Dish Reception Issue - Resolved Finally

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an RV or an interest in RVing!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

Foto-n-T

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 1, 2012
Posts
1,121
Location
Cody, Wyoming - Sometimes
I'm posting this for informational purposes and hopefully it will save somebody a headache somewhere down the road if they ever run into this particular situation.

We use a non-HD Dish DVR receiver that gets taken out of the house and put in the 5th wheel when we travel.  The dish itself is tri-pod mounted as we camp in wooded areas often and a roof mount won't work at least half the time.

This summer I left for Idaho a week before my wife.  When she came up she brought the Dish receiver but neglected to bring the splitter as she didn't realize that it traveled with the receiver.  I made a phone call to Dish to verify exactly what type of splitter I needed and they directed me to a local Radio Shack where they handed me the "correct" one.  Although I had some issues with getting a signal initially I chocked it up to the fact that we were far enough north that we could almost smell Canada and that the satellite(s) were all the way down over the equator.

Almost immediately we started having issues with losing one or the other of the satellites, partial recordings and partial signal loss, again I blamed it on being so far north.  This wasn't a constant thing but it was enough to irritate especially when you record something that you really want to see only to find that it showed as recorded but didn't exist.  Over the course of the last several months I have completely replaced every inch of coax as well as the couplers and I even took a spare LNB and replaced that.  Each time I made a change I figured "this has got to do it" and every time within a day or two we'd wind up with a signal loss, $%&#@!!

We spent a week at home before our departure for Texas and in hindsight I realize that we had zero problems while we were home which I of course at the time assumed was because we were farther south.  Since we have semi-permanently landed now in Texas we once again started having problems and I was just short of admitting defeat and calling Dish to have a service call ($95) and possibly replacing the receiver.  As a last ditch effort to avoid spending $95 worth of my beer money I asked our neighbor down here (a fulltimer) if he might have a spare splitter and he just happened to have one that actually said "Dish" on it.  I pulled the Radio Shack one off and installed the "Dish" splitter and low and behold the problem has been eliminated.

It is my understanding that cable splitters don't work with satellite receivers but now I know that if you don't have the exact "correct" splitter then your reception is going to be compromised.  I just wish it hadn't taken me three and a half months to come up with a solution.  As my first flight instructor told me many years ago, "If you're flying along all fat dumb and happy and all of a sudden the big fan in front of you stops, undo whatever it was that you just did and it will more than likely fix the problem."  DUH!!!
 

Larry N.

Well-known member
Joined
May 26, 2010
Posts
7,874
Location
Westminster, Colorado
As my first flight instructor told me many years ago, "If you're flying along all fat dumb and happy and all of a sudden the big fan in front of you stops, undo whatever it was that you just did and it will more than likely fix the problem."

That's a prime tenet of any kind of troubleshooting. Glad you fixed it, and thanks for sharing the info.
 

John From Detroit

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Posts
24,938
Location
Davison Michigan
Cable splitters can not deal with the frequencies of Satellite TV, this is why your normal TV cable is RG-59 but Sat cable is RG-6, both are about the same "Ohms" (Impedeance)  and for TV use can be used interchangablly.. but at the higher frequencies the losses in the cheaper 59 go way, way way way up.

You really need a special satellite splitter or switch.. as you figured out.
 

Alfa38User

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 4, 2007
Posts
6,676
The major reason the average splitter (3 way) does not work is that the LNBs mounted on the dish get their various levels of power/polarities over the coax cable from the receiver in order to operate. Three way splitters do not pass these voltages through properly. Barrel connectors (for joining two pieces of coax together) do not have this problem. I have been told that there are some splitters that will function and are available but I have yet to find one.
 

BobNSam

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 30, 2010
Posts
1,231
Location
Waco, TX
Radio Shack splitters may not meet the bandwidth requirements of Dish and DirecTV of 0.2 to 2.2 GHz. On-line, the premium gold plated splitter at Radio Shack is rated to only 2 GHz which may cause problems.
My DirecTV installer informed me that splitters, feedthroughs, barrel connectors, etc. should have a blue dielectric (insulator) instead of white or it may not work. Had to replace all barrel connectors in stick house (included in initial setup) to meet signal strength requirements at each receiver.
Bob
 

Foto-n-T

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 1, 2012
Posts
1,121
Location
Cody, Wyoming - Sometimes
Ya know, I remember reading that about the "blue" barrel connectors some time ago.  Part of my "throwing parts at it" method of trouble shooting was to replace the barrel connector between the LNB and the coax that runs into the rig and I did use one of those "gold" ones with the blue middle.  The old one that was on it was probably ten years old and had been through numerous floods, dunkings and general foul weather and it showed.  Unfortunately since the splitter was the issue about all that I achieved with that upgrade was to have a shiny new gold barrel coupler instead of the corroded old one with the white middle.

I guess what irritates me the most (other than my own ignorance) was the fact that the Dish Network supported Radio Shack employee in Cour 'd Alene was the one that handed the splitter to me and told me that it would work on my system.  I guess it's kinda like asking an RV salesman for advice on whether a Prius will be able to tow a 35' TT Toyhauler up a 9% grade,

"Sure, just turn off the headlights and radio so you'll have more voltage going to the motor and you'll be fine." :eek:
 

Clay L

Well-known member
Joined
May 28, 2005
Posts
1,725
Location
X Full Timer Now Palisade CO
Alfa38User said:
The major reason the average splitter (3 way) does not work is that the LNBs mounted on the dish get their various levels of power/polarities over the coax cable from the receiver in order to operate. Three way splitters do not pass these voltages through properly. Barrel connectors (for joining two pieces of coax together) do not have this problem. I have been told that there are some splitters that will function and are available but I have yet to find one.

The only splitters that will work between the receiver and the dish are special ones that will pass the dc volts needed by the LNB.
RCA makes one they call a "diplexer". One port is labeled "DC Pass" and that's the one that connects to the sat receiver. They are available at Radio Shack and a number of other places. Prices vary from $3 to $20 depending on where you buy it. The RCA number is "RCA D920 Diplexer".

Other companies also make them and have other names for them. One I have seen was "Satellite Splitter".
I have seen  them at Lowes and Home Depot (large hardware store chains in the US)
 
Top Bottom