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Author Topic: Traxis DBS4000 & Easy Find LNBF Review  (Read 6872 times)
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« on: Sep 16 2009 02:49:27 »

This review is by Tony Dunnett, renowned satellite expert from New Zealand and a goof friend of the forums. I figured since i havent gotten around to doing a review i may as well post this one, Tony knows more about testing product that I ever will anyway. I'll add some pics when i have time.

Start Copy and Paste

We sent our DBS4000 receiver and our Easy Find LNBF to world renowned satellite expert Mr. Tony Dunnett in New Zealand for his expert opinion.  Mr. Dunnetts report follows.

Traxis DBS4000 Digital Satellite Receiver

With Easy find Capabilities.

Part 1

The receiver arrived from the USA its normal packaging, placed inside a Fed Ex carton. The package made the trip with out incident.Opening the box this receiver comes in one is quickly impressed by the sleek appearance of the brushed aluminum cabinet the receiver is housed in. the black plastic front hiding the display panel.

The receiver is housed in a smaller container than the Traxis 3500 and really looks very sleek and would integrate into any cabinet or Equipment stack. The DBS4000 is almost square in appearance. 11 inches by 6.5 inches by 31/2 inches deep, approximately.

The mains off and on switch is situated on the back of the receiver with a standby soft touch situated on the front extreme right .Next to the channel up and down buttons. There is no front panel menu this is entirely selected from the remote control leaving the front of the receiver uncluttered.

Looking at the rear of the unit it can be easily be seen that this receiver has been produced for the Pan American market place... There are no scart sockets and only one set of RCA outputs. There is however an SVHS, SPDIF and an AC3 Coaxial socket.

The normal F connector LNBF (L band) input and loop output. There is the usual RS 232 port for linking to a computer for upgrading purposes or connecting to another like receiver to pass data between them The final sockets again F connector for Terrestrial  VHF/UHF input and RF output at either channel 3 or 4.

Accompanying the receiver was obviously a remote control unit with batteries. A very useful SVHS connecting lead accompanies the usual RCA 3 phono connecting lead and and of course a User's Manual. Well that what it has printed on the front cover. We will return to the User's manual at the end of our evaluation of this system. Stamped on the right hand in very small print on the face of the receiver informs us that it is DVB compliant and also supports  DiSEqC 1.2 .

Switch on
What must be remembered here is that I was using this receiver on the Optus Satellites and this receiver comes programmed with many International and US satellites. Sadly Optus D1 ,D2 or C1 was not among them. So I had to start from scratch and physically load Optus D1 into the receiver's memory. This was done by adding a satellite.

On switching on the screen tells the user that there is "No Signal"?

The first button to push on the RCU is the one marked "Menu".
FIVE Options are given. (Graphics)
1: Language is displayed denoted by an American flag.2: Channel denoted by a television set
3: Installation denoted by a Satellite Dish.
4: System set up denoted by a Satellite receiver
5: Tools denoted by a 'tool box'
All of these have their relevant sub menus.
1: Language: English, France, Deutsch, Turkish, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, German and Greek. By scrolling down the page multitudes of other languages present themselves each with their own relevant flag. This menu alone indicates this receiver is usable World Wide.
2: Channel: TV Channel List, Radio Channel List, Delete All
3: Installation: Antenna Set up Press OK and the Antenna set up menu appears.

The first menu is satellite. By toggling the right Volume plus button an impressive array of preset satellite US domestic and International details are selected.

For any one wanting to add a specific satellite the procedure is relatively straight forward.

Along the bottom of this menu are seven individual selections.

I wanted to add Optus D1 so I selected No 2 Add. This presented me with 'New Satellite'. This time I selected No1 'Rename' which presented me with a checker board of Numbers, Figures as well as OK ,Delete and Exit .It was a very simple exercise to type in Optus D1 and save it.

LNB Type: This was easy as I was using the 'Easy Find' Universal LNBF by selecting  Universal  this automatically preset the appropriate local oscillator frequencies to 9.75GHz and 10.6GHz.

The same menu provides selection for 22k Switching, DiSEqC and DiSEqC Switching

Positioner, Polarity. As we didn't need to make any further adjustments exit put us back to the Installation menu where we could continue our programming of Optus D1.

The next menu of interest was marked TP Scan:

Here it gets tricky and it took some time to figure out how to input both frequencies we use here in New Zealand.

The first menu here is marked TP Index. This changes when the relevant transponder data is selected and stored.

By scrolling down to TP Index it brings up a series of selections on the bottom of the page. In my case I needed to input the first Free view half transponder.

My selection was No 1 'Add' which changed the sign form 1/1 to NEW CARRIER.

Once this was selected  I could scroll down  to TP Frequency  and add it '12456' scroll down  to Symbol Rate  and add '22,500' M/s scroll down again and adjust the polarity to H for Horizontal down again to Scan Mode, which I selected FREE and the last one marked Search. By pressing OK it then provided both Signal and quality graph bars and searched and found all the active channels.

This is where I messed up big time.

Here in New Zealand we have Two half transponders on Optus D1 which form the Free view multiplex platform. These frequencies are 12456 and 12483 GHz. At 22,500 m /s and FEC ... . I wanted to add the 12493 channels so I took a short cut and just changed the transponder frequency and scanned. OOPS. It scanned perfectly up popped the TVNZ channels over the original channels on 12456 GHz. Yes they were all there but the second scan has over written the second lot of channels on the first.

What I succeeded in doing was replacing the channel names only, so I had TV1 but in reality I had TV3 programmed. The Answer and solution is simple One has to add the next frequency, you have to repeat the NEW CARRIER Procedure and add the new frequency

My selection was No 1 'Add' which changed the sign form 1/1 to NEW CARRIER.

Once this was selected  I could scroll down  to TP Frequency  and add it '12483' scroll down  to Symbol Rate  and add '22,500' M/s scroll down again and adjust the polarity to H for Horizontal down again to Scan Mode, which I selected FREE and the last one marked Search. By pressing OK it then provided both Signal and quality graph bars and searched and found all the active channels.

This time I had both transponders scanned and all the available channels stored. It was a very simple process of pressing the OK button to open up a new menu which provided the channel list. By selecting No 2 (Move) I could rearrange all the channels in order.

If one wants to delete a channel or channels press No 5 (edit) which provides another selection of which No 1 is (delete) mark the channels to be deleted and press the OK button and you are Done.

At this point I had pictures but they had a horrible green tinge to them, a quick trip into the TV System Menu and changing the display mode from HDMI 480P To HDMI 576P restored PAL colour. Whilst I was there I also changed the aspect ratio form 4:3LB to 4:3 P/S (Pan and Scan) to restore a full picture. With this sub menu you can also set the on screen Aspect Ratio. TV standard. HDMI 480P for NTSC 3.58 or HDMI 576P for Pal 4.43 Video mode (CVBS, S-VHS) and Dolby Digital.

When viewing the TV Channel List you get the classic 'PIG' (Picture in graphics) view of the channel plus the audio which changes upon scrolling up or down and pressing the ok button. On doing check of the channels I find that the clock has set itself up automatically. It would seem that some thing with in the Free View data stream triggered this probably to control timing for recording purposes.

At this point it is worth a mention that the TV picture quality is excellent and the audio outstanding. One interesting item is when changing channels you have an instant indication of whether the channel has Teletext, EPG and is in Dolby Digital Audio.

The Teletext function provided up to date TVNZ Teletext information in very good colour graphics. In the past such add-on's on other brands of receivers displayed weak colour graphics which would drop letters or sentences. There was none of that on the DBS4009 the Teletext was quite impressive.
Next came the EPG, Free View operate two EPG's one using Mheg 5 middle ware and the other using EIT information. The EPG works very well and provides now and next event information with out any disruption to the text.

Finally the remote control, this is easy to navigate, and has quite large buttons, which is great for people like me with large fingers. The remote was responsive and very easy to use. All the buttons are clearly marked and actually all do what they say they should do, which is a first,   normally most receivers have one or more buttons which are blank or inoperable due to remotes suiting a variety of receiver models.

There are many other features which make the Traxis DBS 4000 a pleasure to operate .It is a very easy to operate satellite receiver , and my only criticism is that I spent many hours working out the Easy Find  aspects of the system as they were not covered in the operating manual. The User's Manual needs to be written in more understandable and expanded terms.

The capabilities of the Easy find operating system are no where to be found. This is an oversight that needs to be addressed.In conclusion the receiver works very well and provides excellent Video and Audio reproduction. It looks very stylish and relies on the remote control for all adjustments leaving the face plate uncluttered and looking very much the elegant looking receiver it is.

Traxis DBS4000 Digital Satellite Receiver

With Easy find Capabilities.

Part 2

The Easy Find system: Question does it make finding satellites any easier. Answer YES it certainly does .However there are pit falls to be aware of. As I undertook to make this report I felt it was imperative that I started from scratch and as you can see from part one of this report, I did just that. Perhaps that was my biggest mistake.

The idea of the Easy Find "Combo" receiver and LNBF is that they are a matched pair the Receiver provides information to the LNBF and the LNBF provides information back to the satellite receiver.

However in the first instance I was unable to get the easy find LNBF to display any real indication of good signal, bad signal or otherwise. What I didn't realize and the User's manual did not cover this was I had to press the INFO button which brought up a menu which gave access to "BEEP".

What is BEEP you may ask, it stands for "Acoustic Signal for Directing the Satellite Antenna", In other words it is the soft ware / hard ware that provide the LNBF with the information it requires to turn it into a signal meter which uses Light Emitting Diodes as the signal display.

Once I pressed Key No 1 I was in business not only did the LED on the LNBF burst into life, I had an audible signal from my TV speakers as well.

So did it work, YES it does work, when the signal is not present the LED (Light Emitting Diode) turns RED and stays red until such time as the receiver receives enough signal to issue the LNBF with information which tells it that the receiver had detected a signal. At this point the LED turns Orange and the closer you get to the satellite and the stronger the signal becomes the LED flashes and upon the signal exceeding the satellite receiver threshold level and locks up the Led turns GREEN.

How easy is this? The answer is very easy As long as some simple rules are observed. The First is that the Pole the the dish is mounted on be vertical It's imperative that this pole is set at 90degrees which is straight up and down. Near enough is not good enough in this instance.

Secondly that  the elevation angle  in degrees  for the satellite is also adhered to , again near enough is not good enough accuracy for both these settings is very important.

Once these settings have been adjusted set your satellite receiver to the desired channel which sets the specific frequency required. Slowly swing the dish through the Satellite arc until the Red led turns Orange if it doesn't adjust the elevation slightly up or down, then repeat the process until you have an indication that the signal is present.

The hunting of a specific signal in this manner is very easy and will get easier with practice. Once the Led turns green lock the dish up and check the TV picture,

One concern was that here in New Zealand we have three Optus satellites operating with in a 8 degree arc from 160, 156 to 152 degrees East. Tests conducted over the last few days prove that once the transponder is set then that's what the LNBF, / Receiver will lock on to. Try as we might, we could not find any of the other satellites until we changed transponder frequency. This proves that the LNB's the local oscillator is very stable.

The Easy Find LNBF was tested on several dishes against other universal LNBF's our findings are as follows.

The test conditions were as follows.

Using a Triax 65cm offset dish and a Jonsa 75cm offset dish

The L band route to the DBS4000 was direct using brand New RG6u spec'd up to 3GHz

The cable run was less than 8 meters.

The TV signals using the CVBS output (in this case 3 RCA phono) from the Traxis DBS4000 to a grade two broadcast 21inch monitor.

Weather at test time varied from overcast to slight rain.

Two other LNBF's were also tested on identical dishes mounted side by side to the dish equipped with the Easy Find 0.1Db LNBF.

All three LNBF's were universal with 22k tone selected; operating 1600MHz to 2051 MHz peaked at 12456GHz /1856MHz

Dish no 1 Easy Find 0.1db LNBF: Spectrum analyzer Results on 12456 GHz   23.4DBm

Dish No 2 MTI 0.3 Db LNBF Spectrum analyzer Results on 12456 GHz   27.2.4DBm

Dish No 3 Tele System LNBF Spectrum analyzer Results on 12456 GHz   28.6 DBm

As can be seen the Easy find proved to produce the highest overall signal during the TEST.

End Copy/Paste



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My son Evan, taken from his family and friends on March 26, 2010 at the age of 15. We love you and miss you Evan. We will see you again soon in heaven. I miss you son. You were the best son a dad could have. I am so proud of you. Save a place for me.
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