Possible to have SL3 aimed wrong but still receive?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by satcane, May 11, 2019.

  1. satcane

    satcane New Member

    9
    0
    May 11, 2019
    Here is the situation. I set up an SL3 dish and the elevation is supposed to be 33. When I first was searching for signal, I hadn't set my mounting pole plumb yet. I set the elevation to 33 and held pole (I installed it in the ground plumb eventually) as straight as I could and did a sweep around the direction (I used a map off of dishpointer to aim at a landmark since I didn't have a compass) where the azimuth should be. After quite a while, I accidentally tilted the pole back and suddenly I got a signal in the 60's on 101. I had somebody else hold the pole in place and I marked the location.

    Next, I put the pole in the ground plumb with concrete. The next day, I aimed the dish in the same direction. There was no signal so I decided to sweep the elevation since I remembered I tilted the pole the day before. When I got to 43 degrees elevation (10 off of what is specified for the location) I got strong signal on 101 in the 80s. The cable from the dish runs about 250 feet from the dish so I always assumed that's why the low 80s was my max.

    When I set the elevation, I am going by the edge of the metal up against the elevation scale stamp.

    Next, I adjusted the tilt to the specified tilt. No matter what I do, the strongest signal I get on any transponder on 99 or 103 is 42. Most transponders are in the 20's.

    I recently installed a satellite finder app on my cell phone. Using it for the compass, assuming the compass is accurate, it seems that my dish is actually aimed a few degrees west of the specified azimuth.

    My question is:

    Is it possible that somehow I am pointed at the wrong azimuth but having the elevation 10 degrees "too high" is somehow putting the dish in a position that it is reflecting the 101 satellite very well to the LNB and reflecting 99 and 101 somewhat? If I adjust the tilt, I can never get the signal on any 99 or 101 to get any better. In fact, with not very much tilt adjustment, 99 and 101 signals get much worse.
     
  2. litzdog911

    litzdog911 Well-Known Member

    12,402
    131
    Jun 23, 2004
    Mill Creek, WA
    Take a look at the Satellite Signal reading menus for the various satellites. Which satellite & transponder numbers are showing a signal.

    My guess is that you're aimed at the 110 or 119º satellite instead of the main 101º satellite. I find the aerial mapping tools at www.dishpointer.com to be very helpful.
     
    jimmie57 likes this.
  3. satcane

    satcane New Member

    9
    0
    May 11, 2019
    I receive all channels on 101 just fine. I also receive some HD channels (somewhat glitchy) from 99 and 103.
     
  4. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

    25,736
    486
    Jul 25, 2002
    W.Mdtrn Sea
    time to try dithering for Ku 101W...
     
  5. satcane

    satcane New Member

    9
    0
    May 11, 2019
    I have tried that. Moving the dish left or right the width of a pencil line drops the 101W strength from 80 to the upper 60's. That's part of why this is making no sense to me (especially with being 10 degrees higher on elevation than specified).

    I have an SL3 dish that I take to football games for tailgating with a mast on a cinder block and some crude leveling adjustments. With that setup, I make it kinda-sorta level and aim it by memory from the last game (which could be the prior season) and it takes me 30 seconds or less to get signal in the upper 80s or 90s on all 3 satellites.

    That's why I'm trying to figure out what could be going on with this setup. It doesn't make sense that it is so sensitive to such miniscule adjustments and that, with 101 at 80, I can't get 99 or 103 above 42 on any transponder and that tiny adjustments in tilt (far less than a degree) makes that go down significantly.
     
  6. WestDC

    WestDC Well-Known Member

    3,328
    281
    Feb 9, 2008
    Reason - Your trying to hit a Bulls Eye 22,000 miles away - being off by a inch is a good as mile - Dithering is done by the side dials on the bottom of the Dish -Not moving the dish location
     
  7. jimmie57

    jimmie57 Hall Of Fame

    9,690
    768
    Jun 26, 2010
    Texas City, TX
    If you are 250 feet from the receiver, which coax did you run ? RG59. RG6 or RG11 ?
    If you have a small TV, move the receiver out close to the dish, hook it up with a short coax and hook up the small TV to it.
    Now, what are your signal levels ?
     
  8. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

    25,736
    486
    Jul 25, 2002
    W.Mdtrn Sea
    also, there is a chance of damaging/bending the dish's reflector if you doing tailgating it could happen without your knowledge
     
    tecnicoloco likes this.
  9. satcane

    satcane New Member

    9
    0
    May 11, 2019
    It is RG6 cable. When I did the initial setup, I took a small TV and extension cord out to the dish with a short (less than 20 feet) coax. The signal levels were essentially the same.

    It just makes no sense to me how my elevation setting is 10 degrees higher than the specified elevation for this location and I am getting any signal at all, let alone in the upper 70s, low 80s for 101W. That's why I'm wondering if somehow, I am aimed several degrees too far west and the east side of the dish (being tilted toward the ground) is somehow reflecting the sats to the LNB.

    I didn't have a compass so I was aiming at landmarks based on the dishpointer map tools. The compass in my phone via the app I installed shows me being several degrees to the west of where I should be in azimuth. I can't vouch for the phone compass being accurate enough to trust (google maps says compass accuracy is high).
     
  10. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

    25,736
    486
    Jul 25, 2002
    W.Mdtrn Sea
    the arm holding LNBF could be bent
     
    tecnicoloco likes this.
  11. satcane

    satcane New Member

    9
    0
    May 11, 2019
    Just brought a straight edge out and it is straight.
     
  12. jimmie57

    jimmie57 Hall Of Fame

    9,690
    768
    Jun 26, 2010
    Texas City, TX
    Maybe the LNB arm connection got bent down and that is causing the elevation to be off ?
     
  13. satcane

    satcane New Member

    9
    0
    May 11, 2019
    everything is straight against a straight edge.
     
  14. jimmie57

    jimmie57 Hall Of Fame

    9,690
    768
    Jun 26, 2010
    Texas City, TX
    Since I can't see what we are typing,
    If it were mine, I would lay a straight edge across the face of the dish and then put a framing square on the straight edge and see if the LNB arm is a true perpendicular to the straight edge.
     
  15. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

    25,736
    486
    Jul 25, 2002
    W.Mdtrn Sea
    that is correct for prime focus dishes, not for offset type

    try to draw a line from center LNB [101W] - where it will hit the reflector ?
     
    tecnicoloco likes this.
  16. satcane

    satcane New Member

    9
    0
    May 11, 2019
    Where is it supposed to hit the reflector? Then I can see if it hits the correct spot.
     
  17. satcane

    satcane New Member

    9
    0
    May 11, 2019
    As best as I can tell, it will hit in between the bolts about an inch or so higher than the top bolts.
     
  18. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

    12,753
    1,060
    Nov 15, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    The "signal strength" you are seeing is not actual signal strength. It is a measure of bit errors. So the length of the coax will have no practical affect on the signal strength. But it will have an affect on the DC power going to the dish, so for that long a coax run you want to use solid copper core RG6 coax, nothing less (not copper coated steel, which is most common). Too low a voltage at the LNB can affect proper performance.

    As to alignment, it is a tricky business. Remember, there are three axis you must align. Azimuth, Elevation, and Tilt. A fraction of a degree error on any of them can result in poorer levels. "Dithering", going past peak to some lower level, then going the other way past peak and on to the same lower level, then aiming at the exact middle point between those two points, is the correct way to find best signal. There are a lot of online guides to how to properly align a dish. Be careful, be detailed oriented.

    Once you find the best possible signal on one axis, then peak another. Then go back and re-peak the first. Etc.

    Your levels on 101 should all be in the upper 90s (some might be zero or very low, but most high). On 99 and 103 upper 80s to low 90s on most, with mid to upper 90s on spot beams.

    Anything less is probably an alignment problem (more likely than a defective dish or LNB, which are both possible).

    As to your actual elevation versus specified - the markings on the dish are confusing. Don't worry about how many degrees it is indicating, worry about the best signal you can align to.
     
  19. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

    25,736
    486
    Jul 25, 2002
    W.Mdtrn Sea
    by verbal description, looks like the arm bent out from the reflector...
    usually the line hit a spot on vertical middle line and between bolts, somewhere in a middle of the virtual square, created by bolts
     
  20. satcane

    satcane New Member

    9
    0
    May 11, 2019
    Thank you. I will see if I can bend it in to hit that spot. Appreciate the info!
     

Share This Page

spam firewall