Most people thought that when we left those big, awkward, T-shaped antennas of old behind we left behind the phenomenon of our picture being affected by the weather. Well, think again because the weather has been known to wreak havoc on satellite reception, just as it used to on the old fashioned TV antennas. While the notion of losing one’s TV signal due to inclement weather may be a quaint one this is the 21st century and we’re supposed to be technologically well beyond losing our picture when it rains… aren’t we?
Weather and Your Satellite Dish
Remember when you were 8 and you’d go to grandma’s for dinner? Everyone would gather round the telly afterward to watch Come Back Mrs Noah, but then it would get windy and rainy and next thing you knew, there was no TV reception. The advent of cable was supposed to put an end to that. But before cable could really take hold we were sold satellite and let’s be real: a satellite dish is just a fancy antenna. As a result you may experience a loss of signal if you’re trying to watch Mrs Noah re-runs and the weather turns ugly. Below are some things to look for that may help you rectify the problem.
Your Reception is Breaking Up When it Rains: Causes
- Poor Signal Quality – It may be the rain is just the straw that broke the camel’s back. That is, if your dish is poorly aligned and your ‘normal’ signal strength is less than 50%, rain may just push things over the edge. Use a signal meter and make sure your dish is properly aligned.
- Damaged Cable – Water may infiltrate the coaxial cable if the cable is somehow damaged or the LNB connection isn’t properly waterproofed. If your cable is damaged you’ll have no option but to replace it and fit the F type plugs with new screws.
- Misaligned LNB – The LNB sits at the end of the dish arm and collects the satellite signal as it bounces off the dish. If the LNB is poorly aligned it could cause trouble, particularly during heavy weather events like thunderstorms.
- Larger Dish – It may be that you are simply in an area that calls for a larger than average satellite dish. Although the 43cm dish does fine by most, you may in fact need a larger 60cm dish; particularly if you are in the far north or extreme southwest of the country.
Your Reception is Breaking Up During High Wind: Causes
- Damaged Mounting Brackets – A high wind event can bend the mounting pole causing your dish to become severely misaligned. If you can see the pole has become bent, call Sky and they’ll send an engineer round to remount the dish on a new pole.
- Damage to the Dish Itself – Often during high wind events many things that are better left on the ground become airborne. If an airborne object of sufficient size slams into your dish during a severe weather event it can cause significant damage to the dish and/or the LNB. Or at the very least it may cause one or both to become seriously misaligned.
- Excess Dish Movement – If the dish is mounted on a pole that’s too long it may move excessively when caught by high winds. This vibrating back and forth can affect the ability of the LNB to capture the signal properly and lead to a scrambling effect on your screen. It can also loosen the mount which will lead to further problems down the line.
- LNB F-type Connection – Just as the LNB F-type connection can be compromised by rain if it is not properly weatherproofed, it can also be corrupted by excessive shaking and high winds. Check to make sure the connection is physically solid as well as waterproofed with self-amalgamating tape.
Contacting Sky About Weather-Related Problems
If you have reason to believe the weather is behind disruptions to your Sky TV service do a bit of detective work (nothing risky now!) and see if there’s been damage to your dish, cables, LNB or mounting poles. If not, make sure your coaxial cable has not been compromised and that any connections are waterproof and physically sound. If you need an engineer to come round and have a look, ring up Sky customer service on 03442 414 141. They’ll be glad to send someone. Keep in mind that the more information you can give them up front, the easier the solution will be to find.
Link: Sky TV: Mind Your Ps and Qs