Harbor Beach, MI
5/10/04
Service Call (2 receiver system)  

This turned out to be the service call from Hell!

#1 - Both receivers were bad; Living room had 0 signal strength; bedroom - the receiver keeps cylcing power on it's own. Both receivers had no 13/18 volts out.

#2 - BR receiver line showed a short from the dish. Suspecting a connector with braid on it (but it worked since Nov), traced it back to the LNB, port 2 shorted. This is when I noticed another problem...

 
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#3 - Sats B & C obviously blocked by this pine tree. The customer told me that the house already had an 18" dish on it, that the installers took it off and put this one (Phase III) in it's place. I used my meter (since the receiver had no voltage out) to test signal strength at the receiver with Sats B & C... C very little to none and B none! Meaning no locals when they come in June. Notice also the cable running outside the mast tube, black tape and excess cable stuffed up under the yoke.

 
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#4 - OK, now we know the installers KNEW they had no line-of-sight with B&C... they didn't bother to tilt the dish!

The customer purchased this system from a local dealer (Cook TV of Bad Axe) and I assume it was installed by them as well.

 
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Not a funtionality problem but the wires were stapled using metal staples. This has been a no-no for quite awhile and these guys just put this system in the end of Nov '03. Also, they "bonded" their ground block to the cable company's ground block which was going to a ground rod (not bonded to house ground). The dish itself was not grounded, just the coax. Since the LNB and both receivers were the only things in the house that failed, could this improper ground be the reason? Also, the coax were not fully flush in the Snap-n-Seal connectors and were not outdoor type. This install was a good example of what not to do! OK, they did use drip loops.

 
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I ended up pulling most of the cable and relocating the dish to the back of the house where #1 there was a clear line-of-sight and #2 close access to the house ground.

 
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Clear line-of-sight (small old apple tree in front of and well below 110)

 

 
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Cabling from dish to ground, back up and left/right to the receivers.
 
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Closer view of ground block

All together, this service call took me nearly 3 hours, had 2 bad [almost] new receivers, 1 bad triple LNB, a dish move and an almost total re-wire. The dealer should get charged back for this crappy install!

 
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