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Astra 2B (North) in Southern Spain - Reception Problems

SGB

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My Location
Valdelagrana (Cadiz), Spain
#1
We've recently upgraded to a 1.5m (generic) dish with a Maximum TF-22 universal twin LNB (0.3 d:cool: connected to a new Sky+ Pace 3100 receiver. During the day, we receive all channels except for BBC Parliament (EPG 508). However, from about 19.30 hrs. to 23.30 hrs. Central European Time (CET), we are unable to receive Sky Movies 7 & 9 and Sky Cinema 1 & 2 (EPG 307, 309, 310 & 311), which are all on Astra 2B (North). What has us (and our installer) puzzled is that after 23.30 hrs., these channels reappear with excellent picture quality. In fact, last night, I recorded The Shining from Sky Cinema 2, which started at 0.00 hrs. CET. However, since one of the main reasons we upgraded our system was to be able to view these channels in the evening, we're quite disappointed that they're not available during this time. We'd appreciate any thoughts/suggestions as to how to pull them in...our installer is considering changing out the LNB &/or the receiver to see if that makes any difference.

As information, the signal strength/quality being reported by the receiver is:
Input 1: 70-80% / 60%
Input 2: 70% / 60-70%
Both inputs show "Locked"

I've also forced a software upgrade & performed a factory reset of the receiver as requested by our installer, but it hasn't made any difference.

Thanks in advance for the help!
 

PoloMint

Super Minty Mod
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My Satellite Setup
1200cc with 100,000,000,000 neurons and 100,000,000,000,000 connections
My Location
Fife, Scotland
#2
Do other people in the same area receive those channels with the same size dish and LNB?

If they do then you need to check your system again, if they don’t then unfortunately you probably need a bigger dish.

But you could start with the basics and make sure the cable is of a decent quality and not got any bad bends in it.

How was the dish aligned? Using a spectrum analyser to fine tune the dish and skew of the LNB to weak transponders is not uncommon in southern spain, if that was not done then it’s something you should look into.

Is the dish prime focus (completely round) or offset (larger one way than the other)?
 

SGB

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My Location
Valdelagrana (Cadiz), Spain
#3
Thanks for the reply. My installer has told me that I'm the first 1.5m dish he's installed in this area, although up the coast in Malaga, a 1.3m dish with the same LNB and Sky+ receiver receives these channels 24/7. We previously had a 1.3m offset dish linked to a Pace 2600 and these channels (and many others) were not available after sundown. Unfortunately, a larger dish isn't an option given my space constraints.

I've checked the cable and it's marked "(GC) NK 11 CB PHYSICAL FOAM CU 07/04". I'll check to make sure there are no bends in it.

The dish is an offset type and was aligned using a spectrum analyzer. My installer also tuned the skew of the LNB at the same time.

Do you have any ideas as to why these channels disappear at sundown and then reappear later in the evening without any change in signal strength/quality?

Thanks again for the help!
 

PoloMint

Super Minty Mod
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My Satellite Setup
1200cc with 100,000,000,000 neurons and 100,000,000,000,000 connections
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Fife, Scotland
#4
Hi, SGB

A 1.3m dish won’t get reliable reception in the whole of the Málaga area, West of there it gets reception patterns like yours, 2B North channels dropping off in the early afternoon and reappearing again later.

There are many theories as to why the footprint changes throughout the day. The main ones are:

The satellite runs of solar during the day and battery at night so the transponders power down a bit when running of battery. Doesn’t seem likely as the signal can increase throughout the early evening (when there is still no sunlight at the satellite).

The satellite does a daily re-alignment to make sure it isn’t drifting slightly away from its set position. However the pattern of the signal fading and reappearing is very regular and quite slow, it seems unlikely that any realignment would be so regular.

The gravitational pull of the earth does not keep the satellite in an exact position over the earth, the earth is not a perfect sphere and this is reflected in it’s gravitational pull. The satellite is still geostationary, but moves around very slightly in a daily pattern, people on the very edge of the footprint, like yourself, notice this.

I don’t know which theory is correct, there are many more and each one has avid supporters, but whatever it is we are stuck with it.

It sounds like your installer has done everything well, so maybe that setup is just not quite good enough to get reliable 24/7 reception in your area.
 

PoloMint

Super Minty Mod
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My Satellite Setup
1200cc with 100,000,000,000 neurons and 100,000,000,000,000 connections
My Location
Fife, Scotland
#5
Also the signal strength you read in the signal test menu is for the default transponder on 2A North beam, not the weak 2B North beam. That is why the box doesn’t report a change when the channels drop off.

To do a signal test of the 2B North beam press Services 401 Select (despite seeming to not do anything the 01 bit does) and then select manual tuning. Then enter the frequencies of one of the poor channels (you can find them here http://www.lyngsat.com/packages/skyuk.html ) and you will get a signal test for that transponder.
 

SGB

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My Location
Valdelagrana (Cadiz), Spain
#6
Thanks PoloMint!

We'll keep experimenting and I'll post again if we find a solution without resorting to a larger dish.

SGB