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Replacing non-SWM LNB and switch

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by TomCat, Oct 9, 2013.

  1. Oct 9, 2013 #1 of 21
    TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    I have been a customer for 9 years, and have a slimline 5 with 4 older HR-2x DVRs.

    I have been having issues with inconsistent switching, and would like to replace the LNBF and switch with a SWM system to upgrade it. The wiring is all good. I am a pro/enterprise-level sat engineer by trade and extremely familiar with conventional DBS systems, but SWM, not so much. So you can converse with me in terms that I will understand, but where SWM is involved you may have to talk to me like a 3rd grader, both of which are just fine.

    First, is this a good idea? And am I on the right track?

    I do not have any interest in the HR-34 or the HR-44, but there might be things in the future that I would be interested in that depend upon SWM.

    Can anyone tell me what I need to do? I see the LNBF on Solid Signal, but can I just swap that out with the 3-headed one on my SL5?

    I assume I need a different switch to distribute to 4 DVRs to replace the conventional one I have now, and I assume I need some way to convert SWM for use with conventional, non-SWM DVRs. Or would I be better off to stay non-SWM, and just replace the LNBF with a conventional one?

    Who can tell me what the proper path to do all of this might be? TIA.
     
  2. Oct 9, 2013 #2 of 21
    Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

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  3. Oct 9, 2013 #3 of 21
    otaliema

    otaliema AllStar

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    Nice link stewart :) saved a lot of typing lol
     
  4. Oct 9, 2013 #4 of 21
    TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    Very cool, Stuart. Thank you so much. I have downloaded the pdf.

    <edit>

    OK, and now I've read it. But I have one Q, which is this:

    If I only need signals from the 3 sats that the SL3 receives, would I be OK with an SL3 LNBF on a SL5 dish? It's $14 cheaper, and the SL5 LNBF has complexity I don't need, and is larger and uglier (the only reason I have a SL5 is because it was a 2004 install and stuff had not migrated and the SL3 had not been birthed quite yet).

    Still, even the SL5 and other necessities are under $90, which isn't too bad.
     
  5. Oct 9, 2013 #5 of 21
    slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    Since you already have 4 cables running from your dish, you could consider leaving that alone and simply replacing your WB68 multiswitch with a SWM8 or SWM16. The SWM8 would support the 4 DVRs you have now, with one coax run to each one instead of the two you currently have. However, that is the maximum it will support, so if you think you might ever want to trade one of those DVRs for a Genie or otherwise add anything, you may want to consider getting a SWM16. You can order a SWM16 that comes with the necessary splitter and power supply for about $60 on Ebay.

    There is of course nothing stopping you from replacing the LNB, just know that it supports a maximum of 8 tuners, which is exactly what you have now with your 4 DVRs (2 tuners per DVR) If you never see yourself going beyond that then you'll be fine with that solution. If you ever want to go beyond that you'd have to swap back the old 'legacy' 4 coax LNB you have now and add a SWM16.
     
  6. Oct 9, 2013 #6 of 21
    carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

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    The dish itself will support either a 3 or 5 LNB. Some markets have SD locals on 119, so if you are in one of those markets you want to stay with 5 LNB. Some Spanish language channels, and a few music channels are also on 119, which might influence your choice. Otherwise, there should be no downside to going with the 3LNB. Just make sure to go back through satellite setup after the change, both to convert to SWM and to change from 5 to 3.

    I'm also inclined to agree with the suggestion of getting an external SWM8 or SWM16 switch and not messing with the dish or LNB at all. But your initial post and symptoms you are seeing could be related to the LNB, so that's probably a good thing to replace.
     
  7. otaliema

    otaliema AllStar

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    I going on out a limb and saying you have some non HD units on in your house.
    Here a re few things not mentioned in the posts on SS. (I only glanced at it yesterday).
    Older SD units will not work with a intergrated SWiM dish. D11 and lower R15 and lower will not work with the integrated SWiM LNB they will how ever work with the external SWiM switch because of some legacy ports on the switch it's self.
    If you have more than 8 tuners in your house you must use the external SWiM 16 switch. and that tuner count is 2 tuners per SWiM compatible DVR, 1 tuner per SWiM compatible non-dvr unit.
    Even with a external switch you will proiblay need a couple of 2 way splitters for isntall of power supply and a CCK (might as well your going through the work anyways.)
    If you find that the costs are going to exceed $149 in parts. Just call D* and order a CCK hardwire installed. it will cost you the same and D* will do the work for you and replace any non compliant SWiM receivers on your account at no extra cost but at contract extension (I think)
     
  8. bpratt

    bpratt Godfather

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    It sounds like you believe your LNB is failing. If that's true and you don't for some reason want DirecTV to replace it (probably for free) then you have a couple of options.

    1. Install a SL5 or SL3 SWM LNB on your dish (single coax into your house) to a splitter and power inserter and a single coax to each of your SWM enabled DVRs. This supports a max of 8 tuners.

    2. Install a SL5 or SL3 4wire non SWM LNB on your dish( 4 coax to a SWM8 or SWM16 module) to splitter(s) and power inserter - single coax to each of your SWM enabled DVRs. This supports 8 or 16 tuners plus 3 or 4 Legacy non SWM tuners.

    I chose option 2 and replaced my WB68 multiswitch with a SWM8 module. A 4 way splitter runs a single coax to my HR44-500 and to each of my HR21-700s. One of the HR21 had to be set to use a single tuner so I wouldn't exceed 8. I also hooked my HR10-250 to two of the legacy ports on the SWM8 module. Works great.
     
  9. Go Beavs

    Go Beavs Hall Of Fame

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    To answer your question, yes. The LNBs should be interchangeable. SL3 and SL5 reflectors are identical.
     
  10. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    No SDs since 2005.

    I will investigate the CCK, which I had forgotten about.

    Otherwise, I can apparently get everything I need for about $36 on Amazon, which is a lot better than $90 from SS.

    But thanks for the info. I much appreciate it, and what this community can offer. It is priceless.

    And thanks to the mods for correcting the typo in the thread topic title (my keyboard is starting to type double R's and Q's)
     
  11. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    According to DishPointer the aiming for the SL3 is significantly different from the SL5. This pushes me towards going with an SL5 LNB just so I don't have to do a major realign.
     
  12. peds48

    peds48 Genius.

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    FWIW, I have never had to so a dish realignment (assuming the dish was proeprly aligned to begin with) when switching from a SL3 to a SL5 LNB. not sure if location matters. this is in NY
     
  13. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    I don't understand how the aim could be different no matter where you are, since the 99/101/103 satellites are in the same place in the sky no matter what kind of LNB you have.
     
  14. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I think you may not have selected the right dish, as both the SL3 & SL5 "center on" the 101 SAT.
    The older phase III centers on 110 SAT.
     
  15. bpratt

    bpratt Godfather

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    Like veryoldschool reported, both the SL3 and SL5 center on the 101 SAT. The difficulty in aiming the SL3 is getting the Tilt correct. On the SL5 dish once you get a strong signal on the 101 Sat, you set your meter to read the 119 sat and adjust tilt to get the strongest signal. Some installers carry an SL5 LNB and will install it temporarily just to get the tilt set correctly. If you have an SL5 LNB that is correctly aligned, you can replace it with an SL3 LNB and adjust Azimuth and Elevation to get perfectly centered on the 101 satellite and not worry about tilt.
     
  16. otaliema

    otaliema AllStar

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    As far as setting up MRV if you have any H20's they will be non complaiant with MRV but will work with the CCK installed with DECA's on them. All HR's are compliant with MRV so need to worry there.
    That price on amazon is a great price. might have to look into that my self for some upgrades later :)
     
  17. peds48

    peds48 Genius.

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    umm, the H20s do not have ethernet ports, as such they don't get DECAs but BSFs...
     
  18. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    Thanks guys; I have to assume you guys are correct and DishPointer is wrong.

    I have lost my baseline pics of installed levels, but then some of the sats and stuff have changed since 2007, so I am attaching readings from today. I am not sure how to interpret them since I also lost my list of what is on what xponder and what spots belong to what market.

    It looks OK at first glance, but those of you more familiar with these levels might find something I overlooked.

    TIA for checking for me.
     

    Attached Files:

  19. coolman302003

    coolman302003 2014 NBA CHAMPIONS!

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    Compared to mine the following look low:

    99°c -- low on some TPNs
    103°ca --very low on some TPNs
    103°cb -- low on some TPNs
    119° -- low but not extremely
    101° -- low on a few TPNs
    110° -- doesn't matter since there is no relevant content there anymore
     
  20. peds48

    peds48 Genius.

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    Yup, those readings are low. your dish needs to be "tweak" for optimum reception.
     

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