Hopeless Newbie Needs Help-015 Error (1 Viewer)

Reverendbiker

Thread Starter
New Member
Nov 20, 2009
4
0
Central Texas
I have a very basic DP311 system (Dish 500 ) installed 3 years ago in a hunting cabin miles from civilization. For the most part it has been trouble-free, so I know nothing about it (cut me some slack--I'm a minister, not a satellite guru).

Last night (clear skies, no wind) in the middle of a football game the screen turned black-n-blue with an 015 message saying that it was acquiring a signal--never even got past "0 of 5". I've experienced that before, but it always located the signal eventually. Not this time--it's been searching for over 15 hours. I checked the signal strength and it was solid red--0%. In frustration I ran a "check switch" test and it came back saying no switches were found.

It's very difficult to get a tech out to troubleshoot a system in a remote area with no physical address. Can some helpful soul please suggest where I could begin?
 

boba

SatelliteGuys Master
Dec 12, 2003
11,351
1,033
Dorchester, TX.
At 3 yrars of exposure my first guess would be corrosion on fittings to possibly the center conductor complty corroded off. Check all exposed cabling for water ingress and gray or black instead of shiny copper.

Next guess would be rotten wood where dish is mounted causing movement of the dish.
 

bhelms

"Wannabe Retiree"
Lifetime Supporter
Feb 26, 2006
7,788
844
Central PA
Welcome Reverend!

I assume your D500 is pointing to the 110/119 sat. locations which even in Texas are not high in the sky. Are there trees around? Has something grown or fallen into the signal path? (Remember that due to the LNB offset the dish is actually "looking" at a spot that is about 20 deg. higher than its axis. You can eyeball the signal incidence angle as the opposite of the LNB offset angle.)

Agreeing for the most part with others, I would check alignment next and that's not easy to do without some experience and equipment. If you have an iPhone you can D/L a "Dishpointer" epplication that will allow you to get the rough bearing and elevation and skew, or if you have a friend with an operating Dish system, use the setup assistance in their receiver to get the correct alignment information by entering the zip code for your remote location into their system. But you will still need a signal strength meter to tell you when you're on target. A simple one like the one linked below can do the job. The trick with the D500 however is to know which sat. you're finding and that takes some trial and error. (Let us know if you want to pursue that and we can give you more detailed instructions.)

http://www.dishstore.net/product_info.php?cPath=59&products_id=75

After that follow the signal path as described above looking for loose, corroded, or broken connections. Failing that it could be the receiver. I had a 301 (earlier version of the 311) with similar signal loss / acquiring signal problems when the other receivers in the house worked fine. The replacement has been trouble-free. Maybe a friend who has similar programming as you do would let you try his receiver in your system?
 

Reverendbiker

Thread Starter
New Member
Nov 20, 2009
4
0
Central Texas
Welcome Reverend!

I assume your D500 is pointing to the 110/119 sat. locations which even in Texas are not high in the sky. Are there trees around? Has something grown or fallen into the signal path? (Remember that due to the LNB offset the dish is actually "looking" at a spot that is about 20 deg. higher than its axis. You can eyeball the signal incidence angle as the opposite of the LNB offset angle.)

Agreeing for the most part with others, I would check alignment next and that's not easy to do without some experience and equipment. If you have an iPhone you can D/L a "Dishpointer" epplication that will allow you to get the rough bearing and elevation and skew, or if you have a friend with an operating Dish system, use the setup assistance in their receiver to get the correct alignment information by entering the zip code for your remote location into their system. But you will still need a signal strength meter to tell you when you're on target. A simple one like the one linked below can do the job. The trick with the D500 however is to know which sat. you're finding and that takes some trial and error. (Let us know if you want to pursue that and we can give you more detailed instructions.)


After that follow the signal path as described above looking for loose, corroded, or broken connections. Failing that it could be the receiver. I had a 301 (earlier version of the 311) with similar signal loss / acquiring signal problems when the other receivers in the house worked fine. The replacement has been trouble-free. Maybe a friend who has similar programming as you do would let you try his receiver in your system?
Great information--thanks, everyone! I really believe that the dish is still in good position and not blocked by any obstruction, but I'll get myself a signal strength meter and check it out. Blessings!
 

Reverendbiker

Thread Starter
New Member
Nov 20, 2009
4
0
Central Texas
Thanks to all for the good suggestions--I'm on my way to the cabin to try them out. I don't believe it is a positioning problem, as the dish wasn't disturbed and there aren't any obstructions. I'll start by checking all of the connections carefully and go from there. Blessings,
jack <><
Reverendbiker
 

peaked

SatelliteGuys Family
Oct 21, 2008
106
1
S.E. KY
Check all connections. Take them apart with a 7/16" wrench if tight. Look for corrosion as mentioned above. Clean or replace bad fittings. Do a checkswitch. If that doesn't get it, check the LNB (eyes of the dish). Try replacing it if you can. Last in Dish protocol is the recvr. After everything else has been eliminated, that is your culprit. As an existing cust., you should be able to do a swap-out, where they mail you a new 311 and you mail back the old one in the same box. Don't go straight to recvr. replacement. If you send back a good one, Dish might charge you for the replacement. That's why it is the last thing tech's. will replace. Good Luck and please pray for us . God Bless!
 

Reverendbiker

Thread Starter
New Member
Nov 20, 2009
4
0
Central Texas
Check all connections. Take them apart with a 7/16" wrench if tight. Look for corrosion as mentioned above. Clean or replace bad fittings. Do a checkswitch. If that doesn't get it, check the LNB (eyes of the dish). Try replacing it if you can. Last in Dish protocol is the recvr. After everything else has been eliminated, that is your culprit. As an existing cust., you should be able to do a swap-out, where they mail you a new 311 and you mail back the old one in the same box. Don't go straight to recvr. replacement. If you send back a good one, Dish might charge you for the replacement. That's why it is the last thing tech's. will replace. Good Luck and please pray for us . God Bless!

BINGO! Thanks for your clear, concise direction. Just got back from the cabin, and the problem is resolved. I started with the connections. I had checked them previously and all were snug, but on your suggestion I decided to take them all apart. Sure enough, I found the problem on the first connection; when I went to disconnect the cable at the back of the receiver the coax literally slipped out of the connector. Closer examination revealed a really shoddy crimp, so I just cut the coax and started from scratch with a new connector.
I figured that if the installer made one bad connection he likely made another so I followed the other end of the cable to the LNB and checked it--sure enough, it was shoddy also so I replaced it. Went back inside and fired up the received--viola'! I've got a signal. Thanks so much for your assistance. Blessings,
jack <><
Reverendbiker
 

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