Direct TV, DishNet, DVR's power usage, and input power Modifications (Discussion)

Logan5Logan5 Posts: 32Solar Expert
I plan to do some testing to my receiver to bypass the internal power supply. well at least open it and test the output voltages and power consumption. if all goes well I may wish to modify my Direct TV receiver to work on a DC voltage. I am interested in others comments regarding this as well as power consumption results. I will open mine in the next day or so, will post my results here.
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Comments

  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Posts: 3,009Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Direct TV, DishNet, DVR's power usage, and input power Modifications (Discussion)

    Don't be surprised if you find a number of different voltages are required, and supplied by the original built in power supply. Would be awesome it it ran internally on 12 volts, but I fear it will be far more complicated, just because they can make it that way.
  • Logan5Logan5 Posts: 32Solar Expert
    Re: Direct TV, DishNet, DVR's power usage, and input power Modifications (Discussion)

    you may be correct, but I am guessing the highest voltage is the Vert on the LNB, so should be 18to24v. got my hopes up., I just cleaned out my media and power closet. removed all the old AC wires and extension cords. trying not to loose any cameras or disrupting anything else. There is only 2 devices plugged into AC now, used to be 50 to 60 AC connections because of all the cameras and all the other AC to DC plug adapters. amazing what a difference cleaning it out, just to get to the direct TV box. still like a Rat's nest though.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Posts: 17,615Banned ✭✭
    Re: Direct TV, DishNet, DVR's power usage, and input power Modifications (Discussion)

    I've moved this thread to the technical section because it could get very technical indeed! :D
  • westbranchwestbranch Posts: 4,221Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Direct TV, DishNet, DVR's power usage, and input power Modifications (Discussion)

    try searching for 'schematic' (s) plus the model number of the receiver etc, you might hit pay-dirt.
    I did on the schematic for an instant on water heater a while back, had voltages from 5 to 117v dc and ac...?? who would have guessed...
     
     KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL29032 FW 2079/ 2073/ 2054 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,Omnicharge 3024,
    Linksys Wet54g WiFi Bridge, ASUS RTN10 router, Hughes1100 Sat Modem
    Eu3000i & 1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL 647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada





  • AntronXAntronX Posts: 462Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Direct TV, DishNet, DVR's power usage, and input power Modifications (Discussion)

    Try powering your LNB with variable voltage power supply and see at which voltage it shuts off. It may work way below 18V. Post pics, will be watching your progress.

    Edit: Here is a guy who got Intel Core i5 desktop computer running at 5.9 watts. He even measured each chip's individual power consumption on a mother board.
  • inetdoginetdog Posts: 3,112Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Direct TV, DishNet, DVR's power usage, and input power Modifications (Discussion)
    AntronX wrote: »
    Try powering your LNB with variable voltage power supply and see at which voltage it shuts off. It may work way below 18V. Post pics, will be watching your progress.

    One potential reason that the LNB may be specced to work at less than the normally delivered voltage is to allow for the IR voltage losses in the maximum allowed length of coax from the power inserter to the dish. If you have a longish coax already, you may benefit from adding the DC in closer to (next to) the dish using larger wires and power-insert adapter. You may need to put a DC-blocking adapter next to the box if you do this.
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • techntrektechntrek Posts: 1,357Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: Direct TV, DishNet, DVR's power usage, and input power Modifications (Discussion)
    AntronX wrote: »
    Try powering your LNB with variable voltage power supply and see at which voltage it shuts off. It may work way below 18V. ...

    Won't work if the system is a Directv system. The LNB retransmits either odd or even transceivers on the coax based on a 13 or 18 volt input.
    4.5 kw APC UPS powered by a Prius, 12 kw Generac, Honda EU3000is
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Posts: 3,009Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Direct TV, DishNet, DVR's power usage, and input power Modifications (Discussion)
    techntrek wrote: »
    Won't work if the system is a Directv system. The LNB retransmits either odd or even transceivers on the coax based on a 13 or 18 volt input.
    Basically the same technology used by the Bell system in Canada.
  • AntronXAntronX Posts: 462Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Direct TV, DishNet, DVR's power usage, and input power Modifications (Discussion)

    Heh, interesting. Did not know that.
  • solarvicsolarvic Posts: 954Solar Expert
    Re: Direct TV, DishNet, DVR's power usage, and input power Modifications (Discussion)

    Wayne. Actually Bell receivers in Canada and Dish network in USA have the same manufacturer. Starchoice, now called Shaw direct and 4dtv In usa used same manufacture. Bell and direct tv have citcular polarity, Right handed for one polarity and left handed for other polarity. shaw direct and 4dtv use linerior polarity, horizontal for one polarity and verticle for other polarity. Polarity for all the systems mentioned have 14 volt for one polarity and 18 volt for other polarity. Preety simple EH. The mpeg free to air receivers pick up all the unscrambled signals that are broadcast on all satelites in the Clark Belt. The big old satelite dishes still get you lots of free tv to watch. You can also use old primestar dishes ro get free programing off KU band satelite dishes. Previously I have said satelites are my other hobby. Here is a good website to learn more about the satelite hobby for anyone that don,t know about it. http://www.skyvision.com/ Solarvic another added link http://global-cm.net/
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Posts: 3,009Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Direct TV, DishNet, DVR's power usage, and input power Modifications (Discussion)

    Yeah, I used to be an installer for the ExpressVu / Bell systems as part of my job, both before and after they transitioned to the present transmission system, but that ended back in 2007.
    Never got involved with Starchoice / Shaw. Interesting systems. Of course I prefer Bell. Hahahaha
  • Ken MarshKen Marsh Posts: 114Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Direct TV, DishNet, DVR's power usage, and input power Modifications (Discussion)

    Just happened to have a satellite receiver on the bench.
    It is a Topfield TF4000F, FTA (free to air).
    We got rid of Dish and Direct.
    So anyway, here is what I found.

    The power supply is connected to the line at all times.
    There is a so called power switch but all it does is put the logic into standby
    Line voltage is rectified directly then re-chopped @ approx 80 KHz.
    The chopper transformer has 6 taps on the secondary.
    Each tap has a half wave rectifier resulting in 3.3, 8, 15, 17, 22, and 30 volt outputs.
    In addition, it looks like the main board has regulator chips generating 5 es 3.3 v for the logic.
    It looks like the 30 V is being fed to the front end module.

    This in not a good candidate for running directly from alternative power.
    You could use a small inverter ahead of it and turn it off when you are not using it.

    However, there is precedent for keeping the LNB powered at all times.
    It keeps it a little warmer hence drives off water and makes it less easily damaged by lightning.
    Lightening damage is the biggest problem we have with satellite systems.
    I maintain about 50 of them.
    We loose approx 3 a year usually in lightening storms.
  • solarvicsolarvic Posts: 954Solar Expert
    Re: Direct TV, DishNet, DVR's power usage, and input power Modifications (Discussion)

    I have heard of the topfield brand name before but never seen one. Most of the fta receivers I have had had a main power swirch on the back of the receiver that cut all the power to receiver. Are you saying the power switch on the front of receiver doesn,t completely shut off power? I agree with you if that is what you mean. In oime recent years a lot of the receivers don,t last too long due to the poor Chinese caps used in them. I usually turn off the power or unplug the receiver because of the cap problem. I suspect that that might be why some of the xantrex GTI inverters have a short lifetime. BADD CAPS. The story I heard is some Chinese CAP manufacturer tryed to pirate another company,s formula they used to make the Caps. Only problem the original company suspected that thier cap formula,s were bieing stolen so they changed the formula enough that the caps wouldnt last. The Chines company made millions of them and a lot of them got used in tv,s, satelite receivers and other electronics. :Dsolarvic:D
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Posts: 3,009Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Direct TV, DishNet, DVR's power usage, and input power Modifications (Discussion)
    Ken Marsh wrote: »
    Just happened to have a satellite receiver on the bench.
    It is a Topfield TF4000F, FTA (free to air).
    We got rid of Dish and Direct.
    So anyway, here is what I found.

    The power supply is connected to the line at all times.
    There is a so called power switch but all it does is put the logic into standby
    Line voltage is rectified directly then re-chopped @ approx 80 KHz.
    The chopper transformer has 6 taps on the secondary.
    Each tap has a half wave rectifier resulting in 3.3, 8, 15, 17, 22, and 30 volt outputs.
    In addition, it looks like the main board has regulator chips generating 5 es 3.3 v for the logic.
    It looks like the 30 V is being fed to the front end module.

    This in not a good candidate for running directly from alternative power.
    You could use a small inverter ahead of it and turn it off when you are not using it.

    This is what I was expecting. "it ain't simple" and it would be a huge job to start from scratch to redesign a new power supply. The results would definitely not be worth it, nor as good as the original power supply. That's my opinion anyway. I've done a lot of crazy things in electronics, but wouldn't consider this project for one second.
  • techntrektechntrek Posts: 1,357Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: Direct TV, DishNet, DVR's power usage, and input power Modifications (Discussion)
    Ken Marsh wrote: »
    ...However, there is precedent for keeping the LNB powered at all times.
    It keeps it a little warmer hence drives off water and makes it less easily damaged by lightning.
    ...

    Keeping it powered isn't going to reduce its susceptibility to lightning damage. A slight change to the humidity inside the LNB won't change the effects of a million volts of potential as it passes by in the air or ground, or induced in the coax itself. Case in point, my own system, which is powered 24/7 even during outages (whole-house UPS and generators) which has been taken out twice by lightning in the last 8 1/2 years.
    4.5 kw APC UPS powered by a Prius, 12 kw Generac, Honda EU3000is
  • Logan5Logan5 Posts: 32Solar Expert
    Re: Direct TV, DishNet, DVR's power usage, and input power Modifications (Discussion)

    well I have operated my Direct TV box on a switched outlet for almost 2 weeks. must wait about a min. each time I power up. does not lose programing, settings or autotunes. I have yet to open the box for voltage readings. maybe I do this now.
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Posts: 3,009Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Direct TV, DishNet, DVR's power usage, and input power Modifications (Discussion)
    Logan5 wrote: »
    well I have operated my Direct TV box on a switched outlet for almost 2 weeks. must wait about a min. each time I power up. does not lose programing.

    Haha Don't speak too quickly. If I remember right, it took a month or more before my programming started to be cut off a few channels at a time. That was having it off about 15 or 16 hours overnight and well into the next afternoon.
    I'm trying mine on timer again, but this time only having it off from 1:00 AM, to 8:00 AM, leaving it on all day to run off solar power from PV. We'll know in a month or two if it's going to work out or will I start loosing channels again..
  • inetdoginetdog Posts: 3,112Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Direct TV, DishNet, DVR's power usage, and input power Modifications (Discussion)
    Haha Don't speak too quickly. If I remember right, it took a month or more before my programming started to be cut off a few channels at a time. That was having it off about 15 or 16 hours overnight and well into the next afternoon.
    I'm trying mine on timer again, but this time only having it off from 1:00 AM, to 8:00 AM, leaving it on all day to run off solar power from PV. We'll know in a month or two if it's going to work out or will I start loosing channels again..

    If your box goes out of service ("shuts down") to renew its programming information (as Dish boxes do) you may not be happy with setting it to refresh its program guide information during the period that solar power is available, but that is probably the best way to keep it up to date and happy. Does the DirectTV box allow you to choose the check-in time?
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • techntrektechntrek Posts: 1,357Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: Direct TV, DishNet, DVR's power usage, and input power Modifications (Discussion)
    Logan5 wrote: »
    well I have operated my Direct TV box on a switched outlet for almost 2 weeks. must wait about a min. each time I power up. does not lose programing, settings or autotunes. I have yet to open the box for voltage readings. maybe I do this now.

    I've done it for about 6 years on my non-DVR boxes with no issues other than having to call in "code 722" every few months to have the authorization codes sent. Now you can do it from a link on their web site but I always forget that.
    4.5 kw APC UPS powered by a Prius, 12 kw Generac, Honda EU3000is
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Posts: 3,009Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Direct TV, DishNet, DVR's power usage, and input power Modifications (Discussion)
    inetdog wrote: »
    If your box goes out of service ("shuts down") to renew its programming information (as Dish boxes do) you may not be happy with setting it to refresh its program guide information during the period that solar power is available, but that is probably the best way to keep it up to date and happy. Does the DirectTV box allow you to choose the check-in time?

    I believe my Bell system is more or less identical the the Dish system, just that it's controlled from Canada instead of the US. Mine has the option of selecting updates "during times of inactivity after 3 AM", or some such wording. I've recently unselected that option as the timer has it powered down during those hours. So far so good, but it's still way too early in this experiment to say if this will work. I'll know in a couple of months :)
    The program guide info on my Bell system by the way, reloads each time the box is powered up, takes about 15 seconds after the box has already locked back onto the satellite and is ready to go. (I'm given the option of skipping the guide download) Whole process takes a couple of minutes. I have no problem with that, a small price to pay for saving battery power.
  • inetdoginetdog Posts: 3,112Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Direct TV, DishNet, DVR's power usage, and input power Modifications (Discussion)
    The program guide info on my Bell system by the way, reloads each time the box is powered up, takes about 15 seconds after the box has already locked back onto the satellite and is ready to go. (I'm given the option of skipping the guide download) Whole process takes a couple of minutes. I have no problem with that, a small price to pay for saving battery power.
    With the Dish system, either the program guide is a lot larger or they devote less bandwidth to the link that serves it up. My Dish system would take close to 5 minutes to download the guide, and if I do not to that, my pre-programmed recording options would not work. Until the download is complete, you cannot even watch anything.
    When it just needs re-authorization, on the other hand, that is faster and you can in fact start watching TV while waiting for the program guide to be uploaded later.
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • nielniel Posts: 10,311Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Direct TV, DishNet, DVR's power usage, and input power Modifications (Discussion)

    wayne,
    i'm curious if you approached the sat company and just asked them if this will work citing that the box needs to be off at times, if they are smart enough to know?
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Posts: 3,009Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Direct TV, DishNet, DVR's power usage, and input power Modifications (Discussion)
    niel wrote: »
    wayne,
    i'm curious if you approached the sat company and just asked them if this will work citing that the box needs to be off at times, if they are smart enough to know?

    No Niel, I haven't bothered. I used to do installations for them, and found when I did have occasion to speak with them re problems customers were having, the answers I got were scripted BS by employees who didn't know any more, and too often, knew less than I did. Basically low paid call center employees required to handle a minimum number of calls per hour to keep their jobs. Plus of course, the normal 30 to 45 minute wait on the phone because the call center is "experiencing higher than normal call numbers". Hahahaha
    So far, what I'm trying now has been working, and I'd be happy with that if it continues. :cool:
  • nielniel Posts: 10,311Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Direct TV, DishNet, DVR's power usage, and input power Modifications (Discussion)

    yes, i figured as much and was why i added, "if they are smart enough to know.":roll: you gotta figure somebody somewhere should know, but how to know who to contact that knows is the tough question. i guess the effort to ask may take longer than actually just trying it because it would take forever to reach somebody who knows. shame.
  • Ken MarshKen Marsh Posts: 114Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Direct TV, DishNet, DVR's power usage, and input power Modifications (Discussion)

    "Keeping it powered isn't going to reduce its susceptibility to lightning damage. A slight change to the humidity inside the LNB won't change the effects of a million volts of potential as it passes by in the air or ground, or induced in the coax itself."

    Techntrek, Most LMB damage is not done by direct lightening hits. The lightening strike can be miles off. The EMP, (Electromagnetic pulse) is what gets the LNB by reverse voltageing the base to emitter junction and punching it through. Having the transistor forward biased makes it less susceptible to damage.
  • techntrektechntrek Posts: 1,357Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: Direct TV, DishNet, DVR's power usage, and input power Modifications (Discussion)

    Both of my system-killers were near direct hits - took out the LNBs, coax and the multiswitch but happily no farther down the line.

    Odd that the LNBs would be so vulnerable to EMP. I would expect that every time a thunderstorm came through Directv would have to roll through replacing everyone's LNBs...
    4.5 kw APC UPS powered by a Prius, 12 kw Generac, Honda EU3000is
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Posts: 3,009Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Direct TV, DishNet, DVR's power usage, and input power Modifications (Discussion)
    techntrek wrote: »
    Both of my system-killers were near direct hits - took out the LNBs, coax and the multiswitch but happily no farther down the line.

    Just wondering - - were your dishes up on the roof? Mine is half way down the side wall, in under the eves.
    Am I right to assume a grounded "lightening arrestor" may have intercepted the surge, preventing it entering the house and causing more damage?
  • nielniel Posts: 10,311Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Direct TV, DishNet, DVR's power usage, and input power Modifications (Discussion)

    not sure if wayne meant this or not, but the dish and any switches/combiners outside really have to be grounded with at least #8 copper wire. was that in place? of course that ground is not a guarantee there would not be damage to the lna or lnb as the parts for these are known to blow out even just from the static electricity created in touching them improperly as they are very sensitive. remember that lightning is comprised of all frequencies up through the radio spectrum and beyond with diminishing returns the higher you go. add to that a dish that can amplify frequencies in and around that which the lna/lnb is tuned to operate at and the extreme overload alone could kill the thing even if the emp itself wasn't strong enough to do it. think of it like this, aiming a small solid parabolic dish at the sun and see what happens to anything in the focal point. btw, along these lines never paint your dish a light color, especially white.
  • Logan5Logan5 Posts: 32Solar Expert
    Re: Direct TV, DishNet, DVR's power usage, and input power Modifications (Discussion)

    lightning seems to be hit or miss. The only time I have been hit was over 25 yrs ago and it came in the the telephone line. connected to an 8086XT computer, unfortunately that computer was networked with 3 other computers via BNC connectors and coax cable. the 8086 was a total loss, and one of the others, the 3rd lost network card and IDE controller card. it was a very expensive split second.
  • nielniel Posts: 10,311Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Direct TV, DishNet, DVR's power usage, and input power Modifications (Discussion)

    yes, that is another way that damage could happen as the charge from either a strike or the emp from one can get transferred from the phone line outside and up into the sat box damaging it. the odds on that energy reaching the lna/lnb from the sat box through the phone line is very diminished as the dish at that point is unlikely to be in the lightning's path to ground, but stranger things have happened being it tends to do what it wants to.
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