Remote location; update, snowy signal, channel signal loss (1 Viewer)

Mattm1184

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Jul 16, 2016
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Shemya, AK
Hello all. I posted here before some time ago but I couldn't figure out how to view my old post. I have a 3 part issue.

1. Our receivers do not update. I was told because we are in a remote location in Shemya, AK that they cannot lock onto the transponder to do the update? Not sure this sounds right. Are the updates used for more than just the program guide? Software updates? If so I'm wondering if I can download them on a laptop then upload them to the receivers.

2. Our signal is fuzzy/snowy by the time it makes it to the rooms. I know this is a vague issue but would it even be possible to get a clear signal? We have 45 Dish receivers that run by fiber to a fiber to copper converter in another building about a half mile away. They are then put onto a combiner along with local channels, server channels, and AFN channels. This is run through a splitter to go to the various floors of that building where it is amped and split at each floor. Another run off of the splitter gets converted back to fiber to go to the dormatories where it is converted back to copper, amped and split to go to the different floors. At the end locations some channels are clearer than others. This is old copper coax that has probably been in place 30-40 years and I'm wondering if after all of the splitting and amping and converting from fiber to copper to fiber if a clear signal is even possible. All channels have a little bit of fuzz/snow with the higher channels getting more diagonal lines. The channels start very clear at the pick off from the receivers.

3. We get the America top 200 or whatever it is called. We are supposed to get several channels that don't come in like HGTV, Fox news, Cnn, Cartoon Network. They all say "Channel signal loss" when we go to them. I was told that this may only be possible to get with a "spot beam". Our satellite is 129 Echostar west (on the Super Buddy, it says 129 Ceil-2)

** I have uploaded how the channels appear in the room. It is still very much watchable but people want it perfect. I'm not a satellite/Dish guy, the Comm department just absorbed this when they got dish receivers.
 

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TheKrell

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Shemya? IIRC that is very far west. Can you get any Dish sats besides 129?
 

Mattm1184

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Shemya, AK
We don't get any other dish network sats. Our dish is 10.5 elevation and the channels go out pretty frequently with rain.
Our local dish that we receive channels from anchorage is at 2.7 degree elevation.
 

TheKrell

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I don't understand why more folks with greater expertise than I aren't chiming in here. :( But I'll take a swing at your problems.
  1. I believe both the 9-day guide and also software updates for your receivers come off 119. So, since you only have LOS to 129, you will never receive updates nor the longer 9-day program guide. If you don't have DVR receivers, then maybe you don't care because the shorter program guide is on all Dish sats.
  2. I think you are describing analog noise on the TVs in your rooms. If you get a clear signal at the "pick off from the receivers", then it should be possible to get a clear signal downstream if you do it right. In general, you want to go from digital to analog as close as possible to your TVs, and for the analog part put in a distribution amp ahead of the splitters, not after. If you do it after the splitter, you are just amplifying noise along with the signal.
  3. Have a look here at what channels are available on 129: http://www.satelliteguys.us/thelist/index.php?search=dn129&sub=true. Note that some of the channels are on spotbeams, and unless Shemya has a spotbeam which I doubt, the only channels you can get are (I am guessing) conus channels.
Maybe you can get the Air Force to microwave better signals to you.
 

dishdude

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1. What model receivers are you running and what is the current firmware? Usually it is menu, 6, 1, 3.

2. This is a completely local issue related to all your amps, coax and splitters.

3. What size is the dish you're using to receive the signal?
 

Mattm1184

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Jul 16, 2016
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Shemya, AK
I'll try to check the firmware later. TheKrell, I checked the link you gave and noticed a recurring theme. I don't think we get a spotbeam in shemya from the maps. Of the Conus channels we should get, the one's we DON'T get are almost all on transponder 17 with a few exceptions on 31,29,23. Is the channel locked to that transponder? Or would it make any difference to change the transponder? We use a 7.3 meter dish.
 

Jim5506

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The fuzziness problem you are having is not related to your satellite.

Satellite is a digital signal, so you either get a perfect picture or it blocks and has large squares in it where data is lost or total loss of signal.

Your picture problems appear to be somewhere in your distribution system, possibly due to corrosion of copper connections after the fiber to copper conversion.

Another problem could be the copper wire itself, is probably RG-59, which has higher line loss than RG-6, but the extent of your system sounds like replacement might be a big job. I'd exercise the copper connectors to see if I could knock off a few cobwebs first.

At your location 129 is the only satellite you can receive and it only carries the channels for you listed as conus in the list The Krell sent you.
 

TheKrell

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Or would it make any difference to change the transponder? We use a 7.3 meter dish.

A very impressive dish!

Unfortunately we can't on our own change transponders. What you were looking at in TheList! is the mapping Dish gives between the channels you watch, and the satellite, transponder on that satellite, and band within that transponder corresponding to your channel. Some transponders are stronger than others. In principle, Dish could move the channels you can't get onto a stronger transponder, but then the channels previously on that transponder would have to go elsewhere. I have no clue how Dish decides which channels go onto which transponders.
 

dishdude

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A very impressive dish!

Unfortunately we can't on our own change transponders. What you were looking at in TheList! is the mapping Dish gives between the channels you watch, and the satellite, transponder on that satellite, and band within that transponder corresponding to your channel. Some transponders are stronger than others. In principle, Dish could move the channels you can't get onto a stronger transponder, but then the channels previously on that transponder would have to go elsewhere. I have no clue how Dish decides which channels go onto which transponders.

What's even more impressive is I think he is picking up the Alaska spotbeam from an island that is closer to Russia than anywhere else!



 
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The Fat Man

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The fuzziness problem you are having is not related to your satellite.

Satellite is a digital signal, so you either get a perfect picture or it blocks and has large squares in it where data is lost or total loss of signal.

Your picture problems appear to be somewhere in your distribution system, possibly due to corrosion of copper connections after the fiber to copper conversion.

Another problem could be the copper wire itself, is probably RG-59, which has higher line loss than RG-6, but the extent of your system sounds like replacement might be a big job. I'd exercise the copper connectors to see if I could knock off a few cobwebs first.

At your location 129 is the only satellite you can receive and it only carries the channels for you listed as conus in the list The Krell sent you.
I am not an expert about installs by any means, but with my limited knowledge, I have to 100% agree with this statement. At the gym where I am a member, the treadmills and elliptical machines have tvs that are fed by Directv. There is a simular problem with the fuzziness of the picture. I was told it was because the contractor used old copper wiring to hook the gym up, back when it opened a couple decades ago.
 

dishdude

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I am not an expert about installs by any means, but with my limited knowledge, I have to 100% agree with this statement. At the gym where I am a member, the treadmills and elliptical machines have tvs that are fed by Directv. There is a simular problem with the fuzziness of the picture. I was told it was because the contractor used old copper wiring to hook the gym up, back when it opened a couple decades ago.

Even worse, the Dish receivers are 1/2 mile away from the building they're watching TV in! Then it get modulated and split to who knows how many outlets after that.
 
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Mattm1184

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Jul 16, 2016
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Shemya, AK
Thank you for the responses, We supposedly get the Conus feed, not the Alaska Spot beam. From the coverage map I don't know how but it works. So from what I'm getting as that some fuzziness on the TV's should be expected with our setup unless we are going to start replacing all of the cables. I pick off at the receiver site and they are very clear. After a half mile when they are converted to copper, still very clear. After they are fed into the combiner with other feeds, slightly fuzzy but still very clear. After the first amp and splitter, slightly more fuzzy but still pretty clear. I don't really see a breaking point, just progressivily worse down the line. And if I'm understanding right, transponder 17 just isn't strong enough to make it out here? As noted before, 17 is the transponder listed for the channels people want but we can't get according to "The list".
 

Jim5506

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Signal in the fiber is probably digital, could be analog depending on how old the system is, converted to analog somewhere along the way, after the analog conversion signal degradation begins, you lose 1/2 of the signal about every 75 ft with RG-59, every 100 ft with RG-6, each split that is unamplified also cuts signal in half.

Very little loss in the fiber optic cable, depends on the category of the glass in the fibers, that's why it can run 1/2 mule and still have clear picture.

Sounds like what you have is an old style analog cablevision facility on a military base.

Back when we had analog cable it was not unheard of for amplifiers to go bad, especially on the lower channels 2-6.

Any idea when this system was put in?
 
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