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2 posts

Wannabe Geek

# 14253 23-Jun-2007 17:59
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Hey there,

A quick bit of googling for a problem I'm having came up with this site, so hopefully someone here can help me out or shed some light on my problem ;-)

Background to the problem:

A friend who had Sky Digital moved and no longer needed it, so cancelled his subscription. I spoke to Sky and asked if I can uncancel and take over his service and apparently thats fine, he just has to call and confirm etc.

My place has a dish from a previous install (at least 4-5 years ago), and i've got his equipment (STB) as he hasn't returned it yet. I'm plugged in, and viewing some digital channels fine, but nothing on others.

Some of the channels I can view and signal/quality readings are:

0 - Preview - Signal: 68, BER: 1.3E-03

4 - Prime - Signal: 64/65, BER: Fluctuates from 1.0E-03 to 9.4E-04

8 - Living Channel - Signal 69, BER: 2.0E-03

9 - Food TV - Signal: 69, BER: 2.1E-03

20 - Sky Movies 1 - Signal: 68, BER: 1.4E-03

30 - Sky Sport 1 - Signal: 69, BER: 2.0E-03
40 - Disney - Signal: 65, BER: 8.4E-04
60 - MTV - Signal: 65, BER: 8.4E-04

Other channels I CAN'T view are (all with Signals in the high 60s - 4 or 5 green bars, but UNLOCKED)

1,2, 3, SKY1 .. and others no doubt

So I assume its related to LNBs (old Sat dish with circular LNB?), horizontal/vertical polarity etc, but to be honest I don't really understand the terminology. Any chance somebody on these forums could shed some light on why signal is high but no 'lock'? All channels were working the other day however, and I wonder if its possibly weather related?.

Cheers (and apologies if similar questions are already answered in the forums, I had a fairly decent look around but didn't come up with anything ;-)

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6964 posts

Uber Geek


  # 75732 23-Jun-2007 18:45
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Whilst you may have reasonable signal level the most critical once some signal is recieved is to peak or optimise BER (or Quality). BER figures that you indicate are very low for the signals we now recieve off Optus D1, the ones you show are more typical for what we used to get off B1, so there is 3-4dB of C/N loss somewhere.

Most likely is the skew and also the general alignment of the dish. If the LNB is an old Cal Amp one (ie not a Sharp one) then it may be running lame as most have died or gone low performance by now. The newer Sharp ones (both the single throat 11300LO ones and the new dual throat ones) should last 10x longer than the pitifull US Cal Amp ones.

If the dish alignment and skew are anywhere near correct then you should be getting BER figures in the 1.0E-6 or less.

Its also possible that with the temp drop of the last few days that the LNB has gone on the blink with the cold, once again you may need a new LNB and check its alignment.


2 posts

Wannabe Geek

  # 75767 24-Jun-2007 14:30
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Oddly enough all the channels were working again this morning, and it's a lot drier today than yesterday. I checked the LNB type and it was an old Cal Amp one, so as you mentioned it was definitely on the blink.

I acquired a newer sharp LNB, through it in, and Sky is running like a dream. Signal around 75, BER levels for all channels around 0.0E-07 (near 100% on the meter), so I'm a happy camper. :)

Cheers Cyril, advice much appreciated.

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