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Advice Needed "Simple" USB Sat Tuner?

jeallen01

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#1
Evening all.

Following on from some very recent comments from vma on his SSA thread, where he mentioned using a USB tuner to help identify sats, has anyone got suggestions for an external USB tuner for the ACER nettop (dual Celeron 1.5GHz - so not very "powerful" to say the least!) that is currently in the "office" (ex-bedroom) where I have got the TM & Vu+ to work out what would work downstairs without disrupting SWMBO's tv (therefore the tuner must not be very demanding on the nettop's CPU - although it does have 8GB of RAM)?
 

sonnetpete

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#4
Currently I have an S2 DVBSky USB tuner working on an old (5+ years) Asus netbook running Windows 8.1. Electronically it works really well, switching around my multi sat setup without a problem. However, I couldn't get the supplied software to function properly and went through a few other programs before finding that ProgDVB worked pretty well, though it sometimes freezes and requires a restart. That however, may be the netbook not the program.
 

jeallen01

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Currently I have an S2 DVBSky USB tuner working on an old (5+ years) Asus netbook running Windows 8.1. Electronically it works really well, switching around my multi sat setup without a problem. However, I couldn't get the supplied software to function properly and went through a few other programs before finding that ProgDVB worked pretty well, though it sometimes freezes and requires a restart. That however, may be the netbook not the program.
Pete
Thanks for the info - still thinking about this subject, but one question about the card mentioned: you say it switches around your multisat setup, but is that by diseqc 1.1./1.2 or USALS (i.e. is can it provide enough power to drive a motor - somehow I doubt that)?
 

skomedal

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#6
"" Pete
Thanks for the info - still thinking about this subject, but one question about the card mentioned: you say it switches around your multisat setup, but is that by diseqc 1.1./1.2 or USALS (i.e. is can it provide enough power to drive a motor - somehow I doubt that)? ""


Might explain, sorry if wrong

"" 16 LNB's on 4 dishes, 12W/11W/8W/7W/5W/0.8W/
3E/4.8E/9E/10E/13E/16E/19.2E/28E/36E/39E/42E/45E/46E/52.5E/53E
to a DVBSky S960 on a Windows 8 netbook using Prog DVB.
""

See signature post #4
 
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sonnetpete

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Might explain, sorry if wrong
No, you're quite correct. However, I'm not sure if there would be enough current provided from the tuner to power a motor efficiently. I've read reports where problems have occurred using tuners like mine but others have worked fine. Sadly, I've never tried moving my motorised dish with this tuner (nor am I likely too as that dish is in the shed for the winter).
 
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jeallen01

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No you're quite correct. However, I'm not sure if there would be enough current provided from the tuner to power a motor efficiently. I've read reports where problems have occurred using tuners like mine but others have worked fine. Sadly, I've never tried moving my motorised dish with this tuner (nor am I likely too as that dish is in the shed for the winter).
Pete

Thanks for confirming that - looks like you would have to use an internal PCI-E card with an additional power supply lead to provide enough power to drive the motor - not quite impossible but depends on whether the PC has a suitable power supply and "power take-off" connector in one of the cables, which is unlikely in a heavily-integrated SFF/Nettop configuration.
 

jeallen01

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#9
Update: Thought about this and so just ordered a s/h ACER X275 Win 10 Pro nettop with a Core 2 Duo 2.93GHz processor (so more "grunt", but currently only 2GB RAM and a quoted 4GB max which I will need to max-out, or exceed if poss ) that will have a spare PCI-E slot for a sat card (although I will probably have to frig the PSU wiring to add a direct feed to the card) - so now the question is which card, and whether single or double tuner (would like the latter)?

PS: Could "afford" this (£80 before the memory upgrade and sat card) purchase when I found out this morning that the nasty knocking from the rear suspension of the Skoda was simply that one of the ARB drop links had a loose bolt, which I fixed in 10 mins, as I was thinking I was in for a large parts & labour bill to get it sorted :)
 

jeallen01

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#10
Now bought the Pentium version (after doing a check on the performance of the available versions of the Pentium and Icore3 versions) and an appropriate HDMI card (https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B004TCM634/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1) - both of which should be here in the next few days - and running Win 7 64 bit Pro, I am still trying to sort out which PCI-E sat (preferably dual-tuner) card to get (for less than £100) that should work in the X275 (and within the nominal 220W power capability of that m/c).

So again any suggestions - at the moment it could be something like the TBS 6902 DVB-S2, but are there any that others could suggest?
 

jeallen01

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#11
Well, in the end, I bought a DVBSky S952 dual DVB-S2 tuner PCI-E card and put it in the "new" ACER X275, with a SATA power splitter to feed power to the 6-way Molex connector on the rear end of the board.

Now here's the problem I'm coming up against:

- I connected the top tuner on the board to the same cable as I had previously connected the TM in order to scan (1 at a time!) 13E/19E/28E on the Gemini 90, which means Ports 1/2/3 on the Opticom 10-way Diseqc Switch down near the dish. That being a Diseqc 1.1 Switch, in the DVBSky s/w menu under "Scanner" I selected "Preset Position" 1/2/3 respectively for the appropriate LNB before scanning.

- When I scanned those birds, a large number (300+) of appropriate channels for each one was picked up - but when I try to actually view any of the channels on any of these 3 sats, I get no picture/sound because the signal strength is showing as only around 3% to 10% at best.

EDITED:
Just gone back to the Channel lists - and found that I have also got 23.5E flagged as a scanned sat, although (AFAIK) I never selected that one to scan - and there is no fixed LNB aimed at that satellite!.

Then, when I look at the channels now listed on 23.5E, they look "correct" and I'm even getting a strong signal (56%) on the "HD Demo ASTRA & RAI" channel but still no picture/sound.

This is my first play-around with the DVBSky, or any other sat card, s/w but I'm wondering what I might have done wrong - so, any ideas?

Thanks in advance.

John
 
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jeallen01

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#12
After my experiences today with this sat card, I am wondering if the tuner sensitivity is "not as good as it could be" because it could not find anything on 11131MHz V S/R 14400 on Eutelsat 7a @ 7e, whereas others in the UK seemed to be having no trouble in locking it up on similar-sized (~ 1m) dishes.

Therefore, thinking of returning this sat card and getting something else - but, then, which one?

The S952 is a dual-tuner card, but maybe I am thinking more about a single tuner if I could get that for a reasonably similar price (less than £100, but a little more if I have to,?) - so, I would appreciate your suggestions?