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Old 06-08-2013, 10:43 AM   #1
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Direct TV HD for RV Question

New Guy here, from Arkansas. Just got a Grey Wolf 26BH.

When shopping multiple RV dealers, and also sending online questions, I asked every one of them about how to do satellite TV, especially Direct TV with HD. We aren't about to miss the Cardinal Games just 'cause we're camping!!

Not one of them has a clue. Zero.

I smell a chance to get rich, if I wasn't retired and terminally lazy.

However, before I start my own consulting company I suppose I should at least try to install one of these myself. My goal is to get an HD-Compatible Direct TV Dish, use an HD-25 receiver from my house, and buy a 2nd TV for the camper. (An ulterior motive is to also take this setup to our seldom-used farm house that we inherited, which has no cable at all).

It appears that it's easy to get one that will automatically track a satellite IF you don't want HD!!! But I do (why wouldn't I?). That means getting a SWiM technology Dish. However, they say these are difficult to get tracked onto a satellite.....assuming I can even figure out which satellite to point to!!!

I've read RV Forums all over, and the discussions are either WHOOSH over my head, or not applicable to my situation.

I'm about to pull the trigger and get this unit from Satellite oasis:
DIRECTV SWiM HDTV Satellite Dish Tripod Kit for RV / Mobile / Portable - Installer Oasis
I can't see that I'm going to get any real help, so I'll just figure it out.

BUT, before I do, I would surely appreciate anyone here jerking me by the collar and saying "Hold up! You need to know X and Y and Z".....

Anyone?

Thanks in advance.

Bill
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Old 06-08-2013, 11:01 AM   #2
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I know a lot about Dish, not so much about Direct. I agree that you would want HD and when you already have DirecTV at home, I think you've found exactly what you're going to need to use. (You are right that none of the carry-outs support Direct-HD.) I see quite a few Direct dishes in the campgrounds I go to so it's clear that people can do it.

First, try it at home using direct connections (no RV wires). Once you get that to work then you can try it in your RV. If you have problems with pointing, I'd just contact a local DirectTV installer and ask them for help. Usually they're glad to help (especially when you're already a customer). Good luck and let us know how it goes!
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Old 06-08-2013, 11:06 AM   #3
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Thanks Barry.

I already thought of buying this and then trying it at home. BUT, a big problem with that. We had to take out 3 huge sweetgum trees and put the Direct TV dish on the roof to get it to work. A portable dish is going to be much lower here at the house, so short of getting up on roof and trying to mount a carryout dish, I don't see how to do it here!

I have a feeling that what I want to buy will theoretically work, but pointing it and getting it connected correctly seems to be the missing piece of info to me.
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Old 06-08-2013, 11:20 AM   #4
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When hooking sat to an RV the cable conection on the side of TT leads to the booster behond TV. The booster needs by passed. I got the neighbors SWM sat. when the went back to cable. It only has a single LNB. I have set it up a few times.
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Old 06-08-2013, 11:25 AM   #5
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I don't know what your tree situation is of course, but you have the advantage that it doesn't have to be on the house. Perhaps you can just set it at the edge of the street (for instance).

I think the company you're buying from will tell you what Sats you need and give you instructions. If you have a smart-phone you will want to get an app to help you locate the satellite of interest before you start the process. That helps a lot. Lots of us do it...you can too!

Does your RV have both "Cable" and "Sat" coax connections on the outside, or only Cable? Hopefully you'll have both and it's just a matter of using the Sat ports both outside and inside to connect the dish to your receiver. Then just an HDMI cable from the receiver to your TV.
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Old 06-08-2013, 11:26 AM   #6
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I have an HD DVR in my motorhome, but don't use SWM, so I can use a meter. I have a Winegard SD manual dish on the roof that we use when short-timing, and a 3-LNB High-Def portable that I set up when staying more than a couple of nights. The Receiver stays in the motorhome, and when we're at home, I just use the SD antenna to keep it updated.
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Old 06-08-2013, 11:54 AM   #7
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The outside has one male BNC connector and it is labeled "Cable/Sat". I don't see why I'd need two, both just use simple BNC coax connections. This is just a plug that ends up in the antenna portion of the TV. If nothing is plugged to it, it doesn't use that. It would use whichever (cable or Dish) is connected outside, I'd think.

No? Yes?

Clearly, it's done all the time, and even an old idjit like me SHOULD be able to figure it out. I'm just hoping that I'm buying the correct dish and equipment!

You know...........I just called the online company I was about to buy the dish from, and they're closed on weekends. I think I will wait to order and call them Monday and hopefully someone can explain all this to me. This can't be that hard, as has been said.
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Old 06-08-2013, 12:04 PM   #8
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I don't think it's BNC. It's an F fitting. As Jim said, when there's only one, it usually wires to the back of the rooftop antenna amplifier control and there is a splitter in that device (as well as an AB switch). You need to turn the "booster" switch off to get it to pass that signal thru to the internal coax connector, but I believe that it does pass DC voltage which is required for a Sat receiver to LNB connection. If your RV has more than one TV, they might have run that cable thru a non-DC-passing splitter to the TVs and that would have to be replaced.
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Old 06-08-2013, 12:35 PM   #9
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Man, I'm getting more confused by the minute.
It looks like a standard coax connection. Here is a pic of it closed, and then the plastic cover opened, on the outside of camper. This is the only one of these it has:




This is connected to a port above the tv and then with another coax to the only place this TV has for a coax connection....and it's labeled "RF Connection" on the TV.

I did just notice this is a 12V TV and the only power connection is labeled 12V!!! Then it has a converter to connect to 110 power outlet. I don't know why I'd need a 12V tv, it won't even work without being connected to full 30a service (I just tried it, and the TT is plugged to 15a home electric outlet, and the TV won't come on).

All that says to me, and I may be WAY wrong, that I can plug the outside TT connection to a cable TV coax, or a satellite coax. Not sure how the TV would know the difference.

However, now I'm confused as to how the TV knows to connect that one connection to either OTA antenna or to the connection pictured above???!!??? There is an on/off switch where the coax coming out of the tv connects to an outlet overhead, but the other half of that outlet (physically) is a 12VDC round plug in. So now I'm lost and about to call the dealer's tech and yell Uncle.
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Old 06-08-2013, 01:06 PM   #10
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It IS a standard coax connection. It's threaded, and that's an F connector. A BNC has no threads and has little pins on it and uses 1/4 turn to lock it on. Not that any of this matters. It's just terminology.

That cable is not connected directly to the port above the TV. That's what Jim was telling you. It's connected to some electronics behind that port. The TV doesn't know anything. You have to tell it if you want Cable or OTA when it scans for channels.

How the electronics behind that port knows what to connect is: Booster on (light), it's OTA. Booster off (no light) it's Cable (or Sat-dish).

If your TV wouldn't power on with your RV plugged into an adapter which is connected to a 15-amp outlet at home then something's wrong. It should.

You should be happy to have a 12v TV. If you have (or can get) the 12v connection wire for it, you can plug it into the "12VDC round plug in" and use it when you're boondocking.
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Old 06-08-2013, 01:13 PM   #11
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OK, getting somewhere..........thanks again.

Of course, as always with me, this leads to another whole set of questions. The TT is connected to 110 at the house with the adapter cable. I don't have a dedicated 30amp breaker yet........I will have next week!!!! But it is connected to 110, via a heavy duty extension cord (I think about 10 gauge, but fairly long....the factory elec cord just won't reach the house where it's parked).

None of the outlets work. Refrig doesn't work. Inside lights do work. Auto Jack works (although I assume it is battery only). I am NOT using the A/C of course, but every other electronic thing in that TT should work without needing a 30 amp breaker. Dang TT can't know what breaker I'm on!!

ARRGGHHHH

Now I'm going to have to go pull fuses one at a time and see if they're blown. If not, I have bigger issues, though I'm clueless what they are.
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Old 06-08-2013, 01:46 PM   #12
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For direct TV SWM you need a power inserter to supply power to the LNB. There is a circuit board in the booster that needs to be bypassed. HD is a whole new can of worms. I'm still learning.
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Old 06-08-2013, 01:51 PM   #13
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As long as u don't run AC u should be ok. I power mine with a 12 guage cord on a 20 amp breaker with no problems.
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Old 06-08-2013, 02:00 PM   #14
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Bill,
That is the correct kit for what you want to do... Unless you want to spend $1500+ for a rooftop dish. The main issue for you is the H25 receiver. If you had any other box (other than the genie) you could get the non-swm HD setup. There's nothing wrong with swm, it's just harder to aim the dish because you can't use the cheap meter. That being said, with a little pre-planning and patience, you can set it up without a meter.
1. Get the dish settings for your destination BEFORE YOU LEAVE. Its just easier that way.
2. Use a compass to shoot an azimuth and find a nice level spot for the tripod.
3. Make sure that the top of the post is dead level.
4. Pre-set the elevation and tilt on the dish and drop it on the post. Then point it to the (hopefully) correct azimuth.

The cable connections are typically dish to camper, wall to swm, swm to receiver. Since it looks like you just have the one coax connection on the inside that does triple-duty, (antenna, cable, sat) make sure the little green light for the antenna amp is off.

Hopefully those steps will have you close enough that you can use the on-screen signal meter to dial it the rest of the way in. Micro adjust the azimuth first, then elevation, then tilt if necessary.

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Old 06-08-2013, 02:07 PM   #15
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You guys are great.

Drew, you made me go look. I have two H25's and used that because those are the easiest to get to, to disconnect them.

But I have two more, also. The main one is an HR-24 and I don't want to mess with removing that one often.

But another is an H23-600..........I don't know why it's different, it's connected to the exact same Vizio tv model that the H25 is connected to!!! But it is different. However, I assume the H means HD and so I'm still in SWM issues. FYI, this is the only receiver that also has some kind of little white box adapater thingy connected to it, inline with the coax connection to the box. Not sure what it does, but it says Ethernet. I assume that's for connecting to IP for PPV and On Demand, but not sure why the other receivers don't have that.
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Old 06-08-2013, 02:18 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim44646 View Post
For direct TV SWM you need a power inserter to supply power to the LNB. There is a circuit board in the booster that needs to be bypassed. HD is a whole new can of worms. I'm still learning.
It looks like the kit he is buying includes the power inserter. If he were to place that outside the RV would he then not need to bypass the booster board?
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Old 06-08-2013, 02:20 PM   #17
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Stupid me. What is the "booster board"?

And yes, this kit has power inserter. Not sure where it goes, but it has one.
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Old 06-08-2013, 03:04 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by BarryD0706 View Post
It looks like the kit he is buying includes the power inserter. If he were to place that outside the RV would he then not need to bypass the booster board?
I decided to go do some reading on SWiM. It says the power inserter is not an outdoor device.

Another thing I noticed is that they made a big deal about every receiver having a phone line connected before you turn it on. This was 2008, so I assume that is no longer true? (Not very practical in an RV!)
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Old 06-08-2013, 03:11 PM   #19
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The phone line is for ordering PPV stuff. Nothing else. A silly Direct TV rule that they no longer try to enforce.

SO, what's a booster board, and how do you bypass it?

P.S.
Power inserter in the kit connects to Receiver (inside) via 3 foot RG6 cable. So it's inside and plugged up separately. That should not be an issue.
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Old 06-08-2013, 03:36 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryD0706 View Post
It looks like the kit he is buying includes the power inserter. If he were to place that outside the RV would he then not need to bypass the booster board?
inserters are not meant to get wet. Big warning on mine
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