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Need MDU help please!!!

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Installation/MDU Discussion' started by vh45dez32, May 5, 2012.

  1. vh45dez32

    vh45dez32 New Member

    Apr 14, 2012
    Ok first off here is what I am messing with...

    Description of location:
    Sagebrush Apartments
    Odessa Texas
    16 Apartments in unit. 2-3 BDRM

    Sl5 Dish to panel control room to a swm32 switch.

    Let me tell you I have received no training on the the MDU system. My contractor through me in the mix on the whim of him making money obviously. I am pissed because I am a customer based sub contractor and not one of those get in and get out and get paid subs. I like to make my customers happy and make sure my job is done right and up to nec and directv code. Every installation I have done at this location I have had issues with. I dont know if it is my lack of experience with the MDU system or I am just doing something wrong. But I tone out the line in the living room of each apartment down in the panel control room, I find the line but all the lines coming off of the 2 way splitters to the right of the SWM32 are being used. I dont want to split off of those and make another tenant lose signal so I am lost as to what to do. I see lines barrelled (spelling?) and see lines hooked up to 2ways. When I do get signal inside of the apartment it is only on one receiver. I can never get signal on the other receiver in the apartment. I always get a "cannot read swm" message. EVERY SINGLE TIME, EVERY SINGLE INSTALL I have done at this location. I am getting very frusterated, not only that I cant figure it out, but at my contractor for not giving me proper training before taking on such a huge job. I know I am not being very specific about my issue, so if anyone needs any further explaination please let me know..I need help asap because I have to go back out there tomorrow and fix a couple customers setups, because they only have one receiver working and the other "cannot read swm"...I am lost..I have been doing DTV for 6 years but I feel like a rookie right about now...Please help..Thanks

    Attached Files:

  2. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

    Nov 15, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    There are sixteen apartments, but I only see six 2-way splitters which gives you twelve feeds. So there must be at least four apartments that have no coax connected, right?

    What about lines to another room in the apartment, do you tone those back also? If so, where do they go? Or does the feed to the apartment go to a splitter somewhere beyond the room you are working in? If so, then that splitter may be your problem and needs to be replaced with a green label splitter.

    You've got an SWM16 and an SWM32, so you've got 48 tuner support. Divide that by 16 (apartments) and you can have 3 tuners per apartment. That's one DVR and one receiver. If anyone adds another receiver or DVR there will be problems. But the way it is wired right now, you've got 12 apartments connected with 4 tuners per apartment and four apartments with no connection.

    To serve all 16 apartments, you need to replace the SWM16 with another SWM32, and add two more splitters. Then you would have 4 tuners each for all 16 apartments (with the limit of 4 tuners per apartment).

    The main problem with doing that is if anyone adds another tuner on their own (to go beyond the 4 tuner limit), then between them and the other unit sharing those 8 channels, someone is going to come up short. The solution to that is having four SWM32's, not two.
  3. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Dec 9, 2006
    What I'm seeing:
    Your feeding 12 units.
    At the point of enter to each, you'll need to add another 2 or 4-way splitter to connect the outlets for each unit to the feed.
    Each unit should be limited to 4 tuners, but it comes down to the 8 tuner limit of each SWiM output being shared by what looks like two units.

    If every unit doesn't need 4 tuners, you can split the output:

  4. bigglebowski

    bigglebowski Legend

    Jul 27, 2010
    So are you saying the line in the living room wall drop goes back to the "panel control room"? Is there no "panel" within the apartment? Does that mean the other outlets in an apartment are cascaded to the other outlets from this outlet? Is it possible they are all wired with cable tv taps?

    In a newer building apt/condo like this the builder would have a small panel where the lines are "homerun" to. In there is where a CATV guy would put his splitter, or a directv guy would put his swm splitter.

    Im guessing that the entire building does not have Directv would explain the low number of drops in your picture. Or are the 12 lines actually other bedrooms/living rooms.

    The MDU stuff is not that much more complex once you realize where all wires go, LABELING IS A MUST. Then you just have to compartmentalize the SWM electronics to follow the rules of tuner counts. Treat the SWM32 as 4 SWM8 in one package and the SWM16 as 2 SWM8 in one package. It really helps when you can keep each apartment to only 4 tuners, otherwise you will need more SWM devices.
  5. vh45dez32

    vh45dez32 New Member

    Apr 14, 2012
    Yeah I have not found any cable splitters behind wallplates but there is a dual rg6 line drop in the living room and the master bedroom in every unit. I am guessing one for DTV and if the customer wants the option of getting cable internet..I have not found a central panel box in each individual apartment, allthough I have not spent alot of time looking. I know it is something simple though. I am just getting frusterated and cannot figure out the issue. The first installation I did here included 1 HR24, 2 H25. I only barreled one line that I toned out from the living room in the unit to a line coming from the main panel control room and all 3 receivers worked awesome..I am guessing they have a swm4 way up in the attic going to eah room in every apartment..But I am thinking things are just getting overloaded because Multiband (The company that installed the system) can do diagnostic tests on the SWM32 and they gave me a diagnostic code and is simply said (SWM overload) which I just found this out yesterday. I think I got a pretty good idea of what is going on and how I can rectifie it. Thanks to you guys, this website is awesome..Thanks for your help...
  6. dexware

    dexware Mentor

    Mar 16, 2012
    I love the laziness of the barreled jumpers from the groundblock to the SWM32.
  7. cabletech

    cabletech Legend

    Jan 20, 2011
    Doing this kind of work for several years, for my money, I think you have been way over your head and do not know how the building is wired has been your problem.

    Are you the ONLY installer/service tech for this system? Most units like this have a certain service group that takes care of this type of system so that problems like this do not come up.

    You say Muliband installed the system, have you REALLY brothered to get with them on the wiring layout?

    If you are one of many serviceing this bulding, then you need to get a better layout of the wiring and have it available for everyone.
  8. bigglebowski

    bigglebowski Legend

    Jul 27, 2010
    This post seems like different issue than the first but it still is all about having all the info about a place like this. First post sounds like no swm splitter to connect all rooms and this post sounds more like too many tuners on one of your SWMs.

    As cabletech and I pointed out earlier it is ALL ABOUT THE WIRING, you have got to know what all the wiring is and where it all runs to. For instance how many lines feed from each closet (one for swm one for modem)? Where does it go in each apartment and in that location are there homeruns to all wallplates? This helps issues like your first post where one receiver worked but the others did not.

    The other critical data on a site like this is how many tuners are inside each apartment. Then you can correspond with a coax inside the closet and know whether or not you can share that lead with another apartment on a SWM device. This helps with the recent post for swm overload.

    Do you know if multiband installed it, or did another vendor that might not be working with multiband anymore?

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