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SWM5 Re-Alignment

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Installation/MDU Discussion' started by JLester, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. JLester

    JLester AllStar

    Sep 24, 2007
    Our SWM5 dish was installed several years ago. We've always had some rain fade problem, but it was never too irritating. Now however, we're having some bad pixellation and 771 errors even on a good day. I think we just need a minor adjustment, but was hoping for hints on which way I should go with it. I installed several of the older dishes, but have never worked much on the newer ones. Here are my readings:

    101: 98+ on all that are not 0 except for 26(60) and 28(23)

    110: 94-97

    119: 95-100

    99c: Low of 82, High of 92. Most in low-mid 80s

    99s: Transponder 5 (our locals) is 96.

    103s: Not sure if anything we use is on here, range 58-92

    103ca: 88-95

    103cb: 85-94

    SWM: All 100

    We watch a lot of TBSHD which is 83 is the transponder list is correct (12 on 99c).

    Any ideas what I should try first?

  2. CCarncross

    CCarncross Hall Of Fame

    Jul 19, 2005
    With those signals, its not an alignment problem, you'll need to look elsewhere. Unless you drop into the 50's or so you shouldn't have any pixellation issues. You would never pixellate on a clear day with those signals. At most you may squeeze a few more points out of your 99c and 103c alignments, but it would be mere points if at all.
  3. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

    Jun 18, 2006
    Actually everything looks fine except your 103s numbers. Do you receiver anything off that satellite? The answer is most certainly yes or there would be no numbers to read. If your local channels are the most affected, it's the 103s numbers that are likely to blame.

    That said, it's my opinion that your alignment is fine and the problem is a flaky LNB. Assuming it's been 3-4 years given the rain and possible snow in your area, losing such a sensitive piece of electronics is quite possible.

    I give this opinion because your signals on 99 and 119 are both fine, and when that's the case generally the intervening satellites are fine too.
  4. JLester

    JLester AllStar

    Sep 24, 2007
    My locals are on 99s Transponder 5, which is in the 90s.

    I hadn't even thought about it being the LNB. It is one of the earlier ones when people were having issues with low temperatures. Mine is the Eagle brand one though, which I thought was not affected. Maybe I should just grab a new one and swap it out to see if it gets any better?
  5. studechip

    studechip Godfather

    Apr 16, 2012
    Your alignment isn't what is causing your 771 issues, but it could certainly be better. Low 80s wouldn't even pass muster on a new install.
  6. RD in Fla

    RD in Fla Icon

    Aug 26, 2007
    Check all of your connections. Start out by the dish and work inward. Just had a similar experience and it was a loose f connector near the dish. Replaced it, cured all of my 771 error messages.
  7. B Newt

    B Newt Icon

    Aug 12, 2007
    Try disconnecting/reconnecting the cables going into the lnb. Might have some corrosion built up on the connections. I was having the same exact problem you are having. The plastic cover on one of the lnb horn thingy dry rotted off. Also my signal strength went down on all the sats. I replaced the lnb and all if fine now. I still think you have corroded connections.
  8. JLester

    JLester AllStar

    Sep 24, 2007
    I came home today with the intent of replacing the RG6 connectors between the dish and the splitter at the house. The receiver in our living room had a message that it had not been able to receive any guide information for 24 hours. No channels could be tuned to, etc. I tried a menu reset, but the receiver turned off and then back on, but never output anything to the TV. I finally did a RBR and it eventually came up, but seemed to take much longer than normal on the Step 1 part.

    I went ahead and replaced all the connectors outside, but it got me thinking about whether I had ever seen the 771 errors on our other receivers. The others are not watched as much, but I don't recall ever seeing those errors on them. Can a receiver problem cause the same symptoms that I am seeing (771 errors, freezing, problem communicating with dish, etc.)?
  9. JLester

    JLester AllStar

    Sep 24, 2007
    Some interesting information....

    This one receiver fails the self-test showing diagnostic code 43-158, which indicates a dish alignment problem. However, the other three receivers (two HR23's and an H21) all pass. I finally decided to pull the wall jack out. I was very surprised to find RG59 with screw-on connectors! It has been running across that since 2006 when we moved in (prior to SWM upgrade too, so both cables are like that).

    I am really surprised the installer who did our Mover's Connection at the time did not at least replace those connectors, if not the entire RG59 cable runs. We had movers, DirecTV, Sears (appliances), and a furniture store all here at the same time that day, so I was not paying close attention. I know RG59 is supported with SWM, but am pretty sure it was not with the old multiswitch setup. It is a pretty short run, so probably why it worked without many problems.

    I don't even have RG59 compression fittings, so I plan on picking some up and replacing them to see what happens. I did pull them apart and put them back together better and the system test now passes. I think I am on the right track. Still can't believe the screw on connectors though, I have replaced so many of those over the years at work (all the way back to the Thin-Ethernet and Arcnet days) and ended up with them in my own house!
  10. gov

    gov Legend

    Jan 11, 2013
    LOL, take a picture and post it in the 'shame' thread!

    We've all seen sub standard stuff, too bad it was behind your own wall plate. Just on principal, instead of just putting new connectors, how feasible is pulling a nice normal piece of RG6 ??
  11. JLester

    JLester AllStar

    Sep 24, 2007
    I would like to have a talk with the electrician who wired this house. The work is excellent, everything neatly done, labeled properly, etc. The issue is that the electrical panel, the phone demarc, and the cable demarc are all in a location that is completely inaccessible from the rest of the house. They are on the backside of the garage and there were no conduits left leading from them to the crawlspace. It is like they never planned on needing to ever add new circuits, phones, or TV drops later. I can replace it if I absolutely have to, but it would involve going outside, across a sidewalk, and then back inside at the garage.
  12. JLester

    JLester AllStar

    Sep 24, 2007
    No dropouts or error messages since replacing the connectors yesterday. I also found that the cables going into the SWM power injector had loosened up. I tightened those back down as well.

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