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Could SWM power inserter location lead to error 771?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Installation/MDU Discussion' started by RClarkofNC, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. RClarkofNC

    RClarkofNC Cool Member

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    Sep 29, 2007
    I've had DirecTV installed for a little over two weeks. I've diagrammed my installation below. Both receivers have been experiencing an increasing frequency of error 771 to the point where it now happens several times a day. Both receivers are affected at the same time. A technician is coming out to look at it Tuesday, but in the meantime I'm trying to do a little troubleshooting of my own.

    I first considered DirecTV a few years ago when SWM was just coming out. I recall reading a post on this site back then (though I can't find it now) that mentioned something about the Power Inserter needing to be within 50 feet of the dish. My guess is that the voltage drop over a longer run wouldn't supply the LNB circuitry sufficiently which could contribute to the 771 errors.

    My memory could be off, but if it's not and the PI would benefit from being closer to the dish, would there be any benefit to my moving it to the structured wiring panel shown in the diagram below? That would cut a good bit of distance off and bring it to within 50' of the LNB. I actually suggested that to the tech during the initial installation, but he said he would only put it in there if there were a receiver in the same room. So maybe there's some part of this equation that I'm missing which is why I wanted to check with the experts here first.

    That panel is also right next to where my wireless access point is located, so it seems like the DirectCinema would benefit from being down there too. I could even run a patch cable from it to my router so it would benefit from the faster connection, but that is also something the installer discouraged me from doing this. But he also left the LNB's ground wire hanging without connecting it to anything. So perhaps he was just having an off day.

    Any thoughts or suggestions about this scenario would be much appreciated!


    LNB
    |
    |
    | <-- This run is about 45'
    |
    |
    2-way splitter (in structured wiring panel)
    | |
    | |------15' run-----HR24
    |
    | <-- This run is about 8'
    |
    |
    Power Inserter
    |
    DirectCinema
    |
    HR34
     
  2. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    That setup doesn't look like a problem.
    You might check/see if you have a 21 volt PI and maybe shift to the 29 volt if you can.
     
  3. funnyfarm299

    funnyfarm299 AllStar

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    Mar 3, 2012
    Why would you use a 29 volt PI on a SWMline dish?
     
  4. funnyfarm299

    funnyfarm299 AllStar

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    The recommendation is now 150 feet max from the dish. Of course, I've done it longer with no issues.

    Why not just get an 8 way splitter, put it in the panel, and attach the PI (inside cabinet), Cinema kit(inside cabinet), HR34, and HR24 on separate legs.
    And why would he NOT hardwire the CCK? Wireless is always flakey. You could even plug the HR34 straight into the router and it would work as a CCK, cutting off one more possible point of error. Of course, that's not a supported install, but I prefer it.
     
  5. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    First reason is less chance of starving the LNB for voltage, and the second is because the SWiMLNB was first tested with the 29 volt PIs, because the 21 volts hadn't come out yet.
     
  6. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    A good reason is there's no need for the added loss of the larger splitter, and a wireless CCK, isn't really "flaky" if the WiFi network is setup right.
    Admittedly, if you don't know what you're doing, then hardwired is easier.
     
  7. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

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    Actually this is the new recommendation from several sources. The additional voltage doesn't harm anything and it makes it possible to get a little more signal over longer runs.
     
  8. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Fixed that, since the RF isn't going to change.
     
  9. funnyfarm299

    funnyfarm299 AllStar

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    I've just had too many service calls with wireless networking, usually because the customer changes their wireless settings and it breaks attached devices. NEVER underestimate customer stupidity.

    As for a larger splitter, I'm just an 'isolationist'. The more devices you have inline, the greater chance for one device breaking the whole chain.
     
  10. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

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    Thanks for the correction, sloppiness on my part.
     
  11. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    "I sort of" get what you're saying, but either don't subscribe, or don't see the chain.
    LNB-->splitter -->PI--> WCCK (which has internal 2-way] -->receiver.
     
  12. funnyfarm299

    funnyfarm299 AllStar

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    I prefer having the reciever skip the WCCK and PI, and have a direct wire to the splitter. Same with the WCCK and PI. I realize they all stack, but I would rather it all happen in the main splitter than one after another, because effectively each device is a splitter, causing the reciever to get the signal AFTER it passes through each device.
     
  13. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    That just isn't happening.
    Yes, the WCCK has an internal 2-way, so there is a 3 dB drop in it's output, but you'll have more by using a larger main splitter, so this is a wash.
    The PI costs about 1 dB of loss, which is so little as to only be a concern with extremely long coax runs, which gets you back to not wanting to use a large main splitter.
    Maybe old habits are hard to change, but there simply isn't much logic here that supports it.
     
  14. BobStokesbary

    BobStokesbary Legend

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    Back to OP's question, I would make sure all fittings are wrench tight. As noted, everything you have seems OK. I am also assuming you have not made any changes such as reconnecting the splitter and not having the PI feed going through the splitter correctly. (Your HR34/PI line has to be connected to the terminal with the red insert or red line showing from that terminal to the dish connection.)

    I also think it is a good idea to have the tech check things out as scheduled. It would be a good idea to get the LNB ground wire connected. You guys get some wicked storms down there and it would be a really good idea to have that grounded. And he might be able to give you a second opinion about your CCK installation.

    Just my thoughts.
     
  15. HoTat2

    HoTat2 Hall Of Fame

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    Los...
    Be careful not to wrench tighten to any metal female-F connectors mounted to plastic such as those on the LNB, PI, or receiver inputs beyond a slight nudge for snugness.

    Metal female-F connectors on metal mounts such as a ground block or SWiM switch inputs and outputs are Ok for wrenching, but even there be careful not to over tighten.
     
  16. dielray

    dielray Legend

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    Aug 5, 2009
    I'm a bit of an isolationist myself. As techs we have concerns that DIYers just don't have.

    I like to isolate the PI due to the impendance mismatch. Although a longer jumper would correct this, I don't want the customer changing it out with a low grade store bought one because they consider it too long. DirecTV only reimburses the HSPs for 1 splitter on a job, so we are pressured to not use more than one unless necessary.

    I have had quite a few service calls for pixalization on a receiver inline to a WiFi DECA. I can be fairly sure it is due to the jumper that used to be included, but not sure enough to risk it if the system will remain healthy with a larger splitter.

    I'll use a larger splitter to isolate these when the additional loss will not have a negative impact. Having everything on 1 splitter simplifies everything for the next tech, as well as pleases the HSPs.

    We techs have seen plenty of equipment that should be fine have production problems that cause issues. Isolating things just prevents, in theory, the down line components from being as affected if there is a production problem. If we get a box of bad components that will fail within the first few months and enough service calls are generated, we will get a pay cut.

    As far as voltage drop, I haven't seen anything that reliably states a hard number for minimum voltage at the LNB. I have seen a system working well where the power inserter's path was 30 ft of RG59 and 50 ft of SC RG6. Voltage at the LNB(in peaking mode) was a little more than 15V @ ~500mA. That's the lowest I have seen it, and I'm not sure at what point it would stop working properly with 8 tuners in use and the AGC working at its max.
     
  17. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    It makes prefect sense to not want to install a 10-15' coil of coax behind a receiver that also has the PI.
    There isn't a "one size, or one way" fits all customer installations either.

    There is also nothing wrong with:
    There are simply too many myths installer's have also, that either aren't true, or don't make any sense.
     
  18. dielray

    dielray Legend

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    Agreed. Many of them come from hearsay the sups hear and pass on to techs. One of the problems is the techs don't have a way to get an official answer.
     
  19. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Yes, it's another reason the training should have "why" things work, instead of a stupid list of "do this & don't do this".
    "Somewhere" someone should know how it works and be the point contact for information/questions.
     
  20. BobStokesbary

    BobStokesbary Legend

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    We do --- YOU. This is why I follow all your posts. :) Seriously, I have learned a heck of a lot from your posts.
     

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