3 Satellite Configuration help


SatelliteGuys Family
Original poster
May 11, 2004
I feel somewhat guilty for asking (what might be such) a simple question. However, I've searched the archives and not found anything that applies ... perhaps this is because of my limited knowledge.

Perhaps I should start by mentioning that my goal is to have a 2-dish 3 satellite system. I want to pick up 148 as well as 110 and 119. I only have one TV, so only need one receiver. A friend of mine gave me her old Dish Network satellite system parts, so what I have on hand is:

  • Two "dish 500" dishes
  • a Quad LNB (legacy)
  • two dual LNBs (legacy)
  • a SW-21
  • a sw-21x (which I don't believe is needed, but I've got it)
  • a dp301 receiver

From what I've read, I gather that I should have the receiver feeding into the sw-21. From there, one coax feeds into the Quad LNB and the other into the dual on the other dish. Fine and dandy. I set that up yesterday. I even attempted to check the signal strength from 148 (I believe I aimed the 2nd dish about right) and think I have it pretty much in sight.

So, when running a switch check, I am told that I've got a quad LNB and that it is picking up 110 and 119. Not too bad, but I wanted all three satellites. If I disconnect the coax to the dual LNB pointing at 148, the switch test tells me I've got a "sw21 3-sat" configuration and that at input 1 I get both 110 and 119 but that at input 2 I don't have anything. This should be no surprise, considering I've got it disconnected. However, I am wondering ... why, when I've got a connection to 148, does it not notice the connection. The best I can guess is that the LNB I've connected to is dead or that it is not actually pointing at 148 so the switch test does not result in a 3 satellite setup being recognized. And, to prove my ignorance ... I should mention that I've tried both the regular and "super dish/129" switch test. I've found the best results (as indicated by the "sw21 3-sat") with the regular switch test.

So, now that I've described my problem and all of the details that I can think to mention, do any of you have any ideas to share?

Thanks and all the best...


After a bit more poking around, I switched one dual LNB for the other and re-aligned the dish. Now I am receiving all three satellites. This is good.

However, the question remains, although completely academic at this point in time, why would a sw21 that feeds a quad and a dual not be recognized during a switch test... I still figure that it is becuase the dual LNB that I switched out was bad or that it is because the dish was not aimed properly. However, I would suggest that neither of those two situations would cause a switch test to result in a "Quad LNB" result, essentially not recognizing the other LNB at all.


Welcome to the magic world of Legacy switches. :)

This kind of thing is not uncommon, and can be due to any number of reasons - some of which I maybe understand, others I'm sure I don't. :D

So, just for the public information ...

Sometimes receivers get themselves all confused. When in doubt, disconnect all feeds from the receiver and run a check switch to clear the matrix. To really play it safe, disconnect, check switch, pull power plug, reboot, check switch again. This last method is 100% guaranteed to clear it - and is probably total overkill, but WTF.

In any event, I've found the safest thing to do when running into LNB install / dish pointing problems is to do them one-at-a-time to ensure the LNB works and it's pointed where you think it is. Then clear the matrix, put the switch back inline, and boot 'er up.

This has never failed for me, but I'd sure to hear from others - never too old to learn a new trick. :)
I knew I would appreciate your input, Simple Simon.

If I had done just one thing (replace the LNB or re-adjust the dish position) I might know what had been the cause ... however, because I had not yet fixed the azimuth by tightening the bolts, when I switched LNBs I needed to re-position the dish.

In any case, I am happy that things are going well, but am still curious whether it was a dead LNB or because the dish was mis-aimed or whether it was possibly something else entirely that would case the switch test to report a two satellite setup rather than a three satellite setup with a problem.

All the best....

You're quite welcome, roadrhino.

Unfortunately, I don't know of any way us poor grunts can determine what went wrong inside the box, we're just lucky that enough of us have cross-pollinated our experiences so that we can get these things working - Dish nonSupport is certainly no help. They usually just want to RA the box - which means a dissatisfied customer and an extra trip for the installer. :(

Blown off by installer!!

Dish 500 signal lost error 002

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