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DP Blinkouts --- aaaarrrrgggghhhhh!!!

844 Views 10 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  larrydj
The title sums it up. I am having problems every few minutes with blinkouts, audio gaps, and occasional pixelation with my DP. I'd say every 2-3 minutes. It's unusable. I've 32768'd, check switch,etc. etc. What's funny, was that I WAS getting Acquiring Signal errors, but not now. My signal strength runs about 72-76. I don't know if this is high or low. My 4000 seems to operate just fine. So, is my DP garbage? I'm really frustrated with it. Maybe it's the switch, but then again my 4000 is OK. Advice? Is it time to jump ship to another PVR? It's ocurred 3 times while typing this message!
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I believe these strength numbers are ok (the latest receiver software 118 scaled the numbers to keep the readings below 100%).

Try downloading the guide with either a switch check or even better, the option code....

Power Down
Wait for green light to stop and hard drive to spin down
on the remote
presst 'option'
type '7225000' (the lights will flash)
wait for the dishplayer to quiet down
turn it back on and when you go to the guide it'll do an 8 minute download.

The 7-day guide will be replaced with the 2-day. You'll get a new 7-day overnight.

Please let us know if this helps.
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oops, I see you've tried the switch check all ready....

Another thought -
Have you tried a smart card pull?
How about the power plug pull?

The 32768 code resets the client software (webtv, PTV)
The other two reset the receiver software.

Is the hard drive making any strange sounds?
Sometime blinkouts are an indication of hard drive problems. An annoying option would be to plug the hard drive into a PC and run the manufactures diagnostics.
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Thanks David. I've done the smart card, power plug pull, and 32768 this weekend. I've done the smart card and 32768 this evening when the blinkouts occured. However, I have not done the power cord pull since the blinkouts occured, so maybe I should try that. There's just the normal light clicking noises coming from the DP, nothing abnormal. I just spent 30 minutes with a CSR, and he ran me through the smart card and 32768 again, and then he concluded that the DP was probably bad. I'm not sure, but it could be.
Heat problems? Several months ago, I moved one of my DP's into an A/V cabinet. Not behind glass, but the shelf space only left about an inch on top, and a couple on both sides. The back had just an opening for cables. Before the DP was out in the open for good air flow. After moving it, I got a few blinkouts here and there. But the last several weeks it got so bad, you couldn't watch any channel or PTV. I tried to get a free 508 from E* as a replacement. HA! :rolleyes:

As a last resort, I moved the DP to the top of the AV cabinet, and so far I 've only seen one blinkout. That has been since this Saturday. A major improvement, but not too confident I'm out of the woods just yet.
As a matter of fact, it IS warm. It is the warmest piece of equipment I have, in fact. It is behind a closed cabinet with a few inches around it, and a large area behind it. I use an IR extender since it is behind completely opaque cabinetry. It's in a built in equipment cabinet, and there is no alternative for pulling it out, but I could always add more room around it by resetting the shelf positions, or a fan. Hmmm.......
If it is any way possible, try to move the DP out of the cabinet, temporarily, just to see if heat is the problem.

I've got my DP sitting on the top of the cabinet, and my wife tells me it WILL NOT stay there long. I haven't quite figured out where else to set it. Yes, it was a pain pulling the cables out, but it helped immensely.

I've heard of people placing a small fan behind the DP blowing out toward the front of the cabinet. You may try that if it is absolutley impossible to move the DP. If you can allow more room in the shelving, that would be another alternative. But the DP's run so dang hot, it's probably better to have it out in the open.

Have you upgraded the drive in your DP? If you have popped a 7200 RPM drive in, that can add more heat. It's best to stay with 5400. Not sure if you have modified your DP, but just throwing this out as an FYI.
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We had problems with blinkouts last Fri, but haven't seen them in the past few days. In the past, when there was a broad problem with blinkouts, it also brought on out of synch audio/video as well. Fortunately I didn't get that. It may have been heat related for us as well. Now that I think about it, the DP was on all day Fri and very little since then.

From reading DP related threads here and at DBSforums, it seems that as the DPs get older, they are getting more sensitive to heat issues. It could also be that more and more DP owners have upgraded the HDs since the DP is older and out of warranty.
To make matters worse, I keep my DP on all the time, so it stays pretty warm. I've done this because there is no discrete Power On & Off for use with the Pronto. Today, when I got home, I found binkouts that became so bad that DP produced big CHIRPs along with some spectacular flashes on teh screen before a blinkout. Sooo......I've turned power off to let it cool, and then will see how it acts when I first turn it on. BTW, I have a 7100 that has been upgraded with a 5400 RPM 40G drive. I wonder if I were to take the cover off (why not?) if it would stay cooler.
Larry, unplug the machine as the power still flows through even when off (I know this because I tried putting in a fan and it never shut off when powered down).

I would make sure to get the Dish Extended Warranty ($3.99/mo?) now before something goes wrong permanently.
Well, it looks like heat may very well be the culprit. I let the DP cool, and then slid it backwards till the rear stuck out a bit behind the cabinet. (I have some significant space behind the cabinet. larger than a closet, even though it is enclosed space.) I positioned a 4" fan to blow across the top, and powered the fan by the switched output of my AV receiver. I only had one blinkout the entire evening! This was greatly improved. This isn't ideal mechanically, but I think I'll operate it for a few days to see if this solves the problem. I'm also thinking that removing the cover would cool it even more. Thoughts? I just don't know how much the cover is designed to work as a heat sink.

The obvious flaw in all of this is that I keep the DP on. So, when I turn the receiver off, and the fan goes off, the DP (which is still on) will start heating up again. I keep the DP on because it doesn't have discrete ON/OFF that I can include in my Pronto remote control macros.
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