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Troubleshooting & Frequently Asked Questions

Have a read through our troubleshooting and FAQ page. Click on the question that relates to you to show the answer.

PORTABLE DISHES

SATELLITE DECODERS

LITHIUM BATTERIES

PORTABLE DISHES

Check your surroundings. This is a common mistake. First use a compass to locate the general direction to the satellite and see if there are obstructions in the way. Is there a nearby tree in front of or overhanging above the dish? Are you next to a metal shed? Are you under a canopy or pergola roof? If so, move forward of the roofline by 1 meter.

Are you panning the dish from one side to the other and adjusting the elevation slightly (by up to 5 degrees either side of the expected elevation angle)?

Regardless of your satellite meter, if it is a digital meter that shows the two signal bars, the top bar (signal strength) should show at least 50% and this confirms that your LNB and cable from the dish is OK. Signal quality indicates that you are aligned to the satellite so no quality, no satellite.  

Make sure the LNB (on the front of the dish) is in the right position. The LNB needs to be rotated to a particular position - have a look at our video here .

We have some good demo and help videos on aligning your dish to the satellite. Even if your dish is different, you can follow the procedure used in the videos to align to the satellite. See here.  

  • Is your LNB on the dish arm correctly skewed? If you are anywhere in the country apart from WA and NT, as you stand in front of the dish the cable should be coming out from the LEFT hand side, NOT the right.
  • Are there trees or buildings obstructing the satellite? Your dish MUST "see" line of satellite. If you think there is an obstruction, move the dish. Even though you can see the sky when you think the satellite is positioned, is there something like a canopy or tree above you? This can prevent reception. Once again, alter your dish location.
  • If you try and work out the exact position of the satellite this can make the process more difficult. Instead, with the sat finder connected, methodically sweep the sky from NW to East raising the dish a little each time. 
  • We have put together a video that shows a great method for dish alignment regardless of where you are. Click HERE to view the video

Simply hold down the RESET button on the front of the decoder (if no reset press and hold the standby power button) for 3 seconds and the box will restart back to this screen. Then align your dish. If the decoder indicated no satellite signal and does not scan in the channels then your dish is not aligned (or the setting in the decoder are wrong).

This is quite common and caused by your dish not quite being perfectly aligned. Connect your SatPlus 3240b meter and increase signal QUALITY but adjusting the dish elevation, direction and LNB skew. To fine tune you should also rotate the LNB a few degrees either way. This can make a big difference. 

The Maxview Precision has a digital LED meter built into the back and it is important to know how to adjust the meter so that you can easily find the satellite quickly. Follow these steps:

  1. Place the dish on the tripod and adjust the leg of the tripod so that the North leg is facing the general direction to the satellite. Peg the tripod down to the ground.
  2. Rotate the dish to the left hand stop.
  3. Adjust the elevation (up or down) to the correct elevation angle and make sure the LNB on the front of the dish arm is set to the right position - See our LNB video HERE
  4. Turn the meter all the way up so that 6 red lights are illuminated.
  5. Now back off the knob until the last red light is flickering and only just off (don't turn it down too much or the meter won't respond when you hit the satellite).
  6. Now start turning the dish in towards the satellite direction and stop when the lights start to increase.
  7. Maximise the signal by firstly moving the dish in micro movements left and right then adjust the up/down in micro movements to receive the highest LED reading.
  8. Check the VAST box inside the van to see if it scanning in the channels. If not, continue to turn the dish slowly to the right only a few degrees and see if you pick up the next satellite (there a a few close together but you will know you are on the right one due to the intensity of the signal and sound). Check the VAST box again.
  9. If still no signal, see this VIDEO

SATELLITE DECODERS

Hold down the reset button for 3 seconds and allow the unit to restart. Then, if it states 'searching for signal' or "signal too weak or not found" go to the dish and align it with a digital satellite meter. The box will then scan in the channels.

There are a few possibilities here.  Regardless, the decoder is not receiving signal from the dish.  This could be due to (in order of most likely):

  • The dish is not aligned correctly. You can check this by entering the INSTALLATION menu and ensuring you have adequate SIGNAL QUALITY.  The easiest way to check alignment is to use a digital satellite meter.
  • If you have a digital satellite meter that is programmed for the Optus C1/D3 that confirms you are aligned then your decoder settings are incorrect.  Enter the INSTALLATION menu and ensure that the LNB setting is set to 10700.  Also, perform a factory default to reset the default search frequency.
  • Check the skew of the LNB.  The LNB on the front of the dish should be rotated to the correct position for your area.

Have you activated the card? If not, visit the MysatTV website and register in a remote area or as a traveller. If you have already registered prior, with the box turned on and the E16, E19 or E30 message displayed, go to mysattv.com.au and click on DECODER REHIT.  Enter your smartcard number in the box (no spaces) and click on REHIT.  Then after 20 or so seconds, check to see if you have ABC and SBS working.  If so, now check a commercial channel.  If these aren't working then they have expired.  In this case, click on TRAVELLERS RENEWAL at the MysatTV website and renew the service.

Important to note: There is a big difference between E48 - NO SIGNAL and simply NO SIGNAL on the TV. E48 - NO SIGNAL implies that the satellite decoder box is not receiving satellite signal from the dish. NO SIGNAL is a message generated by your TV.  Either your TV is on the wrong AV channel ie HDMI/composite/component etc OR the VAST decoder is on standby and displaying the time. Have a look first at the front of the box display. If it is showing the time then press the standby button on the front of the box or on the satellite box remote control. If it is showing a channels number but you are still seeing a NO SIGNAL message then this is related to a connection/cable issue between the box and the TV. Check you are on the right channel on your TV depending on how the box is connected - either HDMI or AV.

The channel list is stored on the card so if the box is not reading the card correctly, the channel database will be empty.  Press MENU and OK on SETTINGS then go to SYSTEM and press OK.  Move to INFORMATION and press OK.  Make sure the box is reading the card number. If not, pull the card out and re-insert with gold chip downwards and in first, repeat until the box shows the card number.  Now, press the power button on the front of the box for 5 seconds and it will restart and rescan the channels. If the dish is not aligned and the decoder indicates that it is searching for signal or signal too weak or not found, pressing exit will also bring up this message.

That card must have been registered as a traveller.  So, go to mysattv.com.au and click on travellers renewal and enter your name and card number and submit  

If the box is displaying LNB overload, disconnect the satellite cable from the back of the box and restart the box and make sure it comes up with the searching screen and with no LNB error message, then connect one cable at a time to work out whether you have a short in the cable or a faulty LNB.  

Occasionally, while watching TV, the Altech UEC 4121 may show the message SMARTCARD FAILURE.  If this is the case, pull out the card by opening the front panel on the right hand side.  Using a rough cloth or piece of cardboard, give the gold chip a clean then re insert the card back in (chip facing down and in first) making sure it is pushed firm all the way.   If any messages remains on the screen, power off the unit at the wall and wait 3 seconds then power back up.  The unit should scan in all of the channels and return to picture.  If you still have the same error, this will indicate a card reader issue and the cost to repair would not be feasible.  The latest Altech model is the 4921 and this can be viewed or purchased HERE.

If you haven't powered up the decoder AND you registered the card in a permanent address in a black spot TV signal area then you may just have to do a rehit on the card to get it up and running again.  Simply visit www.mysattv.com.au and click on DECODER REHIT then enter your 11 digit smartcard number (no spaces) and rehit the card.  Ensure that the decoder is switched on at the time and you can see the above message.

If you registered your card as a traveller, it is possible that the registration has expired.  If so, visit www.mysattv.com.au and click on enquiries on the top right hand corner of the page and fill out the form with your smartcard number and write  that you've allowed your registration to expire.  The card should become active within a day or so.  If you can't leave your decoder turned on for it to receive the rehit, set it up a few days after filling out the enquiry form and go to the same website and click on DECODER REHIT and the card will become active.  Again, make sure it has scanned in all of the channels and displaying the above message in order for the rehit to be successful.

Generally, we would suggest replacing the unit with the latest 4921 decoder.  We do stock replacement internal power boards which can rectify this issue but keep in mind you're installing a new power board into a decoder with a main board that is 6 - 8 years old. This second option does not guarantee that the unit will work fine as there could be other issues.

There are several scenarios here.  The first thing to check are the settings in the 4121 decoder.  With the error message displayed on screen, press the MENU button on the remote control, go to ADVANCED OPTIONS and press OK.  Down to INSTALLATION SETUP and press OK.  Enter pin 1234.  Press OK on LNB SETUP and ensure that the LNB POWER is ON, LNB TYPE is SINGLE and LNB FREQUENCY is set to 10700.  If this is the case, exit from all menus.  If the settings are different, change them to the above and be sure to save the settings then perform a SATELLITE RESCAN.

If the settings were OK, possible issues will be either:

  • Dish is out of alignment (if on a house and the signal has been fine for years then this is unlikely). 
  • LNB is faulty - the LNB is the amplifier/down converter on the dish arm.  These are inexpensive to replace and can be found HERE.
  • Cables are faulty (unlikely)- check the condition of the coaxial cables from the dish down to the decoder.
  • Broken connection internally on the F connector to the main board.  Remove the screws from the 4121 external casing and visually inspect the coaxial connector that attaches to the main board.  These are a known weak spot and of twisted too tight will break off from the main board.  Options are to attempt to re-solder the joint (requires a very steady hand and a fine tipped solder iron) or replace with the latest 4921 CAUTION: DANGEROUS VOLTAGE CAN BE PRESENT EVEN WITH THE DECODER UNPLUGGED FROM THE MAINS

Generally, this is a power board failure and it may be possible to rectify this by replacing with a new board.  We have the genuine Altech 4121 power boards available HERE.

This board is only suitable for the Altech 4921 model NOT the 4921RV. You can read the model number on the front panel of your decoder.

Every VAST Certified decoder comes complete with its own paired smartcard.  The card is 'married' to that particular decoder and can't be used in another decoder. Lose the card and you may as well throw away the decoder too.

Connect the VAST decoder to your satellite dish and align the dish.  The decoder will scan in the VAST channels automatically.  It's designed to do this.  After scanning, you'll find that almost all of the channels come up with some type of activation message.  Examples of these messages are:

  • Smartcard is not fully authorised
  • Service is scrambled
  • No permission to view this channel

If you've never activated the card before then you'll need to do it now.  Visit the MySatTV website and you'll see three main buttons on the front page...Satellite Decoder Online Registration, Travellers Registration and Travellers Registration Renewal. If you're in a TV blackspot area, click on the first button.

For permanent access in a home, providing you've checked that you're eligible (recommended to do BEFORE you purchase the decoder), switch on will either be instant (once you complete the registration process online) or may take a couple of days.  If you applied for a reception certificate and were approved after waiting then it is best to call VAST on 1300 993 376 and quote your name, address and new smartcard number.  Access will be instant over the phone this way.

Every VAST Certified decoder comes complete with its own paired smartcard.  The card is 'married' to that particular decoder and can't be used in another decoder. Lose the card and you may as well throw away the decoder too.

Connect the VAST decoder to your satellite dish and align the dish.  The decoder will scan in the VAST channels automatically.  It's designed to do this.  After scanning, you'll find that almost all of the channels come up with some type of activation message.  Examples of these messages are:

  • Smartcard is not fully authorised
  • Service is scrambled
  • No permission to view this channel

If you've never activated the card before then you'll need to do it now.  Visit the MySatTV website and you'll see three main buttons on the front page...Satellite Decoder Online Registration, Travellers Registration and Travellers Registration Renewal. If you're in a TV blackspot area, click on the first button. If you're a traveller in a mobile home or caravan, click on the second button.

For travellers, fill out the form via the second button on their site, click on the confirmation email link and you'll be switched on with 24 hours or so during business hours.  Be sure to keep your decoder switched on until the activation comes through.

Your smartcard has an embedded chip underneath and this chip needs to have the code written to it in order to access the entitled programs.  That's why your decoder has to be on while the activation comes through.  Even after activation, the card will receive regular "code updates" .  If you use your decoder on a daily basis then the card will receive these updates. If you switch your decoder off at night or don't use it everyday (such as travellers), the card can miss these updates and go "dormant".   If it has missed a "low level" update then give it a minute or two and it'll come back on. If it has missed a "critical" update then leave it on for up to 40 minutes and it'll update itself.  This is providing that the messages you see on the screen are as per above.  

If you don't want to wait for the card to come on by itself then this is easily remedied. Visit this LINK and rehit the card yourself !  It'll come on within a few seconds.  Always a good idea to do this if you're heading off on a big trip and haven't used the system for a while.

An important point for travellers - The smartcard is only activated for a period of 6 months from the initial activation date.  Be sure to renew your card PRIOR to the expiry of this period.  Renewal is fast and easy via the same website.  

Unfortunately each VAST box is paired to a smartcard so if you have lost the smartcard you would need to purchase a new box. The latest model is the Altech 4921. 

  • Is your decoder on standby? If so, switch it on
  • Have you selected HDMI or AV on your TV? Check by pressing SOURCE, INPUT or AV on your TV remote
  • Have you connected to an output rather than an input on your TV?
  • Some TV's indicate "NO SIGNAL". This is not the message being sent from the satellite decoder. This is the message generated by your TV when it does not detect an AV source - check connections and AV channel

This message occurs if the satellite receiver hasn't been used for a while. Leave the receiver switched on with this message on the screen and the card should auto update itself and picture should come on. 

For VAST users, to speed up this process, visit mysattv.com.au and click on the DECODER REHIT button and enter your smartcard number. Your channels will become active after a few seconds. If not, contact VAST on 1300 993 376

Pressing the EXIT button will remove any messages on the screen.

If you are receiving signal on the finder but the message above is displayed, press the STANDBY button on the front of the decoder and hold for 5 seconds then let go. The unit will restart and rescan the channels (this takes about 1 minute)

This message is displayed if the smartcard has been inserted incorrectly. Ensure the card is inserted with the contacts towards the set top box and on the underside.

Try changing to a commercial channel. If you still can't get picture, do a DECODER REHIT on the mysattv.com.au website. 

Press MENU

Move to the right icon SETTINGS and press OK

On INSTALLATION press OK

Enter pin 1234

Move to DISH INSTALLATION and press OK

Move down to satellite name and press OK

Ensure LNB type is set to SINGLE and NOT universal (use arrow keys to change to SINGLE if need be)

Press the red coloured button half way down the remote control

Ensure LNB frequency is set to 10700 (if not, highlight the number and manually type in 10700)and press OK to lock it in

Then, very important, press OK to take you back one screen

Press OK again to go back another screen

Press BACK button and move to SAVE and press OK

Now perform another channel search. 

LITHIUM BATTERIES

Our Solarking batteries have a built in battery management system (BMS). Our batteries will measure around 12.6 VOLTS when under load. When the battery is drained to very low levels this voltage drops quickly and at 10.5V the BMS switches the power off to avoid damage to the cells. Normally at this point, the battery would be charged back up by solar or via a 240V charger and everything will be fine. If the battery is left in state without being re-charged for a while, the BMS itself will switch off and using a volt meter at the terminals would reveal around 2 - 3 volts. Connecting a standard solar or plug-in charger will not help to bring the battery voltage up as the charger cannot detect that a battery is connected (unless the charger has "power supply mode". The only way to revive the battery is to connect a small 10w to 20 w solar panel or a plug in 12V transformer and within a few minutes, the BMS will energise, the battery voltage will read around 11V and the charger will commence bulk charging the battery back up to nominal voltage.

The most important specification to look at here is the rating of the battery management system within the lithium battery. In the case of Solarking, the current range, regardless of capacity, all feature a 100AMP BMS. This means that a 100AH lithium with 100AMP BMS is able to output up to 100AMPS at any one time or around 1280 watts. Bearing in mind that there are other factors that come into play such as conversion loss from DC to AC via the inverter (around 10%), wiring gauge from the battery to the inverter as well as peak start up current of the appliance. So from a single lithium battery with the above ratings, you should be able to safely run an inverter up to around 1000 watts. Parallel connecting two lithium batteries together will double the BMS output rating and enable up to 2000 watts. Another important factor is the start up current of the inverter. When switched on, regardless of whether an appliance is plugged into the inverter or not, a rush of current equal to the rating of the inverter fills the capacitors within milliseconds and this current may well exceed the rating of the inverter. So, it is always recommended, to use a "soft start" inverter in conjunction with lithium batteries. A soft start inverter slowly charges up the capacitors at a rate that the lithium BMS can handle.  

Most lithium batteries under load, measure around 12.6V at the terminals and this voltage is constant all the way down during discharge. A lead acid battery will show 12.7V (approx) when fully charged under load, 12.2V when 50% and 11.7V when flat. A regulator or volt meter can use this voltage and convert it to a percentage scale representing the capacity of the battery. This is not possible with lithium due to its constant voltage (until flat). The only other option is to purchase an amp meter that can be programmed to the capacity of the battery. Prior to installing the amp meter, the battery should be fully charged. Then by measuring amps in and amps out, the amp meter can convert this to a state of charge and display this as a similar percentage scale.

Our Solarking lithium batteries feature active cell balancing (ACB). An active cell balancer keeps the cells packs in balance during charge and discharge (unlike positive or passive cell balancing). This is a really important feature. This balancing occurs only within the battery so when a second battery is connected, it does its own cell balancing and neither batteries "see" each other. Over time ie 3 - 6 months, these batteries can get out of balance with each other and you may notice that you're not quite getting the same capacity from them as you used to. This is due to the fact that your charger switches to float mode when the most charged battery reaches a high state of charge first. The second battery may be only 60% at this point (as an example). The only way to rectify this, is to disconnect the batteries and charge them individually again. You won't do any harm to the batteries if you connect in parallel, just be aware of the need over time to disconnect each one and charge to a full state separately.

There are up and down sides to both options. See the bullet points below:

Single lithium rated at 200 AH (example)

  • The battery will balance as it should and take care of itself - maintenance free
  • Overall space required for mounting is reduced
  • More accuracy when used with an amp meter for state of charge
  • Output capacity is rated to only 100AH at any one time (in the case of Solarking)
  • Inability to run high power inverters (over 1000 watts)
  • Only one battery to rely on in the event of failure
  • Slightly less initial cost
  • Easier to maintain charge via charger and/or DC/DC

2 X Parallel connected 100AH lithium batteries (example)

  • Harder to maintain balance and voltage should be checked on each battery every 3 months
  • Will require periodic charging of each battery individually to ensure both batteries are balanced and reading the same voltages
  • Output capacity doubles to 200AMPS - perfect for running large inverters
  • Two batteries offer piece of mind in the event of one failing

AUTOMATIC DISHES

Ensure the Sphere is searching using the correct parameters. When you press SEARCH and while the display is flashing, pressing SEARCH repeatedly will cycle through the different parameters. If unsure, please contact your supplier for more information. Also, many Sphere systems require a software update and this can be sourced via Coast RV in Sydney on 02 9645 7600.

Ensure you are absolutely clear of trees, branches and any obstruction nearby in front of the dish or above the dish. You can also try different search parameters on the Promax. Try searching VAST, Foxtel or D3 by cycling through the options using the UP/DOWN arrows on the control panel.

SOLAR ROOF FANS

The Solarking solar roof fan incorporates a temperature sensor that prevents the fan motor from turning on where the roof space temperature is less than 25 degrees.

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