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Calling all SKY/satellite/cabling experts
#1
Ok, got Sky+HD and its been fine apart from the usual odd signal drop out and disruption in bad weather. Most of the time I have no problem but lately I seem to be getting more and more pixelation/picture breakup and often the dreaded - No satellite signal is being recieved. This affects recordings as well as live TV.

Sky want to send me an engineer at cost to check it out and then charge me for the relevant replacement bits, which I have no doubt will be a lot of kit at a large cost. I dont mind buying bits if they will make the difference, but I dont really want to have Sky pull my trousers down for the priviledge.

Ive read up on a few forums, tried LNB resets and changing the outputs at the LNB. The signal strength/quality is fairly low, usually below 50% and often 25% or less and at least one input regularily moves to not locked. Ive swapped the inputs around and get the same issue

My last resort is to run new cable (and tidy it up in the process) but ideally Id rather have someone who knows what they are doing check things or give me some pointers.

Any help is appreciated and will be rewarded with beer tokens as required!
2010 Canyon Aeroad 9.0 SL
2014 Specialized Epic Marathon
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#2
Has the signal recieve level always been that low?

First thing is to check your line of site to the satellite:

Is it clipping the top of the building?
Has a tree or bush grown up in front of it?

I wouldnt be surprised if the bolts have come loose and the dish has moved in this wind and rain. Get a ladder and get a mate to look at the signal strength and move the dish very small amounts.

How long is the cable run?

How long ago was it all installed?
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#3
Its never been great but from memory its always been 50% ish. Problem is you never really look when its working, only when its not!

Nothing noticeable has grown up in front, certainly nothing within about 15-20ft of it. There is a tree but its not suddenly grown or anything. When I swapped LNB outputs the dish felt rock solid so I dont think its loose but Ill get up and take a look at the weekend in daylight rather than in drizzley gloom. Whats the tolerance of them for movement, are they pretty sensitive? Cable run is roughly 10-12 metres and its about 2-3 years old.
Cheers!
2010 Canyon Aeroad 9.0 SL
2014 Specialized Epic Marathon
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#4
Ok

Right well if it was a tree then this is the time of year that you would get least problems as they dont have any leaves on them. Saying that, water is the biggest killer for microwave rf signals, with the weather we have been having lately you will be loosing signal, weve been loosing feeds here on our 7.3m dishes, your little 50cm sky dish dont stand a chance. Sky dishes are not that focused they have a wide beam pick up but this can cause problems as engineers often get lazy and dont peak them up so they are spot on.

Regarding line of sight, your dish will have an offset lnb on it, which means that it is not recieving signals straight into it but at and angle of about 20degrees ish to its horizontal. So if you have branches over hanging these could be in the way.

Becareful not to turn the lnb when plugging the cables as you may affect the polarization, however this could also be the cause of the poor signal, if the dish isnt poled out right you will not be getting the best recieve levels. RF signal waves are transmitted form the satellite both vertically and horiontally if the lnb is not set right the waves will not enter the lnb correctly.

That cable run is fine, mine at home is longer than that, i get about 75% on the signal status bar and i made the engineers put the dish in the best place and spend ages peaking it up.

Try moving it, mark on the mounts its current position so you can go back to it easily, its not rocket science, have a play, try twisting the lnb but also mark where it was so you can back.

If its not that then it could be water in the lnb or as you say the cables could be knackered (which i doubt as it would be rare for both of them to have gone)
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#5
Cheers, Ill have a play at the weekend, to be honest I think Ill struggle to make it much worse. Further reading suggests that a badly sealed cable(s) could have been the victim of water ingress and thus corrosion at the dish end so Ill check them out in better light as well, Im pretty sure there is no shrink wrapping on them...

Thanks for your help, Ill report back at the weekend!
2010 Canyon Aeroad 9.0 SL
2014 Specialized Epic Marathon
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#6
If it is water ingress into the cables, try and pull some slack up and cut a bit of at the dish end then reterminate with a new f type connector, they are easy to fit and you can get twist on ones from maplin, just get the right size for the cable you have. Might actually be worth trying that before moving the dish if you certain the dish is nice and solid.
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#7
Some clear silicon bathroom sealant around the F plugs when all working ok helps stop the water ingress.
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#8
I recently had to re-align my dish after is was removed for some building work, screwfix sell a satellite signal strength meter for about 15 quid, with this I managed to get 85% strength & 100% quality, this is with about a 30M cable run.
You do need to be quite gentle with moving the dish though as the meter only shows signal strength, it won't indicate the satellite id, so if you swing the dish too far you will be getting the signal from another satellite as I did!
That said in total it took me about 30 mins in total.

Good luck

Andy
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#9
Comedy conversation at work this morning. Someone else has issues with their Sky so I passed on some of the wisdom in the thread in an attempt to give some help when a lady in the office suggested that perhaps it was due to the wind and the satellites had been blown off course.........  ??)  :Smile
2010 Canyon Aeroad 9.0 SL
2014 Specialized Epic Marathon
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#10
"treaclesponge" Wrote:Comedy conversation at work this morning. Someone else has issues with their Sky so I passed on some of the wisdom in the thread in an attempt to give some help when a lady in the office suggested that perhaps it was due to the wind and the satellites had been blown off course.........  ??)  :Smile

Brilliant!  Big Grin
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