NICE AND EASY: How hot should your SWM16 get?

This hot. DIRECTV’s SWM16 multiswitch is a miracle of modern technology, but it’s not a miracle of thermal engineering. It runs hot, too hot to touch in some cases, and that’s perfectly normal. It can run 10-15 degrees hotter than a SWM8, and that leads some people to think their SWMs are failing when they’re not.

There’s a lot going on inside a SWM16 multiswitch and DIRECTV didn’t want to make it twice the size, so it relies on those cooling fins on the front to keep the heat moving away from the electronics.

If you’re concerned about the heat, do what many other Solid Signal customers have done: take four blank compression connectors and use them as “standoffs,” mounting them behind the screw holes at the corners of the SWM. Thread a long screw through them and you’ll have a SWM16 that has more surface area dedicated to cooling. That ought to help keep things running longer.

Image credit: Signal Labs member Steve