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DTV HR20 Signal affected by other devices on same breaker

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
About a year ago, I remodeled the upper level of my shop to house a dedicated game/movie room that was separate from the house. I called DirecTv and had them install the lines running from the dish to the room.

I used it for a few months, then moved the TV to the house in anticipation of the purchase of all new components specifically for this room later in the year.

I now have a Sony SXRD, Onkyo 705, PS3, Xbox 360, and a HTPC.

These components as well as the HR20 are connected to a Tripplite Home Theater UPS. with everything hooked up through filtering only and just the DVR connected through the battery output.

I also have added an In-wall A/C unit and a mini-fridge and microwave for drinks and popcorn for movie nights.


The appliances are connected to a different outlet, but i know they share the same circuit.

At this moment both tuners signal strength meters are bouncing between 70% and 79%. Now I expect the signal to be lower than the Hughes Tivo and Hughes Tivo HD receivers in the house because they are both close to the Dish, while the HR20 has a cable run of about 70 feet, but I don't know if they should be this low as well as fluctuate so much. The tuners inside the house seem to never have signal problems.

The severe problems start when:
The compressor in the A/C is on
The compressor in the Fridge is on
The microwave is on

Or if anything else that takes a large amount of power (like a vacuum) is on.
All of these appliances are at least 10 feet away.

If any of these things turn on, the signal will go down by at least 20% which will cause either a loss of signal or severe pixelation, audio loss and will not recover until the appliance is switched back off.

My attempts at troubleshooting include:

had 6 trees cut down that the Directv guy said may be or will become a problem, hoping that would help the signal.

I then thought that maybe the UPS was causing issues, so I plugged the HR20 directly into the wall socket and it had no positive effect.

Then, just to see what it would do if I isolated the HR20's Power input from the wall completely I unplugged the UPS from the wall and ran the unit off of the UPS' battery backup power, and to my surprise, It lost ALL signal.

Supposedly my UPS has a filter, this has no positive effect, and I still don't understand why when the UPS is powering the HR20 solely on battery power it has NO signal. that aggravates me further, because I bought the UPS to power the DVR in the event of a power failure, so It could continue to record TV.

I have searched well, and have not heard of any similar issues, I'm truly stumped .
post #2 of 20
I'll bet some of the more knowledgeable people on this forum will help you out. Sure sounds like an electrical problem to me.
post #3 of 20
Strange one, just throwing some ideas out there.

Have you tried the HR20 in a location in your house that isn't having this problem? Need to rule out if it's a cabling problem from the dish and/or wiring issue in your room and/or just a faulty HR20.

I'd trace the cabling back from the dish and make sure it's grounded properly also.
post #4 of 20
Are the D* dish mast and coax entry point (into the house) both grounded to your home's main electrical system ground?

See: http://www.dbsinstall.com/whatis/Whatisgood-5.asp
post #5 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by arxaw View Post

Are the D* dish mast and coax entry point (into the house) both grounded to your home's main electrical system ground?

See: http://www.dbsinstall.com/whatis/Whatisgood-5.asp

More importantly, are the ground connections "single ended", and not a loop? The shield on the coax can induce noise into the center (signal) wire if it accidentally is the ground connection for other devices. One of those testers with the three lights on them will tell you if any of the outlets involves have bad grounds.

The other possibility is the microwave. I have one that is just a little leaky and has interfered with receivers in the past. The test for that is to push the door of the microwave to make it seal tighter.

Ernie
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
Im going to try to see if its a grounding issue like suggested today, and then ill report back. thanks for the suggestions!
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
So I went outside to look over everything after reading the article about grounding. I have to say, that would make the most sense so far...

Everything looking fine with exception to the 2 ground wires leading to the dish from the switch, so i pulled them off, striped the ends and re attached them.



Other than that, I couldn't see anything else, and unfortunately it had no effect on performance.

I noticed that that the article suggested very strict rules for what is and isnt an acceptable ground.... The HR20 is in a SEPARATE building from where the dish is mounted and where the other receivers are. would this cause an issue?

arxaw: You ask if the entry point into the house is grounded... both the switch and dish are grounded, but they are on the house where as the HR20 is in a seperate building. all the directv guy did was run 2 lines across the lawn and drilled holes in the wall where they then go straight to the box.

Ernie: im not sure what you are referring to when you say "loop". also, what is this tester you refer too? is it something i can buy at lowes? also, both tuners lose signal equally, so i cant imagine its a faulty cable, because they both do it. I am sure its not the microwave, because anything will cause a loss.

After checking all of my receivers, they all seem to say the signal strength is about 73. isnt that a little low? Should I have my dish realigned while im at it?
post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
OK, I went on the roof with a small tv and one of my receivers. I was able to get the signal on my tivo from 73 to 76, which inst huge, but i know it cant hurt. I also took both the ground leads off of the dish, sanded them clean and re attached them tightly.
post #9 of 20
Ernie is referring to one of these - http://www.amazon.com/Gardner-GRT-50.../dp/B00004WLJV

You can get them at most hardware stores.

I'm still curious what happens when you try the HR20 in the main house where the rest of the receivers are fine.
post #10 of 20
Just to toss my 2¢ in. We don't know the capacity of that circuit. Let's hope it's 20 amps. In any event, there's a lot of load on that single circuit, especially when compressors kick in. It could be that the HR20 is starved for juice. Have you added up all the load ratings for all of the units connected?

How about putting in a separate circuit just for the electronics and upgrading the line conditioning device?

Dana
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by barfdogg View Post

...I noticed that that the article suggested very strict rules for what is and isnt an acceptable ground.... The HR20 is in a SEPARATE building from where the dish is mounted and where the other receivers are. would this cause an issue?

All of your TVs and all of your DirecTV equipment (boxes, coax, dish mast, multiswitch) must be connected to one common ground source.

If the electrical outlets in the separate building have a different ground source than the main building ground souce, that could very well be part of your problem. If the separate grounds can't be bonded together, consider installing a separate DirecTV dish for outbuilding.
post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by drbonbi View Post

Just to toss my 2¢ in. We don't know the capacity of that circuit. Let's hope it's 20 amps. In any event, there's a lot of load on that single circuit, especially when compressors kick in. It could be that the HR20 is starved for juice. Have you added up all the load ratings for all of the units connected?

How about putting in a separate circuit just for the electronics and upgrading the line conditioning device?

Dana

Yeah, I know its a lot of stuff, but it is 20 amps, and im comfortably under that.

At the very least I have been eying a new conditioner.....
post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by arxaw View Post

All of your TVs and all of your DirecTV equipment (boxes, coax, dish mast, multiswitch) must be connected to one common ground source.

If the electrical outlets in the separate building have a different ground source than the main building ground souce, that could very well be part of your problem. If the separate grounds can't be bonded together, consider installing a separate DirecTV dish for outbuilding.

I know they are separate, and that has been a concern...

Could I just run a 60 foot line from the 2nd building to the point in the first building?
post #14 of 20
Have you tried the HR20 in the main house yet?
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by barfdogg View Post

I know they are separate, and that has been a concern...

You're saying there are two separate building electical systems (& grounds)? If so, I'm not going to recommend anything except to contact a licensed electrician. Or put in a separate dish for building #2 and disconnect the coax running between the two buildings.
post #16 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjones73 View Post

Have you tried the HR20 in the main house yet?

Yeah, seems to work fine in there.
post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by arxaw View Post

You're saying there are two separate building electical systems (& grounds)? If so, I'm not going to recommend anything except to contact a licensed electrician. Or put in a separate dish for building #2 and disconnect the coax running between the two buildings.

Well, there is a house, that is 25 years old, and the second building/shop was built about 10 years ago.

When they built it, they ran a separate line from the meter (which is not attached to the house) so they are separate.

I actually have a second dish, however i live in a heavily wooded area (washington) and the only good place to put a dish is on one corner of the house, and from what i understand is that it would then need to be grounded to the house which would defeat the purpose.

Ill be moving in 2 years, so Id hate to pay for an electrician.
post #18 of 20
you mentioned you cleaned and re-attached the ground wires to the satellite distribution box. What is the "other end" of the ground wires attached to ? Hopefully it is NOT a water outlet !

I think the issue may revolve around the possibility of different grounding potentials in the two locations. The satellite coax is trying to bond or jumper the two grounds together. That is where an electrician comes in. You may need to consider a unified grounding system between the two buildings, since they both attach at the same meter (common neutral/ground there) but split to two separate buildings. This is a very common problem on farm outbuildings where there is actually a measurable "stray" voltage on the ground wires due to different grounding potentials at each building.

Be safe....get a qualified electrician who has the equipment to check and test the grounds and identify any stray voltage and/or ground potential problems.
post #19 of 20
Thread Starter 
In case anyone is interested, the second building has no ground for some reason....

So i'll be calling an electrician.

I guess thats what you get for finding the cheapest contractor
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by barfdogg View Post

In case anyone is interested, the second building has no ground for some reason....

So i'll be calling an electrician.

Good idea. You definitely need a unified ground system.

In the mean time, I would temporarily disconnect the D* coax running to the second building. Stray "ground loop" voltage can ruin TVs, DVRs and other electronics.
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