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New AIM Meter?

satellite meter aim meter directv meter

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36 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   ZandarKoad

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 09:37 PM

I heard a few months ago that the AIM meter was going to get a hardware overhaul.  Is this new AIM meter out  yet, or are these just rumors?  I'd like to finally buy one (an AIM meter) but not if my purchase is going to be obsolete in a month or two.

P.S.  Yes, I am a professional installer, 10+ years in the industry.

THANKS!



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#2 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 10:44 PM

Perhaps it will support BSS tpns of D15/RB-2 with UHD channels?

#3 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 10:57 PM

Probably adds DSWM support as well.


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#4 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 04:35 AM

The main difference in the generation 2 AIM is that it doesn't require a 10 dB pad for use with DRE loop-through.

The generation 1, with a 10 dB pad and firmware update will also work on DRE.

http://forums.solids...RECTV-AIM-Meter


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#5 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 04:36 AM

Perhaps it will support BSS tpns of D15/RB-2 with UHD channels?

There's no indication of this.


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#6 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 09:05 AM

There's no indication of this.

 

We probably shouldn't be surprised they haven't said anything about that yet, since the capability isn't needed yet. 

 

I guess it all depends on how the BSS capable legacy LNB that they'll be needing delivers it. If it is stacked above 2150 MHz, the AIM would need to have been designed for that possibility. If it is delivered on an additional coax or two, then it depends how those are selected (DiSEqC commands or whatever)

 

I have to think at least the rev 2 is capable of it, if not the rev 1, since they've presumably known what their BSS plans are for years.


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#7 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 10:02 AM

I have to think at least the rev 2 is capable of it, if not the rev 1, since they've presumably known what their BSS plans are for years.

Rev 2 is related to a hardware requirement, but "I'd imagine" if/when BBS comes into play, it will merely be a firmware change.


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#8 OFFLINE   ZandarKoad

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Posted 27 June 2014 - 09:32 PM

Excellent info.  Thank you guys.  Two more questions:

1)  Is it true you can use the AIM meter to see how many SWM channels are being used on a system?  Can you hook up to a single line and see if it's a single tuner, dual tuner, Genie, etc?

2)  Can you tell using the AIM meter if a line has a client connected to it (since it doesn't use a SWM channel)?



#9 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 28 June 2014 - 03:23 AM

Yes, the AIM communicates with the SWiM and report the channels assigned.

No, it doesn't communicate with receivers for single, dual tuner, or Genie.

No, clients use DECA/RVU, which the AIM doesn't read.


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#10 OFFLINE   ZandarKoad

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Posted 28 June 2014 - 06:56 AM

Is there any creature (meter) out there that DOES read the DECA/RVU?  ... besides a spectrometer?

So in order to read the SWiM assignments...  you connect the AIM to an open port on an installed SWiM splitter?



#11 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 28 June 2014 - 10:15 AM

Is there any creature (meter) out there that DOES read the DECA/RVU?  ... besides a spectrometer?

So in order to read the SWiM assignments...  you connect the AIM to an open port on an installed SWiM splitter?

The AIM just needs to use a coax connection.

The DECA network has a menu in the receivers with internal DECA [H/HR24 and up] that shows the loss to each node and dropped sessions, along with Phy mesh [speed] rates.

On the front panel, pressing guide & right arrow will bring up a menu with "coax" on the left.


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#12 OFFLINE   ZandarKoad

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 12:27 PM

New AIM meter in hand.  Fully charged, new database and Firmware installed.  First thoughts:

 

AIM boot time of 55 seconds, versus AI Turbo S2 boot time of 5 (yes, FIVE) seconds.  Ouch.

AIM turn off time of 12 seconds, versus AI Turbo S2 turn off time of 3 seconds.

 

I used it on a job, and it saved me a trip inside - I ran the EIV (Extended Installation Verification) at the (pre-exising) dish, and found it wasn't quite peaked.  I was able to peak it in on the dB readings from 101.  Re-ran EIV, six check marks.  Good to go.

 

I still don't know how to actually peak on 99 or 103's signal quality using the AIM.  That's why I bought the meter (mostly).



#13 OFFLINE   peds48

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 08:54 PM

.

 

I still don't know how to actually peak on 99 or 103's signal quality using the AIM.  That's why I bought the meter (mostly).

You shouldn't have to if you dither properly.  But if you must, press TEST -> SATELLITE TUNE -> SELECT your reading location and the select the desire SATELLITE to tune to. DONE!


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#14 OFFLINE   peds48

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 08:57 PM

 

 

AIM boot time of 55 seconds, 

This is my major “beef” with the AIMeter


Here’s to the crazy ones.
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#15 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 09:07 PM

This is my major “beef” with the AIMeter

Yeah, but there's a lot it has to do to "boot", as this ain't no ordinary "meter".


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#16 OFFLINE   peds48

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 09:10 PM

Yeah, but there's a lot it has to do to "boot", as this ain't no ordinary "meter".

Please do tell.  Why it takes so long... I will appreciate it.  


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#17 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 07:40 AM

Please do tell.  Why it takes so long... I will appreciate it.  

I've used a lot of "meters" in my life, but the AIM seems to be more a computer than a meter.

I haven't taken one apart, nor have any insider info, so this is just what I sense from using it.


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#18 OFFLINE   ZandarKoad

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 08:03 AM

The AI Turbo S2 ain't no ordinary meter either.  In fact, it can look at far more orbital locations and transponders in more areas of the world than the AIM ever could.  My guess is Applied Instruments made boot speed a specific concern during the hardware and software design process, and DirecTV did not.  Perhaps because Applied Instruments had greater incentive to make the meter appealing to it's target audience, whereas DirecTV already had a captive audience - they could require their techs to use it.

 

It looks like there are ways to make the AIM more user friendly with standby mode, etc.  Or you could just get used to turning the meter on before assembling the dish, or mounting the dish, etc.



#19 OFFLINE   peds48

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 08:25 AM

So what would make it faster? A faster processor? Better written software? Or perhaps a combination of both?


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#20 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 09:33 AM

So what would make it faster? A faster processor? Better written software? Or perhaps a combination of both?

I haven't used the other but does it have all the features the AIM does for DirecTV?

About the only thing AIM is missing is the DECA tests, but otherwise you can do a full system ring out.

Are these really "apples to apples"?

 

After looking at the Operation Manual for the AI Turbo S2, IMO this isn't "apples to apples".

I actually like the format of the AI Turbo better, as it's more along the lines of a "meter" with features of a Spectrum Analyzer.

Its downside is a lack of SWiM support to the degree of the AIM.

 

The AIM is fairly powerful for only DirecTV systems, BUT what I personally don't like about it is:

By design the "intelligence" was put into the meter.

I'm "old school" where the user should have the "intelligence" and the meter is merely a tool.

The AIM supports DirecTV's idea of "teaching" installers to follow dos & don'ts without understanding why or how the system works.

"Any idiot" can follow the menu buttons and "find the cheese" at the end of the maze.

"A Technician" knows how it works and uses their intelligence to find something wrong, or not up to specs.

 

I don't need to stinking meter to tell me "pass/fail".

Just give me the dBm and I'd decide if its good or not.

 

/soapbox

:lol:   


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#21 OFFLINE   peds48

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 11:43 AM

I haven't used the other but does it have all the features the AIM does for DirecTV?

 

Since the IV protocol is proprietary to DirecTV® only the AIM can do that and that is a HUGE plus.  

 

 

About the only thing AIM is missing is the DECA tests

 

DirecTV® made a dumb move by not including this on new revived new AIM

 

 

Just give me the dBm and I'd decide if its good or not.

 

If DirecTV® was nice enough to publish a “metric” of dBs of what is good and what is bad, this would make a lot of sense.  But given that a lot of DirecTV® installer base have no clue what a dBm is, this is why the included the “guided mode”


Here’s to the crazy ones.
The misfits. The rebels.
The the troublemakers.
The round pegs in the square holes.

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They’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo.


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#22 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 12:10 PM

So what would make it faster? A faster processor? Better written software? Or perhaps a combination of both?

 

If it takes 55 seconds to boot, a faster processor is unlikely to do much. If VOS is correct and it is essentially a PC (running Windows XP embedded or something like that) then it is probably doing a whole lot of stuff on bootup that is not necessary to it being a meter, but just getting the OS up to the point where the meter application can run.

 

If it supported a sleep state that used very little power then it wouldn't matter. You'd boot it up in the morning, use it all day with nearly instant waking leaving you not caring how long it takes to boot, then shut it down at the end of the day.

 

I think ZandarKoad is probably on the mark with his comment about a captive audience. It will sell regardless of how well or poorly it is designed since Directv installers need to have it.


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#23 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 12:18 PM

Since the IV protocol is proprietary to DirecTV® only the AIM can do that and that is a HUGE plus.  

 

 

DirecTV® made a dumb move by not including this on new revived new AIM

 

There's probably no reason they felt they had to keep the IV protocol proprietary, but if they told everyone "here's how IV works so you can program it into other meters" then it would be essentially impossible to update it in the future if they wanted to change how it works. Including it in the AIM they can tell installers they need to upgrade their firmware if they want to push out a change to IV.

 

Does the new AIM not do IV? Or did your last comment mean something else?

 

 

 

If DirecTV® was nice enough to publish a “metric” of dBs of what is good and what is bad, this would make a lot of sense.  But given that a lot of DirecTV® installer base have no clue what a dBm is, this is why the included the “guided mode”

 

So what happens if they say that transponder 9 on 103ca has to be at least x dbm, someone programs that into their meter software, and Directv changes things around with their satellite fleet and 103ca transponder 9 becomes a spot beam?

 

If they could rely on meters having an internet connection it wouldn't matter. They could upload their readings to a Directv web site and be told whether they pass IV or not.


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#24 OFFLINE   peds48

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 12:32 PM

There's probably no reason they felt they had to keep the IV protocol proprietary,

See, this is what happens when some one post without knowing how "stuff works"  there is a history behind IV.  Back in the days, before IV was shut down on inclement weather days, a tech had to call ISS to get a waiver if IV failed at the receiver.  ISS would then ask the tech the to read to them the signal on certain transponders from all satellite.  If a tech knew what these value were, then they could lie they way out to get a waiver.  Now since IV is turn off during inclement weather days, they only way IV could fail is because of poor alignment, LOS, or bad equipment some where. So now there is really no reason to call DirecTV® for a waiver now a days.  The only time I had to call ISS for a waiver recently is when the market is in "soft turn off" at that means that the market could be turn off if the weather gets bad enough but but is not there yet. 


Here’s to the crazy ones.
The misfits. The rebels.
The the troublemakers.
The round pegs in the square holes.

The ones who see things different.
They’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo.


Think Differently 

#25 OFFLINE   peds48

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 12:33 PM

 

 

Does the new AIM not do IV? Or did your last comment mean something else?

 

Of course it does!  I was referring to DECA 


Here’s to the crazy ones.
The misfits. The rebels.
The the troublemakers.
The round pegs in the square holes.

The ones who see things different.
They’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo.


Think Differently 




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