New Quatro vs old Connect channel tuning issue - djk_norman

Reception, channel detection, network issues, CableCARD setup, etc.
djk_norman
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2018 12:32 pm

New Quatro vs old Connect channel tuning issue - djk_norman

Postby djk_norman » Thu Oct 04, 2018 12:56 pm

I just received a new Quatro (HDHR5-4US) and have it alongside an old Connect (HDHR4-2US). These are both connected to a splitter fed by antennas (separate VHF & UHF with a diplexer combining). The HDHR4-2US locks in channel 13 (13.1, 210-216 Mhz) perfectly at 100% signal strength, 98% Signal Quality, and 100% Symbol Quality with minor variance (<5%). The HDHR5-4US, on the other hand, will lock this channel in for a brief time (under a 30 seconds) then vary Signal Quality down to 0% and Symbol Quality down to 0%. The channel then locks back in, usually with the Signal Quality recovering first then the Symbol Quality after under 30 seconds. The cycle then repeats. I have swapped the RF connector and ethernet connectors between the two. I have also power cycled the HDHR5-4US. The firmware is at 20180817.

I was curious if this was a VHF issue, so I also have channel 11 (198-204 Mhz) on VHF but it looks good on both tuners. Thought about it as a VHF vs. UHF issue, but the UHF channels are looking good between the two tuners (have not checked all, but several). I am in the Baltimore region about 20 miles from the broadcast antennas.

Any thoughts on other things to try or check?

John-Galt
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2018 5:15 pm

Re: New Quatro vs old Connect channel tuning issue

Postby John-Galt » Thu Oct 04, 2018 1:59 pm

The first thing is the 4 tuner unit is at a 3 dB disadvantage because it contains a 4-way split vs. a 2-way split in the 2 tuner unit. SD may have made up for that loss in the design of the quatro. Perhaps someone from SD will chime in with receiver sensitivity specs for 4 tuner and 2 tuner units.

jamrcar
Posts: 105
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:36 pm
Location: Northwest Missouri

Re: New Quatro vs old Connect channel tuning issue

Postby jamrcar » Thu Oct 04, 2018 4:28 pm

Two things to try.

First, switch you inputs and the run another scan/channel test. See if the signal strength changes.

Second, remove the splitter and test each device separately.

You could have a bad splitter, or a bad cable.

Though if that still doesn’t work out enable sending diagnostic info, and open a ticket refencing your device ids.

djk_norman
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2018 12:32 pm

Re: New Quatro vs old Connect channel tuning issue

Postby djk_norman » Fri Oct 05, 2018 2:44 pm

I tried both the switching of inputs and also eliminating the splitter by going directly into each tuner box from the antenna (which is actually a diplexer and an amp first). No change in behavior, the HDHR5-4US continues to lose channel 13, but looks perfect on all others, while my old HDHR4-2US looks good on all channels, including 13.

I've also looked at the 6 Mhz channels on a Protek 2Ghz field strength analyzer and both my VHF channels are coming in with similar strengths and both with more power than the UHF channels by about 15db.

I did set the device to send diagnostic information and found my device ID (1073B9A1). I'll open a ticket as well. Thanks for the troubleshooting advice. I may also detach the inline amp and diplexer ... back to the attic. But it's odd that one tuner would work and the other would not?

ebo
Posts: 486
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:58 pm

Re: New Quatro vs old Connect channel tuning issue

Postby ebo » Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:06 pm

Since your VHF channels are strong and you're using an inline amp, there's a good chance that you're overloading the HDHR5. Definitely try it without the amp but if that makes some signals too weak you could try padding the signal to the HDHR5. Use hdhomerun_config_gui to see what your signal strength is. 100% is the maximum it displays so if it shows that, the signal might be near 100% or way over that.

djk_norman
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Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2018 12:32 pm

Re: New Quatro vs old Connect channel tuning issue

Postby djk_norman » Sun Oct 07, 2018 8:51 am

To test the signal is too strong concern, I tried a few different things. Following is about Channel 13. Channel 11 continued to work just fine regardless of configuration.

First, I just unplugged the amp and let the signal pass the amplifier without power. Signal strength dropped to 72% with Signal Quality and Symbol Strength going to 100%. However, within 30 seconds, with the Signal Strength still at 72%, the Signal Quality and Symbol Quality dropped to zero and jumped around until they locked back up to 100%. This cycle repeats every 30 seconds or so. This is on the quad HDHR5-4US, with the two tuner HDHR4-2US working just fine.

Next, I removed the amp and multiplexer. Note that I have two VHF antennas, an antennasdirect VHF add on kit (simple antenna) and a ClearStream 5 VHF antenna. I tried both direct to the tuners with about a 50' RG-6 cable (attic to basement). To the quad tuner, HDHR5-4US, signal strength dropped to 75% or 95% for VHF add on kit and ClearStream 5 respectively. In both cases the Signal Quality and Symbol Quality locked in to 100% and then varied down to 0% with the usual under 30 second cycle. The two tuner HDHR4-2US continued to work just fine on Channel 13.

Next, for the VHF add on kit only, I tried to reduce signal further by passing through some barrel connectors and splitters. Anything past two splitters reduced strength too far to lock in a signal. So, with the VHF add on kit and two splitters, Signal Strength was at 52% with Signal Quality up to 79% and Symbol Quality to 100%. However, the cycling every 30 seconds with Signal Quality and Symbol Quality going to zero continued. I also tried with one splitter with the same results (forgot to jot down the readings).

Not sure there's much else to try? Any beta firmware for the tuner? Opened a ticket on Friday, hope to hear back on Monday.

ebo
Posts: 486
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:58 pm

Re: New Quatro vs old Connect channel tuning issue

Postby ebo » Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:31 pm

First, I just unplugged the amp and let the signal pass the amplifier without power. Signal strength dropped to 72% with Signal Quality and Symbol Strength going to 100%. However, within 30 seconds, with the Signal Strength still at 72%, the Signal Quality and Symbol Quality dropped to zero and jumped around until they locked back up to 100%. This cycle repeats every 30 seconds or so. This is on the quad HDHR5-4US, with the two tuner HDHR4-2US working just fine.
30 second dropouts? That sounds familiar, although I'd be surprised if it affects the HDHR5 line. It was a problem with the broadcast of certain stations that affected the HDHR Duals (both 1st and 2nd gen) and the HDHR3. SD came up with a workaround for the HDHR3 but couldn't do the same for the Duals. The HDHR4-2US was immune and I would expect any later ones to be as well.

Of course the forum discussion of it scrolled off long ago. Here's what one poster thought caused it:

Re: Symbol Quality dropping out
Post by Tower Guy » Tue Oct 14, 2014 7:13 am
A clue to what is going on is the 30 second time period between problems noted by some posters. It happens that some Harris (Gates Air) transmitters contribute to this problem. The issue is that the error correction circuit samples the signal every 30 seconds. In some transmitters one of the sample ports is not connected. Very few TVs seem susceptible to this problem.

The problem occurs when the unconnected port is sampled the automatic gain control causes full gain, but when the correct signal is sampled, the high gain causes overload which creates a momentary incorrect correction. Harris solution is to pad the correct sample to minimize overload. A better solution is to split the sample signal and provide a sample to the unused port.
SD posted a PDF about the problem and the fix for the HDHR3 but I couldn't find it on the site. Good thing I'm a pack rat. Here's part of it. Remember, this was intended only for the HDHR3-US and related US models. I have no idea if it would work on the 5 series but I don't think it could hurt to try it.
Solution/workaround:
1) Download and install the 20150121 (or newer) HDHomeRun software and firmware.
2) Run HDHomeRun Config GUI and tune the problem channel. Verify the symbol quality
drops every 30 seconds.
3) From a cmd window run:

Code: Select all

"C:\Program Files\Silicondust\HDHomeRun\hdhomerun_config" <device id> set /sys/8vsb_override "<channel number>"
For example, device ID 1038D786 channel 12:

Code: Select all

"C:\Program Files\Silicondust\HDHomeRun\hdhomerun_config" 1038D786 set /sys/8vsb_override "12"
4) Tune the problem channel again in HDHomeRun Config GUI to verify the problem has
been solved or reduced in occurrence. If already tuned to the problem channel, tune to a
different channel and tune back again.
Multiple channels can be marked (up to three):

Code: Select all

"C:\Program Files\Silicondust\HDHomeRun\hdhomerun_config" <device id> set /sys/8vsb_override "<channel number> <channel number> <channel number>"
Reading back the configuration:

Code: Select all

"C:\Program Files\Silicondust\HDHomeRun\hdhomerun_config" <device id> get /sys/8vsb_override

djk_norman
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2018 12:32 pm

Re: New Quatro vs old Connect channel tuning issue

Postby djk_norman » Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:48 pm

Wow, that looks spot on for my problem. I was all ready to try it, but figured I'd check to see what the value was and ... unfortunately, when I run the get command for 8vsb_override to see status, the tuner replies 'ERROR: unknown getset variable'. I tried the set as well, but same error. I suspect, that 'feature' is no longer in the firmware? I tried various forms with and without sys, etc. and found nothing. Other /sys commands work, just not the override. Sent another note to SD today since they went silent on me since a response to them Monday. Thanks for the help, maybe this can help SD focus on the issue?

ebo
Posts: 486
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:58 pm

Re: New Quatro vs old Connect channel tuning issue

Postby ebo » Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:30 pm

Probably the workaround code was only in the firmware for the HDHR3-US and related products (Tech, etc.). It should still work but probably only for those models. If the current series really is susceptible to that problem, maybe SD can come up with a similar fix.

Or maybe not. When researching the problem for the 3 series, SD found that an older version of the demodulator firmware worked better than the then-current version for those stations (the current version was better for most other stations). So they included both in the 3's firmware. The workaround tells the tuner to use the older demod firmware for the channel(s) specified.

djk_norman
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2018 12:32 pm

Re: New Quatro vs old Connect channel tuning issue

Postby djk_norman » Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:57 am

Thanks for the help. Just need to hear back from SD support, which has gone silent since Monday. I left them a VM today. The details you've provided here should help them find a solution for me.

nickk
Silicondust
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Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2004 9:39 am

Re: New Quatro vs old Connect channel tuning issue - djk_norman

Postby nickk » Sun Oct 21, 2018 5:58 pm

Quick note to let you know I am checking with the support team on this.

Nick

djk_norman
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2018 12:32 pm

Re: New Quatro vs old Connect channel tuning issue - djk_norman

Postby djk_norman » Mon Oct 22, 2018 6:57 am

Thanks Nick!

jasonl
Silicondust
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Re: New Quatro vs old Connect channel tuning issue - djk_norman

Postby jasonl » Mon Oct 22, 2018 2:59 pm

Believe this is related to an issue we're tracking. You should have now received a reply to your ticket.


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