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First Look report on new SWM8

Discussion in 'DIRECTV - Special Request Legacy Items (private)' started by hdtvfan0001, Oct 11, 2008.

  1. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

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    I thought I'd write up a summary of my experiences on the new SWM8 that I just received yesterday, as well as its installation. I'd encourage others who have been fortunate enough to participate in this new SWM8 release to do the same.

    First, let me say that I am glad to be part of the testing team - Doug and DirecTV - thank you for the opportunity.

    I have previously received, installed, and tested an SWM5 in my location, with plenty of practice in installing brand new compression connectors, cables, splitters, and diplexers. I've been lucky enought to test other equipment in the past as well, so I am a bit of a veteran....but always learn new things every time I go through this process.

    My installation involved the setup of 2 devices. First, I removed my SWM5 and reconfigured the installation via a replacement by the SWM8. Second, I then used the SWM5 to replace an aging Zinwell WB8 multiswitch.

    Since I already had a series of 4 (5-2300Mhz Skywalker Model SKY23302D) splitters connected from the outputs of my Sonora Power Inserter unit, I already had the heavy lifting in place to run 2 parallel SWM units. (note: in the photos, you will see a white low-voltage cabinet, which now contains my SWM5 - that is where the second set of Dish outputs leads to).

    The other elements I leveraged included the removal of 2 diplexers for OTA (to 2 HR20-700's), which were no longer needed, since I reran my OTA to the SWM8 and through the SWM1 and SMW2 outputs to the HD DVRs in the new layout.

    As you will also notice in the photos, I took the SWM1 and SWM2 outputs and ran them through 2 more (5-2300Mhz) Skywalker Model SKY23302D splitters, to effectively create a total of 4 SWM outputs (to 8 tuners).

    In a similar fashion, I set up the SWM5 in much the same manner inside the white low-voltage cabinet shown in the photos. That provides me with a total of 5 more tuner support.

    In all, I can now operate HD DVRs with a total of 13 tuners. Since my H20-100 HD receiver only has 1 tuner (unlike a DVR, which would use 2 at a time), and I also have 3 HR DVRs (6 tuners in all), this leaves me with a total of 6 still-available tuners for added HD receivers or DVRs. I hope to get another HD DVR soon.

    As for the SWM8 install - with the reconfiguration...all I had to do was plug everything in (after double-checking all my connections - which I always suggest, no matter how many times you do these things) - and then I rebooted each of my HD DVRs and HD receiver (so that they could detect the new SWM setup.

    Immediately, everything worked perfectly. All devices detected the new SWM8 and secondary SWM5 units. Singal levels were virtually identical to the previous configuration, including OTA signals (I had read that some previous SWM8 models had slightly lower OTA levels).

    All Internet, Network, and Network Services tested out perfectly.

    Widgets, Fortunes, and Mediashare operate on all HD DVRs perfectly.

    All favorites, channels, and recorded items operate perfectly.

    In short - all is very well on the SWM8 (and SWM5) front.

    Now some SWM8 details:

    There is a site here, which provides various wiring diagrams, FAQ information, and good solid information on SWM8 specifications as well:

    http://www.swm8.com/

    As for my unit -

    Stamped on the unit:

    Manufacture date is 10/3/08.

    Firmware date is 8/22/08.

    Firmware version - 2.0.16
    Firmware Library version - 2.0.7

    The units came with a very similar Power Inserter (PI) as came with the SWM5...the differences are very, very small, and revolve around the actual power delivered.

    As for the rest...a picture (or several) are worth 1000 words. Good luck fellow testers. Please share your information here.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

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    If anyone else has theirs installed, and has their own installation information/photos...please feel free to add their insights in this thread.
     
  3. terrelliott

    terrelliott Godfather

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    Okay, so how do you break the ota back out behind the receiver? Just a regular splitter? I was using some diplexers, but they don't work with the swm setup.:confused:
     
  4. Grentz

    Grentz New Member

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    Very nice, I love how nicely laid out your setup is. I wish I could do that in my space but alas it is too tight of a space to do it nicely in and thus I must go for the ole quick and dirty method :p

    terrelliott, you should just use a diplexer to break the OTA back out. What model do you currently have? You will want to use one that does 40-XXX on the OTA out/in instead of 5-XXX so as it will not mess with the control signal (~2.3mhz).
     
  5. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

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    Here's what I used on both HR20-700's:

    CHANNELMASTER CM4001IFD COMBINER

    They don't cost all that much...if you do a Google with that model number, you can find them at a reasonable price.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. terrelliott

    terrelliott Godfather

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    Cockrum, MS
    So, plug the ota antenna into the ota input of the swm, and use the Channelmaster to split it back out on the tv side?
     
  7. Grentz

    Grentz New Member

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    Jan 10, 2007
    Yup.

    Or potentially use a Diplexer (the Channel Master) on the SWM output by the SWM to input OTA and then another to split it back out on the TV side. Reason to do this would be that the OTA port on the SWM has a lot of loss as it splits to both SWM outputs and is meant for commercial use.
     
  8. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

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    Actually I saw almost NO loss going through the SWM8 for OTA, but then, I have the Sonora unit prior to the SWM8 for the sat signal, and line amp for the OTA, so both sources are very solid to start with and work well through the SWM8 outputs.
     
  9. mikeinthekeys

    mikeinthekeys Godfather

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    After initially making minimal changes just to see if the SWM8 was working I did a major rewiring. I moved the SWM module to the dish, ran the PI feed as the only line running all the way to the dish and diplexed in the antenna. Sequence is PI - diplexer adding in antenna - 4-way splitter feeding local TV and three receivers throughout the house. In one remote room, used diplexer to feed TV and HR20. Strong OTA signal at both TVs along with only a slight (one or two points on signal strength) reduction after all was done. Using Radio Shack splitters rated 40-2150mhz and they seem to be fine. All in all I'm very satisfied with the SWM8 and I'm in good with the wife who hated the four cables feeding into the house through our patio. Thanks again to all who helped set up this test. Good work, Doug!

    BTW, the diplexer worked better to combine in the OTA feed than using the OTA input on the module itself.
     
  10. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

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    Here is a great site with an FAQ and Specification information on SWM*'s, as well as diagrams for several different wiring scenarios:

    http://www.swm8.com/
     
  11. LameLefty

    LameLefty I used to be a rocket scientist

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    Middle...
    Here's something I just noticed about the First Look pics (and I'm not at home to see if mine is the same). But the pics show a PI-28 power inserter. In the SWM and SWMlnb threads, folks like VOS are indicating that the current SWMs use as PI-29 and that the SWMlnb use a PI-21.

    Or am I just confused?
     
  12. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

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    The SWM8 I got came with a PI-28...with a very, very slight variation in power output to the other one I already had for my SWM5.

    Good eyes!
     
  13. HDTVsportsfan

    HDTVsportsfan New Member

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    I thought they were exactly yhe same. I'm going to have to check. I just used the one for the SWM5 for the SWM8. I checked the labels, maybe I didn't check close enough....I will whenI get home.
     
  14. LameLefty

    LameLefty I used to be a rocket scientist

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    Middle...
    FWIW, my power inserter is the same model PI-28 as shown in hdtvfan0001's pics.
     
  15. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

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    The only difference on the SWM8 and SWM5 Power Injectors (both are PI-28's) are extremely slight amp and voltage differences....
     
  16. bsboggs

    bsboggs Legend

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    Well ... Thank you D* , Doug, and DBSTalk.com for the equipment and the opportunity to test the new SWM-8.

    Yesterday I pulled out my entertainment center and installed a new hr21-200. I already had an hr20-100 and an old Samsung SIR S4080R.

    Start of connection procedure:
    All DVR boxes powered down and unplugged.

    I have the four cables from the dish going through the exterior wall. I connected these to the four SWM-8 satellite inputs. I then connected the power converter to the SWM/Power connection on the SWM-8. After this I connected the IRD output of the power converter to my hr20 and the other swm output of the SWM-8 to my hr21.
    I finally connected two of the three legacy outputs of the SWM-8 to my SIR S4080R.
    After all connections were made I powered up the SWM-8. I then powered up one box at a time and checked the tuner signal strength (didn't write these down just observed that they were at decent levels).

    Well ... no problems at all :) . The boxes came up and were fully functional.

    I guess I have nothing else to report except to say that the directions were clearly written and easy to follow. I'll continue using the system and report any concerns, problems or whatever.

    Thanks again!
     
  17. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for sharing your experience! :)
     
  18. HDTVsportsfan

    HDTVsportsfan New Member

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    For whatever reason i took the bold approach and just pulled the power on the existing PI from the SWM5 installed last year and then installed the new SWM8 and simply reconnected the PI. All was/is well.

    Back on topic. need any picutres taken HDVTfan......? :D
     
  19. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

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    Everyone always like pictures! :D

    That's up to you if you want to share.
     

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