This post was most recently updated on May 4th, 2019
The less experienced you in satellite dish installation, the more likely you are going to encounter some of the problems that would be listed here. Many professional satellite installers out there can also encounter problems/issues during dish/antenna installation. Although this may be due to little attention to small details, nonchalance, negligence or absentmindedness on the part of the installer. Be that as it may, in this post I will share some tips on how to troubleshoot satellite signal problems during satellite tv dish installation.
Troubleshoot Satellite Signal Problems
I will use DStv position at 36ºE as my case study. The frequency to “12245 h 27500“. Let’s assume you are trying to track DStv for a client and you are new to the system and you are trying to use a sat-finder or a receiver like strong and you now encounter all or some of the following problems. This post only summarises the problems satellite tv installers could encounter during installation. If you want an easy-to-understand guide on satellite dish installation, read our article here.
No Signal No Quality On the Tracking Device”
Noteworthy; 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 to No Signal and No Quality on the Tracking Device
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% merely from connecting the coaxial cable to it. Your lack of signal quality is as a result of some or all of the followings:
- You have not connected your LNB cable to both your tracking device and the LNBf on the dish outside. I mean maybe, you have fastened your coaxial 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.
- Another cause if when the coaxial cable falls off the f-connector, or maybe you secure your LNB cable to your F-connector wrongly.
- furthermore, it could be that the distance between your dish outside is too far from where you place your decoder or sat finder. The ideal distance between your LNBf and your decoder should not be more than 30-meters
- Another cause is that your LNB cable may be severed, broken or too worn. In this case, the quality may fail to come or it may be fluctuating.
- Also, both the quality and signal may be non-existence if your decoder or sat finder has frozen due to a minor bug with the decoder.
- Faulty or malfunctioning LNBf
- 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.
Solutions to No Signal Quality and No Strenght during Installation:
- For wrong coaxial cable connection, please redo your connection and get it right this time. If the LNBcable is bad, replace it.
- For a faulty LNBF, first borrow another LNBf to test, if it works, replace the faulty one you are using. I will advise every professional satellite installer to go with at least 2 LNBfs for their installations.
- Please take this to a skilled computer engineer for repair or if your own situation is that of a branded decoder, take it to the dealer from whom you bought it.
- The solution to the frozen decoder/sat finder bug is to simply restart your tracking device. if this doesn’t work, reload the decoder’s software
Troubleshoot Satellite Signal Problems When you’ve gotten the Signal Quality but no Signal Strength
When you have the “signal quality” but you have very poor signal strength, no signal strength or fluctuating signal strength, then look into the following causes:
- The first cause is that maybe you have not even attempted to track the satellite at all. Solution: please insert the tracking frequency and track the satellite accordingly.
- By contrast, maybe you already tracked the satellite and gotten a good signal quality. However, when you later returned to your satellite settings, your signal strength is zero or on a low percentage. This happens when you use a special frequency to track a satellite as opposed to the major one. The Solution for this is to: simply use autoScan or blindscan your device and you will get all the channels available on the frequencies used.
- Also, if you select the wrong frequency for tracking, you will get no Signal strength. Solution; crosscheck your frequency and use the correct one.
- Another cause could be that after getting your desired signal strength, you mistakenly shake dislodged the dish. This can result in loss of signal. Solution: Do the satellite tracking all over and be more careful while you are fastening the bolts this time around.
Troubleshoot satellite signal problems Arising from Poor Signal Strength After the Dish/Antenna Installation
In most cases, even if you 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 a 90cm dish. Solution: if your case of a poor signal has resulted in a very poor viewing 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 satellite beam or footprint in that location: 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 c-band lnbf), faulty lnbf or ii. Small dish
Reasons why you are Unable to Get a Good Signal While Tracking a Satellite TV
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 you 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. Solution: You may need a compass. At this point, make use of your phone’s compass or get a Sat finder with a built-in compass. A compass will allow you to isolate bad weather which means you can return to complete the installation at a later date