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Help...no one has been able to figure out my problem

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Installation/MDU Discussion' started by scotteds, Oct 9, 2007.

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  1. Oct 9, 2007 #1 of 29

    scotteds New Member

    Oct 9, 2007
    I have been on the phone with Directv a few times over the last two days and they can't figure out what's happening...can you help?

    Here is my set-up...I have a Slimline dish with two siamese cables run (4 total cables) going to my basement. Down there I have the 4 cables hooked directly into two H20s and one HR20 at various places in my house. This shouldn't be a problem from what I understand about the internal 4x4 multiswitch in the slimline dish. However, here is what is happening...

    The HR20 is having not having any issues, it is hooked up to lines #1 and #2 (first siamese cable run). The issue is that the two H20's cannot both be hooked up at the same time. If either is hooked up by itself (with the HR20) it works fine. However, when I hook up both H20's to lines #3 and #4 (second siamese cable run) one of them loses about half the transponders on Satellite 101. And its not just the odd or even, it is most of the #1-16 with just a couple showing up. The other satellites don't seem to lose any transponders.

    Do I have a problem with the internal 4x4 multiswitch or I am screwing something else up. Any ideas would be appreciated. Directv told me to go buy a 6x8 multiswitch, but since I only need 4 cables, I don't understand why I need to buy one.

  2. Oct 9, 2007 #2 of 29

    say-what Active Member

    Dec 14, 2006
    New Orleans
    It could be a bad lnb/switch on the dish. Adding a multiswitch isn't required for your setup and I doubt it would help.

    With lines 3 & 4, have you swapped them between the H20's and seen the problem swap receivers (H20 that was on 3 now on 4 and vice versa)? If so, I'd say the switch is bad at the dish.
  3. Oct 9, 2007 #3 of 29

    gully_foyle Hall Of Fame

    Jan 18, 2007
    Los Angeles
    Swap the H20s, so that each is hooked up to the other cable. Now, is it the other H20 that has the problem? That would isolate it to the cable, switch, or BBC. Since this is 101, remove the BBC on the failing box for a moment and check again. Better?

    If no resolution, if you can get to the dish, swap the cable pairs there and see if the problem moves to the HR20. If so, either a bad switch on the dish, or maybe a shorted cable.

    If nothing changes and it's always the same H20, replace it.
  4. Oct 9, 2007 #4 of 29

    cnmsales Hall Of Fame

    Jan 8, 2007
    you could also try hooking the hr20 up to the 3and4 cable is see if the problem crops up on the hr20.
  5. Oct 9, 2007 #5 of 29
    Doug Brott

    Doug Brott Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

    Jul 12, 2006
    Los Angeles
    kcmurhpy88 has the right idea. This will help to narrow down the scope of the problem. It may turn out to be the LNB/switch or it may be a cable that is shorted along the way (bad connectors?). A few tests will help.
  6. Oct 9, 2007 #6 of 29
    doctor j

    doctor j Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    Jun 14, 2006
    Birmingham, Al.
    When was your slimline installed. I recall the very first series did have a problem with the internal multiswitch that was corrected by using a WB68 multiswitch even if 4 or less lines were used.
    Otherwise I concur that the cable may be suspect. A cable tester from dish to receiver could help.

    Doctor j
  7. Oct 9, 2007 #7 of 29

    scotteds New Member

    Oct 9, 2007
    Thanks for all the ideas. I tried switching cables, boxes, with and without BBC...but the problem is still there.

    Best way to summarize at this point:
    - One of 3 receivers loses ~15 transponders on satellite 101 when all four cables are connected. When 3 or less of cables are connected no issue on any receivers (but obviously one isn't connected). When all four receivers are hooked up, one of three receivers will have an issue. And I was able to have the issue on each of the three receivers regardless of BBC connection. So it appears it isn't a bad cable, connection or receiver.

    I am really confused. If I were to describe the situation to someone, I would say that when all four cables are connected there isn't enough power for the three receivers to receive all the transponders. Is there anything that would cause an issue like that???

    Thanks for any addtional help.
  8. Oct 9, 2007 #8 of 29

    cnmsales Hall Of Fame

    Jan 8, 2007
    Ok so you moved the hr20 to the cabling with the issue and now the issue happens on the hr20 correct?
  9. Oct 9, 2007 #9 of 29

    Chapper Legend

    Jul 31, 2007
    What is the length of your cable runs?

    Cable lenght between the slimline and your HR20 (distance)....Maybe its too long and you need to add "power" to your lines.
  10. scotteds

    scotteds New Member

    Oct 9, 2007
    Thanks again for the ideas...gave me new ideas on what to test. First to answer a couple questions. Yes, I can replicate problem on HR20 and either of the H20s. Also, the cable run is pretty long...could be over 200 feet, but I can't be for certain since cable inside the house was run before I owned the house.

    Ok...here is what I was able to figure out:

    It is not a problem with cable runs 1&2 (on first siamese cable). Its only an issue on numbers 3&4. For now lets remove the HR20 from the picture, this is connected to 1&2 without issue. For 2nd siamese cable run from satellite, I have the two individual cables connected to two H20s. My issue is, when one of the receivers is tuned to an "old" HD channel (in the 70's) the other receiver loses the transponders. If I change to a local HD, non-HD or, new HD channel...the other receiver is fine. Too me this sounds like a multi-switch issue with the satellite. Any other thoughts?

    Is this something directv should come to my house and fix for free? I would hope so.

    Thanks again
  11. litzdog911

    litzdog911 Well-Known Member

    Jun 23, 2004
    Mill Creek, WA
    Those cable runs are pretty long, especially if your coax is not "solid copper core". Adding a POWERED multiswitch could help.
  12. cnmsales

    cnmsales Hall Of Fame

    Jan 8, 2007
    I agree, fairly long run, How long is the cable run for cables 1and2?
  13. scotteds

    scotteds New Member

    Oct 9, 2007
    All my cable runs are about the same length. Also, my signal in 95-100 on all transponders when they show up. The issue just happens to be on cables 3&4 when I am watching HD on one the other loses about 15 transponders on sat 101.

    To me that doesn't seem like a cable length issue.

  14. cnmsales

    cnmsales Hall Of Fame

    Jan 8, 2007
    Well if there all the same I would imagine if it were a power issue you would see it on all 4 runs, not just 3and4 but im sure someone else can be more certain about that. Since it happens when you move the hr20 to it it sounds to me like a possible cable issue. Have you swapped cable runs 1and2 with cable runs 3and4 and see if the problem moves to the other location? If you do and still see the problem id say its a cable issue. As for D* paying for the repair that would be based on how long since inital install and if you have the protection plan or not.
  15. Tom_S

    Tom_S Icon

    Apr 9, 2002
    I believe the proper term these days is "Conjoined cables".
  16. Milominderbinder2

    Milominderbinder2 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '08

    Oct 8, 2006

    Is anyone else thinking old RG59, crimped in half?

    What are the odds it is cut open with raw naked electrons spilling into a wall somewhere? :)

    Runs of 200' of even RG6 are considered marginal by DIRECTV.

    How ginormous is your house? Who lives in the guest house?

    Seriously, I bet you need new cable and a lot less of it.

    - Craig
  17. hobie346

    hobie346 Icon

    Feb 23, 2007
    D* will fix any wiring problems for free - if you have their service protection plan. You can add it at any time but if you call within the first month there is a charge. Not sure what it would be. I think I remember some one saying that they got hit with a $14.99 change but I don't remember the details.

    The monthly fee covers everything from the dish/multi-switch/cables and boxes.
  18. mchaney

    mchaney Godfather

    Aug 17, 2006
    Sounds to me like there may be a short between cables 3 and 4 or the connectors where they are attached at the dish. You should be able to check for a short in the cables themselves by disconnecting them and testing resistance between the center conductors on both cables. If you get anything other than an open circuit (infinite resistance), the cables are shorted. Since it is doubtful that the cables themselves would be shorted together, there could also be a short in the hardware where the cables attach or there could be a wiring problem at the dish. Bottom line, if lines 3 and 4 are somehow shorted together or crossed up, one receiver might be fine but when you connect the second receiver, they are both now competing with each other because they are both basically on the same line rather than using their own separate lines. I'd look for ways that the two cables would be acting as one.

  19. MIMOTech

    MIMOTech Legend

    Sep 11, 2006
    Could be that the original wiring in the house is a low grade copper clad coax. Also connectors can be a fault if the crimps on the shield side are poor.
  20. O2BRich

    O2BRich Legend

    Nov 8, 2006
    Have you tried swapping the cables at the dish?
    If the problem moves to the other cables it is probably a switch/LNB issue.
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