Boosting my sat dish signal - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
 

Go Back   Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums > Canadian Internet, Phone, TV and Wireless Service Providers > Bell Canada Enterprises (BCE) > Bell Satellite TV Hardware Installation Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes

Old 2012-03-26, 12:34 PM   #1
wonkle69
Rookie
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 7
Default Boosting my sat dish signal

I am using a 100 foot coax cable, then a cheap little coax connector to a 20 foot cable, to take the signal from my dish to my bell 3100 receiver (non hd). I was using the 100 foot cable direct to the receiver, and it looked "slightly" better when not involving the connector. It's minor, but I can detect an approx 5% downgrade in picture quality. Not a big deal, but I'd like to improve this if I can. The reason I am using the connector is for aesthtics... I can hide the cable by running it through the basement. And the 20 foot cable cannot easily be replaced as it goes up through the floor to where the tv is.

The 100 foot cable is rg-6, 18 guage. Pretty cheap cable. Would it make a big diff to use a better cable? I know that I'm losing db's for using such a long cable, plus the connector.

I checked the "point dish" signal meter on the receiver this morning. It was at 50%! I thought that too low to get any signal. It was higher, like in the 80s, before using the connector. Strange.

I ordered a db booster for cheap (10$) on ebay. It supposedly boosts the signal by 20db before it starts its journey. Maybe that will help things? Instructions are to run the signal through this, near the dish. I am assuming that my long cable plus the connector results in significant db loss.

The good news is that I never get interuptions (yet) and the picture is quite good, for non-hd. But I like tweaking.
wonkle69 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 2012-03-26, 01:22 PM   #2
jdevlin
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Wainfleet
Posts: 749
Default

The signal is digital. It can't look better with or without the connector. It is either there or it is not there or just on the edge and it is breaking up/pixelating.
jdevlin is online now  
Old 2012-03-26, 04:16 PM   #3
Pinza
Veteran
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: North of the GTA
Posts: 9,744
Default

Ensure that the cable is rated for 2.4Ghz same thing with the F81 (Barrel Connector).

As for the in-line Amp, it needs a good voltage to work, so it should be located closer to the Receiver than the Dish, as when the voltage gets there, it will be significantly lower.

With 130' of cable, you should not need any kind of booster. Check the connectors on your cables, replace with good quality compression fittings.
Pinza is offline  
Old 2012-03-26, 07:15 PM   #4
jdevlin
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Wainfleet
Posts: 749
Default

The amp at the receiver instead of the dish is opposite of what I would have thought. I would think you want to boost the signal while it's still strong instead of trying to boost an already weak signal at the receiver.
jdevlin is online now  
Old 2012-03-26, 07:46 PM   #5
Pinza
Veteran
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: North of the GTA
Posts: 9,744
Default

You could have a point, I might have been thinking about something else.

Still it should not be required.
Pinza is offline  
Old 2012-03-26, 10:03 PM   #6
majortom
Veteran
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 3,341
Default

that's right, raw "signal strength" generally isn't a limiting factor in satellite reception, but signal quality is. Especially with the high powered DBS satellites. The most effective way to to improve satellite reception is by using proper sized dish for the signal your trying to receive vs your location. And proper installation. Meaning Mount is plumb, antenna is aimed properly and without any obstructions at all. And as already pointed out by pinza using the correct RG6 coax cable (2400 Mhz bandwidth). Probably a good idea to weatherproof connections outside too. Ensure those things are in order and you shouldn't have any problems.

Throw the flea bay amp in the drawer, because with everything else taken care of it won't be needed. Probably cause more grief than it's worth.
__________________
uhf/vhf combo rotor chimney mount FM Bandstop ap-8700 preamp 4way split lg lcd dtt901 pctuner mythtv
majortom is offline  
Old 2012-03-27, 08:33 AM   #7
wonkle69
Rookie
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 7
Default

Thanks for the advice. I'll try the 20db booster when it arrives, near the dish, and then near the receiver, and see if I can detect any improvement. Maybe a better connector to link the 100 foot cable to the 20 foot cable would help slightly as well. It's a basic dollar store kinda connector. I checked my signal strength last night a few times. It varies between 70% and 85% usually. And I noticed that the transponder number keeps changing. Is that normal? The dish is in a good spot, with a clear line of sight to the sat. I have an app on my android that helped me point the dish.... pretty neat app.

But my tv reception is very good, and has never crapped out, so this is all just playing around to make it as good as it can be. I did notice that there is just a slight downgrade in solid colours on the image, after using the connector, but it's pretty minor.
wonkle69 is offline  
Old 2012-03-27, 09:13 AM   #8
jdevlin
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Wainfleet
Posts: 749
Default

Your going to have a hard time explaining how that is possible to me. The signal is digital. It's there or it's not. It is not like the old analog signal where you could get snowy images etc. if the signal was weak.

What does the signal meter on your receiver say?
jdevlin is online now  
Old 2012-03-27, 11:35 AM   #9
wonkle69
Rookie
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 7
Default

Yeah that makes sense, that the signal is digital and the picture quality can't be 90% or whatever.... So why do they sell signal boosters for sat dishes?

My signal varies between 70% and 85% according to the receiver "point dish" page, and the transponder keeps changing. I noticed once it was down to 50%, but it was still locked in to Nimiq91, and the picture was still there, with no problems.
wonkle69 is offline  
Old 2012-03-27, 12:37 PM   #10
46FD04
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Ajax
Posts: 761
Default

To Wonkle69,

Your Transponder is not changing.

When you are watching Ch.212, it is on Transponder xx (I don't remember which one, coz I'm at work).

Let's say TP08 for argument's sake.

When you go to the Signal Meter, it will be on TP08.

Now change the Channel to 631 Military Channel. It is on TP24 (just guessing again). When you go to the signal strength meter, you will be on 24. This TP# will always be on the # that the channel you are watching, is being broadcast on.

Now you can check any TP for signal strength. Be advised there is 0% on TP's 5, 9, 11, 17 right now.

I know that HD programming is on TP's 5 & 11, that is why your 3100 receiver will have no signal strength. I have no idea why the other TP's two are down right now.

To check how well your dish is pointed, change the TP to 23. You should be close to 100%.

If not, tweak your dish until you're at 100% and you're good to go.

Also, your 20 foot extension cable should be RG6 as well. Is it?

Gord
46FD04 is offline  
Old 2012-03-27, 04:01 PM   #11
wonkle69
Rookie
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 7
Default

Ah thank you, I had no idea how the transponders worked. Now I know. I will check on 23 and see what I get. I was wondering why the signal strength kept fluctuating.

Also, I will check to see what kind of cable the extra 20 foot one is. It's been there a long time, as my dad had installed those cables up through the floor a long time ago. It could be anything.
wonkle69 is offline  
Old 2012-03-27, 07:10 PM   #12
majortom
Veteran
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 3,341
Default

It is a little more than just a one or a zero, Signal On, Signal Off with digital. Not that simple. With quality numbers as reported
Quote:
It varies between 70% and 85% usually.
and
Quote:
I checked the "point dish" signal meter on the receiver this morning. It was at 50%!
You could very well have issues to the point of failure when it rains, called rain fade. If the numbers ur reporting are in consistently clear weather, I'd try and spend a few cycles trying to improve the antenna alignment. If it was bad weather then it may be OK.
__________________
uhf/vhf combo rotor chimney mount FM Bandstop ap-8700 preamp 4way split lg lcd dtt901 pctuner mythtv
majortom is offline  
Old 2012-03-28, 08:03 AM   #13
wonkle69
Rookie
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 7
Default

I checked on transponder 23 and it's 80%. I checked on transponder 21 and it's 85%. I think these are good enough numbers to not bother trying to get better. The dish has always worked since I installed it. But, I have not seen it work through a heavy rain yet, so I'll see how that goes when it happens. The dish has a nice clear line of sight to the sky, so there is no problem there. I'm convinced that the horizontal alignment of the dish is as good as I could get it, as I played around with that quite a bit. But maybe a vertical change might help a bit. The side of the house where I installed it is not quite level, as the siding panels have a slight slope. But I just tried approx 30% elevation and I was able to lock in Nimiq91.

I checked on the extra cable running up through the floor. It has no marking on it, so I have no idea what kind of cable it could be. It's white, and old. It's likely 20 years old or more. Should I bother trying to replace this cable? Is there a good chance it's not RG6, if it's that old, with no markings?
wonkle69 is offline  
Old 2012-03-28, 04:47 PM   #14
Pinza
Veteran
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: North of the GTA
Posts: 9,744
Default

If you are only getting 91 signals, you could always get a larger Dish. A 60cm will certainly improve things.

As for the cable, look at the centre conductor, if it is very fine, then it is most likely RG59. As I said before, most signal issues are from connectors and F81's, so check these and replace with quality ones if you can.
Pinza is offline  
Old 2012-03-28, 10:06 PM   #15
majortom
Veteran
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 3,341
Default

agree, suspect connectors are worth replacing with new. In the same breath, if the existing cable is white, old and of unknown origin, can all but guarantee you it wasn't designed for satellite TV use.
I remember white coax cable used indoors by the local cable company here for a brief period, back in the early 80's (was no digital satellite back then).
I'd just scrap it and replace with new RG-6. If nothing else at least you will know what you have.
And no doubt a bigger dish will improve your margin before failure, but be aware you will always be vulnerable to rain
fade under heavy downpours. Luckily, heavy downpours enough to kill the signal are usually very brief, a few minutes maybe.
__________________
uhf/vhf combo rotor chimney mount FM Bandstop ap-8700 preamp 4way split lg lcd dtt901 pctuner mythtv
majortom is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:57 AM.

Search Digital Home

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.