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AllStar
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hope this isn't too stupid of a question.

I had been a Dish customer for almost 7 years. Only lost signal during heavy rain or lightning, and only once when snow stuck to my dish.

I switched to DirecTV a few weeks ago (they gave me a good deal for an HD DVR, Dish didn't want to negotiate until I got an account specialist, which didn't happen until I had already had D* installed and I called to cancel Dish.)

Had to have two installers come out, first one messed things up so badly that they had to send a second, senior tech to clean up. Senior tech seemed to do a good job, however the day after he left, I lost all my HD national channels (from sats 110 and 119, HD locals were on 101 I think.) I noticed that the secondary LNB assembly is not securely attached to the main arm, so this is probably why 110 and 119 are out.

Last night I started getting poor PQ on SD channels. This morning I get NO SD channels. Signal meter shows almost all zeros on all five sats (both tuners on HR20, plus all three sats on D11 box.)

I went outside just to make sure that the dish was still on my roof (after the nighmare installation I wasn't taking anything for granted.) Dish still there, cables look intact, nothing hanging loose. However, I did notice that my DirecTV dish is covered in raindrops, while my Dish dish is not. The Dish dish looks dry, or at least the rain is not beading on the dish.

My question: should beading raindrops on the dish have an effect on signal reception? Of what magnitude?

I went from 80+ to zero in one day.

Installer coming on Saturday (I already took two full days off of work,) but I've already been without HD for over a week, and now I have no service until Sat. Called customer service. They will give me an $11 credit for loss of service for five days.
 

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If you went to 80 to zero wtih a light rain.... then you have something shorting... some connector is faulty or something is letting water inside the cable connection.

I can have an absolute downpour, or a slow long drawn out rain... and I don't lose signal like that.
 

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Earl Bonovich said:
If you went to 80 to zero wtih a light rain.... then you have something shorting... some connector is faulty or something is letting water inside the cable connection.

I can have an absolute downpour, or a slow long drawn out rain... and I don't lose signal like that.
I agree. You've got something else going on.
 

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My guess would be that the LNB head isn't the only loose part. If any of the fasteners on the Dish and mounts weren't tightened completely, the dish will go out of alignment in a decent breeze.

When I moved my dish to get access to the 119 satellite after locals came to our area (the installer said I would never need unless I wanted spanish programming) I found that the installer never put the bolts in to hold the LNB head to the arm, and only 3 of the 5 bolts were in the main assembly.
 

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Cutting Edge: ECHELON '07
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Yep, very likely a bad install. Even in my excellent dish install I noticed a week later the LNB screws nor the "sidecar" LNBs screws were tight. I tightened these down and that straightenend the LNB's a bit, perhaps quarter inch. It was enough to get another 5 points of signal strength. Other then that the dish itself is very solid on my pole.

Also, if you've lost signal due to just a light rain you most likely have bad connections that are lose and water got in the cable. It should come back after it dries out but it needs to be fixed. I'd call and complain to DirecTV and insist on some free programming credits as well as a supervisor or more experienced installer come over and do the install right.

Anyway, you shouldn't lose signal in rain unless it's really storming. It's got to be practically a tornado to lose a signal for me.

Good luck!
 

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Your problem is pretty common. Lets face it, with all these free installs the tech's don't make all that much and rush to get in as many jobs as they can. I also switched from E to D in July and when I inspected the dish they left out one of the mounting bolts for the LNB assembly, and forgot to tighten the ground strap, and the adjustment bolt.:nono2: I wasn't surprised that is why I checked it.;) All the cables on the multi switch were hand tightened. I replaced the missing bolt, tightened all the connections and bolts. My signal levels were running from the low 80's to the mid 90's. Recently I called D and had them come back and tweak the Dish. Now all my transponders are running 94-100 and I haven't lost any signal due to rain fade yet.:righton:

Ian
 

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I have a similar problem. If it is so much as sprinkling outside, not enough to even bother with the windshield wipers if you were driving, I completely lose satellites 99 and 103. If I understand correctly, those are where my HD Locals are coming from.

So my questions:

1. Is it normal for some satellites to be more susceptible to rain fade than others?

2. Is it common for these two in particular (99 and 103) to have that problem?
 

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brihall said:
I have a similar problem. If it is so much as sprinkling outside, not enough to even bother with the windshield wipers if you were driving, I completely lose satellites 99 and 103. If I understand correctly, those are where my HD Locals are coming from.

So my questions:

1. Is it normal for some satellites to be more susceptible to rain fade than others?

2. Is it common for these two in particular (99 and 103) to have that problem?
Well, you need to figure out what transponders your locals are on for 99 and/or 103. Then see what your signal strength is on a sunny non-cloudy day. If you're only getting 50 or something then it won't take much rain to knock them out and thus you need to get your dish adjusted.

Here is how rain fade works: The digital signal from the sat is either there or not. A 50 strength is just as good as a 95 in terms of quality. BUT the 50 has a lot less room for rain fade. The signal will usually start to break up around 30-35 or so and completely gone lower then that. So if you get 40 points of rain fade due to heavy rain, if you started at 50 you have no signal. If you started at 90 then you're only down to 50 and you still have a good signal.

So you want to start out as high as you can to avoid the most rain fade. Many installers just "get a signal" and might leave you with just 65 or something. It will take less rain to knock out a 65 then it does a 90.
 

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There is very little tolerance for proper alignment of the AT9 dish for the 99 and 103 satellites. If the dish was not properly aligned, including the "fine tuning" steps, it could very easily be on the hairy edge of performance under good conditions, and unsatisfactory under less than ideal conditions.

Carl
 

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When I read these horror stories I wonder why people ask "why are you installing yourself when D* will do it for you for free" I'm technically competent enough to do my own install, and if there are questions I come here. I know you only hear about the bad installs and not the thousands of good ones. But when the bad installs go horribly wrong, I'm glad I can handle this my self.

Greg
 

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wedge40 said:
When I read these horror stories I wonder why people ask "why are you installing yourself when D* will do it for you for free" I'm technically competent enough to do my own install, and if there are questions I come here. I know you only hear about the bad installs and not the thousands of good ones. But when the bad installs go horribly wrong, I'm glad I can handle this my self.

Greg
Well I could have installed it myself (have all my other dishes the past 10 years) but if you want it free DirecTV won't let you install it yourself. So I let the installer do the hard work of actually putting it together. I can tweak/fix it later if needed. I just wanted it there. I probably could have slipped the guy a 20 and had him just leave it all for me to do but I let him do his job. :)
 
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