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DTV installed this AM - This PM - Random searching for Signal errors....Help (please)

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Installation/MDU Discussion' started by CalifLove, Feb 12, 2011.

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  1. CalifLove

    CalifLove Cool Member

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    Mar 24, 2009
    Hello everyone -

    Looking for help here.
    After many battles and issues I finally had DTV Setup in my home. -
    I ordered the following -
    2 HD DVR
    1 HD Receiver
    Whole Home w/ Cinema Plus (I believe Cinema + is On Demand?)
    The guys came out this morning and set up the system - The following equipment was used:
    1 Swim8 Switch
    SWIM Pwr Module
    Several 2 way splits (Perfect Vision Brand?)
    1, 1x4 split (Perfect Vision Brand?)
    2 HR 24
    1 H24
    1 BBC
    I live in a townhome with a shared dish -- the dish setup is a Simline 5.
    The setup this morning went fairly well though neither tech seemed to know how DECA worked nor did they bring any with them so I was left to attempt to setup the internet connection to the boxes on my own - more on that later.
    Anyway, this evening, my girl and I were watching TV and get the dreaded "Searching for signal on Satellite In 1" on in our bedroom. I'm immediately upset because it is that very error message that made me jump through more hoops than I care to recount 2 years ago and ultimately canceling my service.
    I go outside to our buildings MPOE to check things out. What I see there doesn't jive with any setup or diagram I have seen on this forum or make much sense to me - not to say it is wrong but it just doesn’t make any sense.
    I'll try to be as clear as possible –
    The 4 LNB feeds from the dish (Slimline 5 I am told) are passed to 4 separate "1 in 2 out splitters" (Labeled Perfect Vision). Out of that those splitters, 4 lines are sent to an older Zinwell 6x8 switch that is feeding another townhome in the building and the other 4 are feeding the SWIM8 SAT input ports. Out of the SWIM 8, there is 1 line feeding my Home via the “SWM PWR port” on the SWIM8 switch. One of the legacy ports is patched into a SWIM power inserter and nothing is on the IRD port from the Power inserter. The 2 Flex ports along with 2 remaining legacy ports & SWM 2 and OTA ports are left empty.
    My unit’s feed is coming from the SWM PWR port on the SWIM8 connected via a cable with a broad band filter on it. Seeing as everything I have read has told me that BBC’s and SWIMS don’t mix this struck me as odd.
    Working off of a diagram from SatPro, I tried to troubleshoot a bit and got to re-wiring things. First, I moved the pwr inserter to its proper port labeled SWM PWR – removed the BBC from my line and then connected my home feed to the IRD port on the pwr inserter which then runs to the 1x4 split in my house. That gets me limited success as only one receiver (after re running sat setup) gets any channels at all but many are missing (searching for signal). The others see signal when I switch to the Signal Strength menu and select SWM as the Satellite but I cannot see any channels that I try to find.
    That led me to taking my home feed from the power inserters IRD feed and putting it on the SWM2 port out of the SWIM8. This yielded the same results as running through the power inserter.

    At this point its late and I’m sure my neighbors think I am a mad man running between my garage and the MPOE at 1230am but I ‘d really like to try and fix this and don’t want to wait for DTV to come out to do it for me…even though they will get a earful tomorrow.

    So far all the serious techs out (or very well informed) any idea where else I can look or what I can change to troubleshoot?

    Thanks guys and sorry for the essay…
     
  2. matt

    matt New Member

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    Jan 11, 2010
    The power inserter can run on the Legacy 3 port of the SWM8, even though it isn't labeled as such. I would put the PI back on this port so all the signal doesn't run through it like it does after your rewiring, but either way it can go on SWM1 if you want, and run off the IRD port on the PI or off the SWM2 output, it's not that important. If you choose to put the PI on SWM1 and take your signal from SWM2 you need to put a terminator on the PI's IRD port.

    Are you sure you have a BBC and not a BSF? The BBC is black, with a black pigtail, maybe 2"x4", and the BSF is maybe 0.5"x1" and is red, with a white pigtail. If it is red, you may have an older SWM8 that needs to have the BSF installed basically right on the SWM1 (or SWM2 if you take your signal from there with the PI on SWM PWR) port. You shouldn't need a BBC anywhere on your side.

    The first thing I would check is the splitters. Are they both ports power passing? If you don't know how to tell, can you read any model numbers on them? Sometimes they have a red line printed on the label that runs from the input to the output. If it only does that on one output those are the wrong splitters. If both sides have it or it says it is all ports passing then those are probably ok.

    Next make sure they are connected properly. There are 4 different lines: 13V, 18V, 13V 22kHz, 18V 22kHz. You can't mix and match these on the splitters, but it doesn't matter which one is which from the dish. The first splitter should have the dish on the input and the outputs go to 13V on both the 6x8 and SWM8. The next splitter should have a feed from the dish and go to the 18V on both the 6x8 and SWM8. The next splitter should have a feed from the dish and go to the 13V 22kHz on both the 6x8 and SWM8. The next splitter should have a feed from the dish and go to the 18V 22kHz on both the 6x8 and SWM8. If they get crossed around that can cause problems.

    Let us know what you find. :)
     
  3. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Dec 9, 2006
    Matt has good info.
    I'd move the PI back to the #3 legacy port [myself]. Doing this means you don't care about the DC passing ports on the splitters "AFTER" the SWM8.
    Now DO CHECK the splitters going to the SWM8 & WB68. THE SWM8 MUST BE on the power passing leg of the four splitters. IF THEY GO to the WB68, then this will explain exactly what is happening, since the SWM8 is to be powering the dish, and not the WB68!!!!!!!!!!!

    The "broad band filter", I doubt is one, but it the bandstop filter used for DECA.

    All splitters on the SWM8 output should/must have green labels. If they don't, then the coax networking won't work as well as it should, but this isn't your current SAT signal problem.
     
  4. CalifLove

    CalifLove Cool Member

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    Mar 24, 2009
    Thanks for the information guys -

    You are correct, after looking further, what I thought was a BBC is a BSF. I have put everything back to the way it was prior to my tinkering (took pictures pre changes) and now nothing works!

    Looking at all of the 1 x 2 splitters coming down from the SAT - All show "POWER PASSING". Again those splitters take the sat signal and feed the SWM8 and the other 6x8.

    The 1x4 splitter at my unit shows the input line only passing power to one of the outputs - could that be an issue?

    And finally..after all of this non-sense I have done to make things worse not better - is there somthing on the receivers I should do to reset so I can at least get to where I was last night - some TV on some channels with intermitent searching for signal errors instead of no tv at all which is where I am at now :(
     
  5. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Dec 9, 2006
    If you've moved the PI back to the #3 legacy port, then the 1x4 splitter isn't passing any [DC] power.

    Still not sure about those 2-way splitters.
    "For grins" remove them and connect the dish straight to your SWM8. Then maybe power cycle the SWM & then your receivers. Check what they're doing and post back.
    If the WB68 is for your neighbor, "you might" want to give them a heads up. :lol:
     
  6. CalifLove

    CalifLove Cool Member

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    Mar 24, 2009
    I would try disconnecting the other guys 6x8 but seeing as I haven't been able to get my original config to work after restoring it back to the way the techs left it I am hesitant to mess with anyone elses setup.

    Question - do the relievers or 1x4 splitter in my home need power to be passed to them?
     
  7. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Dec 9, 2006
    No.

    You may have bad coax between the splitters and your SWM.

    Mark the cables so you can replace them in the same positions and then I'd still pull the splitters out, run the coax straight to your SWM8 and see what happens.
    If nothing works, then connect it back for the neighbor and "they should be good" again. This will also show if your SWM8 is functioning.
    Sometimes you simply need to simplify things to know what isn't working.
     
  8. CalifLove

    CalifLove Cool Member

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    Mar 24, 2009
    Thanks -

    I called Dtv and they are going to send a guy out on Tuesday with a swim16 and deca's to do the install properly... The tech on the line actually seemed to know the hardware so I explained how the guys set the system up and he thought it was "creative" but not correct.

    In the meantime, I talked with my neighbor who is running from the zinwell 6x8. He has 1 HR23 and a H24 in his home which I understand is swim capatible. With that being the case - he is experiencing the same random searching for signal errors as I am. He is on board to try and help figure it and said I can disconnect his lines as necessary to troubleshoot.

    I disconnected 2 way splitters from the sat and ran those lines (keeping the correct voltage lines to the correct inputs) and came back to my house - seems to be the same problem - 1 of my tv's has some channels, the rest have none. I've re ran setup on all of the boxes and some part of the tuner tests always fail. I dont think there is much else for me to check prior to the guys coming here next week do you guys... looks like we'll be TV'less for the next few days - good thing football is over ! :)
     
  9. RobertE

    RobertE New Member

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    Jun 9, 2006
    With paralleled setups, it is critical that the incoming split lines go to the exact same ports on each switch. If not, there will be problems.

    Additionally, if there is a problem with one of the splitters or the line/connector going to one of the four incoming splitters, there will also be problems.

    Personally, I do not like the idea of running you and your neighbor off a single SWiM 16. I may sound simpler, but it introduces it's own set of problems. One of which is where the power inserter will be. If it's in your unit, and you unplug it for whatever reason, now your neighbor has no tv. I don't recommend going te SWiM 16 route. The way it is setup now is the best IMO.
     
  10. CalifLove

    CalifLove Cool Member

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    Mar 24, 2009
    That brings a good point. The inserter is not in my unit but at the mope for our building so neither of us would have reason to unplug it...does that change your opinion?
     
  11. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Dec 9, 2006
    If it's connected like this:
    [​IMG]
    And each of you use one of the outputs, and had a Bandstop filter blocking the two of you [connected to one of the outputs], then each of you can run up to eight tuners and be completely separate.
    If both of you are having the same problems, then it seems to be from either the cabling down from the dish or the LNB at the dish.
     
  12. RobertE

    RobertE New Member

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    Jun 9, 2006
    If the PI can be placed at a location that has constant power, then that does relieve that concern.

    I suspect you will find a bad inbound splitter or connection going to the splitter, killing that grouping. Find and fix that, and all should be well.

    Prior to this, has your neighbor had any problems?
     
  13. CalifLove

    CalifLove Cool Member

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    Mar 24, 2009
    Thanks veryoldschool, your diagram makes complete sense to me.

    Seeing as my neighbor was off and running fine prior to my installation, it stands to reason that the cables from the sat down are good - does it not?

    Without having test equipment or easy access to the dish itself, is there anyway to trace the different voltage outputs to the splitters to ensure they are in fact all in the correct order? Would knowing the results of various signal test from my receivers help with that?
     
  14. David MacLeod

    David MacLeod New Member

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    Jan 29, 2008
    ran swm and wb616 paralleled for long time with no issues, I did have a feed mismatch when first connecting that caused this to happen to me.
     
  15. houskamp

    houskamp Active Member

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    Sep 14, 2006
    input to splitters from dish don't matter.. what DOES matter is the outputs of them are matched.. both the wb68 and the swm are marked for inputs.. make sure these match.. one splitter to the same input on both wb68 and swm..
     
  16. David MacLeod

    David MacLeod New Member

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    Jan 29, 2008
    iirc they are not orientated the same on the units too so (iirc) its not just top to top, actually have to look at wording.
     
  17. houskamp

    houskamp Active Member

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    Sep 14, 2006
    oh one more thing..
    if splitters are marked for powerpassing on one port, hook the powerpass port to the swm..
     
  18. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Didn't you connect the coax down from the dish straight to your SWM8?
    If you did this and it still had a problem, then these cables may be the problem.
     
  19. CalifLove

    CalifLove Cool Member

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    Mar 24, 2009
    Veryoldschool - the problems for the neighbor started shortly after the install of my equipment yesterday afternoon.

    David- the splitters installed for me look exactly the same save for a different brand.
     

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