Need assistance with Ka(high) band satellite specifics

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by Julie, Feb 22, 2019.

  1. Julie

    Julie Member

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    Ok, first off I know I’m in over my head, after all it wasn’t but a handful of months ago that James explained the difference between the Ka band and the Ku band to me. However, as I’m trying to understand all of this fun stuff I’ve stumbled across something that I just can’t figure out, and know there are plenty of experts on here that can provide assistance. So here it goes…

    A friend recently purchased a digital satellite meter that helps locate signals from various satellites. I believe the sole purpose of the meter is to help with installing and aligning dishes. Despite not having any of these needs, I found the meter fascinating, and he has allowed me to hang onto it, and play around with it, for the weekend.

    This is where the problems begin, lol. The meter requires the user to enter various parameters. Specifically: 1) The frequency of the interested transponder, 2) The polarity of the transponder (two options are 13 V/Odd/Right/Vertical, or 18V/Even/Left/Horizontal), 3) The baud rate, and 4) The local oscillator frequency. The user can then toggle the 22 khz signal on and off to switch between LNBs.

    The instructions say that the meter will only work on the Ku and Ka(high) bands, and not the Ka(low) band because it can only tune between 950Mhz and 2150Mhz.

    While attempting to find the required information online, I have come across a few websites that have everything needed for the Ku satellites. For example, TP1 on DTV’s 101W lists the following information: 12224, Odd, 20000, and 11250 (respectively to the above 1-4). TP2 is listed as 12239, Even, 20000, and 11250.

    The above parameters work really well! When I punch them in and connect it to my dish’s multiswitch it shows me all sorts of cool information such as signal strength, bit error rate, signal to noise ratio, etc.

    Ok, so the problem? Well, I can’t find a single piece of data for the Ka(high) band. Where do I go to find these parameters for the DTV’s Ka(high) satellites?
     
  2. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    The comparable info for Ka hi on Directv is TP1 19730 MHz left(13v) TP2 19730 MHz right(18v) and going up by 40 MHz for each with the highest at 20170 MHz. Symbol rate is 30000, LO frequency is 18050 MHz. No 22 KHz tone gives you the ones at 99*, tone gives you the ones at 103*. Transponders 9-24 on each are the national beams, the others are spot beams you may not receive.
     
  3. Julie

    Julie Member

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    Thanks slice you are awesome! Is there someplace that I can find this information in a table? I searched and searched, but not being familiar with all of it probably hurt my results. As I said I found sights with the 101/110/119 data, but nothing on 99 and 103.

    You have TP1 and TP2 on the same frequency (if I'm understanding you correctly), so may I assume that was just a typo and it should be 19770 Mhz (+40) for TP2? Or can they be on the same frequency, but with different polarizations? Speaking of the polarization you have 13v being left, and 18v being right, but the manual shows it the other way around (and so is the website data for the 101, 110, and 119 satellites). Are the Ka and Ku satellites opposites?
     
  4. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    We have a winner ... different polarities. The overlap makes the math work (12 transponders per polarity, 24 transponders per orbital location).
     
  5. Julie

    Julie Member

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    Thanks James! Is there a reason why the Ku satellite transponder pairs are on different frequencies and different polarities, where as the Ka satellite transponder pairs are on the same frequencies with different polarities?
     
  6. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    Different RF parameters of transmitting the antennas at the Ku/Ka sats.

    Now the bad news for you, Julie. Very bad news.
    You can't use any sat meter out there, but AIM. Expensive, but AIM will do what you want to achieve - SL, SQ, BER, MER, etc.

    The reason is DTV/ATT using patented [AMC] method of protecting Ka DVB-S2 signals. Only DTV IRDs and the AIM could tune, lock and measure the signals at 99W and 103W.

    As to parameters of DTV Ka tpns, you can find them in posts of Gary Toma...
     
  7. Julie

    Julie Member

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    P Smith, I have some really good news… The on-loan meter that I have been playing around with worked just fine with the info that slice provided! I punched in various conus beam transponders from the 99(a) and 103(a) satellites, and it was able to give me all the same signal data that I can get off 101 and 119 (using a slimline dish and a SL5). I had no idea what an AIM meter was, but I looked it up, and this one is definitely not that, but it still worked great!

    I also didn’t know who Gary was, but looked that up too, and wow, there’s a ton of cool info in those spreadsheets! I’m going to enjoy digging through them, but I still don’t see the info that slice provided to me in them (slice, thanks again for the info, it was very helpful, and much fun to play around with this meter). Should I be in a file other than the transponder map spreadsheets? Or did I just not notice it?

    I’m curious about something though, how important is it for an installer to have the signal data for the Ka(low) satellites in addition to the Ka(high) ones? As mentioned, this meter doesn’t tune into the Ka(low) satellites, only the Ku and Ka(high) ones. So I had an idea, now maybe this is a crazy idea, but it seems to make sense in my brain, lol.

    I’m thinking that since legacy HD receivers also can’t tune get the Ka(low) satellites without a b-band converter, then it might be possible to use a b-band converter with this meter. So I started searching as to how to activate a b-band converter, and found lots of fascinating information by ham radio operators on how to send real time software commands to activate it. This is way beyond my skill level, but there is also info about hardware modifications to lock it into a continuously active mode (this I should be able to do).

    This isn’t my meter, and I never plan on professionally installing dishes. However, if it would be useful, it might be a fun project to do, and give to my friend as a thank you for letting me play with his meter. Additionally, I’m hoping it would make his meter more usable. But would it really? I mean if the dish is aligned for the Ka(high) transponders wouldn’t it also be aligned for the Ka(low) transponders as they are in the same orbital locations? Or when installing a slimline dish does on adjust it for both the a and b bands?

    Also, will my idea even work? From what I gathered from searching the web, when active, the b-band converter blocks the Ka(high) signals from the LNBs, and puts the Ka(low) signals in their place instead. In my simplistic world, this means that a meter that can tune the Ka(high) transponders would then be able to tune the Ka(low) transponders as it’s thinking (so to speak) that they are the Ka(high) ones. Is my (il)logic correct?
     
  8. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    Check the thread how SUP-2400 works. sl3s + 21v pi + frequency sweep from 150mhz to 2150mhz

    As to good news, I'm PUZZLED !

    Could you please post screenshots from your meter ?
    What is the model in your hand working magical way ?

    Would you post URLs to that pages where control cmds of SUP-2400 posted and HW mods ?
     
  9. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    For alignment the lack of Ka lo wouldn't be a problem, if you are lined up on 99/103 Ka hi then 99/103 Ka lo is lined up as well.
     
  10. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    if she did set the dish correctly [tilt]
     
  11. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    Tilt really only matters on an SL5 where you have to pick up 119.
     
  12. Julie

    Julie Member

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    Hey P, are you trying to kill me? WTH?! That thread has 11 pages and I don’t have a clue what is being said in 10.5 of them. Please understand that I arrived at these forums because I needed help with my DTV account, and am not a super technical person. Furthermore, I’m a girl! Yes, I know female engineers exist, and God bless them, but I’m not one of them. I grew up playing with dolls, and my EZ Bake oven. Should you want to know how to bake a batch of brownies, I’m your gal. Thus, I still don’t know if my idea would actually work. A more simple “yes, that’s a cool idea,” or “no, not a chance” would be just great. :) Thank you!!

    I might have added to the confusion because I said that I should be able to do the simple hardware modifications to the B band converter. Please allow me to clarify this… I discussed this with my dad, and he thought that “we” (read: mostly him) should be able to do them. Ok, that should set the record straight. :)

    A few months ago, my neighbor was kind enough to replace my Phase III dish with a Slimline one. I have to admit that it was a very interesting process, and it intrigued me in the sense that we also have an old school regular TV antenna on our roof. It barely picks up stations that are broadcasted from 20 miles away, but a small dish can be installed that picks up tons of stations being broadcast from 20,000 miles away. This, in and of itself fascinates me, and is why I even wanted to play around with the meter. However, after punching in all the values that slice gave me, and it came to life, admittedly, I had no idea what I was looking at, lol. I just got a kick out of it finding the signals using the parameters from the discussion here. Sure, I know that with the signal strength part of it, more is better, but since, I never plan on being an installer, that’s where everything ended for me.

    As to the information you’re asking about, I will gladly post the requested information. However, I just returned the meter this morning so I’ll have to have my friend take the screen shots, and get me the model number (although I can probably do a web search, and find the meter, I’ll give it a shot).

    Looking back through my browser history reveals that much of the software control information was from the websites of www.dvbdream.org, www.dvbviewer.tv, and dvbviewer.com. It involves using a piece of hardware called a “BDA interface,” which is used to send raw “DiSEqC” commands to the BBC via software programs like TransEdit, DVB Dream, and Crazy Scan. To be clear, I have no idea what a BDA interface is, and I couldn’t tell you what a raw DiSEqC command looked like to save my life. This is exactly why I said that this was out of my league. I didn’t come across any sites/pages which had the command list, so I can’t post them, but it seemed to me that if you can find a list of the raw DiSEqC commands, you’ll be all set.

    For the hardware mods, there are many sites for this. It appears to have started with:

    M0DTS.co.uk

    Then others tweaked it, added on, and there’s a comprehensive .pdf at:

    https://wiki.batc.org.uk/images/c/ce/Zinwell_70cms_DATV_up_converter_CQTV_v2.pdf

    I can’t find the exact link right now, but I previously found a discussion that addressed using a modified unit with a ham radio vs using it with satellite equipment. The point of the article was that with ham radio gear one should do all the mods because they remove the DC voltage being sent through the antenna port. However, when using it with satellite gear, the mod is much simpler because one can leave that voltage in place. I made some notes, and thought I bookmarked it, but don’t see it. I’ll keep looking though, and post a link when I find it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2019
  13. Julie

    Julie Member

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    Thanks again slice. So I wouldn't really be doing him any favors by trying to get a BBC to work with his meter for the Ka(low) satellites if he didn't care about 119, right? I remember from my previous threads that you, and others, mentioned that the 119 programming was probably going to disappear completely this spring. Is that still the current thought?

    I know we still have locals in SD on 119 out here, but ever since the Slimline dish was installed we now have access to HD locals so he used a SL5. However, this brings up an interesting question. I remember a post of yours saying that legacy mode receivers, when on 103 (I think it was 103), won't be able to get guide data from 119 (once it's not used anymore), but that an SL3 would be able to. I'll see if I can find the link, but is this still a current thought too? Should I replace my legacy SL5 with a legacy SL3?

    P.S. I know you are screaming at the computer right now saying something like "No you dummy! You should just replace with with a SWM LNB!" I remember, but please humor me. ;):)
     
  14. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    Yes 119 will be going away in phases, starting this spring and it (and 95 & 110) will be completely gone before the end of the year. Everything Directv carries will be on 99/101/103 only.

    If you have a legacy SL5 and no SWM switch, then yes you will need to replace it this year. If you have a SWM switch then it doesn't matter. And you are right if you are going to replace your LNB, you should replace it with a reverse band 3 SWM LNB (SL3RB I think they are called) I saw someone recently posted a link to Amazon where they were $16 with free shipping.
     
  15. Julie

    Julie Member

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    P Smith:

    I think I found a definitive site for the DiSEqC specification and commands, you might want to check out:
    https://www.eutelsat.com/en/support...l;jsessionid=27813A0985E7B632C46805847C3EC4D9

    Then I came across this .pdf which appears to contain an even easier mod than I posted above. He is using a program called Easy Blind Scan Pro to send the raw DiSEqC commands, and he writes "The DiSEqC implementation in this software is exemplary in that complex command sequences are also supported so that unusual systems ...can be handled automatically without any tricks." Again, I don't want to tangle with software commands, but he also discusses how this easier hardware mod (separate from the software control) leaves the LNB supply voltage in place. It looks so easy, that, unless anyone thinks this is a complete waste of time (if so, PLEASE speak up now!), I'm going to order a cheap $5 BBC and give it a shot just for the fun of it. Yea to father daughter projects! :)

    http://www.tele-audiovision.com/TELE-audiovision-1305/eng/vitorsworkshop.pdf

    The meter that my friend has can be found at:
    New TRACKER LIGHT Satelliet Meter Signal LOCKED


    Slice: Your post that I was referring to in the other thread can be found here (post #434):
    Directv announces 2019 date for dropping MPEG2 SD
     
  16. Julie

    Julie Member

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    slice:
    Has there been any update from DTV as to what will be carried on 101? Will it be mostly SD encoded in MPEG4, or HD, or has it still not yet been announced/discovered?

    Also, I'm still being stubborn, and want to hang with my legacy HD equipment for now. When my neighbor did the Slimline install he used a SL5, but he had a couple of legacy SL3s in his garage. I have no problem buying one from him, and can easily swap it out myself after 119 goes away, but would you recommend I do so? Will that help with the guide data issue you mentioned before (see link in my previous post)?

    Lastly, if I mess around with a BBC, and can get it to substitute the Ka(high) band with the Ka(low) band, I'm curious (curiosity has really gotten the best of me here) if the transponder frequencies (and other info) that you provided above would remain the same? In other words, when attempting to tune the Ka(low) transponders after they have been upconverted to the Ka(high) band, will they exactly mirror the Ka(high) transponder frequencies, or do the receivers know there is an upconversion taking place and tunes another frequency plan? - I hope I'm making sense!
     
  17. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    Thank you Julie for the links.

    As EE I would point out, his article should be edited:
    - he didn't get a point of frequency inversion when SUP-2400 is on and X-scale on his plots should be corrected to Ka freqs range too;
    - some of his scans are puzzling when a scale showing Ka freqs while his notes stated of Ka band...
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2019
  18. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    Last edited: Feb 25, 2019
  19. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    Directv has said nothing, but KVH had a document that stated they will be putting some HD channels on 101 after this is all done. There will be plenty of MPEG4 SD channels of course, the MPEG2 SD only channels will end up as MPEG4 SD. It is only the MPEG2 SD duplicates of MPEG4 HD channels that will be going away.

    The legacy SL3 would also address the guide data situation if you want to be stubborn and not convert to SWM. The BBC puts Ka lo in the same 1650 - 2150 MHz range as Ka hi, but it is inverted. For the purposes of a meter the inversion is irrelevant.
     
  20. Julie

    Julie Member

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    Thanks guys. I'm not sure what this frequency inversion is all about (both of you mentioned it), but if it won't affect his meter, then I'm not going to worry about it.
     

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