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Trouble aligning dish, bent reflector, bad LNB, something else?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Installation/MDU Discussion' started by Getteau, Apr 17, 2014.

  1. Getteau

    Getteau Icon

    859
    10
    Dec 19, 2007
    Houston
    Hey guys,
    I have a slimline dish and a non-SWM SL5 at my vacation spot that I have been trying off an on to get peaked. It seems like no matter what I do, I can't get the signals on the 101 to go over the mid 70's (with one or two that occasionally will will hit the upper 80's to low 90's). What's odd is that the last time I was out there playing with it, I was able to get the 110 and 119 dialed in with mid to upper 90's. At best, I was only able to get the 99 and 103's to the mid to upper 30's and doing that dropped my 101's down to the low 70's.. When I was using my R15, it wasn't that big of a deal. However, I upgraded the TV out there from an old tube TV to a flat panel and I'd like to get HD using one of my HR 21's. I have the BBC's installed and I know others at this location that are pulling in high 90's with their old round dishes. I have also tried a couple of different spots, so I don't think it's a line of site problem. Others items of possible note. The LNB was a brand new LNB that I picked up at solid signal. The dish was one a buddy of mine used to use when he tailgated and apparently it has taken a few nosedives over the years. I checked out the location on dishpointer.com and it looks like I'm pointed in the right direction. I also put a level on my pole mount and it looks level and plumb.

    So given all of that, any thoughts? Could it be a bad LNB? It was brand new, but I've had brand new stuff that was bad out of the box. Maybe a bent reflector or LNB arm from falling over at football games? I'm wondering if maybe the falls bent the dish from top to bottom and that's why 101 is bad but the 110 and 119 come in OK (that's just a wild guess). I'm thinking about picking up another dish and an SL3 LNB and trying one last time before I attempt to find an installer. However, I figured I ask to see if this type of situation sounds familiar to anyone.

    Thanks,
    Rich
     
  2. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Dec 9, 2006
    Sounds like the dish might just be too bent up.
    Some of the new ones get tweaked in shipping where they are low on 99/103 and the only way to check is to compare to another reflector.
     
  3. Flugelman

    Flugelman Legend

    146
    1
    Nov 20, 2007
    Got a smart phone? If so, get the satellite app, and check your LOS. Since you're getting some sats fine and others not so much it could be that overhanging branch. The app will let you see the satellites in relation to surrounding foilage.
     
  4. gov

    gov Legend

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    Jan 11, 2013
    Any noticeable puckers in the raised rim of the reflector ?
     
  5. peds48

    peds48 Genius.

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    Jan 10, 2008
    NY
    I am with VOS on this one, even minor dents and or bents on the dish, will throw its alignment off
     
  6. Getteau

    Getteau Icon

    859
    10
    Dec 19, 2007
    Houston
    no dings in face of the reflector that I remember. However, the flat rim does have a couple of places where you can see it was dinged and dented. That was one of the reasons I was thinking it may be a reflector issue.
     
  7. Jul 8, 2014 #7 of 10
    Getteau

    Getteau Icon

    859
    10
    Dec 19, 2007
    Houston
    I just wanted to say thank you to everyone that replied to the thread. It took a few months, but I was finally out at my trailer this weekend and brought along a new dish and SL3 LNB I picked up at Amazon. I'm not sure if the old dish/arm was bad or if it was the LNB, but I went from mid to low 70's on the 101 and mid 30's on the 103/99, to upper 90's to 100's on the 101 and mid 90's on the 103 and 99.

    It was so much better watching stuff in HD instead of the bad stretched SD signal I had before.
    .
     
  8. Jul 8, 2014 #8 of 10
    peds48

    peds48 Genius.

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    NY
    Awesome. Thanks for the update.
     
  9. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Cool Member

    15
    0
    May 29, 2011
    I realize it's been awhile since this thread was bumped, but I had the same problem (as an independent installer) with a dish I ordered. With my resources I was able to determine it was the reflector that was out of "wack", so I put my knee in the middle of it and pulled in from first the top and bottom, then from the sides. I could feel it bending. Once done, since I had another reflector to compare it with, I saw that I had made it a bit too deep now in the center, so I just leaned on it flat on the floor and bent it back a wee bit into shape (most likely the same kind of thing that flattened it out in the first place), put it back up and was amazed to find a signal strength now on my meter of 91%, whereas after 100's of installs I'd never seen anything above 83% before for 101. With the dish bent a bit deeper now than normal, I was leery that I may have screwed up the reflector for 99 and 103, but after checking my signal strengths on the receiver, they were ALL higher than I'd ever seen before as well, leaving me to believe that DirecTv isn't even shipping these dishes as well tuned as they could be. The only thing I can think of is that they're the way they are from DirecTv possibly for 110 and 119, but so few need those birds any longer (Spanish channels). So if you're somewhere that needs as good a signal as you can get, you may want to give bending the dish inward a shot to increase your signal strengths.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2016
  10. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    Jul 25, 2002
    W.Mdtrn Sea
    I would {watching SS screen} use two hands and apply little bit force to reflector's edge top-bottom points, then for left-right line
    you should monitor SS value(s) while exercise your muscles :)
    if you'll see increase SS, you are on right path to fix the reflector
     
    tecnicoloco likes this.

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