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SWM16 install question

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Installation/MDU Discussion' started by Andy S, Sep 26, 2012.

  1. Andy S

    Andy S New Member

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    Jan 22, 2007
    I added an HR34 to my system yesterday and the installer wired a little different than I expected. I previously had a slimline dish with SWM that fed into my distribution box to a green label 8 port splitter. Into the splitter I had 3 HD DVR's and 1 HD receiver. I also had a PI 21 power inserter and a DECA running into the splitter. I had expected the installer to change the dish to an SL3/SL5 and install a SWM16 near the dish running 3 cables back to the box. One for each SWM leg and one for the power inserter. Since I had 4 cables in the soffit running to my distribution box there were no cable issues. However, he only used two cables (one for each SWM leg) and in the distribution box he ran one leg into the power inserter and then passed in into the 8 port splitter. He left the 3 HD DVR's on this side with the DECA. He connected the other leg to a two port splitter and passed it on to the HR34 and capped the other side. My questions are:
    1) is it OK to run the PI into the splitter rather than the port on the SWM16?
    2) can't I just use a barrel connector for the HR34 leg rather than a 2 way splitter? Isn't there a signal loss with the splitter?
    3) shouldn't he have changed the 8 port splitter to a 4 port splitter, again to minimize signal loss? I now have 4 ports capped off on an 8 port splitter.
    Everything seems to work fine but I want to make sure it is optimized.
     
  2. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    1. there are 2 ways to power the -16, so what he used is fine.
    2. If you only have one coax, then you don't need the splitter
    3. While I don't like 8-way splitters, "loss" isn't going to have an affect until you use very long coax runs. If the receiver is receiving above -60 dBm, it won't work any better if it has -50 dBm.
     
  3. Andy S

    Andy S New Member

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    Jan 22, 2007
    Thanks for the quick reply VOS. So I can remove the 2 way green label splitter and use a barrel connector for the HR34 leg? I assume there are not special green label barrel connectors. And all my receivers are within 75 feet of the 8 port splitter so I should leave that alone?
     
  4. funnyfarm299

    funnyfarm299 AllStar

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    Mar 3, 2012
    A barrel is a barrel.
     
  5. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Your installer sounds like he did a good job. You can tweak your setup anyway you want, but won't really see any improvements either.
    You'd need to be around 150'.
     
  6. dielray

    dielray Legend

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    Aug 5, 2009
    Another thing to consider is you don't want the power level too high going into the HR34. If the line length between the SWM16 and HR34 is short, it would be best to keep the 2way attached.
     
  7. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    That shouldn't ever be a problem. The tuner chip is spec'd to -20 dBm, and that's above what the SWiM outputs.
     
  8. dielray

    dielray Legend

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    Aug 5, 2009
    There has been the occasional issue with the signal being too strong as it enters the IRD. Without being there to measure, I don't want to second guess the tech's reason of putting in a 2way. Although very atypical, I had a service call yesterday where the LNB was outputting -10 to -20 dBm. I guess it's just fresh in my mind.
     
  9. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Legacy or SWiM?
    The SWiM would be defective if it was, because of it's AGC.
    -26 dBm sure, but above -20 dBm? :confused:
     
  10. dielray

    dielray Legend

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    Aug 5, 2009
    It was a legacy 3. It behaved very oddly with the BBCs even though it had attenuated to about -30 dBm before it hit them. The highest I've seen a SWM LNB output is ~-22 dBm. It isn't common, but I have seen receivers needing to be attenuated to -30 dBm or so to get readings that match the AIM.
     
  11. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    "Yeah" on a good day a legacy can be as high as -17 to -15 dBm.

    The SWiM AGC range is -15 to -45 dBm, so it should never get to a receiver at -20 dBm.

    I don't quite understand "to get readings to match the AIM". :confused:
     
  12. dielray

    dielray Legend

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    Aug 5, 2009
    I mean the numbers on the receiver screen matching the AIM's SQ value.

    For the most part it isn't likely to overpower a receiver, but combine an LNB with an uncommonly high output power, no splitter and short runs and it can be done.

    Typical output power in my area for a legacy WNC LNB is between -27 dBm and -30 dBm. SWM LNBs are higher in peaking mode, but about the same in sat tune.
     
  13. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I could see a rare case with a legacy, but not with the SWiM, which was the thread topic.
     
  14. dielray

    dielray Legend

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    Aug 5, 2009
    Upon further inspection, you are right. I kept going back to memory of a tech bulletin indicating the need to attenuate the signal on very short runs, but I found the bulletin and it is just an issue with HR21/22/R22-100s.

    I also checked it by taking the LNB from yesterday and connecting it straight to a SWM16. The 99 transponder 1 was -15 dBm before the switch, -26 dBm on SWM1, -28 dBm on SWM2, and -36 dBm on legacy 4.
     
  15. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    You're a "good guy", but "most of the time" I kind of know what I'm talking about. I really do live and breath RF. :lol:
     
  16. dielray

    dielray Legend

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    Aug 5, 2009
    Indeed. You know your stuff. It's always exciting for me to learn something new or to correct improper knowledge that I may have. Thank you. :)
     
  17. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Please don't leave. !rolling

    You have also been a source of good information.
     
  18. wallfishman

    wallfishman Icon

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    Dec 31, 2008
    that particular issue was years ago. you had to either put an 8way or a 50 ft jumper inline to get them to pass IV. That dont seem to be an issue anymore.
     
  19. dielray

    dielray Legend

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    Aug 5, 2009
    What a typo :lol:

    That may be. I haven't put in any HR21/22/R22-100s on very short runs for quite some time.
     
  20. Ken Stomski

    Ken Stomski Mentor

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    Nov 17, 2011

    Actually, a barrel isn't a barrel. It should be "high-pass" to "ensure" passage of all frequencies used within a Directv system. These are usually blue instead of white or clear on the inside, although the newer ones coming out are orange. I have done alot of troubleshooting of motel directv systems and those older barrel connectors are at fault 50% of the time.
     

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