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Is an RV SWM setup realistic?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Installation/MDU Discussion' started by james2006, Nov 21, 2008.

  1. james2006

    james2006 Legend

    Oct 11, 2004
    My parents recently switched their 5th wheel over to HD. They will have one HR-20 and one H-21. I’m going to set them up with an ‘experimental small slimline’ that was shown to be successful here on the forum (basically a 3lnb reflector with an SL3 LNB).

    I like the idea of getting one of the SL3 SWM LNB’s because that would mean only one line into the trailer. That said, I have a few concerns.

    I watched the SWM installation video on Solid Signal and it seems rather complicated. Is it possible to align an SWM dish using the receiver’s signal strength meter? (Up until this point that's how my dad sets-up the 18 inch dish they have been using). Also, it sounds like you shouldn’t power up the receiver until the line is connected to the dish b/c the receiver will not detect SWM mode. Is this accurate given that there is an SWM option in the sat dish setup menu?

    Also, I’m a little concerned with how much power demand the pi will add to the system. When the trailer is plugged into shore power it won’t really matter (about 75% of the time) but they do a significant amount of dry camping as well. (They use a 2000 watt inverter when not plugged in). I would expect the receivers to use less power in SWM mode because they are not powering the dish, but does anyone know what the net power increase would be approximately with the SWM?

  2. curt8403

    curt8403 Hall Of Fame

    Dec 27, 2007
    I question the use of a swm for only 3 tuners. a lot of extra connectors for 3 tuners when not needed seems just a source for more trouble
  3. David MacLeod

    David MacLeod New Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    if you've ever run cabling through an rv you'll appreciate the difference between 1 cable and 2.
    as far as if it would work, I don't know. but if it did and I needed to wire another rv up I would use it.
  4. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

    Nov 13, 2007
    IMO, it is going to be significantly more difficult to get a dish pointed with just a SWM LNB, and it's going to be even worse because you're using a Phase III dish, which means things are going to be very, very touchy. I hope you aren't underestimating the amount of work and patience it is going to take for the folks who have to re-aim this dish all the time.
  5. curt8403

    curt8403 Hall Of Fame

    Dec 27, 2007

    I would think long and hard about this, and then look at the Winegard autodish
  6. james2006

    james2006 Legend

    Oct 11, 2004
    At this point I guess I’m leaning towards a traditional SL3 LNB based on the sentiment so far.

    My concern with the winegrad auto dish (forgetting for a moment the price) is that the signal can easily be blocked by trees or other obstacles. With a tripod setup it is pretty easy to find a suitable location.

    That said, a full size slimline seems way too big and heavy to carry around on the road. I’m hopeful that the modified 3lnb is the answer (keep in mind that signals don’t have to be great for such a temporary setup). The other advantage is that an SL3 LNB only runs about 30 bucks on Ebay (SWM is 45) so it won’t cost much to give it a try. They already have the dish and tripod. If they find it too hard to get a signal with the three LNB reflector we can look into other options like the winegard dish (I love the tech on that thing btw…it looks awesome)
  7. barryb

    barryb New Member

    Aug 26, 2007
    We ended up biting the bullet and threw in new wire in our 45 footer. What we did was use the AC ducts, and it worked perfectly..... now we have two HD DVRs with both tuners working at the same time.
  8. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

    Nov 15, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    Using the modified phase 3 is going to make aligning a real PITA. I can align a dish, and I never got a phase 3 with a 5-LNB assembly in it aligned to work on all 5 sats. You don't want to do that to your folks. Get them a slimline.
  9. bobnielsen

    bobnielsen Éminence grise

    Jun 29, 2006
    A SL3 LNB on a Phase 3 should be easier since 110 and 119 would be out of the picture. If they will be moving often, it would probably be easier to align it with a meter and that would be easiest (and wouldn't require as expensive a meter) with an external SWM instead of the integrated SWM LNB.
  10. Mertzen

    Mertzen Hall Of Fame

    Dec 8, 2006
    Hope you used plenum cable if you ran cable inside the ducts. Otherwise you might be out of luck if fire ever strikes.

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