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Thread: HR20 Signal Strength Issues

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    4

    HR20 Signal Strength Issues

    I have had an HR20-700 for awhile now and have been very happy with it. About 5 months ago it started giving me the "Searching for Signal" when I would access some of the HD channels. I could change channels a couple of times and come back to the HD channel and all would be fine.

    Last week I had to take the box out of commission for a few days for some basement renovations. When I plugged it again and the system booted and got stuck on "Searching for Guide Information". If I access the signal strength the signal on both tuners, on the odd transponders, goes in and out. It might peak at 97 but will very quickly move to "No Signal" then hit maybe 60, the "No Signal" then back up to 97. The signal strength on even transponders for both tuners is at 97 or above.

    To troubleshoot the situation, I connected a DTivo in the HR20's place. This system has the same signal strength issues on the odd transponders so I am assuming I can rule out the HR20 as the culprit. Now the question is, is it my LNB or my Zinwell WB68 multiswitch? Or is there something else I am missing?

    Any advice on how to fix this, short of calling DTV and waiting a lifetime to send a technician, would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    5,601
    There are a number of possible causes. The first thing that comes to mind is a bad shield connection at a connector. Other possibilities include a tree or other obstruction between the dish and the satellite, or a bad multiswitch or LNB, or even a powered multiswitch has been known to cause problems.

    The fact that the problem occurred after some renovations is significant. The overwhelming odds are that a connector was scrogged in the process. Check them carefully.

    If that fails, let's 'walk the problem out'. You mentioned that you have a WB68 multiswitch. The 'slimline' HD dish has 4 outputs; you mentioned a second DVR. Do you have other receivers? What are the signal levels on those? If the problem only occurs on the cables to the HR20-700, try moving those cables to other outputs of the WE68

    If the problem occurs on all receivers, what happens if you hook a receiver directly to the coax from the dish?

    Do you have another (powered) multiswitch hooked to the WB68? That can cause problems.

    PlainBill
    There's a difference between needing help, and just being plain ole' lazy.

    "You cannot teach a man anything. You can only help him find it for himself." Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)

    HR20-700 with 2 TB, HR22-100, HR22-100, HR22-100, HR23-100 all running 0x5cd and networked.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    4
    First, thank you for the response. Second, yes, I have two DTivos upstairs that have no signal strength issues, only the HR20 in the basement has the signal strength problem. I tried moving the HR20 cable from Output 5 to 7 on the WB68 without any success.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    5,601
    Quote Originally Posted by JScottP99 View Post
    First, thank you for the response. Second, yes, I have two DTivos upstairs that have no signal strength issues, only the HR20 in the basement has the signal strength problem. I tried moving the HR20 cable from Output 5 to 7 on the WB68 without any success.
    (Suppressing frustration). The object of this exercise is to isolate the problem. While you are giving me somewhat useful information, with only a little more effort you could be supplying really useful information. To Wit:

    You have established that another DVR has an identical problem on the HR20's cable (or is it cables?). You have established that the other DVRs have no problems on 'their' cable(s?). This tends to eliminate the dish and lnbs. That leaves the multiswitch and the cable. Switching one cable for the HR10 to another output doesn't help much unless you have previously verified output 7 is good!

    The chances of only a few outputs on a multiswitch going bad is remote (but not impossible - I had it happen to me). The chances of two cables being bad are also remote - but not impossible, I had it happen to me when rodents chewed the cables down to the core.

    You have two choices: You can call DirecTV and ask them to send out a tech to charge you a hundred dollars and maybe fix it. Or you can go to the multiswitch, disconnect the cable(s) going to one of the working DTiVos and hook the cable(s) for the HR20 to those outputs. And while you're there, connect the cable(s) for the DTiVo to the outputs that formerly drove the HR20. Now go check the signal levels. If the HR20 is still not receiving good signals and the DTiVo is, you have established that the multiswitch is good. In that case, it's time to visually inspect the cable(s), making sure nobody has crushed them, driven a nail through them, or sawed through them and twisted the ends together. If there is no visual problem, replace the connectors.

    Of course, if the 'bad signal' problem switches to the DTiVo, then the solution is easy - replace the multiswitch.

    PlainBill
    There's a difference between needing help, and just being plain ole' lazy.

    "You cannot teach a man anything. You can only help him find it for himself." Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)

    HR20-700 with 2 TB, HR22-100, HR22-100, HR22-100, HR23-100 all running 0x5cd and networked.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Mt Pleasant, SC
    Posts
    13
    Quote Originally Posted by JScottP99 View Post
    I have had an HR20-700 for awhile now and have been very happy with it. About 5 months ago it started giving me the "Searching for Signal" when I would access some of the HD channels. I could change channels a couple of times and come back to the HD channel and all would be fine.

    Last week I had to take the box out of commission for a few days for some basement renovations. When I plugged it again and the system booted and got stuck on "Searching for Guide Information". If I access the signal strength the signal on both tuners, on the odd transponders, goes in and out. It might peak at 97 but will very quickly move to "No Signal" then hit maybe 60, the "No Signal" then back up to 97. The signal strength on even transponders for both tuners is at 97 or above.

    To troubleshoot the situation, I connected a DTivo in the HR20's place. This system has the same signal strength issues on the odd transponders so I am assuming I can rule out the HR20 as the culprit. Now the question is, is it my LNB or my Zinwell WB68 multiswitch? Or is there something else I am missing?

    Any advice on how to fix this, short of calling DTV and waiting a lifetime to send a technician, would be greatly appreciated.
    I just went through this and it turned out to be bad connections at the ground blocks. My smart house wiring contractor (he was not smart) used steel coated with copper cable and it is crap. I have had to cut back to good copper and reconnect 4 connections to the multiswitch so far today. All I did was remove a HR10-250 and install a HR20-100 from another room. I plan on removing more of the bad wire and then putting it all into a sealed weather resistant box. Living on salt water does not help at all, but if my contractor had used solid copper I would not be seeing this today.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    5,601
    Quote Originally Posted by CopyCat View Post
    I just went through this and it turned out to be bad connections at the ground blocks. My smart house wiring contractor (he was not smart) used steel coated with copper cable and it is crap. I have had to cut back to good copper and reconnect 4 connections to the multiswitch so far today. All I did was remove a HR10-250 and install a HR20-100 from another room. I plan on removing more of the bad wire and then putting it all into a sealed weather resistant box. Living on salt water does not help at all, but if my contractor had used solid copper I would not be seeing this today.
    One suggestion I have had from a professional installer - coat the threads of all connectors with a thin layer of silicon sealant to make sure it is sealed.

    PlainBill
    There's a difference between needing help, and just being plain ole' lazy.

    "You cannot teach a man anything. You can only help him find it for himself." Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)

    HR20-700 with 2 TB, HR22-100, HR22-100, HR22-100, HR23-100 all running 0x5cd and networked.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Mt Pleasant, SC
    Posts
    13
    Quote Originally Posted by PlainBill View Post
    One suggestion I have had from a professional installer - coat the threads of all connectors with a thin layer of silicon sealant to make sure it is sealed.

    PlainBill
    Thanks for the tip, will be doing just that after I dump the connectors and multiswitch for a SWM8 and 1x4 splitter. Monday they will be doing the last swap from HR10-250 to HR2X"who knows anymore" and I have one room with a single run to it so the SWM will give that room 2 tuner capability. It will also leave me with 4 spare wires from outside to the loft closet where all the smart house connections are made.

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