Help! Ongoing HD issue

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njguy99

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Oct 18, 2008
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Been trying to figure this out for weeks now, to no avail...

Periodically our pole-mounted dish loses alignment and we have to get an installer out to make the HD stations work again.

This most recently happened about 2 months ago. All of the odd transponders on 103 disappeared. So, I switched the b-band converters (moved 1 to 2, 2 to 1) and that seemed to fix it, at least temporarily. A couple weeks later, the odd transponders went away again, so I called DTV and got an installer out. He changed out a few of the exterior connections and the LNB (we went from a slimline 5 to a slimline 3). When he left, all transponders were at 95%. It lasted that way for about 3 days, and then it went bad again. It will work fine one day, then all the odd transponders go bad the day after.

Before I call DTV again, any suggestions of what could be the problem? It's getting to be really annoying and the installers around here, frankly, don't much know what they're doing...
 

raoul5788

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Have you tried switching the cables? I'm guessing one of them has a bad connection or damage of some kind.
 

njguy99

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Pole is in a solid concrete mount, and it's plumb. The dish doesn't seem to be moving, because every other transponder and satellite is good with signals 90 and above. Only the odd transponders on 103 are the issue.

The original install was done poorly - with the dish mounted to a tree (!) and then cables run across the yard into the house. Yeah, the installers in this area are that lazy. When that stopped working I finally convinced DTV to send someone out to pole mount it. Luckily that installer was very good and did it the right way. Unfortunately, he kept the existing cabling which now runs from the dish up the tree and across to splitters, then to another set of cables that run to the multiswitch and then into the house.

So, the signal is split at least 3 times (once with the lines out of the LNB, once at the splitters on the house, and again at the multiswitch). Short of running new cables from the LNB to the multiswitch, I'm not sure how to troubleshoot this. And no installer they send is going to want to go to all that work!
 
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Jimbo

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Pole is in a solid concrete mount, and it's plumb. The dish doesn't seem to be moving, because every other transponder and satellite is good with signals 90 and above. Only the odd transponders on 103 are the issue.

The original install was done poorly - with the dish mounted to a tree (!) and then cables run across the yard into the house. Yeah, the installers in this area are that lazy. When that stopped working I finally convinced DTV to send someone out to pole mount it. Luckily that installer was very good and did it the right way. Unfortunately, he kept the existing cabling which now runs from the dish up the tree and across to splitters, then to another set of cables that run to the multiswitch and then into the house.

So, the signal is split at least 3 times (once with the lines out of the LNB, once at the splitters on the house, and again at the multiswitch). Short of running new cables from the LNB to the multiswitch, I'm not sure how to troubleshoot this. And no installer they send is going to want to go to all that work!

This is a Slimline 3, not a SWM SL, right ?

There should be NO SPLITTERS in the line from the dish to the recvrs EVER.
In your case the line should go from the Dish to the MultiSwitch to the recvrs.

How many recvrs and models are you using ?
How many lines are coming off the dish ?
 

njguy99

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3 receivers - 2 standard def, 1 HD.

There are 3 lines coming off the dish that go to the multiswitch.

The original installer "didn't have enough cable" so he did it as 2 runs with a combiner. Having wired my own install at 2 previous houses, I knew enough to ask if that would be a problem and he basically said "you want it done today, right?"

We probably do need to have the lines completely re-run from the dish to the multiswitch. It's just a question of finding an installer willing to do that.
 

cave1376

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Remove the multiswitch and combiner. Run the cables directly from the dish to the receivers. Leave the b band converters connected to the receivers. You don't need the multiswitch unless you have more than 4 tuners. By what you describe, it sounds like you have only three tuners.

If one of the receivers is a dvr, then it has two tuners. You will have four tuners if you have one dvr and two non-dvr receivers. Even then you will not need a multiswitch because the lnb has four outputs. The dvr will need to have two cables run from the dish to the receiver.
 
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Jimbo

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Remove the multiswitch and combiner. Run the cables directly from the dish to the receivers. Leave the b band converters connected to the receivers. You don't need the multiswitch unless you have more than 4 tuners. By what you describe, it sounds like you have only three tuners.

If one of the receivers is a dvr, then it has two tuners. You will have four tuners if you have one dvr and two non-dvr receivers. Even then you will not need a multiswitch because the lnb has four outputs. The dvr will need to have two cables run from the dish to the receiver.

Good call Cave :up
 

njguy99

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Oct 18, 2008
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Well...my plan is to call DTV again and explain this to them precisely. Then, of course, I'll have to fight with the installer who will only want to do a patch job. But we'll see how it goes...
 

Hutch1814

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Jun 18, 2011
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njguy99 said:
Well...my plan is to call DTV again and explain this to them precisely. Then, of course, I'll have to fight with the installer who will only want to do a patch job. But we'll see how it goes...

Request case management. It sounds like this is the only way to get it done correctly
 

njguy99

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Oct 18, 2008
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Update - finally got a good day for DTV to come out. The installer took one look at the cabling and shook his head, but was hesitant to do a full re-cabling job. He tested all of the lines and discovered - as you guys suspected - the one for 103 wasn't working.

His diagnosis? A bad connector. So, he replaced the connector and hooked it back up to the multiswitch. He went to do the final checklist, ran the self-test, and low-and-behold now 103 was working fine but 99 and 101's odd transponders had gone bad.

He shook his head again. "I'll just replace the cabling."

And he did. He re-wired from the dish to the multiswitch, trenching the line properly. Now, it works perfectly. We're getting 92-95 transponder readings on all satellites.

Finally - a good installer who knew what he was doing. And all it took was 3 tries and being referred to case management!
 
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