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Prewiring layout with a few questions

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Installation/MDU Discussion' started by Arubaflower, Oct 15, 2010.

  1. Arubaflower

    Arubaflower Cool Member

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    Aug 20, 2008
    I am getting ready to upgrade my Dad's circa mid 90's DTV setup. He's stepping up in the world (and to this century) with HD and MRV w/Internet Connection. In preparation for the upgrade we are going to reconfigure the current wiring layout and rewire using RG6Q.

    Our current wiring layout has a zinwell 6x8 multiswitch outside with three receiver lines running into the house. Two lines run into the garage to feed receivers in the rec room and family room. Later on we added a third receiver in the kitchen. The installer ran that line from the outside switch into the attic. And then, so he wouldn't have to bother with running his cable line down to the kitchen, he combined it in with our existing RG-59 antenna line that ran down to the kitchen TV. He added a diplexer at the end. When I subsequently hooked up a brand new HDTV to the antenna line off of the diplexer, it was lots of static and then the TV died. The TV had worked perfectly when it had been hooked up in another room for a couple of days. So for the privilege of having our antenna line cut, our DTV signal run on an inferior, nonapproved RG-59 cable, and killing a brand new TV (thankfully we were able to exchange it for a new one), we got charged $70 for that "custom" install since it was considered a wall fish. :nono2: I will never again leave another installer alone to do his work unsupervised. It was our fault for not going up into the attic with him to watch what he was doing. Lesson learned. We're going the do-it-ourselves route this time, at least as far as wiring goes.

    It took a while to wrap my head around the technical aspects of SWM, MRV and ICK but I think I understand most of it. But to minimize any unwelcome surprises on installation day (and to better keep an eye one what the installer is doing), I just want to make sure I've got the wiring/equipment understood and planned correctly.

    My reconfiguration plan has a SWiM line run into the attic and then into a 8-way splitter. From there, all home-run lines fed down to the receivers. My wiring plan assumes that the receivers will be HR24 and H24 models (one way or another I will get my hands on those suckers). However, I know other models require a DECA. Stop band filters shouldn't be an issue as we are replacing all of the old receivers to HD models.

    Does everything look ok with the way I want to run the lines and set up everything?

    [​IMG]

    Few questions...

    1. Re: ATTIC. Is there a signal loss difference between using two 4-way splitters versus one 8-way splitter? I remember reading that it is better to have as few splits as possible to avoid signal degradation. I interpret that to mean fewer actual splitters (i.e., one 8-way is better than two 4-way). If there is a difference I might buy an 8-way to have it on hand just in case the tech only has 4-way splitters.

    2. Re: DEN. When splitting a coax line between a receiver and the ICK does that receiver have to be an HR (e.g., HR24), or can it be a non-HR (e.g., H24)? It seems all the diagrams I've seen either have the ICK on a separate run, or have it split off of a run to an HR using a two-way splitter. Perhaps this is just a coincidence and splitting with an H24 is fine. The FIOS modem/ethernet connection is in the den, which is nowhere near the HR that will be in the family room, so I hope the H24 in the den will suffice. I'd hate to have to run a separate line to the den for ICK.

    3. Re: FAMILY ROOM. Just want to confirm that it's alright to have the SWIM power inserter after the splitter. (In the diagram, the red line to the PI indicates it is powered). I don't think there is an electrical outlet in the attic to hook up the PI there, but regardless, I don't want the PI running in a hot attic and where I can't keep an eye on it in case it overheats or something.

    4. Re: SUNROOM. Will D install receivers not hooked up to a TV at the time of installation? There is currently no TV in the sunroom. We'll get one eventually, just not necessarily before the installation date. But I want to install the sunroom receiver along with all the others now rather than deal with separate install at a later date. Better to install everything at once, get any kinks worked out, and be done with it. We can easily move a TV from one room to the Sunroom so the tech can verify the receiver is installed correctly. If that's not permitted, I'll bring over one of my TVs just for the installation.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

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    Sep 16, 2006
    Your plan looks good. The loss from an 8way splitter should be fine for the short runs you have. Powering the lnb through the power passing port on the 8 way splitter from the family room is fine. Internet hookup is fine.

    As to whether they will hook up a receiver where there is no TV, I dont think they will do that. I would suggest "borrowing" a tv from a friend for install day. Any tv should be fine.

    With your setup, just remember only ONE room can watch a show off the DVR using multiroom video at a time. If you can afford it, I would highly recommend using TWO DVRs, if you have plans to watch recorded shows from more that one room at a time. It will also double your recording space, as well as double your available series links. For the extra $99, its really worth it.

    Dave
     
  3. Arubaflower

    Arubaflower Cool Member

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    Aug 20, 2008
    Thanks for checking it over.

    It's just my Dad living there so one DVR will be fine--assuming I can teach him how to use it and delete shows after viewing to free up space. I plan on setting up all the recordings for him online so all he has to learn to do is press "list" and scroll. He's part of the electronic-phobic elderly class. The VCR and DVD player passed him by but my fingers are crossed on the DVR. :)

    Regarding the TV, looks like I have to bring one of mine over for the install. I was hoping I could just play musical chairs with the ones he has.

    Thanks for your help.
     
  4. jdspencer

    jdspencer Hall Of Fame

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    Don't worry about having to delete shows to free up space, the DVR will do that for you. :)

    And, why no receiver in the garage? :D
     
  5. matt

    matt New Member

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    Jan 11, 2010
    Looks good to me. If the line for the rec room really does run through the garage, you can always split it there and add a receiver to the garage :)
     
  6. Arubaflower

    Arubaflower Cool Member

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    Aug 20, 2008
    Line does indeed run through the garage into the rec room. You mean my professionally created, to scale diagram, which would make any architect wish he had my drawing skills, isn't clear? :lol:

    After prolonged deliberation, I decided it was a no-go on a receiver in the garage. The lack of heat/AC makes it a wee bit uncomfortable in there. Besides, between the car and tools/equipment there no room for a chair or coach. I'd have to sit in the car and watch TV through the windshield. Now I've always wanted to recreate a drive-in viewing experience, just not that badly.

    Uh-oh. I thought the DVR has the option of turning off the auto-erase feature, no? Disaster looms for a 76 year-old man whose technical skills do not venture passed the on/off button. He'll never remember how to save his shows from deletion. Who am I kidding, he'll never remember how to play them either. :lol:
     
  7. Drucifer

    Drucifer Well-Known Member

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    NY Hudson...
    I live alone. Have three DVRs. I would suggest at least two DVRs.
     
  8. Arubaflower

    Arubaflower Cool Member

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    Aug 20, 2008
    I hear ya. I have two DVRs at my place and they are both always full. But I have to cut costs somewhere for this install. Five new receivers plus that MRV/ICK install fee and we're looking at upwards of $700-800 :eek2: for this upgrade--assuming we use a local installer who probably won't offer anything free. I can't justify adding $100 on top of that for another DVR, as much as I may want to.

    Grrr...an HD upgrade shouldn't cost existing subscribers this much.
     
  9. liquidctv

    liquidctv Legend

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    Oct 13, 2010
    Best to use a single 8-way instead of two 4-ways. The issue is not distance loss but that multiple splitters seems to confuse the SWM system. I've had huge headaches when I've tried to use chained 4-ways. Basically some receivers will not get onto the SWM network and will get SFSS (771) even though the line is good.

    Otherwise looks like you really understand this. The 2-way split for the DECA was recommended in class and worked the one time I did it.

    Also dishes are supposed to be grounded fwiw. Not often happens in an attic. But with 1 line for swm you can run it down to the ground and back up again.
     
  10. jdspencer

    jdspencer Hall Of Fame

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    You can set each Series Link to keep until you delete on a show by show basis. You can also tell it to keep x number of shows before they start getting removed. And, of course keep them forever. But, this will eventually cause the DVR to not record once it runs out of space.
     
  11. Manctech

    Manctech Icon

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    Where are are you going to ground the system? We're only allowed to ground to the utility outside. Is there any way to run a line from the utility to the attic?
     
  12. Arubaflower

    Arubaflower Cool Member

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    Aug 20, 2008
    8-way it is then. Thanks for the info. I'll have one on hand just in case the installer doesn't.
     
  13. Arubaflower

    Arubaflower Cool Member

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    Aug 20, 2008
    Just when I thought I had everything understood you guys throw me a curve ball.:)

    I am confused as to why running the SWM cable line from the dish into the attic versus some other entry point (the garage, for example ) would affect how the dish is grounded outside. I thought it's the dish that needs to be grounded via a separate ground wire to ground source. But it seems you guys are saying it's not the dish that must connect to the ground source, but the SWM cable line before it connects to the splitter inside? Or is it the splitter that must be grounded? If so, can't the ground line run from the splitter outside to the utility box?

    I guess I just need clarification on exactly what is supposed to be grounded: the dish, the cable line, the splitter? :confused: When it comes to electrical/grounding matters, not only do I not have two cents worth of input, I am flat broke in that department.:lol: Now thanks to Manctech, I know the ground source must be the utility box. I think the current ground wire runs from the Zinwell 6x8 into the ground not into the utility box. I guess installation standards were a little lax back in the 90's.

    By the way, if the problem is that grounding is not indicated on my layout, I didn't include it because I have no idea how, or to what, the installer will ground the dish, so I intentionally omitted it.
     
  14. thewallfisher

    thewallfisher AllStar

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    Jan 31, 2011
    Always check your local electrical code. The ground wire cannot run just to the dish. You will need a green non stranded 10ga insulated wire no longer than 20 ft from your meter box to the splitter or ground block. From the UL approved splitter or ground block you either need a messenger wire or the same ground wire up to the satellite.

    A messenger wire is an 18ga copper clad steel wire that is attached to the RG6 cable. If this wire is not attached to the RG6 then it needs to be the 10ga solid copper ground wire.

    If the job is checked by Quality Control this will be a major thing they will look for and if it is not done properly they will redispatch the installer or send some one else out to correct it.
     
  15. joe diamond

    joe diamond Hall Of Fame

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    To add to what has been said....Did you figure why the antenna line zapped the TV? There is something else happening with that line, maybe. Are you still planning to use the OTA antenna? Pretty sure the AIM 21 has to be upstream from the splitter...check that locatiom.

    Your system should be bonded to the main ground for your house. The dish feed lines are run to the area of the ground rod, bonded to a ground block or other frame (multiswitch or splitter) and then the lines are run to the IRDs (receivers.)

    There is an approved DirecTV splitter for the SWM system. You can assume the installer will have one it is on the work order. He will probably not use one you buy unless it is DirecTV approved...with the green label you show.

    Consider a land line connection to be optional.
    Do observe the tech...start with a copy of your drawing.
    Consider the protection plan for the number of receivers you plan.

    Joe
     
  16. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

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    The AM21 is co-located with the DVR you connect it to. It plugs into the DVR via USB. The antenna feed to it should be separate from the DirecTV coax (as is shown in his illustration).
     
  17. cabletech

    cabletech Legend

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    to heck with the install, I want the car. Seriusly, are all these cable already in the walls, or are they ran out side then in? Why not run them to the out side of the house
    by the electric utility? The NEC grounding states that grounding a service must be done within 25 feet of the electric utility ground, hence the 'ground' block, from the block you can go up to 175 ft to the dish, which could use 17ga that is BONDED to the RG6, OR a #10 green covered wire.
     
  18. joe diamond

    joe diamond Hall Of Fame

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    Thanks Carl6,

    Is the OTA signal distributed to all other receivers by an independent coax system to individual (one per receiver) AM21s? Is there another way via the MRV rig?

    Joe
     
  19. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

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    The AM21 provides ota tuners to the DVR it is connected to. Other receivers can't directly access the AM21. However if you record an ota broadcast, it is available via MRV just like any other recording.

    If you want ota tuners at every location, then you would need AM21's at each location with an ota antenna connected (with it's own coax feed, or local rabbit ears, etc.).
     
  20. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

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    And just to remind those present, it is not possible to diplex an OTA signal through cables that are already carrying network (internet) data.
     

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