signal strength dropping constantly, 119 only

johnny q

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Nov 7, 2005
54
0
Bergen County, NJ
Hello all:

I have been a dish customer since 2001 and have enjoyed a flawless picture
quality and signals of about 105-117 on sat 110 and 110-117 on sat 119.
Since about Sept, my signal strength on sat 119 only (all transponders) have
dropped about 30-40 points, and when the wind blows (not gale force, even
light winds) the signal strength swings wildly up and down from 125 to below
70, often resulting in loss of signal. Oddly though, sat 110 is
unaffected....

The tech support number has left me extremely frustrated, because they
refuse to send anyone unless "my signals are constantly below 70" At this
rate it shouldnt be too long before that happens, but I refuse to wait any
longer with this unacceptable performance, and am considering cancelling the
service. The picture quality has also degraded to worse than cable quality,
all blurry and pixely.

The ONLY possibility is the loaction of the dish, which was aimed expertly between two trees resulting in great signal strength for years. While I personally dont see any "new" growth obstructing the line of sight, I have considered getting these trees yanked to eliminate the potential. But, before I spend $1000 on removal, can anyone advise if there are any other reasons why this would happen aside from an obstruction, and should I insist that Dish send someone out to investigate re-aiming the dish before I start chopping down some wood!!

JQ
 

MikeD-C05

Pub Member / Supporter
Pub Member / Supporter
Nov 25, 2003
28,764
21,417
Nederland , Texas
Either your dish is loose and the wind is blowing it back and forth causing the signal to bounce wildly or the leaves on the trees are messing with your reception.
 

device manager

Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
Feb 13, 2006
33
0
West TX
Grab a nut driver and see if you can tighten all of the nuts on the dish. Make sure the mast is plumb and level, then you can move it a bit to fine tune the signal. Go to the receiver installation/point dish menu, select transponder 11 on 119, and have someone on the other end of the phone read the signal strength to you as you move the dish. Another option is to turn up the volume and listen to the tones.
 

rickdasher

Member
Dec 6, 2004
14
0
North Florida
Make sure you have at least 10 degrees clear line of sight on either side of center of where your dish is pointing. Dont look down the arm. Line up on the part of the dish that clamps to the mast and that will give you a good azimuth. I like to keep it clear 10 degrees both sides of center to keep swaying trees out of the line of sight.
It definitely sounds like you have some folliage issues on the right side of the antenna.
I wouldn't try touching the dish pointing until you do verify good line of sight. I used to install Dish and this was the time of the year when every other trouble call was weak reception on one sat. It was always due to spring folliage growing in.
 

wobbie

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 22, 2004
569
0
You say this started in September???? If so.. did you constantly have the same proble through the winter when there were no leaves on the trees??? If nit, then I would say you need to trim back the tree. If it has been a CONSTANT problem through out the winter, call Dish or a local guy and have them come out. Of course if you want Dish to come out, just tell them you have lost the signal completely even after you spend 2 hours on the phone going through the loops with Tech support.
 

johnny q

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Nov 7, 2005
54
0
Bergen County, NJ
wobbie said:
You say this started in September???? If so.. did you constantly have the same proble through the winter when there were no leaves on the trees??? If nit, then I would say you need to trim back the tree. If it has been a CONSTANT problem through out the winter, call Dish or a local guy and have them come out. Of course if you want Dish to come out, just tell them you have lost the signal completely even after you spend 2 hours on the phone going through the loops with Tech support.

Yep - winter time too, even with no leaves on the trees. It does seem that now with spring here, the signals are about 10 points lower on all transponders, and I do have branches on the right side of my dish, BUT I could swear these branches have not visibly grown any since 2001.

Thanks for all the replies! I have some questions:

1) One person said "listen to the tones" can you elaborate what exactly I am listening for?
2) I also thought that maybe the dish was loose, but if this was the case, why is the signal loss and wild swings when the wind blows only affecting sat 119??

JQ
 

dfergie

Proud Staff Member
Staff member
HERE TO HELP YOU!
johnny q said:
1) One person said "listen to the tones" can you elaborate what exactly I am listening for?
Higher pitch tone = Higher signal strength.
johnny q said:
2) I also thought that maybe the dish was loose, but if this was the case, why is the signal loss and wild swings when the wind blows only affecting sat 119??
Tree or Bush on the west side?
 

rickdasher

Member
Dec 6, 2004
14
0
North Florida
Get a compass with an inclinometer and check for line of sight. Line up on the top of the mast and the point in the sky where the sat will be. Your az/el for 119 is 250 degrees magnetic and 24 degrees elevation. 110 sat is higher in the sky with an az/el of 241 degrees/30 degrees elevation. Look closely at that 24 degrees because you are very north and that sat is easily obscured by tree growth
Make sure your mast is solid and plumb. Select 500 for dish type and check your skew and elevation settings on the dish. If your mast is solid and plumb, it should be pretty close. Also, one other question, has your dish been hit or damaged by anything? I've seen that cause weak sat reception on one sat.
If everything is solid and plumb, folliage is the most probable cause of wildly swinging signal strength especially on breezy days (swaying branches).
Let me know how it works out.
Hope this helps.
Rick
 

johnny q

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Nov 7, 2005
54
0
Bergen County, NJ
dfergie said:
Higher pitch tone = Higher signal strength.
Tree or Bush on the west side?

I did not know that!! I get a "ding/dong" on most of my 119 transponders, one hi pitch, one low pitch tone - repeat etc etc .

Its a huge tree on the right side of the dish, with branches hanging over. There is also one on the left side with no branches hanging over.

The dish has been aimed perfectly between these two trees, and I could swear nothing has grown over in each direction since, but maybe it doesnt have to be a dense forest of foliage to cause the problems I am having. Maybe they just "drooped" into the line of sight.

Thanks again everyone for all the responses.

JQ
 

johnny q

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Nov 7, 2005
54
0
Bergen County, NJ
Well, FINALLY Dish has agreed to send someone out to check the dish to see if it needs to be re-aimed or re-loacted or if I need to start hacking down my own, or even my neighbors trees!!

The woman on the phone last night told me there is no visible difference in PQ from my old SAT 119 signal levels which were well over 100 and sometimes almost 125, and my new SAT 119 signal levels which on certain transponders are now getting as low as the "70's" Is this true??? I can SWEAR my PQ has degraded since the signal drops and fluctuations in the wind, the PQ is much more pixelated and blocky, oftentimes blurry and washed out.

Am I seeing things???

JQ
 

yooper.mi

SatelliteGuys Pro
Pub Member / Supporter
Sep 24, 2004
254
0
U.P. of MI
A tree grows, looks like since 2001, maybe you have not notice but it has grown cutting into the clear area you had. Time to prune back the branches
 

johnny q

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Nov 7, 2005
54
0
Bergen County, NJ
Well, a Dish tech came out today and its definitely a foliage issue, I guess those dang trees did grow just enough to start causing troubles, so it looks like some pruning is in my near future. Glad he verified that the dish was peaked and the mast was level though, now I feel better about my decision.

While he was here he noticed my dish and some of the connectors were badly rusted so he replaced all of that, so I'm really glad now I finally got someone to come out, I had no idea my Dish was all rusty - yuck!:)

JQ
 

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