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Sun interference message

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by gilviv, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. Mar 6, 2013 #1 of 36
    gilviv

    gilviv Godfather

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    For 2 days now, between 3:30 to 3:45PM EST I've seen this full screen message pop up about "Sun interference". It usually lasts about 2-3 minutes, I don't recall ever seeing anything like this before from D* in the 6 years with them. The message also says "this is a Fall , Spring" thing. What gives?:confused::confused:
     
  2. Mar 6, 2013 #2 of 36
    veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    The sun is behind the SAT you're tuned to at that moment.

    I've seen this before and it's been around for years.
     
  3. Mar 6, 2013 #3 of 36
    Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

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    Yea, Directv puts out enough power to overcome the sun noise when the sun is behind the DirecTv satellites, but a few of DirecTvs feeds come from C band satellites on transponders without enough power to overcome the interference, so they put that slide up for the two or three minutes the satellite is being interfered with at their receive site in Colorado. Lasts about 3 or 4 days every spring and fall. The sun right now is tracking the satellite belt almost perfectly. Good time to check if you have line of site if you are planning on putting up a dish.

    http://www.prss.org/tech_support-solar_outage-spring.html
     
  4. Mar 6, 2013 #4 of 36
    studechip

    studechip Godfather

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    Actually, it might be the c band satellite the original feed is taken from, not necessarily the Directv satellite.
     
  5. Mar 6, 2013 #5 of 36
    dpeters11

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

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    Only a few more days of it left.
     
  6. Mar 6, 2013 #6 of 36
    Diana C

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    The sun passes directly behind the geo-stationary DBS satellites twice a year - mid-March to early April and late September to mid-October, depending on your latitude. When the sun is behind the satellite it can swamp the signal, causing a temporary loss of signal.

    As VOS says, this has been happening every spring and fall for as long as there have been geo-stationary satellites. Since it is short lived, and the sun has to pass directly behind the satellite in question, most people don't notice it.
     
  7. Mar 6, 2013 #7 of 36
    inf0z

    inf0z Legend

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    Edit - never mind, some one already posted the dates.
     
  8. Mar 6, 2013 #8 of 36
    veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Interesting link, but the times don't match, but suggest it was one of the 99/101/103 SATs, and I REALLY DOUBT DirecTV outputs enough power to overcome the noise of the sun. If they did rainfade would be almost a non issues.

    For those that want to play: http://gjullien.fr/satellite.htm
     
  9. Mar 6, 2013 #9 of 36
    Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

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    Ive never had a sun outage on Directv itself. If so, he wouldnt have a DirecTv slide on the screen, he would have a 771 error message :) Those times are for the satellite that company is using...He would have to use the calculator. Since he knows the time, and his location, he could check the time vs the satellite out at that time at his location to verify, but Id bet the time it was out matches the time the solar outage hit Castle Rock for that stations satellite he was watching.
     
  10. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    You might be right. When I've seen the message, being on the west coast, it was in the late morning.
    If it's Castle Rock, they need to be looking at a SAT around 123 degrees.
     
  11. shendley

    shendley Hall Of Fame

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    I remember seeing this problem only once in a sports bar in Denver in 1997 (I think that was the year) watching a Steelers game. The bar lost the signal for a good part of a drive. There was no message on the screen, but the bartender called and was told that was what was going on.
     
  12. makaiguy

    makaiguy Icon

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    The message is being shown on-screen. If the message is caused by the user's inability to receive the D* signal, then the user could not receive the notice. Therefore I suspect the message refers to D*'s inability to receive the signal at the uplink center.

    I guess it might be possible that the notice is already present in the STB which is smart enough to display it when the receiver experiences a sun block, but I doubt it.
     
  13. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Let me first say "I don't know", but if it is the sun behind the DirecTV SAT, what the receiver would see is a good CNR that slowly fades and then increases again, within a few mins [4 mins/degree].
    I'm not sure if the receiver is "smart enough" to realize this and trigger the message because of the date.

    Given that DirecTV has Castle Rock & El Segundo, one might think they'd switch to get around this.
     
  14. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

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    Even if it was, it would have to calculate the time the outage would occur, based on the zip code entered in the receiver, and what satellite the receiver was tuned to, so it would know when to display the message, since the outage occurs at a different time in every zip code.

    While possible, I highly doubt DirecTv would put that much code into a receiver...and since mine plays fine right through the outage (the signal strength meter drops from 95s to about 60's during the suns passage on the KA sats), I doubt its an issue.

    It mainly affects C band, where dish gains are much lower. Even on my KU band 6' dish, the outage rarely affects the stronger signals like PBS. It does affect some of the weaker ones tho, but it knocks out ALL the C band transponders on each satellite in progression. I use it every year on my C band dish to make sure the boresight it aligned correctly, and the polar mount is aligned right.
     
  15. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    While I still "don't know" :lol:
    I think you're making it harder than it has to be.
    It lasts what? A week in the spring & fall?
    If the receiver gets a message during this time from the guide data, and "IF" [big] it can sense the drop of the CNR, it might not be that hard. :shrug:
     
  16. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

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    True, that would work. To find out if it is true, just watch or record a channel on 99W at:
    Start 03/06/2013 12:29:39
    End 03/06/2013 12:43:54
    Peak 03/06/2013 12:36:47

    03/07/2013 12:29:38
    03/07/2013 12:43:26
    03/07/2013 12:36:32

    tomorrow, and see if you lose signal ;) Times are for Los Angeles.

    http://www.satellite-calculations.com/Satellite/suninterference.php
     
  17. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Your times look to be 2 hours off from the west coast.

    It looks like my local NBC [off 103] will be:
    03/07/2013 10:45:35
    03/07/2013 10:57:57
    03/07/2013 10:51:46

    I know I didn't see any problems watching live TV this morning.
     
  18. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

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    That is strange. I plugged in LA,CA for the location, and 99W for the satellite, and thats what it popped out. I usually go by UTC when I do it, because these calculators and daylight savings time which goes into effect this weekend sometimes screw it up.

    In any case, its fun to watch the signal drop for 5 minutes, then recover. It was REALLY fun when watching analog C band. Sparkles increased until the entire station was unwatchable, then slowly recovered. Digital it just works until it drops.

    These are the UTC times from Intelsats site for LA:
    07-Mar-2013 18:31 9 minutes
    08-Mar-2013 18:32 7 minutes

    http://www.intelsat.com/webapps/SunInterference/PublicSunInterference.aspx

    Current UTC time can be heard live at (303) 499-7111. Here, local time is UTC minus 6.
     
  19. onan38

    onan38 Legend

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    I saw that message on Tvland Monday afternoon.lasted around 3 min.1st time i have seen that message.
     
  20. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    UTC-8 for here.
     

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