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Help with signal problem on only one receiver

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Installation/MDU Discussion' started by cover, Jun 22, 2012.

  1. cover

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    Feb 11, 2007
    One of my 7 HR boxes has recently started having video and audio dropouts/breakups/freezes and 771 Search for Signal messages. I've watched other boxes on the same channel at the same time and they are all fine. They are all on a SWiM.

    The problem box is an HR24-500 and has always been fine previously. I can't think of anything that has changed in the environment.

    I appreciate any suggestions on what the problem could be or things to try.
     
  2. HoTat2

    HoTat2 Hall Of Fame

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    Try swapping it out with a receiver operating properly. If that receiver experiences the same issues, chances are the cabling to that location has gone bad.

    If not then its the receiver having problems and you'll have to call DIRECTV for new one. Unfortunately all your recordings lost on it notwithstanding.
     
  3. jdspencer

    jdspencer Hall Of Fame

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    I'd also check the splitter output going to that receiver.
     
  4. cover

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    Feb 11, 2007
    Thanks. Late last night, I tried connecting the cable going to the "bad" receiver to the other splitter. (I have two green splitters hanging off a SWiM16.) Seemed the easiest thing to try and all I had energy for last night :). Moving the receiver to the other splitter did seem to fix the problem.

    So, I'm thinking either the connection had mysteriously worked its way loose or the port on the splitter was going bad. Both seem unlikely to me, I'm not sure which more so.

    Other receivers on both splitters seem to be working fine.

    Has anyone seen a splitter go bad? Other than connecting another box to the suspect port, is there a way to test the splitter? Would you recommend replacing the splitter just to be safe or leaving it alone if everything seems to be OK now?

    Thanks again for the help!
     
  5. dogbreath

    dogbreath AllStar DBSTalk Club

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    Had an 8 way fail one time but not slowly, everything connected to it stopped receiving a signal.
     
  6. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Splitters are made from passive components and as such are almost bulletproof.
    99.9% of the time, it's something else that's the problem.
    Coax connectors have a higher chance of going bad than a splitter.
    You need to physically damage one for it to fail.
     
  7. cover

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    Feb 11, 2007
    OK, thanks VOS. I thought that was the case, but wasn't certain with the newer stuff.

    While I'm messing with this, would there be any noticeable benefit if I replaced an 8-way splitter with a 4-way? The installer used one 4-way and one 8-way. I have 7 HR2x boxes and don't expect that to change anytime soon.
     
  8. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

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    4 way is better than 8 way, less loss. Which splitter was the HR24 connected to originally?
     
  9. cover

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    Feb 11, 2007
    The HR that was having trouble was on the 4-way and I moved it to the 8-way.

    With regard to the signal loss on the splitters, I thought that was the case but am wondering if there's 10 dollars and 10 minutes worth of difference in actual performance to make the change worthwhile.

    Thanks
     
  10. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    If it's working now, I'd say "no".
    If I was buying splitters, I wouldn't get one larger than I needed.
    Larger splitters have more loss, so the coax runs can't be as long.
    The SWiM is designed for a range of loss of 30 dB. There is very little difference between having 15 dB of loss and 25 dB of loss, as both are within the range.
     
  11. cover

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    Feb 11, 2007
    OK, then. I should probably leave well enough alone.

    I noticed last night that open connections on the splitters weren't terminated and I know I left one open last night.

    The SWiM and splitters are in my crawlspace, so its humid but not wet. Should I buy some terminators and put them on? If so, should terminators be used on the power pass ports?

    Thanks again for all the advice.
     
  12. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    ALL unused ports should be terminated. This isn't for weather, but to keep the RF signals from reflecting, which causes problems [like maybe what you have in the first place].
    Power passing ports are to be used for the PI, but if you're not connecting a PI to one, then they're no different than any other port and should be terminated.
     
  13. cover

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    Feb 11, 2007
    Would whatever terminators I may be able to find at Lowe's or Home Depot be ok to use?
     
  14. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Yes, as terminations are very "low tech", by being a 75 ohm resistor.
     
  15. cover

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    Feb 11, 2007
    Got all the unused ports terminated and tightened all the connections up. Still not sure exactly what the original problem was, but everything seems to be fine now. Very glad that it seems to be a connection issue and not the box itself - lots of things I haven't watched on a 2TB external drive.

    Thanks again for the help and advice.
     

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