Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Drayton Valley, Alberta
your receiver isn't "stuck" on a signal reading of 39. when you suddenly have no signal at all, the reading is still showing the last "good" reading it had. if there's at least a connection and some background noise from the lnb it's then going to read something.
if you can aim your f2 dish on f1 and hook up your good cable to it, you should be able to verify that the dish and lnb are good. then you can hook up your f2 cable ( still bypassing the switch ) and see if you are still getting signal through that cable. once you're sure you have good dish,lnb and cables then you can aim for f2 which should be 4 degrees west of f1. after that you can hook everything up to the switch.
i've seen lots old switches that were stuck in one position so that you could only get one of the satellites, that's a likely suspect if the switch has been outside in the weather for years.
one more thing that hasn't been mentioned yet is the skew of the lnb. the oval dishes have a skew adjustment on the back to rotate the whole dish to line up with the satellites in the sky, you usually find one satellite higher in the sky than the other unless the satellites are exactly due south of you, so the dish is skewed and that takes care of picking up 2 satellites at the same time. the skewing is also aligning the antennas inside the lnb with the vertical and horizontal polarities from the satellite. on your 2 separate dishes you have to loosen the clamp holding your lnb's in place and rotate them to the proper position. it sounds like you are using a couple of stacked lnb's and these had a line running the length of the lnb to mark the 0 degree straight up position. if you are west of the satellites you would rotate the lnb toward the east while you watch the signal quality ( ebno ) likewise if you are east of the satellites ( approximately from the alberta/saskatchewan border and east) you would rotate the lnb toward the west. most of the lnb clamps have a scale on them to set the skew if you know what the number is ahead of time. dishpointer.com can tell you that after you enter the town address and satellite you are looking for and even give you a map with a line drawn on it that you can drag on top of your house so that you can precisely preaim your dish before you even hook up a meter.