Losing signal every time it rains...


SatelliteGuys Family
Original poster
Feb 23, 2004
I used to have DirecTv, with no problems (well, during the 18 months I had it, I lost signal twice). When I decided to go with Dish, the installer took down my DirecTv antenna, and put the Dish in the same spot. My problem is whenever it rains, or even thunderstorms alerts, it goes out. Sometimes for a couple of minutes, other times for more than an hour. I might accept this if we had occasional rain, but lately it feels like it happens twice a week, sometimes more.

It's getting very frustrating, and the wife want's to cancel and get cable instead (which I don't want to do).

I did check the signal strength in the menu, and on a perfect day, I only get a little over 80%. Doesn't this mean that the installer did a bad job???

Is there any chance if I contact Dish and complain, that they will readjust or move the antenna to get a better signal? (for free)

If not, I assume we are talking 100+ dollars to get someone to do it. What are my chances of being able to move it/adjust it myself?


You have a 90 day warranty, I believe, for installation-related issues.

"a little over 80" is pretty low if you're checking either 110' or 119' satellites. If you're checking 105', that's actually pretty high. I think on 121' that's a pretty good number. You'll have either 105' *or* 121', not both though .... or neither, in fact.

Also, if you're on the current "lease" plan like the DHA, call and tell 'em you're cancelling because of excessive rain fade. Maybe they'll offer to have your dish checked and/or re-aligned for free.
Without knowing more about where you are, line of sight issues, equipment types or any of the other important things, it does sound like you got a typical crap install.

The installation may still be under warranty (typically 90 days), so you might score.

It might not be $100 to call someone out, but it won't be free that's for sure.

If you're a competent household handyman, there's a good chance you CAN improve the dish aim. It will take a LOT of patience, and you need to be able to hear the tone from the Point Dish screen and/or have someone yelling numbers to you.

With an existing 80, the adjustments will be very small. You start by just slightly nudging the dish with your hand BEFORE you loosen anything - it's just to see if you can get a positive change. Apply some pressure and hold it - it takes several seconds for the change to show up. This will teach you how much is 'enough'.

Start with 119-11 and -12 and then 110-11 and -12. In a normal installation, in most parts of the country, you should be able to get over 100 for all 4.
Thanks guys! I'm a little under the 90 day mark, so I'll ask first, if not, I'll do what you suggest SimpleSimon.

Thanks again

Checked the signal on the transponders/sats you suggested:
119/11 - 96-97
119/12 - 82-84
110/11 - 89-90
110/12 - 81-82

I guess the guy either was sloppy in not choosing another setup place or didn't fine-tune it enough...

If it turns out they won't help, and it needs to be moved (let's say I try to raise it a few feet, to make sure I get out of the way of some possible hindrances (trees), how hard would it be?

Thanks again.
Moving the dish tends to be hard because of not enough cable.

If you think there might be trees, look again - and remember that the signal is actually coming in higher than where the dish is facing. Take your elevation number (from point dish screen) and use that, NOT where you think the dish is pointing. Just went through a whole long thread on this topic and don't want to do it again. The elevation number is the angle in degrees above the horizon. Period.

Chances are the dish aim just needs to be tweaked a bit - as per my earlier post.
When I first had my dish installed I had the same problem and I knew about the 90 day period. So I called them back out and the 2nd installer told me that the dish was put up correctly he said that the numbers I was getting were acceptable. So I called dish and made him wait while I called them. After escalating my call to a supervisor I explained my problem so the super asked to talk to the technician. I'm not sure what they told him but when he got off of the phone he went out and got his tools and adjusted the signal. When he got done some of the signals had came up 20 points and all was good and now I am living happily ever after. :D The moral to this story is never let the tech leave until your problem is solved. By the way the tech was from dish. :cool:

Wow, Bob. Strange that these installers don't seem to care/know what is needed to make the customer happy.. I'm glad you sorted out your problems, at least :)
tomes said:
Wow, Bob. Strange that these installers don't seem to care/know what is needed to make the customer happy.. I'm glad you sorted out your problems, at least :)
They get paid for how many they can put up, so the faster the better.

Now if they got paid by customer satisfaction, judged by a survey say a month later, they might work a lot harder for you :D
Dish just removed "codes" for non-standard work. We who install no longer are getting them added for wallfishes, attic and basement work, pole mounts, etc. We are not sure what will happen. As it is, we were already paid too little for non-standard work by Dish and the customers can never be charged for work that Dish's own website does not include as part of a standard basic professional install.

You can guess where quality is shortly to go.

I feel another eighty hour week of fixing other guys' crap coming on...
I had a similar problem with my SuperDish. The locals would just go out almost constantly. My signal strength was in the 60's I think and the Dish network support guys said that was ok. My installer did come back out and got the number around 75ish which helped. Trying to get Dish to come out was horrible though, they took me through so many procedures then told me to call my installer. Now with bad thunder or snow storms your satellite is going to go out no matter what but it shouldnt go out with the occasional rain shower.

When I cancelled the service I was pretty disappointed and the CSR person did offer to have a "dish installer" that Dish network used to come out and look at the problem. By that time though I was just too frustrated.

So if you are still having the problem perhaps call up and try to "bluff" them saying you want to cancel service and usually they wont just say "ok." but will ask you what your problem is and try to come up with a good solution.

In the past Dish and Verizon really were great to me but when I moved they put me through hell. It was crazy how happy I was to finally tell both of them their services were no longer needed :p

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