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HR20-700 HD channels problems

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by dinotheo, Jan 13, 2012.

  1. dinotheo

    dinotheo Godfather

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    Sep 21, 2006
    This morning before work I swung the coax in this troubled location back to the SWM16. I tried another HR20-700 and it too was having random zeroes on the signal strength screen. I also tried 2 different HR21. Both worked just fine. This makes it 3 different HR20-700 with this issue at that location.
    Receivers without problems at this location include an HR22, HR21, HR23 and I had n HR20-100 there before its hard drive died.
     
  2. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Dec 9, 2006
    What would be helpful is to get an idea of the highest SWM channels at this location.
    The HR23 does use a different SAT tuner chip, but the HR20/21/22 should be the same chip.
     
  3. dinotheo

    dinotheo Godfather

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    Sep 21, 2006
    Update:
    DTV sent me 3 HR24-500s to replace my HR20-700s. I got them all setup and now I have a new problem.

    The HR24 seemingly randomly throughout the day will lose all signal on the 99 satellite. When this started to occur, I changed my switch setup. I went form cascading the WB616 off of the legacy ports of the SWiM16 to splitting the incoming coax from my slimline dish. So each switch is running off of a split from the dish (rather than cascaded)

    This is happening on all 3 HR24 receivers and ONLY the HR24 receivers. I've been watching the signal strength screen for a while. My 99 signals are all in the mid to upper 90's (on the HR24s, on the other receivers 99 signal strength is in the mid to upper 80s).
    All of a sudden, without warning the HR24s will start to get 0's. This may occur for about a minute and then the signals are back. I've run to all 3 HR24 receivers and they are all doing the same thing. 2 of the HR24s are on the WB616 and 1 is on the SWiM16. This is not weather related as it is happening right now and there isn't so much as a cloud in the sky.

    I am so frustrated right now that I don't know what to do. DTV has offered to come out and replace or move my dish. (in effect replacing the LNB). If they do, should I ask them to run new coax? Right now I have RG6 running from my dish. Do they use RG6 quad shield now? I can't vouch for the quality of the coax from the dish. When that cable was first installed, (2003) it was done by a completely clueless guy who owned the company with his brother. I had a 3lnb dish for which he only peaked the 101 satellite. 119 and 110 was not coming in. He also wanted to charge me for the cable install (this was a movers program install). When I moved up to a slimline dish they used the same cable.

    From the day I moved to the slimline dish I have been having sporadic issues with Ka band satellites. Lately they've become worse. Over the years:
    - I've had the lnb replaced
    - New compression fittings put on. That installer showed me how bad the connectors were put on from the previous guy. He brought down the connectors he cut off and the white dielectric core was black at the connector from weather exposure.
    - Replaced switches, from one WB68 to another WB68, to a WB616.
    - Various other things I can't recall right now. If I remember the only constant has been the 4 coax cable runs from the dish.

    But why is this only affecting the HR24s? I am sure that this is related to the problem I was having with the HR20-700s.

    Again, this is only on the HR24s. When they hit 0's on the signal strength the
    other receivers are just fine.


    Any help would be appreciated.
     
  4. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

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    Nov 13, 2006
    Maybe a grounding issue too? Not sure, that's a tuff one. I'd say it can't hurt to replace the coax front he switches to the dish, but I don't think the cascade would be the cause unless the swim 16 is bad. Do you know if the coax is run next to electrical lines, and if the dish is properly grounded? In fact I'd go back to the cascade.
     
  5. dinotheo

    dinotheo Godfather

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    Sep 21, 2006
    Woah....I am hoping you are on to something. My dish is not grounded. I remember when the installer was here that he didn't install a grounding block. I asked him about that and he said it wasn't necessary. So the coax does a drip loop and then straight into my house.

    I could install a grounding block, but after the thousands of dollars that I've spent on DTV equipment (and I have protection plan) maybe I'll let them do that. In the meantime, my switches are near (about 18 inches) my electrical panel. Would it suffice to ground the switches? I can run a ground wire over to the chassis of my electrical box in no time.

    I am not sure that my OTA is grounded either. Can I ground that to my electrical box as well? (My OTA is in my attic)

    Thanks,
     
  6. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

    22,675
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    Nov 13, 2006
    You should definitely have your stuff grounded. Personally, the first thing I'd do if possible is move everything as far away from the electrical panel as possible. All that electrical panel can do is cause problems. You analyst have weird grounding problems with circuits your hrs are plugged into that can cause issues. It's very rare, but we have seen a case or two. I'd call DirecTV and tell them to come out, that you just realized your stuff was never grounded, and your having all these issues. As you said, you pay for the plan, you should just use it. The smart thing is have an idea of what to look for and your getting that by coming here! :)

    Make sure your switches power isn't plugged into a circuit with a fridge or heater on it or something like that as well.
     
  7. dinotheo

    dinotheo Godfather

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    Sep 21, 2006
    It looks like DTV is finally helping me out. For years I have been having issues and I've been left to fend for myself. They sent me 3 HR24's without me even asking for them and they've offered to come out and put up a new dish.

    I just double checked and actually the WB616 was grounded. I ran a ground wire over to the SWiM16 just to be sure.

    Unfortunately, I can't move my stuff away from the electrical panel. It is stuck there. That is where all of my home runs are located. (network and coax)
    Now that you mention it, the plug where my switches are plugged into is my GFCI circuit. On that same circuit (in the garage) is a 2nd fridge. I'll have to look into plugging the switches into another circuit. (This will take some time)

    As for the antenna, can I just plug the incoming coax into a grounding block and ground that to my electrical panel. (This antenna is in my attic) The coax for that runs through the house.
     
  8. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

    22,675
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    Ok i just reread the whole thread. Honestly, the grounding could be an issue, but I think you really have one of two ways to go about figuring this all out.

    1. Assuming you have the time and patience the first is troubleshooting what you already have. I'd unplug ever single receiver except the one that gives you the most trouble, only have the swim 16 hooked up and run the coax strait from the one unit that your leaving hooked up to the swim and see what happens. If your still having the issue, I'd then disconnect that hr and connect a different hr from your next most troublesome location. If your still having the trouble after that, it would tell me that your issue likely lies in the swim, or the dish, or something in between the dish and swim.

    The biggest problem is the size of your setup creates so many variables, after you get done simply looking at screens, it's sometimes easier to tear down your system and test each piece of it one at a time to see if you can see any issues one at a time. If you can, then obviously you can narrow down the issue to only the truly common factors. If the issue is only in one place, then it is likely that one place is causing issues not just for itself but for others as well.

    Option 2, have dtv come out and replace the dish (make sure it happens this time) and the wiring to the switches, and add the grounding block, and relocate the switches a little further away from your electrical panel if possible.


    If that doesn't solve the issue, then also replace the switches.

    If that doesn't solve the issue, then also replace the runs of coax to the trouble locations.

    Yes this route means you could end up having more than one service call, but you wouldn't be having to do all the work.

    This method is somewhat methodically just replacing everything that could be causing your issues. Vos can tell you for sure, but I believe as your system gets more and more complex to the point of where yours is, there is less and less room for any kind of hardware and installation errors in your system without it causing bigger and bigger signal issues.



    No matter what I'd also remove the wb616 and go with the swim 8 cascaded off the swim16.
     
  9. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

    22,675
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    Nov 13, 2006
    Grab an extension cord and plug the switches into it and plug that extension cord into a circus that has little to nothing on it that you use just to test it out. If that fixes all your issues, you might be able to over come the issue with a surge protector that has " noise filtering" capabilities. You can usually find those for between 80 to 100 to start. It might be worth a shot if you don't have other plugs around n different circuits.

    Id Do that before worrying abut anything else.

    By the way, are you still diplexing ota into your sat lines that come off the wb616?
     
  10. dinotheo

    dinotheo Godfather

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    Sep 21, 2006

    Actually, I just cascaded a SWiM8 off of the WB616 because I was planning to get an HR34.
    So as it stands right now, I am splitting the incoming coax runs and have them going to a WB616 and a SWiM16. From the WB616 I've now cascaded a SWiM8. Right now there is nothing connected to the SWiM8 (and it is actually is powered off).

    Was my original installer just BS'ing me by telling me that grouding the switch (at the time I had 1 eagle aspen 22Khz switch....ahhhh the old days) was the same thing as using a grounding block?

    I'd love to move my panel, but I really have no choice. And I actually am closer than I mentioned. I went back to pay attention and my panel with my coax home runs is all of 6 inches from my electrical panel. I have no choice because I've finished that room and I've got an opening cut to expose the electrical panel and my networking and coax panels. Since that room is finished, the panels are "stuck" there.

    Thanks for your help.
     
  11. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

    22,675
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    Nov 13, 2006
    As far as I know, grounding the switches is the same thing. Vos?

    Six inches? Yikes.... I'm trying to think how you could shield that. For future reference, always keep low voltage and rf as far away and as perpendicular as possible to high voltage when crossing as you can. Helps avoid interference issues.

    Really, I'd start with the circuit being the same as the fridge. One step at a time, and thats the one that is screaming at me as the first thing to check.

    If you get an hr34 are you having them install it? If so, have them replace your swim8 and wb616 with a second swim16 cascaded off the other swim 16 and you can do some load balancing that way too, and leave a channels or two free on all the swim ports. This may help with what vos was talking about if you are having frequency problems on some of the higher swim channels.
     
  12. dinotheo

    dinotheo Godfather

    313
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    Sep 21, 2006
    Sigh....as soon as I finished my last post, it looks like I lost the 99 satellite again on my HR24s. HR21s are chugging along just fine.

    One more note. The HR24 receivers were placed in different locations than the previous locations where I had the HR20-700 receivers that were giving me problems. All 3 of the HR24 receivers are in locations where I had HR21s that were not having the major problems.

    I guess, I can always also test by using barrel connectors and plugging one of the HR24 receivers that is having problems directly into the dish. One of the ones connected to the WB616 so I wouldn't have to run satellite setup again. The problem with that is that this issue is sporadic.

    Also, just to add some more info.....I was having issues with Ka band satellites since day 1. But this issue which seems to have affected only my HR20-700 (and now the HR24-500) seems unique compared to the other issues that I've been battling. My wife states that this new issue occurred suddenly one night a few months ago. We had an HR20-700 in our bedroom and she'd go to sleep before me and watch TV in bed. Since I never really watched TV on an HR20-700, I never noticed it until recently. So maybe the sudden onset of this problem might be some sort of equipment failure. But the part that has me perplexed is that it only affects certain receivers. If everything were having problems than I'd feel better about diagnosing the problem. I also have a WB68. I can swap the WB616 for that. But this problem is happening on receivers connected to the SWiM16 as well as the WB616.
     
  13. dinotheo

    dinotheo Godfather

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    Sep 21, 2006
    I may be onto a pattern here. I didn't mention anything earlier because I wasn't sure. I installed the HR24s on Friday afternoon/evening. Friday evening, I don't recall any HD loss. Saturday during the day I was losing HD (satellite 99). Saturday night all is good. Sunday during the day, losing HD. And so far since the sun went down, I haven't lost HD. I didn't really keep very close tabs on the time of day previously, but tonight I am keeping a close eye on things.

    I recall reading something a while back where this exact symptom would indicate a bad lnb. The heat from the sun would cause it to malfunction. I am keeping my hopes up. Unfortunately, I can't keep tabs on the daytime hours during the week as I am at work. I can keep tabs on the evening hours.
     
  14. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

    22,675
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    Nov 13, 2006
    As I said earlier, you have a very complex system. It could be one thing, or it could be several, that one by itself wouldn't cause the issues, but compound a couple tiny issues and you have actual issues...
     
  15. dinotheo

    dinotheo Godfather

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    Sep 21, 2006
    Folks,
    I will continue to post to this thread until I get a fix. If for no other reason than for archival purposes so that this might help someone else in the future.

    So much for this problem happening during the day. It is evening now and it is happening. Although it is going on for a good long while.

    I have been dealing with Case Management and as disappointed as I have been with DirecTV's customer service, the Case Management folks really make up for all of that. They want to send a tech out to my home. They assure me that Case Management has their own techs and they are the best of the best. The person on the phone assured me that while I have a lot of receivers, the case management techs have dealt with customers with more receivers than me. (So there are others out there like me? :) )

    As this problem is occurring on all of my HR24s right now, I decided to run a system test. Not surprisingly it came back with my Dish needs realignment. I'd expect this since the 99 satellite signals are all 0. For giggles I ran a system test on an HS22 that is functioning just fine and it too came up with an error that my Dish needs realignment. That's interesting.

    I'll run another system test once the receivers recover. Which is odd, since I haven't had the HR24s out this long. (Going on 20 mins now)
     
  16. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

    22,675
    1,105
    Nov 13, 2006
    If I was a tech, the first thing I'd do is replace your lnb.

    Then I'd replace all your switches with two new swim16s cascaded off each other.
     
  17. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    Aug 31, 2002
    Quite obviously, none of us have a sure indication of what the problem here is, including me. But it sure doesn't sound like a reception problem. It also does not seem like a grounding problem; systems that are ungrounded work just fine; the grounding is needed more for safety and liability and rarely can it affect reception or operation.

    I still lean to this being a DC problem. You have 11 DVRs and multiple switches, and the loop resistance possibilities are high. If the entire path one way through RG-6 is 125 ft, the possibility is even higher. If a signal goes from mid 90s to 0 that could easily be an indication that the switch is not getting the proper DC levels from the receiver, whereupon it either does not switch properly or drops the signal out completely. Also, different models of receivers could have slightly different DC levels or level susceptibilities, which could explain how you are able to track certain problems to certain models. Lastly, the level readings are arbitrary numbers; 95 on one model may be equivalent to 100 on a different model.

    Shielding on coax is there for an RF circuit return path but is primarily there to prevent signal interference ingress and signal egress. While shielding is important for cable, it is not really that important for L-band distribution, and that is because cable competes with signals at the same frequencies while L-band does not. This means that poorly-shielded cable will work just fine, generally speaking, on DBS distribution. And quad shielding won't buy you very much.

    Except, in the area of DC loop resistance, which again might be exactly where your problem lies (another area where shielding helps is in L-band distribution where there are multiple cables over long runs butted up next to each other, which means they can interfere with each other to a degree if poorly shielded). IOW, if you replace a significant amount of poorly shielded coax with well-shielded or even quad-shielded coax, that will decrease the DC loop resistance and allow your switches to be more reliable in a system such as yours that may be susceptible to this very problem. It certainly couldn't hurt, so replace the coax you suspect if you can, just to help eliminate it as an issue. But don't be surprised if it also cures your problems.

    Since it was a rogue install, are you even sure the guy didn't sub cheaper RG-59? '59 will work just as well, that is if the path is 80-90 feet or less. It has a higher DC loop resistance and a greater signal loss per foot, which is what limits it to shorter distances. It is also not as hardy as RG-6 and does not hold up to weather, time, or abuse as well.

    If you are trying to make this very complicated system work reliably, replacing the coax with better-grade coax might be a place to start. Coax sits in the sun and degrades over time, and poor coax degrades faster, so even if replacing it does not cure your problems it will extend the life of this large and complex system you seem invested in long-term, and would not be without benefit.
     
  18. dinotheo

    dinotheo Godfather

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    Sep 21, 2006
    Thanks TomCat.
    The case management technician will be over my house tomorrow. I am going to see if he can move my dish and run new coax. At a minimum I want to have the 99 and 103 satellite peaked. I always wanted those a bit higher. (on most of my receivers those satellites are mid 80's...I'd like to see them in the 90's....for some reason on the HR24 receivers those sats are in the mid 90's)

    Case management told me on the phone that the technician will do whatever I want to make me happy. I am not a demanding person and actually quite laid back so hopefully he can work with me. If he moves my dish and runs new coax, I'll be sure to take care of him.
     
  19. dinotheo

    dinotheo Godfather

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    Sep 21, 2006
    OMG!!!! Case management swore to me up and down that I'd get an expert. I didn't want someone to come out for this exact reason. They have no clue.
    The guy that showed up is completely clueless. He saw my home runs where my switches are located and proceeded to tell me that my setup is unsupported.
    Here are some of his gems....
    - The WB616 is not supported. (Ok maybe I will buy this)
    - DirecTV does not allow OTA to be diplexed in.
    - The WB616 will not work properly with HD if I have multiple switches (Huh?)
    - The SWS-4 splitters I have coming off of the SWM16 are not supported (what a load of bs)
    - I need a second dish for all of my receivers to work properly, since a dish can't support more than 16 tuners. (another load of bs)
    - I currently moved my switches back to running off of high frequency splitters (in parallel) where I previous had tested cascading the WB616 off of the SWM16. He tells me that I can't do that. It won't work. I asked if he wanted me to turn on a TV to show him that it does work.
    - He told me that I don't need terminators on unused ports on the SWM16. That is completely false....as I had a compression connector come off of a coax cable on on of my sws-4 splitters and every HDDVR on that splitter had issues.

    What a waste of a friggin day off. I asked him to just swap the LNB and he refused. He said that if he swaps the LNB that he will be responsible for my system.



    ARRRGGGGHHH!!!!!!
     
  20. dinotheo

    dinotheo Godfather

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    Sep 21, 2006
    Talking with the Case management guy now. Thankfully, he is a really nice guy. He wants to setup a complete install. They want to use a SWM dish. I have no idea how to hook up a SWM dish with my setup. Especially with multiple switches. I don't even know how many coax runs a SWM dish has. I'll have some researching to do. I was also looking to add an HR34. (Install setup for Tuesday but at this rate, I might cancel)

    But they only want to do DECA. I am telling them that losing my OTA is not negotiable so DECA is out. My concern is that if they do this, I'll get some guy like I had today where he says, sorry we only support 1 switch.

    This is so frustrating. I only wanted my LNB swapped. Why can't they just do this for me? I wanted my coax runs replaced as well but at this point beggars can't be choosers.

    Today is DTV's day to mess with me. Here is what else I dealt with today:
    http://www.dbstalk.com/showthread.php?p=2971966#post2971966
     

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