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FreeSat Random Channel With No Signal

  • 06-06-2022 10:22pm
    Registered Users Posts: 651 ✭✭✭

    I have an oldish Sagem FreeSat receiver and in the last few days I am randomly losing more channels as they are not getting any signal. I get a black screen with the following message:

    Loss of signal - Insufficient signal level or signal quality

    There does not seem to be a pattern - I can't get Channel 4 anymore but can get 4+1. Sky News went tonight - no BBC 1HD ,2,3 or 4 but getting regular BBC1. All the ITV channels are there, no E4 but get E4+1, can get More4 but not More4 +1. It carries on like that all the way through. EPG works fine and all the channels are listing.

    When watching a channel that is working many are starting to flicker in and out, a black screen for a second then back in, it looks like they eventually may all go.

    Has this happened to anyone else? I've checked all the cables on receiver and TV. I've rescanned all the channels. The cables into the LNB seem to be strong although I have not opened it up to see they are connected properly inside. To me it seems like a bad connection somewhere. Any idea if I need a new receiver? A new LNB? A dish?



  • Registered Users Posts: 81,119 ✭✭✭✭Atlantic Dawn

    I'd say the dish has moved ever so slightly. If you have a look at the frequencies here you should notice a pattern that those in the same Frequency are working...

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,432 ✭✭✭✭Jim_Hodge

    It happened here this evening and also a few weeks ago. They all came back after a few minutes. Mostly BBCs, ITVs and Channel 4. It was only with a couple of frequencies. I put it down to them not us.

  • Registered Users Posts: 651 ✭✭✭ingalway

    Ah yes, I see what you mean. Is there anything I can do - move it around or will that make it worse? Do I need to get an installer in to realign properly?


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,478 ✭✭✭✭The Cush

    Something is possibly failing, LNB or receiver or cable. The Sagem receiver is fairly old now I would guess.

    Can you physically check the condition of the LNB, the feedhorn plastic cover can crack over time allowing moisture ingress. How long has it been on the dish?

  • Registered Users Posts: 651 ✭✭✭ingalway

    Did you leave it on one of the channels with no signal and it just came back? I seem to be losing more all the time. Sky News was working earlier and that's gone as well.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 651 ✭✭✭ingalway

    The plastic cover is very old and frail looking - it is south facing, in a sun trap and gets blasted with sun which is probably why it looks so bad. I'd say it is there 7-8 years. If it were that would not all the channels be gone?

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,478 ✭✭✭✭The Cush

    Not necessarily, an LNB can partially fail.

    Any way you can check it with another satellite receiver?

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,534 ✭✭✭Gerry Wicklow

    Another thing to be wary of at this time of year is trees or bushes growing in front of the dish.

  • Registered Users Posts: 651 ✭✭✭ingalway

    Unfortunately I don't have access to another receiver.

  • Registered Users Posts: 651 ✭✭✭ingalway

    There are trees all around but I don't think they are much different to previous years, many were actually cut back.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 651 ✭✭✭ingalway

    Thanks all for your advice.

    I uncoupled the LNB connectors and they seem to be fine, cleaned them up a little but made no difference. I don't think the dish has moved as it is rock solid.

    I think it's time to get someone in to take a look at it before they all disappear!

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,105 ✭✭✭Ger Roe

    They don't have to be 'much different'. A very small amount of additional leaf coverage will cause dropout, if it is in line to block the reception path. I have two relatives who have to trim particular trees every year, sometimes just one end of one small branch, if the new growth is in the wrong place. Often the drop out will start as you describe ... seemingly random but resulting from a leaf cluster blowing gently in the wind and wiping across the dish reception shadow. One tree now has a 'reception tunnel' cut through the branches that has to be kept open every year.

    I actually moved a dish recently that was being affected by a very high tree outside the house on the kerbside The swaying new growth branches that were causing the problem, were too high to cut.. Perfect reception in winter and then gradually fading to nothing as the leaves come out. Having moved the dish so it was out of the tree shadow... the council declared the tree dangerous two weeks later and took it down.

    I would check to positively rule out new tree growth, remember, it does not have to be much to cause problems, just a little leaf cluster in exactly the right place. This is certainly the time of year for tree issues to arise.

  • Registered Users Posts: 675 ✭✭✭mrtom

    What is the angle of the "beam" in the Dublin area for Astra 28.2? This helps me see where the potential interuption is.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,105 ✭✭✭Ger Roe

    This site will help you find the specific direction :

    Select your location in the search box and select Astra 28.2E as the required sat. That will give you the line to look at. The actual angle is quite acute (high)... I can't remember exactly what it is, someone else here might know. Just from experience, I can place myself under the dish and look up in the specific direction to have a good idea of what might be blowing across the path.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,534 ✭✭✭Gerry Wicklow

    Enter your address into this site and select "28.2E Astra 2E" as the satellite. Click and drag the green dot to the location of your dish. The obstacle checker function will show the path and height clearance required from trees or other buildings.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,534 ✭✭✭Gerry Wicklow

    Heheheee SNAP!! @Ger Roe 🤣

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,105 ✭✭✭Ger Roe

    It's a sign from the computer Gods Gerry... we both need to step away from the keyboards on a Sunday morning. 😂

  • Registered Users Posts: 651 ✭✭✭ingalway

    You are 100% right. The tress had grown enough from last year to disrupt the reception. The picture on some channels that were still kind of working would flick in and out and apparently that was in time with the trees swaying!

    Dish has been moved but it's only a matter of time before it all happens again.