[time-nuts] Sun Outage

W4wj at aol.com W4wj at aol.com
Fri Oct 10 17:23:38 EDT 2014

On DirecTV and Dish, in order to get channels beyond the basic  package,
Dish and Direct both use additional satelites at different  orbital 
If you have only the basic package, you get one antenna and  possibly only
one feed horn.
Dish for example can use a two antenna setup.  The  main antenna could
have a dual feed horn that looks at two different  satellites at 110 
degrees W
and 119 degrees W.  Then the second antenna would have a  single feed
horn looking at either the satellite at 61.5 degrees W or  148 degrees W.
The 110 and 119 satellites can be viewed from the east coast  to Hawaii.
The 61.5 satellite can be seen from the east coast to west  Texas.  The
148 satellite can be seen from west Texas to  Hawaii.
It would not be uncommon to have rain fade on one satellite  and not
on the others!

Here is a list of some of the DishNetwork channels with  their channel
number and satellite assignment(s)
Note that other than the ABC/CBS/NBC/Fox stations on  channels
241-248, the local stations that you would normally watch,  unless they
are in SF or NYC, are not listed, but  they are being carried on "spot 
beams" from one of the  satellites.
It is quite a "shell game" to fit all the feeds into the  bandwidth 
and then instruct the receiver as to the frequency,  polarization and
satellite location for a particular channel.
In a message dated 10/10/2014 1:34:34 A.M. Central Daylight Time,  
AI.egrps+tn at gmail.com writes:

Bob  Stewart <bob at evoria.net> wrote:

...  Also, the cartoons I  was recording for my granddaughter were
> unaffected, but the station I  was watching had the outage.  That doesn't
> all fit together  unless it was the uplink that had the problem.

I don't think the  uplink itself can have this problem.

But DirecTV uses multiple  transponders per satellite, and in some cases
more than one satellite, so  all the channels are not affected equally.

When I had DirecTV, we had  two dishes.  The installer boggled up the first
install so they came  back and put up another one several feet away, mounted
on a more stable  surface (not roof shingles).  The first dish was one that
could be  used for multiple satellites.  It had three 'focal' points with
three  little radomes that either had, or could have, LNAs in them.   Each
points to a different spot in the sky.  The second dish had only  one.
Regardless, we received only one satellite.

I don't recall ever  being affected by a solar outage, but rain and ice were
real killers!   Yeah they say rain shouldn't cause an outage, but it does
when the rain  density is high enough.  I could use that to predict when we
were  about to be hit by a downpour.  There was about a 3 minute lag  
losing all the channels, and the downpour starting.

It  occurred to me that one could use satellite signals as a  meteorological
instrument to measure the water density in the atmosphere  above you.  I
wonder if the NWS does  that.

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