Signal strength #110 (1 Viewer)


Thread Starter
Active SatelliteGuys Member
Sep 8, 2014
I must first admit to being somewhat obsessive compulsive about signal strength. I am on western arc satellite #110, 119, 129. Within the last two to three days signal strength on # 110 has increased nearly 10 points from a running average of 67-68 to an average of 77. Signal strength on 119 and 129 have remained at long term readings, no change. 110 has consistently read below signal strength readings for 119, What gives?


SatelliteGuys Master
Apr 9, 2006
Well, it is kind of time consuming to expalain, but power among transponders is not going to be equal and sometimes as much as 10 point difference. Now, spotbeams for your DMA will read very high point values, while ConUS will read lower points but still strong enough not to worry. Differences in power point readings can be for various reasons like what configuration the sat or transponder is set or changed, apogee, and on and on, power also relates to compression and modulation scheme and how much data is being crammed into the stream. So, let's say (and I am oversimplifying, so those who know better, don't beat up on me:)), and these are just examples for our purposes of explaination, a transponder configured as QPSK carrying lower compression with SD channels with not too much data can operate very reliably at a LOWER power, while another transponder configured at 8PSK, HD content with high compression with a lot of data (meaning channels or other data) packed into the stream will reaquire HIGHER power to have a reliable signal to the ground stations (your dish at home).

Dish often moves channels around (among sat or transponders) or can change encoding to offer more efficiency or even upgrade (change out) encoders that can provide better PQ with the same high demands. There is a lot more that I left out, but I hope you get the idea with my rather crude oversimplification.

THE BOTTOM LINE: You don't need to worry about changing power values with one or among different transponsers (some that are spotbeam NOT for you DMA may read as very weak or NO signal strength at all). Those values will change even if it is only because the sat will wobble a bit or drift a bit because they aren't in utterly, absolutely PRECISE geosynchronus orbit. They natually drift and power point value can decrease of increase depending on how on the mark the sat may be in orbit, but it won't make a difference as you watch (in all but a few rare cases of people who are at the edge of a spotbeam) becasse the power assigned to that transponder is high enough to compensate for that minor drifting. Again, there are a HOST of reasons why sat transponder signal strength will change, especially for DBS providers like Dish and DirecTV who are transmitting under far more demanding circumstances than commercial sats used by TV networks for their feeds.

It is nothing to worry about. It is natural, and it not of any concern unless the signal strenght reads so low that it is yellow or red or if you repeatedly experience drop outs of the channel you watch. Otherwise, sleep well knowing that differing signal strenght among transponders is the norm.

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