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Repeated SWiM failures

technical swm8

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43 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   bdodds

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 12:58 PM

(New to Forum and not an expert, so thanks in advance for the sharing)

I'm using the Directv 8 Channel SWM (Zinwell SWM8-Z Swim and a 29v PI) with my 5 LNB Slimline to 2 HR24 recievers colocated in my whole house equipment closet. I use AV distribution to 5 zones.

I initally used the SWM-8 because I only had 2 RG-6 runs to the rooftop.

I've had this solution in place for about 6 years and I have just ordered my third SWM-8. They seem to last about 2 years each, and by coincidence have always failed when the weather here drops toward freezing. Also, the failure is that the first reciever experiances the signal loss and the other is fine. BTW, when I say first reciever, I'm refering to the splitter ports.

I have read these discussions pretty throughly and have a couple questions. The run to the rooftop would be close to 60 feet, but not much over if over at all. I am using a box standard splitter, so I ordered a "Directv approved SWM splitter" along with the new SWiM.

Under normal circumstances I have good signal strength in general until I experiance the signal loss, so I don't believe I have a bad solution. My gut tells me that the SWM-8 isn't really built for the Chicago external installation; or because of what I've read in the posts, they just aren't that bullet proof.

Any suggestions? Better solution? Should I just order 2 and expect this?

Thanks again for sharing your expertise.

-Bill

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#2 OFFLINE   Scott Kocourek

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 01:03 PM

Why not just switch to a SWiM lnb instead of the stand alone SWiM-8?

Is your PI inside or outside?

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#3 OFFLINE   bdodds

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 01:12 PM

Thanks, I didn't know that was an option, so I just looked it up. Sounds like the right track. I share the dish with a neighbor, and "colaborating" with him is a pain the butt, so a separate dish has additional appeal.

The PI is indoors on conditioned and backed-up power.

I also see some discussion about grounding. I don't see anything grounded in my imstallation.

#4 OFFLINE   Scott Kocourek

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 01:15 PM

You will still need a PI with the SWiM lnb. Are you sure you have had a SWiM 8 for 6 years? That seems like an awful long time.

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#5 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 01:23 PM

Are you sure you have had a SWiM 8 for 6 years? That seems like an awful long time.

Since the SWM8 first was in test in '07, it hasn't been even six years, and is more like 4.
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#6 OFFLINE   bdodds

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 01:28 PM

Not 100% on the 6 years. I originally installed Voom and switched to Directv soon after. I do remember having my AV resource having to find me a commercial building directv installer for my solution. The residential folks had no idea, so the SWM-8 was either new or specialty. Maybe the damn things are failing every year...

#7 OFFLINE   Scott Kocourek

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 01:44 PM

I would make sure all of the cables and connectors are in good shape, maybe cut them off and redo them any way. There is a DBSTALK member that has a SWiM-8 and -16 for sale in the buy/sell/trade area and you may find a SWiM lnb there too, it's worth a try.

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#8 OFFLINE   carl6

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 02:20 PM

(Knocking on wood...)

I've got an SWM8 that was one of the first produced, and it has been in service now since 2007. I've not heard a lot of complaints about them failing, so it may be related to your installation. Then again, you might just be un-lucky (or maybe I've just been lucky).

#9 OFFLINE   DarkLogix

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 05:06 PM

You say that the system isn't grounded?

that might be your issue there

in cold weather the air gets drier and static electricity gets worse (think of how you get shocked more offten in cold weather than warm)

and if the coax doesn't have a properly grounded grounding block that could cause an issue

as you have 4 cables coming from the dish you need a quad grounding block grounded to the house ground

my bet is that the SWM8 is taking the bullet inplace of your recivers and if you use a SWM lnb w/o a grounding block added then it might be the recivers that get zaped next

#10 OFFLINE   wallfishman

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 05:48 PM

You say that the system isn't grounded?

that might be your issue there

in cold weather the air gets drier and static electricity gets worse (think of how you get shocked more offten in cold weather than warm)

and if the coax doesn't have a properly grounded grounding block that could cause an issue

as you have 4 cables coming from the dish you need a quad grounding block grounded to the house ground

my bet is that the SWM8 is taking the bullet inplace of your recivers and if you use a SWM lnb w/o a grounding block added then it might be the recivers that get zaped next


but then again he shares the dish with a neighbor. Grounding one spot will in effect tie both houses grounding systems together , which could cause ground loop issues and alot of other weird issues

#11 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 05:57 PM

but then again he shares the dish with a neighbor. Grounding one spot will in effect tie both houses grounding systems together , which could cause ground loop issues and alot of other weird issues

"IF" your intent is to ground static buildup, this is done best with a resistive ground. It's done this way so it dissipates slowly.
Please don't confuse this with a "code" grounding, which is completely different and is to have as low a resistance as possible.
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#12 OFFLINE   NR4P

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 07:38 PM

I share the dish with a neighbor, and "colaborating" with him is a pain the butt, so a separate dish has additional appeal.

The PI is indoors on conditioned and backed-up power.

I also see some discussion about grounding. I don't see anything grounded in my imstallation.


Are you sharing the SWM with the neighbor too? Or do you have two separate feeds off the dish (4 wires to your SWM and 4 wires to them)?

You have two HR's, thats four tuners. What does the neighbor have for equipment? Just checking to see that you aren't going over 8 tuners.

#13 OFFLINE   bdodds

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 08:09 PM

4 wires to the SWM. They are split prior.

#14 OFFLINE   NR4P

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 08:20 PM

4 wires to the SWM. They are split prior.


Rules out the tuner issue. Actually saw that with a neighbor issue here a few months back so couldn't resist checking. But now totally rules out a SWM-LNB alternative.

You mentioned one splitter port always fails. Is it always SWM1/PWR or SWM2? And which power supply? There's a couple to choose from from the SWM-LNB and SWM8/16 family. Did you ever replace that?

#15 OFFLINE   lugnutathome

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 08:37 PM

Dumb question but isn't the 29v PI a bit overkill for a single SWM8? Shouldn't it be the 24v PI?

I run a 16 and an 8 off a single 29 and could run 2 16s in reality.

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#16 OFFLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 09:15 PM

4 wires to the SWM. They are split prior.


Um, so you have four wires out of the dish to four splitters, then you have four wires of the splitters (one from each splitter) going to a swim8, what do the other four go into? Do they go to another multiswitch of some sort, or are they being run directly to receivers and one of them isn't being used?

#17 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 09:25 PM

Dumb question but isn't the 29v PI a bit overkill for a single SWM8? Shouldn't it be the 24v PI?

I run a 16 and an 8 off a single 29 and could run 2 16s in reality.

Don "just an idle brain cell that went 'poing' in the night" Bolton

The SWM8 comes with the 29 volt, but the early ones only had 1.2 amps.
The SWiM-16 needs the 1.5 amp, and I wouldn't be piggybacking another SWiM off it. :nono:
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#18 OFFLINE   lugnutathome

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 09:33 PM

The SWM8 comes with the 29 volt, but the early ones only had 1.2 amps.
The SWiM-16 needs the 1.5 amp, and I wouldn't be piggybacking another SWiM off it. :nono:


Interesting as Jonathan from Sonora Designs had a hand in the specs of my system and insists I can run dual 16s off the PI they provided for my dual 8s back when I went SWMming in the first place.

:shrug:

Don "been powering dualies for going on 2 years with no issues" Bolton

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#19 OFFLINE   bdodds

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 10:21 PM

Some more info. The temp went up to 45 degrees here and the problem has vanished. I checked the signal strength and all transponders are 96% or above except the couple that I never get any signal (zero). Actually, recevier 1, where I experiance my symptoms is a point higher here and there on signal strength than reciever 2. My bet is that when the cold returns, my problem will re-occur. I'll leave this SWM in place to test.

@inkahauts - yes there are 4 splitters off the wires out of the dish. My four (one from each) go into the SWM. The other 4 (one from each) run directly into his condo, so I don't know what is on the other end.

@NR4P - I'm still using the original 29v PI. I only have one coax out of the SWM1/PWR port on the SWM going to the PI in my rack. All of my home controls and equipment is in one 19 inch rack for whole house automation. The SWM2 port is vacant and capped. The splitter port I was refering is off the PI feed. I have a generic 2 way splitter between the PI and my 2 recievers. Port 1 on the splitter always has the signal loss. I did order a Directv approved 4 way splitter today to replace my generic one.

The grounding thing really bugs me, so I'll address that, but I don't think it is my root problem.

#20 OFFLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 10:35 PM

Some more info. The temp went up to 45 degrees here and the problem has vanished. I checked the signal strength and all transponders are 96% or above except the couple that I never get any signal (zero). Actually, recevier 1, where I experiance my symptoms is a point higher here and there on signal strength than reciever 2. My bet is that when the cold returns, my problem will re-occur. I'll leave this SWM in place to test.

@inkahauts - yes there are 4 splitters off the wires out of the dish. My four (one from each) go into the SWM. The other 4 (one from each) run directly into his condo, so I don't know what is on the other end.

@NR4P - I'm still using the original 29v PI. I only have one coax out of the SWM1/PWR port on the SWM going to the PI in my rack. All of my home controls and equipment is in one 19 inch rack for whole house automation. The SWM2 port is vacant and capped. The splitter port I was refering is off the PI feed. I have a generic 2 way splitter between the PI and my 2 recievers. Port 1 on the splitter always has the signal loss. I did order a Directv approved 4 way splitter today to replace my generic one.

The grounding thing really bugs me, so I'll address that, but I don't think it is my root problem.


I'd find out what they go into. I recall hearing that when you split signals like that, you need to pump both legs off those splitters into separate switches, otherwise you can have issues, especially if say he is using only three of the runs.





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