Transponder Loss at 119?

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02/02/00 Flash During the early morning hours today, EchoStar moved several channels to transponders on EchoStar IV at 119W. Late this afternoon, they appear to have moved the rest. EchoStar I seems to be out of service currently, but plans for its use elsewhere in the EchoStar constellation have not yet been announced. During the transponder moves, there have been many reports of lost transponders from various regions of the country. If you are still having problems with your receiver, perform the reset procedure on the Troubleshooting Page.


02/03/00 EchoStar responds
Echo IV is at 119. It has traffic on it including Transponder 01.

Echo IV had a fairly, low level, in orbit abnormality that all spacecraft experience several times a year. This occurred about 5:40 PM Denver time.

Echo IV switched to a backup system that had not been properly informed of its new location at 119 by the people we contract with to manage day to day spacecraft operations.

After the switch to the backup system, Echo IV thought it was at 110 and shifted its position (turned itself slightly). This moved the power to the ground from east to west somewhat and caused low signal strength on its transponders at least as far west as Pittsburgh (I know because I worked with a dealer on his readings) and likely past Ohio.

EchoStar uplink and Denver locations got fooled for about 10 minutes because all our monitoring stations except Atlanta, looked normal here in Denver and the uplink. After working with the dealer and a customer in New Jersey, and in parallel reviewing the pointing parameters on the spacecraft, we realized the operators had not reloaded the 119 parameters into the backup system. We immediately instructed the contract firm to reload the 119 pointing information and the spacecraft repositioned itself. This restored proper signal about 6:05 PM or so Denver time.

We are extremely sorry about the outage.


EchoStar I II & IV are all currently in use at 119. Several transponders are running in double power mode, and the footprint of the combined constellation of satellites has been adjusted somewhat causing signal fall off at several locations outside the continental US, most notably Puerto Rico, Bermuda, and Cuba. Hopefully, Hawaii and Alaska are getting more signal now.