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Differences in levels between tuners/R15-300

Discussion in 'DIRECTV SD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by Rivergoat, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. Rivergoat

    Rivergoat AllStar

    Sep 17, 2006
    Just curious as to this. Some transponders (Sat 101) show equal levels between tuner 1 and tuner 2. On some 2 is higher than 1, others 1 higher than 2. Usually the differences are no more than 3%, but there are some transponders where the difference is 5 or more %. It's not always one tuner higher than the other, as I stated some the first tuner exceeds the second, others it's the other way around. Is it due to frequency responses of the transponder signal, or something else?

    I'm not really having any significant troubles. I recently replaced connectors at the outside of the building due to moisture corrosion. This cured an intermittent loss of signal. I also checked connectors at the LNB, and found them to be just fine.

    For the most part my signal levels range from the high 80s to high 90s, so I'm fine with that.
  2. litzdog911

    litzdog911 DIRECTV A-Team

    Jun 23, 2004
    Mill Creek, WA
    Probably nothing to worry about. What happens if you swap the two SAT IN cables? That would tell you if it's internal to the R15, or slight differences from your dish/multiswitch.
  3. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

    Jun 14, 2003
    Salem, OR
    Make sure you're taking your measurements on a clear day and establishing an average reading for each tuner. If the signals are fluctuating several percent on one tuner, it is almost likely that the other tuner is going to swing too if you wait long enough.
  4. Rivergoat

    Rivergoat AllStar

    Sep 17, 2006
    Thanks, guys. Yeah, I do real checking on clear days. I look during cloudy/rainy days just to see the effect of rain fade.

    The biggest difference between the 2 tuners in always on the same transponders, I think 16 is one of those. And yes, I have swapped SAT IN cables. I think the issue follows the cables, which is what got me started on a connector replacement. At that time I also started noticing severe drop outs....90%...74%....0%....65%....84%....0%...well, you get the idea. When I disconnected the F connectors from the building's grounding block they were obviously dark, moist, corroding inside. I changed all the connectors, replaced the grounding blocks (couldn't locate a dual, went with 2 singles....then still had issues with one of those singles and bypassed it with a barrel connector and some tight insulating tape - I have seen some dual grounding blocks since, I'll only change again if a need)after the connector swap levels are pretty much are rock solid, no drifting over more than .5-1%. With all this recent servicing it got me noticing the variance in the tuners on selected transponders.

    BTW...what's the favored connector? I have used crimp style F connectors, and find if I do a dual crimp they are much better (the general instruction just shows using one slot in the jaw, but if I do the first one only, the connector loves to slip out of the connector anyway. I have been doing a second crimp using the next smaller jaw size, and I get an excellent crimp, with the edges of the connector slightly flared out and tight on the RG6, but not to the point of damaging it). Anyway, are the compression style connectors any more secure? They take a different tool, which I'm not too eager to spend on for a few connectors at the moment.

    Even though I'm in Silicon Valley I can't find a good source of satellite parts. Fry's Electronics (not my usual preferred store) does, however, have a lot of both compression and crimp connectors and accessories, which was a nice surprise. I've seen a satellite supplier on line with everything, including replacement LNBs as needed.

    Hey...and one final question...that site shows an optional slightly larger round dish, 24" I think. It's listed as being able to increase signal strength over the standard dish (which is what, 17", smaller? I'd have to check, but mine is the standard).

    Except for the recent connector issues, I've not had much trouble with DTV installations over the years (been with them for over 10 years), and have always done the dish installation myself at various locations....
  5. CCarncross

    CCarncross Hall Of Fame

    Jul 19, 2005
    No one here will recommend crimp connections anymore, almost everyone has switched over to compression fittings, they are much preferred.
  6. litzdog911

    litzdog911 DIRECTV A-Team

    Jun 23, 2004
    Mill Creek, WA
    Absolutely stay away from "crimp" or "screw on" connectors. Compression fittings are the way to go.
  7. carl6

    carl6 Moderator

    Nov 15, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    Absolutely, only use compression. As to where to buy them (and the tool for them), both Home Depot and Lowe's carry them, so you might check there. You will probably also need to get a stripping tool so you get the right amount of center conductor, shield, etc., all lined up for using the compression connector.

    Trust us on this though, the few extra $$ you spend doing this will give you years of reliable service.
  8. Rivergoat

    Rivergoat AllStar

    Sep 17, 2006
    Next time I need to change connectors, I'll go with compression. I saw them and the tool at Fry's, but would check for the best tool for the buck. I already have a coax stripper, I've been doing this stuff for awhile, but until now just older crimp style connectors.

    Thanks for all the feedback :)
  9. ThomasM

    ThomasM RF Engineer

    Jul 20, 2007
    Milwaukee, WI
    The R15-300 is an SD receiver which does not receive the much higher frequency HD channels (even after downconversion) so crimp connectors work just fine. So does good quality Belden "duo bond" RG-59 cable TV cable for runs under 75 ft for that matter!!

    Granted, the compression fittings are preferred but when I installed one of my R15-300's I was lazy and had an existing run of the aforementioned (with crimp connectors) so I installed a fancy new "DirecTV approved" high frequency quad-shield cable with compression fittings to feed the second tuner only. Actually, it really IS DirecTV cable since the installer gave it to me and it says "DirecTV" right on it!

    Surprise surprise. Transponder readings between tuners never vary by more than ONE point on the 0-100 scale!!

    Now, for fancy SWM and/or HD installs or long runs I probably would go with the snazzy, expensive cable & connectors...

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