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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 2008-09-19, 08:09 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 27
HD Signal Levels

Are these signal levels normal on HD channels

Channel 210 > 288 = 80 and Yellow
Channel 289 > 290 = 86 and Green
Channel 291 = 95 and Green

Channel 299 > and up = 95 and Green

Differences in Transponders sent off, or Broadcaster Differences ?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 2008-09-20, 06:26 PM
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Location: Drayton Valley, Alberta
Posts: 353
signal and ebno

the signal level you see on the system status screen isn't a number with any units of measure, so you don't really know what it is measuring. it's like a gas tank gauge that's reading somewhere between full and empty but doesn't tell you whether you have enough to get you to the next town. the ebno however is something that you can use to accurately say whether it's good or not. recommended minimum is 6.9 and on new receivers it's called ebcno but on older receivers the ebno is found in a hidden menu options 6,0,5 and right arrow to diagnostics c screen where it's the number on the right side with a plus sign ( or a negative sign if you have no signal at all ) the ebno is a measure of signal quality while your signal strength is a measure of the actual power level which only has to be somewhere between the absolute maximum or minimum levels your receiver was designed to handle. you could measure this at the dish and find you have only a 1/4 of that level at the receiver because you've lost a lot of power going through 100 feet of cable. if you still have the diagnostic c screen up look on the opposite side from ebno and you will see a couple of numbers that are measuring the actual signal level in dBm. these are actually negative numbers although you don't see a sign symbol there. so when you look at them you have to think of wintertime temperatures and realize that -20 is better than -40. you would want more than -55 but the receiver is probably working fine with any level stronger than that. the more important number is ebno. incidentally the dBm number doesn't read above zero so if your signal is stronger than this you can't tell without an rf meter. the number on the far left is your current level and the number to it's right is as bad as your signal has ever been. no signal at all would be -139. if you now push the info button on the remote the "record low" number is reset and you can now watch to see if it ever gets a lot lower than normal
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 2008-09-21, 12:39 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2008
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Great info !

I'll check that out soon.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 2008-09-26, 03:35 AM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Vancouver
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Hi Lonnie,
Is it better if we wire directly from the disk to the TV instead of hooking up to the current cable system of the house ? the total length for our wire is somewhere over 110' and with splitter/connector....(over 50' for new wire and 60' for current system), the picture quality is not good and too sensitive to outdoor elements. Can a booster help?
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 2008-09-26, 10:12 AM
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 79
Originally Posted by lonnie
recommended minimum is 6.9 and on new receivers it's called ebcno
6.9? Maybe for Anik F1R (SD) sat. Not from my experience with DSR505 with Anik F2 (HD) sat. I thought the critical number was 5.0 as a general rule but have seen it go as low as 3.9 without losing the audio/video.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 2008-09-26, 04:10 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Drayton Valley, Alberta
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recommended ebno

6.9 would be a recommended minimum. that doesn't mean it will start to cut out as soon as you get below that, it's just from past experience that i've learned if you have less than that you're probably going to have trouble in bad weather or the slightest rf interference in the area.
for cabling you generally don't want to go over 125 feet of cable unless you add an in line amplifier. for most systems now you want an amp that will pass a 22khz tone so that your receiver can select channels on f2. the best place to put the amp is somewhere in the cable run before you've lost a lot of signal, say halfway down the cable run, not at the receiver, not at the dish. the trouble with existing cable in the walls, is you don't know what's hidden behind the drywall, a splitter, a staple driven through it, a bad kink behind the wall plate, pinched between studs, or a 100 feet coiled up in the attic. if it's rg6 cable it may be fine but age is a factor as well, the foam dielectric inside and the insulation outside can deteriorate. the wire itself can get oxidized and make for poor connections. if in doubt run new cable, or get a noise generator and spectrum analyzer to inspect the old stuff.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 2008-09-26, 11:58 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 27
some #'s

So I have these numbers, (about 90 ft to dish)
my Receiver is a 530 (G=Green Y=Yellow Signal) (EBNO is # on end)

210 87G 9.5 299 92G 10.2
285 81Y 4.7 300 90G 9.9
289 86G 5.9 528 97G 11.3
291 94G 7.6 529 82G 9.0

F1 satellite is has good numbers and consistant day to day
F2 satellite is mixed bag HD all weaker w/a few exceptions

( Would assuming weak HD is related to the transmission of that particular channel from source, because a few are good such as 291. Be correct?)
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 2008-09-27, 05:57 PM
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Location: Drayton Valley, Alberta
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poor ebno f2

do you have a quad lnb or a double stacked lnb? a common problem with the double stacked system is a bad 22khz tone switch. sometimes the f2 lnb can be bad with the f1 still good, but that applies to both quad and stacked lnbfs.
a much more common problem is something in the line of sight for the dish. you might have a tree or tall building just on the fringe of the f2 path. your dish might look like it's pointing straight toward the horizon but it's what is called an offset dish so it's actually looking up at the satellite much higher in the sky. look at the degree setting on the side of the dish that marks the elevation. for us here in central alberta it's about 29 degrees. we use a tool with a compass and inclinometer ( angle meter ) to see where 29 degrees is in the sky. if you don't have one you might be able to see at this time of year ( late september to early october ) a shadow falling on the dish when your dish is pointing directly toward the sun. it's easy to see on a bright sunny day if the eave of the house is shading part of the dish.
f1 is about 4 degrees to the east of f2, but depending on which part of the country you're in that 4 degrees could be more vertical than horizontal. unless you're close to the alberta/saskatchewan border your dish is probably skewed over making it look as though it's mounted crooked but this is to account for the fact that the satellites are arranged in an arc to the south which you could imagine lining up with a huge rainbow. if those satellites you want are on the highest part of the arc then the 2 satellites ar about the same height and your dish is probably straight up and down. but if those two sats are much closer to the horizon then that big rainbow arc is near vertical when it's close to the horizon and your dish has to be skewed over sideways to have the lnbs line up with both sats. there's a table from starchoice you could get that tells you what the skew setting should be in your area but that only works if your mast is perfectly vertical. if you don't want to change that what you need is a dual meter that can aim both lnbs simultaneously. it's going to have 2 inputs and 1 of those inputs can have a 22khz tone output so that 1 meter is measuring f1 and the other f2. then you can play with both skew and elevation til you have the best compromise for signal on both sats. if the mast is too far off level it might be impossible to get both sats close enough to perfect. the best solution is to start off with a plumb mast. then the elevation and skew settings they give you should be pretty close.
to sum up your most likely suspects are in this order
1-skew setting
2-line of sight
3-bad lnbf
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 2008-09-28, 01:18 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Kincardine ON.
Posts: 4,453
FWIW, this is mine (from Opt-6-4-7 on a 505):

299-F1-V 70 (8.8 db)
300-F1-H 76 (9.6 db)
277-F2-V 92 (7.1 db)
291-F2-H 94 (7.7 db)
703-F2-V 77 (9.6 db)
420 F2-H 82 (10.1 db)
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 2008-09-29, 03:33 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 60
an amp that will pass a 22khz tone so that your receiver can select channels on f2.

Where i can get one ?
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 2008-09-30, 04:18 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Drayton Valley, Alberta
Posts: 353
in line amplifier

you might try 21stcenturyent.com they have a lot of the parts and tools that we installers use. if your signal is weak because of excess cable length an inline amp should work. a lot of people think that adding an amp is going to fix a weak signal due to trees or something in the line of sight for the dish, or just being located out of the footprint of the satellite signal, but that won't work, you're just amplifying noise.
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