How to check LNBs/dish/cabling from indoors?

leecovuk

leecovuk

Regular Member
Messages
195
My Satellite Setup
Vu+ Duo; 2 dishes; Astra1+2 and Hotbird, Hispasat; external DiSEqC switch.
My Location
Midlands, UK
Hello again,

My system and location are as summarised in my profile details.

I've seen a topic similar to my query here, namely 'Technomate receivers', but decided to post a fresh topic in case it derailed the OP there.

For a long time, I've doubted my installation in that I can't receive, or can't consistently receive, certain frequencies which Lyngsat's details suggest I should be able to.

Is there a set of frequencies I can try tuning to, which should give a good idea of where any problem may lie?

I appreciate my TM receiver may be faulty, but I could dig out a Vantage receiver to compare results.

Alternatively, should I buy some kind of metering tool (for use indoors) before looking into any of this? If so, could it drive an external DiSEqC switch?

Thanks for any expert advice,
Lee

edit: I considered first, but in hindsight, have I posted this in the wrong forum?
 
Topper

Topper

Amo Amas Amant Admin
Staff member
Messages
23,126
My Satellite Setup
IDD CI24 ECONO MM Penta 1.20 Galaxy II
1.2Mtr Polar MTG yes it has been on the arc for 25 years and is now fixed on 13 East using two pairs of rusty molegrips. Unlike me they never groan but always perform.
My Location
Blackburn, Lancashire
I think it would help to start with if you give some details of the frequencies on each satellite you can and cannot receive then nobody is guessing.
 
Robbo

Robbo

Retired Mod
Messages
6,424
My Satellite Setup
TM6800HD, TM1000, TM600 Linux,TM2200 motor, Channel Master 1.2m motorised, TD110 dish Meter=Satlook Micro+G2 NIT
My Location
Gravesend,Kent,UK
and what dish sizes you are using.


You could use a meter, but they are not cheap. For your purposes the receivers will do the job well enough.
 
leecovuk

leecovuk

Regular Member
Messages
195
My Satellite Setup
Vu+ Duo; 2 dishes; Astra1+2 and Hotbird, Hispasat; external DiSEqC switch.
My Location
Midlands, UK
Thanks for the replies so far.

The frequencies are various; rather than listing them I was hoping for some key frequencies that you might try to receive to possibly draw some conclusions.

I forget the exact dish sizes, but they are either 80cm or 90cm. One dish covers Astra1, Astra2 and Hotbird, and the other does Hispasat.

Lee
 
Lazarus

Lazarus

Tout Rond Bon Oeuf
Staff member
Messages
26,071
My Satellite Setup
80cm Motorised.
Several small Dishes.
Much else.
My Location
North York Moors
Is there a common link to the frequencies you think you should get but aren't?


eg

Are they all High Band?

Are they all Low Band?

Are they all associated with Horizontally Polarised Transponders?

Are they all associated with Vertically Polarised Transponders?

Are they associated with a particular combination of Band and Polarisation? (ie Low/H, Low/V, High/H, High/V)?


As you're familiar with Lyngsat, you should be able to analyse this fairly easily and let us know. Then we might be able to offer you some suggestions for remedy.
 
leecovuk

leecovuk

Regular Member
Messages
195
My Satellite Setup
Vu+ Duo; 2 dishes; Astra1+2 and Hotbird, Hispasat; external DiSEqC switch.
My Location
Midlands, UK
Hello again,

I've just spent a couple of hours looking into this;

One thing I noticed is that part of my trouble is trying to view scanned-in channels on the wrong polarisation. ie, according to Lyngsat, various frequency and polarisation combinations found by my receiver don't actually exist, but annoyingly, they apparently often result in a picture which is borderline viewable.
So, I've deleted a bunch of those 'semi-duplicates' and will have to watch for that in future.

Regarding 'genuine' problem frequencies I have ....
Sometimes, but not at the moment, I have trouble getting a stable/locking signal on :-

Astra1 19.2 East
12.545 H 22.000 Lyngsat says TV.
12.552 V 22.000 Lyngsat says TV.
12.604 H 22.000 Lyngsat says TV/radio.

My other problems are on Hispasat 30.0 West, I think consistently, such as the following :-

11.507 V 6.000 - weak. Lyngsat says Feeds.
12.705 V 2.222 - weak. Lyngsat says TV/radio.
12.710 V 4.500 - very weak. Lyngsat says Feeds.

Is it because they have odd/low symbol rates? Should I be able to receive them?
I can however receive some other odd/low symbol rate frequencies fine on Hispasat, although not hugely strongly, such as :-
11.474 H 3.400 Lyngsat says TV.
12.522 V 7.400 Lyngsat says TV/radio.

Thanks again,
Lee
 
leecovuk

leecovuk

Regular Member
Messages
195
My Satellite Setup
Vu+ Duo; 2 dishes; Astra1+2 and Hotbird, Hispasat; external DiSEqC switch.
My Location
Midlands, UK
Hello again,

Was nobody then able to draw any possible conclusions from my last post above?
It is of course preferable to offer nothing, if the alternative is just hazy guesswork.

Lee
 
satelliteman

satelliteman

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
12,029
My Satellite Setup
See signature
My Location
East Midlands, UK & Lanzarote, Canary Islands
Might be worth checking dish alignment. Think we can rule out DECT interference problems.
 
Lazarus

Lazarus

Tout Rond Bon Oeuf
Staff member
Messages
26,071
My Satellite Setup
80cm Motorised.
Several small Dishes.
Much else.
My Location
North York Moors
And it seems there is no obvious consistently missing "batch" of Channels eg Low/H, Low/V, High/H, High/V which probably indicates that your LNB settings are correct.
 
Topper

Topper

Amo Amas Amant Admin
Staff member
Messages
23,126
My Satellite Setup
IDD CI24 ECONO MM Penta 1.20 Galaxy II
1.2Mtr Polar MTG yes it has been on the arc for 25 years and is now fixed on 13 East using two pairs of rusty molegrips. Unlike me they never groan but always perform.
My Location
Blackburn, Lancashire
How one can do anything but guess I have no idea, but from what you describe it sounds as if the skew on your Hispasat dish is in the opposite direction to what it should if the PLL is able to pull in the next alternatively polarised frequency
 
leecovuk

leecovuk

Regular Member
Messages
195
My Satellite Setup
Vu+ Duo; 2 dishes; Astra1+2 and Hotbird, Hispasat; external DiSEqC switch.
My Location
Midlands, UK
Hello and thanks for these replies.

I don't know specifically which LNBs I have; all I can recall from the installer a long time ago is that he said/believed they were Universal LNBs. He usually does standard Sky installs and does European ones as a hobby/extra and I didn't feel he was an expert on it.

So regarding my intermittent Astra problems on those frequencies I mentioned - nothing comes to mind as to what may cause that?

As for my stated Hispasat issues - are we saying then I may have a dish misalignment issue there? Maybe a wrongly skewed LNB as well?
Are low symbol rates the clue here? Do those tend to become tricky to receive if the dish and/or LNB are misaligned?

Something else I should probably check here, is if I am correctly set up in my Technomate's LNB settings. I have tried to read up on it without managing to understand it, or indeed being aware of any improvement when randomly trying different settings;

LNB Type: Universal (OCS and Single also available)
LNB Frequency options under Universal LNB Type:
9.750/10.600; 9.750/10.750; 00.000/00.000

Thanks again,
Lee
 
Lazarus

Lazarus

Tout Rond Bon Oeuf
Staff member
Messages
26,071
My Satellite Setup
80cm Motorised.
Several small Dishes.
Much else.
My Location
North York Moors
leecovuk said:
............. randomly trying different settings;

LNB Type: Universal (OCS and Single also available)
LNB Frequency options under Universal LNB Type:
9.750/10.600; 9.750/10.750; 00.000/00.000

Thanks again,
Lee



9750/10600 is the correct setting.
 
leecovuk

leecovuk

Regular Member
Messages
195
My Satellite Setup
Vu+ Duo; 2 dishes; Astra1+2 and Hotbird, Hispasat; external DiSEqC switch.
My Location
Midlands, UK
Tivù said:
9750/10600 is the correct setting.
Thanks; luckily it seems I was already set like that. Presumably default settings.

How about my attempts in my last post at pulling together your various comments? I'm trying to clarify specifically what some of you were referring to.
For example, from what I've said, do others here agree with what Topper implied, in that my Hispasat LNB's skew could be badly wrong? He referred to a PLL which, without looking it up, I'm not aware of what that is.
Please ask me for more detailed reception details if that may help.

I'm generally unclear on how much of my situation is caused by LNB skew or dish alignment rather than any other possible factors. eg cable integrity/waterproofing ...? I appreciate however none of you have mentioned those.

What it boils down to, is if I'm going to have to call out an installer, who would probably have to be the same guy as before, I want to be fully pre-armed and clear on what to advise and test with him.
Whilst there are no channels I specifically want to receive and cannot, my overall aim in getting the guy out would be to confidently ensure all that I have is exactly correct, in case other problems start to appear. Otherwise, it would probably be a £100 spent for him to just say "Well, everything's still solid and as I originally installed it about 2/3 years ago. Beats me."

Thanks again,
Lee
 
Topper

Topper

Amo Amas Amant Admin
Staff member
Messages
23,126
My Satellite Setup
IDD CI24 ECONO MM Penta 1.20 Galaxy II
1.2Mtr Polar MTG yes it has been on the arc for 25 years and is now fixed on 13 East using two pairs of rusty molegrips. Unlike me they never groan but always perform.
My Location
Blackburn, Lancashire
A PLL is a phase locked loop and it is the electronic mechanism for automatic tuning, if the system gets a sniff of a signal then the PLL is able to compensate and trim the settings electronically to strengthen and lock the signal. The signals you do recieve, you mention they appear to be the opposite polarity to what they should be this suggests that the lnb may be 90 degrees out of phase i.e. the skew of the lnb is oncorrect or as PaulR mentioned you have a Fortecstar or Icecrypt LNB and it is set incorrectly. The skew on Hispasat is in the opposite direction to the skew on an Easterly satellite. This normally does not matter with a motorised system as the dish rotates to compensate except with a polar mount, however is very important with a fixed dish system which yours 'appears' to be.
 
leecovuk

leecovuk

Regular Member
Messages
195
My Satellite Setup
Vu+ Duo; 2 dishes; Astra1+2 and Hotbird, Hispasat; external DiSEqC switch.
My Location
Midlands, UK
Hello Topper and thanks;

I don't know if I've misled you - when I mentioned I sometimes find the receiver scans in frequencies which turn out to be the wrong polarity, that is during a Blind Scan, but I can still find and tune to the correct frequencies and polarities.
(I would have to further investigate, if helpful, to see if any of the problems I stated coincide with this issue).

I don't know if this would now still come under what you're suggesting, although I think it indeed does only happen to me on Hispasat.

Yes, indeed I have a fixed dish system;
one dish and LNBs on Astra1, 2 and Hotbird;
a second dish and LNB on Hispasat.
External DiSEqC switch feeding down a single coax run.

Lee
 
Topper

Topper

Amo Amas Amant Admin
Staff member
Messages
23,126
My Satellite Setup
IDD CI24 ECONO MM Penta 1.20 Galaxy II
1.2Mtr Polar MTG yes it has been on the arc for 25 years and is now fixed on 13 East using two pairs of rusty molegrips. Unlike me they never groan but always perform.
My Location
Blackburn, Lancashire
leecovuk said:
Yes, indeed I have a fixed dish system;
one dish and LNBs on Astra1, 2 and Hotbird;
a second dish and LNB on Hispasat.
External DiSEqC switch feeding down a single coax run.

Lee

Based upon what is happening it is worth checking

a) which lnb you have,
b) the skew that has been applied to it

on the Hispasat dish
 
leecovuk

leecovuk

Regular Member
Messages
195
My Satellite Setup
Vu+ Duo; 2 dishes; Astra1+2 and Hotbird, Hispasat; external DiSEqC switch.
My Location
Midlands, UK
Topper said:
Based upon what is happening it is worth checking

a) which lnb you have,
b) the skew that has been applied to it

on the Hispasat dish
ok thanks, that indeed stands to reason. I mean, I should be able to receive everything on the European beam, shouldn't I? Nobody has confirmed some Symbol Rates can be problematic, so presumably I should be able to get them all.

My Astra issue is presumably a complete mystery though? Is there anything which can intermittently affect reception but only of certain frequencies?

Lee
 
Lazarus

Lazarus

Tout Rond Bon Oeuf
Staff member
Messages
26,071
My Satellite Setup
80cm Motorised.
Several small Dishes.
Much else.
My Location
North York Moors
leecovuk said:
My Astra issue is presumably a complete mystery though? Is there anything which can intermittently affect reception but only of certain frequencies?
Try turning off any "noisy" electronic devices like DECT phones and Wireless Interweb Hubs and see if the problem is resolved - This is a bit of a wild card but pretty quick and easy to check.
 
rolfw

rolfw

Believe it when I see it Admin.
Staff member
Messages
37,970
My Satellite Setup
Technomate 5402 HD M2 Ci, DM7000s, Transparent 80cm Dish, Moteck SG2100 DiseqC motor, lots of legacy gear. Meters: Satlook Digital NIT, Promax HD Ranger+ spectrum analyser.
My Location
Berkshire
Lee, take some photos of the LNBs and post them.
 
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