View Full Version : Satellite Troubles

04-26-2011, 11:18 AM
2006 Gulfstream Tourmnaster, has a low profile Winegard dish. Here is the problem:

Directv came to install the receiver, the satellite didn't work properly, so Directv took their receiver and left. Called Winegard and they said they couldn't help me unless I had a receiver hooked up. I have cable at my home, so I don't have a receiver I can borrow. So it is a catch 22.

Any suggestions?


04-26-2011, 05:09 PM
First question is to clarify the statement "the satellite didn't work properly". Does that mean that (a)the satellite in orbit was not working, (b) the antenna dish was not picking up the signal or (c) the receiver was not operating?

If the satellite was off line (least likely) then it was a temporary situation. In the past 5 years I can count on one hand the number of times our service was interrupted. If the antenna is not receiving a signal it could be a wiring problem in the coach that they won't touch. They can verify if the antenna is working by using a signal meter. Finally, if the receiver box is bad, then the tech should get another one.

The next question is make sure that you had a DirecTV tech. Often you can call the number of a reseller from an ad or the phone book who is contracted to sell the product. They even have DirecTV trucks. Call 1-800-directv (1-800-347-3288) and ask them to set you up with one of their installation techs (usually factory trained). Be specific when you talk to the installer, ask who their employer is. Ask if they work for a reseller or for DirecTV. If you did call the 800 number listed above and you're sure the installer was a DirecTV installer and not an "authorized" dealer or reseller, then call back and ask for a supervisor.

Good luck and keep us informed.

04-26-2011, 06:45 PM
All good points. Most of the time the issue with satellites in motorhomes is that they are wired like Rube Goldberg contraptions. Often the satellite in port is shared with the cable port requiring a switch be thrown somewhere. Sometimes if it is an auto-point dish, it has been set up before for another provider - Dish for instance when you now want DirecTV and the firmware inside the auto-dish needs to be updated by a tech (this has happened to my Dad on his) so it locks on to the right satellites of the new company. Or, the problem can be on the other side of the box. That is, they often have kooky switch boxes and RF converters. Up until the last two years even coaches wired with flat screens were not properly wired to get the best signal.

I hate to say it, but one of the most frustrating parts of an RV is getting the AV to all work the way you want it to...and for most people to understand how to change it from Off-Air TV, to Cable in the park, to Satellite, to DVD, to VCR, etc.

Now that I have thrown all sorts of rain on your parade, here is a way to proceed. First, call up 800-DIRECTV. Tell them your situation. The techs from DirecTV are really quite good as opposed to those from the "network" companies licensed to sell their products. When the tech comes out, turn on your dish, wait for it to lock on, and ask him to first check for a good satellite signal with his meter directly on the incoming line. Once he has done that, then have him connect the box and make sure you can see the menus on the TV. It should all be downhill from there.

If he goes over different settings for changing to DVD, off-air, etc, make sure to get a piece of paper and make copious notes.

I have a great deal of experience helping both my parents with AV on their individual coaches (96 Safari and 98 Discovery)...It is not fun for all parties :lol:

04-27-2011, 10:00 AM
Thanks everyone. I guess I was a little frustrated when I posted and didn't give some of the detail. I am unsure that the Directv was one of their techs or not. The problem was the satellite dish would not lock onto a satellite. It would spin, start to lock then start spinning again. The installer had some type of meter and said the signal strenght was not good. I am going to call the number you gave me and give it a whirl. Thanks again for lending some advise. I will keep you posted.


04-27-2011, 10:36 AM
If the dish is not locking, then it is something with the dish itself and you will need to call Winegard Support. These dishes will lock on without having a receiver attached. If it never locks on to any satellite, there is no reason to bring out a DirecTV tech until that is resolved.

Make sure that there are no trees, poles, or other obstructions around your coach. If there are any, move the coach to a parking lot or empty field and try again. Eliminate any variables. If yous still cannot get the dish to lock on to any satellite, you will need to call Winegard support. If it is out of warranty, then you will most likely have to have a winegard experienced tech (not DirecTV) come out and service the unit - possibly reprogramming the firmware on the dish itself.