DirecTV Product Information WeaKnees News

DIRECTV abandons the Zinwell WB616 (6×16) Multiswitch; We’ve Got Solutions!

Without any warning, DIRECTV or Zinwell (not sure who’s really responsible, but we’re assuming DIRECTV) stopped production of the Zinwell WB616 (also called a WB 6×16 and WB616WB-Z) multiswitch. This device is a powered multiswitch that takes 4 lines from a 5LNB dish and enables you to power 16 tuners.

With the demise of this switch, we have received calls and emails from many installers looking for a solution. When we ran across an eBay auction from some clown charging $1 for a solution, we decided to put up a post, kind-hearted souls that we are.  Just can’t bear to have the eBay guy make his $1!.

(Here a link to the auction for those who read this post within the period that eBay keeps the auctions up.)

If you’re needing to connect more than 8 tuners to a single dish, there are multiple options:

1) Go SWiM (with an E2 Chassis)! DIRECTV hasn’t made SWM (single-wire multiswitch) equipment readily available to residential customers, but we have a full line of DIRECTV SWM equipment available.  I confess that the SWM approach is more expensive than a 6×16, but it is a very reliable solution. Rather than using a 6×16, you’d purchase a SWM E2 chassis and two SWMs. We offer a SWM E2 package that includes what you need.  You will also find this SWM E2 wiring diagram handy.

2) Go SWiM (with four 1×2 splitters)! If you want to use SWMs on the cheap (or at least cheaper than the E2 package), then you can purchase 4 1×2 high frequency splitters and use 2 SWMs. See the wiring diagram for this setup (wiring is critical with 1x2s–check this diagram carefully).  This is not the best approach, because you’ll have more dB loss with splitters than with the E2 chassis, but it might be worth a try if your runs (from dish to splitters/SWMs and from SWMs to receivers) are reasonably short. If you have a long-ish run from dish to splitters/SWMs (say, >40 ft, although the exact numbers are fuzzy and depend on, among other things, your cable quality), you might also need a polarity locker, and possibly a DIRECTV amplifer with LEDs. Obviously, the addition of this equipment can add significant cost to this approach. If you have the luxury of time, you might try it with the 1x2s, and then add the other equipment if you are having signal issues.

3) Use a pair of 6x8s (with four 1×2 splitters). Instead of SWMs, you can use two WB68 multiswitches and four 1×2 splitters. I’m quite sure that this is what the eBay guy was going to charge you a buck to tell you. Basically, this setup is the same as the one in #2 above, but rather than using 2 SWMs, you’d use two 6x8s. See this wiring diagram, which isn’t perfect, but it shows one 6×8 and one SWM. If you are using two 6x8s, you’d just substitute a WB 6×8 for the other SWM.  Same caveat about the polarity locker and amp apply here.

4) Use a tap instead of splitters. A middle-of-the-road approach is to use two WB68s and a DIRECTV-approved satellite tap. The tap is a fancy (and more expensive) way of splitting 4 satellite feeds.  The tap has less dB loss than using four high-frequency splitters  and may enable you to run without an amp and polarity locker.

So there you have it–four substitutes for the WB616 Zinwell switch. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us with questions or use our new online chat!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *