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Getting signal on one receiver but not the other...

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by iowaberg, Jan 20, 2010.

  1. iowaberg

    iowaberg Godfather

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    May 24, 2007
    We received some ice in the overnight hours and our living room HR23-700 is not getting much of a signal. However, our HR20-700 in the upstairs bedroom is working fine and getting a signal. How is this possible? I thought if one receiver wasn't getting a signal due to the ice, none of them would get a signal.
     
  2. DogLover

    DogLover Hall Of Fame

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    It's probably not due to ice on the dish, since it is only affecting 1 receiver. I would start looking at the cabling that is unique to the unit that is having the problems. Perhaps one of the connections is loose or has had some water/ice infiltration.
     
  3. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

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    It *is* possible that this is happening, as some tuners will be more sensitive than others. Installers see this all the time. If the ice knocked down the signal to near the threshold (in the 40s, usually), it's very possible that some receivers will continue to work and others won't.

    But cabling is always a possibility too. Moisture inside a fitting or cable itself can lead to problems.
     
  4. Go Beavs

    Go Beavs Hall Of Fame

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    I can say I've seen this happen also.

    If one tuner is on a conus transponder and the other is tuned to a spot beam transponder, the conus signal seems to fade away first while the spot will still provide enough signal to get a picture.
     
  5. iowaberg

    iowaberg Godfather

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    May 24, 2007
    "If one tuner is on a conus transponder and the other is tuned to a spot beam transponder, the conus signal seems to fade away first while the spot will still provide enough signal to get a picture."

    huh??
     
  6. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

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    His two receivers could be tuned to different channels coming from different satellites. He may still have good signal from the 101 satellite and is losing signal from 99 or 103 which would give him the symptom he is seeing. Also spot beams (providing locals) tend to be stronger signals than CONUS beams, so he might see signal when trying to watch a local channel but get a searching for signal when trying to watch a national channel.

    Check signal strengths on both receivers. See if they read about the same or if there are significant differences. If they are about the same, wait for the weather to warm and see if your symptoms go away. Also try various channels on both receivers and see if the symptoms are consistent.

    If you want to work the issue a little more aggressively, swap the two units and see if the problem stays in the room, or with the box.
     
  7. Go Beavs

    Go Beavs Hall Of Fame

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    Thanks for explaining that better. After re-reading my post, I could have written that more clearly.

    Sorry for the confusion iowaberg. :)
     
  8. iowaberg

    iowaberg Godfather

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    May 24, 2007
    Ok, so I came home today and neither receiver was getting any signal- all zeroes. I poured some windshield wiper fluid on the dish itself, called in the house to my wife, and she said all of the local channels were coming in ok, but no ESPN, Starz, etc. The ice is covering the entire dish set up and we're talking about 1/4" to 1/2 so I stopped. I'm assuming unless something magical happens, I'll need to wait for the weather to warm. Edit: I'm getting signal strengths of all zeroes except for transponders 14 and 16 with signal strengths of 53 and 54.
     
  9. BKC

    BKC Icon

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    Dec 12, 2007
    You were up there, you should have kept removing ice!
     
  10. Go Beavs

    Go Beavs Hall Of Fame

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    Pouring warm water over the refector works pretty good for deicing.
     
  11. iowaberg

    iowaberg Godfather

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    May 24, 2007
    The ice wasn't going anywhere. It was that thick.
     
  12. iowaberg

    iowaberg Godfather

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    May 24, 2007
    Pardon, my ignorance, but what part is the reflector?
     
  13. joe diamond

    joe diamond Hall Of Fame

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    An ODU (out door unit) is a parabolic dish antenna. The dish reflects the signal sent from the satellite to a converter (LNB=low noise blockdown converter) at the end of an arm that establishes a focal distance from the dish (reflector).

    The reflector is designed to collect ice, snow and bird crap in order to provide full employment for otherwise unemployable former high school students.

    Joe
     
  14. BKC

    BKC Icon

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    Dec 12, 2007
    [​IMG]
     
  15. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

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    If this is an abnormally cold period you are having, then just wait it out. If you typically get weather this cold for any period of time each winter, you might consider a dish heater.

    A buildup of ice on either the reflector, on on the LNB cover (the white plastic part of the LNB) can definatley interfere with proper signal reception.
     
  16. iowaberg

    iowaberg Godfather

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    May 24, 2007
    So it's perfectly normal to have some channels come in just fine, and others not at all? All of my locals are coming fine, and HGTV, and some of the Starz movies are, but not ESPN and others. It seems completely random. How can I have a signal strength of in the 50s for some transponders and 0 for others?
     
  17. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    Yes. The signals from from at least three different locations and use different radio frequencies. Once the signal gets below a certain threshold, it may just report zero.

    If you can get a particular channel on one receiver and not another, that's a different can of worms entirely.
     
  18. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

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    Under normal conditions all channels should come in all the time. When you start looking at ice, snow, major weather fronts, etc., those all have the ability to attenuate different rf frequencies in different ways.

    The channels that you get come from 3, 4, 5 or maybe even 6 satellites (typically 3). Each of those satellites has a quantity of transponders, and each transponder operates in two polarizations. Not a totally accurate analogy, but think of a single transponder/polarization as a separate over the air TV signal that you might get if you were using just your TV and a set of rabbit ears. Some stations will have stronger signals, some will have weaker signals. Some stations need a UHF antenna, some need a VHF antenna. The signals from the satellites are similar in that they vary in both power and frequency. Lower power signals (typically for nation wide, or CONUS) beams and higher power for local stations which are on spot beams. Higher frequencies from the newer (99 and 103) satellites, lower frequencies from the older (101) satellite.

    Different weather variations can adversley impact these different signals, which can result in your losing some channels but not others. However, if this is weather related, then all of your receivers should exhibit the same symptoms at the same time. In other words, if you get channels on one but not on the other, it is not likely to be a weather caused problem.

    Hope that helps you understand what might be happening. Because of both the differences in frequencies, and the direction the signal comes from (which satellite), ice coating on the LNB housing or reflector can interfere with some, but not all, signals.
     
  19. joe diamond

    joe diamond Hall Of Fame

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    Gotta get me one of those!
    Sometimes the cable is too cold to splice and that would do it! Then there are crawl spaces that are so nasty you just don't know what is in them...with that thing...who cares!

    Cool one!

    Joe
     

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