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SWM Help Needed

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Installation/MDU Discussion' started by dbears, Sep 21, 2008.

  1. dbears

    dbears Cool Member

    Sep 22, 2007
    I had my SWM-8 working for several hours yesterday following my installation. It seemed to have failed last night, however. Here are some facts:

    1. The SWM is connected to a Zimwell 68. Four ports on the Zimwell go to 2 HR20's while the other four ports go to the SWM.
    2. The Zimwell is 100' of cable from the dish and the SWM is 6' of cable from the Zimwell.
    3. The PI is 20' of cable from the SWM.
    4. There are 2 HR20's and 2 HR21's connected to the SWM. They were all working fine yesterday afternoon but none are working now connected to the SWM.
    5. The SWM was running quite warm when it was working yesterday. Now its not warm at all. This leads me to think the problem rests with the SWM or PI. Can these short out and what may cause it? I don't want to re-install a new one only to short it out again.
    6. There is a green light inside the PI.
    7. I have tried the re-boot process as described in the guides where I unpluged everything off including the PI. Then I turned on the PI and then each receiver one at a time. All the receivers searched for a signal.
    8. There was some rain last night but not lightning.
    9. I did not ground the SWM but that was not suggested as a step in any of the guides.
    10. The Zimwell is still sending a signal to the two HR20's directly and they are working fine.

    Any help is greatly appreciated.


    Mike (Da Bears)
  2. NR4P

    NR4P Dad

    Jan 15, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    My installation is similar to yours.
    The ZiNwell WB68 should be a little warm, the SWM8 alittle warmer. But neither hot to the touch.

    The PI to the SWM8 should be putting out 29V. So at the point where the PI applies power to the SWM8, if you can get your hands on a volt meter, see if you measure 29Volts between the tip of the coax and the shield.

    That's the first step to determine if the PI is applying voltage to the SWM.

    (and a mod may wish to move this to the Intallation Threads where more SWM help could be offered)
  3. br408408

    br408408 Legend

    Jun 1, 2008
    This would place the SWM 106' away from the dish...far more than the recommended 40' max. Not sure if this would cause the problem, but you might try testing with it closer. My SWM 8 runs warm, but not hot. I can keep my hand on it for as long as I want without it becoming uncomfortable. As I have it mounted outside, I painted it white. My phone interface box which is about the same color gray as the SWM was gets hotter when the Florida sun is on it
  4. Mike Bertelson

    Mike Bertelson 6EQUJ5 WOW! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Jan 24, 2007
    Have you tried swapping the 4 outputs on the WB68 that go directly to receivers to the SWM?

    You need to eliminate as many possible causes as possible.

  5. dbears

    dbears Cool Member

    Sep 22, 2007
    After about four hours of checking wires, moving the receivers back to be hooked up directly to the zimwell and checking them again, I found a short in one of the wires going to one of the receivers. Apparently, I had a nail run thru one of the wires hidden inside a wall. I replaced the wire and started all over again. All seems to be working.

    By the way, despite the length of the zimwell from the dish, the signal strength is solidly in the low 90's.

    Seems obvious, but having good clean runs of wires is critical. One bad wire to one receiver will disable the entire process. At least that's what it looks like now. We'll see if all continues well for more than a day.


    Mike (Da Bears)
  6. Ext 721

    Ext 721 Icon

    Feb 26, 2007
    Careful there, an extra layer of paint may deflect the sun, but it also serves to insulate.

    Much better to shade it.
  7. br408408

    br408408 Legend

    Jun 1, 2008
    I am very aware of this as I have built race cars and motorcycles all my life (I'm 51) and I know paint can hold heat in. I scuffed it with Scotch-Brite and applied a THIN coat of white spray paint. I also mounted on the wall behind the dish where it is in the shadow of it most of the time. I check the shadow that the dish cast at several times during the day and picked a spot where it would be in a shadow most of the time. It does not run hot to the touch (warm only) and it is not because the thin coat of white spray paint is holding the heat in. You do make a good point though, a thick coat of white latex house paint would hold heat in.

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