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Did a lot of people lose some HD channels recently?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by laurelpark, Jun 11, 2010.

  1. laurelpark

    laurelpark Cool Member

    Jun 11, 2010
    He's going to come out and swap it next week. There's apparently an issue with D* wanting to charge $150 to do a swap from a legacy system to a SWM system, and we need to do some work to get them to approve this ahead of time. My argument to them is that it's not my fault they swapped satellites and now my system won't work with the BBCs installed... They can either switch my receiver to an HR23 or do this 'right' with a SWM - which will allow me to add receivers. Seems like that would be good for me and for them...

    He was also worried about the length limitation between the PI and the LNB - but we do have options there. The line runs through a shed at about the mid-point of the coax run (the shed houses the inverters for my battery-backup solar system, so it's got 100% power availability all the time), so if the PI doesn't work at the receiver, maybe we have the option of putting it in the shed. Not sure about that, but I'd much rather put it there if possible...
  2. Sixto

    Sixto Well-Known Member

    Nov 18, 2005
    You definitely shouldn't settle for an HR23.

    It seems like removing the BBC's is just making a bad problem, become marginal.

    It certainly seems like the problem is the length, and a powered LNB may solve it, with SWM being standard these days. It should be free.
  3. laurelpark

    laurelpark Cool Member

    Jun 11, 2010
    Here's an update. I got the Sonora LA-282a amplifier today, and installed it roughly in the middle of the coax run. Even without the external power supply, my signals went up to the high 80's on 103(ca) and I get ALL channels now. It was pretty impressive - just putting that thing in-line between the dish and the receiver improved my reception across all sats and transponders. Before installing it, I was getting 80's and 90's on the 'good' satellites, and now I'm up in the 95-100 range on everything other than 103(ca) - which as I mentioned above are in the high 80's. All in all, I'm really happy that this is working again.

    I'm still going to have the tech come out and install the SWM LNB - once I learned that I can't split the coax and run to other receivers with the setup I currently have, I realized that I'm going to need that SWM system as I add more receivers. I'll update everyone on whether the SWM by itself also solves the problem.

    Thanks everyone for all your help!!
  4. evan_s

    evan_s Hall Of Fame

    Mar 3, 2008
    A couple notes.

    #1. Ka High, where d12 is, doesn't require the BBC's to be accessed and the little bit of loss the bbc's were adding was apparently enough to cause the signal to go from low to unable to be received. This has always been true of Ka Hi but since there wasn't much there, other than the limited locals on the Spaceway stats, it was rather meaningless.

    #2. The Ka low and Ka high are actually transmitted at significantly different frequencies and would very different amounts of attenuation from a long run. Ka low is at 250-750mhz Ka Hi is 1650-2150 mhz. Obviously Ka Hi is going to see a lot more attenuation. This is why the amplifier worked. The old Ku signals are in-between. With the external Power supply it is probably drawing power from the receiver, just like the lnb, which probably isn't a good long term situation.


    As far as switching to a SWMlnb that should be ok but it will only support up to 8 tuners. Going beyond that will require a much more complex setup.
  5. laurelpark

    laurelpark Cool Member

    Jun 11, 2010
    Thanks for that info - it's very useful. I did install the external power supply to the amp, and the signals improved a little bit over where they were with just the receiver power.

    I'm really interested in seeing if thee SWM LNB will work. There's a possibility that it isn't compatible with the amp, so hopefully it works by itself. If it does work by itself, I can just return the amp, or save it for later.

    I don't think I'll ever have more than 4 HD receivers. If I do, I always have room for one more SWM dish to be installed (I have two coax runs coming down the hillside - and I understand I only need one per dish). That would allow me to expand up to 8 HD receivers. Again, I doubt I'll ever need to do that since I've been just fine with just a single receiver for the past eight years, but who knows...
  6. laurelpark

    laurelpark Cool Member

    Jun 11, 2010
    Just wanted to update everyone on my findings/results.

    I got the Sonora LA282a amplifier on Monday, installed it, and got 80's and 90's on all transponders. Everything worked perfectly - so that's a good solution for legacy (non SWM) systems that experience signal loss problems due to the D12 higher frequencies.

    I then called the tech back out, and he exchanged the standard LNB for a SWM powered LNB, we took the Sonora amp out of the system, and fired it up. Everything works perfectly with the SWM system. I'm going to return the Sonora amp, and exchange it for a model that supports SWM. I really don't need it, but the tech had some thoughts that make me think it wouldn't be a bad idea to have an amp in-line.

    First, there's always the chance that my signal could degrade because of weather conditions, so having the amp in line might be useful.

    Second, as I add more receivers, the new receivers will use up higher and higher frequency blocks in the SWM spectrum. The first couple of receivers are still down in the 1 MHz range, to they shouldn't be a problem. As receivers are added, though, they'll be communicating close to the 2MHz range, and those receivers could theoretically experience the same kinds of high-frequency signal losses that I was experiencing when the D12 sat went online.

    All in all, I'm happy with the result. I've got all my channels, and now I've got expansion room to add more receivers later on. Also, since I'm only using one run of coax, I have an "extra" run of coax that I could use later on for something else.

    Thanks again for your help with this!

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