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Old 25.08.2006, 17:39
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Sky+ (again!)

Hi

I've been reading the various threads about sky trying to get an answer to a problem I have with my sky+ box but couldn't find one so I thought I'd ask!

I subscribed to Sky+ in England then brought the box over and hooked it up to an 80cm dish. It all worked fine for ages then the picture disappeared. There was no Signal Strength or Signal Quality, the Lock Indicator read not locked and the Network ID and Transport System read 0000.

I called sky (not smart) but they figured out I was abroad and cancelled my contract! I then took the box back to England and re-registered it at a different address. That worked fine but when I brought it back I got nothing and the signal test screen was the same as above.

I know the dish is positioned ok and there is no break in the cable connection because I borrowed a normal sky box from someone which registered a signal strength just above half and a signal quality just below half. This gave a good picture although some channels can be dodgy at times, especially in bad weather.

Any ideas why the sky+ box does not register a signal and what I can do about it? I've tried to reset it in a coulpe of different ways but with no luck.

Also, can anyone recommend a place in Zürich where I can get a dual LNB as I can't get the two signals?

Your advice would be gratefully appreciated!

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  #2  
Old 25.08.2006, 17:43
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Re: Sky+ (again!)

Quote:
Also, can anyone recommend a place in Zürich where I can get a dual LNB as I can't get the two signals?
We got a dual LNB from MediaMarkt. Ccan't help with the other issues but I'm sure Lob the Sky guru can shed some light on the matter

Nicky
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Old 25.08.2006, 17:46
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Re: Sky+ (again!)

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We got a dual LNB from MediaMarkt. Ccan't help with the other issues but I'm sure Lob the Sky guru can shed some light on the matter

Nicky
Thanks for the tip!
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Old 25.08.2006, 17:54
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Re: Sky+ (again!)

Quote:
Hi

I've been reading the various threads about sky trying to get an answer to a problem I have with my sky+ box but couldn't find one so I thought I'd ask!

I subscribed to Sky+ in England then brought the box over and hooked it up to an 80cm dish. It all worked fine for ages then the picture disappeared. There was no Signal Strength or Signal Quality, the Lock Indicator read not locked and the Network ID and Transport System read 0000.

I called sky (not smart) but they figured out I was abroad and cancelled my contract! I then took the box back to England and re-registered it at a different address. That worked fine but when I brought it back I got nothing and the signal test screen was the same as above.

I know the dish is positioned ok and there is no break in the cable connection because I borrowed a normal sky box from someone which registered a signal strength just above half and a signal quality just below half. This gave a good picture although some channels can be dodgy at times, especially in bad weather.

Any ideas why the sky+ box does not register a signal and what I can do about it? I've tried to reset it in a coulpe of different ways but with no luck.

Also, can anyone recommend a place in Zürich where I can get a dual LNB as I can't get the two signals?

Your advice would be gratefully appreciated!

As Nicky says, you can get the dual LNB from Media Markt - my longtime favourite shop in Switzerland. I'd advise going for the SMART 'Titanium' 2dB model. I have one and in conjunction with an 80cm dish it gives rock solid reception of the Pesky Astra2D channels (ie BBC, ITV) in all but the heaviest of rainstorms.

The most likely problem is with your LNB - try swapping the inputs to see what happens. It could be that your primary input is screwed but the secondary one is still OK. If you swapped them, the box would work again to watch telly but you couldn't record as it uses the second input.

I've had two LNBs die on me in seven years, even though my dish is relatively sheltered being in a balcony. They get quite a baking in summer and a freezing in winter.

It could also be a problem with cabling. Maybe your box is a bit more sensitive than your borrowed one and the primary signal is degraded enough to not work. OTOH I found that when I got a Sky+ box the signal strength was quite improved on the readings that my old black Pace digibox was giving me. It goes to show that the sensitivity of the tuner can vary between boxes.


Gav
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Old 25.08.2006, 17:59
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Re: Sky+ (again!)

it's down to LNB or cabling having water in or more than likely the dish has been urged out of alignment.

or your box is nadgered.

Pray tell how they figured out your were over here? You can surpress number, get www.sipgate.co.uk account () and UK number (hints in my sig) and never ever mention Switzerland on the phone to them.

Actually did it fail around March/April?
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Old 25.08.2006, 18:08
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Re: Sky+ (again!)

Quote:
As Nicky says, you can get the dual LNB from Media Markt - my longtime favourite shop in Switzerland. I'd advise going for the SMART 'Titanium' 2dB model. I have one and in conjunction with an 80cm dish it gives rock solid reception of the Pesky Astra2D channels (ie BBC, ITV) in all but the heaviest of rainstorms.

The most likely problem is with your LNB - try swapping the inputs to see what happens. It could be that your primary input is screwed but the secondary one is still OK. If you swapped them, the box would work again to watch telly but you couldn't record as it uses the second input.

I've had two LNBs die on me in seven years, even though my dish is relatively sheltered being in a balcony. They get quite a baking in summer and a freezing in winter.

It could also be a problem with cabling. Maybe your box is a bit more sensitive than your borrowed one and the primary signal is degraded enough to not work. OTOH I found that when I got a Sky+ box the signal strength was quite improved on the readings that my old black Pace digibox was giving me. It goes to show that the sensitivity of the tuner can vary between boxes.


Gav
Cheers for the advice. I tried switching the cable to the second input socket on the box but got the same result.

I may try getting a new LNB and seeing what happens, though the one currently on the dish used to work for the sky+ box and still does work for the normal sky box so I guess it's not totally screwed

The connections in the cabling are a bit dodgy so I may replace that too.

The other thing I didn't mention was that I measured neither elevation nor direction of the dish accurately and just plonked on the balcony facing what I estimated was South then moved it left until I got a picture!
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Old 25.08.2006, 18:10
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Re: Sky+ (again!)

Quote:
The other thing I didn't mention was that I measured neither elevation nor direction of the dish accurately and just plonked on the balcony facing what I estimated was South then moved it left until I got a picture!
Funny how I almost suspected that....
Alignment gets my vote, again
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Old 25.08.2006, 18:13
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Re: Sky+ (again!)

Quote:
it's down to LNB or cabling having water in or more than likely the dish has been urged out of alignment.

or your box is nadgered.

Pray tell how they figured out your were over here? You can surpress number, get www.sipgate.co.uk account () and UK number (hints in my sig) and never ever mention Switzerland on the phone to them.

Actually did it fail around March/April?
Box definitely worked in England so it should be ok unless it got bashed on the plane while in my suitcase!

It was actually my better half who called them and she basically admitted that we were abroad when asked - I was not happy when she told me this! She didn't block the number so that must have been why. She's talking about called them again - I may hide the phone.

Funny you should ask about the timing because it originally failed in April. Does that explain things?
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Old 25.08.2006, 18:16
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Re: Sky+ (again!)

If your cabling is tatty, replace it. Are you using a window-cable?

Solar flares often are perfectly in line with the satellites in late-March and late-September - get a bad alignment and you fry your LNB.

What signal strength/quality did you have when it worked?

And deffo keep your missus away from the phone - it's not Sky's fault it doesn't work
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Old 25.08.2006, 18:17
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Re: Sky+ (again!)

Quote:
Funny how I almost suspected that....
Alignment gets my vote, again
I figured that because the normal sky box worked the alignment was fine

I bought a compass but North is different from the living room to the balcony! The balcony has loads of metal so I think that might affect it
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Old 25.08.2006, 18:19
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Re: Sky+ (again!)

Quote:
The other thing I didn't mention was that I measured neither elevation nor direction of the dish accurately and just plonked on the balcony facing what I estimated was South then moved it left until I got a picture!
Well, that was my method too. Over time I fine tuned it when I got picture breakup or reception failures on marginal channels. Then upgrading to a 3dB Invacom LNB for the old digibox meant an end to dodgy pictures forever. I got the 2dB 'SMART' dual LNB when I got the Sky+ box and it's even better, holding up in almost all weather conditions.

As Lob says, could be that your dish has been misaligned by winds - if it was marginal for your system in the first place, it wouldn't take much to make it unusable. And different boxes can be better at dealing with marginal signals.


Gav
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Old 25.08.2006, 18:21
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Re: Sky+ (again!)

Quote:
I figured that because the normal sky box worked the alignment was fine

I bought a compass but North is different from the living room to the balcony! The balcony has loads of metal so I think that might affect it
metal balcony - check. Bugger, huh - the perfect place to not use a compass but the perfect place to put your dish.

Maybe you can send your wife out on the road with a stick - lay it out at 152 (180-28) so you can use it as a sighter? Tell her to not attack traffic mind you!

The elevation is about 32 degrees btw.
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Old 25.08.2006, 18:25
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Re: Sky+ (again!)

Quote:
If your cabling is tatty, replace it. Are you using a window-cable?

Solar flares often are perfectly in line with the satellites in late-March and late-September - get a bad alignment and you fry your LNB.

What signal strength/quality did you have when it worked?

And deffo keep your missus away from the phone - it's not Sky's fault it doesn't work
I am using a window-cable. The connection between that and the other section of cable is a bit dodgy. I'll try changing it. And the LNB. And realigning the dish! That's my weekend sorted!

To be honest I only looked at the signal test acreen after the picture went so I'm not sure what it was like before hand. E4, BBC1, 2, etc, ITV 1, 2, etc were pretty poor though. They are better now (except in heavy rain)
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Old 25.08.2006, 18:29
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Weaker channels on 28e - how to see how good your signal is

You will have to go to the installer menu Services then press 4 0 1 and Select (exactly in that order) - then go to Manual Installation.

Frequency 10773 Horizontal, FEC = 5/6 and Symbol Rate=22.0 (this is a mix between Left and Right and the numeric keys)

Then go to the last line then Select, you should then get the signal meters showing you the strength of the 2D channel (BBC ITV etc)
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Old 25.08.2006, 18:38
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Re: Sky+ (again!)

Cheers for all the advice, guys. I saw the tip about checking the 2D frequency on another thread and noted it down then. I'll give it a bash.

The thought of my misses standing out on the road wielding a broom and a compass is brilliant! It would keep her away from the phone too!

Will let you know how it goes

DBJ
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Old 25.08.2006, 18:57
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Re: Sky+ (again!)

I might be be being thick here but.....

I upgraded my system to sky plus from normal sky. I thought that i would test the box to see if it was working and plugged in the one input from the single lnb into the box and nothing happened at all. (I had left the lnb as the single one which I had used for the normal system.) No picture nothing at all.
Then I changed the single lnb for the quad lnb and put 2 inputs into the box and it sprang to life. No problems.
I sort of get the impression (wrongly maybe?) that you are only sticking one input in?? That didn't work for me. But then you said that it did work but then it didn't - curious.

(Then I called sky on the uk mobile and asked them to authorise my card for sky plus. I was told they needed to send me a new card. Due to excellent advice here, I told them that was not necessary and they could just upgrade the existing card! Which they did.)

The old box (with no card) is running of the 3rd output of the quad and is great for me to watch when the sport is on!


Don't know if that is any use to you, but that was my experience FWIW
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Old 29.08.2006, 19:47
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Re: Sky+ (again!)

Hi

Just wanted to thank you all for your advice. I purchased some new cabling and an LNB. Firstly I realigned the dish to the correct direction and elevation. This lost several channels and the SS and SQ dropped so I moved it back!

I then put in the new LNB which did the trick. The sky plus box is now receiving and the rain seems to affect the signal less too.

Haven't replaced the cabling yet but may do so.

Thanks again.

DBJ
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Old 29.08.2006, 20:25
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Re: Sky+ (again!)

Quote:
I then put in the new LNB which did the trick. The sky plus box is now receiving and the rain seems to affect the signal less too.
We seem to be having lots of problems with the picture at the moment with rain, with this current weather we are getting quite a lot of picture distortion and programmes aren't recording etc... is this normal? or do you think the alignment isn't spot on therefore its sensitive to slight weather conditions?
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Old 29.08.2006, 23:09
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Re: Sky+ (again!)

Quote:
We seem to be having lots of problems with the picture at the moment with rain, with this current weather we are getting quite a lot of picture distortion and programmes aren't recording etc... is this normal? or do you think the alignment isn't spot on therefore its sensitive to slight weather conditions?
If it's badly aligned then any sort of adverse weather conditions even the sort of heavy-ish rain that we're getting now can give you problems.

A slight tweak to the dish direction should do it, or maybe even try the skew on the LNB to see if that makes a difference.


Gav
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Old 29.08.2006, 23:16
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Re: Sky+ (again!)

I agree with Gav; 80cm should cope with rain like we're having OK but you may see dropouts on BBC.

Small, minute adjustments are the key. Skew, as pointed out, can play a surprising factor in the quality on weaker channels
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