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  1. 1. TEST REPORT Satellite Meter with TV and Spectrum Trimax SM-3500 A Lightweight Device Bursting with Great Features If there is one trend we at TELE-satellite have been ing such a bright und crisp screen which truly proves its observing in recent months it’s that small, handy and merits in everyday use. Trimax inexpensive digital satellite meters have sprung to ships the SM-3500 in styl- prominence. We only need to look back a handful of ish carton packaging which includes the meter itself as years to bring back memories of bulky and heavy devices well as all special equipment carrying price tags that were far too hefty for average secured in precisely shaped private users. Think of the price of a small used car to give foam padding. you some impression. The package comes with a charging cable for wall out- In recent issues we have all other connections to the right segment and also serve as lets and a 12 V car charger already introduced some rep- outside world are positioned on function keys. A numeric pad as together with the power pack, resentatives of the new and the bottom side of the Trimax well as a cross-shaped cursor connecting cable for hooking lightweight generation of signal SM-3500. In detail, there is the key with central OK button in up the meter with a PC, A/V meters, and this time we’d like power input, audio and video the upper right corner comple- cable, carrying strap, CD with to draw your attention to the input and output and a USB ment the control layout. an English-language manual new Trimax SM-3500, complete interface for PC connectivity. and F adaptor for connecting with a fully-fledged review of We particularly appreciated the signal line to the device. its features. The high-resolution 3.5’’ dis- the perfect pressure point play is protected by a robust of all buttons which provide Overall, the workmanship of Packed in a sturdy cloth bag flap and – thanks to its dimen- just enough feedback without the SM-3500 leaves nothing this new arrival only has the sions – is very easy to read. having to press them too hard. to be desired and the manual size of small brick, but with- Slightly below the display a Even when using the carry- turns out to be very well out the corresponding weight. total of 29 buttons are avail- ing case with the transparent designed and provides answers With just half a kilo it must able to access all functions and protective foil over the con- to any questions that may arise be one of the lightest meters features of the SM-3500. trol panel the device is easy to when working with this new on the market today, espe- operate while at the same time Trimax signal meter. cially since that figure already Four of them are designed being protected from dirt, rain, includes the battery pack. On as so-called function keys right splashing water or other poten- the meter’s top an F socket is below the display and another tially harmful elements. All but- Everyday use available for signal input, while eight are placed on the lower tons are cleverly arranged and When the device is switched clearly labelled. on for the first time the dis- play shows the main menu TELE-satelliteother Download this report in World from the Internet: Thanks to the 12 function right away. In addition, all five keys – which access certain coloured LEDs initially light up Arabic ‫ﺍﻟﻌﺮﺑﻴﺔ‬ Indonesian Indonesia frequently used modes and during booting. Bulgarian Български Czech Česky features at the touch of a single German Deutsch English English button – the meter is not only These LEDs are located Spanish Español easy but also very quick to use. between the upper and lower Farsi ‫ﻓﺎﺭﺳﻲ‬ French Français The device even comes with a function keys and indicate Hebrew ‫עברית‬ Greek Ελληνικά sun visor which can be velcroed whether the integrated battery Croatian Hrvatski Italian Italiano to the meter so that you’ll be pack is being charged, whether Hungarian Magyar Mandarin 中文 able to read the display also a transponder is actively read Dutch Nederlands Polish Polski in the middle of the day under and locked, whether 13V or Portuguese Português direct sunlight. 18V supply voltage is provided Romanian Românesc Russian Русский and whether a 22 kHz signal for Swedish Svenska Turkish Türkçe Speaking of the display, we the high band is being gener- Available online starting from 29 January 2010 can commend Trimax for offer- ated. 18 TELE-satellite — Global Digital TV Magazine — 02-03/2010 —
  2. 2. This way you always know be retrieved and offer great data can be corrected at any the operating mode of the help for exactly aligning an time, if need be. meter at a single glance, which antenna. is a feature we have badly On a brighter note, we loved missed in so many competing It turned out, however, that the fact that this meter cannot products. this database is not fully up- only be used for the Ku band, to-date, for example regarding but a number of alternative Even though we could hardly the two most popular Euro- LOF values (for the C band, wait for re-adjusting our 120 pean positions ASTRA 19.2° among others) can be selected cm antenna on our editorial East and HOTBIRD 13° East. or any required LOF can even office’s roof with the help of We should add at this stage be entered manually. This the SM-3500, we still started that all entries can easily be makes the SM-3500 a perfect out with changing the settings edited manually, so that any match even for out-of-the- to meet our local requirement wrong satellite or transponder ordinary LNBs. first. To do this, we entered the settings menu and discovered that the number of available OSD languages beats the usual range for signal meters by far. Apart from standard options such as English, French, German and Spanish we were also offered Russian, Turk- ish, Czech, Portuguese, Slo- venian, Polish, Italian and Greek. With the help of a timer mode it is possible to define a set period of time after which the meter turns off to save battery live of the lithium- ion pack, which comes with a capacity of 1950mA and thus should provide enough power to completely adjust a satellite antenna. In case previously found channels are already stored in the SM-3500’s internal memory, these entries can be conveniently deleted, moved or sorted by either alphabet or satellite using a dedicated menu item. The unit also displays the currently installed software release so that it’s easy to find out if an upgrade is available for download from the manu- facturer’s website at www.tri- 02-03/2010 The SM-3500 comes with a Trimax SM-3500 A well-balanced digital meter with comprehensive database of spectrum display and TV mode. pre-stored satellite and tran- sponder entries. A total of 55 European, Asian and Ameri- can orbital positions complete with transponder data can — 02-03/2010 — TELE-satellite — Global Digital TV Magazine 19
  3. 3. Comprehensive list of pre-stored satellite Satellites/transponders can easily be Main menu and transponder data edited manually Various setting options for each satellite Of course DiSEqC is supported Antenna reading for HOTBIRD satellites entry at 13° East More often than not multi- course you’re free to switch the meter could not yet lock Let’s look at option 2 now, switches are used and with to another transponder on the a signal, which meant that we which is using the integrated its DiSEqC 1.0 and 1.1 com- same satellite but this turned had not quite arrived at HOT- spectrum analyzer. Here you patibility this meter is nicely out to be of no special use as BIRD. We kept moving the first adjust the antenna until equipped for these jobs as the SM-3500 uses the pre- antenna very carefully towards the spectrum level starts to well. Even DiSEqC 1.2 and 1.3 stored transponder to identify the East until the SM-3500 con- peak. Then you use satellite (USALS) for motorised anten- the satellite position with the firmed we had found HOTBIRD search to further fine-tune nas are supported. help of transmitted NIT data. at 13° East. your antenna alignment. The user-friendliness of this A general problem is that a We liked the fact that this In professional use spec- neat little device is further number of satellite transpon- new Trimax meter does not trum display can be extremely enhanced by the fact that all ders (for example on TURKSAT only indicate the percentage helpful whenever installers are parameters (such as LOF or 42° East) transmit incorrect of signal quality and signal already familiar with spectrum DiSEqC) for all required satel- NIT information which naturally strength, but also C/N (car- patterns of specific satellites lites can be set beforehand and also results in incorrect read- rier-to-noise), BER (bit error so that they can determine can later be retrieved with the ings of the signal meter. That is rate) and signal level in dBµV, the required satellite by simply single touch of a button. This why Trimax has gone to great all of which make finding the looking at the spectrum dis- saves valuable time and lets lengths in checking the accu- perfect antenna alignment so play. you focus on your actual task racy of the first transponder of much easier. When using a of antenna alignment when up each satellite so that with the professional Promax meter for With all our enthusiasm on the roof. pre-stored default settings a checking our results later we regarding the SM-3500’s correct reading is always guar- were able to verify that the SM- capabilities we almost forgot Now that all basic settings anteed. 3500’s job was nothing short of that for any of the two modes were completed we climbed up brilliant! to actually deliver results to the antenna and loosened Needless to say that we its alignment screws. In gen- started out with great expec- eral, the SM-3500 provides two tations and we were extremely ways of adjusting an antenna. curious as to how precisely the One is based on a satellite meter’s search mode actu- search mode while the other ally worked. The moment we relies on a spectrum display. selected HOTBIRD 13° East in the menu the low threshold If you intend to use the sat- tuner started to measure and ellite search mode all you have check all incoming signals. to do is select the desired satellite and the meter will It felt like no time at all until immediately activate the first we had moved the antenna transponder that is pre-stored to a position that made the for that particular position. Of signal bars jump forward. Still, 20 TELE-satellite — Global Digital TV Magazine — 02-03/2010 —
  4. 4. SM-3500 system Azimuth, elevation and polarisation HOTBIRD 13° East settings angle calculations spectrum display Reading a signal peak out of the Spectrum display with LNB settings of the spectrum display 300 MHz bandwidth spectrum display some homework needs to be routines you only need to Actually, there still is more. dedicated channel list and can done first. Basically, this con- enter your exact geographical The meter comes with a fully be watched on the meter’s dis- sists of getting the azimuth position and the desired sat- featured tuner and is therefore play – provided they are trans- and elevation of the antenna ellite position for the SM-3500 capable of performing an auto- mitted free-to-air. So if you’re right, or at least close. This is to come up with the right azi- matic channel search thanks still not quite sure you’ve hit where the Trimax meter has muth, elevation and polarisa- to pre-stored satellite and the right satellite you can another ace up its sleeve: tion angle values. Could you transponder data. All channels always tune into the channels Thanks to built-in calculation even ask for more? that are found are stored in a to see for yourself whether or not you’re spot on. And for the DXers amongst you we are happy to confirm that in TV mode the SM-3500 is able to read and display data such as the PIDs of a specific channel as well as the currently received transpon- der and satellite, which is an extremely valuable additional bonus feature. And while we’re at it, feed hunters and DXers will show particular interest in the spectrum display. Apart from being able to show the spectrum for different band- widths each signal peak can be marked with the cursor so that the Trimax meter can read the actual signal strength. With the help of all the func- tion keys it is also child’s play to change the polarisation or band, which means a complete satellite can be scanned for feeds in a matter of seconds. In addition, LNB settings such as DiSEqC position can be accessed with dedicated func- 22 TELE-satellite — Global Digital TV Magazine — 02-03/2010 —
  5. 5. Automatic search on HOTBIRD Channels can be read in based on The SM-3500 is able to display 13° East pre-stored transponder data free-to-air DVB channels The extended info bar provides Radio channels can be received The numeric pad makes entering valuable details for DXers as well transponder data easy tion keys as well as right from to be connected to the antenna Expert opinion the spectrum display mode. for test reasons. The fact that + only composite signals can Very easy to read display As you would expect from a be processed does not really Low-threshold tuner smart meter the search menu restrict the usefulness of this Well-designed OSD pops up by simply pressing feature. Easy to use the OK button, which means Realtime spectrum display Thomas Haring the identified signal peak is Conclusion Battery pack with sufficient power TELE-satellite Test Center analysed and read in with the In summary, we were truly Austria touch of a button. We tested - impressed with the Trimax SM- none this on EUTELSAT W2A at 10° 3500. This new meter boasts East and were impressed. With excellent workmanship, a low- the help of the spectrum dis- threshold tuner capable of also play we were able to access dealing with weaker signals, all active feed transmissions and great ease-of-use. TECHNICAL in the meter’s display in next DATA Manufacturer Trimax Technology Limited 9/F, Jiuzhou Electric Building, to no time, and even tran- Thanks to its lateral blinds Hi-tech Industril Park, #12 Keji Road South, sponders that had been newly the 3.5’’ TFT display is easy Nanshan District, Shenzhen, China activated or deactivated were to read even in direct sunlight Tel +86-755-26715445 shown using this procedure. and the battery pack lasts long Fax +86-755-26002191 enough to align one or even Email The SM-3500 also worked more antennas without having Model SM-3500 reliably on SCPC transpon- to rush. Frequency range 930~2150 MHz ders and delivered reasonable Level range -65 dBm ~ -25 dBm results too. Since Trimax is always work- LNB power supply 13/18V, max. 400 mA ing on further enhancing its Symbol rate 1.5~45 Ms/s The A/V input and output products the SM-3500 comes DiSEqC Yes round off the balanced and equipped with a PC interface. Spectral Inversion Auto conversion positive overall impression of Using an MS Windows appli- Video format 720x576 (PAL), 720x480 (NTSC) the new Trimax digital meter. cation new software can be Supply voltage 12.6V installed in a breeze so that the Supply voltage charger 90-265V, 50/60 Hz This not only allows display- manufacturer is in a position to Li-oN battery 1950 mA ing the OSD signal on a larger add even more features to its Supplied items Protective case, user guide, mains charging unit, car charger, PC connection cable, A/V cable monitor, but also lets you dis- latest digital meter. Dimension 9.5x15.5x4.5mm play external sources on the Net weight 0.5kg SM-3500’s monitor, which is If you’re after a small meter Working temperature 0°C to +40°C particularly helpful if an exter- with all features you are likely Storage temperatur -40°C to +65°C nal positioner is used, for to ever require, you need not Display 3.5“ LCD color display example, or if a receiver needs look further. — 02-03/2010 — TELE-satellite — Global Digital TV Magazine 23