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Best Meter for Directv SWM Installation

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Old 08-05-2009, 09:46 AM   #1  
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Default Best Meter for Directv SWM Installation

Hi: I'm a newby and I've read quite a few posts that seem to have disputing views on this, so I'll stick my neck out and ask the question:
For the installation of a SWM5 ODU, do you need a Directv ASL-1 unit and a digital sat signal meter? Some posters suggest you can align the dish with just an analog meter. I have an HR-20 receiver and a SWM-5 LNB. From what I have read, it sounds as if I need the ASL-1 to power the LNB and a digital meter. But I have an 8-way splitter that will power the LNB and from the video on the SWM installation, I can't see why an analog signal meter wouldn't work, since the process switches from the 101 bird to the 119 bird - not reading them at the same time? Please help, as I don't want to spend a couple hundred dollars on a meter if it is not needed. (PS - I don't have a non-SWM 5-way LNB - although I have a double LNB used for Dish Network on 110 and 119). Thanks in advance!
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Old 08-05-2009, 01:14 PM   #2  
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Puchase the Protection Plan for $5 and have them come out and align the dish.
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Old 08-05-2009, 04:58 PM   #3  
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Just use the signal meter on the receiver and have someone in the house relay the signal strength numbers to you via cellphone.
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Old 08-05-2009, 08:18 PM   #4  
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Thanks Spanky and Glenn. I don't want Directv to do the install. I read that the receiver goes into a different mode and won't allow you to read the strengths of the birds, but that may not be correct. Has anyone done it without a meter?
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Old 08-05-2009, 10:38 PM   #5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobzorunkle View Post
Thanks Spanky and Glenn. I don't want Directv to do the install. I read that the receiver goes into a different mode and won't allow you to read the strengths of the birds, but that may not be correct. Has anyone done it without a meter?
I've done it without a meter. That's why I said to do it that way.
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Old 08-06-2009, 09:19 AM   #6  
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Nope, I use the protection plan myself. Getting to old to get on the roof.
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Old 08-06-2009, 09:22 AM   #7  
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Glenn: So you're saying that if I just hook the SWM5 LNB to the receiver, I can read the signal strengths from the receiver and align it that way? The receiver I have is an HR-20 and the LNB is the Slimline SWM5 model - which is apparently the issue. The Directv install video cautions you not to hook up the receiver until the dish is fully locked in. Other posters have said the same, indicating that once you hook the receiver up, you lose the diagnostic mode or something. I was more concerned about whether the analog meters would work with the SWM LNB's and whether you need the ASL-1 alignment unit. But I will go with your suggestion if you are sure it applies to my receiver and LNB. Please confirm that you had the same LNB and equivalent receiver. Thanks.
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Old 08-06-2009, 03:04 PM   #8  
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I don't have SWM anything.

I have a slimline 3 LNB dish and it receives the SD programming, HD programming and my local channels. I have an HR20. When you first power up the HR20 one of the things it does is try to download the guide data. It will sit there displaying the message - Receiving guide data 0% if you don't have a satellite signal coming in. If you have someone by the receiver relaying information to you via telphone to cellphone while you're at the dish making tiny movements attempting to get a signal they will tell you - Stop it's receiving guide data now once you get a satellite signal coming in. Let it get it's guide data and finish doing it's startup thing, then go to the setup menu and go to the signal strength selection.

I think it might even let you go to the setup and signal strength page if you hit the exit button or menu button on the remote. I don't know for sure about this.

I've never had the receiver lock me out of the setup screens for any reason.
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Old 08-06-2009, 11:04 PM   #9  
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Hi Glenn: Thanks for the reply. As best I can figure out, this new SWM technology segments the single cable into separate frequency bands. This allows the signal to be broken into several streams and that is why you only have one cable from the LNB and only one to the receiver. This also permits the receiver to communicate with the LNB and apparently once it is hooked up, it sends a command to go out of setup and if the LNB isn't properly aimed, the receiver just has a hissy fit and goes on strike. That is why the Directv installation video and the instructions I have read (sorry - am not allowed to post the url), all warn that you need to aim the dish first, using digital meters. I just don't understand why you need to use digital meters if you're only attaching the meter to one line at a time? I also don't know why you need this "ASL-1" unit to power the LNB when the splitter sends power to the LNB? I think your advice is absolutely correct for non-SWM installs, so thanks again for offering your assistance.
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Old 08-11-2009, 08:31 PM   #10  
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You should be able to aim the dish with a ka/ku analog meter, using the older lnbs. Once tightly aligned, just remove the LNB and trade for a SWM type lnb. GL
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Old 02-05-2010, 11:20 AM   #11  
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I wouldn't try to install your SWM set up yourself. If you don't properly tone out which line your going to use for your 21volt DC power inserter and make sure its connected to the SWMout (RED CONNECTORS) on your 8-way switch, than you could damage receivers and/or blow the LNB. Get installed properly and like everyone else already said... get the protection plan for $5.99. Take it from a DTV tech... I've been doing it for years.
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Old 08-22-2014, 09:48 PM   #12  
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sykotic,
That is exactly what my DirecTV installer did and it makes perfect sense.
cheers,
Bill
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