need help defining specific multiswitch to buy... (1 Viewer)

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diitto

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Aug 10, 2005
108
1
Hi... Of the following two switches which would be a better choice to add to my current Phase III dish setup to give me 8 outputs (rather than the current 4) that could see all available transponders on all 3 satellites (including HD channels if that comes into play at all??)...

Zinwell WB68 DIRECTV Approved Wide Band Frequency (Ku/Ka) 6x8 Multiswitch (WB68)

or

Eagle Aspen 5x8 Multiswitch with Power Supply (S-4180-GX)

The Zinwell might appear to be a better choice especially for someone interested in eventually upgrading to the AT9 Ku/Ka which I likely will do at some point... But I am concerned that I found one place where it said this switch is "not casacadable" and I have read literally hundreds of posts where folks say to be sure to buy a cascadable switch for this sort of channel expansion. Others say my application is NOT an issue of cascading but admittedly none of that has ever been explained in a way that makes me confident I understand the issues. I am also concerned about the Zinwell switch because it isn't powered and might that cause issues since the majority of switches I have seen ARE powered... Why would they power them unless there was a good reason to do so??? Honestly, it would be easier for me if it WAS UNPOWERED but I want it to work first and foremost, so if it needs to be powered to work the best, so be it... I can make that happen... The Eagle Aspen clearly says that it works in the Phase III application (for expanding from 4 to 8 outputs, it is powered but there is no information about whether or not it will be a satisfactory switch for use with the AT9 Ku/Ka system???

Opinions??? Suggestions??? thanks... diitto...
 

sheridan

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 28, 2004
165
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First, the Eagle Aspen switch is NOT rated to work with the AT9, currently there is only ONE switch that is, and that is the WB68.

Second, the fact that the information here in the forums, on the Zinwell website AND on the websites of authorized resellers for DirecTV, ALL saying that the WB68 is intended for use with the AT9 dish should be enough. It is the switch that installers take out to customers when more than 4 outputs are needed with the AT9 dish.

Third, I don't know why some units are powered and some are not. I guess that's a design decision that the manufacturer makes. I do know that the unpowered units get the power from the receivers through the cable.

Bottom line, if you want more than 4 outputs AND you are going to be upgrading to the AT9 5 LNB dish, you only have ONE choice. The Zinwell WB68.

Beyond that, I don't know what else to tell you.
 
Last edited:

boba

SatelliteGuys Master
Dec 12, 2003
11,351
1,032
Dorchester, TX.
All are going to have to upgrade to the AT9 if they want new HDTV channels so why waste your money on any other switch than the WB68?
 

diitto

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Aug 10, 2005
108
1
I just placed the order for a Zinwell WB68... Will be here in a couple days... I do still have a point of confusion... I saw a closeup picture of the WB68 and the first four inputs are labeled something like 18v, 13v, 18v with 22kHz and 13v with 22kHz... Now I do understand what those four signals mean but my question is in which order do I place the four outputs of my Phase III dish (which don't have any particular designation) on this new downstream switch... I think what you're gonna tell me is the order doesn't matter as long as all four get hooked up... Right??? But then my question would be what does that say about the state of the multiswitch that is inside my Phase III dish??? Somehow something must forever lock those 4x4 connections within that integrated (in the LNB head) multiswitch such that one of them forever routes through to the 18 volt selected LNB, another to the 13 volts LNB and so forth??? I mean prior to installing this downstream Zinwell switch, it is my various receivers that "request" a certain connection through that integrated switch to give me, for example a connection to the satellite designated by 13 volts with the 22 kHZ tone. But now with this new switch added, that must change I would think, right?? That integrated switch now becomes locked in a certain configuration based on how I hook up the four cables from the integrated switch to the Zinwell, yes??? That's the part that has driven me crazy for some time now and after reading literally hundreds of posts I have still not seen a good explanation of how that part works, ie., what happens to this upstream, integrated switch after you add a new downstream switch... And am I right that it doesn't matter in which order I hook the four cables as long as they are all present??? I do appreciate all the help... thanks... diitto...
 

VIPERS-PIT

Pub Member
Feb 11, 2006
2,099
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I have the zinwell and have hit the limit of the 8 outputs. I am going to put up 2 18 inch oval dishes and my old powered multi switch and use these to feed my SD equipment.
 

diitto

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Aug 10, 2005
108
1
Sheridan... Thanks for the document... I found a much poorer version of the same document but hadn't been able to read it all (because of poor quality)... This one I can read and will... Thanks... And yes, you're right about finally just accepting a premise and moving on... That is in essence what I did when I bought the Zinwell switch a bit ago... Though not understanding it all, still I had heard enough to finally say "just buy it" so I did... Thanks for your help... diitto...
 

sheridan

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 28, 2004
165
0
I understand your wanting to know it works, I'm the same way. I'm do-it-yourself kinda guy so I learn all I can....to a point. It helps to have a better understanding of the subject, especially if you have to do some troubleshooting. And certainly, there are a number of places on the internet where the hows and whys of the switch and lnb functionality are discussed or faq'ed.

But a lot of it can be information overload and sometimes, just unnecessary. For example, I build my own computers. I know how they go together, I know how they're supposed to work and I can troubleshoot one if a problem develops. But do I know the architecture of the processor and the fully understand the workings of the Northbridge and Southbridge on the motherboard? No, I could study it, but if the motherboard or processor were bad, they would be replaced. There is no point in trying to repair the mb, they are cheap enough and the processor can't be repaired.

I think that's more than far enough in this analogy, so I'll stop there, but I hope you can understand my point. Good luck with your installation and stop back by if you have any more questions or problems. There are plenty of experts here and I listen to them. One more thing, if you do your cables, be careful with the crimping, but if you are going to go to AT9 later, you probably want to look at the compression fittings. I understand they are the way to go, but that's a whole 'nuther topic.
 

diitto

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Aug 10, 2005
108
1
Hi Sheridan... Yeah, I'm reading the document you linked right now... I think I feel another question or two rising but I will finish reading this first and then ask any questions in the next day or so... So perhaps check back later...

Regarding what you said about cable and connectors I hope I am ok there... I did my own install last September, dish and all... I'm an Electrical Engineer but with no previous experience with satellite communications (well at least not since college many moons ago) so this was a bit of a research project, and still is... I looked into both cables and connectors as much as I am trying to understand these multiswitches... The cable I settled on eventually was Belden 1694A (good out to 3 Ghz, solid copper center conductor, all in all I think a good cable)... And for connectors I bought the tools to put on Snap-n-Seal compression fittings throughout... They've worked great to date... And trivial to install with the two tools I bought for them... I got most of the info for both cable and connectors just from listening to folks here and asking questions... Four of those cables currently come in from the dish to my attic where they are connected to feed-through/grounding blocks and then six cables (two currently connected to nothing) come down to six possible "load" locations in the house... It is my hope to simply disconnect the four satellite cables from the feed-through/grounding blocks and instead hook them into four inputs of this new switch... Then the six cables will simply attach to six of the eight outputs. Four of those outputs I use today and it's the fifth of those six (still don't need one of them) that I am after right now as I added another DVR but don't only had one input left over of the original four.. But it appears I will have to go through the same set up you do with a new receiver??? Again, that's preliminary but after I read all the document you linked, perhaps I will be able to ask a smarter question... But, yes, hopefully I am good to go for a future swap from the Triple LNB dish to the AT9, at least with regard to cable and compression connectors... Again, check back in a day or so as I am thinking I will have questions about this receiver set up that will need to be done with this new switch... I am getting the switch sent UPS Two Day so hopefully I will have it by the weekend... Again, thanks for the help... diitto...
 

sheridan

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 28, 2004
165
0
So you're an electrical engineer? That explains the questions.:)

You will need to keep that grounding block in there, and it has to be before the switch. So from the block to the switch and THEN out to your feeds.
 

diitto

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Aug 10, 2005
108
1
Morning.. Well, that brings up another question... Instead of staying with the grounding blocks which means I will have both the loss of the feed throughs of the ground blocks plus the loss of the switch now in series, can I not instead ground case of the switch itself or are the shield connections on the switch isolated from the case, hence grounding the case would do no good?? Since I haven't yet seen the switch I don't know whether its shield connections are isolated or not... If they are, then yes, I will maintain the feed through/grouding blocks as they are and build new short cables to go from them to the switch inputs... And yes, I would leave the grounding blocks on the upstream side of the switch...

And any idea what sort of loss I might see through this new switch?? Currently most of my satellite signals are up around 90% on the receiver satellite set up page.. With this switch would you anticipate I will see a noticeable drop or no???

Thanks for the info... diitto...
 
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