Sky magic eyes and amplifiers

John1446

Novice Member
I am totally flummoxed and about to give up but hopefully someone out there will have a suggestion.
So here's the set up
Sky box with io link with green light on
Antenna in
RF 1 goes to lounge tv
RF2 goes to UHF in on powered amplifier
Amplifier distributes both sky analogue signal and freeview to 3 bedrooms and conservatory.
Problem is
Magic eye lit on conservatory magic eye and getting 9.11 volts but cannot change sky channels from conservatory.
Bedroom 1 and 3 .. I have sound and picture but magic eye not lit and no voltage showing so will not be able to change channels.
Bed 2 has a 9.10 voltage showing.
I've tried at least 5 different cables and nothing no voltage no light on magic eyes. Power of 9.11 volts coming out of amplifier. (This is the 2nd amplifier I've bought as thought it was the problem. It is a labgear LDL206R with a pass through and the previous was a Proception proamp 28R. Both supposedly ok with magic eyes)
The cables have been varied WF100 .. RG6 ..twinsat etc.
Any help would be really appreciated.
Thanks in anticipation
John
 

Rodders53

Distinguished Member
Isolating wallplates on the ones with no light lit? Thus blocking DC for the eye. Poor joints made so no or poor DC continuity (not easy on F-plugs properly inserted, but IEC/Belling Lee plugs ideally need soldering).

Or if led lit with TV disconnected but when connected it goes out then Sky magic eye Problems with your TV Link? applies (DC decoupling in eye faulty). There's a 'braid breaker' diy fix for that problem.

Conservatory not responding may be to do with unwanted IR interference in that room (also mentioned by Satcure)? Or perhaps insufficient current getting to the eye due to resistive cable and/or connections. (Enough volts and current to light the led but not enough to drive the transmitter circuit).?

Bypass the amp to the Conservatory (direct join the two cables Amp Input and Conservatory out) to see if the eye then works?

Check the eyes work in the main room (blocking off other IR receiver windows for the sky box).

NB Any UHF only filtering on a faceplate from the IO out to the amplifier will stop the return VHF signalling for IR control. (Albeit unlikely?)

This needs a logical and methodical process to resolve. More details of the wiring / wallplates etc.,. might help.

NB with thin cables it's far too easy to fold over the centre pin on a F-plug so it doesn't work! I'll allow you to ponder how I know that ;)
 

John1446

Novice Member
Really appreciate your suggestions Rodders.
It's always difficult to explain a set up but a bit of an update.
I don't have wall plates the cables go straight to equipment.
I'm pretty sure I'm connecting the F connectors ok but I have left the inner core long on occasions (can that be a problem? )
I've now lost the light on magic eye in conservatory. I bypassed the amp and went straight from io link to the magic eye in conservatory and there's nothing the same as when the amp is comnected so it seems im going backwards .
Just done a voltage check .. 9.41 out of io link and 9.39 and end of cable going into amp.
It suggests the cables I think ... but ... I've tried so many cables with no luck ... is it possible that ALL these cables are dud?
All the eyes appear to be in working order as well when connected via a short lead direct to the io link.
I'm not sure how to test for resistance.
The co ax does run along the same route as cat6 cable .. does that affect things although the conservatory eye worked fine ... then the lights went out 😊
 

Rodders53

Distinguished Member
What make and model of cable is being used?

All F-plugs with adaptors or IEC Belling Lee's ?

Voltage is one check. Next is to use the meter's resistance range to check the cables:
1. disconnect both ends of the cable under test
2. Short the 'distant end inner to outer
3. Measure resistance between inner and outer on the other end

Coaxial Cable Specifications WF100 CT100 WF65 RG6 has the resistance numbers:
All copper WF100 is 26 ohms inner plus 10 ohms outer = 36 ohms per kilometre. Say 10 metres run = 360 milliOhms (0.36 ohms).
RG6 (steel core copper clad, plastic foil) is 98 + 33.7 = 132 ohms per km. 10 metres = 1.32 ohms.

If you measure more than those figures, be worried / look for problems with cable and termination of same.

The amplifiers will be short circuit protected, and if they detect an over-current load on the output(s) will cut off the supply. That would be a short between inner and outer usually (zero ohms or thereabouts). Removal of problem (ie. fixing the fault) should auto reset, but a power cycle may be worth a try?

CAT 6 is unscreened twisted pair balanced line signal so little interference should escape and twin screening of the coax (assuming it's satellite grade cable) should stop signals getting in.
Disconnect both ends of the CAT 6's to prove they have no effect on the cable they run alongside.
 

John1446

Novice Member
So .. I've know I've got power coming out if io and into amp. When I put a pin in the amp outputs I'm getting 9.03 volts ... but when I connect a cable Im getting no voltage. I've tried 3 cables .. one about a meter one about half a meter and a final one about 100mm ... all from different lengths and nothing. I really don't understand this at all.
Any suggestion
 

John1446

Novice Member
I'm getting 0.2 .. but not sure if I'm doing it correct.
Yes they're all f connections Rodders and I have turned the amp off and on.
Just strange all these different cables showing nothing but I know there's power going in and out of the amp.
Appreciate your time and patience Rodders
👍
So .. I've know I've got power coming out if io and into amp. When I put a pin in the amp outputs I'm getting 9.03 volts ... but when I connect a cable Im getting no voltage. I've tried 3 cables .. one about a meter one about half a meter and a final one about 100mm ... all from different lengths and nothing. I really don't understand this at all.
Any suggestion
 

Timmy C

Distinguished Member
I feel your pain as I've been through this in the past. One odd thing I discovered that I can't explain, was my original magic eye that I got from Sky, way back in the 90's, doesn't work though my distribution amp yet appeared to work testing it connected direct to the box. All my others (SLX brand, same as the amp) work fine. So I wonder if there is some compatibility issues between certain eyes and amps.

I've also had a couple over the years that have developed dodgy connections in the wire between the eye itself and the coax connector box. Causing it to sometimes stop working if I nudge it a bit. Perhaps an issue you have with the conservatory eye?

Sorry I can't offer any firm answers as I know how irritating this is. Hope you get it going!
 

John1446

Novice Member
Thanks Timmy and it us frustrating indeed.
I now have lights on all magic eyes and 9.03 volts at them ... but I cannot change channel via the magic eyes.
Any ideas?
Cheers
 

Timmy C

Distinguished Member
So would I be right in saying you've not at any stage had a magic eye working? Have you tried connecting one directly (or perhaps with a short pre made or carefully made cable if necessary) to the io link at the box?
 

John1446

Novice Member
The conservatory one has worked before. Just don't understand the lights on and there's a good voltage there .. picture and sound good .. just remotes won't work. I'll try what you said tomorrow .. it's worth knowing .. thankyou
 

Timmy C

Distinguished Member
I would try what I suggested and assuming it works, try taking the input cable to the distribution amp and plugging that into the eye and if that works , try a short cable on the output side of the distribution amp. At least if it keeps working up until a certain point in the chain you can rule some things out.

It's a long time since I sorted all mine out but unless my memory is playing tricks on me, I seem to recall just a single stray strand of the outer cable touching the inner core on a connection caused issues.
 

John1446

Novice Member
Ok .. so this is just getting stranger.
Magic eye works when connected directly to the io with a short cable.
In fact all the tvs get a decent picture and sound and the remotes work.
Obviously this only feds one other tv via RF2 so I put a cheap plastic splitter in .. and now two tvs work with remote and a decent picture whereas when I go through the amp .. picture ok but no remotes work. I've tried both the amps I have (the labgear LDL206R and the Proception proamp 28R ... both supposed to work with magic eyes and remote control.
What's the odds of two different makes of amp not working.
Am I missing something?
 

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Timmy C

Distinguished Member
So is the cheap plastic splitter put in where the amp is? So using all the same cables that the amp was using?
 

John1446

Novice Member
Morning Timmy
Believe it or not yes ... I've even spliced another feed into it just to see and now 3 tvs working on remotes .. albeit picture quality has reduced slightly ... I'm gobsmacked .. even bought a proper triax 6 way splitter with dc power pass ... 9.41 volts going in .... nothing coming out.
Nothing makes any sense
Cheers
 

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Rodders53

Distinguished Member
Hmmm.... The plastic splitter should not pass DC if it's a decent quality inductive one... Ergo it's a cheap resistive splitter. (Didn't know they were still made.) It will have a 6dB signal loss on the forward and return path.

However, I'm suspecting now that you have all eyes lit, connected to TVs via the amp(s) and no return VHF IR control from any of them that maybe there's an issue of that return signal to the IO unit?

Labgear has 6dB gain in the return link 6 Output Mains Powered DigiLink Amplifier - Labgear and an input to output UHF gain of 10 dB.
Proception (Blake) don't specify that return gain figure, but is 9dB of gain on UHF. I'd assume gain on the return similar to the Labgear.

Now -6dB (passive split loss) and pictures / sound good and IR return working...
0dB one at a time all working.
Amp in circuit = +10dB on UHF/+6dB VHF return gain then they stop working.

Try putting that splitter in line before the amp to reduce the signal levels? (+4dB/0dB).

RF2out and IO links with two eyes will often work OK (sometimes not) with three the current drawn will shut down the 9V nominal power supply.
A 6 way splitter is typically 10dB loss.
 

John1446

Novice Member
It was an old splitter I found in the shed Rodders.
Tried it before amp .. picture ok but no remote control.
Current situation is
Magic eyes all work when connected to io link .. did it one at a time and then decided to try the splitter .. which gave me the idea if getting a 6 way splitter with 6 outputs and DC power pass but it didn't work.
The only thing that worked the remotes was the splitter so that's when I tried splicing another feed in ... which worked. The only things that won't allow the remotes to work are the purpose built distribution amplifiers.
I'm at breaking point 😊
Looks like I'm going to have to splice the cables more securely which will hopefully improve the picture quality .. but at least the remotes work.
Unless there's something else
Cheers Rodders
 

Timmy C

Distinguished Member
Rodders53 clearly understands the technical side of these things far better than me and my trial and error approach so hopefully he can get you up and running.

Just a point on his last comment though. I did have 4 eyes working with a io link and powered splitter before changing my system to allow control of more devices so it can be done. This is the amp I'm using. Maybe @Rodders53 can see something in the spec that differs from yours that could help?

Amazon product
 

Timmy C

Distinguished Member
As mentioned I moved away from using the io link and now use this. The io link into Sky box worked fine for me but I temporarily left Sky and needed to control a freeview box so installed this instead. Now back with Sky but this gives me the opportunity to control other devices as well as the Sky box so I kept it in the system. Should you come to the conclusion it's the io link causing the headaches then it might be worth a try. Needs a power supply though.

https://cpc.farnell.com/philex/2787...PING&s_kwcid=AL!5616!3!224680055011!!!network}!994107194395!&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIueC1jJqj7wIVzcLtCh10MQz5EAQYASABEgLG9_D_BwE
 

John1446

Novice Member
Rodders certainly knows his stuff and I'm same as you to be honest Timmy. I thought I'd buy quality cable io links and amps and connectors and it'd work straight away like so many others probably.
Just don't know what I'm doing wrong .. so it'll have to be splicing in the cables. I don't really want to and would love to know what the problem is.
Just keeps going round in my head "everything works fine until I go through either amp"
Cheers for your input pal
Regards
John
 

Rodders53

Distinguished Member
I'm fairly sure that the cables are not an issue at all, now.

Can you confirm that my synopsis is correct:
  1. ioLink direct connect to each TV/magic eye point = fully working pic/sound and IR control.
  2. ioLink via passive split any two of the three work correctly for IR and pic/sound.
  3. ioLink via Powered Splitter (either make) Pictures and sound OK, Magic eyes light up OK now, but no IR control from any of the three rooms.
If so, does disconnecting magic eye in any one of the three rooms enable IR control in the other two? (Thinking IR source(s) 'flooding' any one magic eye would scupper the lot via the amplifier, but not seen at sufficient level when direct connected to cause the issue).

Trying the signal attenuation (using the splitter before the amp input) - was that of any help or still the exact same results?
 

John1446

Novice Member
You're spot on Rodders ... and also all 3 tvs work sound picture and IR control when one leg of the splitter is used to the conservatory TV and the other leg has 2 coax cables twisted together into it for sound picture and IR control in 2 bedrooms.
Putting the splitter before the amp had no effect.
I'll have to try disconnecting an eye when I get in Rodders.
As the 2 way splitter and also twisting two cables together worked I thought I'd try a proper 6 way triax splitter with DC power pass and with proper F connectors ..... once connected didn't get any power at all from the outputs but got over 9 volts going in.
It seems the only thing that works is the cowboy version of connecting up.
Cheers Rodders
 

John1446

Novice Member
Morning Rodders .. disconnecting one magic eye had no effect on the others. The shop where I purchased the amp were of no help either.
Regards
John
 

Timmy C

Distinguished Member
Do you happen to have an old Sky box you could try? The kind with the built in RF2? Using my trial and error approach, if it still doesn't work you could perhaps assume the io link isn't the problem and focus on the amp.

If you wanted to throw a bit more money into it and try something else then this appears to be the exact same one I use only with satellite type connections. £15 seems to be a good price.

Amazon product
And these are the eyes I use. You would think any should would work but as I mentioned in a previous post, my original Sky supplied one just won't play ball with the SLX amp for some reason.

 

Timmy C

Distinguished Member
Oh and one other thing. Have you gone into the service menu on the Sky box and looked at the RF 2 setting to see if changing that helps? Details here...

 

John1446

Novice Member
Hi Timmy
Thanks for suggestions matey.
Thing is all eyes work fine if connected directly to the io link and its kicking out a good voltage so I can't see that being the problem and all the connections are F type. Also the proception amp has been exchanged but got same problem ..and I've tried the labgear one (now returned to shop) which had same problem. I find it very unlikely that 3 amps would have same problem. I just cannot fathom out what that problem is though😠.
I have gone into the sky installers menu a few time turning the power on and off and rebooting the box but no change.
Even e mailed manufacturer but they've been no help
Also I'm getting a good voltage at the magic eyes and the lights are o as well as a good picture and sound
Unfortunately I haven't got another box with RF2 on it but appreciate you input.
I've put a thread on the sky community site and live in hope.
Cheers
John
 

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