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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in eastern Pennsylvania, and my HD channels go out very easily when the weather gets bad. A buddy of mine (that's probably about 15 miles away) has the same issue.

Do others have the same problem? Anything that can be done about it?

Just did a sat test (as I'm having the issue right now) and see -

Sat 101 - looks OK
Sat 110 - only 3 transponders 81, 73, 79 strength
119 - Kinda all over the place, 11 total, 47 - 95 in strength, with one zero
99 - 6 total, 79 0 73 0 0
103 - 16 total, first row all 0, then some numbers from 23-69, and a couple more 0

Is there a good way to figure out what channels are on what satellites? Today, I'm trying to watch some HD baseball games on the EI package.

Guess I should try to compare what things look like when the weather is good.
 

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mdh333 said:
I'm in eastern Pennsylvania, and my HD channels go out very easily when the weather gets bad. A buddy of mine (that's probably about 15 miles away) has the same issue.

Do others have the same problem? Anything that can be done about it?

Just did a sat test (as I'm having the issue right now) and see -

Sat 101 - looks OK
Sat 110 - only 3 transponders 81, 73, 79 strength
119 - Kinda all over the place, 11 total, 47 - 95 in strength, with one zero
99 - 6 total, 79 0 73 0 0
103 - 16 total, first row all 0, then some numbers from 23-69, and a couple more 0

Is there a good way to figure out what channels are on what satellites? Today, I'm trying to watch some HD baseball games on the EI package.

Guess I should try to compare what things look like when the weather is good.
I live in central NJ and only have to worry about 101 and 103c. The lowest reading I am getting today is 83 on one 103c transponder. You might want to get the dish realigned. Do that first before you change anything else and make sure that when you get the dish alignment that the installer puts a "grounding block" on your system if you don't have one now.

Rich
 

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Most of the D*'s new HD channels are downlinked on a higher frequency band that is more susceptible to rain fade.
 

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rich584 said:
I live in central NJ and only have to worry about 101 and 103c. The lowest reading I am getting today is 83 on one 103c transponder. You might want to get the dish realigned. Do that first before you change anything else and make sure that when you get the dish alignment that the installer puts a "grounding block" on your system if you don't have one now.

Rich
+1

103c is a nation SAT, so everyone "should get" 80%+
99s & 103s are spots, so everyone will get different levels depending on where they live.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'll also throw in that when they go (like now) it's not even like it used to be where a channel is pixilated, or you see "searching for satellite" but instead they are all black. And, if I change to the channel now it takes a good 30 seconds for the receiver (HR20-100) to respond to let me change to another channel. I don't even see the info bar at the top for those 30 seconds.

Heck - the sun's back out now and I'm still stuck in this world.
 

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Those numbers look pretty bad.

On 103c you should have 90+ on all transponders.
Same goes for 101, 110 and 119.

If you don't have this then your dish isn't properly aligned. Get DirecTV to align it properly including the KA dither tweaks and you'll have much better luck. Yes, rain fade will still happen in very bad storms but it will take a lot longer for the signal to go out and it will come back much sooner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks.

I rebooted the box that wasn't behaving, and it's quite a bit happier right now. Many of my numbers look the same, yet the channels are working again.

As the weather improves, I'll have to check everything and get some more detailed comparisons.

Anywhere that I can figure out what channels are on which satellite? And how's a transponder relate?
 

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Kansas Zephyr said:
Most of the D*'s new HD channels are downlinked on a higher frequency band that is more susceptible to rain fade.
i believe the Hd channels are in the 18.? gHz range vs the SD in the 12.? gHz range.
 

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I noticed this as well with the bad weather here in Boston over the past couple days with channels going out.

Would an AM21 hooked up to my HR21-200 allow for receiving local HD broadcasts in bad weather (where currently we lose all channels in a bad thunder-storm with just the dish) ?
 

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jforman said:
I noticed this as well with the bad weather here in Boston over the past couple days with channels going out.

Would an AM21 hooked up to my HR21-200 allow for receiving local HD broadcasts in bad weather (where currently we lose all channels in a bad thunder-storm with just the dish) ?
It should. OTA is at a much lower frequency so rain doesn't bother it "as much". I can lose OTA in very heavy rain, but my signal level "at best" is low [three mountain peaks between me and the towers 62 miles away].
 

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I'm about 30 miles from the antenna farm (in Cedar Hill) and, except during actual lightening bolts, get no picture breakup on my ATSC channels (based on my Samsung SIR-TS360)... In fact, with my old box, we would often have to switch to OTA during severe storms... That's one reason I wanted the AM21 (installed today). Have yet to evaluate overall performance, but so far so good.
 

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rich584 said:
For the love of God, will someone please tell me what "rain fade" looks like? I really feel like I'm missing something here. Just simply describe it.

Rich
Go throw a wet towel over your dish, and then tune to an HD channel.
At the first onset, your picture will start to break up. As the rain,snow, hail, gets heavier, you will lose the signal completely.
 

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veryoldschool said:
Go throw a wet towel over your dish, and then tune to an HD channel.
At the first onset, your picture will start to break up. As the rain,snow, hail, gets heavier, you will lose the signal completely.
OK, that's what I've been seeing for years during storms. "Rain fade" seems rather simplistic, but if that's what it's called, I'll go along with it.

Rich
 

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rich584 said:
For the love of God, will someone please tell me what "rain fade" looks like? I really feel like I'm missing something here. Just simply describe it.

Rich
More raindrops in a given volume of space/air (or larger drops) increase the attenuation of RF energy passing through it. Higher frequencies are more scattered/attenuated than lower ones.

This decreases the amount of signal that hits the dish.

Once the signal gets marginal, you have "blocky/sporadic reception", after it drops below a minimum level you get a blank screen and "searching for satellite".
 

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Kansas Zephyr said:
More raindrops in a given volume of space/air (or larger drops) increases the attenuation of RF energy passing through it. Higher frequencies are more scattered/attenuated than lower ones.

This just decreases the amount of signal that hits the dish.

Once the signal gets marginal, you have "blocky/sporadic reception", after it drops below a minimum level you get a blank screen and "searching for satellite".
Thanx, that was clear.

Rich
 

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Kansas Zephyr said:
More raindrops in a given volume of space/air (or larger drops) increase the attenuation of RF energy passing through it. Higher frequencies are more scattered/attenuated than lower ones.

This decreases the amount of signal that hits the dish.

Once the signal gets marginal, you have "blocky/sporadic reception", after it drops below a minimum level you get a blank screen and "searching for satellite".
Hi there, my question is this. What is the absolute lowest your signal can go before you get zip? I am just trying to find out because my trees aren't letting me get high signals, so I would like to tweak to get the best I can which will still be a low low low number..
 

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penguin44 said:
Hi there, my question is this. What is the absolute lowest your signal can go before you get zip? I am just trying to find out because my trees aren't letting me get high signals, so I would like to tweak to get the best I can which will still be a low low low number..
Above 40 for me and it's rock solid. Between 30 and 40 it'll pixelize and go in and out. Below 30 and it's pretty much black screen, no signal.

And this is where peaked signals come into play to fight any rain fade. Let's say rain fade causes a 40 point loss in signal. If you're starting at 90+ that means you're still above 50 and everything will be fine, no signal loss. But if you're starting out at 70 then that will put you down to 30 meaning you've lost signal. This is why it's so critical to get that dish peaked out.
 
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