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Sat Mart

The DC SAT MART is published regularly in the DISH CHANNELS monthly magazine.
September 2009
Antenna rotor controller

The new system, completely redesigned using state of the art technology, allows you to control your antenna system from anywhere in the world that you have an internet connection. The mechanical position switches have been replaced by an absolute encoder which is sealed from the elements. Local and remote control of the antenna rotator is accomplished by the included software which allows you to enter in your desired position in direct azimuth, preset, or Latitude and Longitude in either DMS or Decimal format. The system is designed so that any existing R3501 and R3503 Rotator System can be field upgradeable in only a few hours. All existing wiring between the tower and control building remains the same.

Model R3500 Continuous Rotator

The R-3500 Universal Rotator System is designed for medium to heavy duty antenna rotation applications where economy, versatility and reliability are emphasized. Designed for universal applications, the R-3500 will mount in towers with a face width as small as 18”. The high axial load capacity of the rotator makes it suited for top plate mounting on towers. The rotator is supplied with a custom designed table top controller.

Diamond LNB of GT-SAT International

A few years ago, we were observing the improvement in noise performance of LNB’s. The older LNBs that had the noise figure of 0.8d B or even larger than 1dB have been replaced by LNBs with noise figures specifiedas0.6,0.3 or even 0.2 dB (typically). Another parameter that is quite important for systems with long coax cables is the output power provided by the LNB. Since a coax cable attenuates the signal, if we need to feed a receiver that is far away from an LNB, we need to insert an amplifier at the LNB output. Such amplifier means additional cost. It can also spoil the noise performance of the system. The alternative is to use an LNB that already provides a stronger signal. And the Diamond high gain line of GT-SAT International are just such products, which we took from the market: single, twin, quad and quattro LNB’s (GT-LST40D, GT-T40D, GT-QD40D and GT-QT40D). These products have high conversion gain, so when compared with a regular LNB they should create visible stronger signal at the output. These LNBs are the perfect choice for difficult receptionareas and allow for plenty of bad weather signal reduction.

FloppyDTV HDTV Receiver PC Card

Even at first sight the FireDTV Viewer impresses with its sleek, cleverly laid out and easy to use appearance. The manufacturer went at great lengths to avoid overpowering users with a main screen that is full of buttons, features and adjustment options. Thanks to this strategy even absolute beginners will not be overwhelmed by an endless variety of settings and thus should be able to use the software after only a short while. The main window displays the selected TV channel in presentation mode (full screen) or any desired size. Only when the mouse cursor is moved to the outer right section of the window does a channel list pop up. This way no valuable space is wasted by a permanent channel list display. The control bar is located at the lowest end of the FireDTV Viewer and can be used to control the viewer. Altogether it boasts eleven buttons, which are (from left to right): play/pause, record, timer, previous channel, search, one channel down, one channel up, volume, mute, teletext and EPG. Above the control bar a second bar indicates the cur-rent position during playback. It can also be used to move to another position thanks to time shifting during playback and recording. There are no dedicated buttons for fast forward and fast rewind, but thanks to the time shift bar this is no real loss.

Digital Receiver Vantage VT-X111SCX

The “digital satellite receiver” market is currently booming and so it should come as no surprise that one “new receiver” after the other is finding its way into our test labs. The VT-X111SCX is the newest entry into this market from the German manufacturer “Vantage”. Just taking the receiver out of the package gives you the immediate impression of a sleek and elegant box that should have no trouble fitting in with any living room environment. The front panel is very nicely equipped in addition to the obligatory buttons for operation of this box with a missing remote control, there is also a four digit display as well as a card reader and a set of CI slots hidden behind a flap. This receiver is available in three different versions: as a simple “FTA receiver“, as a CI box and also as one with embedded Conax. The rear panel is also very pleasing to the eye. You have the IF input with looped-through output, the two Scart connectors, three RCA jacks for video and stereo audio outputs, a coaxial digital audio output, an RS-232 serial interface to link this box to a PC, a UHF modulator and a main power switch. What more do you want? The included remote control sits nicely in your hand with buttons that are very logically arranged and easy to read. Overall, the workmanship of the receiver and remote control left us with a very good impression.

FTA Receiver INFOSAT Zimple Box 3

A three digit seven segment display gives information about the channel number, and when the info button on the remote control was pressed, it showed the signal quality percentage. A signal level bar on the right side was also useful as it presented the signal quality. At the rear panel we found the usual LNB input, but without a loop-through output. Three RCA plugs feature the video output as well as the right and left audio signals, and are used to connect the “Infosat receiver” to a TV. An additional video output can be used to connect to a video recorder. A main power switch was also present, which is useful to reduce the power consumption to a minimum when the receiver is not used. As the number of “dish satellites” and transponders is growing, it would be nice to use a simple way to update the receiver’s data-base quickly and correctly. Here comes in handy the embedded RS232 port, as it’s the only way to upgrade the firmware and install updated settings.


The SMT903 is a single width TIM that plugs onto an SLB base module such as the SMT368 (Virtex-4 FPGA) or the SMT351T (Virtex-5 LXT/SXT FPGA) or other SLB base module. It incorporates 2 Maxim Wimax Transceivers that operate at 2.5GHz (MAX2837 – IEEE802.16-2004). The transceivers integrate a power amplifier driver, receive/transmit mixer, low-noise amplifier, receive/transmit filters, synthesizer, VCO, receive automatic gain control, and transmit power control. Transceivers are to work in the 2.4 - 2.7 GHz band.

Sonic Satellite Meter

There are many satellite meters available today but how many of them can tell you what satellite you are pointed to? Anyone who ever set up a satellite antenna is certainly familiar with this problem: is the satellite dish really pointed to the right satellite? The display on the satellite meter shows a signal but could it be a different satellite that the dish was pointed to? The Sonic Satellite Finder has two adjustments, one for volume and the other to match the level of the LNB.” Some LNBs deliver only weak levels forcing an adjustment to the level so that the measurement unit has enough room to play with.

Multimedia HD Receiver Topfield TMS SRP-2100

Topfield decided that new technology on the inside also requires a new appearance on the outside. Forever gone are more or less hidden buttons on the front panel the future lies in a touch sensitive control panel which does away with obtrusive buttons altogether. The TMS (which, incidentally, stands for Total Media Solutions) is some three centimeters higher than comparable satellite receivers, but thanks to its stylish front panel design this does not make it look bold at all. After all, there is only one single button positioned right above the perfectly readable VFD display: the one to turn the box on and off. All other control segments are located next to it in a perfect circle, and they are activated simply by touching the front panel, which is a very smart concept. When the receiver is switched on these segments are surrounded by a shiny blue LED ring, which we found a tick too bright in a dark viewing environment. Being able to dim or de-activate this LED would be greatly appreciated. A flap on the right side of the front panel hides two CI slots which can take in any standard conditional access module for pay TV reception (such as Viaccess, Cryptoworks, Nagravision, Alphacrypt etc.), as well as two USB ports for connecting external hard disks or other storage media such as digital cameras and the like.

DirecTV Dish Antenna System

One of the biggest names in the industry when it comes to multiswitches would undoubtedly have to be SPAUN. The company was founded back in October of 1969 and began by manufacturing OEM terrestrial antenna products. In 1991 they began distributing products under their own name and shortly after that introduced the first multiswitchwith an integrated power supply. Since then they have continuously added to their product line such that today their product range consists of more than 300 products. Recently, SPAUN ventured into a new arena by beginning to offer amplifier and multiswitch products for use exclusively with the DirecTV satellite Pay TV system in the USA. DirecTV it self came into existence back in 1990 and launched their satellite TV service in June of 1994. The idea of watching TV via satellite instead of through a cable TV service provider became so popular that in just a little over a year, they reached one million subscribers.



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