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Camping SWM: When to plug in power inserter

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Installation/MDU Discussion' started by chdoud, Oct 16, 2013.

  1. chdoud

    chdoud Legend

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    Jan 15, 2008
    I just installed a SWM LNB for my new RV and a power inserter. My question:

    When I plug my RV into an external power supply voltage will be sent to the power inserter. Is there a problem if the RG6 cable to the dish is not connected? I think I remember something from long ago that indicated there was a certain sequence when installing the SWM, so no damage was done to the various components.

    I purchased a SL3 with SWM and a 29v power inserter from Solid signal.
     
  2. JosephB

    JosephB Icon

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    Nov 14, 2005
    Birmingham, AL
    Other than you'll have 20-odd volts coming out of the coax. If it's just loose somewhere, you run the risk of shorting it out. Just having the power supply on and not connected shouldn't burn it up or anything. Just be careful of that coax touching bare metal and shorting.
     
  3. chdoud

    chdoud Legend

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    Jan 15, 2008
    Thanks...
     
  4. JosephB

    JosephB Icon

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    Nov 14, 2005
    Birmingham, AL
    And on second thought, I probably would disconnect the power before connecting the coax to the LNB. you might get a little arc or quick connect/disconnect of voltage that might zap it. If your PI is somewhere accessible, like where you store your coax or where it comes into the RV, you might want to put a power strip next to it and just turn it off until everything is connected.
     
  5. BobStokesbary

    BobStokesbary Legend

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    Oct 24, 2010
    Once again, it is the facts that are missing that really determine the answer you want. How are the things in your RV connected and how do you aim your dish? Since you just bought the components mentioned, it suggests a tripod setup. So, how do you aim it? If you use a meter like I do (which does not power the SWM itself) you need to have power to the SWM head for alignment, but you CANNOT have the receiver connected while you do this. This is why I picked up an extra PI on ebay for about $10 that I use while aligning the dish.. (And, while a 29 volt PI seems to work with a SWM LNB, the recommended version is the 21 volt unit.) If you use your receiver to aim the dish I would still connect everything before turning on any power. There is absolutely no advantage to turning on the power to your receiver/PI and then going outside to connect it to your dish. As for me, since I do all the alignment before I turn on the receiver, I make all my connections before going inside and powering up my receiver and the PI that powers the SWM for reception. So, a bit more information on your specific setup would help give you a better answer to your question.

    Honestly, it is just "best practice" to make all connections before turning on any power no matter what the situation.
     
  6. chdoud

    chdoud Legend

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    Jan 15, 2008
    Thanks,

    I do not have a meter, I aim the dish using the receiver signal meters. Works for me and have not needed a meter.
    When I ordered the LNB from Solid Signal it stated it needed the 29v PI so I ordered it. At home I have the 21v. I should have looked closer at the Solid Signal site to find the 21v but did not.

    I have a couple of different scenarios:
    1. I have the dish mounted on the back of my 5th wheel. Many time I can simply aim the dish without getting out the tripod. The RG6 cable is connected to the dish through a grounding block.
    2. There are times when I do need the tripod. That was what prompted my post. In that case I have to disconnect the dish RG6 from the grounding block and connect a longer RG6 to where ever I have the tripod.

    From what I hear, I should probably unplug the PI until I am ready to aim the dish, that way I should not run into any problems?????
     
  7. jimmie57

    jimmie57 Hall Of Fame

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    Jun 26, 2010
    Texas City, TX
    I have read that the coax needs to be connected to the PI, and to the Receiver and the Dish.
    Then you plug power to the PI,
    Then plug power to the receiver.

    If the receiver is plugged into the power before the PI, it could get you a 775 error code that it is not communicating with the dish.
     
  8. BobStokesbary

    BobStokesbary Legend

    227
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    Oct 24, 2010
    This would be my recommendation. I have a power strip right over the receiver in my over-head compartment (motorhome) that I use to turn the power on and off for the receiver and PI. You may never suffer any issues, but when you switch on shore power there is always the possibility of a power surge to the equipment on your RV. So, as a standard routine, I don't have my receiver connected to a "hot" outlet when I kick on the breakers. And I only turn it on when everything is electrically "quiet" and setup.

    And don't worry about the 29 volt, versus the 21 volt PI. There is a voltage regulator in the SWM head that will keep things in check. It only becomes an issue is you are going to be causing power spikes by trying to connect a "hot" coax.

    I am also surprised that you have no issues with carrying the slimline dish attached to the back of your rig. I thought it would act like a sail even in the back. Glad to hear it can work.
     
  9. chdoud

    chdoud Legend

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    Jan 15, 2008
    I used to use a Phase III dish with SL3 LNB, but when I got upgraded to the whole home the tech gave me a slimeline dish. So I decided to take advantage of it. It is much easier to aim it with the micro adjustments. I will mount a power strip so I can more easily connect and disconnect power.

    Thanks for the input.
     

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