RTN FEED - reception issues on AMC 9 @ 83.0W

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AcWxRadar

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 26, 2006
4,575
4
40 miles NW of Omaha. Omaha?
Hello everyone,

I have been fighting this issue for quite a while now and trying to discover the reason for it and correct it. On 83.0W I have 93% Q on TP 11.775H SR 4.231. However, on the RTN TP 11.735 H SR 4.444 I can only muster 69% at best.

EDIT: Better state what equipment I am using... Coolsat 5000, DG-280B and (currently) DG-380 motor, INVACOM QPH-031 LNBF, Winegard DS-2076 antenna, Chieta HD 4x1 DiSEqC switch and Commscope Brightwire Quad shield RG6u cable (about 80 feet total).

I have tried to edit the TP frequency and the symbol rate, and what I have listed provides the most stable and best results.

I have attempted to tweak my dish and motor until I was blue in the face (or more appropriately "red"). It seems that I am tracking the arc perfectly. I can reduce the signal quality, but cannot improve it.

I had an idea that my dish might be warped or bent and causing some odd issues with certain frequencies, so this weekend I replaced the entire dish assembly (Winegard DS-2076) with a brand new one, right out of the box. I have several of these dishes new in the box, so that was not a problem.

I took the old dish reflector into the house and laid it on my glass dining table to check it for warpage and sure enough, it had a slight warp to it. I had checked the new dish when I pulled it out of the box and it was straight and true! Here I thought I might have a glimmer of hope.

I also pulled up stakes and moved the entire mast (on a tripod) about 20 feet away from the house (as I thought that the signal from 43.0W was being shadowed by my eaves). I did this since I was going to have to set up the entire assembly anyway, might as well start from scratch completely and hopefully fix two problems at once. It didn't change anything.

With an entirely different dish assembly, I got the exact same results.

I have now tried three different LNBFs, three different Coolsat 5000 receivers as well as my new Fortec Star Dynamic, three DS-2076 antennas and several motors. The motors shouldn't have any bearing on this, but I just happened to be testing the motors for a different reason and noticed that the problem was present with all of them. All the equipment is giving me the same results, a very low quality on the RTN feeds.

I have also tried rotating the LNBF for polarity and moving the focal point in and out. I have it set to optimum right now and this is the best I can achieve.

I have also taken my receiver and portable TV directly to the dish and ran a short RG6 cable (10 feet or so) directly to the LNBF with no switches and totally bypassing the motor circuitry completely and still get the same results.

My brother lives only ~20 miles from me and his cabin is only 1 mile away and in both locations, he reports high 80's to low 90's quality on the RTN channels with the exact same equipment. Same receiver and dish and motor.

Here are my test results:

43.0W 11.998 V SR 1.563 91% Q
43.0W 12.063 H SR 5.425 69% Q
61.5W 12.355 H SR 20.000 94% Q
63.0W 11.964 V SR 11.280 66% Q
72.0W 12.055 V SR 6.890 93% Q
74.0W 11.734 H SR 6.616 91% Q
79.0W 11.900 H SR 2.170 97% Q
83.0W 11.763 H SR 4.232 91% Q
83.0W 11.769 H SR 4.232 91% Q
83.0W 11.775 H SR 4.231 93% Q
83.0W 11.845 H SR 20.000 88% Q
83.0W 11.969 H SR 8.417 97% Q
83.0W 12.139 V SR 30.001 91% Q
83.0W 12.160 H SR 30.001 91% Q

83.0W 11.735 H SR 4.444 66-69% Q MAX
85.0W 12.188 H SR 3.978 97% Q
87.0W 11.715 H SR 4.857 92% Q
89.0W 11.955 V SR 19.533 88% Q
91.0W 12.080 H SR 3.978 88% Q
91.0W 12.414 H SR 20.000 93% Q
93.0W 11.983 V SR 8.681 90% Q
95.0W 11.780 H SR 20.760 88% Q
97.0W 12.152 H SR 20.000 88% Q
99.0W 12.190 V SR 11.765 88% Q
101.0W 12.060 H SR 26.701 91% Q
103.0W 12.100 V SR 20.000 87% Q
105.0W 11.969 V SR 7.234 94% Q
107.3W 11.941 H SR 5.895 90% Q
110.0W 12.355 H SR 20.000 98% Q
113.0W 12.079 H SR 25.634 88% Q
116.8W 12.191 V SR 7.885 87% Q
119.0W 12.370 V SR 20.000 96% Q
121.0W 12.015 V SR 20.000 94% Q
123.0W 11.720 V SR 27.962 90% Q
125.0W 12.180 V SR 30.001 92% Q
127.0W 11.899 V SR 8.690 91% Q
129.0W 11.963 H SR 2.920 91% Q
129.0W 12.517 V SR 20.000 96% Q
148.0W 12.224 V SR 20.000 97% Q

The only thing that I can think to try is to physically move all my equipment to my brother's cabin or home and test it there or at least some location in my yard far, far away from its present location. Granted there are no physical obstructions to my line of site as you can probably tell from the rest of the signals captured, but maybe there is some other interference that I cannot detect.

Thanks for any ideas, suggestions or recommendations.

RADAR
 
Last edited:

AcWxRadar

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 26, 2006
4,575
4
40 miles NW of Omaha. Omaha?
Try adding / subtracting 1 or 2 from the Freq.

Thanks Lak7,

I did that and also edited the symbol rate up and down until I lost the signal completely. That was an easy thing to try in the dead of winter, but it didn't help me at all. Unless it takes a specific combination of both, but I have tried quite a bit of unique variations and have even tried what my brother has set on his receiver.

How well is your signal quality with your system and what do you have the TP frequency and symbol rate set to?

EDIT: Lak, do you notice a large difference between the RTN TP and the others on this sat? As far as signal quality indications?

Thanks Lak,

RADAR
 

AcWxRadar

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 26, 2006
4,575
4
40 miles NW of Omaha. Omaha?
I should state that I can live with this reception of the RTN feeds as is, but I sure would like it to be better. I know that it should be better and it would sure help with rainfade. Right now it is just so close to the threshold that a slight shower gives me pixelation and tiling.

RADAR
 

turbosat

SatelliteGuys Master
Dec 26, 2006
9,001
75
Oneonta,AL
Radar,
This TP is weird. But, I bet if you had a bigger dish on it, you would notice a difference.
Soon as I get another test-pole set, I'm going to put this Direcway dish back up, its the smallest
one I have, and see what it does on RTN. I remember it worked very well on G18 a few months ago, The one meter primestars do a good job here on RTN but there have been times that the signal strength wavers, esp when the weather is bad down here in the south.

edit: Read Post#12 in this thread as an example of dishsize and quality:
http://www.satelliteguys.us/free-air-fta-discussion/171835-scored-times-two-today.html
 

AcWxRadar

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 26, 2006
4,575
4
40 miles NW of Omaha. Omaha?
Radar,
This TP is weird. But, I bet if you had a bigger dish on it, you would notice a difference.
Soon as I get another test-pole set, I'm going to put this Direcway dish back up, its the smallest
one I have, and see what it does on RTN. I remember it worked very well on G18 a few months ago, The one meter primestars do a good job here on RTN but there have been times that the signal strength wavers, esp when the weather is bad down here in the south.

edit: Read Post#12 in this thread as an example of dishsize and quality:
http://www.satelliteguys.us/free-air-fta-discussion/171835-scored-times-two-today.html

Thanks Turbo,

I have a 1M dish, actually two of them, that I could try. But, for the life of me, I cannot figure out why my brother can pick up this TP in the high 80's just a mile away when I cannot get them any better than 69 or 70% with all my might with the same size dish. It just doesn't make any sense.

Next time I get a free day off from work and clear weather, I am just going to try a different location first, before I try the larger 1M dish.

RADAR
 

turbosat

SatelliteGuys Master
Dec 26, 2006
9,001
75
Oneonta,AL
That IS a mystery alright. Maybe he has better coax than you? I guess you already checked that, and your connectors too. Could be a difference in lnbs? Quality control being what it is, might not be a stretch that his exact same lnbf could be better calibrated. ?? Well I am grasping at straws here. In the past when I have hit snags like that, is usually 1.location of dish 2. size of dish or 3.dish aiming. *here's a good one-one of my 1m primestars had a loose lnb-brace, the little tube would actually slip in and out about 1/4" depending on where the dish was pointed!! It would affect the signal of course, almost never found that little problem!
 

Keith Brannen

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 2, 2006
1,880
637
Southwestern Ontario
My brother lives only ~20 miles from me and his cabin is only 1 mile away and in both locations, he reports high 80's to low 90's quality on the RTN channels with the exact same equipment. Same receiver and dish and motor.

The only thing that I can think to try is to physically move all my equipment to my brother's cabin or home and test it there or at least some location in my yard far, far away from its present location. Granted there are no physical obstructions to my line of site as you can probably tell from the rest of the signals captured, but maybe there is some other interference that I cannot detect.
RADAR

Might be a plan to take your receiver to your brother's places and hook it up to see what quality levels you get with his dish/coax. Could be the meter in your receiver reads slightly lower than his (I have experienced this with Star Choice receivers of the same model). That way you would know whether it is your receiver reading lower than his, or whether you have some interference or other issue.
 

RichardButkus

Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
Sep 11, 2008
27
0
near Savannah, GA
Hey Radar, good luck, at least you are receiving a signal. I've tried several times to pick up the RTN East and West feeds off of this satellite and have not been able to. I don't have a problem with anything else I try so I feel like my dish is tracking the arc properly. I'm using a Fortec Star Merc II and Fortec 90 cm dish.
 

Machman

SatelliteGuys Family
May 26, 2008
81
0
Los Angeles
I have a 1M dish, actually two of them, that I could try. But, for the life of me, I cannot figure out why my brother can pick up this TP in the high 80's just a mile away when I cannot get them any better than 69 or 70% with all my might with the same size dish. It just doesn't make any sense.

Aren't there are really only 3 points difference between a quality of 70 and 88 on a Coolsat 5000/6000? Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but as the quality increases the meter goes 69...70...86...87...88 (this is also evidenced by the quality numbers you reported above: there is none between 69 and 87). Such a small difference could easily be explained by a warped dish, bent LNB arm, etc...

Of course, that assumes that it doesn't acutally take the equivalent of 18 points worth of actual quality improvement to get the meter to go from 70 to 88. But yeah, like Keith said, try swapping receivers with your brother.
 

Tron

SatelliteGuys Master
May 6, 2005
6,599
33
Metro New Orleans, LA
Getting between 70 and 75 Q on RTN with the Visionsat, but that's not a fair comparison. The Visionsat generally has a threshold around 35 Q, whereas the Coolsats experience breakup in the high 60s. I do notice a very slight increase in quality once the sun has been down for a bit...
 

Blindowl1234

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 16, 2008
2,034
90
SouthWest Ohio
I've lost the signal on RTN maybe due to trees now getting their leaves. I tried moving from my 30" motorized to my 1meter primestar and had no luck either. I can get the east feed on a local OTA station now, so I can at least see most of the shows. Blind:)
 

TimLones111

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 7, 2003
453
1
Canton, Ohio
Since Ive had a motor on (DG 280)..The best Ive had from RTN on the Fortec Dynamic is about 40..At its most consistent, its usually above 30..I get a good picture now but I'd love to get 40 and above consistently from 83W..Ive tried everything I can think of other than a bigger dish..Most other transponders are from 30-70 percent which is well above the "good picture" threshold on the Dynamic..One wishes RTN would just add a little more "juice" to their transponders,,Oh well..
 

AcWxRadar

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 26, 2006
4,575
4
40 miles NW of Omaha. Omaha?
Since Ive had a motor on (DG 280)..The best Ive had from RTN on the Fortec Dynamic is about 40..At its most consistent, its usually above 30..I get a good picture now but I'd love to get 40 and above consistently from 83W..Ive tried everything I can think of other than a bigger dish..Most other transponders are from 30-70 percent which is well above the "good picture" threshold on the Dynamic..One wishes RTN would just add a little more "juice" to their transponders,,Oh well..

Hi TimLones111,

On my Fortec Dynamic, I am reading the following results on 83.0W:

11.728 H SR 4.344 28% Q
11.735 H SR 4.440 28% Q
11.775 H SR 4.232 55% Q
11.845 H SR 20.000 55% Q
11.969 H SR 8.422 73% Q
12.068 V SR 15.016 45% Q
12.139 V SR 30.001 55% Q
12.160 H SR 30.031 58% Q

I averaged my high and low readings on each TP as the meter is much more jumpy than my Coolsat 5K. On the RTN TP I read between 25% and 30%. How do these other TPs compare with your results using the Dynamic? What size and brand of dish do you have installed, and what is your location?

Obviously it is not the receiver as I have tried about five different Coolsats and now this Fortec Dynamic and there is an obvious difference between the TPs on 83.0W with all the receivers.

I am not sure all these TPs are totally valid, they are just what showed up after Power Scanning with the Dynamic. But, you can see the RTN TP is definitely very weak compared to the others.

Thanks Tim,

RADAR
 
Last edited:

Corrado

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 2, 2007
2,402
284
Hudson Valley Region, NY
In my experience, The RTN feeds on AMC9 have been on the low side as compared to the other TPs there. I noticed the differences between using 3 different receivers and it seems that no 2 are the same. I wouldn't lose too much sleep over it if the Q#'s are the best possible and you're not losing the picture.

Last January, when RTN first went to AMC9 the signal was so low many of us had trouble locking it at all. Over time the power has gone up several times. I was lucky to get 30Q with the dish tweaked to the max and losing the picture on a regular basis the first few weeks. Now up to 73Q on average with the dish untouched for months.
 

Larry1

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 24, 2005
1,588
129
Port Hope, ON Canada
Instead of taking the whole setup to the cabin, why not just try taking your receiver to your brothers and trying it on his dish, as well as trying his receiver on your dish. He might just have a very sensitive tuner section in his unit.
 

AcWxRadar

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 26, 2006
4,575
4
40 miles NW of Omaha. Omaha?
In my experience, The RTN feeds on AMC9 have been on the low side as compared to the other TPs there. I noticed the differences between using 3 different receivers and it seems that no 2 are the same. I wouldn't lose too much sleep over it if the Q#'s are the best possible and you're not losing the picture.

Last January, when RTN first went to AMC9 the signal was so low many of us had trouble locking it at all. Over time the power has gone up several times. I was lucky to get 30Q with the dish tweaked to the max and losing the picture on a regular basis the first few weeks. Now up to 73Q on average with the dish untouched for months.

Corrado,

I think that you are most right with this statement. I had the same issues when the RTNs first came on line on sat 83W, but my brother had them pulled it right away. I tried blind scanning them and didn't come up with anything until I manually entered the TP frequency and SR. I got the channels to scan in, but they were unviewable until a few weeks later. Now I can view them, but they are still weak.

I think that it is just the way it is and my brother has something exceptional (either the receiver or his specific dishes or LNBFs or a combination of all components).

Of course, it could be that he just hit that one time while he was looking at the signal quality when it read high and he is remembering that only, but it isn't that good now. A one time lucky moment.

RADAR
 

AcWxRadar

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 26, 2006
4,575
4
40 miles NW of Omaha. Omaha?
Instead of taking the whole setup to the cabin, why not just try taking your receiver to your brothers and trying it on his dish, as well as trying his receiver on your dish. He might just have a very sensitive tuner section in his unit.

Larry,

I think this is probably a good idea. Bring his receiver to my dish and LNBF and take my receiver to his and record the differences.

Thanks,

Gordy (AcWxRADAR)
 

awh

SatelliteGuys Family
Aug 13, 2006
79
0
There appears to be an issue with the Coolsat-5000 and the RTN feeds receiving interference from an adjacent signal. I have a 12' dish with the Coolsat connected to it as a slave and for the first time a few weeks ago noticed RTN had disappeared... I had to manually add them back in (a blind scan wouldn't find them) and change their frequency and symbol rate a little until they locked... there is an SNG feed that uses a frequency only a few MHz away with the same SR that's causing the interference problem... I suspect that SNG signal may be a little hotter over some regions than others and that's why we're seeing reports of some are having problems and some aren't getting a lock on RTN.
 
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