Diagnosing FTA rainfade - replace lnb?

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Original poster
Jan 11, 2012
Hey everyone,
I did some googling and came across the forum. It seemed pretty active, and that you guys had a lot of knowledgable folks so I decided to register and see if I could get some advice.

My setup:
30-33" dish (i don't remember exactly right now without going outside to measure)
Coolsat 5000 (garage sale find)
I'm pointed at Galaxy 19 at 97.0°W

The LNB label says:
LO: 10.75
HF: 11.7-12.2 Ghz
NF: 0.6

I've had the dish/lnb for 10+ years. The receiver for maybe 2 years. Signal strength has always been weak, but it seems to have degraded even further recently. At this point, if there is even light drizzle/overcast outside many channels are completely lost, and others appear as blocky picture/scratchy sound. It's time to address the problem. I went outside to take a look at the setup. The coax seems to be connected snugly to the LNB. I snagged a photo of the LNB the best I could. I went inside, and took a photo of my config screen also.

I'm thinking updating the LNB might be helpful. 0.6 dB seems really high compared to the newer lnbs that i'm seeing (just did a little browsing on ebay etc). So I was thinking I might change it out for an updated model with 0.1dB noise, and nice high gain. There is no switch involved, it's a direct connection from receiver to LNB. I might go out there with a ladder and try to move the dish up vertically a little bit and see if it improves the reception - just in case the dish is sagging over time. I tried adjusting the dish upwards 2 years ago, and didn't really have any measurable difference though. So I'm thinking it's probably either my settings on my receiver, bad rg6, or the LNB. The config screen on my coolsat shows 90%+ on "level", but the "quality" always shows very low <10%. When I flip channels and they lock in, they show signal strength in the low to mid 60s.

Photos: LNB, Channel lock, Channel lock#2, My Config screen:

So what do you guys think? Is there a problem in my config settings? Is it worth it to buy a new LNB? I came across these two LNBs on ebay that are affordable, and sound like they are better than what i have (atleast to someone that doesn't know very much). Avenger PLL321S-2 is ~$15 and the ad sounds pretty good to me. It says it's 0.1dB noise, and claims to have +/-300kHz (not sure what that means), but it says it improves problems with drift/weather. Also, there is a "0.1dB Spitfire Elite Universal Linear Ku Satellite LNB" that says it has low noise, and is super cheap. Thoughts?

Thanks for the advice!
Make sure the dish is properly aimed and the lnb skewed.
Take advantage of the signal beep function of the coolsat,I use wireless uhf headphones out at the dish.
The only solution for rainfade is a bigger dish.
Change the LNB setup. Its totally wrong

should be SINGLE and LNB Freq 10750

So I was thinking I might change it out for an updated model with 0.1dB noise, and nice high gain
one note on that. SatelliteAV (one of our sponsors) had a comment on that

I can slap any label I want to make "it look good and sell some" but you should get comments from other folks first. I think your dish may be out of whack a little bit. I have a Coolsat 5000 and a 30" dish with a .4 LNB. I've had the same setup for about 7 1/2 years now with only the LNB being changed out (and that was about 4 years ago) and it still works like a champ. (well I have switched the cabling too) I'm in Minnesota where it can get dang cold.

I would put the LNB back on, change the LNB setup first then try and see if you can get a better quality. On 97W I get everything between 71-78 or so
Thanks for the heads up on my config. I'll straighten it out ASAP. I'll try repointing the dish next time we get some decent weather.

That link from the forums mentioned invacom brand lnbs. I might buy a replacement if I'm going to be up there messing with the dish anyway. Should they basically be drop in replacements? Or is there something I should look for specifically in the specs? I don't want to spend a fortune. Just something basic to tune in 97W. Any recomendations?

Thanks for the input
Last edited:
I don't think I need a bigger dish, because it was coming in fine then progressively got worse over the years
check cabling and ends first...put a temporary cable up to see if that fixes the issue. Water in the connection will kill a signal
Water in the connection will kill a signal
Sounds good. I'll string up some fresh RG-6 tomorrow, and try to reaim. Also, looks like i'm using some different firmware version. going to load that third party one you guys have on the forums here
I would try the new cable before anything else. The dish may have moved ever so slightly. If the new cable doesnt fix it try to move the dish in a very small increment to see if the signal goes up. If you can see the screen on the TV while working on the dish I would try this

bring up the signal meter and see what the quality shows. Then leave the dish locked (the bolts tight) and lean into the dish slightly to see if the signal jumps. Try both E & W to see what works the best. Even up/down can make a difference. Then go form there (loosening the bolts and moving dish ever so slightly)
I would do as Ice is saying, one simple step at a time or you may lose your signal and not be able to find it because of a simple problem that had nothing to do with aiming. Dont re aim anything until you do the leaning on the dish slightly suggestion. use the beep function to aide you.
I speak from experience on that one.
I have my dish mounted on a pole in the ground(my old clothesline) I have to tweak the dish at least twice per year.
Coolsat signal quality was always higher as a marketing ploy.If you have low readings aiming really must be bad.
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