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Friday, 25 February 2011

Bought a Hirschmann UPM 1800 recently (see my Youtube video).

Unfortunately my model did not have the optional RS-232 interface. This adds a powerful functionality, as it makes it possible to fully operate the meter remotely!

Since I did not find any data sheet of this device, I opened it anyway and took a good look at the PCB. After studying the layout I found out how to retrofit the missing RS232 option!

Next step: programming an application to add new functionalities:

  • Spectrum Analyzer (will be VERY SLOW, but VERY PRECISE)
  • Long time monitoring: i.e. recording signal level of a satellite transponder over 24h
  • Band Scan: measuring up to 5 frequencies in parallel
  • Measurement Macro: measuring predefined list of frequencies and generate a report automatically
  • ...
First trials look promising!

Interested in this application? Let me know!

Interested in further details to retrofit a RS-232 interface on your Hirschmann UPM 1800 / KWS AMA 210S/214S? Let me know!

Sunday, 20 February 2011

New videos on Youtube

Posted new videos on Youtube:

Satlook Digital NIT Color by vma

This video shows the spectrum from Hispasat at 30.0W to Astra2 at 28.2E. While my dish rotates, the spectrum changes. You can notice the satellites that the dish captures while moving along.

The video also shows the constellation diagram, the NIT functionality and the decoding of FTA MPEG2 channels.

Dbox2 Outdoor plugin for Enigma by vma

This short video shows my favorite Dbox2 plugin. It is called "Outdoor" (sometimes called "MiniTV"). It will show the current TV channel on the graphic LCD display. Since this display has only 1 bit color depth, a clever frame to frame treshold algorithm converts the picture. While the result is not brilliant, it is enough to see what is going on. With this plugin, a dish can be setup and the channels can be verified, without using a TV.

Presentation of the Dbox1 by vma

This video shows the Dbox1, made by Nokia. This is the predecessor of the Dbox2. Both where popular in Germany, due to the fact that they were the official receivers for the German PayTV operator "Premiere". The infamous hacker Uli developed a whole new firmware for the Dbox1. The last release is called DVB2000 and features many advanced features. For instance, it is possible to read out any DVB-S parameter, finetune the parameters of the tuner, which is extremely sensitive, etc.

This receiver even has a SCSI interface, which was used extensively for logging purposes by the early DVB-S hackers. With "hackers" I am not referring to pirates, but people interested in the technology and its implementation.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Experimenting with a Rover Instruments DM16 4HD

Today I tested if I could get a lock on transponders of Astra 2D.

Since I live in Portugal, I am far off the footprint and the required diameter would be around 180cm.

While I do actually own a 240cm dish, I don't have it setup, yet, due to the difficulty of getting a secure support for such a huge dish. This meant I was using my motorized dish with just 100cm...Interestingly, the Rover Instruments DM16 4HD could get a lock on Astra 2D and output a perfect picture. This shows that using a sensitive tuner, reception is indeed possible, however no reserves are available for bad weather.

I made a video demonstrating this: Rover Instruments DM16 4HD

The antenna was adjusted previously, of course, using the DM16 4HD.