Aiming of Dish 500 (1 Viewer)

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guygg

New Member
Mar 2, 2004
2
0
After being a 10 year Dish Network user, helping out a half dozen friends and family, I've finally run into an aiming problem I just can't get around. It's in a back yard that does have a fair amount of trees and such, but I had done a pole mounting of a Dish 500 with two SW21's feeding two receivers in the house. It had been working since late last summer just fine. After a storm had messed up the signal a bit, we tried re-aiming the dish and just CAN'T get satellite 119 back again. The pole isn't perfectly level, so I'm working on a bit of guess work. However, since it had been working previously just fine, with both 110 and 119 coming in great, it's odd that it would suddenly develop issues getting 119 tuning. I can get 60% or so signal on transponders 5 & 7 which show as spotbeams. But I get nothing on any other transponders for 119. And it happened after all the trees had their leafs and such, so I don't think it's due to leaf growth. Are a couple of the spotbeams simply stronger than the rest of the transponders and that's why I can get them? I've tried switching all the cables, switches and LNB's between each other, but I still get the same results to both receivers. Could the skew angle be something that could help with just a partial couple transponders on 119 when 110 is coming in so perfectly? The skew tends to be the thing that makes the Dish 500's tougher without precise levels to work with. I don't know, I guess I'm hunting for any little tips and tricks in such a situation. I know the description's vague... ;-)

Thanks
 
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Anole

SatelliteGuys Master
Sep 22, 2005
11,819
12
L.A., Calif.
The pole isn't perfectly level, so I'm working on a bit of guess work.
However, since it had been working previously just fine, with both 110 and 119 coming in great, it's odd that it would suddenly develop issues getting 119 tuning.
How far off is it??
My pole for my Dish 500 is off maybe 20º, leaning to the south.
It's my fault, but the signal's dialed in fine.
Not something I would recommend doing on purpose, though. :rolleyes:
I can get 60% or so signal on transponders 5 & 7 which show as spotbeams.
But I get nothing on any other transponders for 119.
And it happened after all the trees had their leafs and such, so I don't think it's due to leaf growth.
Are a couple of the spotbeams simply stronger than the rest of the transponders and that's why I can get them?
Yes, they are.
But still, it would seem likely you would get some wiggle of the meter on the other transponders...

I aways blame the leaves. Never hurts to trim the tree or move the dish. :cool:
Could the skew angle be something that could help with just a partial couple transponders on 119 when 110 is coming in so perfectly?
The skew tends to be the thing that makes the Dish 500's tougher without precise levels to work with.
If the pole is plumb then the skew isn't a problem.
How much off the pole is , and which way it's tilted, have a lot to do with skew.

Do you have a $10 DBS tuning meter?
They go between your LNB and the cable into the house.
You move the dish around 'till the signal peaks, and if you are on the correct bird, you're good to go.
The way I aimed with my way-too-far-off-level pole, was to wire up a special rig with two meters, one for each LNB.
(not that I'm recommending this approach . . . )
It was amazingly simple to peak both meters at once. - :up
Kind of like patting your head and rubbing your belly at once, but with practice it wasn't so bad.
 

boba

SatelliteGuys Master
Dec 12, 2003
11,350
1,033
Dorchester, TX.
Trees grow continually not just when they leaf out. You may be seeing the results of new growth or a branch that partially broke in a storm now hanging lower. Getting the spot beams says that you can see the satellite but they are weak for some reason, from your description leaf growth is the most logical.
 
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vegassatellite

SatelliteGuys Pro
Pub Member / Supporter
Nov 5, 2007
3,319
174
Phoenix, AZ
60% on a spot beam seems kinda weak. Spot beams here show about 96% even with regular transponders showing 67%. Doing the math, your other signals should be around 40%.

To eliminate all potential variables, run a cable direct from the 119 LNB to the receiver, skipping all switches. Put the receiver in 119 Transponder 11. If you can get signal, then try re-aiming the dish. If you can't get signal, don't rule out the possibility that the LNB might be bad. They often get toasted by lightning inducing current on them.

As far as skew being off, here's a way to correct that without re-setting the pole. Get the dish in as approximate a location as it was in before when you were getting signal. Lock it down. Now, loosen the skew bolts and dial it back down to 90. Next, place a torpedo level on the arm of the dish so that it is laying flat across it and leaning against the dish plate for support. If it isn't level, then adjust your skew until it is. Take note of the new number, this is the number you'll have to compensate for. Now, put the skew back to where you ZIP code settings say you belong. Add or subtract your corrected value back to your new skew. For example, if you found true level skew to actually be 85 and your ZIP settings say you need to be at 112 skew, then you would subtract 5 degrees from the 112 skew and set your dish at 107 skew. You will then have to adjust your azimuth and elevation again as these will be affected by the skew adjustment.
 

guygg

New Member
Mar 2, 2004
2
0
Thanks for all the suggestions. This is at a family member's house, not mine, so I have to drive back out there to try again, and incorporate the suggestions. I tend to agree with tree/leaf growth, but it's hard to do so as the last time I was messing with it (when I made the original forum post), I did actually wire up an extra Dish 300 I had available straight to the receiver, and in a number of places in the yard I was easily able to find 110 with a great signal by hand holding the dish manually. But I never managed to stumble upon 119 no matter where I tried. It was odd. And yeah, aiming the thing by hand, holding it in mid air, is a moronic testing method, I know. Just wanted to see if I could find 119 using any convenient means possible, with no luck.

I might be back out there this weekend to take another shot at things. I'll take a shot at the suggested techniques. Hopefully I'll find that elusive Echostar 7 bird somehow. ;-)

Thanks
 
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