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post #211 of 245 (permalink) Old 2017-09-24, 09:57 AM
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We've discussed bad terminations, cable shorts, water in the cables and center conductors being too short. It's a good idea but I believe the output on the switch is being measured with no lines attached. If it isn't, that should be tried. If that's the issue, the bad cable might be found by adding them back one at a time.

@Jimsathome , it might be useful to know the frequency of each channel (or a good cross section of them) and chart signal strength vs frequency before and after the switch.
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post #212 of 245 (permalink) Old 2017-09-24, 02:38 PM Thread Starter
 
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Cool Next Steps => A New Multiswitch?

Gents,

If you can read all 6 years of this post in one sitting without falling asleep, my hat's off to you.

I've attempted to have the investigation be methodical, starting with installing the correct the LNB and alignment of the Dish, and IMHO we've narrowed it down to the Multiswitch. Poor values are found right after the Multiswitch, and not before it. We've checked for bad terminations, cable shorts, and center conductors being too short. I have not checked for water in the cables, as the signals before the Multiswitch (which is mounted on the Cabin which is 300+ feet from the Dish ) are very good, so no indication of excess losses from that are indicated. The output of the multiswitch is being measured with no other output lines attached => except a low loss good test length of RG.

It's never a bad idea to go back and check terminations and I've done so with a vengeance. And we will continue to do so, if / when we change out the multiswitch. We could replace all the cables from the Dish to the multiswitch with outdoor solid core RG6 Quad Shield, but how much would we gain. In the table below, these are the channels deemed most important to the neighbor. Every channel at the Cabin that we checked (including music) is fine, but the goal is to get the neighbor reliable signals for the long winter ahead. (The Cabin is only used seasonally and then very lightly. Of course I'd like to use it more, but work and other family obligations get in the way these days.) My target has always been to have all channels meet the minimum acceptable standards that Shaw Installers must hit.

According to the Shaw Self Install Manual: "If your receiver installer menu displays signal strength of between 80 and 90%, you have successfully aligned the dish to the Shaw
Direct satellite." There is no mention of Ecb /No values, but Installers who have posted advise their employers require them to have 6.0 or 6.5 as the minimum. Below is the last table I posted. The "<===" previously indicated favorite neighbor channels below this threshold with the wrong SHAW60E-G1 xKU LNB.

Cabin--Neighbor---Signal---Ecb No.

130------630---------77-------4.1 <===
354------009---------87-------6.1 <===
368------068---------95-------7.8 <===
374------091---------89-------6.4
512------156---------95-------7.9
523------165---------96-------8.3
567------190---------95-------7.7
568------191---------84-------5.4 <===
564------192---------95-------7.5
565------196---------90-------6.7 <===
615------212---------92-------7.1 <===
002------502---------88-------9.8
006------506---------88-------9.7
007------507---------88-------9.8
009------509---------89-------9.9
127------627---------97-------8.9


The new SHAW75E-G1 xKU LNB made a significant improvement and there are only a few needing more remediation (at least in the Cabin) Reducing it down to just those channels with an Ecb /No value below 6.5 give:

130------630---------77-------4.1 <===
354------009---------87-------6.1 <===
374------091---------89-------6.4 <===
568------191---------84-------5.4 <===

If we used just signal strength, as per the Shaw manual, only one channel (my neighbor's favorite ) would remain:

130------630---------77-------4.1 <===

But I'm expecting the losses in the next 300 feet of RG6 + connections over to the neighbors Receivers from the Multiswitch to put much more channels in jeopardy.

I'm still chewing on if I should buy another new Multiswitch, but this time a 4x8 Pico Macom TSMS-4/8 which is the Shaw Direct current specification. It'll be about $100 by the time I get it sent here. My work will take me to the Cabin next weekend, and I doubt I'll have any chance of it arriving before then, and therefore I don't think I'll have to rush this decision. However, as Autumn is upon us this week, the weather will soon turn cold, and I'll need to winterize the Cabin. (We typically don't stay there at all during the winter.) And my business rationale for visiting the Kamloops area also will be finished (at least for the foreseeable future) so it may be a case of getter done next weekend - somehow...

Regards,
Jim
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post #213 of 245 (permalink) Old 2017-09-26, 01:06 AM Thread Starter
 
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Cool A Gambler's Life it will be...

Hi Gents,

I looked about but couldn't find a Pico Macom TSMS-4/8 on sale retail in Vancouver, so I looked on line. I found one in Calgary, and another in Ontario, but thought by the time a supplier got it processed and shipped to me, it may not make it here before Friday. As I'm planning to install it on Saturday at the Cabin.

So I tried some Satellite installation Services on Craigslist. Tony, the second guy I called said he would pick one up from his supplier today while he was en route from his home in Surrey to an all day Bell job in Burnaby (He said he's an independent installer and does all sorts of Satellite installs). He called after his day was done, and we arranged to meet part way on his route home. He said his supplier was all out of the Pico Macom TSMS-4/8, but had a Steren 201-747 4x8 Sky Switcher Multi-Switch which he "guarantees" will do the job, or he'll give me my money back. He said he worked for Shaw Direct as an installer for 1.5 years and they often gave him the Steren 201-747 by the case to use for his installs. He said he'd never had a call back for one failing. He said he'd been installing Satellite Dishes for 9 years, and the back of his Honda Odyssey Mini Van was packed with tools, cable, dishes, and ladders.

So, without a lot of options as I'm up against the clock again, I bought it. I remembered in my search on Multiswitches, other than the center label, it looked identical to the Pico Macom TSMS-4/8 to me. Sames cast zinc case that's nickel plates, same silver plated F connectors, location for ground screw, input labels, output labels, power insert label and location, etc. I also remember the specs seemed similar as well. What do you think?

Here's a photo of the Steren 201-747 4x8 Sky Switcher Multi-Switch



And here's a photo of a Pico Macom TSMS-4/8


They are both made in China so it's entirely possible at the same factory and just rebranded with a slight tweak on the official specs. I hope someone (a Shaw Installer?) would chime in with their opinion / experience with the Steren 201-747 4x8 Sky Switcher Multi-Switch.

Thanks for the assist.

Regards,
Jim
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post #214 of 245 (permalink) Old 2017-09-26, 09:52 AM
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The case certainly looks like it was made in the same mould. Chances are that the whole item is just a slight variation made for different distributors. (The Sky branding might refer to Sky TV in the UK.) It could easily be like the difference between Dish and Bell satellite equipment. There is none except for the label. In any case, if it doesn't work a refund is available.
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post #215 of 245 (permalink) Old 2017-09-26, 11:05 AM
 
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All I have seen in the UK for SKY TV installations of 6 or 8 lines/tuners are the ridiculous "Octo" LNBF's, yep, you guessed it, an 8 Output LNBF.



Not sure how many of you would like to have 8 coaxial cables running down your wall.....lol
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post #216 of 245 (permalink) Old 2017-09-30, 02:39 AM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExDilbert View Post
The case certainly looks like it was made in the same mould. Chances are that the whole item is just a slight variation made for different distributors. (The Sky branding might refer to Sky TV in the UK.) It could easily be like the difference between Dish and Bell satellite equipment. There is none except for the label. In any case, if it doesn't work a refund is available.
It's says it's Direct TV Phase III compatible, so I think it's directed at that market; just like the Pico Macom TSMS-4/8.

Wish me luck, I'm driving up "The Highway from Hell" (Coquihalla HWY #5) tomorrow. Thankfully the forecast is just for rain and not snow.

I'll probably advise from there on how the install of the Steren 201-747 4x8 Sky Switcher Multi-Switch went, and hopefully what improvement it made on the readings.

Regards,
Jim
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post #217 of 245 (permalink) Old 2017-09-30, 12:39 PM
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I hope that octopus LNB is for MDUs and not single family residences. Good luck with the installation.
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post #218 of 245 (permalink) Old 2017-09-30, 01:04 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks.

This could be plan B (or is it C or D...)

Regards,
Jim
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post #219 of 245 (permalink) Old 2017-10-02, 02:38 AM Thread Starter
 
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Cool Tossing Shaw Direct, and going to Cable? OMG!!!

Hi Folks,

I really need some help now as the neighbor is thinking of tossing Shaw Direct, and going to Cable. I feel like I've really let him down. The channels listed are the only ones that seem to matter to him and his wife; especially his favorite AMC (130 /630). I've only been able to be at the Cabin maybe 10 nights this year (less last year) so this isn't really about our needs, but the neighbor lives here year round. And the winters can be long, and shall we say "crisp". Satellite TV has been one of their few pleasures most winter nights.

I decided to take some baseline settings before the installation of the Steren 201-747 4x8 Sky Switcher Multi-Switch, but they were virtually the same as the last set I posted earlier so I won't bore you with those.

Below, on the left is the data at the Cabin, right after the Steren using a 5 foot section of cable connected to my neighbor's 605. (All other outputs were not connected.) The new Steren did impact almost all the values significantly. (And I even changed the Multiswitch power supply in case the old one wasn't up to spec.) The values in Green, on the right, are the only ones which came in when I connected a single continuous RG6 Cable (The neighbor said there are no connectors or splices from the multiswitch. It's installed in plastic conduit with 3 other cables so I can't check. One continuous cable all the way to the rear of the 605 => 300 feet away from the multiswitch. All other outputs were not connected.)


Cabin--Neighbor---Signal---Ecb No.---Signal---Ecb No. at Neighbors

130------630---------87-------4.1
354------009---------95-------6.1
368------068---------96-------7.8
374------091---------95-------6.4
512------156---------96-------7.9
523------165---------96-------8.3
567------190---------97-------7.7
568------191---------90-------5.4
564------192---------95-------7.5
565------196---------88-------6.2
615------212---------94-------7.5
002------502---------90-------10.1===>95-------7.6
006------506---------90-------10.1===>87-------9.5
007------507---------90-------10.2===>87-------9.7
009------509---------90-------10.1===>86-------9.3
127------627---------97-------9.2====>97-------8.8
823------823---------87-------6.0
824------824---------94-------7.5
840------840---------90-------6.1
905------905---------97-------8.7====>69-------3.0
906------906---------97-------8.8====>69-------3.0
910------910---------97-------8.6
916------916---------97-------8.4
921------921---------96-------8.5
930------930---------96-------8.4
938------938---------96-------8.5


I just can't figure this out. The channels that didn't come through at the neighbor's house were almost always zero signal strength, and -10 Ecb No. The system worked fine for about 6 years with the existing RG6 Dual Shield cabling, with the old Quad LNB. Sure sometimes the signals weren't great at the neighbors, but it was workable for him. His favorite channel (130------630---------87-------4.1) was sometimes unwatchable in HD, but when that happened he could watch it on SD on 239, or 257, (Neither of which has any signal at his house now.)

Only a couple music /radio channels come in. I thought most were on the same bird and on a couple transponders?

All those channels don't work, but then one comes in like 127------627---------97-------9.2====>97-------8.8 and just blows me away. If you can get a channel with a 97 signal strength, and 9.2 Ecb No., that should prove the cabling, connectors, etc.. shouldn't it?

I have a Phillips in line amplifier with me. I'm thinking of trying that in one last gasp.



Or maybe I need to look outside of this Forum (which is crazy as a lot of installers help folks here. Maybe one could help us out here.) I've stumbled across a Tamp 6r03 Amplifier which maybe could help out here but I don't know any real details / application knowledge on it.

Please help if you can. I'd hate to see the neighbor loose faith in this system after all these years.

Regards,
Jim
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post #220 of 245 (permalink) Old 2017-10-02, 05:04 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExDilbert View Post
I hope that octopus LNB is for MDUs and not single family residences. Good luck with the installation.
Single Family homes, sadly.....lol
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post #221 of 245 (permalink) Old 2017-10-02, 08:43 AM
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Any chance it is the neighbor's receiver that is the issue?
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post #222 of 245 (permalink) Old 2017-10-02, 10:24 PM Thread Starter
 
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ExDilbert,

I'm willing to try anything. I just got back to the Cabin after a tough day at work. I'll try this tomorrow. I'll take our 605 to his place and connect it to the single continuous RG6 Cable.

Wish me Luck!

Regards,
Jim
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post #223 of 245 (permalink) Old 2017-10-03, 07:05 AM
 
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That would be so funny if it was that, or his internal cabling etc.
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post #224 of 245 (permalink) Old 2017-10-03, 10:15 PM Thread Starter
 
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I took our 605 to his place and connected it to the Kitchen feed (not the single continuous RG6 Cable - I may do that tomorrow) after I swapped out a twist on connector. Still no Joy.

Afterward I remembered I'd taken their 605 from the Kitchen and plugged it in right after the new multiswitch, and it got every one of their channels. So there's nothing wrong with their kitchen receiver.

All tips are appreciated.

Regards,
Jim
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post #225 of 245 (permalink) Old 2017-10-04, 09:12 PM
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Now it sounds like it's an issue between the multiswitch and their kitchen. I would be checking out the cables, one at a time and any other equipment that may be in the path.
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