Sky+ Satellite signal 2 dropping

Discussion in 'Sky Digital TV Forum' started by uk_jih, Dec 30, 2003.

  1. uk_jih

    uk_jih
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    My Sky+ box seems to have developed a problem where the second satellite signal disappears and I can't watch one program and record another.

    At the moment one of the signals is 90% with 80% quality and the other one is 50% with 40% quality.

    I checked the cables and everthing is find.

    If I do a reboot then the second signal is fine again so it must be the box.

    Anyone else experienced this?
     
  2. STOWITBELOW

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    Nope, & hopefully wont!! I've not seen this on the forum either. Perhaps someone will know why you get different signal strength etc from the same LNB. I imagine a quad LNB has 4 LNBs (in one) all obviously close but not all 4 in the exact spot the dish focuses.
    I'd try swaping the f leads at the box, if the 'signal profiles' have swaped, its the leads or the LNB. I'd guess the LNBs faulty. If they still the same(2nd @50%) it must be one of the tuners in the box.
    If my first guess is right you could to swap the 'faulty' signal lead to a different LNB connection at the dish end to see if this solves the problem. If it does then one part of the quad LNBs is faulty. I've no idea why rebooting would help if its theLNB not the box.
     
  3. WeirdFish

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    When I had a recent box swap the engineer swapped the lnb too as one signal was half the other. Once he'd changed the LNB the signals were pretty much the same.

    To add to stowitbelow's answer if you narrow it down to the lnb you could always use one of the other 2 ports at the dish end.
     
  4. Matty N

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    I have the same problem but mine involves a total loss of signal on input 1. This often is coupled with a very dodgy program guide (can't get the program synopsis or advance more than 24 hours) and a lack of some channels. (Living TV - don't ask!)

    A powerdown and replug, wait a min and then fire it up sorts it out just fine and dandy.

    Strangely my second box upstairs suffers the same problem and will often not come back on until the SKY+ box has been reset! Intriguing, I have had SKY out 3 times and got a new SKY+ box but all to no avail. It's a daily occurrence now, it not hourly.

    I do sympathise but the chances of getting it sorted seem slim! I think it's almost certainly the LNB in my case, but could be the cables. Has anyone checked for water getting into the LNB/connectors?
     
  5. NoDad

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    I suspect that the mini-dish which sky supply is not up to the job. Lots of people have problems with channels dropping out. A friend of mine had problems every day, I suggested he get a bigger dish.... he did an 80cm and he's never had a problem since.

    You won't get sky to admit that the mini-dish isn't up to the job, because they would have everyone on their back.

    I'm not a sky subscriber but my neighbours are, and they have "the van" out every other week to their mini-dish.
     
  6. Starburst

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    A Zone 1 minidish is perfectly suited with the correct matching LNB to pick up the stonger signals from 28.2 degrees, SKY do supply a Zone 2 dish for people in the more fringe areas.
    Swapping the minidish for a 80cm dish also involves a new LNB, brackets and alignment, the very process of putting a new dish up might solve a problem all by itself:)

    SKY won't admit there is a problem with the Zone 1 dish simply because there isn't one, poor alignment, incorrectly seated LNB, weak seals and damaged cables are all a factor in poor performance of a SKY system and millions of subscribers have no problems at all.

    A SKY van visits your neighbours every other week?
    Hmm, are sure the lady of the house isn't knocking off the installer:)
     
  7. Starburst

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    Three factors could force you to lose the feed to the first LNB input. THe first would be a tuner malfunction which isn't sending any switching commands or power to the LNB, the second is that the LNB is not repsonding to those commands or doing so incorrectly and finally the cable itself is not carrying the signals properly. If the connections between the LNB and the cable were not clean and secure and then waterproofed water can gain access and it will seriously degrade the cable performance.

    The usual tests, swap the cables over, swap the SKY+ for the second digibox, try both boxes on someone elses dish. All these tests should narrow down a problem with the actual dish/lnb/cable or the STB itself.

    It's annoying that the cables are last in the line when it comes to repairing a faulty system, many SKY installers seem to think a simple box swap cures all problems and even when they check the dish too many just take a simple reading on the default transponder and if that is OK right there and then everything else must be OK.
     
  8. wod

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    yes but the small dishes are useless especially when it snows or in heavy rain, last weds up in yorkshire no go with sky mini dish on my 80cm rock solid signal.

    use a zone 2 dish and shouldn't have any problems
     
  9. Starburst

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    No denying the bigger the dish the more tolerance it has for bad weather but in the real life situation I have had more power cuts in the five years I've had SKY D then I've lost the signal due to bad weather.
    I live in the midlands though so the situation might not have the same outcome if it was living in the highlands where a Zone 2 dish should be mandatory:)
     
  10. Galaxy

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    Hi,
    Interesting thread, I have never believed that the sky 60cm dish is really big enough for weather conditions here in the UK, whenever it rains heavily "goodbye Sky" this happened with my original sky reciever as well as the new sky+ v2 we had installed as soon as they dropped the £10 per month sub for listings.
    My signal strengths are Input 1 st = 30%
    qual=75%
    Input 2 st = 60%
    qual=90%
    When the system was first installed I questioned these reading with the installer and was told they are perfectly normal for this area (essex).
    I would feel much better and be able to watch during rain with the 80cm dish!

    Best regards David
     
  11. Starburst

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    Run through the translator....

    "I can't be arsed to go back up the ladder and align the dish any better, you've got a picture and when it rains it won't cost me any money to come back and do the job right."

    Seriously, quality readings are fine but there is no reason why you should not be getting much higher strength readings if the dish and LNB are correctly installed.
    You can fit a bigger dish but if it's installed poorly you'll still be in the same situation where the system is under performing.
     
  12. NoDad

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    In the satellite world "size is everything". I do not subscribe to sky but I do have a 1.1m dish (with an actuator).

    I still believe the sky mini-dish is on the limits of acceptability, which means if everything isn't aligned perfectly and remains that way.......hello unreliability.

    The bigger the dish the more accurately it has to be alligned (true) but you will not have problems with signal strength and quality.

    Speaking from experience, all of the people I know who have fitted a bigger dish have had considerably less problems....if not eliminated them.

    Seems to me you pay your 30-40 quid (to Murdock) for a poor service for the want of a £20-25 dish.
     
  13. DJP

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    Returning to the original thread, I too have just lost signal to one of the inputs (in my case Input 2). Swapping the LNB inputs around proves that the fault is with the box rather than the cables and or LNB.

    Sadly Matty N's methods do not fix the problem, nor does re-loading the software or performing an initialisation from the service menu.

    It's typical that this fault should occur just after the box is out of warranty so its a 65 quid call out fee to get it fixed - Sky are going to swap out the box.

    Given that others are having similar issues I wonder if it's a weakness in the design. If I have time I'll whip the top off and have a probe around with the scope to see if the power feed to the LNB on input 2 has failed.

    Delboy
     
  14. uk_jih

    uk_jih
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    I am just putting up with it.

    I have switched off the live pause and things seem to be better at the moment as dual recording is working ok.
     
  15. StooMonster

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    Did the installer replace the existing dish or just the LNB?

    If just the LNB he was cutting corners; the arm should be a different length with new quad LNB. Result would be that different LNBs vary on Signal Quality and Strength, accordin to the engineer that replaced mine.

    I had Sky+ installed, had problems with one LNB and picture breakup on one input; and it swapped, if I swapped inputs. Called Sky+ and a second installer visited, replaced dish (and told me the above), and then got Signal Quality to nearly 100% (via his meter, not the box reading). He also said that Signal Strength doesn't matter too much, it's Quality that is the important one.

    StooMonster
     
  16. vikingboy

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    This is odd if you ask me. My box lost both signals just after the last upgrade (to dual record). I took the cables out and faffed around and managed to get the main signal back but input two is definitely dead. I tested my box on my mates sky+ rig and both feeds worked so I know its not the box. Sky want 65quid to come and and fiddle some more. I'm sure Ive read quite a few posts lately on people loosing one or more feeds since the last upgrade. Is it just me or am I becoming paranoid?

    I reckon Murdoch tried to brain wash us all with a over ambitous burst of SKY signal and fried the installed LNBs :)

    actually joking aside...could they do this? Could be a quick way of making a few extra bucks (7 million people * 65quid call outs. Hmmmm) I wonder :)
     
  17. bobnuts1

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    My Sky+ also loses signal on LNB2 since the DR upgrade AND whenever we get a bit of rain (New Years eve in the south of England was the worst) Need to remove power and reboot then SQ comes in at about 45 % but is going up and down like a yoyo Have had the box about 18 months now with zero problems before.

    Any ideas?

    Richard

    PS I have a quad LNB as I used to have a mirror sub
     
  18. wod

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    what about the dish as the lnb arm could have bent down with the weight of the quad for you to lose signal ?
     
  19. bobnuts1

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    Thats a good point as the Sky installer just replaced the original single LNB with the quad one and I don't remember the arm being adapted in any way.

    Not sure whether to call Sky out to look at it or try to find a friendly local "person" in yellow pages.

    Does the standard sky engineer call out fee include dish checking/alignment as required?

    tia

    Richard
     
  20. vikingboy

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    I think that for 65quid sky will come and fix whatever is broken. So either align dish OR replace LNB AND align dish.
     
  21. bobnuts1

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    Thanks vikingboy

    Called CS today engineer due here on Monday. I will update after visit.

    btw, lost signal /rebooted again in the rain showers today (friday)

    bobnuts1
     
  22. plasmattack

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    This was definitely the case with me as well. I assume both signals are fine because I have swapped the inputs over and have no problems getting a picture. Ergo, the problem is with the box.
     
  23. DJP

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    Well I'm 65 quid poorer but I've a new (reconditioned?) Sky+ version 2 box.

    The Sky engineer did exactly what I'd done i.e. swap the LNB feeds into the box to prove that input 2 in the box had died. He then just swapped the box over.

    It turns out that this was the second box in my area he had had with the same fault that day. In the case of the other person it went belly up after a power cut. Given that I live close by I may have been hit by the same power cut but perhaps I was out at the time.

    After he left I then had to:

    Call Sky to register the card with the new box so I could get the movie channels.
    Download the latest software to allow recording of 2 channels simultaneously.
    Reset the preferences again so that it's outputing RGB (and turn off the annoying music).
    Swap the scart leads around as there is less space on the back of the new box and the lower lead has to be one which comes straight out. Otherwise it slightly fouls the optical output.

    Then load up the planner with all the stuff I'm supposed to record again.

    An afternoons work and things are back to normal.


    Derek
     
  24. bobnuts1

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    So here, as promised is my update after the engineers visit today.

    This, in order is what he did:

    1, Replaced my box with (recon?) V2 - still no signal
    2, Spent an age trying to realigning the dish - still no signal
    3, Replaced dish and quad LNB assy.
    4, Repeated step 2 with the same end result.
    5, Advised me that the problem was a tall tree in line of sight two gardens away. he added that he could tune in the "top frequencies but not the lower bands" whatever that means.

    I asked if the dish could be resited a few yards away and somewhere out of line of site of the faulty tree but he said he could not do that and I would need another team to come out to reposition. He then passed his mobile phone to me and I was talking to someone in CS who explained that to re-site the dish higher required the "special height" team and they could not visit until the end of Jan at the earliest. She started quoting health and safety when I tried to explain the the additional height was only about 10 brick courses to just below the gutter on a modern two storey semi - not floor 72 of Canary Wharf tower. I would also need to pay for a special "K" :) bracket. Anyway the engineer left, leaving me with a new dish, lnb, recon Sky+ system box but no signal at all - remember I used to get a signal before the visit albeit a weak one.

    So, feeling somewhat frustrated with being left like this, I decided to have a go myself. I unbolted the dish assy and re-rigged it in the garden on an old plastic picnic chair and as far away as the downlead would allow from line of sight to the tree. And guess what, after a bit of prating about the dish box locked in and reported a signal quality of about 90% and rock solid. So it seems the tree (a eucalyptus) was having an effect after all.

    I then went and had a chat with the owner of the tree. Who at first told me that Sky always blame the trees and that I should call them back. In the end he agreed that the tree needed to be pruned as it was somewhat overgrown. He then suggested the we got to it there and then and after a couple of hours the top branched have been trimmed right back and the tree was back to about two thirds its original height. As it was dark by this time I have decided to delay putting the dish back until the morning so tonight we are watching Sky with the dish in a picnic chair tied down with rope and brick as strong winds are forecast overnight.

    One thing I did notice was that on power up although the box now shows v. good SQ on Signal 1 90%. Signal 2 was still showing "not locked" but as soon as you start a dual record (and check again) the signal 2 SQ starts to show a reading.


    Finger crossed that when I reinstate the dish back on the wall tomorrow and now the tree has had a short back and sides my SQ stays at the same level as when it's in the picnic chair.


    What I do not understand is how come this tree has only become a problem in the past month. Anybody care to comment?

    HTH - someone

    Richard

    P.S. the recon V2 box I was given was already DR aware.
     
  25. vikingboy

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    Interesting.

    I'm loathed to call Sky out until I know for sure its a LNB, dish, alignment error. I have a v1 SKY+ box with a upgraded hard disk and more important for me, a SDI output. I know this box works fine as I plugged it into a friends system and it locked both channels. I reckon they tell me its the box thats buggered but they will only be able to take it from my dead hands.

    I'm having a motorised dish fitted soon too so I'll get that enginner to have a look first and see if its anything obvious first.

    Still strikes me odd all these daed 2nd channel boxes Ive read about lately.

    thanks for the update
    Ian
     
  26. wod

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    bobnuts1, if you can resite the dish your self as when the tree grows back it could be a problem again ?
     
  27. bobnuts1

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    As promised here is the update on today's events.

    Now that the offending tree has had a bit of a number 3 I have returned the dish assy back to its original place on the house wall and after a manual alignment the Sky box is reporting an Input 1 signal quality of almost (just one block missing) full scale. Input 2 signal is showing the same reading.

    At the mo there is not a cloud in the sky with all stars visible but the forecast for tomorrow predicts a wet and windy day in the South of England. so lets see what tomorrow brings but I have to say that I am quietly confindent.

    Just to clarify. I think the Sky engineer did the best job that he could. afterall, he did replace everything except the cable and his suspicion that the tree was causing the grief seems to have been correct.

    hth helps but I would still like to know if trees have hormone cycles?


    Richard
     

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