TEST REPORT                    DVB-S/S2 Handheld Meter   KWS   VAROS 109   •	very fast spectrum analysis   •	(almost) all ...
TEST REPORT                    DVB-S/S2 Handheld MeterThe Smallest KWS Meter Comes                                        ...
splashes of water in everyday use. This                be adjusted in length so that the de-                     The nylon...
opening on the bottom side. The USB                    little peculiar that the KWS VAROS 109                  13. Obvious...
that differentiate the VAROS 109 from                  device. Other than that, all functions                  function is...
right transponder on the list               LNB information: DiSEqC,                                                      ...
use the measuring precision              and above you should expect                                                      ...
to each of those positions us-           satellite positions, and any-                For this test we wanted to          ...
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  1. 1. TEST REPORT DVB-S/S2 Handheld Meter KWS VAROS 109 • very fast spectrum analysis • (almost) all transponders worldwide pre-programmed • high resistance against short circuits during connection and disconnection • huge plus for installers: log function for the measurement protocol • unique SCR and JESS compatibility14 TELE-audiovision International — The World‘s Largest Digital TV Trade Magazine — 01-02/2013 — www.TELE-audiovision.com www.TELE-audiovision.com — 01-02/2013 — TELE-audiovision International — 全球发行量最大的数字电视杂志 15
  2. 2. TEST REPORT DVB-S/S2 Handheld MeterThe Smallest KWS Meter Comes ■ The KWS VAROS 109 in action on our roof: It’s small, lightweight and convenient to carry along. It helps installers finish their job faster, andwith a Huge Range of Features we too were able to correctly align a motor-controlled antenna as well as our C band antenna without suffe- ring from neck pain the next day. We give top marks to the display, which is perfectly readable even in direct sunlight. KWS Electronics is a tradi- lief. Even many laymen show brand new KWS VAROS 109 our test center. It can easilytional company that has been confidence in KWS technol- comes into play – never be- be attached to an F-plug, isin the business of producing ogy, and consequently also fore was it possible to get easy to bend and lead aroundtop-notch professional an- in a technician who uses such hold of a genuine KWS meter corner yet sports a diametertenna measurement technol- equipment, since they can at such an attractive price. of 7 mm. This alone is proofogy for 35 years. Their me- expect first-rate service in And it’s true, the recom- enough that we’re talkingters of the AMA and VAROS such a case. mended retail price of this about a top-notch manufac-ranges are a by-word for ul- This is also the reason why measuring device is interest- turer here, and about a first-timate measuring precision many installation businesses ing enough for many amateur rate product.and with the VAROS 109 KWS not only advertise their range satellite DXers among the The second item we imme-is offering a handheld meter of services, but also the fact TELE-satellite readership as diately fell in love with wasfor professional installers for that they rely on KWS equip- well. So keep your eyes glued the USB memory stick thatthe first time. ment. After all, not all install- to this report! comes with the package. It Those in the know will con- ers can afford those meters Every time an established is used for data storage andfirm it: Every time an antenna since quality never comes manufacturer throws a so- almost all it consists of is theinstaller arrives at a custom- cheap and top-notch meters called beginner’s model onto plug itself. Once it is hookeder’s place with a KWS meter carry a hefty price tag. the market we start hunting up to the meter it protrudesin hand there is a sigh of re- This is exactly where the for features and functions only a few millimeters from which presumably were de- the device. This way users leted from the specifications can get going right after un- list in order to be able to keep packing and don’t need to the price as low as intended. purchase additional equip- If you are as wary as we are, ment before starting their we can assure you that the first installation job. If our KWS VAROS 109 is an ab- opinion is anything to go by, solutely excellent meter for this is how it should always satellite installers that offers be. all functions you will need! No The fact that KWS supplies compromise here. a printed manual is some- The KWS VAROS 109 ar- what out of the ordinary too rived at our test center in these days. In most cases, a plain looking cardboard manufacturers provide a PDF box. Out of that box came manual for printing at home a bright-coloured hard case or for reading on the PC, but with robust locking flaps KWS begs to make a differ- and a carrying handle in the ence and we can only applaud blue colour associated with that effort. Even though the the KWS brand. This case is KWS VAROS 109 is almost small, quite lightweight and self-explanatory and thus very robust, so that the me- very easy to use, the com- ter will be protected even at prehensive manual includes a those rough and dirty con- lot of useful information and struction sites. also discusses features and Inside the case there is functions many users would the KWS VAROS 109 itself, not consider in the first place. a charger, a miniature USB The KWS VAROS 109 me- memory stick as well as a ter itself comes in a green DIN-A5-sized printed man- and grey protective bag ual. We noticed two things made of hard-wearing nylon. right away: The cable that The screen and all buttons is shipped with the meter in are additionally protected the bright KWS blue must by a transparent plastic foil, be one of the best satellite which means the meter will cables that ever made it to easily survive dirt, dust and 01-02/2013 KWS VAROS 109 Extremely high-quality meter for everyday use by satellite installers www.TELE-audiovision.com/13/01/kws16 TELE-audiovision International — The World‘s Largest Digital TV Trade Magazine — 01-02/2013 — www.TELE-audiovision.com www.TELE-audiovision.com — 01-02/2013 — TELE-audiovision International — 全球发行量最大的数字电视杂志 17
  3. 3. splashes of water in everyday use. This be adjusted in length so that the de- The nylon bag is designed in a wayall adds up to show that the meter is de- vice can be carried on the shoulder or that leaves only the HF input (designedsigned for day-to-day installation jobs around the neck, and if you lean the me- to accept F plugs) accessible from theup on the roof or out at construction ter against your stomach you can even outside. In addition, the external powersites. The carrying strap of the bag can use it hands-free. pack can be attached through a small1 6 1. Any frequency can be selected with the marker in the very responsive spectrum display. 2. Using the SAT SCAN feature the meter can automatically identify the active satellite thanks to the NIT function. 3. After only a few seconds the name of the current satellite can be read on the display. 4. From one of the two enlarged spectrum presentations a transponder search can be launched right away from the position of the marker. 5. The KWS VAROS 109 automatically finds out all reception parameters and2 7 shows the measurement results once the signal is locked. 6. In addition, the channel list of the active transponder can be called up. 7. The PIDs of the selected channel are also available on the screen. 8. When the PIDs are shown and you press ENTER once more instead of the ESC or OSD/VID buttons the MPEG deco- der is activated. 9. The KWS VAROS 109 is capable of playing back MPEG2 and MPEG4 video plus audio. What’s more, information such as video resolution can be presen-3 8 ted in a dedicated window. 10. Operating the meter is a very straight- forward and user-friendly affair. All required transponders can be checked quickly and intuitively. 11. The required polarisation can be selected with the LNB button. 12. While a measurement is being perfor- med it is possible to activate additional features such as an audio signal chan- ging its pitch according to the signal level. This allows antenna alignment wit- hout having to keep an eye on the meter at all times.4 9 115 10 1218 TELE-audiovision International — The World‘s Largest Digital TV Trade Magazine — 01-02/2013 — www.TELE-audiovision.com
  4. 4. opening on the bottom side. The USB little peculiar that the KWS VAROS 109 13. Obviously the KWS VAROS 109 comes to attach a HDMI device it isand DVI inputs are positioned on the comes with a DVI output as opposed to with an internal memory. Up to 100 transpon- possible to use an inexpen- der entries can be stored, with the log func-upper side and protected by a Velcro the HDMI output offered by most com- tion calling up an entry from the memory and sive DVI-HDMI adapter, but ifcloth strip which can easily be opened peting products, this turns out to be not saving the measurement result as an XML file you prefer to use a standardand closed again. While it may appear a such a bad idea after all: If you need to the USB storage medium. computer monitor you will 14. All parameters can be adjusted in the soon discover the DVI sock-13 18 main menu. Even though this gives you et’s worth, as PC monitors almost endless possibilities, the menu struc- ture is very user-friendly and does not require are way less expensive than consultation of the manual. TV panels. 15. No compromise as far as the internal The meter sports a metallic transponder list is concerned. KWS Electro- grey colour with green rub- nic has supplied its KWS VAROS 109 with ber protection on the sides. a complete transponder list for all satellites wordwide. This way installers will be able to The front panel features a meet all customer demands without having 5.7-inch high-resolution col- to research specific transponder data on the our TFT display which offers Internet beforehand. excellent readability even in 16-17. DiSEqC is implemented in an exem- direct sunlight. plary way. In the DiSEqC menu you first select the required operating mode, with the Right below the display second menu item changing according to there is the keyboard con- the initial selection. In the example shown sisting of four arrow keys14 19 we have selected DiSEqC 1.0 and the second (Up, Down, Left, Right), a nu- menu item correctly offers satellites 1 to 4 for selection. meric pad right in the centre 18. When we test products, we test them complete with the ENTER and real hard. This time we tried to challenge the ESC buttons, as well as four meter’s tuner with reception of ASTRA 28.2E keys each to the left and right using a much too small 60 cm flat antenna. of the numeric key pad. Albeit, the tuner seemed to be happy with that and presented flawless video even with this very weak signal, characterised by a VBER of The function keys on the 1e-3 and a MER of 5.8 dB. left side are: 19. The BBC HD transponder uses a some- - ANALYZ: Calls up the what unfamiliar symbol rate of 23000. In order spectrum analyser. to save time this symbol rate can be added directly to a list of up to five symbol rates. - MODE: Calls up various The KWS VAROS 109 can then lock the signal special functions. This is a15 20 more quickly since it does not have to try out designation typical of KWS all possible symbol rates one after the other. meters and if you have used 20. If you’re not quite sure which satellite you a KWS meter before you’ll be are currently receiving you can always count on the NIT function of the KWS VAROS 109. familiar with this feature. It works wonders and after a very short while - LNB: Different LNB con- will not only show you the name of the satel- figurations can be adjusted lite but also all additional content of the NIT. with this button, plus the 21. Rather than selecting a transponder by DiSEqC features can be ac- manually entering the frequency or by using the marker it is of course also possible to cessed from here as well. select it right from the internal transponder - OSD/VID: This function list. A real treat: Each transponder entry key switches between meas- comes with the name of the most important uring mode and MPEG decod- channel next to it, so that you can find out more easily which transponder to choose. er, which can process MPEG-16 21 22. Apart from the Ku band the KWS VAROS 2 and MPEG-4 transmissions. 109 is a valuable tool for the C band as well. Shown here is a measurement of NSS806 at The function keys on the 40.5W. There is only borderline reception of right side are: the 3,642GHz transponder, which means the BER and MER values are extremely bad. - SCAN: Various search 23. Even though, the meter is capable of sho- functions and the transpond- wing the channel. For C band reception and er list for all satellites around antenna sizes of 2 m and over it is paramount the world are activated with ■ Catching a glimpse of our test center. KWS meters have longer service life than most other signal for the tuner to reliably process border- analysers, which is why the KWS VAROS 109 did not only have to prove its worth against currently this key. offered competitors, but also against older professional KWS meters of the AMA series. All our com- line signals as well without freezing. The KWS VAROS 109 turned out to be a brilliant - SAVE: Saves the active parisons showed that the KWS VAROS 109 passed with flying colours. Another bonus: If you’ve ever performer and so we had our Mesh antenna transponder. worked with a KWS meter before you’ll never want to change your ways again. aligned towards 40.5W after only a short time - RECALL: Calls up a saved and were able to receive channels from South transponder. money’s worth. Knowing that ready to rock! We have seen and hard, often for hours on America. - AV SET: Calls up audio the KWS VAROS 109 will be many meters that seem to be end, and we can happily con-17 22 23 and video settings. ready in a few seconds will taking forever to power up, firm this more than pleasing invariably result in switching and in those cases you prob- battery capacity. In the upper right corner off the meter every time it is ably keep them switched on If you’ve ever worked with of the meter there is the On/ not in use for a few minutes, all the time only to find out the larger KWS meters of the Off switch. Press it and it thus further increasing bat- that once your lunch break is VAROS series you’ll notice only takes five seconds for tery time. over you’re out of power. that the KWS VAROS 109 can the device to power up and You need to fasten the The KWS VAROS 109 is dif- be operated in exactly the become fully operational. screws of the antenna on the ferent, and even the specified same way so that installers This is a truly remarkable pole before performing the battery life of 3.5 hours is not knowing how to make full use achievement, and together next signal measurement? merely a theoretical indica- of a VAROS 306 don’t need with battery power for 3.5 Turn your meter off! Screws tion, but a result we easily to re-familiarise themselves hours of continuous opera- are tight? Turn it on again achieved during our test. We with this new KWS meter. tion you definitely get your and after five seconds you’re worked with the meter long There are only two aspects20 TELE-audiovision International — The World‘s Largest Digital TV Trade Magazine — 01-02/2013 — www.TELE-audiovision.com www.TELE-audiovision.com — 01-02/2013 — TELE-audiovision International — 全球发行量最大的数字电视杂志 21
  5. 5. that differentiate the VAROS 109 from device. Other than that, all functions function is the best starting point. Longthe VAROS 306: The new meter is de- and features are available with the small before a usable signal brings up video orsigned for satellite signals only (that is meter as well, and they can be used just audio the spectrum will indicate whetherto say, the DVB-S and DVB-S2 modula- like with the VAROS 306. For aligning a or not you’re on the right track. Oncetions) and it comes as a small handheld satellite antenna the spectrum analyser you get the knack of it you’ll be able to identify a particular satellite simply1 6 based on its characteristic spectrum pattern. But even if you don’t, there’s no need to worry since the KWS VAROS 109 naturally comes with an NIT func- tion that will quickly and reliably recog- nise the active satellite you’re currently pointing to. The spectrum analyser implemented in the KWS VAROS 109 was able to win us over right away. Even though it is a fully digital analyser it still provides a real-time presentation of the current spectrum. The refresh rate for the en- tire frequency space is approximately2 7 one second, which means the spectrum display will keep pace even with faster antenna movements. One of the benefits of a digital ana- lyser is that it is possible to move a red marker using the Left/Right buttons with the effect that the corresponding frequency will be given out together with the signal level. Whenever you’re in one of the enlarged spans the marker frequency can be used as the starting point for a signal scan without having to key in additional parameters. A touch of3 8 the ENTER button is all it takes. This turned out to work absolutely flawlessly and for installers it is thus possible to select and analyse a tran- sponder without additional preparation. While this is a single feature among many, it alone should make the KWS VA- ROS 109 the meter of choice for many professionals. After all, time is money, and the less hassle with a meter, the more business on any given day. What’s more, DXers will also be delighted by that feature since it allows detection of4 feed frequencies in the spectrum, which Firmware Update in turn can be scanned and evaluated of the KWS VAROS 109 without mincing matters. According to the manufacturer, the 1. SETTINGS must be selected in the KWS VAROS 109 will happily process main menu. symbol rates from 2 to 45 MSym/s, and 2. Next, go to the SOFTWARE menu item. our test lent proof to that assertion. The 3. Here you can either call up the current meter is therefore perfectly suitable firmware version or update the firmware. to deal with more exotic transponders 4. The KWS VAROS 109 we received and their frequently low symbol rates as for our test came with firmware V01.02f well. installed by default. During our test a Professional installers will truly appre- new version was released by the manuf- ciate that the KWS VAROS 109 comes acturer. with a list of five pre-defined symbol5 5. The new firmware file needs to be rates that can be freely edited. These copied to the supplied USB memory can be used to speed up an automatic stick using a PC. The USB memory search, even though it has to be men- stick is then plugged in the USB port of tioned that the meter can also deter- the meter and update function must be mine the actual symbol rate all by itself. selected. Just be prepared that the search then 6. The KWS VAROS 109 recognises the takes a little bit longer. firmware file on the USB memory and As the KWS VAROS 109 sports an al- displays the file name for confirmation. most complete transponder list for all 7. The firmware file is then written into satellite positions worldwide, manual meter’s internal memory. detection should not be required all too 8. After restarting the KWS VAROS 109 frequently anyway. Instead, you can the current firmware is now V01.03a. simply pick your desired transponder22 TELE-audiovision International — The World‘s Largest Digital TV Trade Magazine — 01-02/2013 — www.TELE-audiovision.com
  6. 6. right transponder on the list LNB information: DiSEqC, long timespan is only possi- on the KWS website. We were is more or less child’s play. polarisation power intake of ble thanks to KWS designing even able to try that out our- This is a truly unique feature the reception system (LNB, all its products with a long selves since a new firmware and one that makes us won- rotor, switches, etc.) service life in mind. Thanks release was published during der how installers could ever Using the OSD/VID button to DVB and MPEG upgrades our test. Not surprisingly, the have done without. it is then possible to call up our ‘old’ KWS meters are still software update was accom- Once a signal is locked the the channel list of the cur- popular and have lost noth- plished completely hassle- measurement screen gives rently measured transpond- ing of their initial appeal. The free. out all required informa- er. The Up/Down buttons are KWS VAROS 109 allows firm- The KWS VAROS 109 tion without users having used to navigate within the ware upgrades via the sup- passed the comparison test to switch between screen list and the selected channel plied USB memory stick, with with flying colours. We actu- modes. Thanks to the high- can be watched after a touch new software being released ally believe that in everyday resolution display the fol- of the ENTER button. In addi- lowing measurement pa- tion to the live video the me- rameters can be presented ter can also insert additional simultaneously in a total of information such as channel seven clearly structured dis- bandwidth and resolution. play windows: Even the MPEG colour sub- - Frequency window sampling rate is shown as Frequency an extra bonus, making the LNB type (Ku or C, for ex- KWS VAROS 109 all the more ample) appealing to professionals Date and time and DXers alike. Battery status Like other meters of the - Parameter window VAROS series, this handheld Modulation (DVB-S or DVB- meter cannot present a con- S2) stellation diagram. As far as Symbol rate the DVB-S and DVB-S2 mod- CR (code rate) ulations are concerned, this list, as well as the - Signal level window is not such a tragic loss since currently selected Signal level (dBμV) as nu- the BER and MER parameters transponder. So if meric value and as signal bar already give a clear indica- you need to check with peak memory function tion of whether or not a sig- various tran- – Bit error window nal is OK. sponders of the VBER (after VITERBI error Once again KWS clearly same orbital posi- correction) shows that it is a manufac- tion you need not CBER (before VITERBI er- turer with valuable exper- go through the entire list ror correction) tise, since it only implements again and again. Once again, - MER window those features in the KWS time is money, especially if MER (Modulation/error ra- VAROS 109 that are actu- you use the meter profes-from the transponder list. tio) ally required for installers of sionally. In addition, the tran-And this is how it works: Se- - MPEG window satellite dishes. Incidentally, sponder list also shows thelect a satellite first, followed NIT information: name of during our extensive test name of the first channel thatby the transponder on that satellite and provider we did not think of a single is transmitted on that tran-satellite. Even though more - LNB window feature or function we would sponder, so that finding thethan one hundred satellitesare pre-stored complete withall corresponding transpond-ers, the smart user interfacenonetheless makes for a veryswift selection process. As always, it’s the lit-tle things that make life somuch easier for users: If youwant to look at another tran-sponder on the same satel-lite that satellite is alreadyhighlighted in the satellite■ The results of the Data Loggerare saved on the USB stick in have liked to see and which meter as matters of fact. FarXML. This file can be opened inMicrosoft Excel or OpenOffice the meter did not provide. from it – we checked all val-Calc. This makes it easy for any Quite the opposite was true ues against those indicatedinstaller to adjust the data in a and once we had completed by other reference meters inpersonalized form and accor- our test the KWS VAROS 109 our test center. Among thoseding to their own companyrules. was designated our new ref- was a tried-and-tested KWS erence meter for satellite sig- AMA 210S as well as a KWS nals. AMA 218S, both of which Need we say more? Obvi- provide excellent measure- ously, we did not just accept ments even after almost 20 the measurement results years of service. Using the given out by this handheld same meters over such a24 TELE-audiovision International — The World‘s Largest Digital TV Trade Magazine — 01-02/2013 — www.TELE-audiovision.com www.TELE-audiovision.com — 01-02/2013 — TELE-audiovision International — 全球发行量最大的数字电视杂志 25
  7. 7. use the measuring precision and above you should expect screen showing all parame- 2) Correct alignment of 109 did not fail to impress us, ton pressed the antenna willis even better than specified reception problems. Meter Signal level dBµV) VBER ters simultaneously you only a motor-controlled an- and it behaves just like you’d move continuously.by the manufacturer. This VBER, on the other hand, KWS VAROS 109 82.0dB <1.00e-8 need to press a few buttons tenna. expect from a top-notch me- The spectrum is availablemight be intended by KWS in indicates the bit error rate KWS AMA 210S 81.5dB <1.00e-8 to switch between analyser, We wanted to find out ter. Go to the LNB menu, set in real-time throughout theorder to differentiate this VA- after VITERBI error correc- measurement and MPEG dis- how quickly an antenna with DiSEqC 1.2 and use the PO- process, something that is KWS AMA 218S 81 dB <1.00e-8ROS meter from its own top- tion and here you should al- play and to enter all required DiSEqC 1.2 motor could be SITIONER option which gives extremely helpful. It allowsnotch AMA series – at least as ways get a value of 1e-8 or ■ Table – Comparison measurement: Astra 19.2E - 11.066 data. aligned. While many meters you the following commands: you to conveniently move tofar as the written specifica- below, which means one bit MHz, vertical, 22000, 5/6 What’s more, all commands boast DiSEqC 1.2 support, - Drive various satellite positions andtions are concerned. (Table) error per 108 bits. This tar- and put on any hard surface of the four signal inputs. Us- are executed in a breeze and this feature is all too often - Limit east to save them in the DiSEqC In general, an accurate get value makes sure you without additional mounting ing the spectrum analyser we never noticed any lag or implemented in a less than - Limit west motor. You may also want toBER measurement will suf- have some leeway for reliable requirements. For us, this function one antenna after waiting periods. Thanks to perfect way, to put it mildly. - Limits off remember the following hint:fice for precise antenna reception in bad weather. In is an extremely convenient the other could be fine-tuned. the swift reaction to all user After all, what use is DiSEqC - Save If the intention is to perfectlyalignment. This parameter addition to that, the KWS solution in our daily routine, Since we were dealing with inputs a job can be com- 1.2 if you cannot monitor the - Go to align a motor-controlled an-indicates the bit error rate, VAROS 109 can also meas- as we can move or store the 60 cm flat antennas, howev- pleted efficiently and without spectrum display in real-time When in Drive mode you tenna we save a satellite posi-which means it tells you how ure the power intake at the entire array without changing er, we tried to really max out wasting time. The KWS VA- while moving the antenna can tap on the Left or Right tion in the easternmost limit,frequently a bit error occurs HF input, which is important the position of the individual on their reception capabili- ROS 109 accomplished mis- manually using DiSEqC 1.2 button to initiate a short an- the westernmost limit as wellin the data stream. If the for making sure the tuner of antennas whatsoever. ties so that it would also be- sion one to our utmost sat- positioning? tenna movement to the East right in the middle of the arc.BER value is low, this means a satellite receiver is not put It allows us to test and come possible to receive the isfaction. Once again the KWS VAROS or West. If you keep the but- This way we can easily movethe VITERBI error correction under more strain than it can evaluate different receivers UK beam of ASTRA 1N 28.2Eroutine will be able to auto- safely handle. You should and satellite-related prod- at our location. In northern 2 6 10matically correct the signal. definitely keep an eye on ucts without occupying a lot Portugal we would normallyThe MER, on the other hand, power intake whenver you do of floor surface – something require at least a 100 cmshows the modulation/error not only use an LNB but also that is in scare supply anyway antenna (with 120 cm beingratio. Here, the higher the multi-switches or even one or in most test centers. What’s recommended) to even thinkvalue, the more exactly all several DiSEqC motors. more, we don‘t have to install about reception, according tosymbols fall into the corre- It goes without saying that and dismount the antennas the operator’s footprint map.sponding squares. we always put our meters to for each test. We noticed, With our newly aligned an- For maintenance and error a thorough test, sparing nei- however, that even with the tenna a mere 60 cm is seem-diagnosis it is particularly im- ther effort nor expense. This best of intentions the anten- ingly enough, provided theportant to measure BER and time, the KWS VAROS 109 nas had become slightly mis- weather is kind to us. SignalsMER simultaneously. This is had to prove its worth with aligned after several months. from that beam are of par-because there may be a high the following tasks: What better way to re-adjust ticular importance to us sinceMER value (which is a good them than with the KWS VA- we are always for the lookoutthing) and still an increased 1) Re-alignment of our ROS 109 handheld meter? for borderline signals that we 3 7 11bit error rate (not a good antenna array. To that end, we first con- use to put new receivers tothing). Oxidised cables or a Some time ago we installed nected the meter to the 4/1 the acid test, so to speak.faulty F plug may be to blame a small antenna array made DiSEqC multi-switch of the It took us less than 15for such a situation. The KWS up of four flat antennas which antenna array using the sup- minutes to align all four an-VAROS 109 is able to indicate we use for many of our prod- plied blue measuring cable. tennas for optimum recep-the BER as CBER and VBER. uct tests as it allows us to Aligning all four antennas tion (28.2E, 19.2E, 13.0ECBER is short for channel bit work with four different sat- with the help of the KWS VA- and 30.0W). During the pro-error rate and shows the bit ellite positions. All four flat ROS 109 turned out to be fun. cess, we were thoroughlyerror rate before VITERBI er- antennas are mounted on All we did was select DiSEqC impressed by how easy andror correction. Values rang- a single pole using vertical 1.0 in the LNB menu and the convenient an aid the KWSing from 1e-5 to 1e-6 are pipes, and the whole set-up meter then allowed us right VAROS 109 turned out to be.good, but with a value of 1e-4 can easily be transported away to directly address each Thanks to the measurement 4 8 12SCR and JESS bands can be created, instead of eight for SCR. Prog.Tool menu item: The KWS VAROS 109 is capable of programming SCR and JESSwith the KWS VAROS 109 7. Here, too, it is of course possible to indi- antenna outlets. With single-cable set-ups vidually adjust the centre frequency of each this is particularly important for making sure1. In DiSEqC settings the SCR (Unicable) and user band. users cannot mess up the entire systemJESS options are available as well. when they change the LNB settings of their 8. As an alternative, the KWS VAROS 109 is receiver.2. In a unicable set-up the frequencies of all able to determine all user bands automati-user bands can be individually determined, cally with a frequency scan. This is extremely 13. Thanks to a clearly laid-out table it is pos-and the KWS VAROS 109 is capable of sto- helpful when re-aligning an antenna, since sible to individually program each antennaring various memory banks. This way user this way the centre frequencies of the indi- outlet. The configuration parameters canbands need not be set up from scratch for vidual user bands are pre-defined automati- even be read out and written back so that youevery new measurement. cally. can easily gain an overview of the complete set-up and make sure users do not interfere3. With SCR up to eight outlets can be pro- 9. No JESS converter box was installed in with each other.vided with signals from up to two satellite this set-up, which prompted the meter to givepositions. The centre frequency of each out an alert. 1 5 9 13user band can be set individually to avoid 10. Due to the missing JESS converter theinterference. meter could not detect any user bands either.4. Using the numeric key pad you can enter While this is an obvious flaw in this specificthe centre frequency easily and conveniently installation, the same error could also occurwhile in the background the spectrum of the due to interference caused by the cable.corresponding user band is presented in 11. JESS can receive and distribute signalsreal-time. from up to four satellites, and if you’re5. The KWS VAROS 109 even supports the serious about your business you shouldextended SCR standard by the name of JESS make a point of checking each position.(Jultec Enhanced Stacking System), which With the KWS VAROS 109 this does not turncan distribute up to four satellite positions to into a waste of time, as there is a dedicatedup to 16 users along a single cable. menu for switching between those positions quickly and easily.6. Setting up a JESS installation is similar toSCR, with the exception that up to 16 user 12. An additional bonus is hidden behind the26 TELE-audiovision International — The World‘s Largest Digital TV Trade Magazine — 01-02/2013 — www.TELE-audiovision.com www.TELE-audiovision.com — 01-02/2013 — TELE-audiovision International — 全球发行量最大的数字电视杂志 27
  8. 8. to each of those positions us- satellite positions, and any- For this test we wanted to can also be received in Eu- in turn implies that we’ll have electric, so we tried out a few TV. Yet, all that glitters is not system by presenting theing the ‘Go to’ functions if we thing below that can easily re-align our C band antenna rope with the right equip- to re-align the antenna again materials to improve recep- gold and in many buildings it frequency ranges of eachneed to check and evaluate be found by scrolling up and to a new satellite position. ment and antenna size. after re-mounting it on the tion. The underlying reason is either not possible or not user (also called user bands)the antenna alignment. down the list. So if you think Currently it points to 37.5W If you have ever tried to pole. We honestly could not is that the NSS-806 trans- allowed to replace old cabling in the spectrum display, the Once those satellite posi- of getting this KWS meter, and its new target position set up and correctly align a have asked for better con- mits its signals with circular and add new cables. KWS VAROS 109 goes the ex-tions are precisely aligned don’t let us spoil that idea… should be NSS-806 at 40.5W. C band antenna you will know ditions for determining the polarisation. Incidentally, the distribu- tra mile: It can be individu-we manually visit each orbital While this satellite predomi- that it requires better skills KWS VAROS 109’s worth in Regular readers know that tion infrastructure for cable ally configured for each SCRposition from East to West 3) Alignment of a 2.4m C nantly serves South America and equipment than Ku band the C band. we never run away from ex- TV follows different rules solution, that is to say theand save them in the DiS- band mesh antenna. its East-Hemi C-Band Beam antennas. There is an obvi- As always, the accuracy periments and with the fast than for satellite reception, centre frequency to be usedEqC motor. To that end we ous reason for that: C band and response of the spec- reaction times of the KWS which places much higher de- for each outlet can be speci-draw up a list with the satel- antennas focus any radiation trum display make or break VAROS 109 we almost wished mands. It is only since very fied and it is even possiblelites that correspond to each more precisely which means such a mission, and thanks those experiments would go recently that single-cable so- to save a number of differ-of the saved positions. The that even small imperfections to the fast KWS VAROS 109 on forever. The meter could lutions for satellite TV have ent SCR/JESS configurationsNIT function of the KWS VA- will impair reliable reception. the C band all of a sudden not care less when a signal hit the market and gained right in the meter. InstallersROS 109 offers excellent as- In addition, there’s the LNB does not feel like uncharted was temporarily interrupted some prominence. Systems looking after several differentsistance for that task, as we which also has to be mounted territory any longer. Inciden- because we put our hand be- such as SCR and JESS can systems will save valuabledon’t always know right away with increased precision for tally, we did not even have to tween LNB and antenna, or make use of an existing in- time by not having to enterwhich satellite we are cur- C band reception. And we’re consult the manual or look when we tried a useless di- ternal cable the same parameters againrently receiving, especially if not only talking about skew up the transponders of NSS- electric – as soon as an active TV distribution system for and again. What’s more, thewe’re targeting more exotic here. We’ve even had cases 806 on the Internet: The signal arrived at the meter’s satellite TV, and more and KWS VAROS 109 is able tobirds. when the material of the di- handheld KWS meter comes input socket again that sig- more owners of detached identify the user bands all by We also appreciated the electric was the deciding fac- with a list of virtually all tran- nal was locked right away for houses will also realise the itself by carrying out a short-straightforward implementa- tor whether or not a usable sponders of virtually all satel- analysis. advantages of single-cable time scan and determiningtion of the Limit function. All signal came in. lites worldwide and so all we The built-in tuner has ex- systems in the long term. In the centre frequencies creat-you need to do is go to the But let’s take one step at had to do was find NSS-806 cellent reception qualities theory it is possible to pro- ed by the converter for eachlimit positions and use the a time. Before we can even on the list and then select a and was able to also lock vide satellite TV to every user band.‘Limit East’ or ‘Limit West’ contemplate the dielectric transponder with a high sym- very weak signals. We found single room of a home, since With JESS distributing up tofunction – that’s it. Thanks to we first have to modify the bol rate. that the threshold of the KWS with SCR and JESS signals four satellite positions via upthe smart implementation of antenna pole so that we can Obviously the meter put VAROS 109 is definitely lower can be carried over a single to 16 user bands the convert-all required DiSEqC 1.2 func- point the antenna further to out an alert saying that no than that of other meters we cable distribution system. er has to change the requiredtions in the KWS VAROS 109 the west. signal is locked, but once we use, and installers working SCR allows distribution of transponder frequency to thethe alignment of motor-con- So off comes the antenna, changed back to spectrum with tricky signals will attach signals from two different centre frequency of each cor-trolled antennas has finally which of course means that mode the marker was spot on particular value to that ben- satellite positions to a total responding user band. Thislost its sting. its initial alignment towards the appropriate frequency. efit. of eight independent out- in turn means that receivers Our only suggestion for im- 37.5W becomes history in a We could then easily identify Time and again we even lets, and JESS even has ca- must send a JESS commandprovement concerns the DiS- matter of seconds. And this the satellite by a signal level went so far as to unplug a pacity for up to four satellite to the converter with infor-EqC 1.2 memory positions, building up right around the cable without turning off the positions and up to 16 inde- mation about the requiredwhich are numbered from marker position. The final meter, and to plug it in again pendent outlets. Each outlet transponder frequency and0 to 99. With the currently step is to maximise the signal – regardless of the conse- (user) is assigned a dedicated then negotiate the corre-available firmware these level, which can be accom- quences and causing a num- frequency which carries the sponding centre frequency ofmemory positions can only plished by slowly moving the ber of short circuits along the transponder that is required the user band.be accessed using the Up/ antenna until the level right way. Once again, the KWS for the selected channels. Each new channel selec-Down buttons. Wouldn’t it be at the marker position does VAROS 109 did not take of- Special DiSEqC commands tion triggers the entire chainnice to simply enter a number not increase any more. fence and even refrained are used by the single-cable of JESS commands and ne-for calling up the correspond- The moment of truth ar- from giving out warning mes- converter to select the ap- gotiations, and with up to 16ing position? But then again, rives when the signal scan is sages. It just continued its propriate transponder and receivers on a single line datawe cannot be full of praise launched, and with the KWS job as soon as a valid sig- send it to the correct outlet traffic may become so denseonly and have to find some- VAROS 109 that moment of nal was available again. One using the pre-assigned fre- that accidents can occur. It isthing to criticise after all. And truth is almost bound to be thing is for sure: DXers will quency for that particular therefore paramount for anif truth be told, there are very a moment of success as well! definitely appreciate the ex- outlet. While the whole set- SCR or JESS installation tofew occasions that you have The LNB we used for our cellent assistance the KWS up is not as complicated as it be correctly set up and thor-to deal with more than 30 test did not come with a di- VAROS 109 can provide with appears at first sight, there oughly evaluated. the correct alignment of large still is some installation and Special antenna sockets antennas. programming work to be are used for SCR and JESS And if all of the above still done for a reliable single- signal distributions that make does not leave you yearning cable solution. A powerful sure users cannot unwitting- for the new KWS handheld meter is an absolute ‘must ly change any settings and meter, there is one more have’ for such jobs, and the interfere with other users. feature that should finally price you pay for professional Each of those sockets is pro- tip the scales: These days an equipment will soon turn out grammed by the installer with increasing number of cable to be money well spent. the centre frequency corre- subscribers want to switch to The KWS VAROS 109 is sponding to the user in ques- satellite TV, since in markets one such professional me- tion so that they cannot mess like Germany satellite televi- ter, designed for profession- up the SCR or JESS system sion offers much better free- al installers, and as such it when they make changes in to-air variety and in general is compatible with SCR and their receiver’s installation also better video quality. An- JESS installations. And when menu (LNB settings, etc.). other aspect that makes the we say it is compatible this is The KWS VAROS 109 can switch worthwhile is that you only half the truth. be used to program the SSD6 don’t need a subscription and While most professional series of antenna sockets you can reduce your monthly meters are capable of eval- by Axing, or Jultec’s JAP se- bills – as opposed to cable uating an SCR distribution ries, which is a unique sell-28 TELE-audiovision International — The World‘s Largest Digital TV Trade Magazine — 01-02/2013 — www.TELE-audiovision.com www.TELE-audiovision.com — 01-02/2013 — TELE-audiovision International — 全球发行量最大的数字电视杂志 29
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