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Need Help Re-Aiming Dish

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guppypond
Sophomore

Need Help Re-Aiming Dish

I have had Hughesnet HN9000 service in Long Barn, CA (95335) since 2011.  This is a vacation home/rental and consequently it is not easy to schedule service, or be there to push buttons to diagnose things.   (I do receive e-mails from our automation, so I know when things are working).  Recently, the received signal strength (as reported by the HN9000's status info) has been below the normal 170-175 value, and has been variable. Last weekend when we were having frequent stoppages, I noticed it was 90, then would climb to 110, then back to 90. Throughput was stopping intermittently even though station status showed normal. The symptoms seem consistent with a dish that is on the edge of the beam lobe vs. centered on it. The dish was clean and had not been moved or bumped, and I can't see that any vegetation has grown into the view of the satellite. Sometimes pine cones fall in the woods and could have bumped the dish, as could have squirrels, freeze/thaw motion etc. Since the system has not been checked, aimed, or tuned for 5 1/2 years, I would really like to get someone to come out and re-aim it. I have the $7/mo. basic service / warranty plan. Hughesnet customer support has been very difficult to deal with - i.e. I got all the way through system checks and to the rep agreeing to send someone out, but they couldn't schedule because of a computer problem. Someone was supposed to call me back to schedule. That was a week ago. I started over with them today and we were back to trying to run diagnostics, which this time turned up no issue, since the problem is intermittent. Then they quoted a $125 fee to open a service call, "plus parts and labor" ($125 even with the warranty plan ? why do I have it ?). I have tried e-mail support, but there seems to be no consistency between communications (they don't read the referenced case numbers I provided). I don't think this is a DIY project, as I know aiming is very sensitive. Any ideas how to get help would be appreciated.
22 REPLIES 22
Amanda
Moderator

Hello guppypond,

Welcome to our community and thank you for your post. I was able to locate your account and run diagnostics, which came back great. Your signal strength currently is 15 points above the average for your area. It is totally normal for signal strength to fluctuate, especially when weather and outdoor conditions are changing. 

With that said, it does not mean your system is without issue and we could be looking at hardware failure, especially considering it's age. Do you notice if the signal drops during the morning, day or night or in specific weather conditions like foggy or high humidity? 

Looking forward to getting to a resolution!

Thanks
Amanda
guppypond
Sophomore

Good Morning Amanda - the last time I had problems, the weather was cloudy and rainy one day, and crystal clear the next day.   Similar issues both days.   The clear day had higher signal strength (130) but was still below what I historically had observed.   The behavior is that connectivity would suddenly stop (i.e. just browsing Amazon), then maybe 10 minutes later would start again, work for a few minutes then completely stop again.   I rebooted everything, made sure no one was doing anything data intensive etc.   So, started to check the signal strength ....  Thanks for checking.
Amanda
Moderator

Hi guppypond

Thank you for the quick reply. When it stops, do any of the 5 blue lights on the HughesNet modem go out, or stop blinking and all stay on steady?

Amanda
guppypond
Sophomore

Hi Amanda, I haven't noticed anything like unusual with respect to the LEDs, but haven't made it a point to look.   The normal pattern is to see a couple of blue lights blinking.   I did check the HN9000 status via its web interface and nothing was showing "red".
Amanda
Moderator

guppypond,

Can you give it a test tonight and tell me if you notice any of the things I mentioned happening? Can you try rebooting your router first and testing out the internet before rebooting the modem? Also you said scheduling is hard.. would it be difficult for us to arrange a tech to come to the location and replace anything? Someone over 18 would need to be there.

Thanks
Amanda
gokartergo24
Tutor

Amanda, I'm pretty sure that is in El Dorado networks territory. It sounds like ether a cabling issue or a radio going out.
guppypond
Sophomore

Hi Amanda - I am not physically at the site now, and it is a 3+ hour drive away.   Our co-owners will be there next week - Thursday afternoon and Friday 12/29 & 30 and I can coordinate asking them to observe the LEDs when they experience connectivity problems, "button pushing", and feedback.  I was hoping to try to coordinate a tech visit, if that's the next step, when they are present.  Is there a way for you to monitor performance during their visit ?   Is there any way to see system logs/status from Dec 9-11 ?

I am able to see incoming security camera images ~180kb e-mailed to me 6-10x per day (so I can tell if the Hughesnet link is "up").  

WiFi Router attached to the modem is a Linksys E2000.

BTW, I did receive a Voicemail from tech support with an 888-301 number for callback, and a PIN.  I haven't called back yet.
Amanda
Moderator

Hello!

I agree gokartergo24 - I suspect it is a wet feedhorn or just old everything. 


guppypond - Don't worry about calling back. I will set up a free visit from the technician to come out and replace most of that equipment. It seems that the windows for troubleshooting as well as the difficulty of walking people who may not be familiar with the equipment. 

I can probably accommodate either of those days but will need to talk to our field operations office to make it happen. Any specific times of the day that are best to have the technician go out? 

Thanks
Amanda
guppypond
Sophomore

Thank you Amanda!   Best times are Thursday (12/29) afternoon (12-4pm), Friday (12/30) morning.  They will also be at the property Saturday, Sunday and leaving sometime Monday morning.  You should have the land-line phone number at the service location in the account.   I can give you the cell number for the people who will be there (iMessage only, out of cell range) and my cell number via direct message.
Amanda
Moderator

Great, thank you again for the quick turnarounds. I will let you know which date and time I can get you. Send me an email to communitysupport@hughes.com with your username and the phone numbers so I can put them in the order.

Thanks,
Amanda
guppypond
Sophomore

Thanks - you should have an e-mail from me from last night.
Amanda
Moderator

Hi guppypond,

The order has been created and fees waived. We've left all specific instructions in the order for the technician. 
Our case number for this is 102008536

The visit is scheduled for 12/29/16 between 11AM and 3PM

The technician may call you to confirm or let you know if there will be a delay in arriving. They have the house phone (landline) as well as all the other contact information you gave me. I do hope this solves your issue once and for all. 

Please let me know if there is anything else I can do to help you or if you still experience connectivity problems after the visit.

Thank you & Happy Holidays
Amanda
guppypond
Sophomore

Thank you Amanda!    Happy Holidays to you also.   I will follow up and let you know how it goes.
guppypond
Sophomore

Hi Amanda - just following up.   Unfortunately, we still have not had an on-site visit.   A contractor named Justice (last 4 of the phone number is 9905) from Stockton (80 miles from the service location) called, and performed remote diagnostics and updated software on the modem.   The people who were staying at the vacation home were not familiar with the details and how hard I have been working to get someone out to check the equipment and aim of our dish.  I was at our place briefly this weekend, and things seem to be working better than they were 5 weeks ago. Received signal strength was up to 154, up from the 90s, but still not the 174 use used to see.   (I know signal strength does not correlate to throughput).  I explained the vacation home status to Justice and he suggested scheduling another appointment.   However, we missed a golden opportunity and I don't know when someone will be there to meet a contractor.   I would like to have someone to contact when it is possible to schedule a visit in conjunction with someone being present without having to explain the history and going through all the same steps we have already covered multiple times.   Thanks.
Amanda
Moderator

Hello guppypond,

The tech has not gone out? I'm looking at the site visit order and it is closed with the tech saying that an obstruction was removed from the line of sight... If you did not actually get a visit and this order was closed in error, please let me know. 

Thank you
Amanda
guppypond
Sophomore

Hi Amanda, the family who was present said that they spent about 25 minutes on the phone and confirmed what the tech I spoke with told me ... that the tech uploaded new firmware to the modem.   Neither the tech I spoke with this past weekend, nor the family who was on-premesis before New Years, indicated that a site visit happened.  Your reply is the first I heard of an obstruction being removed.   Perhaps someone came by at a different time that we are unaware of ?  Thanks.
Amanda
Moderator

Hi Guppypond

Just an update... A Hughes technician is going to reach out to you and talk to you about setting up a good time for everyone. He will be bringing an extra radio transmitter, as the diagnostics I am seeing are leaning towards moisture in the one you have now. They are a different company and I have provided them all the contact information you gave me. 

Seems like the order was cancelled because of the call that was made. I am very sorry about that, because I feel they really should have gone out there at the very least.  Hope this one is smoother!

Amanda
guppypond
Sophomore

Hi Amanda, I spoke with the new contractor over the weekend but they are only scheduling site visits M-F 8-5.  Someone was on-site this Monday, but the contractor was already booked. I was pushing for a visit during the holidays because it is going to take a while to find another time when someone will be there and the contractor is available.   Will keep you posted.
Amanda
Moderator

Hi guppypond

I've reassigned this to another local team who is available on weekends. I have provided all contact information and they will reach out to you to discuss a date/time to come out. Hopefully this is the easier route. Again, very sorry about all this!

Thanks
Amanda

Hi Amanda - we will likely be on-site this Friday afternoon.   I left a message earlier today for the contractor but haven't heard back  (916-xxx-x860).    Any chance you can help coordinate?  Thanks!