What ports on a DIRECTV SWM need to be terminated?

This one’s easy: all the ones you’re not using. Well, that’s not completely true but it’s close. The port labeled “PWR” doesn’t need a terminator, but you should really be using that for your power inserter. Some don’t need terminators as long as they’re covered in dust caps, but if you’ve lost the dust caps you can use terminators with no problem. But basically, if you see an open coax connector, put a terminator on it.

Terminating ports on a SWM-30

This is DIRECTV’s latest multiswitch, the SWM-30.  It will support up to 26 receivers, or up to five Genie DVRs, depending on the configuration. It’s also easily expandable through the use of the SWM Expander module.

When you get one, it comes as you see it here. There are dust caps on the PWR, SWM2, PWR OUT, and two of the inputs. In its simplest configuration, you only need to hook up the four lines from a legacy dish and the SWM1 port.

The SWM-30 is designed to be self-terminating, meaning that additional terminators aren’t needed. Personally I always remove the dust cap on the SWM2 port and replace it with a terminator. Call it a trust issue if you have to. The rest of the ports can keep their dust caps.

Terminating ports on a SWM-16

This is DIRECTV’s 16-tuner multiswitch. It was the king of the hill for years, but it’s been eclipsed by the SWM-30 in most cases. The SWM-16, just like any device that uses coaxial connections, will put signal out through every open port unless it specifically knows not to. It would have been possible to make the SWM-16 self-terminating but that simply didn’t happen.

In the case of the SWM-16, I replace the dust caps on the legacy ports with terminators, as well as putting a terminator on the SWM2 port if I’m not going to use it.

Terminating ports on a SWM-8

DIRECTV’s 8-tuner multiswitch, the SWM-8, is pretty well obsolete. We still offer it at Solid Signal, because there are people who want to replace old hardware with the exact same part. It’s the only SWM that comes with a proper terminator installed on the SWM2 port. I do like that about it. I also replace the dust caps on the legacy ports. I’ve been told I don’t have to but I do anyway. Like I said, trust issues.

And while I’m on my soapbox…

take a few minutes and put terminators on every open coax connector in your home. I mean, they’re cheap to buy, and at the very least they will keep the connections clean and free of corrosion. They certainly won’t hurt.

You can get all the stuff you’ll need to upgrade or maintain your DIRECTV system when you shop at Solid Signal. It’s your home for satellite, antenna, cellular, and commercial parts and accessories. Not sure what you need? Give the experts a call at 877-312-4547. We’re here during East Coast business hours to help you with anything you’ll need!

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.