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Old 2010-10-27, 02:00 AM   #31
DP Ames
 
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Thanks. So you are confirming that there is no adjustment to aim for the two satellites independently, and the dish should just be aimed for Anik F2?

My Ecb/No values are about 6 for F2 and 4 for F1 respectively (yes, I had it reversed earlier whether it was HD or SD that was lower, so this is the opposite of the relative signal strength that would be expected). Is it common for a slight mis-alignment to affect one satellite more than the other? Is there any particular type of mis-alignment that is more likely to cause that (i.e., azimuth, elevation or skew?). Looking for any hints from experience that would allow me to zero in on the problem quicker. I'm in Vancouver. It's cold and wet and miserable up there on the roof this time of year. :-)
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Old 2010-10-27, 05:20 AM   #32
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How do you intend to hook the satellite dish to your computer?
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Old 2010-10-27, 06:22 AM   #33
majortom
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most modern satellite receivers have some sort of beeping or audible tone
in their setup/install screens. What I do is use a cordless phone outside,
and place another phone inside the house near the TV speaker.

Then while aligning or making adjustments outside, you can hear the pitch
of the tone change via the telephone.
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Old 2010-10-27, 07:43 AM   #34
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I've used a baby monitor in the past but the principle is the same.
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Old 2010-10-27, 09:24 AM   #35
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Quote:
So you are confirming that there is no adjustment to aim for the two satellites independently, and the dish should just be aimed for Anik F2?
That's correct. The procedure for doing a new install is to point the dish "boresite" toward F2 and use the signal meter on channel 299 which comes from F1R. Seems incongruous, huh? But because of the properties of the dish, pointing correctly at F2 will automatically get a signal from F1R. Then comes the fine-tuning.....see below.

But note that I'm assuming you are using either a 75e or a 60e Shaw (Star Choice) elliptical offset dish. You didn't state that, so maybe it's a bad assumption. If you're using an older dish, what you are doing by adding the new LNB to the older dish may not work, but I would have thought your installer would have known that. Note also that a 60e dish requires a 60e LNB and a 75e requires a 75eLNB. The type of LNB is printed on its case. The 75e dish measures about 75cm in the horizontal dimension. The dish and the LNB types must match, or you will have trouble.

Quote:
My Ecb/No values are about 6 for F2 and 4 for F1 respectively
These number sound low, but this information, as you have provided it, doesn't help, really. On which channels are you getting these numbers? Understand that each satellite broadcasts signals for both SDef channels and HDef. That being said, it is true that most HDef is on Anik F2, but not all. See the links that I provided to determine which channel comes from where.

Therefore, I would start by tuning to channel 299 (Shaw Channel) and make note of the Ecb/No. This SDef channel comes from F1R. Do the same for 345 (APTN), which comes from F2 and is also SDef. Both should be in your programming package. If your dish is aligned properly, you should do +9.0 or better on each of those channels. If not, then there is something wrong: dish misaligned, LNB that doesn't match the dish type, obstruction to line of sight, bad cables/connections, etc. Then using the lists in the links, choose a HDef channel in your programming package that comes from F2 and note it's Ecb/No. Do the same for an F1R HDef channel in your package. The SDef numbers you noted should be roughly 2.0 higher than the HDef.

If you have determined, per the above paragraph, that your numbers are too low, then you will have to get on the roof and tweak the dish (or call for service). If you decide to do it yourself, set your receiver to channel 299. Go to the dish and verify visually that the skew and elevation are set correctly and that the mast of the dish is plumb. Without loosening any clamps, twist the dish gently in all directions, one at a time: elevation, azimuth, and skew, noting if this action improves the signal. If it does, loosen the clamp for that direction and tweak in very small increments to get the maximum Ecb/No on 299. (Note that each movement may take a few seconds to show up on the screen. You'll need a friend to help you watch the screen while you make the tweaks.) Once maximized on 299, then check the Ecb/No on 345. It should be nearly equal to what you get on 299.

If you're really into HDef, you can substitute your favorite HDef channels for the ones I've cited above to do your fine-tuning. Just be sure that you know which satellite they're coming from and try to use channels that come from each of the 2 satellites.

Quote:
Is it common for a slight mis-alignment to affect one satellite more than the other?
I can't answer this one....I think it would depend on your location. In my "Southern Province", F2 is much stronger than F1R, so yes, a misalignment would probably kill F1R before F2. In Canada, I wouldn't think this would be true, but maybe someone else will respond....

Quote:
Is there any particular type of mis-alignment that is more likely to cause that
. IMHO, they're all equally important
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Old 2010-10-27, 12:09 PM   #36
DP Ames
 
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Thanks again joshuals, that's very clear. I know most of this information is available from online documents, but a better explanation is always helpful.

I did look at 299 for the low SD value, and I can easily see that the channels fall into two clear groups on signal strength, with most of the SD channels being around Ecb/No = 4 and most of the HD channels being around Ecb/No = 6. I am just presuming that the two groups represent the two satellites, which I'm sure is correct.

I have an old elliptical dish from the late 1990s, which I inherited from someone else and installed in 2001. I haven't looked for a model number or measured the size, but I presume that the service tech who installed the HD head in 2006 knew which one to use. The signal strength was fine at that time.

I know that I'm losing a little signal strength in the cabling, but that's ok. During my original alignment I ran the 100 ft cable directly through a window to the receiver. Afterward I routed it to the inside junction of my home cable network so I could access the sat signal through my regular cable outlets. That cost me a small amount of signal strength. Then I routed the cable through my surge protector at the TV. That cost me a little more signal strength. But in the end the signal strength was still ok, and the picture/sound quality was solid, so I didn't worry about it. Even now, with the signal strength down, the picture and sound are still solid, with only an occasional glitch when a heavy rainstorm passes over (which is what led me to check the signal strength recently).

I really wish they had designed the dish mounting better for making fine pointing adjustments. Would it have killed them to include something like an offset-cam mechanism?
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Old 2010-10-27, 07:17 PM   #37
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You sound very knowlegable, so I won't insult your intelligence with any more basics.

What I do not understand is why you get a lower Ecb/No on the SDef channels.

I think you're facing a trip to the roof......can you not call for service? A tech would be able to re-fine-tune your dish, and, if necessary, replace your LNB if it's defective.
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Old 2010-10-27, 07:36 PM   #38
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Shaw Direct will send a service tech out for $50 (+ 12% HST), but I would always rather do it myself to make sure I know how, as long as it doesn't require special equipment. There's been a lot of heavy construction work going on nearby lately (digging up the sewer line in the street), with constant vibration that shakes the whole house and rattles the dishes on the shelves. It wouldn't surprise me a bit if the dish has shifted slightly.
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Old 2010-10-27, 09:21 PM   #39
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make sure you have proper squew setting on dish, that will kill your F2 signal .
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Old 2010-10-28, 09:34 AM   #40
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I drag a satellite receiver and TV out to my dish farm.

You can use a cheap needle meter to get raw signal strength, but it will not identify which satellite you are on, or how well you have the dish fine tuned (you need something which can decode the signal, and provide a quality or EbNo).

You can get USB DBV-S (and maybe DVB-S2) tuner cards, but they may not handle DCII.

Generally though, for a USB tuner, satellite receiver, or smart satellite meter (has a satellite receiver front end and computer), you program it for the satellite and transponder you want, then it tells you if you found it.
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Old 2010-11-03, 09:29 PM   #41
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I am new here but have a problem right off the start. I have my 2nd shaw reciever on my garage, and it was windy enough the other day to blow it off. I fixed the dish but now when I tune into signal strength I get the red bar with a 39 for strength...no matter where you turn the dish. Did I damage the lnb do you think?
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Old 2010-11-04, 09:28 AM   #42
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Quote:
Did I damage the lnb do you think
It's difficult to say, but a physical inspection might give you some clue....is the plastic case on the LNB/ damaged in any way? Has the dish or the dish mast been bent?

The fact the you are getting a signal strength of 39, IMHO, says that your receiver and your dish/LNB are communicating. If the signal were a flat zero, that would be a bad sign, indicating the LNB is dead or the cable connection has been cut in some way.

Here are some things I would check, in this order:

1) Is the mast plumb? If not, adjust it until it is.
2) Are the elevation and skew settings still correct? Use dishpointer.com (select Anik F2 in the satellite drop-down box) or some other source to get the correct settings for your location. Adjust as necessary.
3) Use the map on dishpointer.com to visually approximate the direction for your azimuth pointing. Point your dish in that general direction and then slowly rotate the dish in very small increments. Give the meter on your receiver several seconds to react to each movement. Have someone help you by watching the meter while you turn the dish. Be patient and rotate the dish just a tweak each time. I'm betting sooner or later you will see the signal rise. When it does, continue to rotate to maximize the signal level on channel 299 and then check 345 to see if it is nearly the same. If you get to this point, you can further fine tune the dish if you wish; let us know....
4) If all else fails, you can call for a service......?
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Old 2010-11-04, 06:43 PM   #43
kgmunro
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The problem is though that no matter where the dish points n-s-e-w..it still says 39 on the screen! I tried a reboot of the system and it does not change.
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Old 2010-11-04, 07:37 PM   #44
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Quote:
The problem is though that no matter where the dish points n-s-e-w..it still says 39 on the screen!
I understand. That's because there exists in the air "background noise" that will cause your signal meter to register a minimal value of 30 or so. This noise is received no matter where your dish is pointed if your receiver, dish, and LNB are communicating and even if your line of sight to the Shaw satellites is totally blocked.

Quote:
and it was windy enough the other day to blow it off
"Blow it off"....as in "completely detach it from it's former location"? If so, did you put if back in exactly the same location, or did you move it? If you moved it, is it possible that the line of sight is blocked?

"Blow it off".....as in "simply turned the dish without displacing the mast"? If so, I still recommend the steps I outlined above before looking elsewhere for the problem.

Sorry...not meaning to insult your intelligence, but I'm guessing your problem is just some basic issue.....
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Old 2010-11-05, 07:58 AM   #45
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You are not insulting me at all, as a matter of fact I thank you for your help. The wind ripped the dish right off the roof mounted area. The problem was I put it the exact holes my old bell dish was in and should have used larger screws. I still have the other dish on my house and it never moved. When the dish fell I was not around but when I found it in the driveway the mast was folded up. I repaired the dish and reattached the mast but this is where I have the red bar with the '39' issue. The thing that baffles me is why does the bar not even move? Usually when you move the dish it will go right almost to '0' and move up and down when you are 'zoning in'. I am just hoping it is an lnb issue because the hd reciever is not that old.I do not see any damage to the LNB but this weekend I will connect to my other dish to try it for the signal.
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