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Question about possibly re-aiming/peaking dish after LNB swap

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Installation/MDU Discussion' started by Soulweeper, Nov 11, 2010.

  1. Soulweeper

    Soulweeper Icon

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    Jan 9, 2005
    First off, I live in Northern California, about 2 hours north of San Francisco. I have a Slimline dish with a SL5 LNB, and I will be swapping it out with a SWM SL3 LNB in a few days. Hopefully, If I use the same brand, I won't have to do anything, as far as re-aiming, but there is no guarantee.

    A couple years ago, I moved my dish off the roof, to an undereave mount, and aimed the dish with these instructions from a fellow forum member:

    In a nutshell...
    1. "Find" the 101 sat by manually rotating dish on mast... (already done) Tighten mast clamp nuts.
    2. Peak signal level on 101 with Az and El adjustments and watching receiver's signal level screen.
    3. Switch receiver to sat 119 signal levels, loosen the 3 nuts on tilt mechanism and rotate by hand to peak the 119 signal. Tighten 3 nuts.
    4. Switch receiver to sat 103c and adjust Az and El to peak the signal levels.
    There is some interaction of the adjustments, so you might need to run thru steps 2, 3, and 4 again. In spite of all you've read, it's really not that hard.


    This worked perfect, and I got excellent numbers,
    101
    95 96 92 100 92 99 95 98
    95 96 94 100 95 99 92 100
    95 0 89 100 90 99 93 98
    95 0 95 0 95 99 91 100

    110
    na na na na na na na 97
    na 95 na 97 na na na na
    na na na na na na na na
    na na na na na na na na

    119
    na na na na na na na na
    na na na na na na na na
    na na na na na 95 72 92
    92 95 95 95 95 95 60 96

    103c
    91 94 92 89 89 92 92 90
    91 92 94 93 95 95 na na
    95 na na na na 95 na na
    na na na na na na na na

    but my question is,would I follow basically the same method after the LNB swap, if I even need to? Because, correct me If I'm wrong, you don't pick up the 119 with the SL3, correct? If so, and that's out of the equation, what method would I follow?

    As always, thanks in advance!
     
  2. doctor j

    doctor j Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    If you are gentle.
    Remove the 2 locking bolts holding the LNB on the arm, slide the lnb out, making certain the coax has enough slack.
    Undo coax from LNB
    Reattach what wires you need , reattach lnb to arm with the 2 aforementioned bolts and everything should be ok.
    At worst a fractional turn AZ +/or EL fine tuning and should be good to go!

    Doctor j
     
  3. Soulweeper

    Soulweeper Icon

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    Jan 9, 2005
    Yeah, that's what I'm hoping, and yes, I will be careful. I've heard switching brands, like from WNC to Eagle Aspen, might warrant an adjustment, but I'm assming it would still be minimal, yes?
     
  4. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

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    Seattle, WA
    It would be minimal. But before making any adjustments, you should be able to change the LNB and have signal. Check your levels. I'm guessing you won't have to make any adjustments. I've gone back and forth between 3LNB and 5LNB, and between manufacturers, and not had to adjust.
     
  5. Soulweeper

    Soulweeper Icon

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    Jan 9, 2005
    Cool.....thanks!
     
  6. jdspencer

    jdspencer Hall Of Fame

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    BTW, how are your 99c strengths?
     
  7. Soulweeper

    Soulweeper Icon

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    Jan 9, 2005
    99c
    93 95 93 91 93 94 94 91
    95 95 94 91 96 95 na na
    na na na na na na na na
    na na na na na na na na

    103(ca)
    na na na na na na na na
    92 91 95 92 88 86 94 94
    85 88 96 95 88 88 96 95
    na na na na na na na na

    103(cb)
    92 94 94 89 90 92 94 92
    92 93 95 95 94 95 na na
    na na na na na na na na
    na na na na na na na na

    I posted the 103(ca) and 103(cb) because last time I aimed this dish I don't remember a (ca) and (cb), nor do I remember being concerned with 99c. What has changed, and which ones are my concern, or coordinates when aiming this dish now? Obviously the 101 is the starting point, and the 103(cb) looks like it "was" 103c, but I'm just guessing. It's different, as in the 119 isn't used, like I described in my first post, I just don't know how it's different, for aiming purposes. I'll maybe need to fine tune, at best, but I'm still curious what the basic method is now.
     
  8. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

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    99(c) and 103(c) are where all of the nationwide HD channels come from. 99(s) and 103(s) are spot beams that provide locals. You need both 99 and 103 to be properly aligned (and of course, 101). There are really multiple satellites at the 99 and 103 orbital slots, but you "see them" as one.
     
  9. Soulweeper

    Soulweeper Icon

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    I'm getting a 103(ca) and 103(cb).....which one is important to me?
     
  10. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

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    Both. There are two satellites at the 99 and at the 103 orbital slots. I'm not going to try and explain how they are set up, but there are some threads here that cover that very thoroughly. Basically, DirecTV maps transponders from them in a manner that best serves their needs. You (your equipment) doesn't really care, as long as the stream it's looking for is where it was told to look. All the rest is "under the hood" so to speak. But you need to have good signal strength on all of the "c" transponders.
     
  11. Soulweeper

    Soulweeper Icon

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    Jan 9, 2005
    O.k. thanks! Yeah, it's a little different than last time I aimed this dish, and it has sat problem free for a little over 2 years now. So, in simple terms, I always need to take a look at both.
     
  12. bobnielsen

    bobnielsen Éminence grise

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    Actually there are 3 satellites at 103 and 2 at 99.
     
  13. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

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    Thanks Bob. That's why this forum is so great. You know you will end up with good information - we all keep each other on their toes!
     
  14. tweaked

    tweaked AllStar

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    I'm in the same boat as the OP with an exception being that I'll be replacing not only the 5LNB with the 3LNB, but I will also be replacing the dish EZalign mast, feed arm, reflector, etc. For the most part, the AU9 Slimline (non-SWM) will be replaced as a whole.

    My question's in regards to adjusting tilt. Being the 119's no longer in the equation with respect to the adjustment and peaking of tilt (as per the AU9, 5LNB documentation), how will the tilt on the replacement 3LNB installation be accurately determined (without relying exclusively on the tilt-gauge that's on the backside of the dish bracket)?

    Also, as I recall, there's no "3LNB" dish-type selection in my receiver's satellite setup menu (an HR21-200), only the Phase III and Slimline 5LNB as I recall. I 'assume' selecting "5LNB" will suffice???
     
  15. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

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    On my HR21-200, the following dish types are available:
    01: Round (18"_
    02: 3-LNB (18"x20")
    03: Slimline-3
    04: Slimline-5
    05: Round (18") & 72.5
    06: 3-LNB (18x20) & 72.5
    07: Slimline-3 & 72.5
    08: Slimline-5 & 72.5
    ...various 72.5 & 95 combinations...
    17: Slimline-3S (SWM)
    18: Slimline-5S (SWM)

    So you want to select either option 03 or option 17 (depending on if you have a regular or SWM LNB) (unless you also have another 72 or 95 dish).

    Given you are replacing everything, I would go through a complete alignment.
     
  16. tkrandall

    tkrandall Hall Of Fame

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    That is true, but is Spaceway 1 presently being used for much of anything now the D12 is online?
     
  17. tweaked

    tweaked AllStar

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    It's been sometime since I've looked through the satellite setup menu on my HR21-200. It appears there's been a number of selections added over the last couple years through software updates. Yeah, looks as though option three will be the correct choice.

    As far as setting the tilt (again, not relying exclusively on tilt gauge that's on the backside of the dish mounting bracket), being the 119 won't be used for tilt adjustment as it is with the 5-LNB, would initially peaking the 103 by way of tilt adjustment accomplish the same thing?
     
  18. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

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    Your DVR should give you the correct AZ, EL and TILT settings for the type of dish/LNB that you have. The tilt for a 3-LNB is different than for a 5-LNB.

    If you set the specified values, then go through the proper alignment procedure, you should not have to adjust tilt at all (from the specified value).
     
  19. tweaked

    tweaked AllStar

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    With the Slimline 5-LNB, a step in the alignment process, as it relates to tilt, calls for metering off the 119 to obtain a peak on the AU9's tilt axis; a procedure which if I'm not mistaken, assures an accurate tilt setting and one that's more precise than simply relying on the tilt scale that's found on the AU9's dish mounting bracket. Being the spread between the 99 and 103 sat's (with the 3-LNB) is quite a bit less than that of 99 and 119 (as is the case with the 5-LNB), the whole 'tilt' thing may not be nearly as critical with the 3-LNB and simply setting it to the 113 degree setting that's called for in my area will prove to be the sweet-spot.

    I'll find out this weekend... thanks Carl!:glasses:
     
  20. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

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    FWIW, I used the tilt recommended by the receiver to preset mine before installation, and after installation, my signals on 119 are all 98-100, so I dont believe that step is necessary unless after installation, you have unusually low 119 signal.
     

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