Forum > Decoders > Installation > some frequencies not working all the time
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  #1  
Old 2017-10-15 , 12:32
amethystina amethystina is offline
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Default some frequencies not working all the time

I am having a frustrating time at present.

I had to switch over to my backup dish as trees have now grown too tall for my old dish. I had installed a second dish a couple of years ago. I cannot reach the old dish, so it will remain in place with its LNB.

I am using an "old" Explora Pace which records 1 channel and I can view one other (NOTE: I NEVER watch the live channel - I only watch recordings).

I installed one of my spare satCR LNB's (the same type as used in the old dish) and then plugged the backup cable into the same satCR port on the PVR. Everything seems to work fine with better signal strength and quality on all 3 tuners than before when viewed from the Tuner Status. Tuner CA status all seems OK for Tuners 1 and 2.

BUT... I cannot view or record channels 108, 111, 116, 120, 138 and 140. I can view and record all the other channels I regularly use - eg 101, 104, 105, 106, 110, 119, 121 and all the sports channels.

I tried a rescan, and after this the first set of channels dropped out of my channel group and I had to re-ener them before they reappeared on the TV guide. The TV guide even provides all the info relating to them - but I cannot watch or record them - it gives the "no signal" error (no number). If I use the TV guide to select the current program on (say) ch 120, I get the recording symbol, but it stays black and no duration is given as it does not record - and when I check the Tuner there is no signal (but I still have to stop the "recording" as usual).

So I am simply not picking up these 4 frequencies (11050 V, 11728 V, 11808 V & 11848 V - yet I can watch and record ch 104 on 11554 V so it is not just a simple "vertical" misalignment).

I then tried rotating the LNB slightly and found I could record and watch ALL the channels approx 80% of the time - but ALL of my scheduled recordings on the problem channels failed due to "no signal".

I then did a reboot, and while all the other channels appeared in the TV guide, the problem channels did not, and I had to re-enter them again into my channel group.

I replaced the LNB with a second spare and it produced exactly the same results.

Does anyone have any idea what the problem might be? My guess is that it could be a matter of getting the LNB aligned perfectly in the mount - and by perfect I mean to within less than 1 degree. If so, how? Or is there something else I am missing?

Any advice most welcome.
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  #2  
Old 2017-10-15 , 13:00
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Optimist Optimist is offline
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Just some quick pointers from my side.

Exploras are more sensitive than most decoders and other issues can be adding to the problem.

What's the condition of the LNB cables you're now using, and the length?
How certain are you that the dish itself is properly aligned, or even mounted straight?
SATCRs are not recommended for Exploras, can be ok but some are known to cause partial problems. Even the same make can perform differently between their various models. Consider getting a Smart LNB (SLNB).

I suggest you post some example tuner 1 signal strength & quality readings.
Strength should be around 80% or better (100% achievable for some), Quality around 90% or better (100% achievable for some).
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  #3  
Old 2017-10-15 , 13:27
Geoff D Geoff D is offline
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Skew angle is probably the main issue
I assume the decoder you have is a HD PVR 2p?

Try setting it to use SATCR standard and not SATCR universal.

Where are you?
Is and me a pm with your location and we can work out the skew angle for you to use. Assuming antenna is aligned okay
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  #4  
Old 2017-10-15 , 13:58
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Optimist Optimist is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff D View Post
I assume the decoder you have is a HD PVR 2p?

Try setting it to use SATCR standard and not SATCR universal.
No, he mentioned an Explora (in an unusual way), and later on 3 tuners.

@Amethystina - that SATCR setting isn't available on Exploras.
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  #5  
Old 2017-10-15 , 16:07
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Luke7777 Luke7777 is offline
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This is the confusing bit... Explora Pace. Pace would refer to the 2P
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  #6  
Old 2017-10-15 , 16:17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke7777 View Post
This is the confusing bit... Explora Pace. Pace would refer to the 2P
Yep, especially with him afterwards talking about watching & recording... initially I also thought he meant the 2 tuner.
I think I recall that the Explora is also a Pace, but then that's hardly mentioned by any of us.
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  #7  
Old 2017-10-15 , 16:52
amethystina amethystina is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Optimist View Post
Yep, especially with him afterwards talking about watching & recording... initially I also thought he meant the 2 tuner.
I think I recall that the Explora is also a Pace, but then that's hardly mentioned by any of us.
Sorry - I have been unable to reply because my responses seem to be routed to the moderator for some unknown reason

[This is just a test to see it I can now send]
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  #8  
Old 2017-10-15 , 16:53
amethystina amethystina is offline
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Looks like I can now send again ....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Optimist View Post
Just some quick pointers from my side.

Exploras are more sensitive than most decoders and other issues can be adding to the problem.

What's the condition of the LNB cables you're now using, and the length?
How certain are you that the dish itself is properly aligned, or even mounted straight?
SATCRs are not recommended for Exploras, can be ok but some are known to cause partial problems. Even the same make can perform differently between their various models. Consider getting a Smart LNB (SLNB).

I suggest you post some example tuner 1 signal strength & quality readings.
Strength should be around 80% or better (100% achievable for some), Quality around 90% or better (100% achievable for some).
I am no expert on DSTV terminology. The decoder has no model name but Info Central says it is a PACE 25

Tuner 1 signal strength is 80-85 with a quality of 100 (occasionally down to 98)
Tuner 2 signal strength is 90-98 with a quality of 100
Tuner 3 signal strength is 60-95 with a quality of 70-90
Since I ONLY watch recordings, I optimised the skew for Tuner 2

The cable is approx 25 in a single run from LNB to decoder and looks to be in good condition (can't see the 50 cm where it runs through the wall.

I do not want to upgrade as it is very difficult to run a new cable through the wooden-walled house, and I may be moving soon anyway.

It is several years since I tried to make any change to the software, and I find that the options under the Home Satellite menu are totally different from what I remember - but that was probably m y previous SD decoder which I retained for a long time as I had an MVIX recorder that suddenly stopped working one day - exactly the same day its spare did (I suspect someone had slipped in a trojan to kill off that piece of technology - I am obviously not suggesting it was MC).

From the hardware side, the dish is bolted onto a steel upright on the Stoep - it will not have moved since it was installed by an approved installer. Once we had checked it worked 100% OK, we took out the LNB and put in a dummy in case of lightning.

When I installed the new LNB, I noticed the retaining strap was in the centre of the barrel. The LNB could move up to 1 cm either way changing the focal point if that would be relevant. When I installed the working LNB, I had to rotate it about 5 degrees to get the signal quality up from 30 % to 100% - I presume this is the skew you refer to.

So I could try various changes to these 2 parameters, otherwise it will need to be a software fix. I am not sure what I can change on the Home satellite menu without doing damage.
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  #9  
Old 2017-10-15 , 18:04
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I didn't mean to get this involved... Geoff D has a lot more experience so I suggest send him the Private Message (you can click on his name to get to that) and include your email address. Please follow his advice first.
I'll just answer some further items;

Quote:
Originally Posted by amethystina View Post
Info Central says it is a PACE 25
I've just checked my Explora model 1 and can confirm that's its other description.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amethystina View Post
Tuner 1 signal strength is 80-85 with a quality of 100 (occasionally down to 98)
Tuner 2 signal strength is 90-98 with a quality of 100
Tuner 3 signal strength is 60-95 with a quality of 70-90
Since I ONLY watch recordings, I optimised the skew for Tuner 2
I presume the range of strength readings relates to vertical / horizontal polarisation, or is it a fluctuation you're seeing?

Note that tuner 2 only shows reliable info when a recording is underway.
Tuners 1 & 2 should have parallel results.

Tuner 3 shows a major instability problem of some sort.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amethystina View Post
The cable is approx 25 in a single run from LNB to decoder and looks to be in good condition (can't see the 50 cm where it runs through the wall.
25 metres is rather long. You never mentioned how old the cable is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amethystina View Post
...otherwise it will need to be a software fix. I am not sure what I can change on the Home satellite menu without doing damage.
Software cannot be controlled by you or be put to work for individual fixes. You should have "Load Ver/Var": 73/2 , if not the poor signals may be preventing the automatic update (uses tuner 3).
(It is possible that having older software, if you do, could lead to some of the problems you're seeing but not the signals problem.)
You can check this in Help \ General Information \ Loader Status

There is nothing that you can do in the menus that would cause unrecoverable damage.


All the best with it :-)
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  #10  
Old 2017-10-16 , 10:00
amethystina amethystina is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Optimist View Post
I didn't mean to get this involved... Geoff D has a lot more experience so I suggest send him the Private Message (you can click on his name to get to that) and include your email address. Please follow his advice first.
I'll just answer some further items;

25 metres is rather long. You never mentioned how old the cable is.

All the best with it :-)

Sorry to everyone who got involved in this. I have a bad memory (medically diagnosed), and forgot one key issue. I kept on mentioning I was using the backup dish. The reason it was a backup was that it was my old dish I was using for my previous SD decoder - so was 60 cm not the 80 cm one that is now blocked by trees.

So 3 years ago I bought a new 80 cm dish (having first measured that it would fit where the old one was). But the new dish had an arm that was less than 10 cm longer than the old one, so it didn't fit and I had nowhere to mount the new dish. And then I forgot about it.

So now I will have to sink a steel post to mount the new dish from - there is no other suitable mounting point available.

Again, my apologies for posing a problem that you couldn't answer meaningfully.

BTW, I did send a message to Geoff D, but have not as yet received a response - nor do I now expect one.

But given I have done "so well" from the 60 cm dish, is there any chance of capturing those extra 4 frequencies? The other frequencies are ALL better than I currently have from the old 80 cm dish - and it could take me some time to set up the new dish, so an interim solution would be nice to have. Since the old dish had a much longer cable length (approx 40m) I doubt that this was to significant in this case - the problems were unquestionably all about the dish size.
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