DiSEqC switches, watch your back!

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SatAdam

SatAdam

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I came home today to no signal.. (at all) Turns out my DiSEqC switch died. all 4 ports, dead to the world. The back of the case was slightly dented, letting moisture inside and corroding all the internal stuff.

The dent pulled the seal away slightly so the water could get in. The switch is in the dark, so it never got any sun to cook the water back out.
 
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Mr Tony

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Nov 17, 2003
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bummer. I've had one do the same thing (back broke off)

Make sure to not put pressure on the switch so that happens again
 
SatAdam

SatAdam

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Luckily I had a spare :)

Yous guys have any recommendations for a brand to go with?
 
spindoctor

spindoctor

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get one with a cover.
like this on ebay 9733982367
 
Mike500

Mike500

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Whatever you get, I'd recommend a HEAVY DUTY Weatherproof box with neoprene gaskets like this one.

These were commercial DSL/fiber optic service entrance boxes that I got from a failed dot.com. They have a design life of up to 25 years, like the ones that the telephone companies use. They have both pole and wall mounting lugs.
 

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mastermesh

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Apr 18, 2006
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God, I'm hoping that's not my problem. We have a lot of clouds and rainy type weather at the moment - I'm hoping that that clouds are the problem. I haven't gotten dialectic grease and silicone yet... was planning on doing that this weekend.
 
SatAdam

SatAdam

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My switches actually reside in a Hoffman box, http://www.hoffmanonline.com/ it's a rain tight box, but condensation is the killer. I'm almost sure the switches would last out in the open better than closed up.

Why don't they just epoxy fill the things and call it a done deal? The LNB sits out in the weather, the switches should stand up to the same treatment. I'd pay a little more for one I don't have to fool with.
 
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Mr Tony

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mastermesh

Its probably the clouds...they can be a killer for FTA signals :)

I've had a switch outside for 3 MN winters now with no issues. Have had one go bad but that was it
 
PSB

PSB

On vacation
Nov 5, 2003
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I have had my 2 way switch WAY up there in the open for around a year now with no problems! Dielectric grease only! This way water just runs right off.

They do come with a cover now (see below) but I have not used one on my 2 way!
 

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Eastcoast

Eastcoast

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Mar 18, 2006
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What about if you took off the back cover and filled that with silacone,you think that might solve any problems with conensation,

Dave
 
Mike500

Mike500

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SatAdam said:
My switches actually reside in a Hoffman box, http://www.hoffmanonline.com/ it's a rain tight box, but condensation is the killer. I'm almost sure the switches would last out in the open better than closed up.

Why don't they just epoxy fill the things and call it a done deal? The LNB sits out in the weather, the switches should stand up to the same treatment. I'd pay a little more for one I don't have to fool with.


Weatherproof does not mean completely sealed. It means that it is raintight. All entrances and exits are at the bottom. There are drain holes on the bottom exposed to the atmosphere for ant condensation to drain off.
 
SatAdam

SatAdam

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condensation is just that, condensation. The box is dark inside, so the sun can't cook the water back out, so it builds up inside the components. This is a problem with electronics. A 12X with a desiccant of some sort is the only way to go.
My cheapo rain tight box isn't designed for electronics. a Washdown duty with a positive door seal would be much better.


My problem was that I broke the seal on the switch somehow.
 
Mike500

Mike500

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Mine is designed for electronic boards for outside mounting.
 
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123tim

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Oct 22, 2005
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Eastcoast said:
What about if you took off the back cover and filled that with silacone,you think that might solve any problems with conensation,

Dave
I mean no offense, but this might not be the best thing to do. One reason (IMO) that R.F boards aren't sealed with epoxy or silicone, is that microwave R.F. characteristics might be changed by anything that touches them. Sometimes the material (especially metal) doesn't even have to be in physical contact with the traces. This is just my opinion from work that I have done in the past, and someone could prove me to be completly wrong. There might be some material out there that is completely suitable for this. Your idea certainly isn't bad...just might not work for this application.

Mabe the whole switch (case and all) could be sealed in some sort of sealant? Might make it pretty hard to make changes in the setup though.
 
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mastermesh

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what about

if you put tape on the back cover... like duct tape or probably electrical might be safer, and then put silicone around that? Mummify that sucka.
 
Mike500

Mike500

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RTV silicone sealant is corrosive. It smells like vinegar, because it has acetic acid in it.

When silicone RTV was introduced in the 1960's, the military embraced it for potting electrical and electronic circuits only to find that it acelerated corrosion.

Subsequently, it was banned for this purpose.

Venting and humidity control is the best option.
 
Eastcoast

Eastcoast

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Mar 18, 2006
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Thanks Guys
Points taken and this is what this forum is all about ideas and helping others,Keep it up.

Dave
 
SatAdam

SatAdam

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I am going to "deback" one of the spares I ordered today and fill it with 2 part epoxy.

I don't think it'll affect it's signal handling capabilities much.
 
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