Best affordable signal meter for digital?

Chappers

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Hi,

For the MATV system at work, I'm looking for a meter that will give me a readout on signal levels for the Freeview signal being picked up alongside the analogue that's pumped around the park. We currently have a Promax meter from years ago with built-in b/w CRT monitor, and all I can find now is the Promax TVexplorer at £1500 which is causing my boss to hold back at the moment.

Is there something cheaper with built-in screen? Or something that has no screen but gives good signal and quality readings and lets you choose an individual multiplex or channel?

Ideally, something that shows signal level digitally and goes beyond 105dB would suit best as I have many amplifiers that need setting up. Must admit, I wish I had an expert on hand because it's bogging me down a bit as I quickly learn all I can about such systems.

Thanks in advance.
 

rolfw

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The Roversat T2 Scout is a better price and should do what you need. _http://www.martinturnerdirect.co.uk/eshop/index.php?act=viewProd&productId=14


TV Analog & Digital COFDM Analiser for D.T.H. community SMATV distribution systems Automatic A/D Selection in TV Channel Navigation (47-870 MHz) (30-120 dBæV) Level Accuracy 1 dB

Demodulated COFDM, SFN and MFN operation
Easy to use, in channel navigation, automatically selects the analog or digital TV modulation
Network identification function (network name, bouquet and encryption system)
Up to 99 navigation memory plans
AUTOSCAN: automatically recorded by the meter
Modulation, Plan, Program Number, program name, Channel, Frequency selectable and storable from the keyboard or through PC
AUTOSCAN auto-search and auto-memory function C/N, SNR, MER, BER, measurements
Automatic Quality Analysis: FAIL/MARG/PASS and Noise Margin measurements
Accurate spectrum analysis with max hold (peak)
features, with variable SPAN: from 2 MHz to full band with automatic and adjustable reference level
USB PC interface
 

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Chappers

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Thanks for that recommendation. Probably still too much for our stingy general manager at the moment - he'll buy expensive items after receiving his 6-figure bonus for the year. But, I will try nonetheless.

I couldn't see anything that told me whether you can actually view the pictures on the screen (is it LCD?) so I was wondering if you know whether you can or not. I just find it handy to be able to view the channel when working on the system sometimes. Also, does it show strength upto 120dB without needing to use attenuator buttons to drop the signal into range?

Thanks,
James
 

rolfw

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Very doubtful at that price that it will give a picture. Not sure about the signal level, attenuation is automatic on my ST-4 and they share some of the electronics.
 

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You can measure up to 130dBuV for MATV & IRS :D

Same as ST-4 but without the top screen. A well worth the money meter.
 

Chappers

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Thanks for the info. Altogether it does seem to be a good meter for the money. Next thing is to try and convince the boss O-no

I know I'm a pain, but could you recommend a good website that helps someone like me learn more about such systems? I've gained a huge amount of knowledge since sort of being put in charge of the system because of my background in the electronics trade, but I'd like to expand that more and check that what I've learnt is correct.

I did find a site a while back but have since been unable to recall its url and didn't save it, even though I meant to go back there and study it. The thing is, the system seems to suffer lots of problems and I want to try and set it up right and reduce the future troubles as much as possible. Currently I'm approaching the aspect of adjusting the amplifier slope controls (every amp either has a 0dB plug-in for the EQ or a pot that hasn't been adjusted properly from what I can tell), setting the output levels correctly and things, but I must ensure I know what the I'm doing it the right way first.

Thanks again for your patience and time.
James
 

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Not sure if I can place this :

_http://www.cai.org.uk/asp/distance.asp
 

don coolman

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Try the satcatcher models. they are byinging one out with spectrum, useful for slope, and levels, ber etc as well as piccies. I've seen a prototype, in february, so it should be available. As for price, probably like the sat one, about £450...plus the deraded VAT.. unpaid tax collectors thats what we are, moan, groan.
 
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