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Help on DirecTV Satellite Install -- Zero Signal Strength

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Installation/MDU Discussion' started by frustratedintheboonies, Jul 14, 2013.

  1. frustratedintheboonies

    frustratedintheboonies New Member

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    I have a Slimline DirecTV dish that was installed less than a year ago with a two TV SWM HD DVR system. I am generally pretty handy and wanted to save money by moving it myself.

    At our new house (there are trees) I have tried in two locations (one on a pole near an existing installed satellite internet pole) and also on the roof where there is a sight line through trees. I have set elevation and tilt per DirecTV provided numbers, and used compass app on my phone to set azimuth (I don't have a signal meter). Masts were plumb at both locations.

    Everything is wired exactly as it was at old location (dish to splitter, coax to swm box, swm ird output to sat1 input on HD DVR), with the exception of TV 2 box not set up.

    I have tried making adjustments to azimuth and always get zeros on signal strength screen. I also get alternatively 771 and 775 error messages. I am beyond frustrated and looking for any tips on mistakes I may be making. Do I really need to get a signal meter? Is there something I need to do via the hd dvr menu to make it work? Does the second box need to be hooked up too in order for the main tv to work?

    If you have insight on what I'm doing wrong it would be SO appreciated. I really don't want to have to pay DirecTV to send someone out, especially after all my effort so far.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Drucifer

    Drucifer Well-Known Member

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    My guess, your power connection is wrong.

    Double check your Power Inserter [PI]. It should only be connected to the red plug.
     
  3. HoTat2

    HoTat2 Hall Of Fame

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    OK, the "775" error message anyway, means the receiver cannot communicate with the SWiM switch.

    Make sure the Power Inserter (PI), or what I think you refer to as the "SWM box" is connected to the coax run on the power passing port of the splitter.

    Also go to dishpointer.com enter your setup info. and use their recommended settings to try an align the dish instead of the DIRECTV provided ones from the receiver and report back your results.
     
  4. peds48

    peds48 Genius.

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    how are you aligning this dish? without a signal meter, you would need someone to read you the numbers off the receiver, unless the receiver is by the dish...

    There is no set for azimuth and expect to get any readings....
     
  5. frustratedintheboonies

    frustratedintheboonies New Member

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    Jul 14, 2013
    Thanks for helping everyone.

    I did call the PI a SWM box. Not up on the terminology. It is connected to the power passing port (red) from the splitter (coax from splitter goes to "TO SWM" port on PI). I haven't seen the 775 message in a while and now it is stuck on searching for signal (771).

    I am aligning by using a compass app on my phone to point the dish in the direction of the azimuth (obtained from DirecTV's dish pointer site). It is not precise, and I keep moving the dish a little and running signal strength again on the DVR box. I figure I may be off on azimuth, as I have read it is a small range where you get a signal, but on the other hand, shouldn't I have received some sort of signal strength other than zero?) Really wish I had a signal meter right now.
     
  6. peds48

    peds48 Genius.

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    No, you really want to use the signal meter on t receivers. using the transponder screen would be this almost impossible. also not that there is a tiny delay from when you move the dish until it registers on the receiver
     
  7. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

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    "as I have read it is a small range where you get a signal"

    True, a VERY SMALL range - like perhaps an inch of horizontal movement of the LNB arm on the dish. You can move the dish from zero past the signal position and back to zero with a small change of azimuth.

    Once you find a signal, any signal at all, you then need to start doing fine adjustments to peak the signal. Start by monitoring the 101 satellite and when you get those signals in the mid 90's change to either 99 or 103 and peak those.
     
  8. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

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    I would really recommend a signal meter here. I know that it's a pain because you're trying to save money, but it will pay you back in time saved. If this is really and truly the only time you are moving the dish, you could always call for a service call or go to a local DIRECTV dealer and try to make a deal for just coming out and peaking the dish.
     
  9. frustratedintheboonies

    frustratedintheboonies New Member

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    Jul 14, 2013
    Thanks everyone. Looks like I'm the soon-to-be owner of a signal meter. I'll post an update when I get it working.
     
  10. peds48

    peds48 Genius.

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    If this is a one time only event, your best bet is to have DirecTV align the dish for you, you will save money. However, if you think you will be traveling and setting up dishes, then a meter is the best way to go. how often you think you will use the meter might indicate how much you want to spend on a good meter. word of advice, DO NOT buy signal "finders" or any meter that is less than $100.00 you WILL be wasting your money
     
  11. damondlt

    damondlt New Member

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    Not true!
    All you need to do is find the 101, and a $10 signal meter works just fine for that.
    Spend $ 20 and get one with its own power supply

    I've never had an issue finding the 99 and 103 once the 101 is located. Fine tune from there on your receiver.

    If you spend more then $100 and you don't install dishes for a living you are wasting your money!
     
  12. peds48

    peds48 Genius.

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    Might not be true to you, but for the inexperienced it makes a big difference since the cheap meters do not differentiate among satellites
     
  13. damondlt

    damondlt New Member

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    Really, you think a Bird dog is easier to use then a standard meter. Yea ok! :rotfl:
     
  14. peds48

    peds48 Genius.

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    DId I ever mentioned a Birdog?... !rolling
     
  15. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    start from DishPointer app for your phone or tablet ...
     
  16. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    +1
     
  17. frustratedintheboonies

    frustratedintheboonies New Member

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    UPDATE: Purchased the $40 meter from Radio Shack and was able to get it aligned. Not the best device out there, but after a few tries, was able to get it aligned and working great.

    Thanks all for the advice.
     
  18. Drucifer

    Drucifer Well-Known Member

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    Good for you.
     
  19. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    should be cost not more then $19.99 or less ...
     
  20. Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

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    Good! Now you gonna change your handle? :hurah:
     

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