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41 It Is Early Spring (Fall) And I Was Watching My Satellite Dish AndThe Picture Got Weaker And Then Vanished For 20 Minutes. Is My SystemBroken?




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This article is from the Satellite TV FAQ, by Gary Bourgois flash@lopez.marquette.mi.us with numerous contributions by others.

41 It Is Early Spring (Fall) And I Was Watching My Satellite Dish AndThe Picture Got Weaker And Then Vanished For 20 Minutes. Is My SystemBroken?

No. You have just experienced the twice yearly Solar Transit Event. This
occurs when the sun, which emanates a very strong amount of microwave energy
is in line with the Clarke Belt where the satellites live, and your dish.
This is incorrectly called "SUNSPOTS" even by people who should know better
(TV station engineers and the like). It only lasts a week or so, and affects
EVERY satellite in the arc moving from east to west. It affects EVERYONE who
uses satellites, including the Cable Companies, TV and radio stations. Cable
channels will wink out, Radio programs will be replaced by music, and TV
stations have to carefully record shows in the middle of the night to play
back during the day so viewers won't know there is a problem.

You CAN use this problem as a tool though. This is a great way to do a poor
man's site survey. Just go to where you plan to install a satellite dish,
and sit there all day and watch the sun. If it goes behind trees, you will
know there won't be good reception of some of the satellites. If all day
long the sun is unobscured, then you know there will be a great location for
a dish.


 

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