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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

As most HR20 users, I too have battled a long series of issues with this box, but I wanted to share a thesis (need more data points to be conclusive) that part of the issues many of us have had relates to getting the cleanest signals to and from the dish.

My install of the new AT9 (replacing a 3LNB dish, as I've been on HD for many years) went smoothly enough, but after two weeks, the main LNB (103 sats had no signal) went out. Installed came back and replaced LNB's, and presto, good signal.

However, signal strength was not the best (and had not been on 103), and the HR20's (and the other Tivo DVR's) were pretty warm driving the dish though a Zimwell 6x8 multiswitch.
The zimwell is about 60' of cable downstream from the dish, three DVRs (including 1 HR20) are 10' from the switch.

The installer (and posts here) indicated that the HR20 required the exclusive use of the Zimwell 6x8 multiswitch, and that my existing Spaun could not be leveraged.

Therefore, for about a month, I ran five DVRs thorugh the 6x8. During which time, I experienced many of the Sat signal issues mentioned in other threads. I know some of this could be software version related, but for me, it was fairly consistent across versions.

After removing the B-block coverters (which are not required at this point in time) and seeing some diminution of the issues, I began to wonder if the problem is that the receivers can not adequately power the configuration.
Even with multiple receivers, I think a lot people (myself included before this) are pushing the limits of the voltage consistency a value-engineered CE device can supply. Many of the recording issues could be linked to momentary weak voltages not switching LNB's or glitching the LNB and/or multiswitch.

So I decided to power the dish by cascading in my nice SPAUN 5802 NF powered multiswitch (a ~$500 piece) to drive the dish through the new D* supplied Zimwell 6x8 multiswitch.
The SPAUN provides the power to the dish, so it de-stresses the receivers. Normally, the receivers need to supply the voltages to drive and select the LNB's through the multiswitch. I can confirm that this is helping, as the receivers now run a heck of lot cooler and touching the output cables on the receivers is barely above room temp, whereas before they were hot.

Since I've deployed the Spaun, all the DVR's have been doing great. Attached is the diagram of my current setup.



Currently, instead of the above, I'd recommend people get the new wideband Spaun (plus associated power adapter)
http://www.solidsignal.com/prod_display.asp?PROD=WBS41202NF

For people just looking to add power to the dish and finding the Zimwell 6x8 is enough outputs, you can add power with this device:
http://www.sonoradesign.com/newpdfs/Sheet_HRPID1422_11.pdf
http://www.sonorastore.com/510.html

For only $50, a cheap way to solve a lot of headaches related to dish and LNB issues

What have some of you experienced with respect to adding powered switches or drivers?
 

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I made reference to this a couple of weeks ago as I have not suffered near the problems some have. I am running the Zinwell WB616 as I do have some long runs and some are not solid copper and I don't want to replace them if I don't have to.

Of course, I don't have any MPEG-4 feeds so that could be a reason I have not had many of the reported problems.
 

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glennb said:
I'd say some HR20 users are battling a long series of issues with this box, not most.

Don't scare away the new people.

:)
Why would this be scaring away anyone?

Up till recently there has been no powered multiswitch for the 5LNB dishes.
And it has been known from the begining that with the passive multiswitch, the longer the runs between the dish and the switch and the switch and the dish, you may result in the possiblity of not enough power making it to the dish. (hence why limit of 100' with solid core RG6)
 

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I haven't had any problems, but the possibility of less stress on the receivers makes the Sonora very attractive to me. My boxes all run at the high side of the normal temperature range.

I do have a fairly long run. Thanks for the info!
 

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JonFo said:
Hi everyone,

For people just looking to add power to the dish and finding the Zimwell 6x8 is enough outputs, you can add power with this device:
http://www.sonoradesign.com/newpdfs/Sheet_HRPID1422_11.pdf
http://www.sonorastore.com/510.html

For only $50, a cheap way to solve a lot of headaches related to dish and LNB issues QUOTE]

I'm considering doing this because I have two WB68 switches. My four lines from the antenna are not labeled.

How do I figure out which lines are which?

I don't think it mattered during the installation which-went-where, so can I go by the existing inputs to the WB68?
 

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I am currently running two 6x8's in series (not side by side, as has been the suggested use) and my HR20 runs burning hot, I wonder if this may be a decent solution - although i'm certainly not putting down $500 on a multiswitch! I may look into the $50 option :)
 

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kay said:
I am currently running two 6x8's in series (not side by side, as has been the suggested use) and my HR20 runs burning hot, I wonder if this may be a decent solution - although i'm certainly not putting down $500 on a multiswitch! I may look into the $50 option :)
What is the internal temperature reading (based on the System information screen), for your HR20.

Your HR20 should not be too hot, that you can't put your hand on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
k0rww said:
I'm considering doing this because I have two WB68 switches. My four lines from the antenna are not labeled.

How do I figure out which lines are which?

I don't think it mattered during the installation which-went-where, so can I go by the existing inputs to the WB68?
It does not matter bettween the power locker and the dish, just wire up the four wires from the dish to the outputs of the powered locker and you'll be set. The dish itself has a multiswitch
What does matter to get straight is the wiring between the two multiswitches and the locker. Your config is exactly as depicted in the PDF linked, so just follow that.

BTW- a powered multiswitch will get very hot to the touch, as they run at something like 125 degrees. All that heat is what is NOT in your DVR's or receivers. So that's part of the big benefit here.
 

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Earl Bonovich said:
Why would this be scaring away anyone?

Up till recently there has been no powered multiswitch for the 5LNB dishes.
And it has been known from the begining that with the passive multiswitch, the longer the runs between the dish and the switch and the switch and the dish, you may result in the possiblity of not enough power making it to the dish. (hence why limit of 100' with solid core RG6)
Because the first sentence of the posting says - As most HR20 users, I too have battled a long series of issues with this box......

If somebody new comes along I thought they might read that and figure most people with the HR20 have battled a long series of issues with this box.... which isn't really true.
:)
 

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glennb said:
Because the first sentence of the posting says - As most HR20 users, I too have battled a long series of issues with this box......

If somebody new comes along I thought they might read that and figure most people with the HR20 have battled a long series of issues with this box.... which isn't really true.
:)
I have seen no evidence either way, it could be that a majority do not have problems or it is equally likely based on the data we have (none) that the majority are having lots of problems. There is clearly a collection of people that claim to have issues with the HR20, myself included. There is a clear trail of evidence that D* has been releasing software very quickly in an attempt to resolve software defects. Earl as also acknowledged that his D* contacts have admitted as much, so it is logical to conclude that these software release are related to defects as no new functionality has been deployed yet we continue to receive updates that appear to resolve some outstanding issue and create new ones. Since many of these issues are software defects, they are on every HR20, it is just that the use case that presents the defects for those users has not been executed by those people who have not seen the problem. These are are people who claim to have no issues. There is no evidence to say that most have problems or most do not. It is clear that there is a set of us who do have problems with the HR20 and since a lot of these issues are software related it is highly likely that all of us have the software problems, but some set of those users have not tripped on the use cases that trigger them, whether that is a majority or minority is a questions, but it is clear from the reviews from multiple sources and comments in other forums including this one, there is clearly a set of users with issues.
 

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Is the Sonora pointless if I'm only running 2 HR20s, with no multiswitches? One unit, on about a 25' run to the dish, has been great with rare occurences of the Searching message.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
sigma1914 said:
Is the Sonora pointless if I'm only running 2 HR20s, with no multiswitches? One unit, on about a 25' run to the dish, has been great with rare occurences of the Searching message.
It might be, as that's a pretty short run. Also, a sonora locker assumes a multiswitch before it.

Removal of the heat load from you DVR's might be a plus worth considering.

Also, the fact that a locker keeps the mechanical switch in the dish 'locked', is a plus during extreeme temp conditions.
 

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JonFo said:
It might be, as that's a pretty short run. Also, a sonora locker assumes a multiswitch before it.

Removal of the heat load from you DVR's might be a plus worth considering.

Also, the fact that a locker keeps the mechanical switch in the dish 'locked', is a plus during extreeme temp conditions.
My dumb self forgot to say the HR20 on a 60'-70' run has the Searching message more often.
 

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I like the signal locker idea.. anyone get one of these yet?

FYI.. In my opinion this is an important discussion and worthy of a sticky.
 

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I'm only running one HR20 (both inputs) and one R10 (one input at this time) and have yet to have an issue with my HR20. Sure I get the pink FF bug, but it records everything I tell it to and just generally works. I still prefer TiVo but I can't say this one gives me any headaches.
 

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sigma1914 said:
My dumb self forgot to say the HR20 on a 60'-70' run has the Searching message more often.
I think something is wrong here--I have about 100 feet dish-to-WB68, and another 60 to 70 feet to four receivers, and my HR20 has NEVER lost signal (while anyone was watching or recording) since the install six weeks ago.
 

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btmoore said:
I have seen no evidence either way, it could be that a majority do not have problems or it is equally likely based on the data we have (none) that the majority are having lots of problems. There is clearly a collection of people that claim to have issues with the HR20, myself included. There is a clear trail of evidence that D* has been releasing software very quickly in an attempt to resolve software defects. Earl as also acknowledged that his D* contacts have admitted as much, so it is logical to conclude that these software release are related to defects as no new functionality has been deployed yet we continue to receive updates that appear to resolve some outstanding issue and create new ones. Since many of these issues are software defects, they are on every HR20, it is just that the use case that presents the defects for those users has not been executed by those people who have not seen the problem. These are are people who claim to have no issues. There is no evidence to say that most have problems or most do not. It is clear that there is a set of us who do have problems with the HR20 and since a lot of these issues are software related it is highly likely that all of us have the software problems, but some set of those users have not tripped on the use cases that trigger them, whether that is a majority or minority is a questions, but it is clear from the reviews from multiple sources and comments in other forums including this one, there is clearly a set of users with issues.
How many times can you explain it BT? The software downloads are pretty strong evidence that problems are affecting a significant enough volume of subs, and that the potential is there to affect an even larger number. There are no actual numbers reflecting problems vs. no (or little) problems, and who wouldn't want to see that data? Why would D* be wasting all this time and energy if the a very small minority of people were having problems? It seems everyone is susceptible, or they wouldn't be doing massive downloads. So far, FYI, that latest download has not hit home here on the East Coast. Wonder if it has anything to do with you West Coasters reporting issues remain, both old and new, on reliability? Not sure. Maybe Earl can answer.

As for this thread, is it really possible that there is another layer of technological complexity/cost related to the HR20 problems? I sure hope not. Imagine if everyone who fits the profile of this thread (too many DVRs) needed to get that added piece of gear, or worse, have D* come and install it.
 
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