Symptom

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

1.) Receiver won't power up by remote or front panel command. Unplug unit from the wall, wait 1 minute, plug back in. Try to turn it on again. OR push reset button in on the back of HTS and Echostar receivers. Be sure you have power at the wall outlet. No response: Check power fuses on back of receiver and all fuses inside the chassis.

Unplug the receiver and remove the VC-II decoder module. No response: probably a bad power supply in the receiver. Have it repaired, substituted or replaced.

Unplug all connections at the rear of receiver one at a time and see if it powers up. There may be a shorted LNB or motor causing the receiver to shut down.
2.) Receiver is on but won't turn off or respond to front panel or remote commands. (locked up) Same as above No response: Unplug the receiver and remove the VC-II decoder module. Advanced: with a wire jumper, find the RAM chip nearest the battery and short all the pins to chassis ground.
Remove the chassis cover, (unit unplugged)  look for a coin size lithium battery. Place a match cover or similar insulator between the prong terminal and the battery for 1-5 min. then remove insulator. Caution, this may dump the memory. Try to power it up again. No response: Memory chip in receiver is probably corrupted and must be repaired.
3.) No picture or sound on any satellite or channel  Is the dish pointed up to the sky and not laying over to one side? Is the receiver on an active channel to search for? YES- Try fine tuning dish East and West and look for video and digits counting on the screen. If video is found, realign the satellite positions through the installation menu.
If no video found, there is a signal problem, or dish is not moving.
NO- Make sure actuator to mount bolts are tight and push firmly on dish side to side. Note amount of slack at the outer edge of the dish. If more than 3/4" movement or if the dish moves freely, replace the actuator.
Does menu and channel info show on the screen? (with receiver turned on)?. If the receiver won't power up, it's probably bad, try removing the power plug for a few seconds, plug it back in then try powering it back up. YES- Try fine tuning the dish East and West and look for video and digits counting. If video is found, digits are counting, then realign the satellite positions.
If no video found, there is a signal loss problem or dish is not moving.
NO- Make sure TV is on ch.3 or 4, VCR off and cable is connected from receiver to the TV.    . . After getting the graphics to display on screen, try fine tuning and realigning the dish as above.
Hook up component audio, video cables from receiver to the TV and switch the TV to video 1 input. If it works, you have a bad modulator. You can also hook the A/V cables to the VCR in and switch it to video input to use it as an external  modulator.
4.) No dish movement Actuator or motor "error" message on the screen when attempting to move dish. (dish may move a little then stall. no numbers scrolling) Motor doesn't run. check for 24-36VDC at the motor terminals at the receiver while attempting to E/W dish (remove one of two large wires when testing) If OK, check voltage at the motor dc terminals outside while attempting to E/W the dish. If OK, the brush commutator may need to be cleaned. remove armature housing (2 long screws) and arm. assy. Clean the copper with a Scotch brite pad, reassemble. (don't lose the brush springs) If it still doesn't run, replace the actuator.
Listen for relays clicking on some model receivers. NO- Make sure actuator circuit breaker (if any) on back panel is pushed in.
Motor runs and stalls, no numbers scroll. replace reed sensor or could be an open or short circuit in the sensor wire(s).
motor runs (numbers scroll) but no dish movement broken or stripped gear inside actuator, Replace actuator.
5.) No or weak satellite signal Verify the receiver powers up, graphics display on screen, and dish moves. Try to find a signal by fine tuning the dish East and West. If the signal is weak, lift the dish then push it down while someone watches the TV. If it gets better, adjust the elevation screw to hold it there. FOUND A GOOD SIGNAL? YES- realign satellite positions. Done!  
NO- Make sure coax cable coming from the dish is plugged into the C/V port or IF in on the back of the receiver. Check all outside connector ends for corrosion and replace as necessary. If underground cable has been broken and spliced at any time, check that out too.

 

Dish Make sure there are no trees or other  obstructions in front of the dish. Check for insect nests inside the feed horn throat. (behind round blue cover) make sure dish post is plumb. Dish face should be perfectly flat when viewed from the side, not warped. It can be twisted back into shape sometimes by hand.
Bad channels 12-24 with good 1-11 or vice versa indicates  the c-band lnb cable plugged into the ku (wrong) port at the receiver OR a weak lnb. Bad LNB, cable or connector. Check for 18VDC at the cable plugged into the LNB. If no volts, check  LNB input at the receiver. If volts there, the cable is probably bad. If no volts, It may be an LNB fuse or circuit breaker on the back of the receiver or inside the chassis. If OK, It's probably a receiver problem. If there's volts at the LNB input and no picture, replace the LNB.
YES- Check, realign or fine tune remaining satellite positions. Done
6.) Even # channels  good, odd # channels bad or vice versa Polarity problem. Try fine tuning polarity skew. Any change in picture? YES- Polarity works but needs to be skewed (adjusted) and re stored. (1 even & 1 odd channel) for each satellite.
Make sure that in the SETTINGS menu, the polarity is set to C-Band polarizer, not LNBF or dual feed. NO- Polarity (blue) servo motor on feed horn is defective. (replace servo motor). or wires to it are open or shorted. Remove servo and connect directly to back of receiver to verify failure. If it works, the problem is in the 3 wire cable. test cable for continuity. There may be an extra conductor in the group you can substitute for a bad one.
7.) Good free channels, no subscription channels. Bad VC-II decoder module. Unplug receiver, remove module cover, slide decoder module out then back in a couple times. Restart the receiver. This cleans the connector. It may start working. If it still doesn't work, look inside the module for a lithium battery leaking at the ends or exploded. (dead module). A weak signal can cause the decoder to not lock on. Replace decoder module     

          OR

Tune the dish and receiver for a better signal.

8.) Black or white (or both) "sparklies in the picture-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_- Low signal to noise ratio Fine tune for optimum dish position, video frequency and polarity. (Clearest picture) Follow instructions for no or low signal.
Turn VNR on for Echo or HTS receivers (press 0,0) or TI button on General Instrument receivers and others.
9.) Wide horizontal bands moving vertically through the picture. AC interference in picture Watch the picture while moving cables around behind receiver. They should cross and not lay parallel to each other. Bad AC filter caps in receiver power supply. Repair or replace receiver.
Sometimes caused by a polarity problem. Tighten all connectors.
10.) Crackling noise in the sound. Tune the receiver and TV volume controls to mid scale. Probably bad audio filter caps in the receiver. Have receiver repaired or replace it.

Other Common Problems

Remote Control doesn't work. No indicator light on remote or receiver when pressing buttons..

Check battery condition, placement, contacts and wires. Echo or HTS remotes with DIP switches in the battery compartment Flip switch #5 on then off or push the ADDR button on the front. The red lights will scroll across once then it may start working. OK- Remove the back cover and visually inspect the circuit board for broken connections, wires and components. Carefully re-solder if possible. and retest. NO- On UHF models, carefully try retuning the pot(s) on the circuit board cw and ccw with an alignment tool, noting their original positions. 1 should be for frequency and the other for range.

NO OPERATION- Replace the remote.

Make sure the small antenna rod is attached and up on the rear of UHF type receivers. If the red front cover is missing on an infra-red remote, it won't work. Try a taping a piece of clear red plastic film to the front.

Remote Control buttons function erratically.

Key pad and circuit board contacts need to be cleaned of dirt and oils.

Clean the remote keypad and circuit board to restore full functionality. 

CAREFULLY, Remove the batteries and back cover. Usually 1 screw. It's sometimes under an adhesive label. Remove the circuit board and keypad from the front half, usually a few small screws. Don't force anything! Clean the contact side and the rubber keypad with contact cleaner or alcohol. No water. Use an old tooth brush if necessary. Do Not clean the component side! Dry everything out. Clean all other plastic parts with a long bristle brush and carefully reassemble and retest

Weak batteries. Remote pots needs to be aligned

Replace the batteries with new ones.
High pitched noise or chirping at the dish when changing channels. Polarity servo worn out. Replace servo soon.  
Rubbing or grinding noise at the dish while changing satellites Actuator needs to be greased. Grease the zirk fitting at the motor end of the outer tube or if no zirk fitting, extend the actuator out and drill a hole 2" from the motor end of the tube thru the bottom of the outer tube ONLY. Install a zirk fitting and lube it.  DO NOT- lube the inner chrome tube. It will attract dust and dirt. into the actuator.

DO- Lube the ball joint attachments to the mount with light oil and wipe a light coat of WD-40 on the chrome tube to keep it from rusting.

       
       
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