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eHam Forums => RFI / EMI => Topic started by: W5RCQ on March 12, 2013, 09:20:29 AM



Title: Direct TV DVR problems
Post by: W5RCQ on March 12, 2013, 09:20:29 AM
I am having interference problems with my Direct TV system.  I have the new whole house system that allows the Main DVR programs to be seen on remote receivers.  When transmitting a the 100 watt level I am causing the receivers to change channels, turn off and start recording shows that havn't been selected.  I have tried various filters and snap on cores without success. Direct Techs don't have a clue.  This has taken me off the air when my wife wants to watch TV.  My old Dish network equipment never had a problem and the Cox cable which supplies my internet doesn't have any problems.  If anyone has seen this problem and have any ideas please let me know.  In the meanwhile I would not advise any Ham Operator to switch to Direct as the system is useless as is.
Jerry W5RCQ


Title: RE: Direct TV DVR problems
Post by: KF7GFL on March 12, 2013, 04:41:18 PM
Have you looked at this thread?

http://www.eham.net/ehamforum/smf/index.php/topic,70297.0.html

Matt - KF7GFL


Title: RE: Direct TV DVR problems
Post by: K0JEG on March 13, 2013, 03:33:11 PM
If you have the Direct TV "Genie" system, it uses a system called multimedia over coax, or MoCA, for signaling and transferring A/V between boxes (it will also connect to some TVs).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multimedia_over_Coax_Alliance

Make sure all the connectors are wrench tight, splitters are grounded, etc. Dual shield coax with 100% foil braid should be used as a minimum, as should compression-type fittings. Most importantly, wall plates should be checked to make sure they aren't hex crimp on the back, and replaced if they're the typical poor quality I've found over the years in most houses. Also try disconnecting cables from the splitter one at a time and see if the problems go away.

The frequencies used are all above 500MHz, so I doubt there's any direct interference from your radio (assuming you're operating on HF). Also the fact that your cable modem is working fine would lead me away from the radio and more to ingress on the satellite cabling.

good luck!


Title: RE: Direct TV DVR problems
Post by: W5RCQ on March 14, 2013, 08:37:51 AM
Thanks for the help, I think that the touch control panels are the source of my RFI problems as the DVR will change channels, set up different shows to be recorded and turn the receiver off by its self when I am transmitting on HF frequencies at 100 watts or less. All of these actions are as if someone had pushed the front panel buttons.  Direct TV says this is all a mystery to them and that they have never had any TVI problems reported to them.  Direct did send out a service tech and they changed out the Genie DVR and redid a lot of the cable connections but it did not solve my problem.  I am going to look into some kind of a cage around the DVR as I don't see anyway to disconnect the touch panel controls.
Thanks, Jerry W5RCQ


Title: RE: Direct TV DVR problems
Post by: K1DA on March 14, 2013, 09:28:12 AM
Where's the ham antenna?


Title: RE: Direct TV DVR problems
Post by: K1CJS on March 14, 2013, 10:02:16 AM
This may be productive to you--or it may not.  Do you have any other video equipment connected to the TV by co-ax cables--such as a VCR?  If so, did you use the co-ax patch cable that came with the VCR?  If you did, try replacing that cable with a good double shielded cable made from the same co-ax as the cables to the TVs.  Nine times out of ten if you do use the VCR supplied co-ax jumper, that is where the RF is invading the RF chain.

Good luck and 73!


Title: RE: Direct TV DVR problems
Post by: W5RCQ on March 17, 2013, 03:47:38 PM
A break through with my RFI problems on Direct TV.  I have found that if I cover the front of the DVR with aluminum foil it will reduce and in some cases eliminate the problems with the DVR turning off and changing channels etc.  When covering the receiver with foil I have to be careful to not block the airflow through the vents in the sides of the DVR.  I also made a hole in the front of the aluminum so the remote sensor could see the remote control.  I am continuing to experiment with the foil shielding and different frequencies and power levels.
Thanks for the suggestions, Jerry W5RCQ


Title: RE: Direct TV DVR problems
Post by: NW0M on March 17, 2013, 05:46:29 PM
Jerry,

I have one of the early DirecTV HD DVRs and had a second HD box with no RFI issues. 

Recently I upgraded the second HD box to an HD DVR.  It was the newer model box with the touch control panel on the front.  It had the same symptoms you are describing - randomly changing the channels and turning it off when I was transmitting on HF.

I called service and had him swap it out for an older model HD DVR (w/o touch controls).  After the change - NO RFI issues.  The service guy said it was the first time a customer asked to exchange for an OLDER model...  ;-)  The model is HR22-100 that is RFI-free.

Good luck.

73, Mitch 


Title: RE: Direct TV DVR problems
Post by: KF7CG on March 18, 2013, 07:18:36 AM
Confirms my experience. Older non-touch HD DVR from Direct-TV is 30 feet directly below MFJ-1798 vertical, no problems at even 600 watts SSB out. Newer "touch" type HD DVR from Direct-TV is further away, still 30 feet below but now 20 feet horizontal from vertical; it has problems with powers greater than about 20 watts SSB. Seldom use that hookup so ignore for most part. Direct-TV doesn't know that Amateur Radio exists.

By the way a touch control LG HD-3D and and touch control Samsung HD TV have no problems in the same locations. Just the one HD-DVR. Touch controlled 3D Blu-Ray HD player has no problems either.

KF7CG


Title: RE: Direct TV DVR problems
Post by: KD0OCY on March 19, 2013, 11:46:40 PM
Maybe try lining your attic with some screen door material?


Title: RE: Direct TV DVR problems
Post by: WB2JSY on March 20, 2013, 08:34:57 PM
I have the same problem.
Just got back into ham radio after 25 years and set up a Ft 950 at 100 watts and a Buckmaster OCF, 3000 watt 7 band dipole.Ground is to the main utility ground.

The same day, since we were all on the roof, we installed Direct TV's new "Genie" system. The dipole is about 25 feet from the Direct TV dish.

First time on the air, 80 meters/ CW and SSB... the Direct TV started turning on and off constantly and switching channels. The blue ray, DVD player, started turning on and off at the same time! It sits on top of the Genie.

Bad enough my wife HATES the antenna... REALLY HATES...now she can't watch a movie while I'm on the air!!

WHERE do I start?  Remember, I am brand new, back at Ham radio.

Regards,

Tom   WB2JSY  doctp12@aol.com


Title: RE: Direct TV DVR problems
Post by: K1CJS on March 21, 2013, 06:28:00 AM
The Genie system relys on RF signalling from the handhelds to control the feeds to the satellite televisions.  So do most of the older DVR receivers that feed two TVs.  The way those handheld remotes and the receivers on the Genie are, there is almost NO filtering for harmonics or any other intrusive RF signals.  After all, DirecTV thinks that DirecTV is the only thing that uses RF signalling--didn't you know?    :D  

If your family doesn't use the DVRs all that much--and DirecTV still offers them--I would recommend getting separate receivers for the TVs and using VCRs for recording.  To watch the program in another room, just take the VCR cassette with you.  Works great--and after all, that's the way it USED TO be done!


Title: RE: Direct TV DVR problems
Post by: NK7Z on March 21, 2013, 06:59:30 AM
As a side note here....
I have a dipole about 50 feet from my DirecTV box...  I also added ferrite beads to pretty much everything I could find right after install...  I have zero RFI or box control issues... New black GENIE box.  I may not have had any problems either without the beads...  I tend to over use these little devels as they really help...  I was destroying my stereo...  Audio cable from the TV to the Stereo got a single bead on it, and problem ended...


Title: RE: Direct TV DVR problems
Post by: WB2JSY on March 22, 2013, 07:28:38 PM
I am quite embarrassed to admit this but what are ferrite beads and how do they work, where do you place them, how many?

where do they sell them...what cost?

I am getting back into ham radio after a 33 year gap!! Wow, I am old!

Thanks in advance,

Tom WB2JSY


Title: RE: Direct TV DVR problems
Post by: NK7Z on March 22, 2013, 07:43:39 PM
I am quite embarrassed to admit this but what are ferrite beads and how do they work, where do you place them, how many?

where do they sell them...what cost?

I am getting back into ham radio after a 33 year gap!! Wow, I am old!

Thanks in advance,

Tom WB2JSY
No problem at all Tom,

I really just discovered them last year, after 45 years of Ham radio...  They are basically the core of a transformer which allows you to feed a wire through...    Here is a really good explanation of them and how to use them:

http://audiosystemsgroup.com/SAC0305Ferrites.pdf

The above link covers 90% of all you will ever need to know...  I just got my Fair-Rite catalog today, what a good reference item it is...



Title: RE: Direct TV DVR problems
Post by: NH6RF on April 04, 2013, 10:00:08 AM
When I had the Direct TV antenna's installed, I purposely had them put as far away from my 6BTV verticle as possible. I have two 100watt transmitters within 10 feet of the DVR and have had zero RFI problems.


Title: RE: Direct TV DVR problems
Post by: AC6IJ on April 12, 2013, 01:35:10 PM
I also have the same problems with my direct tv HR-24 200 doing all the crazy things like recording programs etc. when I key up my HF transceiver.
I called direct tv and spent hours trying to get help on this and they even asked me what Amateur Radio was?
After long talks and many of there comments the bottom line was this:  The problem could be solved if I replaced my existing
HR-24-200 receiver with an older HR-20 model because it has a metal case and would not be bothered by my transceivers RF.
They also said that this would be called an upgrade to exchange my receiver to an older model and because it's called an upgrade,
they could send me one of five receivers that they had but they could not guarantee that I would get the HR-20 and possibly one of the same that I'm sending back, and also because it's called an upgrade, my service would be extended another 24 months.
I hope this info. helps other hams who have the same problems and I am still working on a way to solve the problem.  Bill  AC6IJ


Title: RE: Direct TV DVR problems
Post by: K1CJS on April 13, 2013, 04:26:00 AM
...After long talks and many of there comments the bottom line was this:  The problem could be solved if I replaced my existing HR-24-200 receiver with an older HR-20 model because it has a metal case and would not be bothered by my transceivers RF.  They also said that this would be called an upgrade.....but they could not guarantee that I would get the HR-20 and possibly (would get) one of the same that I'm sending back, and also because it's called an upgrade, my service would be extended another 24 months....

Yeah, that's the way they work--they ship out garbage--and YOU have to pay to get the issues straightened out.  You could threaten them with FCC action--but they probably have the FCC's ear.

There is one way to get by this, though.  Buy your own equipment.  If you Google the HR-20, you'll find there are some for sale, and as long as DirecTV supoports them, you can use them.  You'll save by not having to pay the equipment rental fees anymore, too.  They HAVE TO send you smart card upgrades to be able to use the device you own as long as they support it and you pay your subscription fee too.


Title: RE: Direct TV DVR problems
Post by: NK7Z on April 13, 2013, 09:09:48 AM
...After long talks and many of there comments the bottom line was this:  The problem could be solved if I replaced my existing HR-24-200 receiver with an older HR-20 model because it has a metal case and would not be bothered by my transceivers RF.  They also said that this would be called an upgrade.....but they could not guarantee that I would get the HR-20 and possibly (would get) one of the same that I'm sending back, and also because it's called an upgrade, my service would be extended another 24 months....

Yeah, that's the way they work--they ship out garbage--and YOU have to pay to get the issues straightened out.  You could threaten them with FCC action--but they probably have the FCC's ear.

There is one way to get by this, though.  Buy your own equipment.  If you Google the HR-20, you'll find there are some for sale, and as long as DirecTV supoports them, you can use them.  You'll save by not having to pay the equipment rental fees anymore, too.  They HAVE TO send you smart card upgrades to be able to use the device you own as long as they support it and you pay your subscription fee too.

WARNING: The HR-20 is a VERY SLOW unit...  I just upgraded, and the 20 is so slow it was unbearable...  I am having zero issues with RFI either ingress, or outgoing from the latest unit...  My antenna is less than 30 feet from the unit, I am running 1 KW... If I can shoot some photos or something to help let me know...  I am using lots of ferrite snap on devices.


Title: RE: Direct TV DVR problems
Post by: KB5ZSM on April 14, 2013, 10:29:33 PM
Nice Web Site Dave.... That will make some good reading. May even print it out for my notebook.

73s, Win
KB5ZSM


Title: RE: Direct TV DVR problems
Post by: NK7Z on April 15, 2013, 12:29:09 AM
Nice Web Site Dave.... That will make some good reading. May even print it out for my notebook.

73s, Win
KB5ZSM

Thank you Win!  That sort of comment really means a lot to me...  I put in a lot of work on the site...  I was going to add something to the site about use of Ferrite clamp on devices, but there are so many other really good sites dealing with that sort of thing, I would just waste people's time if I tried to add much to that subject.  On a good note, I did remove a one S-unit RFI problem I had using the clamp on's again today... One of my computers was adding an S unit of hash on pretty much all bands...  Added a ferrite on each lead, and all gone! 

I may try adding them to the spark plug wires in my car to see if they reduce the RFI on the mobile rig...  I have a 2004 Tahoe, and the thing is GAWD awful for spark plug RFI, but that is for another thread...


Title: RE: Direct TV DVR problems
Post by: AC6IJ on April 27, 2013, 03:13:26 PM
I fixed the problem I had with RF messing up my Direct TV HR-24 200 by placing a thin aluminum sheet that covers the top and down the front and then underneath about 1 1/2". The sides are left alone. That is all I did and I didn't need any other devices to cure the problem. An extremely easy fix. Whenever I use the Direct TV and not the Ham rigs I simply remove the aluminum.  Bill


Title: RE: Direct TV DVR problems
Post by: AC6IJ on April 28, 2013, 11:09:54 PM
Well I spoke too soon, my HR-24 200 started messing up again so I cancelled my Direct TV service at a cost of $400 but now I can at least use my ham radios again. Bill


Title: RE: Direct TV DVR problems
Post by: KF7CG on April 29, 2013, 10:50:47 AM
The problem is in their equipment! They have a duty to the consumer to provide their service, since they could not/would not provide the service, you are at least entitle to a charge free cancellation.

Everytime the system messed up I would have bugged them until they fixed it. It is their problem, make them eat the charges.

KF7CG


Title: RE: Direct TV DVR problems
Post by: K1CJS on April 30, 2013, 04:33:50 AM
....It is their problem, make them eat the charges.

With these satellite companies, that is way far easier said than done.  They're of the opinion (even though it's wrong) that the subscriber has to accept their equipment AND its faults--or that subscriber can go elsewhere for their TV service.  Since it costs far more to fight them than it's worth.....


Title: RE: Direct TV DVR problems
Post by: KF7CG on May 01, 2013, 10:32:46 AM
That is why you put them in your speed-dial and everytime you have an RFI issue with the DVR you call their tech suport and log a call. After about 10 to 15 logged service issues you have enough evidence of the service not be of merchantable quality and the Federal and State Trade guys will have a field day with them if they don't let you cancel without penalty. Become a large enough annoyance and they will eat the early cancellation fee to get rid of you.

KF7CG


Title: RE: Direct TV DVR problems
Post by: K1ZJH on May 10, 2013, 09:38:17 AM
With Directv, you had better have a service contract for the equipment maintenance before trying to play the call and complain game... otherwise it is a 50 dollar service call charge to your acct. every time they run a tech out to your house.

Pete


Title: RE: Direct TV DVR problems
Post by: KF7CG on May 10, 2013, 10:57:20 AM
Having dealt with DirecTV more than I care to and still using their service, I have learned a few tricks. Go on their serivce contract, unless they have changed it, it is month to month and only about $6 a month. With the contract in place, give them a bunch of calls. When the service tech arrives, put someone else with him and then give the system H*** while he is there to observe. You may have to clean up the hair behind him.

Be sure to have a copy of Part 15 around and the Part 15 note on the equipment. If you are leasing the equipment then they "own" the problem.

KF7CG


Title: RE: Direct TV DVR problems
Post by: NW6V on May 21, 2013, 01:37:03 PM
Hello.

I had problems with RFI getting into my H24-200. I concluded that the cause was the front panel touch-sensitive controls. I've sen the same problem on a touch-sensitive lamp, and on an OOMA VoIP phone device. On the H24-200 I solved it by wrapping a sheet of aluminum foil around the front third of the device, then crumpling it over the front, leaving a hole open on the left front of the device through which the remote could operate. This "Faraday shield" totally resolved the problem.

The info (and others' frustrations) can be seen in the DirecTV site at http://forums.directv.com/pe/action/forums/displaypost?postID=11061986

You'll see my info under the username "chrisrut".

You can also find the link by googling "DirecTV RFI NW6V"

At first the XYL complained a bit - now we sometimes joke about fixing the problem with a "tinfoil hat."

73 and GL, Chris NW6V


Title: RE: Direct TV DVR problems
Post by: KC7CRR on June 16, 2013, 03:45:29 PM
Help

Am having similar problems with my DIRECTV DVR (newer model with touch controls, but not Genie). Have tried about everything except using a different tranceiver.
For those of you who have replaced the unit with an older model with analog switches (which DIRECTV considers an upgrade), did you have to pay for it? I have contacted DIRECTV and they want $99 for that model. I'd be willing to pay the money, but only if the unit works while I'm transmitting.
Jerry (W5RCQ), thanks for your input. Unfortunately, covering most of the DVR surfaces with foil didn't help a bit  (however, Martian aliens may not be able to access it...hihi!).

Tnx & 73

Bob KC7CRR