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Need help utilizing dual tuners in DirecTV R15 receiver

Discussion in 'DIRECTV SD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by aburdick1, Apr 8, 2006.

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  1. Apr 8, 2006 #1 of 60
    aburdick1

    aburdick1 Cool Member

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    Apr 8, 2006
    I live in Chicago, subscribe to DirecTV, and have recently upgraded to the new Ka/Ku 5-LNB MPEG-4 DirecTV dish, and the R15 DirecTV Plus DVR receiver. I have only one cable going into the room with the R15 in it, and am trying to figure out if I can still somehow use both of the receiver's tuners. (Unfortunately, running a second cable into that room isn't an option.)

    I have been doing some research online about stackers and destackers, and based on what I've read, the R15 has an internal destacker. In theory, then, all I should have to do is (a) install a high-frequency splitter between the wall outlet and the R15, (b) connect the outputs of the splitter to the 2 tuners, and (c) turn on the stacked LNB feature on the R15 receiver, to be able to use both tuners.

    I have tried this configuration (using a 2 GHz Monster Cable splitter) and I am unable to get the receiver to connect to the satellite. I have also tried other configurations -- installing only the splitter without turning on the stacked LNB feature, and vice versa, turning on the stacked LNB feature without installing the splitter -- and I get the same result. When I have the stacked LNB feature turned on, and check the signal strength for the transponders of the various satellites in setup, only half (I can't remember if it's odd or even) of the transponders have any signal strength.

    Can anyone help me figure out what I'm missing? Does the problem I'm describing suggest that the signal coming from the satellite dish is not stacked (which I have always assumed it is, since I have just one line coming from the dish to each room, and I can get all my channels in each room)? Is my 2 GHz splitter not high-frequency enough? Is there another piece of the puzzle I'm missing?

    I'd appreciate anyone's advice or suggestions...

    Thanks,
    Andy Burdick
    Chicago, IL
     
  2. Apr 8, 2006 #2 of 60
    FLWingNut

    FLWingNut Godfather

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    I'm pretty sure the missing step is that you need a stacker at the dish, then use the unstacker in the R15. Someone will correct me if I'm wrong.
     
  3. Apr 8, 2006 #3 of 60
    Mr2sday

    Mr2sday Cool Member

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    Yeah, you need a stacker at the dish.

    You can get all the channels from one line at the others because the one line can do either odd or even-- there are threads out there with more description, for now odd or even is enough. All the channels are on the odd or even section.

    So the one line to the splitter to 2 lines doesn't work because at some point (the one line) you can't have odd and even at the same time. The stacker puts either the odd or the even, I don't know which, at a higher frequency so the one line can do them both at once.
     
  4. Apr 9, 2006 #4 of 60
    carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

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    The normal way a receiver/dvr tuner and dish lnb work is that the receiver sends a DC voltage to the LNB to tell it what polarity to use for a given channel.

    With a single satellite round dish, you can use a stacker which essentially takes all of the even polarity signals and frequency shifts them, then combines them onto the same coax that the odd polarity signals are on. Then using a destacker at the receiver, the process is reversed so that the odd and even polarities are again voltage selected.

    When you go to a multi-satellite dish (either the oval 3-LNB, or the 5-LNB), you can't use traditional stackers because the dishes themselves do a form of stacking to combine the signals from the additional LNB's, so the portion of the frequency spectrum that the stacker would use is already being used by the dish.

    So, in your specific case, you are out of luck, unless all of the programming you get comes only from the 101 satellite, in which case you could use a round, dual LNB dish and a stacker. Of course, if you stack the signal at the dish, then you need a destacker at every receiver/dvr location.

    Carl
     
  5. Apr 9, 2006 #5 of 60
    danpedraza

    danpedraza Mentor

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    So right now if i put the dvr in a room with only 1 cable i would get single tuner dvr functionality?
     
  6. Apr 9, 2006 #6 of 60
    carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

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    Yes.

    Carl
     
  7. aburdick1

    aburdick1 Cool Member

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    Apr 8, 2006
    Based on everyone's feedback, here's what I am going to try:

    I have purchased a Zinwell Wide-Band 6x8 multiswitch and a DBS Micro Stacker from eBay. I am going to:

    1. Connect the 4 cables coming from the satellite dish into the multiswitch inputs
    2. Run 2 cables from the multiswitch outputs into the stacker inputs
    3. Connect the stacker output to the cable going to the R15
    4. Connect the cables going to my other receivers directly to other free multiswitch outputs
    5. Disconnect the cable currently going from the wall outlet to the R15, and instead connect it to the 2 GHz splitter
    6. Run two cables from the splitter outputs to the 2 tuner inputs on the R15
    7. Switch the R15 to the "stacked LNB" setting

    I'm planning on doing this in two phases: first, get the multiswitch working, and then add the stacker. I'll let everyone know how it goes; thanks for your feedback!

    Andy
     
  8. PANCHITO

    PANCHITO Legend

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    Apr 7, 2006
    If you only have 2 receivers you don't need a multiswitch, out of the dish run 1 cable to the h20 and 2 to the stacker and you are going to need a dual receiver dstacker from the wall outlet. good luck
     
  9. aburdick1

    aburdick1 Cool Member

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    Apr 8, 2006
    Panchito -- first of all, welcome to DBS Talk. I do in fact need the multiswitch, because I need a total of 5 lines: 2 to run into the stacker for the R15, 2 to go to my old DirecTV/TiVo unit, and 1 to go to my new H20.

    As for the destacker, from my research online, the R15 has an internal destacker; once I get the stacker and splitter installed, I am planning on turning on that feature on the R15, and hopefully that's all I will need to do.

    Speaking of the multiswitch, I installed it today, and it works seamlessly; I didn't even have to re-run Satellite Setup on the receivers, I just turned them on and it was like nothing had changed.

    The stacker comes next week; stay tuned for further developments...
     
  10. aburdick1

    aburdick1 Cool Member

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    Apr 8, 2006
    Well, good news: I got dual tuners working on my R15. Bad news: I didn't even need that stupid stacker!!

    I first tried installing the stacker as I mentioned in my earlier post: two lines coming out of the mult-switch connected to the two "in"s of the stacker, and the line going into the room with the R15 connected to the "out" of the stacker. I then installed the 2 GHz splitter in the room with the R15, and set the LNBs option to "stacked" on the R15, and reset the receiver.

    Upon restarting, the receiver could not connect to the satellite; checking the signal strength, the odd transponders for the 101 satellite were all in the high 80s / low 90s (the same as normal), and the even transponders (which were all 0 before I installed the stacker) were all in the 30s. Apparently, this is not enough to make the connection with the satellite.

    Suspecting that signal loss could be due to the multi-switch, I next tried connecting the stacker directly to 2 of the lines coming from the dish, disconnecting those 2 lines from the multi-switch all-together. This brought the signal strength for the even transponders of the 101 satellite up to the 50s, which was enough to at least connect to the satellite. Sure enough, after resetting the receiver again, I was able to record one channel and then change to another channel; however, the second channel was very distorted; obviously, even a signal strength in the 50s was not enough. In addition, bypassing the multiswitch had an unintended side-effect: I was unable to get all my channels on ANY of my receivers. Not cool.

    But at least I knew that the stacker, in theory worked; so, I decided to uninstall it, and get back to a configuration I knew worked, and then come here and post an update, and see what people suggested. So, I reconnected all 4 lines from the dish into the multi-switch, removed the stacker from the configuration completely, and re-connected the line going to the R15 to one of the multi-switch outputs. I then changed the LNBs option back to "unstacked" and reset the receiver once again.

    Imagine my surprise when, after being reset, I still had 2 tuners working (I didn't remove the splitter), AND could get ALL of my channels!!

    So, to sum up, here's my configuration:

    1. 4 lines from Ka/Ku MPEG-4 dish into Zinwell Wide-Band 6x8 multi-switch (WB68)
    2. 1 line from multi-switch into line going to room with R15 receiver
    3. In room with R15 splitter, line from wall outlet to Monster Cable 2 GHz 2 way splitter
    4. 2 lines from 2 GHz splitter to the 2 tuners of the R15

    Can you freaking believe it? I'll keep an eye on it, and see what happens, but for now, it looks like it's working; thanks to everyone for their feedback and suggestions.
     
  11. Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

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    As we mentioned in your TCF thread.

    You are going to run into problems.

    Basically... ther ewill be a point when the unit wants programming from two different transponders. Once that occurs... boom.

    I don't have my transponder list handy..

    But try to record something of ESPN and one of your locals at the same time
     
  12. Wolffpack

    Wolffpack Banned User

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    With that config, don't come crying back here when you start getting blank channels or a searching for signal message. That config is not correct and will eventually not work.
     
  13. aburdick1

    aburdick1 Cool Member

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    Apr 8, 2006
    OK, you guys were right -- my initial enthusiasm was premature. I did in fact run into exactly the problem you predicted -- it doesn't happen very often (Chicago's local channels are also on the 101 satellite, which helps I think), but I do occasionally get the "searching for signal" message.

    But then why couldn't I get the dual tuners to work with the stacker in the configuration? Is it just a signal strength problem? Any suggestions on how I can boost the signal strength?
     
  14. sheridan1952

    sheridan1952 Godfather

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    Mar 15, 2006
    You're stuck. The ONLY way that you can use both tuners is to run 2 lines from the multiswitch. They CANNOT be split the way you have and work. It is not an issue of signal strength. This is discussed at length elsewhere in this and other forums.
     
  15. Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

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    Basic explanation:

    The 101 SAT has a two part signal. Even and Odd transponders.

    Both pieces transmit along the RG6 cable at the same frequency.
    Thus, only one piece can be sent down the line at a time.
    If the box wants Even it sends an electrical pulse to the LNB (at the dish) and it returns the correct piece, Odd, it sends a different electrical pulse and the LNB sends it.

    What a stacker does:
    It asks the LNB for both pieces (one over each of the two feeds)
    It then takes one of the pieces (be it odd or even, I forget), and SHIFTS it's frequency range to a different place in the spectrum.
    It then combines the original and the shifted one back to one cable.

    So now you have both signals in the line, but one is shifted out of the normal spot.
    the destacker unshifts to two pieces (when the box asks for a particular segment)

    And that is the short version of how a stacker works.

    Once a signal is stacked, you can split it. because both signals are in the line, both signals will be in the output of the split...
    thus this is why a splitter can work with a stacked signal.

    As for why it wasn't working.....
    Re-reading your post, did you enable the destacking mode of the R15?
     
  16. sheridan1952

    sheridan1952 Godfather

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    Mar 15, 2006
    I thought I read that stacking wouldn't work with HD signals. Am I wrong, AGAIN?
     
  17. Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

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    Sheridan... no you are not wrong, not completely... :)

    Current consumer grade stacking components will only stack the 101 SAT signal.
    There are a "couple" of the HD channels on 101, but most are on 110 and 119

    But since the OP is intrested in SD right now (even though he has the AT9 dish), it should work fine.
     
  18. sheridan1952

    sheridan1952 Godfather

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    Mar 15, 2006
    Ah, I missed that part. Thanks for the correction.
     
  19. aburdick1

    aburdick1 Cool Member

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    Apr 8, 2006
    Earl -- yes, I had the "stacked LNBs" option set on the reciever, when the stacker was installed. Any other thoughts?

    sheridan1952 -- Earl's correct, I'm only looking to stack the signal coming into my R15. I have an H20 in another room for HD, but I don't need to stack that signal.

    As for whether the stacker should work, I am aware that only the 101 signal can be stacked using the stacker, but based on some research I did yesterday, it looks like most of the channels I get (including my local channels, being in the Chicago area) are on the 101 satellite, so theoretically it *should* work most of the time...
     
  20. ultraflip

    ultraflip New Member

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    Apr 19, 2006
    can anyone post a link of where to purchase a stacker as well as a pix of their setup? newbs get lost easy in this
     
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