Advice on getting a new dvb-s2 card for my computer: looking into TBS and Prof

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SatelliteGuys Family
Original poster
Apr 13, 2006
Hi folks, what's up?
Ever since I've started this hobby I've tried out loads of different dvb-s tuner cards. I've had the skystars for years. Then dvb-S2 appeared in 2006 and I've had a Technotrend S2-3600 (usb) and a Technotrend S2-3200. I'm not very happy with these cards as they lock very often, and I have to reboot my machine. Another very annoying thing is that these cards won't allow to point a dish manually. They will only lock to a transponder when a dish is already correctly pointed and receiving a signal. So when I need to set a dish up I need a skystar card... this is particularly annoying when I travel I have to carry a skystar usb for pointing a dish and then the 3600 card for actually tv viewing. And on top of that, two PSUs as the skystar usb is 5V and the other, 12V.
I don't now how to explain this any better. It's like if the skystar was into "listening" mode: when the dish is moved and a signal starts coming in, it will instantaneously display a signal on whatever dvb player application I'm using; whereas the 3600 and 3200 cards are completely "deaf" and will only display a signal if the signal is coming in strong. Do you see what I mean?

Since this is a major issue for me, especially with the usb boxes, I would like to ask you: could you please assure me that the prof 7500 card allows to point a dish in so to speak "listening" mode (my own expression, I know :D).
What about the TBS 6981 Pci-e dual tuner one? A friend of mine can get me a very nice deal for both these cards.

I appreciate any comments. Thanks in advance. All the best!
Pointing a dish only with a PC tuner is possible, but it's not always easy. Often a cheap meter ($10-20) will get you in the ballpark faster, after which you could use a PC tuner to make fine adjustments. This is complicated further on Windows where there is no standard for a driver to express measured signal quality in a meaningful manner.

Still it can be done, and the Prof 7500 is a very sensitive tuner compared to the older models you have listed. I have a couple 7500s along with several Prof 7301 and 8000 tuners. I actually use these quite often for fine mechanical adjustments, but on Linux where I have modified the drivers to provide highly accurate data. But a friend has used Profs to point dishes with Windows.

I have no personal experience with the TBS 6981, however it has no provision for blindscanning. All the current generation Profs can do blindscanning.

If you have no further use for your Technotrend S2-3200, shoot me a PM as I am looking to modify one for a one-off application.
Don't worry, I've been pointing dishes for years with my PCs, always using dvb software. I know the display levels aren't accurate, but they work ok for me, I try to maximize on the weakest transponders. I've set motors up this way too. I had a cheapo satfinder when I first got into the hobby years ago but it annoyed me more than anything. It won't tell if you're pointing at the wrong satellite. I have never again used one.

It's good to know that the prof 7500 has a nice tuner capable of picking weak signals. But are you 100% sure it works in the way I tried to explain? To illustrate further - the Technotrend S2-3600 has a led, that will stay yellow when not locked to a signal, and turn green when locked. If I have say a dish that I manually, intentionnally move, the card will loose the signal, becoming yellow, and if I manually put the dish back to its place, the 3600 will not on its own become green again - ONLY when I tune to a channel again on the dvb player it will lock again the transponder and become green. So, it's impossible to move a dish pointing at the sky in an attempt to find any incoming signals with these cards.

If I get a suitable replacement I will sell the 3200, the thing is, I'm in Europe not NA...
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