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Ironsides
04-05-2010, 10:12 PM
Review of the DFS120+ Digital Satellite Finder.

I will start by saying that I am not a professional satellite installer. I'm a hobbyist or a weekend user with very little experience in the FTA hobby. Iím looking for a quality product at a reasonable price. Most items I purchase for FTA remain in my Satellite tool box or in a drawer someplace for some time. That said, I am not looking to spend a lot of money.

The packaging excellent.
Out of the box the meter was larger than expected. That is a plus for me because I have large hands and the meter size is important to me as smaller meters tend to be harder to hold or fingers get in the way of the display and controls.

The color, I like makes it easy to see in low light environments.

The texture of the meter, wasnít smooth I consider that a plus.
Display, Larger enough I can see at a comfortable distance.


For testing the meter I have chosen a Primestar Dish and original lnbf mounted on a portable stand. I have a very strong satellite transponder to my west and normally I use it for my starting point to get on the belt. I am not really interested in finding any particular satellite my interests lay more in how the meter performs.

I set the turn wheel on the meter as instructed to max and then went about moving the dish west and with a few tries I had a signal. Fine tuning was pretty easy with the meter by using the attn buttons.

Attenuation worked fairly well on this meter. I also noticed it didnít bounce a lot as some digital meters display. It does bounce but I have seen worse on other meters. Keep in mind I am used to an analog meter with a steadier reading. I personally like the fast response with the digital meter when adjusting for strongest signal.

Tone Generator was loud enough to be heard but not loud enough to be annoying.
The buttons are easy to select and press and are placed far enough apart I can press each one without hitting the other. I have large hands and fingers and this added feature I really liked.

The silver faceplate sticker I really didnít care for as I noticed it hadnít been pressed down well. It looked like it had already started to peel on one side. However, I did like the labeling for connections on the front thatís plus.

I purposely left the meter in Direct Sun light for over 30 minutes to see if it would cause the silver faceplate to lift up worse or to cause the readings to change. I recorded my earlier readings and came back and checked, saw very little changes. The Sticker remained in place and hadnít lifted anymore.
Sunlight really didnít give me any difficulties reading the display screen. Even at mid-day.

When I compared the meter reading to my receiverís readings I noticed some differences but not anything to worry about. My receiver has a very tight scale reading and even though it shows a weaker signal than the meter itself, I donít consider that a factor.

My Over all experience with the meter was enjoyable, it was easy to read and the instructions easy to understand. Personally, I like the meter but that is just me. It is what it is, a lower cost meter and it will not compete with a more expensive meter. For the occasional user it would be fine and for someone who needs a meter at a lower price its money well spent. Iím not a professional installer but a hobbyist and for me it fits both my wallet and works for my hobby. I can't really say anything bad about the meter except for the stick on face plate and I didn't care for that...

mr3p
04-06-2010, 04:33 AM
Nice review. I received mine last week and it works great. I especially like the fact that you can have the option to turn off the audio and its backlit to see at night. For the price you can't beat it. Big thumbs up.

pro96
04-14-2010, 08:26 PM
Well here is my report, received about 2 weeks ago but with the on-going hi winds and or rain + work, prevented me to test until today.

I liked the way it looks, it doesn't feel cheap like a lot of "budget" meters I've had in the past. Followed the simple steps on how to use it, even a 5yr old can follow them.

For my test I used the following:

6ft CBAND dish with Cband LNB
Sonicview 8000 HD receiver
113w Satmex 6, transponder 3748 V

Prior to connecting the DSF120+, I moved the 6FT about a foot west and the elevation about 6 inches up. So obviously my signal was at zero.

Powered the rear switch from the SV8000HD and connected the DSF120+ between the CBAND LNB and the Cable heading to my 4x1 switch.

Ran back inside the house and powered "on" the SV8000HD and went outside again.

The meter showed no signal on the display, and started to move the dish to where 113w is located, as soon as I messed with the elevation the extremely loud BEEP was sounding alright (as other tester noted) and immediately pushed the BUZZER button and muted completely. I find this loud Buzzer a plus for some people that need to install a dish in loud areas. So it does have an advantage for some.

The display showed a signal of 99%, and as per the steps it says to hit the ATT button a few times til the signal reaches half the signal.

I got it down to 52% approx and then tweaked the dish a bit more til I was able to reach about 72% which was the max I can get. A very simple signal adjust that took me about a minute or less to find. In fact took me longer to connect the meter itself then the actual signal finding.

When all was unplugged, I checked the signal level from the SV8000HD and it did show the signal in the 70's which tell me this switch does the job for me.

My overall experience was simple and efficient. No need to have big pockets to afford this simple but yet effective switch to peak your CBAND/KU dishes.

Give Robbie a call at WSI for the DSF120+ meter if you a guy like me that has a 6FT dish with no motor for manual ghetto signal finding and add this switch to make things much easier to find the signals.

Robbie, thanks for the meter. This is something that will be with me until it break hehe..

BTW: I have attached a picture so you guys can see how see the DSF120+ in action.

Cham
01-13-2011, 11:31 PM
I ordered the DSF120+C along with an LNBF from WSI on one of the holiday deals. Great value for both units.
Have used the meter a few times now and it works great. It isn't a real "professional" unit for a busy installer, but works great for us hobbyists. I was thinking of purchasing a high end type meter but now with this one I think I can easily make do. Excellent packaging and instructions. The meter feels solid as others have mentioned. The attenuator and gain control work well together.
Only one negative (not really an issue at all) is that the built-in compass doesn't work properly; likely something metallic close to the compass inside the case that attracts the magnet.

Also it works when operated outside at 10 deg F... Was outside tuning a Ku dish for almost an hour today. Snow and trees make a good microwave shield... so I had to move the dish.

-C.

jsattv
01-28-2011, 05:22 PM
Great reviews & info guys. Looked up the price on Amazon, & looks like an amazing price for a Digital Sat Meter.

Reigster at SatelliteGuys