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Hall Of Fame
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got my Slimline installed at my new house and get great signals on the 101 sat (nine TPs come in at 100 and most of the rest are in the high 80s or 90s). But on the 99c and 103c, I'm only getting 60s and 70s on a clear blue day (and lose them in even a light rain). At my old house I also got great signals on the 101 and got high 80s and 90s on the 103c (99c had not lit up when I moved so I don't know what kind of signal I would have gotten from it). So I know it's possible to get great signals on 101 and 103c (and I assume on 99c) all at the same time.

Since I'm dialed in on the 101, is it feasible for me to fine tune the dish myself so that 99c and 103c come in stronger?

I have no signal meters other than those in my HR21s. I also don't want to lower my 101 signal readings either. What exact tweaks would I need to make? I think there are 3 adjustments on the dish right - is one of them the one I would need to tweak?

My ZIP is 13850 is that helps. Thanks.

(And would I need to worry about 110 and 119? We don't get locals where I live now, and since all the old MPEG2 HD channels are now in MPEG4, do I need to worry about 110? What programming comes from 110 and 119 now?)
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Just a note: my install was less than 2 weeks ago - would D* come out and realign the dish for free since the install was so recent? I really don't want to spend the money for a service call if I can help it. I don't have the protection plan. Thanks again.
 

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No they won't align the dish again, to D* I guess TP #'s in the 70's are passing grade. They would probably tell you to take a long walk off a short plank with those numbers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
With 60s and 70s on both 99c and 103c, D* wouldn't help me at all?
 

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call them back and tell them your picture is breaking up and your getinng a sfss on a clear day:D
if they ask you to pull up the meter mute the tv and tell them you have mostly zeros and a couple of tps in the 40's:D
that will make them come out:D
 

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I would not worry about 110/119, as like you said they are not really used. Just make sure you still get 119 as when you are tuned on 103 it gets the guide data from 119.

Tweaking with the receiver signal meters works very well, I have peaked a few dishes that way and it works just fine. One thing you can try is just pressing on the edge of the dish to see if moving it and in what direction would help. Then you can untighten the lock bolts and use the fine tune adjustments to dial it in.

Just beware and be careful when undoing the locking bolts as the pressure used to loosen/tighten them can move the dish even more. You will find the Ka (99/103) are VERY sensitive. Tiny turns on the fine adjustment can make big differences, as can just apply pressure to the edges of the dish temporarily.
 

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Godfather
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Indiana627 said:
With 60s and 70s on both 99c and 103c, D* wouldn't help me at all?
How many do you have below 70? With signal strength below 70 they should come out and realign the dish.

I have also attached the installation manual for the Slimline dish that details how to peak your signals.
 

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Long story short I had to install my slimline on my own. I had to re-tweak after a storm the next day (another long story that was a subtle reminder of MANY people here saying LOCK the dish down tight when all done but thats a different story)

The 99 and 103 are pretty easy to tweak if you have someone that can sit in front of your tv watching the signal meters (my wife is getting pretty good at it) and can relay info to you. A 1/2 turn or 2 on the fine adjustment knobs goes a LONG way on the 99 and 103, but will have minimal (if any) affect on the other sats.

If your TV is nowhere near your dish, use your cell phone to call the house or in our case, our cordless phones can intercom each other, we used that to chat.

When done, buy your wife a nice dinner to repay her for you constantly asking "whats it say now", 1/8 turn on the bolt, "what's it say now".... shouldn't take longer then 30 min start to finish! (for me, that includes climbing a ladder onto the 3rd floor and rigging up a safety line.....)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the advice. I'm not sure how many TPs are below 70 as I'm not at home right now, but I'll check. I'm printing the Slimline install manual now. I do have the cell number of the installer - he seemed nice - I'll try calling him and see what he says about coming back to fine tune it. If not, then I guess I'll try myself. Thanks.
 

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Well, read the Slimline instructions for education. Actually well writen if you pay attention to details. But you are already at the last step, dithering the Ka sats. Dithering uses the 101W sat to max the 99/103 Ka sats assuming that you have no kind of meter to measure the Ka signal. When the instructions were written, most Ka sats weren't even launched yet. You are better off using the signal meter on the HR2x receiver now that the Ka sats are actually in orbit and operational. Dithering often gets you what you've got, signals in 60s, 70s, some 80s.

You've got some 100s on the 101 sat, you should also see some on the 119 which tells you the tilt is good. After that you only have two planes to work the fine adjustment knobs, up/down and left/right. A quarter turn thisaway, a quarter turn thataway. If you set the handy dandy little dial to zero first, you can always undo any changes that go south. When there is no clue as to where to start, generally installers here say start with raising elevation (up). Most often the winner.

Tweaking is easy. Hardest part is access to signal readings and staying safe while climbing the ladder.
 

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You'll find the install manual is something less than inadequate. :) It basically just tells you what the problem is, not how to solve it. Anyone can re-align their Ka/Ku dish using their own receiver by use of the Signal Meters selection under View Signal Strength in the Satellite setup menu pages. That is, anyone who is physically able and can do it safely.

See Supplemental Alignment Tips
 

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Indiana627 said:
I got my Slimline installed at my new house and get great signals on the 101 sat (nine TPs come in at 100 and most of the rest are in the high 80s or 90s). But on the 99c and 103c, I'm only getting 60s and 70s on a clear blue day (and lose them in even a light rain). At my old house I also got great signals on the 101 and got high 80s and 90s on the 103c (99c had not lit up when I moved so I don't know what kind of signal I would have gotten from it). So I know it's possible to get great signals on 101 and 103c (and I assume on 99c) all at the same time.

Since I'm dialed in on the 101, is it feasible for me to fine tune the dish myself so that 99c and 103c come in stronger?

I have no signal meters other than those in my HR21s. I also don't want to lower my 101 signal readings either. What exact tweaks would I need to make? I think there are 3 adjustments on the dish right - is one of them the one I would need to tweak?

My ZIP is 13850 is that helps. Thanks.

(And would I need to worry about 110 and 119? We don't get locals where I live now, and since all the old MPEG2 HD channels are now in MPEG4, do I need to worry about 110? What programming comes from 110 and 119 now?)
I have similar numbers on a replacement Slimline I'd recently installed. On 101, I have an average of at least 6-8 TP's @100 (I've got an HR21-100) with the remaining TP's in the mid to upper 90's (a major improvement over the Slimline dish I'd replaced... at least on 101).

Like you, I'm receiving signal levels on 99(c) in the mid 70 to middle upper 80's with my replacement dish. Having read so many post stating that folks should be receiving numbers in the 90's on 99(c) and 103(c) sat's, I'd attempted more than once to peak those two. I too, did NOT want to compromise my finely tuned 101 levels which in the end, is exactly what happened. I found that I could increase my 99(c) levels by 6 - 8 points BUT, I would also lose a few points off the 101; that's something that's not worth it for me as I'm currently having no reception issues on any channels, including those coming off 99 or 103.

I've concluded that at least where I'm located, you can't have it all. It may be that in the upcoming winter, I'll opt to peak the 99 and 103 if they become flaky when the weather changes and hopefully, reception off the 101 won't become a problem.
 

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tweaked said:
I have similar numbers on a replacement Slimline I'd recently installed. On 101, I have an average of at least 6-8 TP's @100 (I've got an HR21-100) with the remaining TP's in the mid to upper 90's (a major improvement over the Slimline dish I'd replaced... at least on 101).

Like you, I'm receiving signal levels on 99(c) in the mid 70 to middle upper 80's with my replacement dish. Having read so many post stating that folks should be receiving numbers in the 90's on 99(c) and 103(c) sat's, I'd attempted more than once to peak those two. I too, did NOT want to compromise my finely tuned 101 levels which in the end, is exactly what happened. I found that I could increase my 99(c) levels by 6 - 8 points BUT, I would also lose a few points off the 101; that's something that's not worth it for me as I'm currently having no reception issues on any channels, including those coming off 99 or 103.

I've concluded that at least where I'm located, you can't have it all. It may be that in the upcoming winter, I'll opt to peak the 99 and 103 if they become flaky when the weather changes and hopefully, reception off the 101 won't become a problem.
It may be that your dish is not plumb. At least, that's the conclusion I've come to in my installation. I was able to tweak the 103 into 80s and a few 90s, but the 99 is in 60s, 70s, maybe one or two in the 80s. I checked and my dish is not plumb, but it is a pole mount, and I don't want to redo the whole thing. (I didn't install it.)

I would like to find a cheap Slimline and install it myself, but so far I haven't found that.
 

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Agree with the others: check if mast is plumb (just to be safe, as Paul said), then most people find that slight tweak to elevation gets them what they need, as dogz alluded to....
 

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My dish's pole was a just a bit off plumb (left ot right, not front to back), and this was manifesting itself in weaker signals (low 70s to low 80s) on 99c than I had been getting on 103c (low 80s to 90), via the install done a year prior by the DTV installer. Not being satisfied with the 103c reading in any case, once 99c came on line I had to try and fix it.

First thing I checked and corrected was the mast to be plumb. I also noticed the tilt had been set way off from what it "should" be for my location - probably a corrective result by the installer to get 119 peaked due to the mast not being plumb previously. I repeaked 119 and was now within a degree or two of the nominal tilt setting. I then fine tuned elevation and azimuth and now have ~equal readings on both 99c and 103c on all but transponder 6 in the 91-96 range. T-6 comes in high 80s for some reason.

Anyway - I am much happier that I tweaked the dish and got results more in line with where they should be.
 

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tkrandall said:
My dish's pole was a just a bit off plumb (left ot right, not front to back), and this was manifesting itself in weaker signals (low 70s to low 80s) on 99c than I had been getting on 103c (low 80s to 90), via the install done a year prior by the DTV installer. Not beign satisfied with the 103c reading in any case, once 99c came on line I had to try an fix it.

First thing I checked and corrected was the mast to be plumb. I also noticed the tilt had been set wat off from what it "should" be for my location - probably a corrective result by the instaler to get 119 peaked due to the mast not being plumb previously. I repeaked 119 and was now within a degree or two of the nominal tilt setting. I then fine tuned elevation and azimuth and now have ~equal readings on both 99c and 103c on all but transponder 6 in the 91-956 range. T-6 comes in high 80s for some reason.

Anyway - I am much happier that I tweaked the dish and got results more in line with where they should be.
Since mine is on a pole mounted in the ground, my only solution for a plumb mast is to put in a new one, correct?

I've thought about trying to "brute force" the top of the pole into a vertical position, but I'm afraid I'd mess it up and end up worse off than I am now. What do you think?
 

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It is possible to align with an out-of-plumb mast. However, it takes longer and is a lot more trying on patience and nerves. If it is off north/south, elevation adjustment will take care of most of the problem. If it is off east/west, then all three directions (tilt, elevation, azimuth) must be repetitively adjusted as they all interact in an out-of-plumb environment. Example: if you set tilt then adjust azimuth, you need to go back and reset tilt since the azimuth adjustment affects both tilt and elevation. After several iterations one can arrive at a proper alignment, but most people will quit before they reach that point.

Hence, one should start with a plumb mast - it makes adjustment life a whole lot easier!

If the pole is set in concrete and is out of plumb there are two things that can be done. The simplest is to install a new pole, properly plumb. The hardest is to dig around the existing pole's concrete until it is free enough to move. Get it plumb and add additional concrete to the now much larger hole. Don't backfill with dirt as after a few rains the pole will move again.
 
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