Weak, sporadic Signal; could it be LNB's fault? (1 Viewer)

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StarSeeker

Active SatelliteGuys Member
Apr 7, 2008
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A few months ago, my LNB failed and I lost signal. I fixed the problem by using an LNB that came from a used dish.

In late July I was gone for 10 days. When I came back my reception was poor, with many drop-outs. I chalked it up to bad weather - but I quickly realized even when weather was clearer, the drop-outs continued. So I thought it might be a dish pointing problem. Yet while I got a slight improvement from aiming, it was still not good.

There are some trees which partially obstruct. However these branches have been an issue for at least several years. More critically, there was not a major reception problem before my trip. It seems unlikely the tree interference could have changed so much in 10 days (especially being in July and in a southern climate where I don't lose all the leaves anyway).

Some transponders are stronger than others and some get no response (I guess these are the ones which never did) but the signal is low across the board. Most in the 40s-50s. Although a couple which used to be at 95 several months ago are now 60. Quite a drop in those (I didn't measure the others previously)

Can LNBs go partially bad and cause this? Is there any way to check? Is there anything else which might cause this sudden change?
 
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StarSeeker

Active SatelliteGuys Member
Apr 7, 2008
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Hi,

If there's no one here was has any idea, is there are least someone who might be able to tell me if an LNB can go "half bad", resulting in a WEAK signal, as opposed to going completely bad?

This information would be helpful, too.


Thanks!
 

StarSeeker

Active SatelliteGuys Member
Apr 7, 2008
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Any links to information on signal strength and LNBs at all? Maybe old threads?

Anyone? :confused:
 

Jimbo

SatelliteGuys Master
Lifetime Supporter
Jul 14, 2005
64,176
4,388
NW Ohio - Buckeye Country
A few months ago, my LNB failed and I lost signal. I fixed the problem by using an LNB that came from a used dish.

In late July I was gone for 10 days. When I came back my reception was poor, with many drop-outs. I chalked it up to bad weather - but I quickly realized even when weather was clearer, the drop-outs continued. So I thought it might be a dish pointing problem. Yet while I got a slight improvement from aiming, it was still not good.

There are some trees which partially obstruct. However these branches have been an issue for at least several years. More critically, there was not a major reception problem before my trip. It seems unlikely the tree interference could have changed so much in 10 days (especially being in July and in a southern climate where I don't lose all the leaves anyway).

Some transponders are stronger than others and some get no response (I guess these are the ones which never did) but the signal is low across the board. Most in the 40s-50s. Although a couple which used to be at 95 several months ago are now 60. Quite a drop in those (I didn't measure the others previously)

Can LNBs go partially bad and cause this? Is there any way to check? Is there anything else which might cause this sudden change?

I would go over everything, you numbers are WAY down, normally they are in the high 80's and 90's.
I would call D* and have them do it, you've tweaked it and they are low again, so I would see what they can do, if you have the Protection plan, dish pointing is FREE.
Yes a bad LNB will cause intermittant problems or constant problems , possibly weather related, heat not rain.

Jimbo
 

StarSeeker

Active SatelliteGuys Member
Apr 7, 2008
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I don't have a protection plan so I do believe I'd be charged a hefty fee for having them come out. I know the dish is pointed about as well as can be, or at least closer than it's been than when my signals were 90+. The only think D* could do would be to tell me my LNB was bad; which would be a cheaper experiment than having them come out.

So heat can cause screw-ups? I was wondering. The one thing which increased just before it got worse was a lot more heat, humidity and rain. Other than heavy rain, these things were not a problem in the past but I wondered with a touchy LNB if they can cause it to fail.

I do know I have tree occlusion; something I'm not sure how to fix. This could play a role but as I said, a couple months earlier my signals were fine and that's just not enough time for trees, which have been there for years, to suddenly make such a drastic difference.

I imagine the only other sure thing to try would be to swap out for a new LNB.
 

Jimbo

SatelliteGuys Master
Lifetime Supporter
Jul 14, 2005
64,176
4,388
NW Ohio - Buckeye Country
I don't have a protection plan so I do believe I'd be charged a hefty fee for having them come out. I know the dish is pointed about as well as can be, or at least closer than it's been than when my signals were 90+. The only think D* could do would be to tell me my LNB was bad; which would be a cheaper experiment than having them come out.

So heat can cause screw-ups? I was wondering. The one thing which increased just before it got worse was a lot more heat, humidity and rain. Other than heavy rain, these things were not a problem in the past but I wondered with a touchy LNB if they can cause it to fail.

I do know I have tree occlusion; something I'm not sure how to fix. This could play a role but as I said, a couple months earlier my signals were fine and that's just not enough time for trees, which have been there for years, to suddenly make such a drastic difference.

I imagine the only other sure thing to try would be to swap out for a new LNB.

Look on the D* website and add the PP , check to see how long it has to be active before they will come out.
Call them to come out and take care of it, if trees could be an issue, you might want to look around and see if another location is possible.

Yes heat/weather can be a cause for the LNB 's to go bad, it doesn't happen often, it does happen from time to time.

btw, once you get the PP and get everything squared away, I would keep thePP because if you ever have any trouble later, the PP covers that type of thing, if a rec. goes bad, they will replace it free of charge (possible S&H applies).

Jimbo
 
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StarSeeker

Active SatelliteGuys Member
Apr 7, 2008
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Look on the D* website and add the PP , check to see how long it has to be active before they will come out.


You imply that it's unquestionlably worth the cost. How much DOES it cost?


Call them to come out and take care of it, if trees could be an issue, you might want to look around and see if another location is possible.
If I get the PP, then that would work; but otherwise, I'd probably be every bit as able to select a new location. The only advantage would be if they'd MOVE it there, costs included.

Problem is; I'm not so sure about other possible locations. I have trees covering the entire south side of my lot. The only possible "clear shot" might be on the very extreme side of the house; but this is a long cable run and not the most inconspicuous location. Of course I could mount it on my fence but my neighbors and HOA would have something to say about that. :p

There's also a concern I have about mounting; I just put on a new roof and any penetrations would void the warranty for that location; not to mention that the last SOB who installed my dish didn't seal it properly and I wound up with completely rotted sheathing and soffit bord (which I fixed before my new roof went on) :mad:. I don't trust these people to put holes in my roof again. I'd actually rather mount it myself to the fascia. The pain would be running the cable.

I believe heat/weather probably cooked my old LNB; you could see how the plastic "lens" was brittle and breaking around the edges. That one quit 100%, though. This one might only be partly on the way out.

I appreciate the suggestions. I will look into the PP and see what I will do next.
 
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Jimbo

SatelliteGuys Master
Lifetime Supporter
Jul 14, 2005
64,176
4,388
NW Ohio - Buckeye Country
You imply that it's unquestionlably worth the cost. How much DOES it cost?



If I get the PP, then that would work; but otherwise, I'd probably be every bit as able to select a new location. The only advantage would be if they'd MOVE it there, costs included.

Problem is; I'm not so sure about other possible locations. I have trees covering the entire south side of my lot. The only possible "clear shot" might be on the very extreme side of the house; but this is a long cable run and not the most inconspicuous location. Of course I could mount it on my fence but my neighbors and HOA would have something to say about that. :p

There's also a concern I have about mounting; I just put on a new roof and any penetrations would void the warranty for that location; not to mention that the last SOB who installed my dish didn't seal it properly and I wound up with completely rotted sheathing and soffit bord (which I fixed before my new roof went on) :mad:. I don't trust these people to put holes in my roof again. I'd actually rather mount it myself to the fascia. The pain would be running the cable.

I believe heat/weather probably cooked my old LNB; you could see how the plastic "lens" was brittle and breaking around the edges. That one quit 100%, though. This one might only be partly on the way out.

I appreciate the suggestions. I will look into the PP and see what I will do next.

You can get non penetrating set ups for your roof.
Personally, I prefer to NOT have them on the roof if at all possible.
I have a friend of mine that we set up in a very wooded area, checked every possible area on the roof and decided it would not work, ended running the dish out to the end of the property also the end of the woods and shot over the neighbors yard., it was about a 150 ft i"d guess, it has worked fine for 6+ years now.

jimbo
 

StarSeeker

Active SatelliteGuys Member
Apr 7, 2008
19
0
You can get non penetrating set ups for your roof.
Personally, I prefer to NOT have them on the roof if at all possible.

Yes, I saw some of those non-penetrating roof mounts; I didn't care for them much. The ones I saw required a bunch of concrete blocks on a large "tray"; something which could still harm the roof over time. I will opt for a fascia or soffit mount since there's no reason not to.




I have a friend of mine that we set up in a very wooded area, checked every possible area on the roof and decided it would not work, ended running the dish out to the end of the property also the end of the woods and shot over the neighbors yard., it was about a 150 ft i"d guess, it has worked fine for 6+ years now.

Well, that's fine when allowed but I know it would not be allowed unless I had it BELOW the fence line.

I scouted the area and I saw two options; one, mounting on the fence post just below the fence level (it would need to be kicked out by a couple feet, too). Not ideal but functional.

The other, which might be the best solution, would be a place across the house. The straight run through the attic would be about a 50' run (it's over 60' now); the trick would be another very hot, cramped crawl through the truss webs of a cathedral clg to get another cable to where I have the TV :no Also, if I later go to a service where the sat is not as far to the West from here, it won't work.

Quick question: Could I put a Male-Male adaptor on the coax cable or would I need to pull a single, long cable through? Normally an extension would work but I know with sat dishes, these things can get touchy.


Thanks again!
 

Tom Bombadil

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
May 5, 2005
3,601
1
Chicago-Milwaukee Region
Got a call from D* support today telling me that my receiver was reporting some low signal strengths. They had me read them off, but wouldn't tell me which were bad. Haven't scheduled a service call yet, which is free.

What puzzles me about my readings is how they vary so much within a satellite. But I don't know which transponders should have what readings.

Consider my 103 (s) readings.

1-8 33 0 34 87 31 2 na na
9-16 na na na na na na 0 0
17-24 0 95 0 91 93 0 0 0
25-32 na na na na na na na na

That's a lot of low readings. But how could it be a pointing problem if 3 readings are above 90?

Then on 103(c) it is:
1-8 95 94 92 91 93 92 91 90
9-16 94 92 92 92 95 95 na na
17-24 0 na na na na 0 na na
25-32 all na

That's 14 at 90+ off of 103, making 17 total off of 103 at 90+. With all of these 90+ readings, how could a few transponders be low? Or is it normal for all of those transponders to read from 0 to 34?

Then off of 101 the readings are 95-100 across the board except for transponders 4, 12, & 20, which are 0, 0, 27 & I'm guessing is normal.

All of the ones from 99(c) are also 90+.

But 99(s) is all over the place too. A couple of 96's, an 85, a 33, and twelve zeros.
 

Tom Bombadil

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
May 5, 2005
3,601
1
Chicago-Milwaukee Region
She said something about it primarily affecting my locals, but wasn't very clear about it.

Given that I rarely watch locals, and when I do it is usually via my OTA & AM21, I may never actually see a problem from it.
 

StarSeeker

Active SatelliteGuys Member
Apr 7, 2008
19
0
I moved my dish and temporarily tacked it up on the side of my spa, a few feet from the corner of the roof; there it can peek under the trees in that location. Now my reception is not perfect; but it's better. So apparently it's not solely an LNB problem.

I guess the LNB could still be an issue; but this shows I need to move the dish, no matter what.

My theory as to why the tree affected the reception so quickly is not only some quick growth spurred by trimming this year - but MOISTURE on the LEAVES! Reception was much worse when it was raining every day but got a little better when things dried out a bit.

Anyway; the fun of moving the dish. Oy.
 
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