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Losing Signals on Certain Channels During the Afternoons

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by TenaciousBuzz, Apr 4, 2011.

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  1. Apr 4, 2011 #1 of 14
    TenaciousBuzz

    TenaciousBuzz Cool Member

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    Mar 31, 2008
    Hi all,

    I tried to search for my particular issue, but couldn't find my problem exactly.

    I've noticed the last few weekends I've been at home, I seem to be losing signal on a few channels from around noon-6PM EST. Not all channels are affected, but the ones I have noticed consistently are 206 (ESPN), 209 (ESPN2), 501 (HBOE), 646 (FSS), and a few others. 207 (ESPNN), 208 (ESPNU) my locals, etc are fine. Any ideas as to what is causing this? My signals are good across the board (avg. mid-80s up to 100) and the weather was very nice this weekend. The problem occurs on both my HR receivers. We have a few trees around, but I wouldn't think that was the cause, mainly b/c the signal always returns to normal after some time.

    I assume this is happening every day, not just the weekends, but I am at work and can't check it. Luckily it hasn't gotten in the way of any programming I was dying to see, but it is irksome nonetheless.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Apr 4, 2011 #2 of 14
    Kevin F

    Kevin F Hall Of Fame

    1,128
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    May 9, 2010
    Probably due to solar activity
     
  3. Apr 4, 2011 #3 of 14
    makaiguy

    makaiguy Icon

    903
    38
    Sep 24, 2007
    Aiken, SC
    Make sure your connections are tight, especially out at the dish and anywhere else that they are in sunlight and could be affected by solar heating.

    And 1000 "Whose Line is it Anyway?" points for saying "losing" instead of "loosing"!
     
  4. Apr 4, 2011 #4 of 14
    TenaciousBuzz

    TenaciousBuzz Cool Member

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    Mar 31, 2008
    That's what I thought at first, but what little I've read on the subject, it didn't seem that it would affect the signal for that long.

    Anyway, I got home around 5PM today and all the channels were coming in normally. I'll keep a closer eye on the temperatures and see if that may be the issue. The dish is roof mounted, so I'd like to have an idea if heat is the problem before I drag out the 28' extension ladder, LOL.
     
  5. Apr 4, 2011 #5 of 14
    n3ntj

    n3ntj Hall Of Fame

    5,773
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    Dec 18, 2006
    Lancaster,...
    I would also guess solar activity.
     
  6. Apr 4, 2011 #6 of 14
    litzdog911

    litzdog911 Well-Known Member

    12,233
    68
    Jun 23, 2004
    Mill Creek, WA
    I really doubt it's "solar activity". Much more likely that you have a temperature-sensitive component (dish LNB) or connector at your dish or ground block.

    How are the signal readings when you're seeing the problem?


    Please post back with your signal readings for each satellite's transponders (and both tuners if applicable). You'll find these readings under "Menu" -> "Setup" -> "System Setup" -> Satellite -> "View Signal Strength". Note the "+" and "-" symbols next to the "Satellite" and "Tuner" entries where you can toggle the readings between the various satellites and both DVR tuners.

    Fill in your readings for each satellite and tuner using these examples. A properly aligned dish will show 80-90s on most of the relevant transponders (although some will be low or zero):


    Satellite transponders (32 total at 101º)
    [Most of your standard definition channels are beamed from 101ºW]
    1-8 # # # # # # # #
    9-16 # # # # # # # #
    17-24 # # # # # # # #
    25-32 # # # # # # # #

    Satellite transponders (3 total at 110º)
    [Not present with Slimline3 dish. No channels are currently beamed from this satellite]
    1-8 NA NA NA NA NA NA NA #
    9-16 NA # NA # NA NA NA NA

    Satellite transponders (11 total at 119º)
    [Not present with Slimline 3 dish. Local SD channels for some cities, Spanish package]
    17-24 NA NA NA NA NA # # #
    25-32 # # # # # # # #

    Satellite transponders (16 total at 99º(s)) [or 99º(b)]
    [Local HD channels for some cities]
    1-8 # # # # # # NA NA
    9-16 NA NA NA NA NA NA # #
    17-24 # # # # # # # #
    [Note: these can be very slow to appear]

    Satellite transponders (14 total at 99º(c)) [or 99º(a)]
    [National HD channels]
    1-8 # # # # # # # #
    9-16 # # # # # # NA NA
    [Note, these can be very slow to appear]

    Satellite transponders (16 total at 103º(s)) [or 103º(a)]
    [Local HD channels for some cities]
    1-8 # # # # # # NA NA
    9-16 NA NA NA NA NA NA # #
    17-24 # # # # # # # #
    [Note, these can be very slow to appear]

    Satellite transponders (16 total at 103º(ca))
    [National HD channels beamed from D12 satellite]
    1-8 NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA
    9-16 # # # # # # # #
    17-24 # # # # # # # #

    Satellite transponders (14 total at 103º(cb)) [or 103º(b)]
    [National HD channels beamed from D10 satellite]
    1-8 # # # # # # # #
    9-16 # # # # # # NA NA
    17-24 NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA

    Satellite transponders (9 total at SWM)
    [You'll only see this if you have a Single Wire Multiswitch (SWM) dish]
    1-8 # # # # # # # #
    9-16 # NA NA NA NA NA NA NA
     
  7. Apr 5, 2011 #7 of 14
    rbpeirce

    rbpeirce Godfather

    512
    4
    Feb 23, 2006
    I sometimes loose locals that way during the summer, transponder 28 on the 101 sat. Signal strength can drop to zero under certain peculiar circumstances. You need about 20% or more for a watchable signal.

    In thinking about this over the years I decided it was high altitude weather to the south during the summer. It can be hot and turbulent but is cooler and more calm in the winter. The sat beam has to cut through it and if you are on the edge of the beam it can lose a lot of strength

    All my other transponders are 96-100. It is just the spot beam that acts up.
     
  8. Apr 5, 2011 #8 of 14
    EV2

    EV2 New Member

    7
    0
    Oct 21, 2008
    During the day, I have experienced severe blocking and breakup on a few HBO HD channels, particularly 502 HB2eHD. Late at night it mostly goes away to reappear daily. All signal strength appeared normal with almost everything well into the 90s with a couple of exceptions. Satellite 101, transponder 26 is in the 50s and Satellite 103(s)' transponders 19 & 20 at 25 and 16.

    After checking all connections at the slimline 5 and running a direct cable with no change, I placed a couple of small ice bags on top of the lnb array and after a little time, the problem disappeared. The signal strength did not change, but picture is perfect. Anyone know which sat and transponder for 502 and which lnb is the problem or what is the best solution? (other than to get more ice!)
     
  9. TenaciousBuzz

    TenaciousBuzz Cool Member

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    Mar 31, 2008
    OK, so I was at home all day Sunday and kept checking these channels periodically, and they all stayed on all day. It was fairly hot, too, so I don't think heat was the issue. Maybe there was bad weather to the SW, solar flares, UFOs, gremlins or something else previously. I kept an eye on my signals also, and none of the normal transponders were below 82% at any point during the day.

    I'll keep a lookout over the next few weeks and let you guys know if the issues persist.

    Thanks for the input.
     
  10. EV2

    EV2 New Member

    7
    0
    Oct 21, 2008
    Weird, I have not had the problem reoccur for several days, but now I cannot check until fall.
     
  11. khark

    khark Mentor

    85
    1
    Jan 23, 2005
    Wyoming
    I have been getting recordings on channel 244 and 603 that tell me the signal was lost and do I want to delete. This is during good weather and I know it isn't an overheated LNB since our high temperature during the day is about 40 degrees F.:confused:
     
  12. TenaciousBuzz

    TenaciousBuzz Cool Member

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    0
    Mar 31, 2008
    Just a quick update:

    The problem is definitely only happening to channels on 99C. These are the only ones that I would lose during the times stated above. I truly believe it is a heat issue. I monitored my signals, specifically on 99C this past Saturday. During the morning hours before the temp. rose, signals were in the mid 90s, with none lower than 89. I checked again around 3:00PM, and the signals had dropped into the high to mid 60s across the board. After dark, the signals returned to normal. Other satellites signals had dropped also, but none as low as 99C, with most in the 80s.

    I guess my next issue is what's the next step? What should I tell DTV when I call for service? Is this a well known issue among service techs? What's the remedy? Replace LNB(s)?
     
  13. litzdog911

    litzdog911 Well-Known Member

    12,233
    68
    Jun 23, 2004
    Mill Creek, WA
    Sure sounds like an LNB problem. First step would likely be to replace the dish's LNB assembly.
     
  14. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

    4,153
    100
    Aug 31, 2002
    If by that you mean sun fade (where the sun lines up directly with the sat and overpowers the RF signal swamping the AGC in the LNBF), that only lasts from approximately March 3-10 and October 3-10 at US latitudes, and depending upon the channel, only lasts about 20 minutes, ramping up from gradual to severe and back down.

    There is nothing to be done about that, but then that is probably not your problem, which there probably is something that can be done about.
     

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