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WB68's Piggybacked--What will I lose?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Installation/MDU Discussion' started by paulman182, Oct 13, 2008.

  1. paulman182

    paulman182 Hall Of Fame

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    My installer brought my HR22-100 Saturday. I was already overloaded on outputs from my WB68--some DVRs had only one lead--so I was hoping he could get me fully functional.

    I had previously emailed DirecTV in an attempt to make sure the installer knew what to bring. They said I could "rest assured" that he would have what was needed to make my equipment "fully functional" (canned response.)

    Once I saw how frustrated he was, I told him I understood and to leave it as-is if necessary, with just one coax going to the little-used DVRs. He ended up piggybacking two WB68s.

    It seems to be working right now. What will the symptoms be if it begins to falter? I did see one "searching for satellite" message when I changed channels yesterday, but the channel did come in. I have never seen that message except in bad weather. Is that the kind of problem I can expect?

    I understand I could use four power-passing splitters and parallel the WB68s if need be. Is that correct? Thanks!
     
  2. Michael D'Angelo

    Michael D'Angelo Lifetime Achiever

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    Since neither multi-switch is powered you could run into problems. It may work without any problems but you could run into them.

    What you want to do is get 4 dual power passing splitters 5mhz to 2150mhz (or higher) and split the 4 lines from the dish and use both multi-switches in a parallel setup. From each splitter just make sure the two outputs are going to the same input on both multi-switches.
     
  3. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

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    If your equipment is all working correctly, and you do not run into searching for signal issues, then the cascaded WB68's are okay. That is not the recommended configuraiton, but many have done this and it works for them.

    If you see any problems, the first thing to do is bypass the cascaded WB68's and see if that corrects the problem. If so, hook them up in parallel using four power passing high frequency splitters.

    Carl
     
  4. paulman182

    paulman182 Hall Of Fame

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    Thanks for the comments.

    As I said, yesterday I saw a "Searching for satellite" message on a channel change and I've never had that before.

    I would rather our HD DVRs work perfectly and the SD DVRs have only one line run to them, than have them all start having problems. But since I have two WB68s now, I'll wait and see what happens.

    I know the splitters aren't expensive, and the install needs to be redone anyway--he left the second multiswitch hanging in air, supported by the stiff coax. It is in a protected location, against the wall of my carport.
     
  5. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

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    With that many receivers, you might want to consider upgrading to a Zinwell WB616, which is a 16-port switch. It is also powered, which means it has a built-in signal locker (the switch provides the power to run the LNBs and the switch built in to the LNB, instead of relying on the receivers to power everything). DirecTV generally doesn't supply them for residential use, but with a large system, they are the way to go.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. David MacLeod

    David MacLeod New Member

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    the 616 is also easy to hook up and neatens up the area.
     
  7. rudeney

    rudeney Hall Of Fame

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    I get this occasionally. I believe it’s just latency in the switch taking just a little more time to deliver the stream from the requested satellite after the IRD requests it via the appropriate voltage/tone combination.

    I would definitely get the 2nd multiswitch anchored down and not let it hang by the coax. That’s just asking for problems. Personally, I’m a bit anal-retentive about stuff like this so I’d probably buy the splitters and connect the WB68’s in parallel.
     
  8. paulman182

    paulman182 Hall Of Fame

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    Yes, I do know about the WB616 and was hoping the tech would bring one.

    He even said, "What you really need is a 6 by 16..."

    Of all the techs who have done upgrades for me, he seemed to be the one enjoying his job the least, even though he was fairly knowledgeable. He knew without me telling him that this method of connection was not recommended, but I'm the kind of guy who often tries things with fingers crossed, too.
     
  9. David MacLeod

    David MacLeod New Member

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  10. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

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    It practically takes an act of (insert diety of choice here) to get a WB616 out of an HSP. In my area, they will absolutely NOT give one to any tech; if a customer demands one, a field supervisor will bring it out, but he will do everything he can to talk the customer out of it before finally relenting in the end if he can't convince them. You'd think the things were made of gold and platinum or something. The truth is that DirecTV reimburses the HSP for the WB68 but not for the WB616...
     
  11. David MacLeod

    David MacLeod New Member

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    man, thats messed up about the reimbusement.
     
  12. CJTE

    CJTE Hall Of Fame

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    Yea... I had cascaded WB68s for a couple months, no probs. Went parallel, and a few months later I was getting SFSS. One of the splitters shorted out and blew open (like a battery).

    Anyway, to the op, for the most part, depending on what receivers you have, and which are actually sending power up the line at any one given time, you should be fine
     
  13. RobertE

    RobertE New Member

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    :lol:

    It's easier to get a raise with a HSP than it is geting a WB616.

    oh wait...:(
     
  14. paulman182

    paulman182 Hall Of Fame

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    Right now WB616s are still over $100, even on ebay. WB68s are selling for about $15 on ebay, so I can see why HSPs prefer installers to use them.

    I don't totally understand how the cascaded system works. Obviously, the first WB68 from the dish has four outputs going to the second switch, and four outputs going directly to DVRs. I would assume those four outputs would be the least likely to have problems since they only go thru one multiswitch, is that a safe assumption?

    If so, I should connect my most-used DVRs to those leads coming off the first WB68, right?
     
  15. texasbrit

    texasbrit Well-Known Member

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    I would much rather not cascade the WB68s at all. It's not recommended by the manufacturer, and the problems that it can cause are very difficult to diagnose because they appear to be random, depending on the satellites each tuner has selected. For the price of four splitters it seems to me it's not worth the risk.
     
  16. paulman182

    paulman182 Hall Of Fame

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    I understand that. What I am trying to do is to get an idea of what those problems are so I can recognize them if they show up, and try to reduce the chances of them happening on my most-used DVRs.

    I did not install the piggyback system, but if it works, I'll use it.

    If it doesn't work, I'll either buy the splitters and coax pigtails, or go back to having the lesser-used DVRs with only one satellite feed.

    So far, it is working fine, but my wife is out of town so the system is not being heavily used.
     
  17. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

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    As texasbrit noted, problems can appear very random and hard to diagnose. Problems would be based on the fact that the DC voltage from the receiver has to pass through two multiswitches, with some amount of voltage drop through each.

    The four coax from the multiswitch to the dish have to lock the four outputs of the dish to the four possible signalling combinations. With a powered multiswitch, that is done by the multiswitch regardless of what the various receivers are doing. With an unpowered multiswitch such as the WB68, the multiswitch can only send to the dish what it sees from a receiver.

    What might happen is that the receivers that are connected directly to the first WB68 (the one nearest the dish) are all requesting channels that are on an odd transponder (which uses a 13VDC signal from the receiver to request). Then, one of the receivers connected to the second (cascaded) WB68 requests a channel that is on an even transponder (which uses 18VDC signal from the receiver). But due to the combination of cable length, and voltage drop through the two WB68's, the voltage comming out of the first WB68 (going to the dish) is too low to trigger the dish to send the proper polarization.

    Now, let's assume just for the sake of this discussion, that only happens from that one specific receiver, and that other receivers connected to the second WB68 work properly.

    So your symptoms (in this specific case) would be that when you have the exact proper mix of channel requests from receivers, one of your receivers would either get a searching for signal on some channels but would work on other channels, or could actually tune to the wrong channel. But on a different channel that receiver would work just fine.

    You can get various mixes of this type of anomolous behavior with cascaded WB68's. It could manifest itself in partial, or partially blank, recordings on some DVRs but no problem on others.

    Carl
     
  18. paulman182

    paulman182 Hall Of Fame

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    Thanks, guys, I am seeing the light.

    So if I insist on trying this system, it would be better to put the two most important DVRs on the multiswitch that goes straight to the dish as those outputs are being operated as intended.

    I'm interested in trying this out for a while, especially if I can keep my main HD DVRs working as well as before by connecting them thru only the one switch.
     
  19. David MacLeod

    David MacLeod New Member

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    so if I understand that right this could cause you to immediately start looking at the receiver (the one used as example) as the problem when in fact it could be due to switch setup. do you find that often receivers are incorrectly blamed due to this?
     
  20. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I think most blame the receiver for any problem from a remote malfunction, to a system problem, to even problems on DirecTV's end. They simply "see" that the receiver didn't do what they wanted and must be at fault.
     

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