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JEREMY BILLINGHAM

Television Reception Specialist

TV Aerials, Radio Aerials, Sky & Freesat

Droitwich, Worcester, Bromsgrove, Rubery

19/03/19
I was called out today to a customer in Hartlebury who had suddenly lost their Freesat TV reception.

This particular dish was a little difficult to access as it was mounted on a long 12 foot pole, to the side of the garden patio, this was to allow for the clearance of some very tall trees which were in relative close proximity to the dish.

Doing the normal and easier checks first which include checking the Humax satellite receiver was powered up and not in need of a simple re-boot as well as following the coax cable run from the receiver to the outside, along the garden wall and up the length of the pole to the dish.

On finding both the receiver and the coax cable not to be at fault it only then left either the dish being off line or a possible faulty LNB (Low Noise Block) Click on photos above to enlarge.

Should we have been in late April or May there would have been the possibility of a growth spurt from the trees which lay in the direction that this dish was pointing, partially blocking the view to the orbiting satellite. As we have only just come out of winter and despite the record high temperatures we've recently experienced there was little chance that this was even a possibility.

Also, when vegetation growth does impact on the reception of a satellite signal to a dish its a relative slow process, often with pixitlation and break-up warning signs in the days and weeks preceding a total loss of signal, also with wind movement of any foliage the signal/reception will come and go in unison with the force of the wind.

Standing on the top platform of a set of 6 foot high steps and at full stretch the next easiest thing to check is the white feed-horn LNB cap.
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Applying light pressure with my thumb on the white plastic feed horn cap will confirm or otherwise it's ability to stop rain water entering the LNB.

Once this plastic become brittle it almost always splits at the top first (click on & see photos 2 & 3 above) allowing rain water to enter but then having no where to escape.

Putting light pressure on this particular cap allowed it to brake with ease, showering me with a quantity of collected rain water. Although I carry spare caps on the van once rain water enters the horn the LNBs days are numbered.

Over the past few months I've been called out to half a dozen or so of these LNBs with this particular fault, with vast quantities of these dish's having been installed in excess of 10 years ago this particular problem is going to be round for a long time to come.