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Modify Existing Install For SWM?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Installation/MDU Discussion' started by DFWHD, May 12, 2009.

  1. DFWHD

    DFWHD AllStar

    Feb 9, 2008
    Let me apologize in advance for the long post which I know this may sound ridiculous, but hear me out... Where we live in north Texas, we currently have no means of receiving OTA TV signals without a fairly large outdoor antenna (which we don't have - yet). We're about 40 miles north of Dallas and indoor antenna's don't cut it. When we were installed back in 2007, D* setup a regular multiswitch in the attic and connected each of our TVs with HR2X series DVRs with two lines each - typical install. However, this took up all the coax runs for those rooms. Over the last two springs and summers, we've had quite a few bad storms in the area, been under numerous tornado warnings and had one tornado in the neighborhood about a block away last year. During each of these events, rain fade caused us to loose the satellite signal and thus had no ability to track the storms in the area (weather radios don't quite give the same coverage as the local news does - radar etc... for severe weather) So, I'd like to add an outdoor antenna and have a run to the bedroom and living room, but obviously don't have any coax runs left. Would D* come back out for a fee and install an SWM setup to free up one of my coax runs in each room? Is there another solution?
  2. bobnielsen

    bobnielsen Éminence grise

    Jun 29, 2006
    I did exactly that, installing a SWM and using the freed-up line for OTA. I installed it myself, however. I have the standalone SWM, but swapping out the LNB assembly is fairly straightforward and shouldn't require realignment of the dish if done carefully. If Directv won't/can't schedule an installation for you, you could buy it yourself and pay an independent installer.
  3. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

    Nov 13, 2007
    By policy, DirecTV does not provide SWMs to existing customers, so it would be DIY or you could purchase the parts and hire a local independent installer to install it for you. Honestly, provided that you have relatively easy access to the dish, you could do it yourself in less than an hour. It would take me 30-40 minutes to do everything, and a lot of that would be waiting for receivers to reboot.
  4. Alebob911

    Alebob911 Hall Of Fame

    Mar 22, 2007
    I say do it yourself if you can. Look around here for great info on the SWM and installation of it. Check out solidsignal.com for your SWM and I believe they even have install videos posted there as well. It is straight forward and works great. I've had SWM ever since the field trials of it.
  5. PokerJoker

    PokerJoker Godfather

    Apr 12, 2008
    Las Vegas
    If you use a SWM-8 switch, rather than a SWM LNB, you won't have to touch the dish at all. Just swap in the SWM-8 for the existing multiswitch, add a 4 way SWS-4 splitter, and from it connect one coax to the FTM/SWM input (input 1) of each HR2x. One of the coax runs will be on the red power-passing leg of the splitter, and that is where you put the required power inserter. Don't forget to remove the BBCs, you don't use them with SWM.

    Unplug everything, power up the inserter first, then power up each receiver one at a time. Each one should see the new SWM switch and reconfigure itself.

    Only downside of this is the cost of the SWM-8, but the ease of install is a major upside. No roof work, no new wires to run.

    To tune the OTA you can either use your TV's tuner, or get an AM21 tuner add-on for each HR2x. $50 each from D*. They're ATSC only, but very good, and the local channels get integrated into the regular guide and can be recorded.

    I have basically this same setup in my house here in Vegas and it works very well.
  6. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

    Sep 16, 2006
    Also, check the post June 12th channel assignments of the Dallas locals. If none of them will be in the channel 2-6 range, you can get a high gain winegard VHF-Hi/UHF antenna that wont have those huge vhf-lo elements, and will weigh a LOT less, and have much better weather survivability. If you plan to split the ota antenna signal to multiple receivers, I suggest adding a Channel master CM7777 amp to your OTA antenna as well.
  7. texasbrit

    texasbrit Well-Known Member

    Aug 9, 2006
    None of the DFW stations will be using VHF-lo. There are three stations that will be using VHF-hi. And in Allen, although you really can't use an indoor antenna, many people have attic antennas and successfully receive all the stations from the Cedar Hill antenna farm (FYI I am in Parker just east of Allen).
    Since you already have a multiswitch (presumably the WB68) you can easily as pokerjoker says replace it with an SWM8 multiswitch.
  8. robq391

    robq391 Legend

    Nov 6, 2007
    If I followed the OP correctly, there are only 2 HRXs. There is no need for the SWS splitter. Just run 1 off each SWM port on the SWM8. If the OP plans on adding more IRDs in the future, a SWS splitter would be needed.

    Also, diplexing is an option & works fine with the SWM8. I'm 35-40 miles from broadcast antennas w/a 4221/7777 inside my attic & diplexed through the SWM8. Signal levels are 98-100% on HR20 & HR22/AM21 for all 7 channels.
  9. PokerJoker

    PokerJoker Godfather

    Apr 12, 2008
    Las Vegas
    :) I missed that. robq is absolutely right. The OP won't even need a splitter since he has only two receivers. The SWM8 has two SWM outputs, just use one for each cable. Figure out which run is from the red jack and put the power inserter in that run, probably at the receiver end.
  10. LameLefty

    LameLefty I used to be a rocket scientist

    Sep 28, 2006
    You don't need a special "SWS" splitter either. Any good 5mhz - 2300 mhz splitter will work. I've got an SWM8 and WB68 mounted in parallel, with each output of the SWM8 module split (to run 4 DVRs). All six splitters are Skywalker SKY23302D splitters (under four bucks each online).
  11. boba

    boba Hall Of Fame

    May 23, 2003
    Try a Winegard GS2000 bat wing antenna in Allen, It is small and very popular in the RV industry for both VHF and UHF reception.
  12. DFWHD

    DFWHD AllStar

    Feb 9, 2008
    Thanks for the information everyone. It looks like this will be fairly easy to do from what I'm seeing here. Now to get the stuff ordered...
  13. joe diamond

    joe diamond Hall Of Fame

    Feb 28, 2007
    How about a plain old A / B switch?


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