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Thread: Multiswitch ? - I've read tons of other threads but i'm missing something

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005

    Multiswitch ? - I've read tons of other threads but i'm missing something

    I've been reading through these threads, and tried what I thought they suggested but with no luck, and no thread seemed to show my specific question, so I'll give it a shot.

    I'm pretty sure I have a dual LNB dish (2 cables coming out of it but the dish says 'multi-satellite').
    I have a DirecTV+ DVR (the new non-tivo ones) and everything works fine.
    However, I still have my old DirecTivo as well, so what I want to do is take the 2 lines from the satellite into a multiswitch, and take the 4 outputs from the multiswitch, pair them up and run 2 into each of my DVRs.
    I can swear I've read this is possible, so I bought a zenith 3x4 multiswitch and plugged everything in.
    However, both tivos then only seemed to get one set of channels (either one satellite couldn't be found, or some channels were blank "call customer service to subscribe", or the channel would say it was CBS on the info bar but the picture would be ESPN).

    Am I missing something?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Look at your dish and see how many LNB housings are mounted on the support arm. The original round dish only has a single LNB module which could contain either a single or dual LNB module. The single LNB can only have one line connected and the dual LNB can have two lines. The phase III oval dish has three LNB modules and a built-in multiswitch with four outputs. If you have one of these then you can simply add two more lines from the multiswitch to the other DVR. If you have one of the original round dishes with a dual LNB then you will have to add an external multiswitch.

    DirecTV transmits most of their signals via the trio of satellites located at 101 degrees. The round dish is aimed at these satellites and so is one of the LNB modules on the phase III dish. The other two modules are aimed at satellites positioned at 110 and 119 degrees. These satellites carry signals for HDTV programming as well as multi-language channels and a few miscellaneous channels.

    The newest dish has five LNB modules built-in but it may look like it has only one or three, depending on which version of the dish you have. This dish gets programming from the same three satellites as the phase III dish but also is capable of picking up signals from Ku-band satellites located at approximately 99 and 103 degrees, which straddle the main DTV birds at 101 degrees.

    I'm not familiar with the Zenith multiswitch you mentioned but if it's compatible with DirecTV systems it should work for what you want it to do. If you're not getting signals then you may have to do a bit of troubleshooting to make sure your connections are sound as well as the cables. I can't explain the mismatched channels, however.
    Please don't PM me or any other members looking for personal assistance. You'll do better by posting (after you've exhausted the search feature, of course) and taking advantage of the collective expertise of the membership instead of a single individual that may or may not be able to help you. Thank you and enjoy your stay at DDB!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Thanks for the response!
    I looked, and I have 3 LNBs sitting in front of the dish, and I remember (now that you mention it) seeing the other satellites (110 and 119) listed when I went through the setup trying to get this to work.
    So, sounds like I have the new oval and there should be (haven't gotten on the roof to check yet) a multiswitch already on the back of the dish.

    However, the dish is over 50 feet away from the DVR (off on the garage) so running 2 more coax from the multiswitch to the 2nd DVR will take quite a bit of cable not to mention getting out on the roof (i hate heights). Since the lines are already off of a multi-switch, is there a way to get the 2 lines already attached to one DVR split into 4 right there behind my TV?

    I'm still a bit foggy on the multiswitch thing, but from reading is sounded like (put into terms I can follow) it took the LNB inputs, locked one to 'odd channels' and one to 'even channels', then allowed each of the 4 outputs to select from the input they wanted. Does this mean If I simply tried splitting the 2 lines already coming out of the dish I'd have 2 lines potentially fighting each other for which set of channels to use?

    Thanks again for your help, I'm starting to catch on...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    You will have to run cables back to the multiswitch. There might be one way to avoid it. This is outside the usual subject matter for this site, and there are better sites to cover it, but here goes.

    The lnb will switch polarity based on the input voltage - it expects to see either 13 or 18 volts. To connect a round dish with dual lnb to more than two receivers you would use a 3 x 4 multiswitch. The multiswitch powers one lnb at 13 volt and the other at 18, then couples the receivers to the appropriate one.

    With an oval (multi satellite) dish, there must be some way to select between satellites. This is handled by a 22Khz tone. Tone off, the multiswitch selects the 101 'bird', tone on, it gets the 119 'bird' (and the HDTV one at 110, which is piggybacked on to the 119 signal).

    Your only options are to run two more cables back to the dish, or to set up both DVRs for 'round dish'. This won't work if you want the international channels, or high def.

    There's a difference between needing help, and just being plain ole' lazy.

    "You cannot teach a man anything. You can only help him find it for himself." Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)

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