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Test Report for Promax Prolink 4C Premium

 
Promax Prolink 4C Premium

If you are only interested in erecting a satellite reception system for the widely used ASTRA and HOTBIRD satellites, you should have no trouble setting it up using a simple analog or digital receiver. Simply point the entire assembly roughly to the south and then align it to the desired satellite using he analog receiver or use a digital receiver’s signal quality display to find-tune the alignment.

Several years ago there were still some analog channels on these satellites that made them easy to find, but today there are hardly any analog channels to be found. Attempting so align to a satellite using just a digital signal might quickly try your patience.

Many digital receivers take up to a full second to display a signal that has been found. A newcomer to this group is the Prolink 4C Premium manufactured by Promax, a company known for its high-quality measurement devices. The Prolink 4C Premium is not just about satellite signals; it can also be used with analog and digital terrestrial and cable signals as well as with DAB signals. Taking a look at this unit for the first time you will immediately notice the 5-inch color monitor plus the 15 function buttons and the Promax-unique control wheel.

In addition to the satellite IF input and the 12-volt power connection that can be found on the connector panel, there is also a Scart connector for the input/output of video signals as well as an RS-232 port plus two parallel transport stream input/outputs for MPEG-2 TS signals. Nicely hidden yet available nonetheless is a slot for a CI module. The workmanship of this unit is very positive. It comes with a very practical carrying case and the included Li-Ion rechargeable battery guarantees a run time of up to 3.5 hours when fully charged.

Promax also provides a small foldout card that describes the most important functions of the unit in a simple manner. The primary goal of the manufacturer was to develop a measurement unit that on the one hand is very easy and intuitive to use and on then other hand is loaded with all the features that an installer needs in his daily work. A quick look at the fold out card is all that is needed to become familiar with the basic operation (analog and digital signal level measurements, spectrum display, C/N measurement, BER measurements, etc.) of the unit.

The Prolink also comes with the ability to read the PMT of a selected transponder; the FEC is of course automatically recognized although the symbolrate is not. With the aid of a preprogrammed list of popular symbolrates, the Prolink will attempt to find the correct one and in most cases this will suffice. In the event a non-standard symbolrate is used, the user will hav to go to the trouble of entering in these values manually. The fine-tuning of an antenna can be accomplished using a signal level or a C/N measurement. Multiple setting possibilities such as the acoustical signal output, the zooming in and out of the spectrum and the saving of maximum values helps to make this job easier.

If you want to use this unit to help align a reception system that uses a DiSEqC motor, you will find that you have spent your money wisely. The Prolink 4C can drive DiSEqC motors as well as talk to DiSEqC 1.0 switches. The Prolink 4C Premium makes it child’s play to erect an antenna for analog or digital terrestrial TV or to confirm the correct installation of cable TV connections. It is also possible to display a QUAM constellation diagram. With the integrated colour monitor, the “level” of the displayed symbols is presented in colored steps. As the signal quality degrades, the color of these dots changes to blue all the way to black.

The unit can be connected to a PC via the RS-232 port. Measurement results can thereby be saved and recalled at a later time. A portable printer can also be connected so that measurement results can easily be presented on paper. Through the integrated CA interface, PayTV channels can be displayed directly on the unit. In addition to the Prolink 4C Premium, Promax also offers the Prolink 4 Premium with its black/white monitor instead of colour monitor plus a variety of other measurement units with reduced features (Prolink 3C/3, Prolink 2).

Model : Prolink 4C Premium Function : Measurement unit for analog and digital satellite, cable and terrestrial signals Monitor : Yes DiSEqC : 1.0/1.2 Connectors : 1 x Signal in 1 x Scart In/Out 1 x RS232 1 x Parallel TS Stream Output for MPEG2 TS Signals 1 x Parallel TS Stream Input for MPEG2 TS Signals Input Frequency : 5~862 MHz and 900~2150 MHz Measurement Bandwidth : 230kHz (terrestrial), 4 MHz (Sat) Monitor : 5” TFT


 

 

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