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Legend
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, I have a 5 LNB dish (installed by D* installer).
4 cables come down from it and into just a junction connector (dunno what it is called but it is basically just 4 barrel connectors ganged together; not a multi switch of any kind).
From that, two cables are going to my HD HR-20 receiver which is not more than about 20 feet from the dish, and one going to my old TIVO SD box which is now about 85 feet of cable run away(big, U-shaped house). The fourth cable just dead ends at the junction box until I can crawl under the house to run a second cable to my old TIVO box.
Everything seems to work, but I keep seeing people talking about multi-switches.
1) Does my setup sound right?
2) Do I have any need for a multi-switch?
3) Do I have any need for a POWERED multi-switch?
4) How can I sure I am getting the signal strenght I should be getting on all sats and transponders?
Thanks for your patience.
Dave
 

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Legend
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deebeeeff said:
Okay, I have a 5 LNB dish (installed by D* installer).
4 cables come down from it and into just a junction connector (dunno what it is called but it is basically just 4 barrel connectors ganged together; not a multi switch of any kind).
From that, two cables are going to my HD HR-20 receiver which is not more than about 20 feet from the dish, and one going to my old TIVO SD box which is now about 85 feet of cable run away(big, U-shaped house). The fourth cable just dead ends at the junction box until I can crawl under the house to run a second cable to my old TIVO box.
Everything seems to work, but I keep seeing people talking about multi-switches.
1) Does my setup sound right?
2) Do I have any need for a multi-switch?
3) Do I have any need for a POWERED multi-switch?
4) How can I sure I am getting the signal strenght I should be getting on all sats and transponders?
Thanks for your patience.
Dave
To understand what a multiswitch is, you first need to understand what an LNB is. Each LNB in your satellite dish receives a certain set of satellite signals, either from separate sats or separate transponders on a satellite. (A transponder is a portion of a satellite responsible for a certain set of channels. Each sat has multiple transponders).

A multiswitch takes the feeds out of the LNBs on your satellite and then routes (or "switches") those feeds down a second set of lines to your receivers. As you change channels, the multiswitch sees this request and "looks" at the appropriate LNB signal. Multiswitches are usually given numbers like 2x4 or 6x8. These are the numbers of inputs and outputs they have. A 6x8 multiswitch could look at the feeds from up to 6 LNBs and route those to up to 8 tuners.

In the new 5 LNB dish, there's a built-in multiswitch that takes the 5 LNBs and outputs them to four discrete lines. If you're not using more than 4 lines (up to four receivers or two DVRs with dual tuners), you don't need to add a separate multiswitch to the 5 LNB dish. So...

1. Your setup is fine as long as you're never going to add a 5th drop off the dish. If you are, you'll need to insert a multiswitch in your lines.

2. See above. You already have a multiswitch built into the dish.

3. Probably not. You only need a powered multiswitch if you're cascading multiple multiswitches (a lot more than 4 drops) or have very long cable runs (in excess of 100 feet from dish to tuner).

4. You can check the transponder strength in the setup menu of your DVR or receiver. On the new 99 and 103 sats, many of the transponders may read 0 strength -- this is normal as these sats send out "spot" beams of locals to specific cities.

To double check both your DVRs, I recommend tuning to channels 490, 491, 492, 493 and 494 from each tuner in use. These check line voltage and the ability to switch viewing sats and transponders. If you see the test message from each of these channels on each of your tuners, all your lines have enough voltage and you should be good to go. If you don't, you could add a power inserter prior to the drops splitting out under your house, but I doubt you'll need this. (You can find decent power inserters by Sonora for around $50.)

The only other thing to think about re: your setup is the "junction connector" you describe. This is a grounding block, and is supposed to help route lightning strikes to your dish into the ground instead of your receivers. (Don't worry -- this will most likely never happen.) Anyhow, your grounding block should have a wire coming out it connecting it to something like a cold water pipe or grounding rod. You may want to double check this part of your setup.
 

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What you are describing sounds like ground blocks. They are required by electrical code where the cable enters your house.

1. Yes your setup sounds right.
2. You do not need a multiswitch at this time. If you add another receiver or dvr, you will need one.
3. No, you don't need a powered multiswitch at this time either.
4. Dish alignment is the primary factor in signal strength. If you are receiving your programming, then you have enough signal strength. You can use the menu setup satellite function to see what your signal strengths are. Keep in mind that the reading is only a relative indication, and you can't compare readings from one model receiver to a different model receiver.

A multiswitch is a device that takes all of the cables from the dish (4 in your case) and locks each one to a specific signalling combination. The multiswitch then provides more outputs (typically 8) so you can support more receivers or dvrs using a multiswitch than you can running wire directly from the dish.

When you tune to a channel on a receiver, the receiver sends a signal to the dish (or multiswitch) to tell it what satellite, transponder and polarity to use. The dish (or multiswitch) then sends the appropriate signal back to your receiver. There are 4 possible signaling requests the receiver can send which is why the multiswitch needs 4 inputs. It locks each input to one of those combinations. Then when a receiver connected to the multiswitch asks for a specific combination, the multiswitch cross-connects the receiver to the applicable input from the dish.

Carl
 

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Legend
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
carl6 said:
What you are describing sounds like ground blocks. They are required by electrical code where the cable enters your house.
Carl
Thanks! For the life of me I couldn't remember that term, even though I have even bought one at Radio Shack about a year ago. LOL!:hurah:
 

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Legend
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This place is so cool!:dance01: :icon_band !pride
Where else can you get so many great answers within a half hour of the original post?
Thank you very much!!!:hurah:
 
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