OTA Module Issues?

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OTA Module Issues?

RKP000
Extra

Hi All,

1st time on this forum. I'm hoping somone smarter than me on DISH components can help me with issues I am having with my DISH OTA Module. I apoligize up front that this is so long. I wanted to explain every detail so you have all the information I have.

I recently installed a decent HD Antenna on my roof, about 30 ft above ground. Works great connected directly to my HDTV. TV finds 30 channels. The antenna does have an amp in it. Power for the amp is injected via the coax and it does have "gain control". Power for amp is USB 5V, coming from its own pwer supply, not the DISH receiver. I have tried a number of different power supplies with no change in my issues. High on gain control is for distant station transmitters. All of the stations I want to receive are 30 to 40 miles away. Antenna is rated for 150 miles. 

 

If I connect the antenna to a new DISH dual tuner OTA Module (purchased from eBay) and plug it into the USB on the back of the Hopper w/Sling receiver, reboot, it scans and finds 33 channels. AWESOME! This is with gain controller for antenna amp set Med or High (I've tried both). If it's set to Low, I only get a couple channels. I have tried this with OTA plugged into the two USB ports on the back and the one on the front of the DISH w/Sling receiver with same results. It's not a USB port issue.

All the local stations I want show 100 for signal strength. After about 5 to 7 hours, the signal strength begins to degrade, display starts to get blocky artifacts, or I get warning attempting . . . . due to weak signal. Eventually all local channels go to 0 signal strength. OTA module is HOT! Unplug it. Remove channels, let module cool down. Reboot receiver, insert module into USB port, reboot again and then rescan. Finds 33 channels and same thing eventually happens. Not going through this everyday!

 

Thought I had a bad OTA module so I bought another new DISH dual tuner OTA Module (eBay, diff vendor this time) and it does the same exact thing as the 1st tuner. I believe I have eliminated the OTA module as the cause? Module getting hot bothers me. I tried plugging module directly into USB port and then tried 2 different 6" USB cables (the ones that come with module). That made no difference either, same issues.

 

I attached the OTA Module to a small muffin fan with a couple tie wraps. Rebooted, rescanned, found 33 channels. I had no issues for almost a week! Thought I had solved the problem. 

This morning (Saturday), I turn on TV and all the local channels are at 0 signal strength and they won't display. The module was not hot, fan was still running. I just removed the channels, unplugged OTA module, rebooted, reinserted OTA module, rescanned, found 33 channels and everything is good again. I DO NOT want to go through this every 4 or 5 days!

 

Anyone have any idea what could be causing this? Chances of having 2 modules with same exact defect is remote. Why does the OTA tuner get so hot without any external cooling? It is connected to back of Hopper w/Sling in a free air shelf (not enclosed). It does not matter if I have the gain controller for the antenna amp set at min or max., it will get hot with no external cooling. I've never had an electronic component get so hot without it giving up the magic smoke that makes the device run.

 

I have receiver set to reset at 8AM so I don't think the latest channel loss issue was due to an update last night although it is possible. Also, all of the satelite channels are fine - never had an issue other than during heavy rain or snow buildup.

 

I have searched and I don't see any way to update the software in the OTA module? I'd connect the antenna directly to TV and call it good EXCEPT I want to be able to record shows and I have another TV so I'd have to split antenna signal and run new coax from splitter to 2nd TV. Also, it's nice to not have to change TV inputs between DISH and local channels.

If anyone thinks the issue is using an antenna with built-in amp and the OTA module, can you recommend a non-amplified outdoor antenna that works with DISH OTA Module that will need about 50' from the receiver? Antenna must pick up signals originating at least 50 miles away.

 

 

Again, sorry this is so long! Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

Rob

 

 

 

 

 

4 Replies

Re: OTA Module Issues?

d4g4m
Visual Engineer

I have an antenna in the attic above my garage, no amp. Transmission tower is 40 miles north. Get about 45 channels from Tampa. Signal is so good that I get 2 channels 55 miles s/e from tower signal bounce from N. Ft Myers tower.

I am using an old 211k no module.

Try this. Plug the antenna co-ax directly into TV 'ant in' jack. With TV remote [not dish] do a channel scan. With TV remote, 'input' change from HDMI [DISH] to TV for local channels.  I use the TV remote to switch between locals and DISH.

With a 150 mile antenna and your antenna elevated 30' feet with transmission tower 30-40 miles, [you can get exact distance at antennaweb.org] you shouldn't need an amplifier.

Re: OTA Module Issues?

RKP000
Extra

I did check antennaweb.org and a couple others before I ordered this antenna. All the local transmitters are 31 to 37 miles away.
Thanks for the suggestion. I tried what you said. With amp OFF, antenna connected directly to TV, TV scan only found 6 stations (5.1, 5.2, 5.3 and 24.1, 2, and 3). I then powered up amp and the rescan on the TV found 33 stations. Same as what the OTA module found connected to Hopper. I then left the antenna connected to the TV.
About 3 hours later I found all of the 33 local channels had no signal. I tried another rescan (amp still powered up) and the TV found no channels.
I am now 99% sure there is a problem with the amp located on the antenna. It must have some kind of defect that manifests itself after it has been powered up a while. Why it worked recently for about 4 days without issue is beyond me. It is in the sun most of the time and we have been over 85 most of the time. Amp housing is black.

I ordered a new, different antenna WITHOUT a built-in amp that is supposed to be good for 70 miles. I also ordered an amp just in case. We'll see how it works without the amp first.
What antenna do you use?

If anyone else reads this, please let me know what antenna you have had success with, IF your station transmitters are 35 or more miles away.

Thanks, Rob

Re: OTA Module Issues?

d4g4m
Visual Engineer

The antenna I am using is over 20 years old.  Well before they were renamed HD antenna. The old fashion vhf/uhf type.

Most transmission towers are up to 1000-1200 feet high. This is so because of earth curvature. If you stood on a beach and looked out over the ocean, the furthest you see is about 15 miles. Your antenna is elevated 30 feet and you're less than 40 miles. You should not have a problem receiving an unamplified signal unless there are hills/mountains blocking the signal. If so, you might have to mount your antenna higher. Are you in a valley?

If there are multiple towers that are 31-37 miles but spread apart, you might have to move the antenna a little to the left or right a little bit to balance the signals, just like the DISH sats.

Re: OTA Module Issues?

RKP000
Extra

@d4g4m wrote:

The antenna I am using is over 20 years old.  Well before they were renamed HD antenna. The old fashion vhf/uhf type.

Most transmission towers are up to 1000-1200 feet high. This is so because of earth curvature. If you stood on a beach and looked out over the ocean, the furthest you see is about 15 miles. Your antenna is elevated 30 feet and you're less than 40 miles. You should not have a problem receiving an unamplified signal unless there are hills/mountains blocking the signal. If so, you might have to mount your antenna higher. Are you in a valley?

If there are multiple towers that are 31-37 miles but spread apart, you might have to move the antenna a little to the left or right a little bit to balance the signals, just like the DISH sats.


Thanks for the reply and the information! I appreciate it.
Rob