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SWM OTA help

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by Smidgerine, Aug 7, 2008.

  1. Smidgerine

    Smidgerine Mentor

    Jun 2, 2007
    I got my SWM working and I had tried to use the OTA input to take from my antenna to the four receivers. However, when I do this, I don't get any signal for OTA. When I have thh antenna hooked to a single reciever, OTA works fine and I'm getting about 75% signal meter reading on the HR20 for the channels I watch. Getting it to all of the TV's requires me to have a cable run to the other side of the house. I'd suspect maybe the cable from the antenna is about 50-75 feet longer and then I guess it is split in the SWM. I'm thinking the signal is too low then, and it still has to travel through the house to the receivers.

    So, I'm thinking I need a distribution amp. Maybe this one -- Channel Master CM3414 Distribution Amplifier (CM3414)
    or this one PDI SAT PDI-407R-6kV 4-way 1 GHz Digital Drop Amplifier (PDI-407R-6kV) (sorry, don't have enough posts yet for links). Or, does someone know of a better one around the same price.

    But, I think if use this, then I need to use 4 combiners after the SWM signal is split into four using the SWS Four port splitter.

    That way I'd have a wire from my SWS splitter, and a wire from the dist. amp coming into a combiner (Channel Master is what I'm going to use, since I have their corresponding diplexers) and then being diplexed at the other end of the wire and then going into the HR20's. Does this seem right? I hate having to get four combiners, but I don't see how I can do it with just one.

    Also, the power inserter for my Channel Master Mast amp needs to go on the inside of my house, and I'd really to prefer to move it outside. I probably could put it in a weatherproof box, but I'm wondering if there is an alternative power supply that i could buy that is weather rated. I think I saw a power supply for SWM that could be used outside, but I just don't remember where.

    Thanks in advance for any help.

  2. texasbrit

    texasbrit Well-Known Member

    Aug 9, 2006
    You need to start by thinking through your OTA signal plan. First, by using the diplexer inside the SWM you are throwing away 50% of your OTA signal, because you are only using one of the SWM outputs. Ideally, for OTA, you should balance off the OTA tuners on the two SWM outputs so they all get the same signal.
    If you can't do that, because the tuners are all at a distance and you can only use one cable, don't use the diplexer in the SWM, use a separate diplexer after the SWM and bring your OTA into there. Then you won't lose the 3.5 db (minimum) in the SWM diplexer.
    Second, remember each of the HR20s has an internal splitter for OTA so the configuration you have right now is only delivering one sixteenth of the original signal to each tuner. You are losing 3.5db in the SWM, 7db more in the four-way splitter, and then 3.5db in the HR20s themselves, that's 14db, plus the cable losses. Since your signal strength is not very good in the first place, that's a big loss. With a Winegard 8-bay and a CM preamp, you are probably getting almost as good a signal as you can, certainly upgrading your antenna is not going to give you a massive improvement, so you are correct to be concentrating on the distribution issue. But don't use a distribution amp, it will create (as you have said) a mess of wiring, more diplexers and potentially more signal losses. To overcome the cable/splitter losses you would need to use an in-line amplifier, in the OTA line before it goes into the diplexer. One line in, one line out, about 14-16db should overcome all the losses. Can't recommend anything in particular from personal experience, but the Motorola signal booster is 15db. There are several others I found when I googled inline cable amplifier......
  3. dave29

    dave29 New Member

    Feb 18, 2007
    what diplexors are you using now?
  4. Jason Whiddon

    Jason Whiddon Hall Of Fame

    Aug 17, 2006
    I used a channel master diplexer after the power inserter, then another behind the tv to break the ota back out, worked great.
  5. NR4P

    NR4P Dad

    Jan 15, 2007
    Sunny Florida

    I agree with Texasbrit, review your OTA plan.
    I'm wondering why you can't have the amp power inserter inside? See my signature for my amp, its very good. The PI is inside right before my splitter and the amp is right at the antenna for minimum noise. And it also has an internal FM trap which I recommend you set to on.
  6. Smidgerine

    Smidgerine Mentor

    Jun 2, 2007
    OK, I didn't realize that by doing all of my HR20's out of SWM 1, that I would be losing 50% of the OTA. Makes sense, but I didn't think about it. So, I had planned on using a 4002IFD combiner from Channel Master, but it hadn't come in yet, so I had to use the SWM's OTA input. So, I'll put the channel master out there tomorrow. With the inline amplifier, do I have to worry about overamplifying the OTA signal before it goes into the combiner? This is what I"m thinking of doing....

    SWM1 -> CM 4002 IFD combiner

    OTA Antenna -> CM 7777 Mast LNA -> ??? CM 7777 Power supply (outside)???-> CM 4002 IFD combiner -

    CM 4002 IFD combiner -> SWS 4 port splitter

    At each receiver -- CM4001 IFD diplexer ---> OTA input and SWM input

    For the power supply, I'm putting it there for testing initially. I guess I don't see how to insure DC getting to the amp...well, at least w/o taking a multimeter out there, which I can do. It looks like DC passes through the SAT input of the combiner/diplexer....but I need it to pass through the UHF/VHF part, right?
  7. Smidgerine

    Smidgerine Mentor

    Jun 2, 2007
  8. NutFlush920

    NutFlush920 Cool Member

    Sep 12, 2006
    I have SWM LNB. Do I understand correctly? I would like OTA also and have put togeather a flow which I think might work in my case.

    I have 2 lilnes ran into the home, one for DirecTV and the other for OTA.
    The DirecTV line would connect to the Power Inserter.
    From the Power Inserter, the DirecTV line would go to a diplexer where the OTA line is also connected.
    I then would have a single line ran from the diplexer to my SWS8 splitter.
    I would then run a single line from the SWS8 to each room (all HD DVR's).
    In each room, I would diplex out the OTA and DirecTV to feed the reciever accordingly.

    Thanks for any help or advise you anyone can provide.
  9. houskamp

    houskamp Active Member

    Sep 14, 2006
    just what I'm running..
    If you have any problems after, pull the ant line first.. I have seen some interference problems..

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