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Discussion Starter #1
I have an unusual issue and was needing some advice. For some reason when I turn on certain lights in my house my dish network receiver gives me the complete signal loss message like you get when it rains, turn the light off and it's fine again. I've tried everything I can think of, new cables, fancy surge protector, larger circuit breaker, etc. Dish Networks tech support is useless. A friend that used to install dish said that some receivers are very sensitive to a drop in power. I have no other issues with my power, no lights dimming, etc.
My real question is what if I used a battery backup/UPS thing like they sell for computers? I assume they keep a constant flow of electricity with no drop in power as long as the battery is charged. I would appreciate your input

Chris
 

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Wow, what a strange problem! I think that if it was a voltage issue you would be having problems with other things turning on in your house - like loss of signal when the air conditioner, dryer or stove turns on. Those things have a much higher power draw than lighting.

Do the lights that cause the problem have dimmers on them? Dimmers are notorious for putting noise on the AC lines. Might want to take them out of the circuit to see if that is the culprit. However, if that is causing the problem, the Dish receiver sure is overly sensitive to such noise. A good surge protector with line filtering should fix that anyway.

CFL lights also can cause interference with IR remote signals, but I don't see how that could cause a loss of signal.

Can you reroute the path of the coax from the dish to the receiver?

Good luck and let us know if/when you fix the problem.
 

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The light that is the culprit is a fluorescent ceiling fixture in the kitchen that's not on a dimmer. This light IS on the same circuit as the sat receiver but I even tried running an extension cord to plug the dish into an outlet on another circuit and it still did it. The microwave will do it also, and when the fridge kicks on it drops out for a second but comes back. Rerouting the coax isn't an easy option but may have to be done, however the current coax doesn't run close to the electric wiring. I ran it myself when the house was built. I bought some fancy surge protector with "power conditioning" from lowes and it worked for a couple days and then started back up. I just need a way to keep a constant, even flow of electricity to it and that's why I wondered about the battery backup things. I guess I need to get one somewhere with a good return policy and try it.

Chris
 

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Check the specs on computer battery backups to make sure you are getting a true voltage boost feature. Some only transfer to the battery when the voltage drops well below 100V.

Do you have a multiswitch between the dish and the Dish receiver that could be the culprit? If so, have you tried changing its power source?
 

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I am an electrician and the problem you are describing sounds like a neutral problem in your electrical system. Usually this is caused by a bad connection in an outlet or lightswitch,but if it affecting more than just one circuit then it may be in your panel or meter. The other common area to have neutral problems are the splice between the house and power pole (if it is an overhead service) usually this is not a problem with underground feeds. If you are comfortable doing it i would take the cover off your electrical panel and look closely at the white wires and check for heat discoloration near the end of the wires. Also look at the main incoming wires and look for bubbled or melted insulation on the wires...good luck, hope you find your problem.
 

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I am an electrician and the problem you are describing sounds like a neutral problem in your electrical system. Usually this is caused by a bad connection in an outlet or lightswitch,but if it affecting more than just one circuit then it may be in your panel or meter. The other common area to have neutral problems are the splice between the house and power pole (if it is an overhead service) usually this is not a problem with underground feeds. If you are comfortable doing it i would take the cover off your electrical panel and look closely at the white wires and check for heat discoloration near the end of the wires. Also look at the main incoming wires and look for bubbled or melted insulation on the wires...good luck, hope you find your problem.
I agree, this could be this kind of problem, but I would caution anyone suspecting a connection problem on an electrical service to consult an electrician. Observe, but leave the work to someone skilled in this area, particularly a neutral issue. If there is a connection problem on the neutral, it is likely using the ground as a return, so be very careful.
 

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I agree, this could be this kind of problem, but I would caution anyone suspecting a connection problem on an electrical service to consult an electrician. Observe, but leave the work to someone skilled in this area, particularly a neutral issue. If there is a connection problem on the neutral, it is likely using the ground as a return, so be very careful.
Exactly. I recently was called by a friend who did not correct this type of problem till it was too late. I had to replace all the ground bars and main breaker in their panel because of a loose neurtal. they had been having strange problems and had been ignoring them until it was too late. They wound up with 2 blown tv's, a kitchen radio, circuit board in the stove and dryer, a wii,and alarm system. and their house was only 7 yrs old.
 

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I agree, a floating neutral can give very wild voltage swings and cause many problems if not dealt with.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all the input, I've been reading and was waiting til after today to look into some things you all mentioned. Here's an update. I discovered that if I turned on all the lights that were causing the problem and then if I unhooked the cable from the wall plate, and then kinda fiddled with it and hooked and unhooked it a few times it would come back on and be fine with all the lights. The only thing that would trigger it was the microwave, and once that the microwave was off then it was affected by the other lights. My wife cooked all morning and all was well...I had to run to the basement microwave a few times though, lol.

Then this evening without any lights being turned on, or other changes I got the lost signal message. So I began the hook/unhook process and it wouldn't do it for me. So I took the wall plate loose and the end of the coax that hooked to the wall plate from inside the box wasn't crimped good and fell apart in my hand. I was out of "ends" to use with my crimping tool, but I was able to half-way get it connected. After I hooked it back up I got a good picture and so far I can't duplicate the problem, even with the microwave. So, I'll get some more coax connectors tomorrow and see how it does.

My apologies for being so long winded, but such a weird problem is hard to explain briefly. I still don't really understand the problem and I'm still gonna have an electrician come check my breaker box for any issues.

Chris
 
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