Freesat Tune Fails

BJ_Racer

New Member
I have spent some time looking at previous posts regarding my issue but none of the suggested fixes have worked and now I am stumped!!

I have had my FOXSAT-HDR now for 12 years and it has served well. Recently everything was working OK except I was not able to view a few channels (USA 5 for example). I decided to do a fresh Freesat channel tune but it said it did not recognise the postcode. From that point I lost all my Freesat channels because the tuning fails.
I can do a 'Manual Tune' which finds several hundred channels.
For some transponders (e.g. 10788 V 22000) I get 100% Strength, 100% Quality
From other transponders (e.g. 10847 V 22000) I get 0% Strength, 0% Quality
At one point I could see 11427H 27500 2/3 in my transponder list but after a factory reset it disappeared. If I add it manually I get 0% Strength 0% Quality

So I realise that if I am not getting a signal from 11427H 27500 2/3 then I cannot use the Freesat tune but I am puzzled because I believe that that transponder controls the EPG. Until I tried to re-tune the box, the EPG worked fine and I had all the channels (with a few exceptions). So what is the root-cause of my problem?
I know that other posts state that the cause is a dish misalignment or LNB failure but that does not seem to explain why my problems started with the re-tune.

I had tried several suggested fixes (a) disconnecting the hard drive and then rebooting (b) factory reset. Neither worked for me.

FYI: My dish is old. It has one LNB and my box had the custom firmware installed several years ago. I do not have another box to test with. I can view the FTA channels found by the manual tune from the transponders proving a signal and I can view recordings on the hard-drive.

Thanks for reading this far. Any advise gratefully received
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Looking at this purely from an engineering point of view:

I know that other posts state that the cause is a dish misalignment or LNB failure but that does not seem to explain why my problems started with the re-tune.
Why not? You had cached data which enabled reception, which was wiped by a retune. If you now can't pick up a fresh set of data bceause of dish misalignment or LNB failure, nothing else you try will solve your problem.

There is no point chasing other possibilities until you sort out why you are not receiving all the transponders you should.
 
OP
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BJ_Racer

New Member
Thanks for the quick reply 'Black Hole'. I can understand the channel caching and why that cache would be lost on an attempted re-tune. However surely the EPG is real-time. Wouldn't a dish alignment issue or LNB failure break the EPG pretty much immediately?
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
I'll defer to people who actually use a Foxsat to answer that one, but from what I gather on this forum: no.

Regardless, you have a known fault to address. I know you hope to be able to solve the problem in some magic way, but ultimately the fault will still be there unless you deal with it.
 
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BJ_Racer

New Member
Thanks again. I am happy to do whatever is necessary to fix the problem but I just don't want the hassle of climbing up ladders and replacing the LNB / cables to then find out that it was a faulty tuner or some other glitch in the box itself. Likewise I do not want to buy a new box and find that the problem was caused by a dish/LNB issue after all. I guess that without a spare box that I know works, I will never know for sure.
 

Trev

The Dumb One
Don't start going down rat holes of assumption.
Can you actually receive at good signal strength 11426, H, 27500, 2/3? If not, that's your primary problem.
 
OP
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BJ_Racer

New Member
I get 0% strength and quality from 11428, H, 27500, 2/3 and 11426 V 27500 A. I do not have 11426, H, 27500, 2/3 in my list.
I appreciate that that is my problem but I am still uncertain of the root cause: dish alignment, faulty LNB, faulty tuner, water in the cable....

I am hoping for some diagnostic pointers. For instance does the fact that a manual tune finds ~140 stations and I get 100% strength from some transponders indicate that the LNB is working or is that a naïve assumption?
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
I just don't want the hassle of climbing up ladders and replacing the LNB / cables to then find out that it was a faulty tuner or some other glitch in the box itself. Likewise I do not want to buy a new box and find that the problem was caused by a dish/LNB issue after all.
That is always the Catch 22 for DIYers - access to test equipment so as to avoid red herrings. This is where calling in the professionals can make sense. However, given the Foxsat seems to work in general, I don't think that's where the suspicion should start.

I am hoping for some diagnostic pointers. For instance does the fact that a manual tune finds ~140 stations and I get 100% strength from some transponders indicate that the LNB is working or is that a naïve assumption?
A complete and accurate catalogue of what works and what doesn't would help people "in the know" see if there is a pattern and whether that pattern points to a particular problem. For example: satellite reception is split into four bands (high or low, horizontal or vertical), which the LNB is responsible for sorting out under command from the receiver. Also, there are several satellites involved not just one, so misalignment could (potentially) drop some transponders and not others. So far, there is not enough information to work on.
 

Trev

The Dumb One
I appreciate that that is my problem but I am still uncertain of the root cause: dish alignment, faulty LNB, faulty tuner, water in the cable....
Could be any of the above. so try to eliminate them one at a time'
For instance does the fact that a manual tune finds ~140 stations and I get 100% strength from some transponders indicate that the LNB is working or is that a naïve assumption?
Naive assumption. There are 4 possible 'states' that the LNB can be in, and you can loose 1 or more without necessarily loosing the others.

11428H is good enough for government work. The box's AFC will pull it in if its there (which it ain't.) Have a look at Kings of Sat for 28E CLICK This lists all the transponders/ their bands and polarity.
Try a few of them In both High/low band and V/H.
My suspicion is that you have lost all H signals (Wild guess based on no evidence)

@Black Hole If OP is getting a bunch of TPs on non-Freesat tune, then it seems more likely a missing quadrant (H/L/V/H)
(another wild guess) than dish miss-alignment. But until we have a reply to my suggestion above, it's pretty pointless to guess at what else the problem could be. Eliminate one thing at a time and don't go down rat holes of possibilities.
 
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BJ_Racer

New Member
@Trev @Black Hole thank you both for your help and patience. I have been through the transponder list and attached the results. I am either getting 100%, for which I state "Y" or 0% for which I state "N". I started from a list of Freesat Channels and from that list I do not see some transponders in my manual tune list, so I marked those with "?". It may be that I was working from an old list. I did not list any transponder beyond 12382 H because I don't think there are any Freesat Channels beyond that.

@Trev I appreciate the logic of "eliminate them one at a time" but if I start fiddling with the alignment and then find that the LNB is broken then I not only need to replace the LNB but also fix the alignment issue that I have introduced. So I am hoping that you experts can help to narrow it down a little.

The majority of transponders that I get a signal from are 'V' but some are 'H' (e.g. 11261 H, 11307 H).

I should add that the manual tune does not seem to be totally repeatable. The first time I did it I could watch Channel4 HD but after another manual tune that is no longer in the EPG.
 

Attachments

  • Satellite_List.zip
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MikeSh

Well-Known Member
The first time I did it I could watch Channel4 HD but after another manual tune that is no longer in the EPG.
Channel 4 officially stopped transmitting in HD on Freesat many months ago - dispute over the cost apparently.
If you really were getting it then must be some 'off-grid' thing like somehow catching the Sky version.
 

Luke

Well-Knwοn Мember
Channel 4 officially stopped transmitting in HD on Freesat many months ago - dispute over the cost apparently.
If you really were getting it then must be some 'off-grid' thing like somehow catching the Sky version.
What happened was that the freesat epg stopped including Channel 4 HD. The transmission of Channel 4 HD remains as it was.
It is still possible to tune into it using non-freesat mode. It use to be possible with a foxsat to then use custom firmware to add it to the epg, but a few months ago there were some reports of the channel no longer sticking in the epg overnight.
 

MikeSh

Well-Known Member
The transmission of Channel 4 HD remains as it was.
That makes sense as it is still available on Sky. I doubt they'd transmit the same data twice but would just alter the 'visibility'.

Maybe I should look into non-Freesat on our 1010S, though I'm not sure we watch enough C4 for it to be worth the bother.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Has anyone (with satellite experience) spotted any pattern in the spreadsheet in post 10? It doesn't look like it correlates with the LNB to me (but I stand to be corrected). Are the "tuned" services all from the same satellite?

Is it relevant that the "N"s seem to be at the bottom of the table?
 

dandnsmith

Forum Supporter
A while back I had a problem with reception in Spain (Alicante/Cartagena area) which proved to be the satellite box. To analyse this I checked the receivable channels according to lowband/highband, H/V.
I got some odd results, so tried twisting the LNB - at this time the satellites I was using had slightly different orientations.
In the end I traced it back to my box not doing the L/H switching.
This is largely irrelevant, as I suspect that the group of satellites now doing the service are all aligned - but the vital info not supplied (which I cannot remember or find in my saved files) is the ranges for the low and high bands.
HTH
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
This might shine some light on it (it lists whether any particular transponder is V or H, Lo or Hi, which satellite it is on 2E, 2F, 2G, and whether it is UK or Europe): https://en.satexpat.com/tv/uk/freesat/. The OP should go through it compared with his hit/miss table and see whether there is any correlation.

the vital info not supplied (which I cannot remember or find in my saved files) is the ranges for the low and high bands.
For information: the above link puts 11686 and below in low band, and 11836 and above in high band. In fact, the great majority of the Freesat transponders are in low band.

From http://www.satcure.co.uk/tech/lnb.htm#test (which seems to be a pretty authoritative website on all things terrestrial and satellite TV reception):
The only way to fully test an LNB is to fit it to a suitably aligned dish and connect a satellite receiver. Then check to make sure every channel is there. If no channels are missing and if it continues to work through a hot day and a cold night, the LNB is fine.

However, if some channels still appear to be missing (with a known good LNB), this could be the fault of the cable (bad connection, water ingress or kinked or wrong type), the receiver or the dish (distorted or misaligned) or local interference (DECT phone, car radar detector, etc.). So then you need to use a process of elimination by swapping the dish, the cable and the receiver (for a different make/model as some receivers won't work correctly with some LNBs). Note that some wall-plate connectors can also cause "channels missing" problems and some electronic devices (DECT 'phone base stations, "Snooper" type radar detectors and microwave ovens) can cause similar problems. I've even had it reported that a bad battery connection in a laptop computer wiped out some channels!
...and:
The usual causes of "failure" are:-

1. Bad connection at the LNB.
2. Bad connection at the LNB.
3. Bad connection at the LNB.
4. Bad connection at the receiver.

The causes are:-

1. Incorrect F plug fitting.

2. Moisture ingress caused by incorrect weatherproofing and/or lack of silicone grease.

3. Using RG6, which has a steel core wire that has a very high resistance compared with copper AND is prone to rusting.

4. Using thin "shotgun" cable where the core wire is thin and doesn't create enough contact pressure.

There's also a possibility of cable damage, although it would usually be obvious that this was the cause (unless the installer is ignoring it and blaming the LNB for the fault, knowing that he'll make an LNB sale AND get called back).

The reason that LNB replacement often "cures" the fault is that it disturbs and cleans the bad connection, which returns a short time later as the connection goes bad again. So it's sensible to clean the connection and try again before replacing an LNB.

It's got to be worth reading through that website to see whether anything rings a bell, such as "what is LNB skew?".
 

dandnsmith

Forum Supporter
That satexpat is new to me - but then its been a few years since I sold up in Spain, and so had no need of it. I would have benefitted greatly from it had it been there at the time of my problems.
 

botus

New Member
mine randomly says no signal strength across one or both LNBs but you are watching stuff OK reboot and it all normal till it decides to play stupid again????

one setting turns off freesat completely I forget what its called…. but set to this the box finds everything including Quest HD, Ch 4 HD and Aljazeera HD, but the guide never populates and you can't use to record

its picture quality is 40% of a decent device, frankly the box is dreadful, how why anyone perseveres with it I don't know. I bought for 40 quid as an experiment and it was a waste of 40 quid and the petrol to pick it up
 
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