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AllStar
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We had a bad storm here yesterday with several lightning strikes. After the storm I had a 771 error on one of my receivers. I have a Slimline connected to an HR20 in the house and an H20 in my shop. The H20 is fine but the HR20 is showing the error. I swapped the coax connections at the LNB with the same results (seems to rule out the LNB?). I brought the working H20 into the house to test and expecting it to work, but to my surprise I got the same error on the H20(I haven't tried the HR20 in the H20 location yet).

This was a head-scratcher and after some thought I couldn't help but wonder if the grounding block did its job and took the hit? (The H20 is on a separate block). My cables running from the dish to the house are relatively new and buried the entire length (40 ft). It was dark and raining and I had to give in for the night. The grounding issue did not occur to me until this morning so I have not been able to check for continuity or receiver voltage at the block. I am looking for some insight as to what may have been the cause and steps to a solution. I have always installed and serviced my own equipment but his is a new one to me.
 

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It sure can. Now I am not sure if lightning can do the trick. But ground blocks can get defective. ad it happen while installing a few times.
And of course it is a prime place for moisture to enter the system also.
 

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With lightning anything is possible.. anything from blowing LNB ports, blocks.. to burning the wire right out of the wall..
 

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Open each fitting, one at a time, and make sure you still have the center wire.
Sometimes it is just gone as a result of power surges or lightning. Sometimes just cutting the fitting again a few inches back works,,,,,,,,,sometimes you rerun the cable because it has other faults along it's length.

Then bypass the ground block with a barrel fitting. If that fixes it replace the ground block

Joe

AFTERTHOUGHT: That 40ft underground is also a suspect. UG RG6 has silicone inside to stop leaks. Probably the cable you have is not UG rg6 and may have been dinged. Do you own a shovel? Put a toner on each line and test with the probe. If you hear a loud section, start digging.
 

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Water can also be the problem. I've been to a couple of houses where the outer jacket of the coax was cut/torn, and when it rained, water would run down the cable and into the jacket, then travel down the braid until it hit a connector, where it would pool up. The DC voltage on the line accelerated the corrosion and soon the customer had no signal. The stingers in the connectors had disintegrated, and the connectors and ground block were full of moisture and water. All from a little cut in the cable about 1/4" long.
 

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IIP said:
Water can also be the problem. I've been to a couple of houses where the outer jacket of the coax was cut/torn, and when it rained, water would run down the cable and into the jacket, then travel down the braid until it hit a connector, where it would pool up. The DC voltage on the line accelerated the corrosion and soon the customer had no signal. The stingers in the connectors had disintegrated, and the connectors and ground block were full of moisture and water. All from a little cut in the cable about 1/4" long.
Yup,
It is the cable companies fault. If they had used good stuff these problems would not occur. Weed eaters should know better too.

Joe
 

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AllStar
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Update. Ground block seems to be ok. I am suspecting a cabling issue.
I ran combined cable straight from the dish to my known good H20. No signal found. I had 3 known good cables connected in order to make the distance. Do the double male connectors cause this problem? Do I need 1 long cable to make a good test? Recap - I have bypassed everything including the b band converters and connected straight to the receiver from the dish - but the cable is 3 connected RG6 cables in order to cover the distance. No signal found.
 

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Time to take the HR20 to the shop. It might have been damaged. If it works at the shop, either a known-good cable is really not, or one of your barrel adapters is shot. Sounds like it's probably a receiver issue......
 

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FHNSAB
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sansabar said:
Update. Ground block seems to be ok. I am suspecting a cabling issue.
I ran combined cable straight from the dish to my known good H20. No signal found. I had 3 known good cables connected in order to make the distance. Do the double male connectors cause this problem? Do I need 1 long cable to make a good test? Recap - I have bypassed everything including the b band converters and connected straight to the receiver from the dish - but the cable is 3 connected RG6 cables in order to cover the distance. No signal found.
When you tested this, did you check more than 1 connection from the dish? There is a multiswitch built into the LNB arm, you need to eliminate that as a source of error.
 

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Ground block doesnt "short out". Each individual port on ground block can short out. Very unlikely you would have more than one damaged port. There is more chance LNB goes bad in a storm. Also can be a receiver.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Update #2.
Found one bad cable running from the ground block to the receiver. Seems to work intermittently. The LNB works on all outputs to my known good receiver. Still have issues with the HR20 as I can't get a signal. If I wasn't in the middle of contracting/working on my new house I would have this figured out! Thanks for the input.
 

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kevinm34232 said:
Can you elaborate on this procedure?
It is called "ringing out the lines"

You use a tool called a cable toner or tracker. One part of the tool sends a radio signal along the cable. The other part picks up the signal and makes an amplified tone. If you have many cables banded together and you want one specific cable this "ringing out" is how it is done.

For underground cable you have to hope the cable is only a few inches under the sod. Test one cable at a time. You disconnect both ends, attach the clips on the sending unit to the electrode and the fitting at one end. Then follow the cable route with the probe. Sometimes you get lucky and find a place where the cable has been nicked. Sometimes you find where the cable has been cut.
Underground repairs are not recommended but can be done. Also, The sender itself will detect shorts in the cable. This won't tell you where the short is but lets you know the cable is damaged.
This tone technique isn't perfect because the tone will bleed from wire to wire but sometimes will save digging in all new cable. Some satellite meters also have a capability to test cable to the LNB and to the IRD. The whole thing is like testing garden hose...you look for leaks and look for kinks.
You want what you put in one end to come out the other.

Joe
 

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kevinm34232 said:
Can you give me a link for a probe like that?
Mine is a 77HP Tracer 2 from Progressive Electronics by Tempo. The sender will test by tone, polarity...(for phones) and continuity (shorts) and will show line 1 or 2 (for phones)

The pick up (probe) unit is a 200EP inductive amplifier by the same company, sold as a set. There are many similar sets. I paid $120.00 from a local electronics co (paid too much but needed it then). I like the way it works quality wise. They are available all over. Skywalker Communications.com has one for about ten bucks. Lowes, Home Depot and others have them.

Verify that the tone is ringing after connection of the sender by pushing the tone button and go look for where else the probe finds the original signal by pushing the same button. It is a good tool in the box.

It also has a phone plug that allows ringing phone lines....(not much harder but the ring-through makes you play with the volume control that is not part of cheaper units).....I use this to search phone lines in the NID or punch down block. When HSPs ask for free phone work I stop speaking to them.

Joe
 
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