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post #212 of (permalink) Old 2017-09-24, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2009
Location: West Coast of Canada - God's Country
Posts: 688
Cool Next Steps => A New Multiswitch?


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 <===
568------191---------84-------5.4 <===
565------196---------90-------6.7 <===
615------212---------92-------7.1 <===

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...

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