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View Full Version : DISH antenna installation - Hey bigshooter!



SPetty
03-03-2004, 05:18 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote bigshooter, who in another post admitted:</font><hr>I am a certified Dish Network installer<hr /></blockquote>I was helped immensely by Cueless Joey and Ken when I asked questions about DISH installation before (http://www.billiardsdigest.com/ccboard/showthreaded.php?Cat=&amp;Board=npr&amp;Number=93283&amp;page= &amp;view=&amp;sb=&amp;o=).

Now I have a different sort of question.

I properly purchased a second DISH receiver. I purchased a second antenna off eBay to use with the new receiver because it is in a different building on my property and I can't run a wire from the existing antenna.

I'm having a helluva time getting a strong signal with the new antenna. It's one of those newer "all-in-one" antennas. Dish 500 Dual LNB or something like that.

Any suggestions? I was able to get it to 44-45 on Sat119 and 61 on Sat110, but then we had a windy rain storm. Now I'm getting 0 on Sat119 and 79-80 on Sat110. (Think maybe I didn't tighten it well enough? duh...)

I've moved the antenna back and forth and back and forth and up and down and up and down, and this was the best I could do. I've got a single 100' wire between the antenna and the receiver. There is a leafless tree about 75 feet away - does that really interfere that much?

What's the best way to get a good signal? What's a transponder and do I care about it?

Although this is directed at bigshooter, who is admittedly a DISH installer, anyone else please feel free to help too. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif There's too much pool on TV the next few months for me not to get this working...

UWPoolGod
03-03-2004, 05:41 PM
I have the same system that I put at my apartment and was having the same problem. But my problem stemmed from having a super branched tree off of my deck. I just had to get it situated in the right place angling through the branches.

When we had that big ice storm here in Portland in the middle of January mine went out again. So I figured ice on the dish...nope....no ice on the dish. But it was pointing throught the middle of some 20 inch icicles. After breaking them down it came in fine. Stupid.

But I do think that you need to find a better signal from somewhere there at your place.

Cueless Joey
03-03-2004, 06:15 PM
SP, remove the dish and check the mount's vertical and horizontal levelness.
If the mount is not perfect 90 degrees, you will have a ton of problems.

bigshooter
03-03-2004, 08:39 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Cueless Joey:</font><hr> SP, remove the dish and check the mount's vertical and horizontal levelness.
If the mount is not perfect 90 degrees, you will have a ton of problems. <hr /></blockquote>

Yes right on, first thing to check is that your mast is plumb and solid.
I didn't see you you mention the "skew" setting, the 500 antennas have 3 adjustments, up and down, back and forth and the "skew" setting.
You set the skew setting first before you do anything else, there is a set of numbers in degrees on the dish , the skew would be like you reached out and grabbed each side of the dish and were steering it back and forth like a car steering wheel. (get it?)
In your setup menu it will tell you what the skew should be according to your zipcode.
From what you told me I don't see the tree as being a problem and technically your not supposed to run cable more than 100' without an inline booster but I've run it up to 300' with no problems before so if its new, good quality cable that should not be the problem.
And are you doing a "check switch" in your menu after you have it aligned? The Dish 500 LNB's have a built in switch in them.

bigshooter
03-03-2004, 11:23 PM
Hey something else I thought of, if your not already doing this, make sure to point your dish using the 119 side only, don't worry about what the 110 side is doing at all.
If your mast is plumb and you have the skew set right and you get a good signal on 119 then 110 will always get a good signal.
Hope I'm not confusing the issue. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif

SPetty
03-04-2004, 11:28 AM
Well, it was worth a try to ask. I followed all the instructions in the installation manual.

The mast is plumb, the wire is new, the skew is set, the "check switch" is done.

As far as the "119 side" and the "110 side", the Dish 500 is supposed to be able to feed two separate receivers directly out of the antenna, so if I'm understanding it right, there's not really a "119 side" and a "110 side" on these new antennas. I am hooked into the one on the left per the instructions.

I can find the signal, it just won't get strong.

Thanks anyway. After living this many years, I've finally grown accustomed to throwing good money away on crappy products that I don't understand and end up being worthless to me. /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif

SPetty
03-08-2004, 02:57 PM
Okay, here's more...

When our original DISH antenna was installed, I wasn't here, but I've been told that the installer wasn't up there two minutes to get the thing aimed.

We spent a good six hours on Sunday cutting out a big branch of a big tree, but that didn't help the signal.

Is there a device that "professional" DISH installers use to help them aim? I can't imagine that they use the point and guess method that they're making me use. Isn't there something that can tell me "turn it this way a little" or something like that?

Up or down, left or right, I can't get more than signal strength 42 on Sat 119. And it's very intermittent.

Is there any way to test the antenna itself to make sure it's good?

Is there anything at all I can do to make it find Sat 119? I'm going nuts and am not a happy camper at this moment.

Just thought I'd ask one last time. All this good pool coming up on T.V., and me without proper reception... /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif

Cueless Joey
03-08-2004, 03:40 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SPetty:</font><hr> Okay, here's more...

When our original DISH antenna was installed, I wasn't here, but I've been told that the installer wasn't up there two minutes to get the thing aimed.

We spent a good six hours on Sunday cutting out a big branch of a big tree, but that didn't help the signal.

Is there a device that "professional" DISH installers use to help them aim? I can't imagine that they use the point and guess method that they're making me use. Isn't there something that can tell me "turn it this way a little" or something like that?

Up or down, left or right, I can't get more than signal strength 42 on Sat 119. And it's very intermittent.

Is there any way to test the antenna itself to make sure it's good?

Is there anything at all I can do to make it find Sat 119? I'm going nuts and am not a happy camper at this moment.

Just thought I'd ask one last time. All this good pool coming up on T.V., and me without proper reception... /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif
<hr /></blockquote>
Pro do use a signal meter. A friend of mine did it for a living.
First, I your dish is good if not you'd get no signal. Now if your LNB is broke, maybe just maybe that's the cause.
Get the elevation first. IF you start getting signal, go with that. Then move to one direction only. If the signal is getting stronger, keep going at that direction until it weakens. Go back to the strongest signal on that elevation ( tilt). Then LOCK the side motion/direction. Not tilt it up and down to see if the signal goes up.

SPetty
03-08-2004, 03:50 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Cueless Joey:</font><hr>If the signal is getting stronger, keep going at that direction until it weakens. <hr /></blockquote>Thanks so much for answering, Cueless Joey!

It seems when I'm moving the dish, whether side to side or up and down, either there's a signal or there's not. Especially side to side. Moving it just a hair loses the signal. Moving it back a hair gets the signal, and moving it another hair loses the signal again. Real tiny window there. Up and down, I can move it two hairs before losing the signal. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Rod
03-08-2004, 06:17 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SPetty:</font><hr>

It seems when I'm moving the dish, whether side to side or up and down, either there's a signal or there's not. Especially side to side. Moving it just a hair loses the signal. Moving it back a hair gets the signal, and moving it another hair loses the signal again. Real tiny window there. Up and down, I can move it two hairs before losing the signal. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif <hr /></blockquote>

Hairs are roughly .007 thick, depending on hair color. I suppose it doesn't make much difference if it's blond or red but your right it is a tiny window!


~~~Rod, hope this helps

Cueless Joey
03-08-2004, 09:09 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SPetty:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Cueless Joey:</font><hr>If the signal is getting stronger, keep going at that direction until it weakens. <hr /></blockquote>Thanks so much for answering, Cueless Joey!

It seems when I'm moving the dish, whether side to side or up and down, either there's a signal or there's not. Especially side to side. Moving it just a hair loses the signal. Moving it back a hair gets the signal, and moving it another hair loses the signal again. Real tiny window there. Up and down, I can move it two hairs before losing the signal. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif <hr /></blockquote>
Now, do you believe in the hole in the ozone? /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif
Yup, plus-minus 3 degrees, you're screwed.
I moved my bro-in-law's dish one time. It freakin took all freakin all day to get a signal. It turns out the mast was crooked and the dish was off-oval. Freakkin' piece of kaka RCA.

Sid_Vicious
03-08-2004, 11:06 PM
I don't suppose you'd want to swap your main dish with the new assembly, that LNB may be a dud or the view to the sky may be a problem. I have an extra Dish-dish, or you could simply try the LNB I have, so next time I run over, remind me and I'll pack some extra gear to try out. We could also hook up in Dallas as well for the hand off...sid

SPetty
03-09-2004, 02:19 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Sid_Vicious:</font><hr> I have an extra Dish-dish, or you could simply try the LNB I have, so next time I run over, remind me and I'll pack some extra gear to try out. <hr /></blockquote>You know what, Sid, I just may have to take you up on that.

Sid_Vicious
03-09-2004, 09:14 PM
I've had mine since my nephew defaulted on his Dish service, and Dish left the equipment, so being a pack rat, I snatched it up. I assume it is still in working shape, so let me know if and when you wish to try it. If it is indeed the tree limbs, then you're in for more trouble when the leaves start popping out. Maybe a few shotguns would clear a path...sid

Ken
03-11-2004, 08:21 AM
Spetty
A transponder is one of many electronic units that send the signal down to the ground. Each one uses a particular frequency and can send many channels in their data stream in either a vertically or horizontally polarized signal. One cannot send all the channels, however, so Dish uses many transponders at different frequencies. The skew that you need is in order to align the LNB with that vertical or horizontal signal and is dependent on your location. One concern might be that the channel you want may be on a weak transponder. Then your antenna needs to be well aligned. The weak ones will be the first to go when the weather deteriorates so some reception may be fine but you might lose some channels.

When looking for the satellite it would be best to look for a strong transponder. Transponder 19 is strong at 119 but I get zero at 110, for instance. There are a lot of dead transponders on 110 and some on 119. I get the strongest signal for 110 on number 6 (114). 6 is not too bad at 119 (99), also. I would stay on 6 or 11 which also has a fairly high signal on both satellites. Yes, you do have to be concerned about transponders since looking for a signal from a dead one can be very frustrating and you will never find it.

Each LNB looks at a different satellite and I think they have you looking for 119 at first. You will not get 110 until you connect to the other LNB and put in the switch, (unless you have the twin or quad with the built-in switch). You did say "Dual 500" right? Just forget 110 for now; you're not supposed to get it. If you get any signal on 110 you are too far from 119 and seeing them both. Go west and a bit down. If you can see both satellites from one LNB you are in the middle and probably have the capability of gretting a strong signal when you move the dish over to get 119 with the 119 LNB.

If you have the twin LNB then both LNBs are inside and the antenna should be positioned so that you get 119. 110 will come later when the receiver activates the switch and checks the installation.

It's best to have the receiver and a TV near the dish or at least on the ground so you can see or hear the signal strength as you move the dish. You need immediate feedback on signal strength as you move the dish. You're going to have a tough time if you are going back and forth 100' to check the receiver.
KenCT