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Off Grid house with Dish TV. Power off or leave on?

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  • Off Grid house with Dish TV. Power off or leave on?

    Got an off grid vacation place we use appx 2x month for 3 days each trip.

    Plan to bring a Dish TV receiver and hook it up. They do use I believer 28 -38 watts.


    Any Dish users out there, and do you shut it off when you are out? Apparently sleep mode uses just as much.Not sure if powering down and powering up for extended times messes with updates, or its not a big deal.
    I kind of dont want to have to call Dish Network about one of my boxes acting up, if you know what I mean.

    I have a 24V 250amp system, main usage is an energy efficient refrigerator, security alarm, and LED lights. 366 days of sun (well, all most)

  • #2
    I have seen reports that if a Dish box is left powered off for too long, and misses too many check-ins with the central server, the box will no longer be authorized when you power it up again and you will have to call Dish service to force a manual re-authorization.
    It can also take hours to days to repopulate the channel Guide information with current data once the box is online again.
    SunnyBoy 3000 US, 18 BP Solar 175B panels.

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    • #3
      I have a direct TV box and it functions directly from 12v, However when you turn it off, it still uses the same amount of power. So you have to unplug it. You may have to call them to reactivate the CAM inside the box, and it can take several min's to reboot. and yes it's a pain in the donkey.
      4X Suniva 250 watt, 8X t-105, OB Fx80, dc4812vrf

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      • #4
        I used to have DirecTV. You could turn them off, and they would still communicate with the network on low power. If you unplugged them for an extended period, they would take about 20 minutes to reconnect and then download all the guide information before you could use them.

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        • #5
          I guess I could get a power timer, and just have it power up a couple hours a night when Dish sends out the updates. Unless when it powers up and attempts to reboot.

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          • #6
            I would suggest looking at how efficient the power supply is. There is an alarm system here that had similar numbers. I was
            able to reduce power to less than half by reworking the supply for maximum efficiency. Bruce Roe

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            • #7
              The timer isn't a bad idea. If I remember correctly, it was something like an attempt to phone home every 12 hours or so.

              Also - if you are using a backlit lcd tv, then turn down the *backlighting* as far as you can stand it. This is different from "brightness". Turning down the backlighting can cut your power drastically - in my case nearly half, but that was pretty extreme. Turning down the backlighting manually can also be even more effective than any automatic power saver.

              If you have a way of measuring current (a P3 International Kill-a-watt meter for ac watts) or even a clamp-on dc ammeter near the terminals can prove it.

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              • #8
                Might also consider putting the outlet on a non-critical load panel which loses power when the batteries are low.

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                • #9
                  Kill-A-Watt says that Dish Receiver uses 35 watts when its turned off.
                  Thats more than my refrigerator!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by soylent_green View Post
                    Kill-A-Watt says that Dish Receiver uses 35 watts when its turned off.
                    Thats more than my refrigerator!
                    ​Yep, it's crazy.
                    4X Suniva 250 watt, 8X t-105, OB Fx80, dc4812vrf

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                    • #11
                      All Sat based tv receivers always stay on to receive encryption updates or hashes and it is usually not based on any set time or day. It happens by need.. The option to receive updates in the receivers at a certain time of day is merely to let the receiver know that it is ok to install firmware an reboot at your set desired time.. If you don't set that part up the receiver will ask you if its ok to restart the system no matter what your doing.

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                      • #12
                        Have now had DISH for two years at my off-grid home. We have it and the internet modem and the WIFI router all on surge protectors that have switches. We turn off all the devices before bed, totally cutting off power to these power hogs. We probably save 80 watts per hour doing this, if not more. So long as you turn things on regularly, and we do every day, there's no issues with the DISH receiver. It does take about 5 minutes to spool up, but that's a small price to pay for saving close to 1.000 KwH per night. On my Dads new house, we have installed wall switches to the outlets where the devices are plugged in. So even easier to turn them off.

                        We've even done a switch for the fridge outlet. Will insert a thermometer into the fridge in a few days and then turn the power off before bed time and check how much the fridge warms up at night. If we can keep it below 40 degrees, then my dad will do that nightly. If not, then we wasted a few bucks (at most) installing a wall switch. And the switch is inside a pantry, so nobody's gonna flip it by accident.

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                        • #13
                          I have a camp with the absolute minimum storage. Nothing is powered till it is needed. Still, I can't see how this matters at all with anyone that has a normal setup. Presumably you have a system that meets your daily needs. When you are gone your needs are greatly reduced. Usage during the day shouldn't matter with the system generating more than enough power. Having it turn on a few hours each night will not save that much and you will be running a timer 24 hours a day. My Energy Star washer consumes 80WH a day just being off. As said before, worry about those vampires. I have a medical device I only power at night. As I sometimes leave at 5am, I connected a relay directly to the solar panel so it will turn off automatically when the sun comes up instead of consuming 5W. My fridge only operates in daylight hours and starting it as early as possible is important. Your best option might be running the box only in the daylight hours when gone. A solid state relay powered by the panels would do that. These control side take that much power so a resistor could in series at the power and therefore any short in the low power line would not present the problem. A switch would then power the box will the time when there.

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                          • #14
                            since starting post...
                            Dish Network up and running with no real problems. Power off completely when not in use. Takes 5 minutes +/- to update the channel guide. Usually at the house every 10 days or so.

                            Definitely a power hog though. Since getting set up, Dish now lets you download to your iPad whats on your DVR and Netflix allows offline viewing too. Limited of course to the available memory of the iPad. If it didn't cost just about $7 for the extra box per month, I'd probably not bother. In the evenings, the TV is powered off and we just use the iPads with downloaded content from our main residence if we want to watch something.

                            Dish has been promoting the Amazon Fire Stick where you put literally everything on your DVR to the stick and bring it with you.

                            But really, the off grid house is to get away from all that stuff.
                            Last edited by soylent_green; 01-04-2018, 04:18 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Cult of Dionysus View Post
                              Have now had DISH for two years at my off-grid home. We have it and the internet modem and the WIFI router all on surge protectors that have switches. We turn off all the devices before bed, totally cutting off power to these power hogs. We probably save 80 watts per hour doing this, if not more. So long as you turn things on regularly, and we do every day, there's no issues with the DISH receiver. It does take about 5 minutes to spool up, but that's a small price to pay for saving close to 1.000 KwH per night. On my Dads new house, we have installed wall switches to the outlets where the devices are plugged in. So even easier to turn them off.

                              We've even done a switch for the fridge outlet. Will insert a thermometer into the fridge in a few days and then turn the power off before bed time and check how much the fridge warms up at night. If we can keep it below 40 degrees, then my dad will do that nightly. If not, then we wasted a few bucks (at most) installing a wall switch. And the switch is inside a pantry, so nobody's gonna flip it by accident.
                              FWIW, if that fridge has a freezer, or if you have access to ice, loading some ice in the fridge will help keep it cool. I'll cost some space, but the ice will also increase the cycle times and reduce their number.

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