Europe Vacation and Travel Guide




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Our Favorite Germany Vacation Destinations

US Air Force | US Army | US Navy | US Marine Corps
Berlin | Heidelberg | Frankfurt | Munich | Stuttgart

PCSing or going on TDY to Germany?
Use this page as your guide!

AFN Antenna and Decoder Setup

8. Troubleshooting Guide

Satellite integrated receiver decoder will not turn on.

(1) Check to see if the receiver is plugged in to the wall jack.

(2) Try plugging the receiver into a different electrical outlet. Be sure you’re not plugged into a “half hot” or “switched” outlet controlled with a light switch.

(3) Plug your TV into the same outlet and see if it will power on.

(4) Make sure the problem is not with the receiver. Turn on the receiver both from the front panel and with the remote.

(5) Check the fuse box circuit breaker.

I cannot set the receiver to the on-screen menu.

(1) Check to see if your TV is tuned to the correct channel either channel 3 (default) or 4 and select the same on the back of the receiver.

(2) Check to see if you are using the correct connections from the Receiver to the TV. Are you using the RF (To TV) connection and connected to the “from antenna on the TV”. Are you connected to the Video output from the receiver, to the video input on the TV/monitor.

(3) If you are using the RF connection from the receiver to the TV, tune to channel 3 or 4.

(4) Turn the receiver on from the remote or the front panel.

(5) In the receiver setup menu select NTSC.

I cannot pick up the satellite signal

(1) Have you gotten your receiver authorized?

(2) Check that all signal connections from antenna, receiver, and TV are correct.

(3) Make sure there are no obstructions blocking the antenna’s view to the satellite. Always stand behind the antenna, not in front while checking. Vegetation like bushes and trees will block the satellite signal.

(4) Check that the antenna is set to the correct polarity, for example, horizontal, vertical, left hand circular or right hand circular.

(5) Check the antenna azimuth and elevation settings, if wrong see “Antenna Pointing”.

(6) Tune the receiver to the “Receiver Setup Menu” on the 9234 and 9834, the “Installer Menu” on the 9223, or the “Dish Setup” and the 9834 and 9835 receiver model. If the signal indicator reads Sig+Lock, check the following for your location and service. If all of the settings below are correct; chances are good that your decoder isn’t authorized in the AFRTS decoder database.  Re-do step 1 of this guide, then recheck the following information on our AFRTS Satellite Information page.

a. Network ID
b. FEC Rate
c. Frequency
d. Band
e. L.O.
f. Polarization
g. Symbol Rate
h. Video Standard is (NTSC)

(7) If the signal indicator in the “Receiver Menu” reads No Signal check the cable from the antenna to the Receiver.

(8) “Reboot” your IRD. Turn off the IRD using the remote control and then unplug it from the electrical power. Wait a minute and then plug the IRD back in and turn it on.

(9) Rarely you might be attempting to receive the signal during either a sun outage or a  signal outage caused by a technical problem at the up link site. These outages would affect an entire region at once so your neighbors and other service members at your command would have also lost signal. An easy check is to see if the signal is available at another receiver in your same location. A sun outage lasts only 10 to 15 minutes.

Sun outages over the United States can affect signals in elsewhere in the world.

I was receiving the satellite signal but it comes and goes or I get a lot of freeze frames and digital artifacts.

This is the sign of a weak signal and can usually be traced to one of the following problems:

(1) Poor connection from the Antenna to the Receiver. Wiggle the connections to see if you can get the signal to intermit from Loss of Signal to Freeze-Frames. If so, redo or replace connectors.

(2) Antenna is not peaked for best signal strength or is too small for your area. See the section of this chapter on signal peaking. Your dish should be at least the same size as other’s who are watching AFRTS.

(3) LNB does not meet specifications. This typically happens with a new LNB that has replaced a failed on or one from a brand new installation. Heat and cold will often cause a marginal LNB to lose signal.

(4) Poor quality cable or connectors in use or impedance mismatch. Make sure that you are using the proper RF cabling between the LNB and the receiver. Computer network cable is the wrong electrical impedance and will cause signal loss.

(5) Signal level input to the IRD is too high; optimum input is –42 dBm. This is very rare.

(6) Antenna is not stable; wind moves or shakes the antenna excessively. Extreme weather will cause the satellite dish to move off the satellite’s position.

(7) Terrestrial Interference. Typically caused by radio transmitters located in front of the dish.

(8) This could be caused by a regional sun outage where the sun passes directly behind the satellite. At certain times of year, approximately one month either side of the spring and autumn equinoxes, there may be a conjunction of the sun and satellite positions. Depending upon the size of the earth station antenna, such events can lead to a serious impairment of the space-earth link. These outages typically last only a few minutes at a time once a day with a normal worse case outage of about ten to fifteen minutes. Outages will affect each link in multi-hop circuits. For example viewers in Europe or the Indian Ocean area would be affected by an outage of first, the Atlantic satellite and then secondly, of the actual satellite feeding their antenna. Antennas should not be adjusted or re-pointed at these lost-of-signal times. The viewer should wait out the outage until the sun finishes passing directly behind the satellite.

<<Previous  AFN Television Guide  Return to Main Setup Page

European Sights

Venice's Grand CanalVenice
Take a stroll along Venice's world famous canals and view the magnificent works of art in the city's many art museums and historic cathedrals.

Visit Italy's bustling capital for a true walk through the history books.  Rome is a delight for all travelers.  Whether you're looking for history, architecture, art, or just a great meal, you'll find it in Rome.

Munich (München) is well known for its Oktoberfest festivities and for its delicious yeast-wheat beers (Hefeweizen).  But the capital of Bavaria has much to offer tourists not just in October, but all year round.

TribergBlack Forest
Venture into the heart of the forest where the trees grow so close together they block out the light from above.  Enjoy this fantasyland of chocolate cakes and cuckoo clacks.

Vacation Tips

Browse our options below to help plan your vacation activities.  Don't miss these sights and activities.  Preview our photos before you go.



Ulm Cathedral
Vatican City


UNESCO World Heritage




Browse our Travelogues

Czech Republic

Northern Ireland