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Sky Q "no satellite signal" issue in communal setup with FIRS

Runner
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Post 1 of 17
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Sky Q "no satellite signal" issue in communal setup with FIRS

Hi all,

I've been having some issues with my Sky Q box (detailed below) and would greatly appreciate any insight you may have as to the cause of the problem and/or what can be done to fix it. Though vaguely technically literate, I don't know anywhere near enough about this to diagnose the issue myself and have trawled through several forums but couldn't find a directly comparable case to muddle my way to a solution. Apologies in advance if anything is unclear or any information missing.

 

Background:

  • I live in a block of flats in SE London
  • The Sky signal seems to be delivered to individual flats through a fibre optic system (FIRS)
  • I've had a dSCR GTU installed in my flat after being told that our communal system is not Sky Q compatible
  • I have a single coax cable running from a faceplate in my flat to the Sky Q box

Situation:

  • Sky Q was working perfectly well for 2-3 months
  • I suddenly received a "no satellite signal" error around a month ago - signal strength and quality at 0
  • I called out a Sky engineer who looked at my setup, tested the fibre optic cable and concluded that there was no data being transmitted (only power) - he recommended someone look at the communal system
  • Engineer was called out to look at the communal system and restores the signal
  • Next morning, signal goes out again
  • Engineer called out again, signal restored again
  • 2 days later, signal goes out again

Other potentially pertinent facts:

  • There are 2-3 other Sky Q customers living in my building who all seem to have the same issue
  • When quizzed, the building manager mentioned that all the engineer seemed to do was unplug a cable, blow on it and plug it back in (though not clear if they did this on both visits)
  • All possible combinations of restarts, on/off cycles, resets, etc. have been tried to no avail
  • My Sky Q is set to 'SCR' and has been throughout

Thanks in advance for any input!

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Camera Operator
Posts: 467
Post 2 of 17
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Re: Sky Q "no satellite signal" issue in communal setup with FIRS

@absreda

 

When your building manager saw the communal Fibre IRS engineer  remove the fibre cable and 'blow' on the end, did they use a 100 psi ultra pure residue free aerosol to clean debris from within the socket and the end of the fibre, or did this 'professional engineer'  actually use their mouth?

 

Does the green status led on the GTU flash approximately twice a second, or is it always a steady green indication?

 

'I have a single coax cable running from a faceplate in my flat to the Sky Q box'

 

If you are using a Fibre IRS GTU to produce an SCR signal for your Sky Q receiver, I would have expected the single cable connection to be from the GTU RX1 or GTU RX2 connector to the Input 1 connector on your Sky Q receiver.

 

Godfrey.

Director of Photography
Posts: 1,731
Post 3 of 17
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Re: Sky Q "no satellite signal" issue in communal setup with FIRS


@absreda wrote:

Hi all,

I've been having some issues with my Sky Q box (detailed below) and would greatly appreciate any insight you may have as to the cause of the problem and/or what can be done to fix it. Though vaguely technically literate, I don't know anywhere near enough about this to diagnose the issue myself and have trawled through several forums but couldn't find a directly comparable case to muddle my way to a solution. Apologies in advance if anything is unclear or any information missing.

 

Background:

  • I live in a block of flats in SE London
  • The Sky signal seems to be delivered to individual flats through a fibre optic system (FIRS)
  • I've had a dSCR GTU installed in my flat after being told that our communal system is not Sky Q compatible
  • I have a single coax cable running from a faceplate in my flat to the Sky Q box

Situation:

  • Sky Q was working perfectly well for 2-3 months
  • I suddenly received a "no satellite signal" error around a month ago - signal strength and quality at 0
  • I called out a Sky engineer who looked at my setup, tested the fibre optic cable and concluded that there was no data being transmitted (only power) - he recommended someone look at the communal system
  • Engineer was called out to look at the communal system and restores the signal
  • Next morning, signal goes out again
  • Engineer called out again, signal restored again
  • 2 days later, signal goes out again

Other potentially pertinent facts:

  • There are 2-3 other Sky Q customers living in my building who all seem to have the same issue
  • When quizzed, the building manager mentioned that all the engineer seemed to do was unplug a cable, blow on it and plug it back in (though not clear if they did this on both visits)
  • All possible combinations of restarts, on/off cycles, resets, etc. have been tried to no avail
  • My Sky Q is set to 'SCR' and has been throughout

Thanks in advance for any input!


On the dSCR GTU unit there is power LED. Is this solid or flashing when system not working?

 

Flashing means optical light level is too low or missing.

 

The Engineer needs to plug the fibre into an optical power meter and measure the received light level and see if it is in spec. Optical light is measured in dBm and figure will be typically -XdBm where X is between 0 and -9. If you start going into double figures the signal will be unreliable. 

 

Given that blowing on the end of fibre is the peak of their knowledge you could struggle.

 

It is most likely that either a communal ODU32 fibre transmitter  has failed/or an active splitter if fitted or birds have pecked glass out of front of LNB and rain got in.

 

Pretty easy to diagnose if you know what you are doing with fibre systems.

 

 

Camera Operator
Posts: 467
Post 4 of 17
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Re: Sky Q "no satellite signal" issue in communal setup with FIRS

As @GordonTGopher mentions, the early versions of the Global Invacom Fibre LNBs had a very shiny orange protective film that kept the device waterproof, alas young crows often proved that their beaks could easily puncture this protective film cover.

 

Godfrey.

Runner
Posts: 5
Post 5 of 17
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Re: Sky Q "no satellite signal" issue in communal setup with FIRS

Thanks @Godfrey and @GordonTGopher for your responses.

 

To answer some of the questions raised:

  • No idea what the engineer did or used (was at work when the visits happened) - the 'blowing' was reported to me by the building manager...
  • The status light on the GTU is a solid green and has been so consistently. No flashing/blinking.
  • My Sky box is effectively wired to the GTU RX1/2 connector via some kind of distribution system/comms box in my flat.

If, as you suggest, it may be a fault with the LNB or fibre transmitter, wouldn't that result in a different kind of problem? What confuses me is that I have a binary status (it either works perfectly or not at all) and that the temporary fixes entailed nothing more than an effective 'reboot' (unplug and plug back in). Fogive my ignorance but I assume the faults you describe would:

  1. Result in a permanently reduced/lower quality signal;
  2. Not be solvable (even temporarily) by unplugging and plugging back in; and
  3. Affect everyone in the building and not just Sky Q customers

 

Thanks again for your help.

Director of Photography
Posts: 1,731
Post 6 of 17
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Re: Sky Q "no satellite signal" issue in communal setup with FIRS

Have you tried pulling power out and in on the GTU. If you connect the fibre input after unit is powered the automatic gain control could be wrong internally. Rebooting GTU gives the gain circuit a kick.

 

Another possible option is light level and the optical threshold of the fibre receiver in your property.

 

The new MKIII traditional GTU units work down to -12dBm as apposed to -15dBm on older MKII units but unfortunately Global Invacom do not publish the spec sheet for the dSCR GTU on their website.

 

You need to insist they send an an Engineer with an optical power meter. You can clean fibres properly with the right kit, blowing on the connector is futile but if they designed your system with little to no headroom you are a bit stuck as you cannot amplify a fibre signal easily as the system you have has a wavelength of fibre signal that you can’t buy off the shelf amplifiers for.

 

 

Sound Designer
Posts: 187
Post 7 of 17
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Re: Sky Q "no satellite signal" issue in communal setup with FIRS

One thing to do is to see if you can get a separate dish. Communal is crap.

Camera Operator
Posts: 467
Post 8 of 17
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Re: Sky Q "no satellite signal" issue in communal setup with FIRS

@absreda

 

I have inserted a few likely levels to hopefully illustrate the very small margin for light loss, in a basic typical 32 way Fibre IRS distribution system, to emphasise the importance of maintaining meticulously clean inter-connections throughout the entire installation. Of course, any true professional engineer will be totally aware of this!

 

32 way split.jpg

 

Godfrey.

Director of Photography
Posts: 1,731
Post 9 of 17
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Re: Sky Q "no satellite signal" issue in communal setup with FIRS


@JonW42 wrote:

One thing to do is to see if you can get a separate dish. Communal is crap.


Communal is not crap by design. They can suffer from bad designs and lash ups/bodges over the years.

 

Also with fibre based communal system there are not many people in the country who know how to design one properly.

Runner
Posts: 5
Post 10 of 17
314 Views

Re: Sky Q "no satellite signal" issue in communal setup with FIRS

@GordonTGopher

 

I've rebooted the GTU but unfortunately still no luck.

 

Expecting another engineer visit today - will update with results/feedback.

Director of Photography
Posts: 1,731
Post 11 of 17
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Re: Sky Q "no satellite signal" issue in communal setup with FIRS


@absreda wrote:

@GordonTGopher

 

I've rebooted the GTU but unfortunately still no luck.

 

Expecting another engineer visit today - will update with results/feedback.


Ask them if they have an optical power meter and if so post result here of level going into GTU.

Sound Designer
Posts: 187
Post 12 of 17
240 Views

Re: Sky Q "no satellite signal" issue in communal setup with FIRS


@GordonTGopher wrote:

@JonW42 wrote:

One thing to do is to see if you can get a separate dish. Communal is crap.


Communal is not crap by design. They can suffer from bad designs and lash ups/bodges over the years.

 

Also with fibre based communal system there are not many people in the country who know how to design one properly.


My step-daughter has a communal Sky dish and it does not work well enough She's going to try to find out if she can get permission to put up a separate dish. Also, with communal, you cannot get the Sky Q 2TB box. So yes, Communal is rather poor.

Highlighted
Director of Photography
Posts: 1,731
Post 13 of 17
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Re: Sky Q "no satellite signal" issue in communal setup with FIRS


@JonW42 wrote:

@GordonTGopher wrote:

@JonW42 wrote:

One thing to do is to see if you can get a separate dish. Communal is crap.


Communal is not crap by design. They can suffer from bad designs and lash ups/bodges over the years.

 

Also with fibre based communal system there are not many people in the country who know how to design one properly.


My step-daughter has a communal Sky dish and it does not work well enough She's going to try to find out if she can get permission to put up a separate dish. Also, with communal, you cannot get the Sky Q 2TB box. So yes, Communal is rather poor.


Not sure where you heard about the 2TB, as communal systems that supports Q supports both 1 and 2TB.

 

The only scenario I can think of is there is a device sometimes used in apartments called a power inserter and there are two versions of that and if wrong one is used for the installed box you could have issues 

Runner
Posts: 5
Post 14 of 17
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Re: Sky Q "no satellite signal" issue in communal setup with FIRS

So an engineer came round and the signal has been restored. Unfortunately I wasn't around to see what was done or get a firsthand account. When I asked the building manager what happened I received the below response:

 

"Following on from the engineers attendance yesterday the Sky signal was restored. The engineers tested the signal strength and the results were all positive.

 

They did point out however that the original installation for Sky in your riser cupboard had been replaced with something else. They stated that this new device/ installation may not be compatible on this development.

 

They added that the removal of the original installation which was a Quad GTU meant that the issue you are experiencing was unrelated to them. They conducted a test by installing the original component and Sky worked. They concluded that the fault will have to be referred to Sky."

 

I presume the 'something else' is the dSCR GTU though I'm not sure why it would be incompatible. Again, all they did was unplug then plug back in a component of the communal system. Will wait and see if the signal drops yet again.

 

 

Director of Photography
Posts: 1,731
Post 15 of 17
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Re: Sky Q "no satellite signal" issue in communal setup with FIRS

The dSCR GTU and QUAD GTU can be swapped out with each other. What they are saying is they won’t support the dSCR as not part of original build.

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