Newbie Questions on Dish Network

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garymarcella

Thread Starter
Member
May 12, 2004
6
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Waterbury, CT USA
Hi Guys I'm a new subscriber (about 15 Days) I was the decision maker to change from Cable to Dish. I am kind of happy that I did so except that we have had 2 rain storms since it got installed and I lost my signal twice. Now I expected to have that problem in the winter but not in the rain. Is there any way to increase the signal stregnth durring a rain storm. I have been getting a lot of flak cause I changed cause we never lost the signal with cable. Like I say I expected a few problems but not this much so soon. Do you know if Dish is planning on incrasing signal stregnth soo so we wont lose it so easily. Any help you can give me would be appreciated. Thanks, Gary
 
DarrellP

DarrellP

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Nov 6, 2003
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Salem, OR
It would help to know where you are located. I live in the Northwest and have never lost a signal due to rain. Can you post your signal strength on a good day?
 
T

Tahoerob

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Sep 10, 2003
402
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Hayden, ID
ironically, snow has NOT affected my signal. Dense storm fronts with heavy rain will cause momentary rain fade.
Overall, it is a small trade off for better quality.
Also, if you have not had cable signal loss, you were lucky. Usually whe cable does go down, it will be for HOURS to DAYS not for a minute or 2 like satellite.
 
Mark_AR

Mark_AR

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Nov 17, 2003
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North Arkansas
I only get rain fade during the heaviest downpours. Then as soon as it lets up a little, my signal comes back.

I haven't had Dish long enough to experience snow outages, but if it is anything like DTV, then as snow accumulates on your dish, you will notice a signal loss. Mine only used to happen during very wet packy snow that actually covered the reflector and not the LNB.

Any outage has been minimal and with having 2 DVR's I don't have to worry. I can always find something to watch until the signal comes back in a few minutes.
 
SimpleSimon

SimpleSimon

SatelliteGuys Master
Supporting Founder
Feb 29, 2004
5,692
3
Florissant, CO
Ditto. With me (in Colorado), rain dropouts are extremely rare, and only momentary. Snow dropouts are also rare, and only last as long as it takes me to hit the dish with a broom. :) BTW, they sell dish covers to solve the snow problem.
 
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garymarcella

Thread Starter
Member
May 12, 2004
6
0
Waterbury, CT USA
I live in Connecticut and my signal went out for a Half hour on Sunday and the other time it went out was for about 5 to 10 minutes. My signal stregnth today with a little cloud cover on satelite 119 was just about 85-90 I didn't check 110. My dish is up on the roof and I'm disabled so shoveling off the dish isn't likely. I guess I'll just have to get used to it. Thanks guys. Gary
 
SimpleSimon

SimpleSimon

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Supporting Founder
Feb 29, 2004
5,692
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Florissant, CO
garymarcella said:
I live in Connecticut and my signal went out for a Half hour on Sunday and the other time it went out was for about 5 to 10 minutes. My signal stregnth today with a little cloud cover on satelite 119 was just about 85-90 I didn't check 110. My dish is up on the roof and I'm disabled so shoveling off the dish isn't likely. I guess I'll just have to get used to it. Thanks guys. Gary
Gary - you missed the part where I said they make snow covers. :)
Heres one source: http://www.merchantamerica.com/utahsatellite/index.php?ba=product_enlarge&product=9570
 
M

marko

SatelliteGuys Guru
Sep 7, 2003
122
0
I lost sat a good bit yesterday when a big storm came through here in NC (storm front right where satellite was pointed). Normal reception is 114/100. Not too often storms big enough come through, but they do, it is a pain, but I put total loss of satellite at most 2-3 hours a year for me. Not bad at all.h
 
G

garymarcella

Thread Starter
Member
May 12, 2004
6
0
Waterbury, CT USA
Simple Simon Do they actually work. Remember a I am a newbie and I know nothing. In fact after I finish talking about this I am gonna ask a REALLY stupid Question. Would that cover help with rain signal loss also. Since I am disabled How much do you think someone would charge to install that cover on the roof of a Two family two story house. It looks strange and I cant believe it does not interfere with your signal. If this product works so well why don't they put them on when they are installed and then you wouldn't have to have someone come back to do it. I am not trying to be a smart A** I really know nothing about satelites I was just tired of Cable and liked the programing on DISH.
Now for the real dummy question. What are these cards I see on ebay. My 522 has no card and my 510s have what looks like blue or purple cards. What are they used for. Do they expire? How often do you need to replace them? Could you explain these to me as if I was a six year old. Can you point me to a site that can give me a comprehensive explaining of Dish and satelite TV and explain it in simple language. I mean I don't need to know bitrates and asmiths and skews and all that technical stuff. I would just like to know the ins and outs and how I can maximise my viewing pleasure. Boosters and little tricks and so forth. What I can do and the cheapest way to do it cause disability pay doesn't go too far. thanks in advance. I was noticing that that SCOTT guy said he was coming back to CT from the summit or whatever that was this past weekend, is that where the Satelite Guys are located. thanks Guys I see you guys are really helpfull. Gary
 
bcshields

bcshields

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Nov 28, 2003
1,458
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Delaware
Your 522 has a card embedded in it.

Smart cards are what authorized the signal to be translated into something viewable.. the ones you see on EBay are hacked. Which is illegal.

Only replace your smart cards when Dish sends you one.
 
S

snathanb

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Feb 26, 2004
2,580
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DFW
garymarcella said:
Simple Simon Do they actually work. Remember a I am a newbie and I know nothing. In fact after I finish talking about this I am gonna ask a REALLY stupid Question. Would that cover help with rain signal loss also.

They keep snow from accumulating in the dish. The dish is parabolic shape so that it can focus the satellite beam unto the LNB (the thing at the end of that stick coming out of the dish....since you are a noob).

If there is snow sitting in the dish, the dish surface no longer correctly focuses the signal onto the LNB.

The cover will not prevent rain fade loss or loss from snow falling.
 
SimpleSimon

SimpleSimon

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Feb 29, 2004
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Florissant, CO
Gary: No idea what someone would charge to throw the cover on where you're at, but here, if I needed it, I could probably find a neighbor to climb up there for the price of a 6-pack. :) Of course, you don't touch said 6-pack until after he gets off the ladder. :D

I have no idea why they aren't done at install time. Probably because a customer would get pissed that it's not included in the cost as part of the basic install.

Yes, Scott, our forum "Dad" lives in CT. No idea where the web server is, nor does it matter - ain't the internet wunnerful. :)
 
RBBrittain

RBBrittain

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 7, 2004
286
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Little Rock, AR
SimpleSimon said:
I have no idea why they aren't done at install time. Probably because a customer would get pissed that it's not included in the cost as part of the basic install.
My SBC Dish install came with a black canvas cover over the main dish at no extra charge. Of course, they did it to put the SBC logo alongside E*'s on an ordinary Dish500 (I guess it was cheaper to use covers than keep two dish inventories), and it doesn't cover the LNB at all like the one you're talking about. But mine does leave a flat surface instead of a parabolic one, so it should help prevent snow accumulation on the dish--a small extra for signing up thru SBC, perhaps. But then, my dish is placed just below a balcony, so it's extremely easy to sweep it off...
 
SimpleSimon

SimpleSimon

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Feb 29, 2004
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Florissant, CO
I'd guess that style of cover costs a bunch less. Probably works just fine in light snow areas. I'm tired of going out to sweep them off, and so will be buying a Direcway & Dish 500 cover this year.
 
long_time_DNC

long_time_DNC

Politically Incorrect
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Apr 24, 2004
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Pacific Northwest, where it rains a lot...
Try a light coat of WD-40 or silicone spray on the reflector. I did that 2-3 years ago and haven't had to repeat it. Snow doesn't stick hardly at all to the reflector anymore, preventing the need to go out there and sweep it off and it doesn't do anything to the reflector nor to the signal strength. Prior to trying this idea, I was always having to brush off the snow, sometimes 4-5 times a day during heavy snows.

As for rain-outs: I get 2-3 per year, only during extremely heavy downpours and they last maybe 2-5 minutes. Compared to the cable outages I used to endure, I'll take an occasional rain-out anytime. :)
 
SimpleSimon

SimpleSimon

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Feb 29, 2004
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Florissant, CO
long_time_DNC said:
Try a light coat of WD-40 or silicone spray on the reflector. I did that 2-3 years ago and haven't had to repeat it. Snow doesn't stick hardly at all to the reflector anymore, preventing the need to go out there and sweep it off and it doesn't do anything to the reflector nor to the signal strength. Prior to trying this idea, I was always having to brush off the snow, sometimes 4-5 times a day during heavy snows.

As for rain-outs: I get 2-3 per year, only during extremely heavy downpours and they last maybe 2-5 minutes. Compared to the cable outages I used to endure, I'll take an occasional rain-out anytime. :)
Thanks for the idea! We'll see how it works - I have my doubts about the heavy spring snows but those might tear the covers apart, too. :eek:
 
long_time_DNC

long_time_DNC

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SimpleSimon said:
Thanks for the idea! We'll see how it works - I have my doubts about the heavy spring snows but those might tear the covers apart, too. :eek:

No problem! I agree, heavy (wet) spring snow might stick. We very rarely get snow here in the NW beyond early March, but it has happened on a few occasions. :shocked

For typical, medium dry snow, it works very well and I haven't had a snow-out since applying it (as I said) for 2-3 winters.

I suspect, that at some point, a reapplication will be necessary (due to simple weathering - rain, sun, wind) and am kinda surprised it's lasted this long. A visual inspection of the reflector shows no sign of anything even being on it, so I would've expected this past winter's snows to have caused me a problem, but they didn't. :D
 

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