Why DStv and Startimes lose signal when it rains

If you use satellite TV services, you will know that heavy rain can cause you to lose signal.

This is caused by an event called rain fade, and unfortunately, there is very little broadcasters can do about it.

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Rain fade affects high-frequency signals, like those used by DStv and Startimes, and refers to moisture in the atmosphere absorbing the signals – causing them to attenuate.

Satellite signals are a radio wave, and at high-frequency, radio waves get absorbed by moisture in the air. When a really heavy cloud comes over and drops its load the raindrops will absorb more signal and you eventually lose tuning on the receiver.

You might be advised that placing a plastic can on top of the satellite dish but this does not solve the problem. The only thing it solves if water droplets getting into the receiver but this is not necessary at all.

Related Article: What is DSTV Smart LNB?

The designers of the satellite dish, coaxial cable, and receiver took into account the fact that it was going to be installed outside where there is the scorching sun, snow, dust, wind, and rain too.

If you have a bigger dish, then the rain has less effect. This is one reason why commercial satellite dishes are bigger than domestic dishes.

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Poorly-executed installations, small dishes, and sun-damaged equipment can also make you more prone to rain fade. It is recommended that you have your installation checked every couple of years to make sure it is in perfect condition.

It is not only local weather that may cause your signal to fail but bad weather from anywhere a broadcaster receives or sends a signal could affect your signal too.

MultiChoice released a video to explain rain fade to subscribers.


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