Trying to set my service back up...

usacomp2k3

usacomp2k3

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Active SatelliteGuys Member
Jan 14, 2008
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So we moved down from Gainesville to Orlando this past week, and pulled the satellites off of the poles that we had. Actually, before I get started let me tell you what equipment we have. ViP722 hooked up via HDMI at 720p. 1 dish pointed at 61.5, 2nd dish pointed at 110/119.
Anyway, so I then went and bought some big planters, filled the bottom half with cement and mounted 2 poles 3.5' tall. (That leaves the rest of the depth of the planter for my wife to plan flowers in. I embedded 2 plastic pipes for drainage in each). I put the dishes on their respective poles, and then using the numbers from Dishpointer, I've put in the skew and elevation and the general direction.

Now the problem is that when I go the the signal meter on the receiver, it registers a signal of 0 for any of 61.5/110/119. I don't even know if it detects that the LNB's are connected.

So some questions:
1/ Is there a way to tell whether the receiver detects the presence of the LNB's?
2/ Originally the 61.5 was plugged into the 110/119 LNB and then from that inside to the seperator which was going to the sat1 and sat2 inputs. Can I just run a cable from the 61.5 to the sat1 input and one from the 110/119 to the sat2 input instead?
3/ I used to have the 2nd TV hooked up using the reverse pass-through thingy that then had another separator outside that split the tv2 feed from the incoming satellite connection. I no longer have a need for that, so I just didn't plug either of the connectors back in. Do I need to tell the receiver that I did that?
4/ Do I need to change any settings when I'm just plugging one LNB into the receiver so that it doesn't try and look at all 3?
5/ On the signal meter screen, when I'm trying to find 61.5, should it be on dish 300? That's the only one that gives the on-screen values for the azimuth, elevation (it says skew is N/A which I'm guessing means 90).
6/ The larger issue I think is that due to the apartment complex' rules, I have to put the dishes on the balcony. We have 2 in our apartment on the second floor. One is on the South and East corner of the building, the other is on the South and West corner (meaning I have about a 235 degree viewfield centered on South, which is why we chose that specific unit since I knew that the dishes needed to be pointed SE and SW). It's a standard 8' ceiling with about an 18" overhang. When it talks about the dish's elevation being set to 50 degrees, does that mean that the satellite is literally 50 degrees from the horizon? My wife said that that's just where you point it, but the signal is another 22 degrees about that. In that case, I guess I need to figure out how low the dish needs to be in order to be able to see 72 degrees into the sky.
7/ When mounting on a pole, it only seems to work when the dish is on the top of the pole. I don't mind cutting the pole down lower if I know that that's what it needs, but since it's one of those things you can't undo, I'd rather wait until I know for sure that the lower height will receive the signal. Is there any way to mount the dish lower on the pole? When I tried it, unscrewing the horizontal bolt basically unlocked the elevation setting so that it's no longer pointed at the elevation it is set to. Am I just missing something?
8/ I have it plugged into the broadband just like it was before, but when I go to at least try and get the local OTA channels via an antenna is says it can't do so because there is no data connection. Does it have to be connected to a satellite to access that feauture? It's pulling an IP address, so I know that it has that data connection.

We've had Dish for about 8 months and have been extremely happy with it. We're also excited about moving to Orlando because now we can get NBC again. We can also get local OTA HD channels that we couldn't get in Gainesville, but also I think Orlando is on the list for HD locals off of 61.5 at some point.

Thanks for all the help! As you can tell, I've never done this myself, but being an engineer, I appreciate the opportunity to learn and understand it better. PS, sorry if I put this in the wrong forum. Feel free to move it.
 
Last edited:
J. Allen Head

J. Allen Head

SatelliteGuys Pro
Nov 23, 2003
189
0
Dahlonega, GA 30533
I would disconnect all coax from receiver then do a check switch, reconnect coax and check the signal strength and then fine tune your dishes, after you get a good signal on both dishes run a check switch again and you should be good to go on that part - After that hold the power button on the receiver down till it reboots and that should fix your Ethernet problem - let us know how it works out
 
usacomp2k3

usacomp2k3

Thread Starter
Active SatelliteGuys Member
Jan 14, 2008
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What does the 'check switch' do?
 
J. Allen Head

J. Allen Head

SatelliteGuys Pro
Nov 23, 2003
189
0
Dahlonega, GA 30533
what it is doing is clearing the memory from the receiver on what configuration the dishes and/or switches was previously set - this way you can easily go into the menus signal strength screen and get accurate readings on each dish individually while you are fine tuning them
 
usacomp2k3

usacomp2k3

Thread Starter
Active SatelliteGuys Member
Jan 14, 2008
16
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what it is doing is clearing the memory from the receiver on what configuration the dishes and/or switches was previously set - this way you can easily go into the menus signal strength screen and get accurate readings on each dish individually while you are fine tuning them
Great. That'll definitely be helpful. Do you have any idea about Question #5?
 
T

topcat0399

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 28, 2007
562
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if youve been a customer for only 8 months, didnt you sign an 18month contract with dish? if you did, all you had to do is call dish to set up a free dishmover, and a tech would have come out and done all that for you for nothing, wiring and all, PLUS provided a 90 day warranty.

just a question.
 
usacomp2k3

usacomp2k3

Thread Starter
Active SatelliteGuys Member
Jan 14, 2008
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if youve been a customer for only 8 months, didnt you sign an 18month contract with dish? if you did, all you had to do is call dish to set up a free dishmover, and a tech would have come out and done all that for you for nothing, wiring and all, PLUS provided a 90 day warranty.

just a question.

You would be correct. I did call, and the guy did come. However, he arrived an hour and a half outside of the window, making me hugely late to work. After putting the dish on the pole, he was like "Oh. There's no signal. It's never going to work from a balcony. Sorry." He was out in about 20 minutes.

So needless to say, I was disappointed. We rescheduled for the next available date, the 17th, when a field manager is going to come out.. I was hoping that by doing it myself, not only would I get a better understanding for how it worked, but also could have it done before then.
 
T

topcat0399

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 28, 2007
562
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missing a window is pretty common, sorry to say. too few techs, outrageous routes, too many jobs.

also, getting a GOOD tech is hit and miss, so maybe you'll have better luck with the next guy. if not, dont sign off - reschedule again. its like russian roulette.

dont be fooled, its like that with both DTV and Dish.

its a sad state of the industry today.

kudos on trying to fiqure it out on your own.
 
usacomp2k3

usacomp2k3

Thread Starter
Active SatelliteGuys Member
Jan 14, 2008
16
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missing a window is pretty common, sorry to say. too few techs, outrageous routes, too many jobs.

also, getting a GOOD tech is hit and miss, so maybe you'll have better luck with the next guy. if not, dont sign off - reschedule again. its like russian roulette.

dont be fooled, its like that with both DTV and Dish.

its a sad state of the industry today.

kudos on trying to fiqure it out on your own.
Thanks for the encouragement. The only problem with the techs is that I have to take time off of work to be here, which is annoying and since mine is the only household income at this point...
I was able to take a hacksaw and cut the poles to the minimum height. I got the bases for the planters so now I should be able to make them level. I also found out that the balcony is massively unlevel, so I'm going to have to put the dish in a spot, level it, and not move it. I'll try re-aiming them both tomorrow.

Using the check thing, I was able to get it to detect all 3 LNB's, so that's a good thing. The aiming is the next part. My wife and I spent about 3 hours in the car driving around trying to find somewhere that had tripods, to no avail. If my attempts tomorrow don't work right, we might just order one offline.

Wish me luck!
 
J. Allen Head

J. Allen Head

SatelliteGuys Pro
Nov 23, 2003
189
0
Dahlonega, GA 30533
you can put it (receiver) on the 300 setting to get your azimuth and elevation settings after you put your zip code in then just put it back on the 500 setting and pick which satellite you want to tune such as 61.5 for the single lnb dish - on your 500 dish with the twin lnb make sure your skew is set correctly before you try to fine tune the azimuth - if it's showing connection on all three satellites then all you have left is pointing the dishes and fine tunning for the strongest signal after you make sure your mast (poles) are level (a must) and running another check switch to finalize the install- (try some shims under the buckets if they are heavy enough)
 
T

topcat0399

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 28, 2007
562
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Thanks for the encouragement. The only problem with the techs is that I have to take time off of work to be here, which is annoying and since mine is the only household income at this point...
I was able to take a hacksaw and cut the poles to the minimum height. I got the bases for the planters so now I should be able to make them level. I also found out that the balcony is massively unlevel, so I'm going to have to put the dish in a spot, level it, and not move it. I'll try re-aiming them both tomorrow.

Using the check thing, I was able to get it to detect all 3 LNB's, so that's a good thing. The aiming is the next part. My wife and I spent about 3 hours in the car driving around trying to find somewhere that had tripods, to no avail. If my attempts tomorrow don't work right, we might just order one offline.

Wish me luck!


ok, a few tips:

1. Make sure both poles in both planters are PLUMB in 2 directions. put a bubble level on the pole. front/back towards the sat(s) and side to side. If they arent, shim your planters until they are.

2. your Main 119/110 dish settings for orlando should be ABOUT 37' on the side elevation bolts, 135' skew. rough aim the SEAM on the back of the dish at arbout 242' magnetic (use a compass). stand behind the dish and imagine a line from your compass thru that seam to the horizion at 242'. that puts that dish roughly aimed at the center between those 2 sats in the sky.

3. your WING dish for 61.5 same thing elevation about 37', skew 90', compass aim around 120' magnectic.

4. Connect your wing dish to your main dish lnb IN port, your main dish OUT port to your separator/622 rcvr. run check switch and see if it gets all 3 sats. hopefully it will. the order on screen (in the boxs) should be 119-110-61.5. If
119 is in the wrong box, like the in the 2nd one and no 110, your aim is off. too far west probably. BUT you can put it on transponder 11 and TUNE the main dish until 119 is real high, then rerun check switch. hopefully then you get 119/110 in that order. then work on 61.5.

5. After you finally get signals from all your sats, then worry about the other crap such as phone line/internet connection, blah blah.


I think "clearing the matrix" is overated around here. its all about line of site and proper aim.

if you are an engineer --- you can do this man, as long as you really do have line of site

good luck and let us know how it comes out.
 
Last edited:
usacomp2k3

usacomp2k3

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Jan 14, 2008
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Thanks for the input guys. I'm looking forward to getting back from work this evening so that I can get it working. I'm convinced that it's possible.
 
T

topcat0399

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 28, 2007
562
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checked closer today. updated data for sat location in the sky in your area

110 - 235' mag/44' elev
119 - 244' mag/37' elev
thus aim a D500 at about 240'mag/40' elev setting. adjust from there with receiver

129 - 253' mag/29' elev

61.5 -149' mag/50' elev
thus aim a D500 toward 61.5 at about 150' mag/50'elev setting skew 90' setting. adjust from there with receiver.


cheers
 
usacomp2k3

usacomp2k3

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Active SatelliteGuys Member
Jan 14, 2008
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Is there a rule of thumb for what order to make adjustments in? I'm guessing that skew shouldn't really be touched much, so my plan was to put the azimuth and elevation on what they should be, tweak the azimuth to get the best signal, and then tweak the elevation to get the best signal.
 
T

topcat0399

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 28, 2007
562
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Is there a rule of thumb for what order to make adjustments in? I'm guessing that skew shouldn't really be touched much, so my plan was to put the azimuth and elevation on what they should be, tweak the azimuth to get the best signal, and then tweak the elevation to get the best signal.



providing you do all the other things above 1st;

tweak the dish after selecting the 119 sat, like transponder 11. dont have any bolts on the dish TOO loose or TOO tight. just enough drag so it doesnt flop around at all but you can still just move it with some pressure - copy?

SMALL (like 1/4 degree) movements - stop - wait 10 sec watching the signal bar then more if needed. the signal bar is SLOW reacting to signal changes.

i always do azimuth peak first - tighten azimuth bolts, and then do elevation tweak.



go get 'er!
 
usacomp2k3

usacomp2k3

Thread Starter
Active SatelliteGuys Member
Jan 14, 2008
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The bad news is that I still wasn't able to get it to work. The space between the windowsill and the overhang is just too small for the 110/119 to get a signal from the 2nd balcony. I can't seem to get anything out of the 61.5 either. We got a signal meter from Radio Shack that seems decent, but it's too loud to use at 11pm.
 
T

topcat0399

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 28, 2007
562
0
The bad news is that I still wasn't able to get it to work. The space between the windowsill and the overhang is just too small for the 110/119 to get a signal from the 2nd balcony. I can't seem to get anything out of the 61.5 either. We got a signal meter from Radio Shack that seems decent, but it's too loud to use at 11pm.




awwww man! i had high hopes for you mr engineer!

nows the time for your creative streak to come out!
 
usacomp2k3

usacomp2k3

Thread Starter
Active SatelliteGuys Member
Jan 14, 2008
16
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awwww man! i had high hopes for you mr engineer!

nows the time for your creative streak to come out!
Starting my first job, moving to a new city, unpacking 3x as much stuff as we need (or starting to. We've barely made a dent). Having a wife staying at home because we can't find her a decent job. Oh, and did I mention that my job is also temporary and so I still need to find a real one.

I don't have it in me to be creative right now. I'm more drained, emotionally and mentally than I think I have ever been. I just want this stupid thing to work. I'm about to just pay the early termination fee and go with cable. Life is just too hectic and I'm run ragged and have no more strength to stand up under it. *sigh*

Sorry to dump that on ya'll, but them's the kicks.
 

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