Getting 4DTV and HDD200 working again after idle since 2004

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captain_ed

SatelliteGuys Family
Jan 1, 2011
35
0
Pennsylvania
Since there are very few analog channels available today, is there any way in the hidden menus, or elsewhere, to determine what satellite you are actually viewing? I have a satellite signal strength meter that I can use to tune the dish, but unless I am on an analog channel, which are few and far between, it is hard to know if an adjustment on the dish is making a desired satellite stronger, or tuning in an adjacent satellite. When I last used the system, in 2004, it tracked, and worked perfectly. Of course, with all of the adjusting I did today, I may have messed up the tracking. (The dish is a 10 foot Winegard, btw, which is a very good dish from what I have heard, although I could never quite get it to work on ku. Now, I just have a C band feed, and no interest in KU band. I think I want to buy a FTA receiver, but don't know which to buy, and want to be sure there is no strange problem with my dish before I do that. (It was damaged when it came down on a ladder and crushed 2 panels. I replaced the panels, and can't think of anything else that could be wrong, but the fact that I can't get a decent quality number on any satellite makes me wonder.)
 

surfdevil83

SatelliteGuys Family
Nov 24, 2007
76
0
Toronto
You could always try old faithful on G4 channel 16 the sheppards channel. This might help you try your dish. After try to get a lock on the W1 or W4 bird just beside 99 west.
 

captain_ed

SatelliteGuys Family
Jan 1, 2011
35
0
Pennsylvania
I tried that. I got a signal strength of 90 on G4-16, and a pretty good picture. A little (very little) bit of sparkles, but overall a very acceptable picture with sound. I was also able to get a pretty good signal on W1-23, which is analog. But, absolutely nothing in terms of "quality" (0) on W1-400. I am pretty sure there is something wrong with the channel maps, or something in the system when it comes to digital channels. What is especially strange is the fact that the only digital channel where I can get any quality greater than 0 is G0-101, where I can get a quality of 12 to 15. That signal is so low that the best signal strength I can get is about 84. There are no analog channels on G0, so I can't compare with W1, but I am sure the signal is much weaker because of some trees that are in the way, although they don't have leaves at the moment. On W1, on the other hand, I get a very good analog signal, with a strength of 88 to 90. But, absolutely nothing in the way of quality on W1-400 (or any other digicipher channels on that bird.) There has to be something wrong with the channel table in the receiver, or something.
 

TheTechGuru

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 30, 2010
1,726
176
Texas
I've been trying to get my old 4dtv unit up and running again since being turned off since 2004. I was finally able to get a couple of analog channels on several satellites, although most have a little bit of sparkles, even though I can generally get a signal of 84 to 90. But, I am still not able to get the 4dtv system to work. I suspect the channel maps are too old. After much trying, I finally got something other than 0 for quality on G0-101. (At least I think that is the satellite I am tuned to. I can't be sure since there are no analog channels on that bird.) But, no matter what I do, I could not get a quality greater than 12. (Actually, earlier today I had a quality of 25, but I don't know what satellite I was really pointing at, again, since there are no analog channels for reference.

But, I just noticed on G0-101 that I get a message "not subscribed", which is correct, and it lists the channel as Showtime West, which is what it should be. The question is, is this information coming from the data stream, in which case perhaps my channel maps are being rebuilt, or is this just info from my old 2004 channel maps? If I go to options and hit 9, I get a message that I must be tuned to a videocipher channel for that function to work, and it says that the nearest videocipher channel is G0-21. That sounds wrong, since G0-101 is a videocipher channel.

Any ideas why I can't get a decent quality? I can't get a quality reading on any satellite other than G0. (I think I may have gotten one on G5-100, but not sure. Again, I can't tell what satellite my receiver is tuning since there are no analog channels except on other satellites. I have received analog channels on C3, G4, G5, and W1.

I know that 4dtv is going away, for the most part, but I want to be sure that my system is at least working before either buying a FTA receiver, a W5 receiver, or converting my 4dtv to W5.


What's your EBNO? It's a better indicator of signal than the quality.


Mine is 13 on W4/X4. Usually need 7 at a minimum for a stable picture in clear calm weather.
 
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captain_ed

SatelliteGuys Family
Jan 1, 2011
35
0
Pennsylvania
Well, that answers one question! My Eb/No is +2.2. No wonder the digital channels don't work, and the few analog channels are a bit sparlky, in spite of a relatively strong signal. Now, the question is why? I did notice on one of the analog channels that I got a better signal if I turned on the terrestrial filter, but it was not dramatic. I also noticed that I got a better signal on one if I tuned off the channel by about 0.75 MHz. But, that is clearly not the problem. I am beginning to think that my LNB is flakey. If I had a coaxial to waveguide transition, I would put it on my noise figure meter and test it, but I don't have the proper adapter, and it is cheaper to buy a new LNB than to buy an adapter to test my present LNB.

Any one have any other ideas of what typically would cause such a bad Eb/No? I also went to G4-16 where I get a passable analog signal with a strength of 88 to 90. The Eb/No there is also +2.2. I don't think this is a dish aiming issue, or a dish alignment issue, but I could be wrong. My hesitation to buy a new LNB would be related to going to a FTA receiver. I suspect an LNB for my present system would probably not be appropriate for a FTA system, but I could be wrong. I suspect I may even need a new feed. And, if I go FTA, I would probably want a feed capable of Ku band, too, although I might want to put that on a different dish (I have an old 6 foot fiberglass dish that is totally manual in terms of pointing. I have not used it in almost 30 years, but it might be time to bring it back into service if I have to go FTA.

Finally, any suggestions for a specific FTA receiver if I have to go that route. I would want something that can cover both C and Ku band, as well as receive HD and pref. Mpeg-4, since that seems to be the upcoming standard. I would want the most flexible receiver that would be likely to serve me for at least a decade and not be obsolete or out of serviceability in a couple of years.
 

NotTy

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 5, 2010
368
0
Wa
Well, that answers one question! My Eb/No is +2.2. No wonder the digital channels don't work, and the few analog channels are a bit sparlky, in spite of a relatively strong signal. Now, the question is why? I did notice on one of the analog channels that I got a better signal if I turned on the terrestrial filter, but it was not dramatic. I also noticed that I got a better signal on one if I tuned off the channel by about 0.75 MHz. But, that is clearly not the problem. I am beginning to think that my LNB is flakey. If I had a coaxial to waveguide transition, I would put it on my noise figure meter and test it, but I don't have the proper adapter, and it is cheaper to buy a new LNB than to buy an adapter to test my present LNB.

Any one have any other ideas of what typically would cause such a bad Eb/No? I also went to G4-16 where I get a passable analog signal with a strength of 88 to 90. The Eb/No there is also +2.2. I don't think this is a dish aiming issue, or a dish alignment issue, but I could be wrong. My hesitation to buy a new LNB would be related to going to a FTA receiver. I suspect an LNB for my present system would probably not be appropriate for a FTA system, but I could be wrong. I suspect I may even need a new feed. And, if I go FTA, I would probably want a feed capable of Ku band, too, although I might want to put that on a different dish (I have an old 6 foot fiberglass dish that is totally manual in terms of pointing. I have not used it in almost 30 years, but it might be time to bring it back into service if I have to go FTA.

Finally, any suggestions for a specific FTA receiver if I have to go that route. I would want something that can cover both C and Ku band, as well as receive HD and pref. Mpeg-4, since that seems to be the upcoming standard. I would want the most flexible receiver that would be likely to serve me for at least a decade and not be obsolete or out of serviceability in a couple of years.

I bought my 7.5 foot dish in 1992 & moved twice, so I have set this dish up a total of 3 times. During my last move, the dish took a beating & after my setting it up the last time in 2000, I had a weak signal on G5 at that time. I began adjusting the dish adjusting nuts & moved the dish a little up & a little down, but the signal got worse. So I presumed my LNB was going bad but thought I would try to refocus the feed horn. After some trial & error, I got a crystal clear picture. I'm still using the original LNB & ever since then, I've been getting an excellent picture until yesterday. I bought a 920 also in 2000 & in 2006, I bought the 922.
About two weeks ago, I bought an Openbox S9 & never owning an FTA receiver before, I feel comfortable I made a good choice. I have disconnected the LNB from my 4d receiver & connected it to the Openbox. I use the 4D to move the dish. I am still using the original LNB & have no problem at all with reception on all the satellites. ( 87` through 139`). I also have only C band, no KU.
 

captain_ed

SatelliteGuys Family
Jan 1, 2011
35
0
Pennsylvania
How to get current channel maps on 4dtv off since 2004

I've been trying to get my 4dtv system back and running. I might decide to convert it to the W5 package, but I am leaning towards just getting a FTA receiver. After days of fiddling with the dish and feed, I finally have a system that sort of works. The only DC-2 channel that I have been able to receive is W1-400, which comes in fine, although Eb/No is only +6.5. (Strength is 90). Because of trees, my arc is limited to G4 on the east to G5 on the West. (I actually get s strength of 88 on C3-7, and can watch that channel, but it is pretty fuzzy.) I can probably go 2 satellites beyond those limits in each direction, especially West, but the best performance is between G4 and G5. At the moment, I do not have Ku band, and have no realistic expectations of getting it back.
Is there any way that I can get new, current channel maps? I tried looking at W5, since 603 and 836, among others should be clear. And, my understanding is that 216 can be used to modify the receiver to the W5 package. But, none of those channels come up when I try to go to W5. I tried the generic CE, CF, and CG, but receive nothing on those channels, and get no quality other than 0. Signal strength on what I think is the location of W5 is about 88 to 90.

Is there any way to remedy these problems, or is my 4dtv simply a brick, except for W1-400?
 

Mr Tony

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
299
48
Mankato, MN
merged two other threads into this one

Please keep all the posts about getting your system working in one thread instead of opening new threads. Its easier to follow and help with :)
 

captain_ed

SatelliteGuys Family
Jan 1, 2011
35
0
Pennsylvania
I thought that perhaps if I left my receiver tuned to a Digicipher 2 channel for a while, I would get new channel maps. So, I left it tuned to W1-400 overnight. But, today, I went to W5, and I clearly do not have the correct channel map for W5. Is there any way, today, to get correct channel maps? BTW, G1 is too low in the sky for my system. C3 is about the lowest that I can go.
 

captain_ed

SatelliteGuys Family
Jan 1, 2011
35
0
Pennsylvania
Is there a market for a dish/skew director now that 4dtv is basically dead?

I realize that 4dtv is not totally dead, but my system is only able to receive 1 or 2 4dtv signals and 2 or 3 worthless NTSC signals. Thus, in my mind, it is dead. In my case, I don't even think I can convert it to a W5 package, since it has been off the air since 2004. I only got it really working a day or so ago. Thus, the satellite maps are from 2004. I don't think there is any way to bring them up to current. Without current satellite maps, I don't think I could convert it to W5 even if I wanted to. (I noticed that I cannot even do a 6-7-7-8-1, or whatever. I can do an option 6, but I get nothing when I then ask for option 7. I believe I have the latest firmware, but I am obviously missing something.)
Anyway, I ordered a AZBox Premium Plus, along with a new Corotor II. My old Corotor was destroyed by a yellow jacket nest since I did not have the cap on the feed. I still have the gold ring from the old unit, so that should help.
The main problem with my main 10 foot Winegard dish is that the F/D ratio is .278. The old feed that I pressed back into service after finding that the Corotor was dead cannot be placed close enough to the dish without moving the feed hook, and I suspect that I cannot do that even with my 500k BTU blow torch, although it did work to free the mount from the pole so that I can re-align my system. (It's been up for 22 years, so there was a lot of rust.)
Anyway, it looks like I will have to use my 4dtv as a master to drive my system. That seems like a tedious waste of time and electricity. But, I don't think there is any alternative. My question is two fold:
1) If you convert a 922 to the W5 system, can you still use it to drive your dish to other satellites?
2) Assuming that you cannot, I would guess that a lot of people will be wanting a device to control their dish and feed skew positions. Am I correct?

If I am correct, and there is a market for a dish and feed skew driver, I may be willing to develop and sell it. If there is a market, please let me know. Also, let me know what the price points would have to be. Also, how would it have to be controlled? (My ideas range from using a generic IR controller to using the signals from the 4dtv controller to using a Bluetooth signal from a cell phone or PC.

Any ideas or suggestions would be appreciated. I suspect there is a market for such a product, but I would not want to develop it if there is not sufficient interest, or if the required price is too low to make a profit.
 

Genna

SatelliteGuys Guru
Nov 19, 2009
143
0
New England
I can do an option 6, but I get nothing when I then ask for option 7.

You sort of have to do it blindly. You can't go to six then punch in 7 and see anything.. just hit options 67781 without looking for any verification, in the end of the sequence is when it pops up
 

Davage

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 26, 2005
1,063
0
Southwestern Ontario
Captain, don't give up on that unit.. All it'll take is a bit of patience.

When you go into the program satellite options (Option 6, 4, 4) - do you see any satellites that are labelled CA, CF, CG? Those are generics.

If you see the Generics, try program the CF satellite satellite into the 105 West position where W5 should be. CF Channel 107 is the generic equivalent of X4 channel 216. If you can get Digicipher lock on that satellite, you can likely download the new X4 satellite tile.
 

captain_ed

SatelliteGuys Family
Jan 1, 2011
35
0
Pennsylvania
When I try to do that, I get a message "This will erase all satellites and system settings and temporarily turn off your unit." Obviously, I don't want to do that. I suspect my unit is a brick except for being able to receive W1-400, G4-16, and a few Showtime channels on G0 when they are free.
 

Davage

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 26, 2005
1,063
0
Southwestern Ontario
Option 6 4 4 does that? Wow. It does sound like you have old firmware in it. I wonder if there are even firmware updates in the stream for it.

What I was trying to get you to look for is the menu option where you program in the satellites.. I wanted to see if the CF satellite was even available to you. That might have been a possible way to get the X4 mapped.
 

captain_ed

SatelliteGuys Family
Jan 1, 2011
35
0
Pennsylvania
I think there was some confusion over the codes. I cannot do 67781 without getting a major warning. But, I loaded channel CF to the location of W5, and I see "Cleaning House". No video, but that is what the TV shows. So, I think I am getting somewhere. I cannot load X4 since my system does not work, presently, on Ku.
Now, my question is, can I "modify" my system to a W5 package? I suspect I can, since I am seeing "Cleaning House" on CF when moved to the location of W5. The question is, then, if I "modify" to the W5 package, do I loose the ability to use my 4dtv as a dish and feedhorn skew driver? I've just ordered a fta receiver, and need to use my 4dtv to drive the dish and feed, unless I am to design and develop a new feed and skew driver device. I could do that, but I would only do it if there was enough interest to buy the device by other fta hobbyists.
 

surfdevil83

SatelliteGuys Family
Nov 24, 2007
76
0
Toronto
Captain ed just to clarify the new x4 is cband not ku. I think we should call out all the 4dtv experts to get this unit running before we lose another 4d customer. If you have a digital camera take a picture of the sats that you have available to you. Is the W5 tile there? Is it possible that the tdt counter is at 1920 and can't download the new map. If you have the W5 tile try this to get a green light on W5, Go to channel 440 if you can. Press option 6778 quickly, select manual tune. You should have 1030.00 cband vertical. Tell it to tune and wait for a minute or so to give you a green lock. If this is a no go try a horizontal channel in case your skew is not working. Exit out and try again, channel 411 option 6778 manual tune. You should have 1090.00 cband H and tell it to tune.
Other things you can try, Make sure the X4 tile is not checked in the instalation menu. I don't think the new tile will overwrite a checked tile. This is dangerous but when all else fails turn the unit off on the W5 sat then pull the plug. If the battery is dead or low you could lose the unit id with this atempt.
 
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crackt

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 24, 2007
1,000
1
101w up north.
I think there was some confusion over the codes. I cannot do 67781 without getting a major warning. But, I loaded channel CF to the location of W5, and I see "Cleaning House". No video, but that is what the TV shows. So, I think I am getting somewhere. I cannot load X4 since my system does not work, presently, on Ku.
Now, my question is, can I "modify" my system to a W5 package? I suspect I can, since I am seeing "Cleaning House" on CF when moved to the location of W5. The question is, then, if I "modify" to the W5 package, do I loose the ability to use my 4dtv as a dish and feedhorn skew driver? I've just ordered a fta receiver, and need to use my 4dtv to drive the dish and feed, unless I am to design and develop a new feed and skew driver device. I could do that, but I would only do it if there was enough interest to buy the device by other fta hobbyists.

well captain. x4 is not ku. if you dont have it or if you have an x4 tile with dmx in the 800's you can still map the new x4 tile. i had to remove the x4 sat from the programmed sats, i then tuned to 602 @ w5 and sat for a couple minutes. unplugged and warmed up and re-added the x4 tile to my programmed sats. ill assume you can do this with cf generic or by manually tuning 1430.000. i think the main thing is to remove the x4 sat from the programmed sats. what emm does diagnostic screen A (options 605) show on line 4? (after the FE?? 1). it should show 1000 (4096dec), 0000 (0dec) or 1040 (4160dec). and yes after converting you can still use your 922 to move your dish. mine shows 39 cband tiles after conversion.

crackt out,.
 

captain_ed

SatelliteGuys Family
Jan 1, 2011
35
0
Pennsylvania
What is X4? I see it in the same position as G4. G4 works fine on my system. But, if X4 is not Ku, how can it be in the same position as G4? Just like G4 is Galaxy 16. What is X4? I do have X4 in my channel map, but I don't know if it has the correct parameters. I also have W5, but it clearly does not have the correct parameters, since many of the listed channels are not there. I tried putting CF at W5 position, and I get lots of stuff, including some free music channels. But, channel 216 and 603 are not available. I am now going to go back to W5 after leaving the system on CF overnight to see if the channel maps have changed. Also, where do I go to get the tdt count. Also, if I do successfully get this 4dtv box set up with a proper channel map for W5 and working on the W5 package, will I loose the ability to use it as a 4dtv receiver on other birds, and, more importantly, will I loose the ability to use it to steer my dish for a fta receiver?
 

captain_ed

SatelliteGuys Family
Jan 1, 2011
35
0
Pennsylvania
OK, I am getting somewhere, but slowly. At least W5/X4 is in the perfect part of the sky. I have strength 90, quality 99 on that, with Eb/No +9.2. And, when I get my new corotor, and can properly place the horn at the focal point (my present feed is too short to reach the focal point, and the choke ring is too close to the feed end), I should get even better signals. Perhaps then I can get some of the higher and lower satellites that have trees in the way. But, anyway, I found the tdt. It is 1920. Not sure what that means, or if I should, or can, do anything, but it is 1920. I do have an X4. It was not previously programmed. I put it at the same location in the sky as W5. I then get music dmx in the 800 range. The actual number of channels is pretty limited on X4, starting at 251. In diagnostic page G, I have FED4 0 1000. So I guess that is at least correct. On W5, I now get ch 216 (not authorized, of course). It shows "Whose Wedding Is It, Anyway". FWIW, I cannot get sat G1, although it is programmed and one of the tiles, because it is too low in the sky due to trees. What should I do next?
 

captain_ed

SatelliteGuys Family
Jan 1, 2011
35
0
Pennsylvania
BTW, I do get a green light on W5. I do get ch 602, but not 603. Clearly the channel map is screwed up. Not sure what to do since TDT is 1920.
 
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