Hopper and Joey malfunction every day, spontaneous reboots and screen blanks

Discussion in 'DISH Network Support Forum' started by falconress, Jul 7, 2019.

  1. falconress

    falconress Topic Starter Active SatelliteGuys Member

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    We have a Hopper with Sling and a Joey with service since January. Until 2 weeks ago, everything was normal. There were occasional signal loss issues due to weather, and one incident where the Joey was stuck on startup for several hours. Dish replaced the Joey.


    About two weeks ago, everything stopped functioning. Since the last week in June, we have not had uninterrupted service even one day with either the Hopper or the Joey. There is no TV when we turn it on in the morning, on either TV. Always some kind of error message. Every single day, throughout the day, 2 to 4 times a day, the Hopper and the Joey spontaneously go blank, and then reboot. Sometimes the reboot doesn’t work. I spend about 2 hours a day running back and forth between devices, plugging and unplugging, with Dish phone support or on my own. Sometimes support does the system restart remotely. Sometimes they ask me to press the red button on the Hopper. Several times they have remotely restarted it back to factory default. Nothing helped.


    There is a technician coming on Wednesday. What should I make sure gets done? They said they would send a new Hopper and a new Joey before he arrives.


    I contacted tech support each time. I also documented every crash with timestamped photos and videos. The devices are configured so they are supposed to turn on to the last channel watched. They have an automatic reset time at 2:00 AM every day. The inactivity timeout is 4 hours. The Joey has the remote configured so that no other input will work when it is set to SAT.


    The problems that show up on the screen include:

    TV Activity 0 of 0 tuners in use (every morning on the Joey)

    blank screen (5 minutes + before giving up)

    blank screen after changing channels (5 minutes + before giving up)

    “please wait refresh in progress” (process never completes)

    “system check” (process never completes)

    broadband connection lost

    total signal loss, with several different error codes



    What should I do if the problems continue after the technician comes? If the problems continue, and Dish cannot solve them, can I cancel without penalty? Is there a more senior support team that I can turn to?


    I had Dish in the past for 8 years, no problem except weather-related signal loss. I am incredibly frustrated. I don’t want to cancel, because frankly, I have no idea if any of the other companies in the field are any better. I just want Dish to work without interruption (except for occasional weather-related signal loss which is apparently unavoidable).


    I apologize for venting but feel very much at a loss. I remember making contact with a support team working in the president’s office, but it was more than 6 years ago, during our previous subscription with them.
     
  2. HipKat

    HipKat SatelliteGuys Master Pub Member / Supporter

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    First, they should not have replaced the Joey. Almost ALL Joey problems start at the Hopper or the cabling.
    The 0 of 0 tuner issue was supposed to be fixed with the last update, which is U717. See what software version you have by going to the Diagnostic Screen (System Information button on the front panel or hitting Home on the remote until you get to it)

    Also, what internet are you connected to, fixed or a Hotspot? If fixed internet, who is your provider and what modem/router do you have.
    The broadband connection lost error results from a "ghost" or past internet connection that's not being used, the tuner issue or cabling, or using a HotSpot - which you can use, but you must disable connection sharing with the Joy by Disabling Bridging (Diagnostics Screen, 2 - Network, 7 - Internet Settings, Advanced tab - Disable Bridging.

    Finally, what is your signal strength?
    Again on Diagnostics Screen, hit 3 for Dish, then 5 to Test Installation. You're in NY, so you're Eastern Arc, most likely. The test should result in all green checks under 72 and 61.5.
    On the bottom left, set the Sat to each of those satellites and the Transponder to 16 and see what your signal strength is. You should see 50 - 60 on each Satellite. Do this for all three tuners, If one tuner is drastically different, you could have a Hopper problem or maybe a bad LNBF.

    Those are some good places to start before you have a tech come out
     
    #2 HipKat, Jul 7, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2019
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  3. falconress

    falconress Topic Starter Active SatelliteGuys Member

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    Thank you so so much for reading my tale of woe!


    First, they should not have replaced the Joey. Almost ALL Joey problems start at the Hopper or the cabling.
    The 0 of 0 tuner issue was supposed to be fixed with the last update, which is U717. See what software version you have by going to the Diagnostic Screen (System Information button on the front panel or hitting Home on the remote until you get to it)

    Hopper is updated to U717. First update was July 4 (manual update at the request of a phone support agent), and an additional update occurred July 7, 2019 (automatic). Both times to Version U717.
    Joey is updated to U753 as of July 4.

    The 0 of 0 tuners problem occurred, several times, both after the July 4th update and also once after this morning's update. So apparently it's not as fixed as they thought.



    Also, what internet are you connected to, fixed or a Hotspot? If fixed internet, who is your provider and what modem/router do you have.

    Fixed Internet, provider is Optimum, router/modem are my own
    Router is Netgear R6230
    Modem is Arris SB6183




    The broadband connection lost error results from a "ghost" or past internet connection that's not being used, the tuner issue or cabling, or using a HotSpot - which you can use, but you must disable connection shring with the Joy buy Disabling Bridging (Diagnostics Screen, 2 - Network, 7 - Internet Settings, Advanced tab - Disable Bridging.


    The network connection type is Ethernet top. The Hopper is physically connected via Ethernet to the router.
    Under Internet Settings > Advanced, Bridging is ON for the Hopper, and grayed out (disabled) for the Joey.
    I have never used a Hotspot, actually I don't really know what that is. For the Hopper, Wireless Network Status is disconnected.





    Finally, what is your signal strength?
    Again on Diagnostics Screen, hit 3 for Dish, then 5 to Test Installation. You're in NY, so you're Eastern Arc, most likely. The test should result in all green checks under 72 and 61.5.

    Signal strength: Since our chronic problems began, I look at (and photograph) the whole sequence Diagnostics screens many times each day, every time the system crashes. I have about 120 pics and 10 videos so far.


    Each time I get to the Diagnostics > Dish screen, the status of the satellite seems to toggle between Locked (green) and Not Locked (red). About 70% of the times I checked it was Not Locked (red), and about 30% of the time it is Locked, Satellite 61.5 and Transponder 17.


    I don’t know if it significant that, when checked after a problem occurs, it seems to shift constantly between Locked and Not Locked, mostly Not Locked. I have it documented, anyway, with dates and times.


    When it is Locked, it shows Switch Status as follows:

    Tuner 1, Tuner 2, and Tuner 3, with green checkmarks under Satellite 72 and 61.5
    Signal strength, when the signal is Locked, is 55 or 56. At this moment it is 55 (green line.

    When it is Locked, it says: Satellite 61.5 Locked, Transponder 17


    On the bottom left, set the Sat to each of those satellites and the Transponder to 16 and see what your signal strength is. You should see 50 - 60 on each Satellite. Do this for all three tuners, If one tuner is drastically different, you could have a Hopper problem or maybe a bad LNBF.


    OK, here is the result at this moment:

    Satellite 61.5, Transponder 17 (this was the default): Signal strength 55
    Satellite 61.5, Transponder 16: Signal strength 59
    Satellite 72, Transponder 16: Signal strength 56

    To be thorough, I tried all the other Satellite options (77, 105, 110, 118, 119, 121, 129, 148) with Transponder 16, and all of them were Not Locked (red). Also, it always jumped right back to Satellite 72, Locked, signal strength 55, 56, or 57. I am leaving it like that at the moment.

    I don’t know if any of these details might help you shed light on it but this has been very helpful to me. I will show the technician all the photos so he can see what was happening each time the system crashed. Should I also show him this information?

    Again, thanks so much.
     
  4. osumike

    osumike SatelliteGuys Pro Pub Member / Supporter

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    It could be as simple as a low frequency barrel in the wall plate behind the hopper..
     
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  5. HipKat

    HipKat SatelliteGuys Master Pub Member / Supporter

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    falconress The only sats you'll see are 72 and 61.5, but the fact it's not staying locked points to a bad LNBF and a bad LNBF absolutely can cause Joey issues
     
  6. falconress

    falconress Topic Starter Active SatelliteGuys Member

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    Thanks for the additional help.


    osumike
    It could be as simple as a low frequency barrel in the wall plate behind the hopper..
    I don't know what this is. Is this something I need to call an electrician to check?

    This morning, when I turned on the Hopper TV, it opened with a "Hopper is starting up" sequence, took about six minutes. So it seems something must have happened during the night to make the system reset.

    When it was installed, the installers told me they did not put in a new cable from the roof dish to the Hopper but just used the "existing" cable (I guess from the defunct DirecTV?). They did put in a new cable from the dish to the Joey. I was quiet about it at the time because I don't understand these issues and he made it seem like this was standard. But I will call the support line and tell them before the technician arrives.
     
  7. osumike

    osumike SatelliteGuys Pro Pub Member / Supporter

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    If there's a wall plate that the cable to the hopper screws onto, that should be a high frequency barrel. You can tell by unscrewing the coax, and the center of that barrel should be blue. If it's white or clear, then it's low frequency, and is not made for a satellite signal. I've replaced several over the years to resolve signal issues.

    One of these: Screenshot_20190708-071828.jpeg
     
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  8. HipKat

    HipKat SatelliteGuys Master Pub Member / Supporter

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    If the cable is DTV's Perfect Vision 3Ghz copper clad cable, Dish likes to say it's not good for a Hopper and to use the cable they give the techs. I say that since the Perfect Vision cable says DirecTV on it, that's the real issue and I've never changed it out, nor had issues with it, but if it's not 3Ghz, no matter whose cable it is, that would cause tuner issues, specifically Tuner 3. The problems you're describing seem more along the lines of a bad LNB or a bad Hopper. most likely
     
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  9. Claude Greiner

    Claude Greiner SatelliteGuys Master Supporting Founder

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    Perfect vision cable is the best. Dish just don’t like it because it’s made by a Directv Distributor.

    Seriously your head would explode if you wanted to use “dish” approved parts for everything.

    Likely your issue is an LNB, Switch or cable.

    The lazy way installers get out of service calls is by blaming the receivers and swapping them out
     
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  10. HipKat

    HipKat SatelliteGuys Master Pub Member / Supporter

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    Wow, some things we finally agree on!
     
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  11. allargon

    allargon SatelliteGuys Pro

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    After reading this, I now know I need to do some barrel swapping around my house this fall/winter (no unnecessary attic work right now).
     
  12. osumike

    osumike SatelliteGuys Pro Pub Member / Supporter

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    It really only matters on satellite signal lines. Joeys can use the low frequency parts, but of course it wouldn't hurt to swap those out anyway..
     
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  13. jackson85

    jackson85 SatelliteGuys Pro

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    When my family decided to get the Hopper/Joey's, ours would just shut off. After so many times of unplugging and holding down the button on either the Hopper and Joey's, and complaining on Facebook Chat/PM with Dish,. I finally got the installer at my home, and when he was at our home a few months before, he thought he should have changed the old wiring then. He changed the wiring, but he also asked if I wanted to upgrade to the Hopper 3 which I said Yes. I would ask the tech, what needs to be done. You are paying every month for a service, that you are not getting. If it takes updated wiring, at no cost to you, then do it. If that doesn't work, then I would ask Dish what your next step should be.
     
  14. falconress

    falconress Topic Starter Active SatelliteGuys Member

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    Thanks again for all the help and advice. The problem continues. When we turned on the TV’s, both were stuck in “Please Wait Refresh in Progress” mode this morning. The Joey first had the “0 of 0 tuners in use” page, then changed to "Please Wait...". I just disconnected and reconnected them from the outlet after waiting 3 hours.

    jackson85, thank you for outlining such a good plan. I really hope that they will send a technician who will be willing to properly troubleshoot the problem.

    Re the info about the hardware: There is no wallplate. The cables come in from the outside. The rest of these issues are beyond my technical knowledge but I will ask the technician to address each of them when he comes.

    There was, however, an odd development. I got an unexpected call from Dish yesterday. They said the problem might be in the Prime Time Any Time feature, which I disabled when I first got Dish service, and have never used. I allowed them to access the system to make an adjustment. After the call, the Prime Time Any Time tab showed “No Events to Display.”

    To my astonishment, several hours later, I saw that the system had recorded all of the Prime Time channels that evening, and the timers were set to record Prime Time Any Time every night for every channel. I did not touch the settings. I don’t know how this occurred. I deleted the recordings and changed the setting to disable Prime Time Any Time.

    It definitely makes me anxious that a user setting like Prime Time Any Time can change spontaneously. I also don’t understand how they have so many “mystery” bugs in the system which they are just guessing about. I have dealt with quite a few cable and satellite services, here and in other places, including a previous 8-year subscription with Dish. I’ve also had Atlantic Broadband in Florida, Cablevision and DirecTV in NY, and two different satellite services when I lived abroad. I have never seen anything like this.
     
  15. Bobby

    Bobby Publican Supporting Founder

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    While they were making the adjustment remotely they turned PTAT on, it's as simple as that. When they are in you receiver they can manipulate everything just like you can. I wouldn't get too worked up about that. After all, you simply turned it back off....
     
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  16. falconress

    falconress Topic Starter Active SatelliteGuys Member

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    Whew! The tech spent almost 4 hours redoing all the cabling. There were a lot of problems. He was flabbergasted that the original installers had laid in new cables to the Joey, but left old - turned out to be very old, and corrupted - cables to the Hopper.

    He also replaced the Hopper, a a precautionary measure because the (very old) coax cable plugged into it was corroded at the input. He also replaced a box that is fastened to the outside wall of the house, where the cables come in from the roof dish and go out to the house - I'm not sure what it's called. In short, he was *not* lazy.

    He was a role model for professionalism - arrived ready for work, motivated, not looking for shortcuts, and with a clear understanding that he - on behalf of Dish - was responsible for making sure we were getting the services we're signed up for.

    Thanks again to everyone who taught me more than I ever thought I'd know about things like how to identify a low frequency barrel. The tech told me that the old cable was the proper 3Ghz speed, but in very bad shape - things like nails in the cable (!!), etc. In a way, I am very glad that the problems were concrete and identifiable, and (hopefully) fixed.
     
  17. Bobby

    Bobby Publican Supporting Founder

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    Excellent outcome! I'm glad it all worked out....
     
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  18. osumike

    osumike SatelliteGuys Pro Pub Member / Supporter

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    Really glad to hear you got a competent, and motivated tech.
     
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  19. HipKat

    HipKat SatelliteGuys Master Pub Member / Supporter

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    That is awesome!! Most of NY is serviced by a company called Intertech. Good company. Not sure where in NY you are, but it may have been one of their guys and I know they have high standards!
     
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  20. falconress

    falconress Topic Starter Active SatelliteGuys Member

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    I spoke too soon.

    Problems again this morning. Joey shows 0 of 0 tuners in use, then starts up, then freezes, no TV watching available. Hopper shows 0 of 0 tuners in use, dish status is Not Locked and all of the tests (satellite, tuners, etc.) are blank, the test to Check Switch Status freezes for 1/2 hour.
    20190711_101404 - Copy.jpg

    This is all beyond my comprehension. I saw how hard the tech worked, I saw how much time he spent on the roof, I can see all the new cabling along the walls of the house. I know he was not looking for a lazy excuse. It all worked yesterday. And yet, this morning, once again, we can't watch TV.

    I called Dish. They will send a tech in a few days and they will credit my account for the days with no service.

    I will be trying some things like unplugging the receivers, etc. But playing amateur technician every single day is not a solution.

    At this point, I am thinking about just canceling. Does anyone know how which department at Dish I can speak to about waiving the early termination fee?

    I don't think any of the other companies are any better. I just don't know what else to do. All we want is to watch television.
     

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