 as you will not be missing much. To sum up put one BBC on each cable that goes to each tuner to get the HD signals. At the grounding block I would install 2 - 75 ohm terminators on the open connection ports.. There are 2 main reasons for doing this. First is to apply a load to the SL and the second is to protect the connectors at the grounding block from corrosion. This will facilitate a higher signal level at the receiver/dvr whenever you install it. If this does not help then I hope that someone else can assist you.
  5. satman333

    satman333 New Member

    Nov 11, 2007
    You definitely need the B-band converters. That is your entire problem.
  6. longrider

    longrider Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

    Apr 21, 2007
    Elizabeth, CO
    The bolded part is NOT correct, you do not terminate unused connections on a legacy LNB. You can use a terminator with the center wire snipped off to protect the connection (this is not a bad idea) but never a complete terminator. The termination situation can get confusing as you do terminate unused splitter ports on a SWiM system but do not on legacy
  7. stevecon

    stevecon AllStar

    Sep 5, 2006
    Hi - thank you to everyone that took the time to reply.

    I searched for my old B-Band Converters but couldn't find them. I believe those that stated they are needed for a legacy set up are correct and I fully expect the DVR to tune the 99 like it did before the system was upgraded to a SWM setup.

    Since I couldn't find them to check - and my neighbor didn't have his any longer either, I will have to leave this project for a short time as I have a trip that will keep me away for a couple of weeks. By the time I return, I should have the converters and it will be a simple task to connect them. I'll be sure to let you know how I make out.

    Again, thanks for the help!


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