Saturday, July 3, 2021

The trouble with trouble shooting......

 8:44 am - Saturday - July 3rd - Seal Rock, OR - 55° F, 94% humidity, wind 8 mph out of the north.....heavy marine layer this morning with the promise of sun later this morning, and a forecast high of 64° F.  On this date in 2017 TLE and I were watching 'Old Faithful' erupt.......↴

......the view this morning around 8:30 am.......↴

......for those of you who are suffering through heat and humidity wherever you live there is a place where it only gets to 64°, or 64° F each day in July......the Oregon Coast!

Around mid afternoon Thursday I was just getting out of the shower after working.....I had the Tour de France on the TV.  I looked at the TV to see this message "The receiver has not received programming from the satellites in 8 hours".  I was barely processing that when the picture disappeared....wait, what?  I figured the dish had gotten out of alignment with the satellites, so I pressed the button on the 'Interface Box' to let the dish dial itself back in.  3 hours later it had not been able to find the three satellites it needs to operate.  It just kept spinning trying every conceivable elevation, but never locking in on a single satellite.  Those who now me know my mind always goes to expensive places when things stop working, but more often than not it is something simple.  I finally stowed the satellite dish, and resigned myself to streaming TV programs for the rest of our stay here....I know.....kind of fatalistic, right?

Friday morning after I posted my latest missive I began to do some online research into my problem, and tried several of the solutions.  I then went on the roof and unscrewed all the cable connections on the dish (there are four), and cleaned them before reattaching them. I did the same for all of the connections inside the motorhome (there are about 8)....still no success.  I even downloaded Winegard's phone program to be sure there were no obstacles blocking the satellites, and there were none.

After exhausting all the simple things (I thought) I called Winegard's '800' number and waited for someone to rescue me from my dilemma.  After about 20 minutes Amanda came on the line and asked me to describe my problem, which I did.  She then said "There is a 99% chance it is the 'sheathed' cable that runs from the LNB to the base of the dish.....

The defunct 'sheathed' cable

....which is about 6' long.  I had actually cleaned both ends of that cable, but never thought to disconnect it and replace it with a temporary cable.  Amanda told me to do just that, and my problem should be solved.  Guess what?  It was just that simple.  The temporary cable restored the ability of the dish to find the satellites, and my DirecTV is working again.  This 6' specialty cable costs $45 to replace, and I have now ordered it.

By the time all of that fun was done it was 4 pm, and my Friday was all but done.....ahhh....the joys of trouble  It is almost always something quite simple.

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