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Transponders 22 and 24 on 119 - Unusual Signal Fade

1754 Views 8 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  ScottP461
I am having problems with the signals on 119, 22 and 24 fading in and out. Sometimes it seems to be a day/night thing, sometimes it will be down for days (24 was down for a week just before xmas) and then it will be OK again for a week or more and happen again. Good signals are in the 70's and 80's and bad ones are as low as the high teens and 20's. They are never both bad at the same time and changes occur gradually over hours when they do change.

ABCW HD is on 24 and FOXW HD is on 22, so you can see why it is a concern!

My 3 LNB dish has the built in 4-port multi-switch and all ports are behaving identically.

The cable runs are 2 dual line continuous pieces of cable, except for one line with diplexers, about 70' long each with no line amplifiers. DirecTV installed the dish and new cables in late August and I first experienced this problem in early December. Most signals, including these when they are behaving themselves, are in the 70's and 80's with a few in the low 90's. 101, 18 and 28 both read 100 solid all the time.

My question is this: "If this is an intermittent problem that can last for days and then doesn't show up for weeks (and is so transponder specific), is it the multi-switch??" (The weather doesn't seem to be a factor)

ALL other transponders (that are active) on 119, 101 and 110 have stable signal strength with only "normal" slight fluctuations when these problems occur.

Could it be a sun/satellite alignment thing??

The last few days 22 has been a consistent low 80's (higher than average) and 24 has been consistently in the high 50's (lower than average). The last time one was very low was 24 early last Saturday until early Sunday morning. By Sunday mid day the signal was in the 70's and 22 was in the 60's. (Quite often, when levels are fluctuating, one is way down and the other is unusually high!) For a few days earlier last week, 22 would be weak during the day and the signal strength gradually improved as the Sun was going down (over a few hours).

Any help you could provide would be appreciated!

If you think it could be the LNB unit, I'll get a replacement to try. Any brand seem preferable??
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Where do you live? In the northeast the 119 appears low on the horizon and is often blocked by trees or tall buildings. Here in Philly we've had bad weather with high winds recently. The combination of cloud cover and wind gusts made it nearly impossible for the unit to lock in a signal. It was particularly frustrating during Fox's coverage of the NFL playoffs. I would certainly check all of your connections and cables first, but if you have a variably poor signal this may be your problem.
I'm in LA, on the west side, near LAX. Culver City, to be exact. My dish is on top of my 3 story condo building and has a clear shot. No obstructions. It is above the trees. It has an upward angle of about 30 degrees.

I went up on the roof to check the dish and the cables and all is well. Like I said previously, all the other transponders on 119 are behaving normally and consistently, as are the other 2 satellites, when these problems occur.
Can you temporarily take the diplexors out of the line and see if the problem goes away? I had a flaky diplexor that screwed up my HD signal. I was actually lucky to get an HD specialist at DirecTV who knew what she (yes she!) was doing. She had me tune to a test channel, put on a certain transponder, and read her the message. She determined it was a diplexor and after I pulled it out of line, sure enough, she was right. The only time I've ever had real help from DTV.

Also, it was intermittent for me, simply because I was using the diplexor on one input. Whenever I switched tuners (dish inputs) , I got a good signal.

The diplexer check is a good idea to try first. If that doesn't help it sounds like either the LNB/multiswitch assembly is bad; or, hopefully not, the HD Tivo.
This is something I hadn't considered! The diplexer on the roof isn't doing anything anyway! There is no usable digital signal from the OTA antenna because there is a hill between the transmitters, 21 miles away, and me. I had to remove the diplexer at the receiver when, after it was 1st installed, it was blocking all the odd transponders on the line that it was installed on. Since removing the one at the receiver seemed to solve the problem, I didn't pursue it any further.

My roof access is restricted (I'm really not allowed up there), but the on-site manager knows that I know what I'm doing, so he allows it! I still have to call and ask to have the gate unlocked and probably won't have a chance until this weekend.

FYI - transponder 24 is dead again tonight (no signal), so I guess I'm watching "LOST" in NTSC, bummer!

I'll let you know what happens once I've removed the diplexer.

Thanks for the suggestion!
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Well, I've removed the diplexers from the line and completely realigned the dish. I had to readjust everything, including getting the mounting post level. Everything was close, but not quite right. I guess the installers figure close is good enough.

Anyway, almost everything has signal strength readings in the high 80's to low 90's on all 3 satellites now. Also, a noticeable, but small, difference in the signal strength levels between the odd and even transponders is gone. Transponders 22 and 24 on 119 read 85 and 63 (yes, it is the weakest reading of all the active, non-spot, transponders on ANY satellite) respectively. The next lowest reading is 81 on 119, transponder 28. Transponders 31 and 32 on 119 both read 92 now and transponder 27 is the strongest on 119 at 93. The strongest reading on 101 is 94! I'm actually getting weak readings, most of them in the 30's, on almost all spot transponders now, so I expect the dish is really locked in!

I just can't wrap my brain around how the multi-switch could be causing the cycling between OK and DEAD on THESE 2 TRANSPONDERS ONLY!! and ALL 4 LINES FROM THE DISH/MULTI-SWITCH ARE BEHAVING IDENTICALLY!!!

Both transponders 22 and 24 were looking reasonable before I started working on the dish today. Over the last hour (when I got the readings above) and now, the readings on 22 and 24 have changed to 85 and 37 respectively! Note that only 24 has changed, and it has changed quite a lot! It looks to me like nothing has changed in regard to this problem. The only thing left to try is replacing the LNB/multi-switch!!

Overall, a good exercise with a good result today, but the real problem still isn't solved!
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Just another follow up, for anyone who might be watching or has this problem in the future.

When I went to bed last night (about 3:30 am) transponder 24 had bottomed out around 28, 22 was still 85.

Transponder 24 was at 81 and 22 was at 85 this morning at 10:30. Now, early afternoon (1:00 pm) , 24 is 81 and 22 is "no signal".

It must be the LNB!! I just bought one on eBay and will report the results once I have it installed. Hopefully, next Saturday.
Just in case anyone is still interested, I installed the replacement LNB today and the problem is solved. Hopefully, this thread may be of help to anyone with a similar "odd" signal strength issue in the future.

Thanks all for your suggestions.
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