The less experience you have tracking a satellite dish, the more likely you are going to encounter some of the problems listed here. I am also hereby stating that some or many professional satellite installers out there can also encounter some of the problems / issues that am going to list here due to either nonchalance, negligence or absentmindedness on their part. Some very good installers are also very stubborn and they will keep trying to use a particular satellite dish component / accessories even though they are aware it might be faulty. That being said, this guide will serve both geeks and newbies alike
TROUBLES ARISING FROM TRACKING A PARTICULAR SATELLITE POSITION
I will use DStv as my case study and use the frequency “12245 h 27500” assuming you are trying to track DStv for a client and you are new to the system or maybe you are not even new and you are trying to use a satfinder or strong decoder you now encounter some or all of the following problems:
No Signal No Quality On the tracking Device
note: by a tracking device, I mean the decoder you are using to track the satellite channels or a sat tracker / finder. And on the device, you have got no quality(quality is usually on the left pane and the signal strength is on the right usually)
Causes & Solution: If you do not have signal quality, it means you have missed something right from the outset and there is no way you can get any signal strength if you have got 0% signal quality. in fact, if you prepare well, your signal quality should be up to 90+%. Your lack of signal quality is as a result of some or all of the followings:
- You have not attached your lnb cable to both ends of your tracking device and the to the lnbf on the dish out side. I mean if you fasten your lnb cable to the corresponding lnb in port of your decoder/ tracker, but you fail to do same to the lnbf of the mounted dish outside or maybe the cable fell off out of the fconnector, or maybe you peeled off and secure your lnb cable to your F-connector wrongly, you will get No signal quality. The only solution here is for you to simply to ensure the lnb cable are secured and connected properly. This is majorly the basic cause of no quality
- Another cause is that your lnb cable may be severed, broken or too weak due to time. In this case, the quality may fail to come or it may be fluctuating. Solution: please double check the cable and replace where possible
- Maybe your lnbf is faulty or malfunctioning.Solution: please borrow another lnbf for your test before buying a new one.
- Maybe all the above mentioned are not true in your own case, then it might be that your tracking device has frozen. Solution: restart your decoder / sat finder
- Finally and in the most extreme case; It means thunder or high voltage has damaged your decoder’s tuner. Or maybe be your inbuilt decoder’s tuner is spoilt. Please take this to a skilled computer engineer for repare or if your own situation is that of a branded decoder, take it to the dealer from whom you bought it.
IF YOU GOT THE SIGNAL QUALITY BUT YOU HAVE GOT NO SIGNAL STRENGHT
When you have signal quality but you have a very poor signal strength, no signal strength or fluctuating signal strength, then look into the following causes:
- You have not even attempted to track the satellite at all. Solution: please insert the tracking frequency and track the satellite accordingly.
- Or Maybe you have already tracked the sat but when you returned to your satellite settings, your signal strength is zero or red. Solutions: As long as you are sure you tracked and got green perfectly, simply use autoscan or blinscan your device and you will get all the channels available on the frequencies used.
- you might have selected the wrong frequency for tracking. Solution; crosscheck your frequency
- Maybe be after hitting green and while you were tightening your mounted dish, the dislodged and you lost the signal. Solution: please scan all over and be more careful while you are fastening the bolts this time around.
Must read: how to track a satellite dish
AND IF YOU HAVE LOW SIGNAL STRENGHT AFTER TRACKING
In most cases, even if yo have the best tracking equipment and you are a skilled satellite installer, you may end up with poor signal strength. The followings might be some of the causes.
- The dish you are trying to use is too small. You will not compare the signal quality of tracking canal 22w or dstv 36e on 60cm with that of 90cm dish. Solution: if your case of low signal has led to manifest unwatchable experience, get a bigger dish.
- Malfunctioning lnbf: your lnbf may cause your signal strength to drop drastically and also increase automatically. Solution: get another lnbf to test before buying another one for your dish
- Low beam in your area: If the satellite service provider has a low beam in your location, you will get extremely or no signal strength. in fact, some beam does not extend to some location at all. For example, we do not get canal reunion 16e in Nigeria at all. In the case of beams and footprints, you may not be able to help the situation at all as it totally depends on the satellite provider. Those living in MENA may not get dstv multichoice signals. Solution: if you are 100% that the signal is in your location, you may use a bigger dish. Otherwise, track a trackable satellite in your area.
- Good quality in the afternoon but poor quality in the night and vice versa: This can be caused by combinations of two factors;1. below par lnbf(in the case of cband lnbfs), faulty lnbf or ii. Small dish
INABILITY TO HIT GREEN-WHEN YOU ARE UNABLE TO TRACK A SATELLITE SUCCESSFULLY
This happens mainly to new entrants into satellite dish installations. The followings could be the causes:
- The dish you are using is warped / dented / damaged / rust. Solution: it depends on how strong the beam is, if you use a dish that is out of its normal shape, you may not hit green.
- You will also not get the signal if the beam of the satellite you are trying to nail does not extend to your location. Solution: track another satellite entirely.
- Your dish is smaller than the required size for the satellite yu are trying to track: Solution: please meet the dish size requirements.
- The weather is unfavourable as at the time you are trying to track the channels: Solution; try it again later when the weather must have been more favourable.
- Wrong frequency inserted into your scanning device this might cause no signal or wrong channels
- A Wrong polarisation of your LNBF(this might cause either no signal or you getting the wrong channels). set your lnbf accordingly. Your H should be H and V should be V.
- You are using your dish and lnbf to face the wrong direction. For example, your E should be E. Mytv Africa is on 16E. You should not attempt tracking mytv on 16W.