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Signal Strength - More Zeros on one side of SWM16

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by MrLatte, Jul 10, 2013.

  1. MrLatte

    MrLatte Legend

    Aug 18, 2007
    I noticed some picture pixelation on my bedroom HR22 the other day. I decided to check my signal strength and I started on my living room HR22 which I haven't seen the pixelation.

    Living room (good picture): Lots of 80s and 90s on the 101 SAT with the 4th column reading zero and the 2nd number on the bottom row with a zero.

    Bedroom (pixelating somewhat): Same 80s and 90s but now I have 3 or 4 zeros on each row!

    These two HR22s are on different sides of my SWM16. Also on the bedroom side is my basement HR22 and it shows many zeros in the signal strength as well and it takes a long time to tune a channel.

    Could it be one side of my SWM16 is bad? Or just loose connections? I haven't changed any connections since I hooked up an HR34 (to the good side) of the SWM16 almost a year ago. BTW the HR34 has shown a good picture as well.
  2. MrLatte

    MrLatte Legend

    Aug 18, 2007
    I just checked my bonus room HR22 which has a band-stop filter (to prevent MRV) and it's on the "bad" side of the SWM16 and it works just fine with good signal strengths. Perhaps a bad splitter?

    UPDATE: After looking at my wiring diagram here's what I know about this "suspect" side of my SWM16: I have a 4-way splitter going to the following:

    1. Bedroom HR22 (pixelating)
    2. Basement HR22 (pixelating)
    3. Bonus Rm HR22 BS-filter (fine)
    4. Turned off HR20 but still connected

    Could the powered down HR20 just hanging there be causing a problem? Should I disconnect that one and terminate at the splitter? That HR20 has been off for a few months now BTW...
  3. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

    Feb 14, 2013
    The 101 sat only matters for SD, I assume all those HRs are mostly getting tuned to HD channels, right? The signals on 99c, 103ca and 103cb are what you should care more about unless you are only seeing pixellation on SD channels.

    But first I'd try powering off all the receivers, then the SWM-16, then power the SWM-16 up, then power up the receivers one at a time. See if the problem is still there. If it is, try swapping the cable connected to SWM1 with the cable connected to SWM2 on your SWM-16 (moving the PI if it is plugged into a splitter on SWM1 instead of SWM-PWR where it belongs) This will tell you if it is actually the SWM-16 (unlikely, IMHO) or something else - I'd say the cable/connector between the SWM16 and splitter on the 'bad' side is the most likely culprit. Just moving stuff around and retightening for this test may be enough to cure the problem though unless there is actual damage to the cable.
  4. MrLatte

    MrLatte Legend

    Aug 18, 2007
    I'm seeing the pixelation on HD channels. I also see a lot of zeros on the signal strength for 99c, 103ca and 103cb whereas the good receivers are showing 80s and 90s for all transponders on those SATs.
  5. MrLatte

    MrLatte Legend

    Aug 18, 2007
    I think I fixed the problem. I tightened the connections on the 4-way splitter and I removed the unused line and added a terminator. Now the signal strengths in the basement and bedroom look good without all those extra zeros!
  6. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

    Jun 18, 2006
    I'm sorry I didn't see this thread earlier, but it sounds like you came to the right conclusion. The culprit was likely a weak cable.
  7. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

    Aug 31, 2002
    Now get out your phone or iPad and snap some pics for posterity, of the signal strength screens. That will give you a baseline to refer to if you have issues in the future.

    And while you may have been able to determine one DVR having less signal than another (or more zeroes) I would not be concerned otherwise with low readings or zeroes, especially if those might be spot beams for other markets. What you want to be concerned with is just the spot beams for your market (somewhere on this forum is a document telling what belongs to where).

    If you have 96-100 on your spot beams, that at least proves good dish alignment, and that this polarity is operational. But you will still also have zeroes and low readings on other transponders, and those can be ignored. If your spot beams are good, the CONUS HD and SD channels should also be good, generally speaking (there are issues that can affect some channels on some sats).

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