This post was last updated on September 15th, 2020 at 03:53 pm
It is appalling when you have a paid satellite TV subscription and you can’t enjoy. How more painful can it get when you miss your favorite live program due to change in the weather. While I can’t control what nature has to offer, I will teach you tips to Fix Satellite Dish Signal loss during rain, cloudy weather, or snow. You can continue enjoying your favorite programs even when it is raining heavily. Gladly, this would be helpful for standalone FTA decoders as well as company-branded ones. Some households suffer signal losses with just rain, light/heavy rain with no lightning or storm.
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Let’s assume you are at home, at a local bar, or your favorite Club hanging out and watching a game of soccer with your friends and it starts to drizzle. I know that under normal circumstances you will get worried because if it starts to rain heavily you will not see the end of the program. The picture starts cracking (or what seems to be like a badly scratched Disc). Now, it is raining and the decoder flashes a No or Bad Signal message. In case you are using a company decoder like DStv, you get error codes alongside the message. DStv will throw error code 48 to indicate a problem with either your installation or the weather.
After a few minutes, the No Signal Message appears on your screen. It is now raining heavily and at least if you are in a club the music is still playing. If you are at home then you start to look for something else to occupy your time with. Now, I am saying, you don’t need to frizzle out whenever it rains as you can still enjoy your favorite programs while it is raining.
What is a Satellite dish signal loss?
A satellite dish signal is the signal strength you receive from your dish’s LNBf to your decoder via the coaxial cable. Furthermore, the quality of a satellite signal depends on various factors such as the closeness of the satellite footprints to where you want to install the dish, bad weather, broken hardware, poor installations, size of the dish, obstructions, and so on. Generally, the term refers to a loss of signal strength in guided media such as a connection from coaxial/LNB cables.
Causes of Satellite Signal loss on A Dish?
There are a number of factors that can lead to signal losses. Unfortunately, many people erroneously blame this on the satellite service provider. While the satellite provider may indirectly be a culprit, in 99% of the time, it is no fault of theirs.
Basically, we have three categories of causes of satellite dish signal loss as you will read next. In most cases, if the signal loss is partial, the signal would be automatically restored once the rain stops. If this happens, it means you are on track with the dish alignment. However, if this happens every time it rains, it means something is not right.
Major Causes of Signal loss During rain or other Harsh Weather Conditions
- Bad weather: The most prominent causer of loss of signal during bad weather is the bad weather itself. Climatic conditions such as snows, clouds, lightning, windstorm, and rainstorm can naturally cause a loss in signal. While you can control some of these conditions, you may be helpless with others. The good thing is that most of these atmospheric conditions are short-lived.
- Similarly, a natural phenomenon such as a growth in the branches of the trees very close to your dish’s signal can also spell trouble.
- You can also lose your dish signal if your dish installation hardware(e.g the decoder’s tuner, cables, connectors, dish) degrades in the long run. Please make it a point of duty to check the health of these items regularly. A cut in your cable can cause a signal loss during extreme weather.
- Finally, we have a situation where the entire installation was poorly done. This has happened to me in the past before I delved into sat tv installation. A guy came to install my dish, everything works well initial, a night after, and after a light rain, I experienced a complete signal loss. The culprit here was that the dish shifted because the dish mount was fixed on a very weak plank. Other poor installation factors include dish alignment, LNB skew, cable and connectors, a bird’s nest.
How to Fix Satellite Dish Signal loss during bad weather
I always love preventing things from happening rather than fixing them when the damage is already done. These tips, would serve as both preventions and fix for satellite dish signal loss that occurs as a result of rain or other weather conditions. These tips are in no particular order but it is advisable that you try the simple ones before the advanced ones.
- Firstly, when you experience a sudden bad signal or no signal during rain or other bad weather, Unplug the power cord of your DISH receiver from the electrical outlet for 10 seconds, then plug it back in. If this doesn’t solve the problem, move to the next one
- Secondly, check that your LNB/coaxial cable is still connected to your decoder properly. In addition, go and check if the other end is still fastened to the LNBf outside.
- Furthermore, make sure your Dish strength and signal are high enough. To enjoy immunity during rain, your dish signal quality should not be lesser than 80%. The signal strength must be in its 90s preferably 100%.
- Similar to the above, make sure where you are installing your dish is not too far from where you will be placing your decoder. Signal gets loss with distance. the closer the dish to your receiver, the stronger and more stable the signal all other things being equal.
- Also check for breaks, cuts, or severance on the LNB cable. If you notice any, please send it like this may be where water is getting into the cable. Besides, this can cause an electric shock. I would rather replace the bad section or the complete cable. Also, if need be and you need to join your cable, please do this properly and don’t let the cables loop together.
- Furthermore, it is important to cover up every exposed part of your Coaxial cable(They have a rubber O-ring on the inside of the F-type connector). Especially where the cable is connected to your F-connectors or DiSEqC switch. See the image below for what I mean. Use the black insulated sellotape for this. For the outside end, you can use the rubber cover that comes with most LNBfs. Cable cuts, breaks, or sever?
Tips To Satellite Signal Solve Signal Loss During Bad Weather
1. Cover your LNBf
You can do this with a bottle or plastic cover to prevent rain from entering into the components of your LNBf or Cable. Perform the following steps to accomplish this.
1. get an Empty Bottle
2. cut it into two
3. Take the bottom half and put it on the Dish. See the image above. Test as shown that the cover will not interfere with the dish’s signal.
2. Let the size of your dish be bigger than the least required size
In sub-Sahara Africa, we all know that you can actually receive all DStv channels with a 60cm dish. But wait, DStv actually offers a 90cm dish when you buy a decoder from them. The reason is that they want to cover up for any eventuality especially signal loss during rain. In a nutshell, please upsize your dish. If your satellite requires a 1-meter dish, please go 1.2meters(that is if you don’t want signal loss during rain)
3. Use an Upright Polar Mount for Your Dish Installation
The pole supporting the dish must be upright. A spirit level/ plum can tell you whether it is straight if it’s not then here is your first culprit. The dish should also be windproof. To ensure this, every single iron arm, bolt, and nut must be firmly tightened. To test the sturdiness of the dish, take a look at the dish from 10cm away while the breeze is blowing, the vibrations of the dish should not be noticeable. If you can notice the dish vibrating then here is another culprit.
4. The alignment of the dish should also be done perfectly after correcting the errors above. Satellite dishes that are aligned even 5mm away from the satellite can give you no signal messages during light or heavy cloud cover. Make sure you get your LNB skew right. Don’t set H while the satellite is on V.
5. Your LNBf Skewing and positioning is very Important
Firstly, you must have good LNBf. If you are using a Satellite company decoders, you may not need to worry about this. However, if you are using an FTA standalone receiver, then you need to get the best LNBf your money can buy. You can have a very good LNB but if installed badly you will have issues that are where the right polarity comes in. You tweak your LNB after aligning the dish correctly to point at the correct satellite. LNB tweaking is done with the help of monitoring the signal Quality levels of the decoder during installation. Examples of such types of LNBs are Lazer Gold V12 and Inverto Black Ultra some strong LNB and similar ones that meet standard specs. These LNBs may be expensive, but they are totally worth it.
With a perfect setup and any of these LNBs, you can watch Satellite TV during heavy rain without the slightest Signal Loss. Also, remember to use the LNB cap to convert your LNB. It keeps away any moisture from entering the LNB-Cable connection and as a precaution applying silicon adhesive is not a bad idea.
6. Watch Out for Loose Connections and Long Cables
Still, trying to Fix Satellite Dish Signal loss? then you need to look out for the length of the cable. All connections must be tight and made waterproof. The cable must be as long as necessary and as short as possible(in other words, not too long and not too short). Also, the cable should not have any connections to make it longer(DO not sever the cable and rejoin). Connections like these usually deduct a percentage of signals quality in the long run.
7. Miscellaneous Fixes for Satellite Dish’s Signal Loss
- Some people have also had luck spraying their dish with a non-stick spray
- If there was a tree in between the line of view when you install the dish, be sure to have the tree grow in size over time. When this happens, with the slightest breeze, you can lose the signal. I had a similar problem and it was the trees, the trees becoming denser with rain thus blocking the signal. Got the guys out and installed the dish away from the trees.
- Also worthy of consideration, is the need to avoid using a warped/bent/rust dish. Please take note of this.
- In case you don’t know your decoder may also be having a faulty tuner. The tuner is where the LNB cables get attached to the decoder. For instance, you can’t compare the tuner quality of a stong FTA decoder with that of Qsat. If you observe constant signal loss when it rains, maybe it is time to swap your decoder.
- A wall-mounted dish correctly aimed at the correct satellite.
- Dish bigger than the least required
- Protect your Connectors as well as your LNB cable
- Get your signal strength up to 80% or more
- A black coaxial cable RG6 and above with a waterproof connection at the LNB.
- A high-performance LNB like the Inverto Black Ultra
- A sufficient but not surplus coaxial cable.