HR34 installation a success (mostly)!

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by TXD16, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. TXD16

    TXD16 Icon

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    Well, the HR34 installation came off mostly without a hitch, even though I immediately realized I was going to have a bit of a challenge with the initial technician who arrived when I mentioned terms like “OTA,” “diplex,” and “AM21,” and his eyes just sort of glazed over.

    In any event, I explained to him that I did not want to lose any existing functionality, specifically my diplexed OTA capability, so I suggested that he call his supervisor for advisement when he became resistant to my suggestion that we add a SWM8 to the existing system in order to gain the additional tuner capacity we needed, rather than pulling the existing SWM8 out and replacing it with a SWM16.

    To the supervisors’ (plural---as two of them actually arrived at the house) credit, although they were extremely skeptical that the nine tuners could be served properly by two green-label splitter-connected SWM8s, they were both very willing to listen and learn as I told them that if it didn’t work as I had described, they could simply leave me a SWM16, which I would install, I would sign off on the work order, and they could be on their way.

    A quick call to DIRECTV technical support, who agreed that my proposition was acceptable, and we proceeded with the installation, which I led after describing the parts and accessories I needed from the trucks. As a very important side note, I am absolutely certain I would never, ever have received this type of buy-in from Comcast, Dish, or any other MVPD with which I familiar, and it is one of the many reasons I have remained a DIRECTV customer (and shareholder) for so many years.

    Long story short (I suppose it’s too late for that), to the near-amazement of the two supervisors, everything worked as expected, with one lone exception, and they actually took pictures of the final product, so they could hold a training session at their shop.

    The one issue I have is that when attempting to view local OTA channels 2-x (which are virtual 2-x, but RF 12-x) over the AM21-equipped HR34, the picture pixelates and freezes every 3-4 seconds, behavior that can also be viewed and verified on the HR34’s antenna signal strength meter, which fluctuates from the 95% level to 0% at that same 3-4 second interval. Although RF locals 11-x and 13-x are also active in my area, this issue occurs only on this one channel and is not exhibited if I use the TV to direct tune the channel using the same OTA input that is connected to the AM21, nor does it occur on my HR2x boxes, both of which are configured similarly with AM21s.

    Additionally, as the whole purpose of this exercise was to maintain my diplexed OTA capability, I use Ethernet alone (no DECA) for both MRV and Internet connectivity on the HR34 and both of the HR2x boxes.

    So, is what I am seeing here a product of the HR34’s internal DECA “broadcast” that never gets turned off? If so, does a band-stop filter at the HR34’s SWM input remedy it (anybody have an extra band-stop filter lying around they can send me to try?)? If that’s not likely the cause, any other ideas?
     
  2. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I don't know if the internal DECA is the cause, "but" before adding/using a BSF, I'd use a diplexer and a termination, as this would work better.
    Connect the common port to the SWiM input of the HR34, connect the SAT port to the coax from the SWiM, and terminate the OTA port.
    This will separate the DECA off the coax and send it into a load.
     
  3. extide

    extide Cool Member

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    I understand what you did, and also the above solution should work perfect, but why did you want to SWM 8's instead of a SWM 16? From your description it seems like a 16 would have worked just fine.
     
  4. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    :lol: think you quoted the wrong post, as it wasn't me.
    "I think" the SWM8s were used because they have the OTA port that the SWiM-16 doesn't.
    A SWiM-16 could also be used, but a couple more diplexers would be needed, [which some have found have less loss than the internal diplexer of the SWM8].
     
  5. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Thinking a bit more about this...

    With a diplexer already being used on the coax to the HR34, the DECA is being blocked, though it may still be passing through at a lower level, depending of the quality of the diplexer.
    The DECA is very high in power, so even if it was attenuated by maybe 30 dB, it still might be high enough to interact with an OTA channel in the same frequency range.
    "Doubling up" on the diplexer should "double" the attenuation.
     
  6. dsw2112

    dsw2112 Always Searching

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    Yep, a SWM16 with Diplexors would be a much better choice for several reasons; the SWM8 OTA has never been a great option. I'm surprised the supervisors honored the request as diplexed OTA is not a supported setup.
     
  7. TXD16

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    Not in my situation it wouldn't as there is no built-in diplexing available with the SWM16 as there is with the SWM8, running a separate OTA line to each desired location is simply out of the question, and using the built-in diplexing capabilities of the SWM8 results in the fewest number of OTA splits possible.

    Perhaps not for you, but in my case, prior to the installation of the HR34, the SWM8 diplexed OTA has worked superbly for me, virtually without flaw. Even now, it's quite apparent that the fault lies not with the SWM8 setup itself (plenty of signal getting to the AM21), but, rather, with the HR34's "unique" functionality. As I mentioned, diplexed OTA over the SWM8 still works perfectly with my HR2x boxes. Bottom line is that it works and it works well (except for that pesky new channel 2/12 thing).

    I can be incredibly persuasive when necessary. ;)
     
  8. TXD16

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    This and the fact that one SWM8 was already wired and working well (more than enough signal to each of the AM21s), so it was merely a matter of adding the second (okay, and I'm out of diplexers). Bottom line is that except for the one minor issue mentioned, it all works quite well.
     
  9. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    "Actually" the SWiM-16 would have been a better overall choice.
    "Why":
    You wouldn't have the loss of the splitters feeding the two SWM8s, and using a couple of diplexers for the SWiM outputs, would also improve your OTA levels.

    "Maybe" the best diplexer for SWiM: http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.as...e-/-Off-Air-Diplexer-Power-Passing-(STD-9501)
     
  10. TXD16

    TXD16 Icon

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    I'm going to yank one of the other diplexers from another box and add it to the HR34 as you describe to see if it cures what ails it. If it's not the DECA signal somehow getting back into the AM21, I'm at a total loss as to where and how to proceed from here.
     
  11. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    "Yeah" makes prefect sense to cobble up something for test, and crap it if it doesn't make a difference.
     
  12. TXD16

    TXD16 Icon

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    I'd have to split the inbound OTA to the either external diplexers or the SWM8's internal ones, so no real difference, other than the potential additional losses with one method or the other, which I suspect is minimal.

    Also, I have 95%-100% signal across all locals at all locations, even picking up a few OOM stations that I shouldn't be able to given my current configuration, so I'm pretty pleased with the way things are working.

    If I can just get this one issue nailed down, which is unrelated to signal strength, I'm a very happy camper. :)
     
  13. TXD16

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    If the added diplexer doesn't work, I'm tempted to find a BSF to see if it makes a difference, just to be able to mark it off the list.
     
  14. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    What you have is working, so there isn't any need to start over.

    "For those reading this thread", the SWiM-16 & diplexers might be a simpler and better option.
     
  15. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    [again] do what you want, but if a double diplexer doesn't do it, the BSF ain't going to either.
     
  16. dsw2112

    dsw2112 Always Searching

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    Well, if "you" means it was tested and found to be lossy ;)
     
  17. TXD16

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    I actually wish my issue were due to lossiness---it would be much easier to address!
     
  18. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Signal levels are relative though.
    Not that this would "resolve everything", but attenuating the DECA, or increasing the OTA levels are doing the same thing.
     
  19. TXD16

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    DIRECTV is dropping a BSF into the mail for me gratis, so I simply couldn't refuse. ;)
     
  20. TXD16

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