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SWM & SWMline general discussion

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Installation/MDU Discussion' started by Doug Brott, Jul 30, 2008.

  1. Dec 21, 2008 #441 of 1305
    terp_in_atl

    terp_in_atl New Member

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    Thanks, Michael. I added the terminator and 25 feet of cable and everything appears to be working well.

    This is (hopefully) the end of a long, long, long ordeal to get DirecTv to install SWM at my house. In the end, I had to buy the equipment myself and get DirecTv to reimburse my account. I was also the first "non-antenna" SWM install that the DirecTv guy had done. I literally had to show him the SWM instructions and encourage him that he could do it! :eek2:
     
  2. Dec 21, 2008 #442 of 1305
    rudeney

    rudeney Hall Of Fame

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    You can use use a volt meter to trace the cable the PI is connected to.
     
  3. Dec 22, 2008 #443 of 1305
    kanderna

    kanderna Legend

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    Hi All -

    I admit that I haven't gone through the troubleshooting steps and data-gathering process yet, so feel free to tell me to piss off until I do that, but sitting at work and this is bothering the crap out of me. I just wanted to bounce this off of you in case you have an absolute reason this might be happening.

    Hooked everything up. Then started connecting receivers one at a time and verified 2-tuner functionality after each. Everything perfect. At some point, the first receiver stopped working (Searching for signal on Sat 2). This is 3 HR20s, the other two are fine.

    Things performed after verifying 2-tuner on the first receiver:
    - hooked up the others (I'm 99.9% sure it was still working after this)
    - attempted a diplex of cable broadband, then "un-did" (about 95% sure it was working after this, based on the time of a recording while I was watching something else)
    - unhooked a faulty receiver (and thus left a run out of the SWM not hooked to a receiver)
    - accidentally cut power to the receiver (this is when I think it happened, but can't say for sure)

    Didn't have time for all the troubleshooting, other than a red button push. Will give that a shot when I get home. Any thoughts in the meantime?
     
  4. Dec 22, 2008 #444 of 1305
    veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    "This is 3 HR20s, the other two are fine."

    If these are ALL DVRs, then you have too many connected.
    SWM works with up to eight tuners, which would be 4 DVRs, if "the other two" are also DVRs, then you're trying to connect 10 tuners to an eight tuner system.
     
  5. Dec 22, 2008 #445 of 1305
    kanderna

    kanderna Legend

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    Sorry... I wasn't clear. 3 TOTAL DVRs. One is having the aforementioned issue, the other two are fine.
     
  6. Dec 22, 2008 #446 of 1305
    veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    "Darn", as that would have been "easy".
    Time to list your setup [cable lengths, models, what connected where, etc.]
     
  7. Dec 22, 2008 #447 of 1305
    dettxw

    dettxw MRVing

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    Yep.
    Anything left unterminated?
     
  8. Dec 22, 2008 #448 of 1305
    kanderna

    kanderna Legend

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    Thanks VOS. I'll have to truly do the dirty troubleshooting when I get home, but here are the details that I can quickly pull from my head:

    Dish > SWM8 (~20 ft.)
    SWM1 > PI (16 ft.) - SWM2 terminated
    PI > 1x8 (overkill, I know)
    1x8 > 3 HR20s, and one unterminated run that I mentioned in my OP because the receiver is being replaced.

    Cable lengths might be tough, as it's existing wiring that I didn't see. I'm guessing they are no more than 100-150 ft. (instead of going through the floor joists they ran them up into the ceiling first, then down the wall to the rooms. Except on the trouble maker HR20... that run isn't any longer than 50 ft.

    A couple questions come to mind:
    - The unterminated run?
    - The unterminated posts on the 1x8?

    After seeing everything I was considering moving the PI next to one of the receivers and using a 1x4 off of the SWM2 to serve the other receivers just to clean things up a bit. Would I be better served by this?

    Also, a potentially stupid noob question :blush: (feel free to beat me):blackeye:. In my setup, is the power passing "out" on the splitter of any use?
     
  9. Dec 22, 2008 #449 of 1305
    dettxw

    dettxw MRVing

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    I think that you'll really want to terminate any unused ports. Something like this will work:
    http://www.solidsignal.com/prod_display.asp?prod=CP2507-10

    PI sounds OK to me with what we know.

    A single 8-way splitter on the SWM1 power-passing input is just fine.

    My splitters only pass power through one input/output. If you're using a splitter that allows power to any other ports I think that you're just asking for trouble. Should be using something like this:
    http://www.solidsignal.com/prod_display.asp?prod=SWS-8
     
  10. Dec 22, 2008 #450 of 1305
    rudeney

    rudeney Hall Of Fame

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    Personally, I'd only split the cable as many times as necessary to server the number of currently connected tuners. This eliminates termination issues. If you have problems finding terminators, you might find it easier to buy the right combination of splitters from B&M's like Home Depot, Lowe's, BestBuy, etc. Technically, you need 2MHz-2GHz splitters, but those that do 5MHz-2GHz will likely work just fine. If you keep the PI "upstream" of the splitter(s), you won't have to worry about power-passing

    The "in" and "out" notation on a power-passing splitter is in relation to the satellite signal - NOT the power inserter. So, if you choose to put the PI "downstream" of a splitter, then that splitter must be power passing and it would be connected to the indicated"out" port that passes power. The output (SWM-1) from the SWM8 would go to the splitters "in" port, and then all other "out" ports are for the other receivers (or terminated if unused). If you leave the PI "upstream" of the splitter, then that power-passing port is "just another output port for a receiver".
     
  11. Dec 22, 2008 #451 of 1305
    veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Once you're past the PI, the splitter doesn't matter if it's power passing.
    You might try powering everything down and swapping receiver locations and then booting everything back up. Does "the problem child" stay with the location, or does it move with the receiver?
    I don't know why people are using 8-way splitters when only needing a 4-way. Why lose 50% power for nothing? :confused:
    You can alway try the SWM->PI-> receiver & have the other three off SWM #2.
     
  12. Dec 22, 2008 #452 of 1305
    kanderna

    kanderna Legend

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    I'll give that a shot. Troubleshooting aside, if I want to cycle the PI, I should unplug all receivers anyway, correct?

    Yeah, I know. Wanted to "future-proof" myself. :rolleyes: Would probably be old technology by the time I got to that point anyway.

    Yeah, that's what I was thinking in my 'move the PI next to one of the receivers' comment.
     
  13. Dec 22, 2008 #453 of 1305
    veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I cycle the SWM [PI] and then restart the receiver [menu restart] "if needed", but many times they're working fine.
     
  14. Dec 23, 2008 #454 of 1305
    kanderna

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    It's late, so I decided to start playing.

    I'm about to start cycling, etc., but thought I would post an additional finding. I checked my signal strengths. I'm getting near perfect SWM signal on both tuners. I am also getting great signal on 119, 110, and 101 on tuner 2. Not so much on 99 and 103. Tuner 1 is fine on all. So essentially my all-too-important HD channels are being left out on T2.

    Also, continues to be perfect on the other receivers.

    I'm about to do the restart/cycle game, but if the above creates an "ah-ha!" moment for anyone, that would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
     
  15. Dec 23, 2008 #455 of 1305
    LameLefty

    LameLefty I used to be a rocket scientist

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    That strikes me as an LNB or cabling problem, not so much an SWM problem. Can you reconnect a receiver straight to the dish, bypassing the SWM, then check your signals again?
     
  16. Dec 23, 2008 #456 of 1305
    kanderna

    kanderna Legend

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    Would the fact that it's OK on the other receivers eliminate the LNB theory?
     
  17. Dec 23, 2008 #457 of 1305
    LameLefty

    LameLefty I used to be a rocket scientist

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    You would think, but I'd still test it anyway just as a reference point. :)

    It would also help determine if you have a marginal tuner in that box or an issue with cabling to it.
     
  18. Dec 23, 2008 #458 of 1305
    kanderna

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    Yeah, I have a replacement HR20 that should be arriving today, so I'll have a receiver free of pulling out of cabinets, etc. that I can play with. Thanks!
     
  19. Dec 23, 2008 #459 of 1305
    rudeney

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    Keep in mind that the way the SWM works is that it "re-broadcasts" the data feeds from up to 9 different transponders (8 selectable plus one locked onto guide data) onto 9 100MHz bands on the cable. The "SWM" signal screen just shows the strengths of the (up to) 9 transponders currently selected by the tuners connected to the SWM. If you run a signal strength test, my guess is that the tuner has to step the SWM through all possible 32 transponders on that satellite. The SWM would be constantly switching feeds on one of the channels and then the tuner would have to calculate the signal quality.

    Remember now that the signal strength number isn't actually some sort of antenna decibel measurement. Instead, it's the percentage of the data that is not having to be interpolated due to data loss. If your tuner 2 is failing and is unable to properly decode MPEG4 without too much loss, then it would not matter if that data is being delivered via SWM or not.

    My guess here is it's a bad tuner.
     
  20. Dec 23, 2008 #460 of 1305
    kanderna

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    Even though a two-line setup works OK?
     

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