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Understanding SWM, Multiswitches, Cabling


Understanding SWM, Multiswitches, Cabling

I have had DTV for a number of years and all has really gone well.  The installers have been a mixed bag and, it seems, each installer has his own opinion of the workmanship of the previous and, disturbingly, how things should be set up and work.  We have 4 DVRs and a very freshly installed Genie.  We're dealing with an error 775 and they won't be out until Friday (called Tuesday).   I'm trying to gain more understanding through this and a number of other posts in their appropriate sections while I try some troubleshooting and wait for the tech.

Over the years there have been many changes to the LNBs, multiswitches, whatever the hardware is mounted on the side of the house, etc.  One installer (who's work was lazy at best) installed a SWM a couple/few years back.  I think it was to prevent him from having to run 2 runs to a new receiver install.  Through some reading here am I to understand:

a) the SWM device does some kind of power insertion function

b) a cable from the dish runs to the SWM then back to the hardware mounted on the side of the house and receiver drops are split from there

Also, c) I've seen a designation of SWM16 - do they vary by the number of receivers/tuners they need to power?

As for the multiswitch:

d) it resides on the dish

e) is it part of the LNB

f) the multiswitch required for each installation is based on how many receivers/tuners are in the installation

Perhaps there's a summary answer that can answer all these questions.  I appreciate any helpful input, thanks!

Message 1 of 5

Re: Understanding SWM, Multiswitches, Cabling

A lot of questions and you're looking for a complete education in Directv technology.  I'll answer the basics:

  • A   The SWM device is a power inserter designed to power the SWM Multiswitch.  The one for a dish is 21v and the one for a SWM16 external Multiswitch is 29v.
  • B   That would be a dish type SWM and the signal is in fact split to each receiver, a maximum of 8 tuners can be serviced.
  • C   A SWM 16 requires a conventional Slimline dish and all 4 coax from the dish feeds the SWM 16.  Each of the two arms of the SWM16 can service up to 8 tuners, for a maximum of 16.
  • D   The SWM 16 can reside on the dish but I prefer an interior protected install.
  • E   The SWM 16 is an independent device and is not part of the LNB
  • F   Correct, but tuners are a different number than number of receivers.  A receiver = 1, a DVR = 2 and a Genie = 5.  So, a SWM dish could service one of each, but if you added anything the total would exceed 8 thus requiring a SWM16.
Message 2 of 5

Re: Understanding SWM, Multiswitches, Cabling

Thank you very much for the information!

On the side of my home is a SWM16 (SWM16R1-03).  One cable runs to a 'Stand-Alone SWM8/SWM16 Module Only).  The 'Power to SWM' connector runs back to the SWM16, I presume.  While the 'Signal to IRD' connector runs to the HR23/700 in that room.  There are no other SWM devices I'm aware of.  We have two other HR23/700s, one HR21/200, and a Genie (HR34).  The HR34 and one of the HR23/700s are on one splitter while the other DVRs are on their own splitter.  Does this all sound proper?

Thank you again!

Message 3 of 5

Re: Understanding SWM, Multiswitches, Cabling

Yup, sounds right.  Three DVR's = 6 tuners and one Genie plus a DVR = 7 tuners.  The 775 error indicates problems "seeing"the dish.  If it's present on all the receivers then I'd check that the power inserter had a viable AC power connection and then I'd check all the coax connections from the SWM16 back to the dish.

Message 4 of 5

Re: Understanding SWM, Multiswitches, Cabling

Thanks.  Thought it was all OK.  I've changed outlets, had the SWM off for over an hour, even just had one receiver powered up after unplugging and re-plugging-in the SWM.  Either the power inserter, SWM16, or his cabling job is the culprit.  The installer was really cocky about how great his work is.  So I'm really looking forward to hearing what it is.  Unfortunately, we're without TV for three days including final NFL preseason games.  THAT sucks.

Message 5 of 5
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