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TEST REPORT                   Satellite Measuring System

Digipro Excel-TV
Small signal meter
with TV display
Until a few years ago it was relatively easy to align a new...
Spectrum display

                                                                            the meter simply by listen...
                                   DigiPro Excel TV Screenshots:
                                  2                    ...
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  1. 1. TEST REPORT Satellite Measuring System 08-09/2008 SATCATCHER DIGIPRO EXCEL-TV Easy to use, extremely accurate and with a brilliant display 0.56 58 TELE-satellite & Broadband — 08-09/2008 —
  2. 2. SatCatcher Digipro Excel-TV Small signal meter with TV display Until a few years ago it was relatively easy to align a new antenna to a desired satellite positions. All that was needed was an analog receiver and you then slowly moved the dish until one of the analog channels came in clearly. These days, however, this method doesn’t work any longer because most satellites almost exclusively transmit digital signals. From an economic point of view this development is only natural because with the same capacity that was taken up by a single analog channel, today up to ten digi- tal channels are beamed back down to earth. So we’ve ended up The Digipro Excel-TV comes with with a virtually non-existent analog offering and thus no easy way a robust carrying case made of aluminium and with all the to adjust our dishes. accessory parts you will ever need. Some of our readers might an interface for connecting the argue that digital receivers are device to the PC being located usage. Before starting to align installation site. Both can be perfectly suitable for this task on the bottom. When using the the dish we recommend install- set very conveniently using the thanks to their signal strength Digipro Excel-TV outside for ing the software of the CD-ROM SatCatcher software. Dozens of and signal quality meters, but adjusting the antenna a sturdy because in order to fulfill all its cities worldwide are pre-stored all we can reply to them is: Try protective cover with viewing promises the Digipro Excel-TV so that in many cases it is not it out for yourself and you’ll find window protects it from the needs a current transponder necessary to look up your own that it is extremely difficult to elements. A charger for the and satellite list as well as the location and enter it manually. reach an optimum alignment battery pack that is built into exact geographic position of the Of course the list can be edited because these digital meters the Digipro Excel-TV, an adap- only react very slowly to signal tor for charging the meter in changes, whereas profes- your car, a connecting cable for SatCatcher’s Digipro Excel-TV in sional devices (and also analog use between the Digipro Excel- use: aligning an offset antenna to receivers) provide feedback in TV and the PC, a CD-ROM with ASTRA 2B real time, which is what really software and a comprehen- counts. sive user manual with numer- ous illustrations which will also For exactly that reason TELE- please laymen are all included satellite presents signal meters in the package. for the alignment of satellite dishes every once in a while. The standard of workmanship Some of them cost about as leaves an exceedingly positive much as a used small car, while impression and all buttons have others are designed for more a nice feel to them. The LCD budget-conscious buyers. Brit- display can be read well even ish company SatCatcher has under direct sunlight. just launched its new Digipro Excel-TV to prove all those wrong who say inexpensive Everyday use equals inefficient. When we had a look at the technical specifications of the Their signal meter comes in Digipro Excel-TV during our a very robust carrying case tests we were surprised to read made of aluminium and safely that the meter is operational rests inside with foam padding for up to five hours before the all around, together with all the built-in battery needs to be accessories that are part and recharged. When compared parcel of the overall package. to many competing meters – whose batteries usually last no The Digipro Excel-TV unit longer than two to three hours itself features a 3.5-inch LCD – this is a remarkable achieve- display and a total of 22 but- ment, and one that we were tons plus arrow buttons on able to verify in our test too. In the front panel to operate the order to ensure this long bat- meter. On the top you find the tery power the meter should be satellite IF input socket, with charged from the mains for at the socket for the charger and least four to five hours before — 08-09/2008 — TELE-satellite & Broadband 59
  3. 3. Spectrum display the meter simply by listening to use the quick route: the changing pitch of the sound. - press finding button That way you always have imme- - select satellite needed diate feedback telling you if - press F4: this goes to spec- antenna movements improve or trum to make the install deteriorate the incoming signal. - press F4 again: this goes to In case a signal does not come signal screen for fine tune in right away you may decide to - another press F4 to down- select a different transponder load tv channel for ultimate ver- out of the pre-stored list. As ification of the satellite found. soon as the best possible signal strength has been found you Each measurement result can can press the TV button so that be saved for later analysis with the Digipro Excel-TV reads out the touch of a button. This is a the NIT of the chosen transpon- very handy feature in situations der and displays the channels when you need to align a moto- transmitted on that transpon- rised or multi-feed antenna der. and you need to have recep- tion data of all available satel- to add new entries and free to the measuring device in a If you were skeptical whether lites for reference once setup is online services such as Dish- breeze. all that bars and pitching completed. for example are sounds actually led to some- very handy tools for determin- thing, now that you can actually Apart from pre-stored tran- ing precise location data. The Antenna watch TV on the Digipro Excel- TV signal meter you have proof sponder data or those edited on the PC it is also possible to European software version includes an extensive list of 64 alignment that the antenna points to the right satellite. Any FTA channel add new transponder param- eter directly in the meter. LOF, pre-stored satellite positions Before you can go about can be displayed and using the LNB power supply and the 22 and whenever several satellites aligning your antenna you need arrow buttons you can even zap kHz signal may just as well be are co-positioned at the same to load the desired satellite on between channels. adjusted right with the signal orbital spot, each satellite is the meter first. All you need to meter. That way you can use listed separately and can also do for that is press the FIND- A more experienced user will Digipro Excel-TV both for the Ku be selected individually. ING button which calls up the satellite list which before was This is an important feature Done! The dish points to the right shown by the PC software as satellite and the Digipro Excel-TV now because even though several well. From that list you need becomes a miniature TV. satellites often share the same to select your desired satel- position they frequently have lite. Each satellite on the list is different footprints which means divided into its horizontal and that depending on the reception vertical polarisation and low region only signals from specific and high band, because even if satellites might come in strongly we are dealing with one satel- enough. ASTRA2D at 28.2° East lite only, chances are that one is a classic European example polarisation or band targets a for that: in the UK and Ireland different market than the other its signals can be received with and thus not all signals can be dish sizes of no more than 70 received at all locations. cm, while in Eastern Austria a diameter of three meters would With the FINDING menu and be required to receive the exact the ORIENTATION sub-item the same signal. On the other hand, meter calculates the elevation ASTRA2A and ASTRA2B share and azimuth settings required the same position and can be to correctly point the antenna received with small antennas all to the chosen satellite. A virtual over Central Europe. compass shows the approxi- mate orientation of the antenna Each satellite comes with during the alignment process. a list of several transpon- Generally, your antenna should der entries, which can also be show first signs of life as soon edited or extended if the need as the settings suggested by arises. An updated list is made the meter are implemented on available for download by the the antenna. manufacturer in regular inter- Once that stage is finished vals, or you can always turn to the Digipro Excel-TV switches for up-to- from finding mode to align- date data or at the “World of ment mode and displays signal Satellites” software delivered strength and signal quality with on CD-ROM with each issue of the help of two extremely sen- TELE-satellite. sitive bars. C/N, BER as well as signal strength are perma- Once all required parameters nently measured and indicated are entered or selected the in dB and/or dBµV. There is meter needs to be hooked up to even an acoustic indicator rep- the PC with the included cable resenting the current measure- (serial COM port) so that all ment so that changes can be information can be transferred noticed even without looking at 60 TELE-satellite & Broadband — 08-09/2008 —
  4. 4. 1 DigiPro Excel TV Screenshots: 2 5 10 15 3 6 11 16 4 7 12 17 1 – Main menu, menu item FINDING for aligning the antenna 2 - Main menu, menu item DOWNLOAD for exchanging data with the PC 3 - Main menu, menu item SPECTRUM ANALYZER 8 13 18 4 – Saving spectrum photo 5 – Downloading data to the PC 6 - Main menu, menu item PLAY TV 7 - Main menu, menu item LOAD SAVED DATA 8 - Main menu, menu item UTILITY 9 - Main menu, menu item CONFIGURATION 10 – Saving satellite configuration 11 – Spectrum photo (high zoom) 12 - Spectrum photo (medium Zoom) 9 14 19 13 - Spectrum photo (low Zoom) 14 – Satellite configuration (Ku band) 15 - Satellite configuration (C band) 16 - Satellite configuration (C band) 17 – UTILITY menu 18 - Display shot for aligning based on signal strength, C/N and BER 19 – Saving spectrum photos and C bands, or any other and signal quality indica- shuts down automatically available band for that tors for antenna alignment to save valuable battery matter. you may decide to switch to capacity. The Digipro Excel-TV can spectrum mode with three also be operated when con- different zoom levels, which During our tests we nected to a multiswitch is used to move the antenna aligned a number of anten- since it supports DiSEqC until the spectrum that cor- nas and one DiSEqC rotary 1.0 (for up to eight LNBs). responds to the chosen sat- dish with the help of Digipro The manufacturer has ellite is displayed. Excel-TV and in each case also equipped its latest were impressed with the meter with DiSEqC 1.2 as To facilitate this process a ease of use and intuitive well as USALS (DiSEqC 1.3) number of spectrum photos interface of this measure- which the manufacturers are pre-stored in the meter ment device. We particularly USB interface for connecting the device to the PC claims is the only meter in or can be added at a later liked the perfectly readable next to the socket for power supply. the world with USALS. stage so that current mea- LCD display and the acous- surement results can be tic signal indicator. Thanks With its front panel but- compared to default spec- to the sturdy carrying case tons the motor can move the trum photos. and its protective cover antenna to position 0 with this meter is the perfect a single touch of a button The UTILITY menu allows match for any satellite dish and with the SET button the customising the Digipro installer, no matter whether motor can be commanded Excel-TV according to per- it’s up on the roof or down to rotate the dish directly to sonal preferences. If you in the back yard. the position of the currently cannot or do not want to The provided PC software selected satellite. Similar to use the provided PC soft- can be used to update the the measurement results, ware for whatever reasons Digipro Excel-TV’s internal all changes to the satel- you can enter your actual database at any time and lite list can also be saved geographic location there. the manufacturer offers directly in the meter for Furthermore, you can set relevant data for down- F-socket for connecting the LNB on the top side. later use. As an alternative a specified period of time load from its website in an to using the signal strength after which the signal meter exemplary way. 62 TELE-satellite & Broadband — 08-09/2008 —
  5. 5. TELE-satelliteother Download this report in World from the Internet: Arabic ‫ﺍﻟﻌﺮﺑﻴﺔ‬ Indonesian Indonesia Bulgarian Български Czech Česky German Deutsch English English Spanish Español Farsi ‫ﻓﺎﺭﺳﻲ‬ French Français Greek Ελληνικά Croatian Hrvatski Italian Italiano Hungarian Magyar Mandarin 中文 Dutch Nederlands Polish Polski Portuguese Português Romanian Românesc Russian Русский Swedish Svenska Turkish Türkçe Available online starting from 25 July 2008 PC application for selecting one’s location and for calculating the required angles. Expert Opinion + Ease of use, very precise measurement results and the perfectly readable display are some of the strengths of the Digipro Excel-TV. It offers numerous useful features and can almost be classified as a must-have for the Thomas Haring professional engineer and enthusiast alike. TELE-satellite Test Center May even be used as mini TV set. Austria - None TECHNIC DATA Distributor SatCatcher, Unit 7 Salvesen Way Hull, East Yorkshire, UK HU3 4UQ, United Kingdom Tel +44 (0) 148 222 15 77 Location database Skype 02088167171 or satcatcher1 Email Model Digipro Excel-TV Frequency range 930~2150 MHz Signal measurement -65 dBm ~ -25 dBm Input resistance 75 Ohm Symbol rates 2~45 Ms/s DiSEqC yes (1.0, 1.1 and 1.2) Battery up to 5 hours of operation, charging cycle 4~5 hours Included charger, charger for car power outlet, protective case, RS232 cable, CD with software, sun shield, manual Dimension 250x120x60mm Weight 0.8kg Weight incl carrying case 1.6kg Operating temperature 0°C ~ +40°C Satellite and transponder database Display 3.5“ LCD colour display ENERGY DIAGRAM Apparent Power Active Power Mode Apparent Active Factor Active 23 W 13 W 0.56 Downloading saved data Power supply pack charging the built-in battery 64 TELE-satellite & Broadband — 08-09/2008 —