Simple Satellite System Diagnostics for Automatic Systems
David Burley
Sep-10th, 2015 23:35

If your automatic satellite system stops working then here are some easy diagnostic steps you can follow:-

1. Does the system control panel light up and display ok ?

If not then the problem could be related to a supply voltage problem, are your batteries charged ok, is there a fuse inline somewhere that has blown ?

2. Does the dish elevate normally and rotate when you turn the system on and start the system up ?

Are there any obstacles preventing it rising, any twigs, branches etc ?

3. Once the Dish rises does the LNB Arm look to be a the correct angle i.e. is it pointing out and away from the dish itself ?

On some systems the LNB arm gets dirt / corrosion between it and the fixings and so when the dish rises it rises with the dish stuck. If this is the case then switch off the system and clean / lubricate the arm until it is free and moving and then try again.

4. Does the system go through an entire cycle and not lock on and then folds down again ?

If so are there any obstacles in its line of sight to the satellite ? you can check using smartphone apps like DishPointer which will give you an elevation and angle so that you can see where it would be pointing to get a signal.
If no obstacles then if your system can lock on to other satellites try and lock on to Astra 1 or Hotbird in Europe locations. If it locks on to other satellites ok but not Astra 2 then it may need a software update.
Some systems need the receiver to be turned on and switched to a relevant TV Channel like Sky News before they will lock on so if yours is one of these ensure your receiver is configured correctly.

Other simple tests if you have the equipment / know how are as follows:-

To test the connections are good and no short circuits on the F Connection screw on connectors between the earth and core (Use a multimeter set to continuity to test between the core and outer to test this).

Some systems only have a single coax wire which takes both signal and power so on these you can bypass the existing cable/connections and run a long length of coaxial cable with F Connectors either end plug one end into the dish/dome and the other down the side of the van and through a window/door and into the satellite system control box.

Check the skew angle of the LNB is set to the correct angle for your GPS location.


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