1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

SL3 (non-SWM) Alignment Help - Why am I so bad at this?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Installation/MDU Discussion' started by byrd, Oct 1, 2010.

  1. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    42,684
    349
    Dec 9, 2006
    I think what Carl is trying to say is...
    Getting a receiver to switch back from being in SWiM mode can take a bit of work and when it has finally switched, you need to see the voltage change between even & odd TPs, or the LNB can't tune correctly.
     
  2. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

    12,524
    958
    Nov 15, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    Yes, veryoldschool summarized what I was trying to say correctly. I suspect the problem you are having is related to the receiver not being set for regular versus SWM.

    As to being able to tune the test channels before you have any signal at all, you are right, I don't think you can. Wasn't thinking about that.
     
  3. Richierich

    Richierich Hall Of Fame

    8,489
    7
    Jan 10, 2008
    I was thinking that Directv had continued to have the Internal Wideband Tuner built in like the HR23 but now I do remember that they discontinued that because of what VOS stated about the interference with the Internal DECA.

    I now remember I had a problem with my First HR24-500 because I didn't have a BBC connected to it. My Bad!!! :lol:
     
  4. byrd

    byrd Legend

    138
    0
    Apr 29, 2009
    Okay, this makes sense. I'm definitely NOT seeing the voltage change right now when moving between even and odd TPs. When I first plug in the IRD it comes up as 18x20 dish > SWM > Dual Tuner. I'm manually changing the setup to Slimline 3 > Multiswitch > Single Tuner before viewing the Signal meters. When I manually change the settings like this, how to I know for sure that the IRD has really accepted the change and is operating as it should?? Should I make the changes, then do a reset (either via the red button on the front panel or via the menus?
     
  5. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    42,684
    349
    Dec 9, 2006
    I would do a reset to have the setting "take" if they will. When doing the SAT setup it should reboot at the end anyway, but if it hasn't then that could be a problem.
    I haven't gone back to non SWiM, but I've heard/read some receivers can be difficult to change back.
     
  6. byrd

    byrd Legend

    138
    0
    Apr 29, 2009
    Well, each time I've changed the setup I've always gone immediately to the Signal Meter page without doing a reset. Seems like the software should force a reset before allowing you to look at the signal meters when the setup has changed. I'll give this a try on Tuesday night when I get back home to see how it goes.

    I also have a new (non-SWM) SL5 sitting in a box at home. I don't want to use it for my final setup since my LOS for the 119 will eventually be obstructed by a tree at some point. None the less, if the above test doesn't work, I'll check the SL5. If it works, then obviously the current SL3 LNB is bad. That test will have to wait until Wednesday evening.
     
  7. byrd

    byrd Legend

    138
    0
    Apr 29, 2009
    I just tried to reconfigure my HR24s tonight. It seems that the HR24s cannot be reconfigured unless a satellite signal is present. Without a signal, I cannot proceed through the setup. As it is, my HR24s stopped working when I was setting up the SWM8 with my old elliptical Phase III dish. That was discussed in this thread: http://www.dbstalk.com/showthread.php?t=184134

    So now, whenever I turn them on they are configured as 18x20 Elliptical Dish > SWM > Dual tunner. Then I do the following:

    1) Change the settings to Slimline 3 > Multiswitch > Single tuner
    2) Hit Continue.
    3) Screen then says "Verifying Configuration"
    4) After some time the screen says "Satellite signal could not be detected. Please check your installation and re-test."
    5) I then hit cancel
    6) The HR24 then gets stuck trying to load the Advanced Program Guide Data.
    7) The only way to get out of that page is to unplug of press the Red reset button.

    I could be wrong, but it seems like, as long as I don't have a good signal on the dish, the HR24s aren't going to let me proceed with reconfiguring the setup. It seems like I'm in a bit of a catch 22.

    I think I might try to take my HR24 to my father-in-law's to reconfigure my box on his dish. He has 2 lines running from a non-SWM, Slimline 5LNB straight to a single HR2? (not an HR24, but not exactly sure what model his is). Hopefully he'll let me mess around with his setup. I tried to connect my old RCA DVR80 DTivo to my SL3 the other day in hopes that I could align my dish with that. Unfortunately, I couldn't get it to work either. I'm not sure if the old DVR80 works with the SL3?
     
  8. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    42,684
    349
    Dec 9, 2006
    I don't have one to know, but it should work for the 101 SAT, as they all need to work that way.
    Not SWiM, but the old basic 18" round single LNB dish is a must for all receivers. Seems like it should work to course tune the dish to 101.
     
  9. byrd

    byrd Legend

    138
    0
    Apr 29, 2009
    Well I took one of my HR24s over to my in-laws this morning. I was able to get the HR24 switched over from "18x20 > SWM > Dual Tuner" to "Slimline 5 > Multiswitch> Dual Tuner" with no problems what so ever. Everything seemed to work just fine. The receiver never required a reset for the change, but it did do a system validation and download new guide data each time the setup was changed.

    I then changed the configuration to "Slimline 3 > Multiswitch> Dual Tuner" and (with the exception of the dish selection error because they have an SL5 LNB) everything again worked fine. I wanted the setup configured for a Slimline 3 just to make sure it's set for exactly what I have in my yard.

    Tomorrow I'll probably lug everything back into my front yard and try to align the dish again. I'm going to purchase a new bit of RG6 (to run from the LNB to receiver) to try an eliminate that from the equation. If I still have no luck, I'll swap out the SL3 LNB for my SL5 LNB and see how that goes.

    If none of this works, I can only assume that the 101 it no longer transmitting a signal! :lol: :lol:
     
  10. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

    12,524
    958
    Nov 15, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    Good that you had a working system to use to set up your HR24.

    Yes, your final conclusion seems to be perfectly obvious :lol:
     
  11. byrd

    byrd Legend

    138
    0
    Apr 29, 2009
    Well I was back out in my yard this morning. I did find one definite issue, but I'm still without any signal. First I tried this setup:

    SL3 LNB (Non-SWM) ->
    12ft Solid Copper RG6 Sheilded ->
    B-Band Converter ->
    HR24-500
    Set up receiver for Slimline 3 -> Multiswitch -> Single Tuner

    No signal. Still all Zeros. It struck my that when I previously measured the voltage on the HR24 output, I was sitting at my kitchen table. In my yard, my HR24 is plugged into 150ft of extension cord. I measured the voltage on the center conductor at found that it was only 9.5V! Obviously too low to power the LNB. So, I moved the receiver to the nearest outlet and measured the output to be 13.6V. This forced me to go with the following setup:

    SL3 LNB (Non-SWM) ->
    24” Solid Copper RG6 Quad Sheilded ->
    F81 Barrel Connector (blue insert, 3GHz rated) ->
    150ft Solid Copper RG11 Shielded ->
    F81 Barrel Connector (blue insert, 3GHz rated) ->
    12ft Solid Copper RG6 Sheilded ->
    B-Band Converter ->
    HR24-500
    Set up receiver for Slimline 3 -> Multiswitch -> Single Tuner

    Once I had this set up, I disconnected the SL3 LNB, powered up the receiver and measured the voltage at the LNB (through the 164ft of cable listed above). I measured 13.5V. With that, I figured I should now be able to adequately power the LNB. I powered off the receiver, reconnected the LNB and and powered everything back on.

    STILL no luck. ALL Zeros! I then tried to replace the SL3 LNB with the SL5 LNB that I have on hand. Again ALL Zeroes! For the life of me, I just can't figure out what I'm missing. I will say that moving the dish around was very difficult with the receiver 150ft away since I was by myself. I thought however that the rough numbers from the receiver should be close enough to at least see SOMETHING to start with, even if I could confirm a poor signal.

    I do have a couple questions:
    1) How sensitive is the adjustment of the dish angles? How many degrees off do I need to be before I'll see absolutely nothing? I've adjusted the angles to those given by the receiver for my zip code.
    2) Is it possible to use one of my old DTivos with the non-SWM Slimline3? I have an old RCA DVR80 and a Hughes HDVR2. Both of these receivers worked just fine for 8 years with my old Phase III dish.
    3) Can deactivated receivers be used for dish alignments? Neither of my old receivers are activated anymore.
    4) During all my attempts I've had only a single cable connected to the SL3 LNB. The other 3 outputs are just left open. Is this okay? Terminators should not be needed correct?

    At this point, I'm just about out of ideas and am right at my wits end. If anyone has any other suggestions, I'd greatly appreciate the help!
     
  12. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    42,684
    349
    Dec 9, 2006
    You've only got a window of a couple of degrees in any direction.
    Verify your settings here: http://www.dishpointer.com/
    Make sure to select the correct dish.
    Your old Phase III is centered on the 110 SAT while the SL3 centers on 101.
    Any of your receivers [active or not] should be able to find the 101 SAT.
     
  13. byrd

    byrd Legend

    138
    0
    Apr 29, 2009
    Post #7 of this thread has the angles that I've gotten from the IRD and Dishpointer. They are both pretty close to one another. You'd think that a couple of degrees in any direction would leave a LOT of room for error (a cheap compass, which mine is, can easily be off by a few degrees). BUT I've done a lot of reading around these forums, and time and time again it sounds like this should be an easy task.

    Should Tilt make ANY difference for the 101, or should I be able to get a signal even if tilt is set to 90 degrees? At this point, anything I can take out of the equation will be helpful.
     
  14. eakes

    eakes Godfather

    354
    2
    Sep 21, 2007
    To answer a few questions: Yes, you can use a deactivated receiver for setup and yes, your older receivers will work, at least on 101. Terminating the unused outputs of the LNB should have no effect.

    As to your voltage measurement: 13v out the receiver is good, unfortunately when you measured the 13v at the end of the coax, that was unloaded - in EE we say that is an open-circuit voltage. To measure voltage actually delivered to the LNB, you need to arrange to measure the voltage with the receiver connected to the LNB. One way to do this is take a short piece of coax (six inches or so) with a connector at each end. Somewhere near the middle cut through the outer braid and the dielectric at two places and remove the dielectric and braid between those two points, exposing the center conductor. Only take out a slice of braid and dielectric, don't take it completely out all way round the center wire - you want enough access to get to the center wire but leave most of the braid intact. With that piece installed temporarily near the LNB, measure the voltage between the center wire and braid with your receiver at the house.

    I suspect your RG11 has, for some reason, a very high DC resistance which is preventing the correct operating voltage from getting to the LNB.

    You could also get a bigger (higher current carrying capacity) extension cord such that you can position the receiver near the antenna, eliminating the long run of coax.
     
  15. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    42,684
    349
    Dec 9, 2006
    With a SL3 and going after the 101 SAT, tilt has zero effect, since this is the center SAT.
    If the mast is anywhere near plumb, you should be able to sweep the dish right/left slowly and find a signal "if" the EL is close.
    It may be that your EL isn't set right. Can you take a picture as there is some confusion between dish makers of how to read the setting. If you're off by just a few degrees then sweeping back and forth will not find the signal.
    "In the old days", with an SD receiver, I would use the audio tone to find the signal, by turning up the TV sound and opening the window [50' from my dish]. The HD receiver don't seem to work very well like this, so I end up setting everything up near the dish and watching the screen to align it.
     
  16. byrd

    byrd Legend

    138
    0
    Apr 29, 2009
    Yup. I know exactly what you're talking about here. In fact I placed my volt meter (AC mode) in the extension cord, and still got 120V (with no load). Obviously there was a lot of loss under load since the receiver only put out 9.5V DC when plugged into that long length of extension cord.

    I DID think about the need to measure the voltage to the LNB under load, but it didn't occur to me to just cut into a short bit of RG6. This will definitely give a better insight into what the actual operating voltage is. If I get home before it gets too dark, I'll check this out this evening.
     
  17. byrd

    byrd Legend

    138
    0
    Apr 29, 2009
    I'll definitely take some pictures and post them this evening (if it's light enough). I've found the measurement scale odd anyways since the elevation numbers are all upside down. Using the dishpointer app on my Droid, and knowing roughly were the Sats should be in the sky, I think I'm using the scale correctly. I'll still post those pics though!
     
  18. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

    12,524
    958
    Nov 15, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    A fraction of a degree can take you from no signal to 100% signal. A couple of degrees is HUGE.

    When you are searching for signal, move the dish VERY SLOWLY. Move the LNB assembly about 1/4", pause and wait to see if you get signal. Then go another 1/4", pause, etc.. If after you have gone several degrees either side of where you think you want to be you don't find a signal, bump the elevation a degree or two and repeat the azimuth sweep (very slowly).

    If you just sweep the dish back and forth, you will never see a blip as you pass the alignment point.
     
  19. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    42,684
    349
    Dec 9, 2006
    The narrower Ka beams are ±1º
     
  20. byrd

    byrd Legend

    138
    0
    Apr 29, 2009
    Below are a few pictures of my dish that I took this evening. The SL5 is still installed from my testing this morning. The angle adjustments are also a little off from the suggested dishpointer angles due to my attempts at aligning the dish this morning. Please let me know if anyone notices any issues. It's definitely level and plumb. I've used 2 different bubble levels (a 2.5ft and 3ft level) and a level app on my droid phone. They're all extremely close to one another. The top of the pole had some dimples on it which I filed until is was level. I'll need have my wife help me this weekend in order to try moving the dish EXTREMELY slowly to hunt for a signal.

    As suggested by eakes, I made a short (6 inch) RG6 cable that has a small slot (about 1/4 long, by 1/3 the circumference) cut out of the outer jacket and dielectric. I'll place that in-line near the LNB tomorrow. With the receiver turned on back at the house, I'll verify the voltage. Fingers crossed that there's not too much of a drop. Worst case, I have abut 4 ft of spare cable spooled in the box in the ground that can be removed, and there's about another foot on the pole that can be removed. I'm not sure if that's enough to do the trick if there are any issues. We'll see...
     

    Attached Files:

Share This Page