NICE AND EASY: Can you use a Wally with a Spaun Multiswitch?

Now hold on, partner. This one’s not so nice or so easy. Before you click off this page, I’ll give you the answer: Probably. But you shouldn’t. Now if you’re interested, let’s talk about why the answer is what it is, and what you really should be doing instead.

DISH’s Wally receiver

The Wally is the standalone receiver from DISH. It’s designed for customers who have a Hopper at home and want to add a simple receiver. It replaces the 211 series and older receivers. It’s a plain old HD receiver but that makes it perfect for tailgaters or people who just want to watch TV and don’t need the massive overkill of the Hopper 3.

Wally is designed to work with all existing DISH setups. However it works best with DISH’s Hybrid system. For older systems, there may be extra setup steps.

Spaun Multiswitches

Spaun is a European manufacturer of multiswitches. Unlike the US, most European systems follow the same standards so it’s possible for manufacturers like Spaun to be successful. For well over a decade Spaun has made multiswitches known for their durability and flexibility. They have had models in the past that worked with US satellite systems, but in recent years they’ve backed away from the US market.

Still, Spaun multiswitches are possible with marine users. If you’re going from country to country and still want access to local satellite, you want a system that’s as flexible as possible. In the past, it’s been easy to change from a DISH system to a European Freeview system as long as you have the right satellite dish and wiring. You just change out the receivers.

But now…

DISH is moving aggressively to the Hybrid system. Hybrid dishes stack all satellite signals on a single wire to make it easier to install larger systems. It’s necessary for something like the Hopper 3, which would need 16 lines into it otherwise.

As I said Spaun has been moving away from the US market for years and they have no plans to make a hybrid-compatible system. Receivers like Wally should work with the older Spaun hardware because it’s very similar to the multiswitches DISH has used in the past. I’ve never seen a setup like this but on paper it should work.

However, if you are going to run Wally receivers, this is an excellent time to look at all your wiring and maybe do some upgrading. Thanks to hybrid technology, you can use simple stacking splitters to add additional Wallys in line. The key is the DPH42 multiswitch. It will give most marine dishes the ability to do a much more modern install for Wallys. This diagram comes from the official DPH42 installation guide and shows how easy it is to split lines off and add as many Wallys as you need. The only limit is the signal strength at the actual receiver site.

So, unless you really need Spaun multiswitches for another reason, this might be a perfect time to change them out for something more modern. You’ll be glad you did because if those Spaun multiswitches do fail, they’re hard (or impossible) to replace now.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.