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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Unprotected joints in satellite cable

I recently visited a satellite dish installation on an urbanisation in Orba, near Denia. The 2.4m satellite dish and Sky digibox had been installed by an installer who lived near the town.

The client had recently been experiencing loss of channels and signals. They had contacted their local installer, who, without even looking at the satellite dish or without using a signal meter, diagnosed the signal reception problems down to a poor Sky digibox (which they had supplied). They advised the client that they would require a new Sky digibox, which would cure their problems of no satellite signal.

The client was unsure of this and contacted me, The Sat and PC Guy, for a second opinion on their problems. A few minutes at the satellite dish determined that the signal was OK at the dishes "head end" and there were no problems with the Invacom LNB on the satellite dish. But there was no signal at the receiver.

A quick check on the roof, and the problem was found.

poor satellite dish installation in orba, near denia

There was a join in the satellite cable. Not unusual, but the join had not been waterproofed by using good quality "rubber" tape, instead just using insulation tape. This insulation tape is not good at all, is not waterproof, and easily "disintegrates" in the Spanish sun.

Taking away the insulation tape and looking at the join inthe cable, the problem of no satellite signal being receive by the Sky digibox became Crystal Clear.

cable burn due to water in sky satellite tv installtion near denia

As the join in the cable had not been waterproof, it was Crystal Clear that rainwater had managed to get into the join. AS the cable is powered, by the Sky digibox, the connection had burnt away, resulting in no connection between the two parts of cable, and hence the loss of signal.

After repairing the cable (as replacing the whole cable was not an option due to the way the cable entered the house to get to the TV area), with a new cable join and waterproof tape, the satellite signal returned to the Sky digibox.

So if this local "installer" had done his job correctly and used a small bit of thought and intelligence, he would have found the problem. But instead tried to sell a new Sky digibox which was totally unnecessary.
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