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· Hall Of Fame
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been having a sporadic problem with my MPEG4 locals ever since I got the HR20. Randomly, while the HR20 is tuned to an MPEG4 channel, the signal on 103 will start dropping out. If I go to the signal meter, it will either be quickly bouncing between ~95 and 0, or just sitting at 0. The Ku satellites are perfectly fine. The thing is, when this problem pops up it doesn't just happen on the HR20. It screws up the Ka signal going to my H20 as well. After 2-5 minutes, the problem will disappear and all will be well.

Getting to the root of this problem has been impossible. I've replaced the multiswitch, the LNB, and even the HR20. I've tried taking off the BBCs. The problem is still here. The H20 isn't causing the problem, because it pops up even when the H20 is tuned to an MPEG2 channel. I am completely out of ideas, and there's no point in calling DirecTV because they'll just send out another service tech. I've told the two previous service techs what to do, since they had no clue what the problem was and of course it never pops up when they're around. I have nothing to tell a third service tech to replace or fix, so I'm sure he'll just scratch his head and leave.

So I'm turning to this forum for ideas. My whole family is fed up with this, and I really can't blame them. They want to watch and record their stuff in HD, and they can't. I will have no choice but to leave DirecTV if this problem isn't resolved, and I really don't want to do that.

HELP ME OUT!
 

· Lifetime Achiever
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It sounds like you are having a voltage spike or drop, some where in that line.

When the specific voltage from the HR20 is going down the line to the switch/dish... something is causing it to go wacky... hence your passive multiswitch is probably freaking out from lack of power, and the dish isn't staying locked.

One suggestion would be to replace the lines between the HR20 and the switch (or at least temporary MOVE the HR20 and just have a new short cable to the switch, and see if things continue).

If they do... remove the dish from the multiswitch, and connect just your HR20 and your H20 to it, and see if it continues.

Lastly... try the Sonora Signal Locker.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
But if there was a voltage problem, wouldn't it show up on MPEG2 channels as well? They require the voltage to be sent down the line just like the MPEG4 channels. The only difference AFAIK is the tone.
 

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Jeremy W said:
But if there was a voltage problem, wouldn't it show up on MPEG2 channels as well? They require the voltage to be sent down the line just like the MPEG4 channels. The only difference AFAIK is the tone.
I thought it was a different voltage level... it could be some clipping at specific voltage level.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The lines going to the HR20 are relatively new RG6, and they're only like 10-15 feet long. The multiswitch is in the basement, almost directly under where the HR20 is. And the problem is completely random, not limited to any time of day, or even weather conditions. It seems to me that if the problem were in the wiring, it would be more consistent.
 

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Jeremy W said:
The lines going to the HR20 are relatively new RG6, and they're only like 10-15 feet long. The multiswitch is in the basement, almost directly under where the HR20 is. And the problem is completely random, not limited to any time of day, or even weather conditions. It seems to me that if the problem were in the wiring, it would be more consistent.
Your right, it probably would be.

How long are the runs AFTER the multiswitch (Between the switch and the dish)
 

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Hmmmm.... that doesn't seem too long.

Grounding block Outside?

What happens if you trade positions of your HR20 and H20...

Does the "bouncing" follow the unit, or stay put?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The little grounding wire is connected to the dish outside, and to the multiswitch inside. So there's no real grounding, but if that were going to cause a problem it would again seem like something that would be more consistent.

I'd love to try moving the receivers around, but I'd be murdered if I did that. The problem might not come up for days, and my family will not tolerate being without a DVR on the main TV for that long. I'm already on thin ice because of the HR20's software glitches...
 

· AllStar
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Signal level on 103 goes from 95 to 0. Happens a lot in the morning and evening.

I have the sonora power inserter. It gets rid of the 771 erros when you switch to the channel but not the drop outs.

My cable runs are 60' tops. I have 2 HR20's and 2 SD Tivo's

I D* coming out next Tuesday to replace the LNB.
 

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Like you, I don't know what to do..... You can't record shows because you can't trust it. Wife is pissed. Everything I record now I have to also record the SD version in case of problems.

Here is some more info of what I learned...

When they first installed the unit, they did not install the 6X8 switch. They left the 4X8 powered switch in. When I started up the HR20, I started having the dropouts. The tech guy told me to reverse the lines at the back of the unit and ordered me a 6X8 switch. That worked. For the 10 days or so that I used the 4X8 switch I did not have a single drop out.

I then installed the 6X8 switch, the sonora power inserter, my 2nd HR20, and at the same the software was updated to the current version.

The drop outs started again. Someone on this board reported a similar problem and they fixed it when they replaced the LNB so that is why I am trying that.

I also plan on re-installing my 4X8 switch to see if that clears up the dropouts.

My last drop out was this morning on the today show.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I've been using the Zinwell WB68 since I got my H20 back in March, and this problem never happened until the HR20 showed up. The old WB68 was replaced with a new WB68, and that of course didn't do anything to solve the problem.
 

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Jeremy W said:
I have been having a sporadic problem with my MPEG4 locals ever since I got the HR20. Randomly, while the HR20 is tuned to an MPEG4 channel, the signal on 103 will start dropping out. If I go to the signal meter, it will either be quickly bouncing between ~95 and 0, or just sitting at 0.
Quick off-topic question: my installer told me that you could check the signal strength for the channel you were watching. I presume that's what you're talking about here - checking the signal for that particular channel. How is that done? Does it show the appropriate transponder, too, or just an overall signal strength for that satellite?
 

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I have short runs. All of my receivers are in 1 cabinet. Wires drop straight down into the furnace room where the switch is. Then they go through the wall and up to the dish which is mounted about 15 to 20 ft up on the side of the house. House is wood. No grounding wire outside, grounded to a copper water pipe near the switch.

Other then a furnace, sump pump, and water softener, the only other thing nearby is the router for my cable modem.

It usually happens in the morning or at night. Today it started when it started to rain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
iacas said:
Quick off-topic question: my installer told me that you could check the signal strength for the channel you were watching.
In order to do this on the DirecTV-branded receivers, you have to bring up a special diagnostic menu that's only accessible by pushing certain buttons at the same time on the front panel of the receiver. On the HR20, I think it's either Active and Left or Active and Right. On the H20, it's Menu and Right.

The Signal Strength percentage it shows is for the transponder it's currently tuned to. The HR20 will show three tuners, the last one is for the top secret push VOD service so you can disregard it. The tough part is figuring out whether the channel you're watching is on tuner 1 or 2.
 

· Godfather
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Jeremy W said:
The tough part is figuring out whether the channel you're watching is on tuner 1 or 2.
That's not tough, just pull the plug on one of the tuners and if you still have a picture/signal strength then you know it's the other one.
 

· Mr. FixAnything
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iacas said:
Quick off-topic question: my installer told me that you could check the signal strength for the channel you were watching. I presume that's what you're talking about here - checking the signal for that particular channel. How is that done? Does it show the appropriate transponder, too, or just an overall signal strength for that satellite?
Or use real charts here.
 
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