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Big Dish Troubleshooting


1. ? I get a crackling sound from my TV every time I watch a subscription program. What is wrong? ! First, check your cable connections. If you are satisfied with the connections, it could be your decoder module. Call our Tech Dept. for further analysis.
2. ? I can't find my C-band dish manual. How can I determine its focal length? ! Measure the diameter of your dish and convert this value to inches. Measure the depth of your dish in the middle by placing a flat board across the center of the dish and measuring from the board to the dish. Multiply the diameter of the dish by itself. Multiply the depth of your dish by 16. Divide the depth value into the diamter of your dish (the squared value that you calculated). This is your focal length.
3. ? I've lost every other channel on my satellite system. What is causing this? ! More than likely your servo motor has quit working. Check the servo motor wire connections at the satellite dish and at the receiver. When you change channels the receiver sends out 5 DVC on the red wire. There will be a constant 1/3 to 1/2 VDC on the white wire. Check those with your voltmeter. If you have the voltage, the receiver is fine and you have a bad servo. If you don't have the voltage then the receiver is the problem. Browse our on-line catalog under Feedhorns to order your new servo motor.
4. ? My old dish mover is an 18", but you want to sell me a 24" dish mover. Why? ! The weight of your dish and your location are a couple of factors that determine dish mover size. Solid dishes, or mesh dishes over 10' in diameter need a longer dish mover. Also, if you are located in the southern half of the U.S., the angular difference between the east and west satellites is greater than in the northern half of the U.S., therefore a longer dish mover is recommended. Lastly, 24" dish movers are stronger and give longevity to the system and are easier to install.
5. ? I just aligned my dish put on a new LNB and feedhorn, and my picture is still sparkly. Is it my receiver? ! Not likely. There is a strong chance that a section of your buried cable is letting water into the coax. Are there any splices in your cable? If so, this would be your problem. Replacing your cable is recommended.
6. ? My dish won't land on the satellite I want it to, and I have to reprogram my receiver several times. What's wrong? ! Your dish mover has a small sensor located under the motor cover. This sensor communicates with your receiver about where it is in the satellite arc. These sensors wear out over time and occasionally will not land on your selected satellite. Determine your dish mover model and browse our on-line catalog under C-Band System Parts to find which sensor works with your dish mover.
7. ? My dish mover just moves a little bit and stops. Moves then stops. What's wrong? ! Check the sensor wires on the back panel of your receiver. If you're satisfied the wires are making good contact and are hooked up correctly, then the problem is likely the sensor. It has quit working and needs to be replaced. The sensor sends a pulse count to the receiver, the receiver counts the pulses and knows where to stop for which satellites. Sometimes erasing the memory and reprogramming the receiver will help. Browse our on-line catalog under the heading C-Band System Parts and choose the sensor for your dish mover.
8. ? The sound and/or picture are bad on my pay channels. My free channels are OK. What is the problem? ! First, call your program provider and get a re-hit. If this doesn't solve the problem, try pulling the decoder module out of the receiver and letting it sit out for about an hour. If it works better when you replace it, the problem is likely that your decoder module is going bad. You will need to replace it.
9. ? My dish mover wires are hooked up correctly on my Uniden receiver, but my dish still doesn't move. What's wrong? ! Most Uniden receivers have a circuit breaker for the dish mover on the bottom or back panel of the receiver. If this breaker is popped, reset it and try again. If it continues to trip, contact Skyvision Tech.
10. ? I lost my picture. What is the problem? ! Typically, when you lose every picture on every satellite it is the LNB. Test the voltage coming out of the receiver. The receiver sends 18-21 VDC out to the LNB to power it up. If you have this voltage present on the coax cable at the dish, the receiver and cable are fine and the LNB is bad.
11. ? Some of the mesh panels on my dish are missing/bent/have holes. Does this affect my picture and can I get replacements? ! Missing or bad panels can affect your picture. A few hail dents are OK but large dents or missing panels will require replacing. We sell replacement sheets of C/KU mesh so you can cut the size you need.
12. ? My dish doesn't move. All I get is 'actuator error' or 'no return pulse'. What is the problem? ! A) If the actuator numbers are not moving, it could be that the receiver is not sending a pulse to the dish or the sensor on the dish mover is bad. Check your wires on the back of the receiver and also at the actuator. B) Reprogram the receiver, this sometimes helps. C) If the dish has not been used for awhile, the actuator might be frozen. Take off the motor cover and see if the magnet wheel is cracked or broken. D) If your receiver has an actuator circuit breaker, check to see if it has been tripped. E) Test the arm using a 12 volt battery or battery charger. Hooking it directly to the motor wires, see if it moves the arm. If it doesn't move, the actuator motor is bad. If it does move, the problem could be the receiver. F) To test the receiver, use a voltmeter to check if the receiver is sending out 24 to 36 VDC when you try to move the actuator. The most common cause is a sensor that has gone bad. Call Skyvision Tech if the problem persists.
13. ? I can't receive one of my pay channels on a satellite. It is the only channel I can't get. What do I do? ! First, call your program provider and get a re-hit of programming. If this doesn't fix the problem, try pulling the decoder module out of the receiver and letting it sit out for an hour before reinstalling and testing. Third, try deleting that satellite from the receiver's memory and reprogram it in.
14. ? How do I program in the KU satellites with my older receiver? The names are different and it won't take the new names. ! Go to the satellite location and attempt to program in a KU satellite using the parameters in your system that are closest to those of the actual satellite. All but a few KU satellites are part of a C/KU combo bird. Find the C-Band side first, then attempt to program in the KU side. Use whatever naming sequence you can remember since your system likely won't let you name satellites such as X4 or L5. It is tedious work since some of the new KU birds have 24 transponders that don't match what is preprogrammed in your receiver. The 4Dtv receivers automatically update these names as they occur.
15. ? The tube on my actuator is binding when I move to a different satellite. What is wrong? ! This happens if both ends of the actuator have not been properly aligned and mounted. The actuator should be at a minimum of a 30 degree angle with the rear of the dish at all points as it sweeps across the arc. Adjust your clamps according to the instructions.
16. ? My actuator coupling breaks or wears down all the time. What is wrong? ! The actuator is binding somewhere. Make sure it is installed correctly and that it sweeps the arc smoothly.
17. ? My dish moves very slowly across the arc. What can I do to make it move faster? ! Your actuator could be rusty or worn down. It could also be that the receiver or the cable is not allowing enough voltage to pass to the actuator. Check for 24 or 36 volts at the actuator with a voltmeter. Call Skyvision for a faster arm if everything checks out OK.
18. ? The dish goes the opposite direction when I try to move it and/or the pulse count reads incorrectly. ! This is a common problem when a receiver has been changed or moved. The wires are probably switched where the actuator connects to the back of your receiver. Switch them around and see if it makes a difference.
19. ? Does it matter which way the servo motor is installed? ! Servos have 180 degrees of rotation so it must be centered halfway between the directions of horizontal and vertical polarities. When properly installed the servo should have freedom to move the 90 degrees to change polarity yet also have extra room to move past either of these points in case you need to fine tune the skew. On a Precision feedhorn a servo will be facing straight up and down when you are facing straight south. On a Chaparral feedhorn the LNB will be facing the 10 o' clock position and the servo will be facing the 4 o' clock position. If you just replaced your servo and it is still giving you only odd or even channels, you may want to check your receiver for the LNB configuration or rf configuration. When checking, make sure your receiver is set to LNB and not LNBF if you have a C-Band LNB.
20. ? Why does my new LNB have a different number of holes than the one I am replacing? ! Most manufacturers have their own molds for the LNB case. They will have anywhere from 4 to 8 holes. It is not necessary to have a bolt in each hole. As long as you can get one bolt to secure on opposite sides, your LNB should work fine, although putting a bolt in each hole that lines up will give you some insurance against moisture.
21. ? How do I erase the memory in my satellite receiver? ! Uniden Ultra, 4600, 4900, SQ530, SQ590, Supra: Go to the installation menu and select the master reset option. Use 3573 as the password and press enter. Press enter again to erase the memory.
General Instruments 450i, 550i, 640i: Press the menu button and choose the 'installation' option. Select the 'realign and erase' option. Pick the 'erase functions' option. Choose 'erase all' and press enter.
General Instruments 350i: Press the menu button and choose the installation option. Select 'erase all' and press enter.

Motorola 4DTV 905/920/922: Press options 6/7/7/8, which is a hidden menu.
22. ? How do I program my satellite receiver? ! A) Look on the remote for a Menu, Function or Program button. Press that button to see what your options are. You want to get to the installation menu. If your remote does not have these buttons, check the back of the receiver for a Run or Program button. Most IRDs ask for a password. This can usually be found in the owner's manual. If you do not have the manual, call Skyvision sales with the model of your receiver for a replacement manual. If you are not able to program your receiver with this information, call Skyvision Tech.
B) Find the feedhorn configuration and select the correct type (LNB, LNBF, etc).
C) Program in dish limits, east and west
D) Use our catalog or a satellite guide to find the names, locations and free channels for each satellite. Program in the satellites starting with whatever side of the arc the dish is already pointing to. Go to program satellites, find the satellite name or substitute for the satellite name. Call it up, go to a free channel, move the dish to find that satellite if you are not on it already, fine-tune the skew if needed, press enter to store when you have the best picture and go on to the next satellite.
E) This is a very basic programming procedure that is similar regardless which receiver you have. If you are not able to program your receiver with this information call Skyvision Tech.
23. ? I have two of the same receivers in my house and the the remote I have changes both at the same time. Can I fix it so only receiver changes instead of both? ! Some remotes can be 'addressed' to work with just one receiver even though you may have similar models of the same receiver in your home. Most remotes are made to just put the batteries in and they work. Check your manual for programming your remote; if it is addressable it should be covered there.
Sometimes this can be done by pushing the right combination of buttons on the remote and sometimes it is done by changing 'dip' switches inside the remote. If it can be programmed for other TVs or VCRs, those codes are listed in the manual also.
         

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