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SWM16 install requires 2 wires to inside?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Installation/MDU Discussion' started by LiQiCE, Aug 25, 2013.

  1. peds48

    peds48 Genius. DBSTalk Club

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    Well, you certainly want to keep any "surges" outside the house whenever possible, but as long as the switch and/or ground block is mounted to a "non-combustion" surface and/or area, this is perfectible acceptable
     
  2. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    During the testing of the SWM8, engineering said 45', but some of us were closer to 100' and didn't "see" any problems.

    The SWiM32 looks to have an amp [these have a lower input max level] that the 8 & 16 don't, and the -16 may have more input loss than the SWM8 due to internal splitters to feed the two stages.

    The coax between the LNB and SWiM has two issues:
    1 voltage drop to the LNB
    2 RF loss

    The RF loss may be what is the worst, as 200' would drop the level around 20 dB for the highest frequencies.
     
  3. LiQiCE

    LiQiCE Mentor

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    So DTV called for a survey and I didn't give all 10's so they offered to let me speak to a CSR. I explained to the CSR that I didn't think I should have to pay $50 since DTV said they would cover the dish relocation and the CSR said that I should have paid $99 not $50. I also said I didn't think the dish was grounded properly and to get it to code should have been done like peds48 recommended - however, do you think moving the switch inside the house will lower my signal? The distance going down the house and inside is over 100 ft - probably close to 150-175 ft. If I need to leave the switch where it is on top of the house - what is the proper grounding method? Right now the dish is connected to the switch and the switch's ground cable runs inside the house and all the way to the SWM splitter and then runs to the house ground. There is no ground outside the house where the dish comes down.

    The local installer called back too and told me that I shouldn't have been charged $50, I should have been charged by Directv for $99 - I hope this won't end up being a $99 charge against my DTV account for complaining. I'm sure the tech will be pissed that I didn't give him all 10's.
     
  4. Bill Broderick

    Bill Broderick Icon

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    Stories like this are the why I went out of my way to ensure that peds48 performed my upgrade yesterday. Even though my job was a pretty simple one, I knew that it would be done correctly and that if I had any questions or concerns they would be addressed the correct way, even if that wasn't the easy way. It's a shame that installers like peds48 are the exception, rather than the rule.
     
  5. LiQiCE

    LiQiCE Mentor

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    Here are pictures of the satellite dish - One thing I really worry about is it does not look like the dish itself is grounded at all ... in fact, I cannot see a grounding wire connected at all to the SWM16 - so I'm not even sure where the grounding wires are connected (there are two, one on each of the SWM wires coming down the house).

    There also doesn't appear to be a coax grounding block at all - it is just the grounding cable that runs inside the house and connects to the main home ground.

    Sorry if the pictures are a little big - they are full resolution crops from my SLR - I wanted to try to maintain as much detail as possible.

    IMG_5789.jpg

    IMG_5790.jpg

    IMG_5791.jpg

    IMG_5792.jpg

    IMG_5793.jpg
     
  6. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    The SWM16 can function as a grounding block, just like a splitter can. It looks like there is a wire attached to the grounding screw on the lower right of the SWM16.

    I'm sure the grounding isn't to code if there are 100 feet of cable from the SWM16 to where the cables are grounded inside your house. However, the only way to do it to code would be to have the grounding wire travel straight off the roof, down the side of your house and be connected with a new grounding rod driven into the ground there. That grounding rod would then have to be attached to your main house grounding rod via #6 wire running underground all the way around your house (and around/under patios/driveways/walkways/etc. as necessary) This isn't going to be cheap.

    What they've done should be fine for simple stuff like avoiding static buildup from your dish, etc. A puny ground wire, no matter how it is installed, is useless against lightning. The reason that electrical code requires antennas to be grounded (a dish is an antenna as far as the code is concerned) is because in many cases people have overhead electric lines that can fall on or be pushed by falling trees onto a roof where they may come into contact with antennas, damaged coax with broken insulation, or uninsulated devices connected to the coax such as coax connectors, splitters or SWM16s. The trees themselves can become conductors when wet, so a power line could be pretty far away and still result in deadly voltage running through the coaxial cable.

    Rather than say "only do this if there are overhead wires anywhere in the area" they just make it a blanket recommendation. After all, if your dish was installed and there were no overhead power/telephone lines but one was added later you wouldn't be protected. That's possible if a telephone pole has to be moved, or your underground wire is damaged and they can't replace it for some reason so they add an overhead line to your house.

    If you don't have any overhead lines in the vicinity of your house that could conceivably energize that coax, the grounding they've done is probably good enough. There are probably millions of ungrounded dishes, at least you're up on them and safe from static buildup :)
     
  7. LiQiCE

    LiQiCE Mentor

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    Thanks - makes me feel better! I really just want to make sure my house isn't going to burn to the ground or anything because it isn't wired right - or HDMI ports shorted out from buildup of static electricity :)

    I'm not particularly happy about the SWM16 being mounted on the roof since it will be exposed to the elements and the switch will probably run hot - but I guess if it burns out after a year - thats what the protection plan is for.
     
  8. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

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    It may get more air out there than inside, you never know. They do run hot in general.


    Sent from my iPad using DBSTalk mobile app
     
  9. LiQiCE

    LiQiCE Mentor

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    In the wintertime temperature probably doesn't matter - but in the summertime when it is never above ~70 degrees with ~50% humidity and no rain or snow ever in the basement, and it can get to be over 100 degrees outside plus there will be rain and snow - I'm assuming it would be better off inside than outside. But I guess its DTV's problem not mine since they installed it and I have the protection plan.

    As far as grounding - I took another picture from a different angle and there doesn't appear to be a ground wire connected to the switch - it simply appears as though the dish is grounded (see the green screw in the lower part of the picture I've attached). The lower right grounding point on the SWM16 seems to be empty - it is a ziptie in the other picture I think that looked like a grounding wire.

    I'm sorry to be obsessive here about the grounding - but does anyone think it is bad to not have a coax grounding block here? Someone else mentioned it was OK to use the switch or splitter as the grounding block - so in this case, one of the two splitters from the SWM16 is grounded and the dish is grounded along with it - should I have the 2nd splitter grounded as well?

    Sorry this pic isn't as clear - was taken through a screen window :)

    IMG_5794.jpg
     
  10. jdspencer

    jdspencer Hall Of Fame

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    I'd also be concerned that the single zip tie that is being used to mount the SWM16 to the mast will fail.
     
  11. trh

    trh This Space for Sale

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    +1
     
  12. peds48

    peds48 Genius. DBSTalk Club

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    Allrihgt let's come clean here. there are tons of DirecTV dishes that are not grounded, your house will not burn down cause of lack of ground, chances of blown HDMI ports are slim. but at the end of the end is not up to code. it wont pass muster
     
  13. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    I doubt a mere static charge could take out an HDMI port. If it could, people would be killing them just plugging something in during the winter after walking across the carpet. I've never seen a single TV manual recommend you wear a grounding strap when plugging in an HDMI cable...

    The people with dead HDMI ports either had a lightning strike close enough that their house wiring became energized or it was the result of faulty wiring in their house, inside the TV or something connected to the TV. Or it could just be a cheaply made TV with a bad soldering job. None of which grounding a dish will help.
     
  14. LiQiCE

    LiQiCE Mentor

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    Northern...
    Thanks guys - I know a regular static shock wouldn't effect an HDMI port, but didn't know if a static charge off the dish would be great enough to cause damage to a receiver or other electronics. If you think it should be safe enough I won't worry about it - I've just read enough here on DBSTalk about grounding the dish properly so I thought it was important. I know even proper grounding won't protect against a lightning strike - but thought it was still important regardless.

    Thanks for all the help though!
     
  15. satinstallerguy

    satinstallerguy Member

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    And at that point they will figure a way to cram 16 tuner capability on 1 line , just like they did before when they had 4 lines drop for older systems.

    SIG
     
  16. syclonedave

    syclonedave Mentor

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    Did DTV supply the SWM-16 for free?

    My DTV supplier said they don't pay (supply) parts for anything over 8 tuners.
     
  17. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

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    Directv installs a swim16 and doesn't charge for the swim 16 if you are going over 8 tuners. Maybe its not a directv contractor, but rather an independent one?
     
  18. LiQiCE

    LiQiCE Mentor

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    Yes, I did not have to pay for any equipment with the install - the new LNB and SWM16 were included. I did need to pay $50 to the installer for a dish relocation which I don't think was justified because DTV said it was included. I suspect the installer was simply trying to extort money out of me because he told me to write a check out in his name.

    Interesting thing is I complained to DTV during the survey (they gave the option to talk to someone afterwards) - and told them they charged me an extra $50 and they didn't ground the dish to code. Someone called me back within 30 minutes and told me they'd contact an installer to talk to me - but nobody ever called me back!

    At this point - I think my concerns about the way the dish is grounded have been addressed thanks to folks on DBSTalk talking me down off the ledge :) But I am surprised the installer never called me back.
     
  19. HoTat2

    HoTat2 Hall Of Fame

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    Yep;

    Had an un-grounded dish here for years in the '90s with a standard P.I round originally installed by a third party re-seller at the time.

    And I probably would have left it that had I not called in for a caller ID problem on one of my boxes one day and the CSR said she couldn't help me until I first complied with all ("irrelevant") pre-requirements on her check-list script. One of the first which was a grounded dish.
     
  20. peds48

    peds48 Genius. DBSTalk Club

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    Not possible without new receivers. The way SWM works now, you can't have more than 8 tuners per coax
     

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