lost signal on Shaw

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Drlee

Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
Original poster
Sep 19, 2022
25
6
US - PA and Rhode Island
After a couple of months of enjoying my relocated Shaw dish here in Rhode Island we had the bad storm that hit the US several days ago. The high winds blew my dish downward at the pivot point. Obviously, I should have had the bolt tighter at that spot. There was no damage to the dish itself or the mast. However, when I raised it back up and tightened the bolt I discovered that I could not reacquire a signal. Both T1 and T2 were reading 0.The elevation is the same as is the skew. I've tried moving the dish left and right with no signal gain with one exception of what might have been a false reading of a signal strength of 34 on T1 (I think) and a lesser number on T2 that bounced up and down. When I went back and moved the dish a fraction the meter went back to 0 for both lines (T1 and T2) and I was unable to get a new number. So with that in mind, I am wondering if my LNB could have been damaged when the dish dropped. I don't have a multimeter here to check anything. So, with this information in mind...
1) Is there a way for me to determine if there is a fault in the LNB? If so, how can I do so with limited tools?
2) If the LNB is shot I need to get the proper replacement LNB. I have a 75e dish and a new 830 receiver that I purchased after our move to RI. The sticker on the current LNB has been exposed so much that I can no longer read the "model" of the LNB. It has what I would describe as a pair of eyeballs covered in a milky white plastic cover and It has 4 coax connectors. I use two of the connectors for the two lines leading to the receiver. It looks about the same as the XKU triple sat that I have seen available for purchase. But I don't want to get an incorrect item.
3) If I have to get a new LNB are they "plug and play" since I have an activated receiver or do I have to go through my broker who would contact Shaw?
4) Any other suggestions are appreciated.
 
After a couple of months of enjoying my relocated Shaw dish here in Rhode Island we had the bad storm that hit the US several days ago. The high winds blew my dish downward at the pivot point. Obviously, I should have had the bolt tighter at that spot. There was no damage to the dish itself or the mast. However, when I raised it back up and tightened the bolt I discovered that I could not reacquire a signal. Both T1 and T2 were reading 0.The elevation is the same as is the skew. I've tried moving the dish left and right with no signal gain with one exception of what might have been a false reading of a signal strength of 34 on T1 (I think) and a lesser number on T2 that bounced up and down. When I went back and moved the dish a fraction the meter went back to 0 for both lines (T1 and T2) and I was unable to get a new number. So with that in mind, I am wondering if my LNB could have been damaged when the dish dropped. I don't have a multimeter here to check anything. So, with this information in mind...
1) Is there a way for me to determine if there is a fault in the LNB? If so, how can I do so with limited tools?
2) If the LNB is shot I need to get the proper replacement LNB. I have a 75e dish and a new 830 receiver that I purchased after our move to RI. The sticker on the current LNB has been exposed so much that I can no longer read the "model" of the LNB. It has what I would describe as a pair of eyeballs covered in a milky white plastic cover and It has 4 coax connectors. I use two of the connectors for the two lines leading to the receiver. It looks about the same as the XKU triple sat that I have seen available for purchase. But I don't want to get an incorrect item.
3) If I have to get a new LNB are they "plug and play" since I have an activated receiver or do I have to go through my broker who would contact Shaw?
4) Any other suggestions are appreciated.
Those LNBF's in my experience are bulletproof, especially since no lightning was involved. Of course it is possible that the LNBF failed, however my guess would be alignment or a cable issue.

If you do need a new LNBF,which I doubt, you can buy it anywhere. Just make sure it is for the 75e. The receiver is alredy mapped so it should be a "plug and play".
 
A signal level of zero usually means that the connection between the dish and the LNB has been broken. If the connection is intact, your receiver signal meter should show at least a weak signal, even if the dish is totally mis-pointed. So, check the connectors at the LNB and look for damage or corrosion or a crimp in the cable.

If the LNB case is cracked and moisture got inside it's likely damaged. I don't know of any way to check the LNB other than trying another one in its place.

Here's two photos of the LNB you need. They ARE plug and play. Simply loosen the setscrew underneath the unit and slide it off the arm after disconnecting the cables. Slide the new one on and reconnect. No need to contact Shaw or do a Receiver Refresh for a simple LNB change. Be sure to replace the sleeve that slides over the connectors to keep moisture away. A sleeve is included in the box with the LNB.

Not sure I agree that they can "be bought anywhere". My understanding is that Shaw has tightened up their inventory. I just checked 2 sources I know of in Canada: one doesn't show them at all on the website; the other shows the 75e unit but says "out of stock", as it has for a couple of years now. Maybe stecle has some other sources...... if you don't have any luck finding a new LNB you can send me a PM.

xku_back[1].jpg
xku_front[1].jpg
 
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A signal level of zero usually means that the connection between the dish and the LNB has been broken. If the connection is intact, your receiver signal meter should show at least a weak signal, even if the dish is totally mis-pointed. So, check the connectors at the LNB and look for damage or corrosion or a crimp in the cable.

If the LNB case is cracked and moisture got inside it's likely damaged. I don't know of any way to check the LNB other than trying another one in its place.

Here's two photos of the LNB you need. They ARE plug and play. Simply loosen the setscrew underneath the unit and slide it off the arm after disconnecting the cables. Slide the new one on and reconnect. No need to contact Shaw or do a Receiver Refresh for a simple LNB change. Be sure to replace the sleeve that slides over the connectors to keep moisture away. A sleeve is included in the box with the LNB.

Not sure I agree that they can "be bought anywhere". My understanding is that Shaw has tightened up their inventory. I just checked 2 sources I know of in Canada: one doesn't show them at all on the website; the other shows the 75e unit but says "out of stock", as it has for a couple of years now. Maybe stecle has some other sources...... if you don't have any luck finding a new LNB you can send me a PM.

View attachment 160073View attachment 160072
Just to clarify, I meant that he doesn't have to buy the LNBF from ShawDirect. He could buy it from a dealer, e-bay, etc.
 
Just to clarify, I meant that he doesn't have to buy the LNBF from ShawDirect. He could buy it from a dealer, e-bay, etc.

The two sources I checked tonight were, at one time, online vendors well known for shipping Shaw gear of all sorts to the US. I didn't check E-Bay or Kijiji, though.

I believe I read somewhere, sometime in the past couple of years, that standalone LNB's were going to be made available only through bona fide Shaw Installers. That could be a rumor, though.
 
After a couple of months of enjoying my relocated Shaw dish here in Rhode Island we had the bad storm that hit the US several days ago. The high winds blew my dish downward at the pivot point. Obviously, I should have had the bolt tighter at that spot. There was no damage to the dish itself or the mast. However, when I raised it back up and tightened the bolt I discovered that I could not reacquire a signal. Both T1 and T2 were reading 0.The elevation is the same as is the skew. I've tried moving the dish left and right with no signal gain with one exception of what might have been a false reading of a signal strength of 34 on T1 (I think) and a lesser number on T2 that bounced up and down.
Sounds to me like you have to re-point your dish again.

First off, what do you mean by "at the pivot point"? Base of the mast? Dish elevation?

If the winds were that strong, your mast may now not be level, and therefore have corresponding elevation issues. It is possible that the dish may twisted so you might need some left or right adjustment, but I would hazard a guess that the elevation is probably off since your minor left/right adjustments didn't fully bring it back in.

From your previous post, are you still running inside and outside to adjust and then check the signal, or have you found a way to make your adjustments and check them while remaining at the dish (small TV, etc.)?

As stecle said, and I agree, the LNBs are pretty much bulletproof, so I don't think it is the LNB, and you did get a low signal at one time, which probably means you were getting close.
 
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Rather than making relative changes and assumptions based on metal galling, it is probably best to start over by insuring that the mast is plumb and go through the new installation steps.

That said, joshual's observation that there should at least be some background noise is compelling.
 
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When I said "pivot point" I was referring to the part where there is a bolt on the arm/mast. It is plumb.
Here is something I did not mention previously. When I first discovered that I did not have a picture and before I looked at the dish I had a signal strength of around 34 and a red bar (indicating a low signal. I thought this was rather strange since when I looked out the window at the dish it was pointing to the ground. I believe that this reinforces the notion that as long as my coax cables were connected to the LNB I should receive some sort of background noise signal. In fact, when I first went out to raise the dish back up on Saturday and came back in to check the signal, while the reading was then 0 there was a still image on channel 104 on the "tuning in/signal strength" page from the program "Corner Gas" which happens to have been on that Saturday morning. So it almost seems to me that momentarily I had a signal unless this was a coincidence.
Today I checked the post and mast for plumb, coax connections on both ends from the LNB to make sure they were secure and all seemed fine. I still have that still image from Corner Gas on the signal strength page and my reading is still 0. Oddly, on that page it shows the correct time as well as the current weather in Hamilton, Ontario (which I think is unusual since I don't have a true signal. So now, I am back to thinking there is a fault with the LNB unless based on this additional information I have given someone has another idea. Thanks!
 
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OK, sounds like your receiver may have locked up once it lost signal (since it is still showing the Corner Gas image). Turn off the receiver and unplug it for a few minutes. Then check it, and then you can do a re-point.

I just took a broom outside and completely blocked my LNB and the meter on my 800 showed 0, so getting a zero signal level is no cause for concern.
 
Hi - I appreciate that you tested 0 on your 800. I shut off and unplugged as you suggested. I still have a reading of 0. However, it is dark (and cold) so I can't see what I am doing outside. I will wait until tomorrow to try to repoint the dish. Thanks again.
 
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I have a signal! The reset may have played a role. However, I got a signal of about 80 at an elevation of 24. When I try to raise the elevation to what it is supposed to be (27.4) and even nudge it up just a fraction the reading goes back to zero. The skew is at 120 which it has been from the day I first set up the dish. I cannot speak too specifically about azimuth since I try to eyeball it based on my iphone compass. I know that before the storm I had the elevation at about 27.4 and the numbers were a little higher. In this instance just tightening the bolts causes a significant negative change and it was not this touchy before. Previously when I started to get a signal I was able to fine tune from the 60's to the mid 80's with relative ease with small dish movements. Now, if I just put thumb weight on the dish I can go to 0 in a hurry. So for now, I will leave things alone. I do have two questions - considering elevation, skew and azimuth if I change one factor such as elevation back to 27.4 and then change azimuth from where things are now is it possible to get a similar signal strength? What I'm trying to ask is if I make two mistakes that are in some way opposing mistakes is it possible to have the touchy signal I have presently? In any case, thanks for the help and suggestions from all. At least I know my LNB is not fried. But the second question is this: Do LNB's degrade or do they simply work or not work?
 
Good to hear you have signal again!

I suspect that when you re-set the mast upright you over-corrected slightly and it is just slightly off plumb. When you original set up the dish I assumed you checked the plumb in all directions with the dish off of the mast, whereas when you re-set it, it was with the dish on the mast and you probably didn't get an accurate reading.

You could adjust the bolt that was loosen by the storm and let the dish fall ever so slightly forward and then re-adjust the elevation, or take the dish off and re-check that the mast is plumb in all directions. You might want to do that in the Spring, or just leave it. In other words, do not be overly concerned about, as it is a fixed dish so can be slightly off plumb and you can still get good signal. If it is more touchy than before, it may mean you may have to adjust the elevation down slightly more. Slight pressure downwards will tell you. Also you may have to do an east-west slight adjustment since either the dish may have slipped slightly east-west, or it is now not plumb also east-west, as well as north-south. Again, slight pressure (grab both sides of the dish when doing it) east-west will tell you. Do not adjust the skew.

All in all, just adjust in any direction to get the maximum signal you can get, and don't be too concerned about elevation numbers, or whether you have to change the east-west to get the maximum signal.

In my experience, LNBs do not degrade (signal wise) much, and if they do it is after a long period of time/use and usually there is another factor involved, such as water inside the LNB or electronic failure (such as LNB frequency drift) or failure such as loss of horizontal frequencies only, or the worst, lightning strike (total failure).

Anyhow, just adjust what you have now for maximum signal!
 
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I have a signal! The reset may have played a role. However, I got a signal of about 80 at an elevation of 24. When I try to raise the elevation to what it is supposed to be (27.4) and even nudge it up just a fraction the reading goes back to zero. The skew is at 120 which it has been from the day I first set up the dish. I cannot speak too specifically about azimuth since I try to eyeball it based on my iphone compass. I know that before the storm I had the elevation at about 27.4 and the numbers were a little higher. In this instance just tightening the bolts causes a significant negative change and it was not this touchy before. Previously when I started to get a signal I was able to fine tune from the 60's to the mid 80's with relative ease with small dish movements. Now, if I just put thumb weight on the dish I can go to 0 in a hurry. So for now, I will leave things alone. I do have two questions - considering elevation, skew and azimuth if I change one factor such as elevation back to 27.4 and then change azimuth from where things are now is it possible to get a similar signal strength? What I'm trying to ask is if I make two mistakes that are in some way opposing mistakes is it possible to have the touchy signal I have presently? In any case, thanks for the help and suggestions from all. At least I know my LNB is not fried. But the second question is this: Do LNB's degrade or do they simply work or not work?
Glad to hear you got it working. I have always disliked the flimsy, poorly constructed mounts that Shawdirect and most other pizza dishes use. You nicely get the dish peaked, then the signal drops as soon as you tighten down the mount

The one exception I found is the DirecTv SlimLine. I have often thought about modifying-adding a SlimLine mount to my Shawdirect dish.
 
Glad to hear you got it working. I have always disliked the flimsy, poorly constructed mounts that Shawdirect and most other pizza dishes use. You nicely get the dish peaked, then the signal drops as soon as you tighten down the mount

The one exception I found is the DirecTv SlimLine. I have often thought about modifying-adding a SlimLine mount to my Shawdirect dish.
Never have had a problem with the Shaw Direct mounts myself, they aren't too much different than my larger 80cm dish mounts. But, I do see what you mean about the SlimLine mounts, they do appear to be sturdier.
 
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Not that I have any experience with the Canadian satellites equipment, but when I was at my old place and aiming the Dish on the roof, I noted that my weight and roof construction conspired to re-aim my dish when I moved away from the area of the roof where the dish was installed. I couldn’t use a ladder to reach, so I had to tweak, move away to see the result, then tweak again; rinse and repeat.

If I install another dish, it will be a ground-mount and set in concrete.
 
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Glad to hear you got it working. I have always disliked the flimsy, poorly constructed mounts that Shawdirect and most other pizza dishes use. You nicely get the dish peaked, then the signal drops as soon as you tighten down the mount

The one exception I found is the DirecTv SlimLine. I have often thought about modifying-adding a SlimLine mount to my Shawdirect dish.
I have a DirectTv mount in Calgary I setup a few years ago. It's a way better mount. The 2 cross brackets can adjust the dish plumb very easily, especially with a plumb bulb on top of the pole.
 
For those of you with the Winegard SK-7003 Shaw Trav’ler system and and it won’t lock on to the satellite you need to have your software updated and if you are in the Red Deer, AB area please e-mail @ r_dwalton@telus.net and I can arrange to update it for you.