Auto Scanning

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SATire

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Jul 8, 2010
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Is there such a beast as an auto scanning FTA receiver?
Kind of how we used to listen to the scanners, listening for the next cop call, it makes me wonder if there is such a thing for FTA. The reason I ask is that there are so many news and other temp channels and one never knows when to take a look at them so if there was auto scanning, perhaps one could scan between them til something pops up. Just like a radio scanner, stay or move on if not interested.
 

brentb636

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Jun 24, 2006
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5 miles N of Saugatuck, Mi
I tried scanning all the sats from 72W to 127W today on my Sathawk 800. It took a couple hours, and the Sathawk is pretty quick compared to some receivers I've had. By the time it finished the scan, a channel could have gone active on 72W and been done with, before the scan was over. I can't see how constantly running an autoscan would work with current hardware.
Perhaps if you had a large dish array to cover all the birds over North America (to eliminate motor movement delay), and a computer for each dish, each with a Pci Card capable of blindscan, and programmable to the extent that it would notifiy the system operator of anything new that was found, you might get there. It sounds pretty complex to me.
:)
 

SatelliteAV

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Sep 3, 2004
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Is there such a beast as an auto scanning FTA receiver?
Kind of how we used to listen to the scanners, listening for the next cop call, it makes me wonder if there is such a thing for FTA.
Have a prototype for a "scan the sky" project, but no off the shelf equipment that I am aware available on the market.

Most of us use a spectrum analyzer to track transponders as they light up, then just scan the small spectrum to quickly lock the signal.
 

SATire

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Jul 8, 2010
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Hey Brian, this is something you're using?

Indeed, having to motor would not work but say a dish with multiple LNB's, perhaps multiple smaller dishes, I don't know. All I know is that I keep channels I've seen news casts on now and then but find it near impossible to know when something is on one.
 

Pixl

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Feb 27, 2010
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Traverse City, Michigan
Is there such a beast as an auto scanning FTA receiver?
Kind of how we used to listen to the scanners, listening for the next cop call, it makes me wonder if there is such a thing for FTA. The reason I ask is that there are so many news and other temp channels and one never knows when to take a look at them so if there was auto scanning, perhaps one could scan between them til something pops up. Just like a radio scanner, stay or move on if not interested.
It would seem to me that a FTA PC card and some clever software would be the ticket for this. The receivers have limited processing power but do the job they were designed for nicely. A pc card in a computer with the right software could be scanning channels all day and output a log file of the latest finds. I just don't know how to write software. Idea for some one!

Jim
 

SATire

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Jul 8, 2010
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I think that would be something a lot of people would be interested in. Especially those who are most interested in wild news feeds, like myself for example.
 

Mikhel

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May 27, 2008
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I think that would be something a lot of people would be interested in. Especially those who are most interested in wild news feeds, like myself for example.
If the final product's cost is less than a BLSA it would be pretty awesome, but right now what you would love to have is a BLSA (spectrum analyzer), once you get used to it, it's a pretty fascinating piece of equipment.
 

Stargazer

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I am surprised that there is not a website (or that it is not listed on a website such as ftalist) that does not show live transponders coming active on the different satellites. I have heard of people using the spectrum analyzers in the past to detect the new channels. Would be nice if a receiver had one built into it then scan only those that had the changes.

I am thinking the reason why scanners are able to detect people so quickly and the satellite receivers ain't able to is due to the fact that scanners have a lot less frequencies to look for or they are already programmed for certain known channels.
 

Mikhel

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May 27, 2008
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Stargazer said:
I am surprised that there is not a website (or that it is not listed on a website such as ftalist) that does not show live transponders coming active on the different satellites.
The guys from SatcoDX had a great idea, but there was (or is, i have not checked in a while) a lot of wrong and old data.
 

brentb636

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 24, 2006
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5 miles N of Saugatuck, Mi
I am surprised that there is not a website (or that it is not listed on a website such as ftalist) that does not show live transponders coming active on the different satellites. I have heard of people using the spectrum analyzers in the past to detect the new channels. Would be nice if a receiver had one built into it then scan only those that had the changes.

I am thinking the reason why scanners are able to detect people so quickly and the satellite receivers ain't able to is due to the fact that scanners have a lot less frequencies to look for or they are already programmed for certain known channels.
RF scanners use an omnidirectional antenna, too. ALL the radio spectrum is available to the scanner at one time. Our satellites are directional, so you have to aim at each individually to scan, and the frequencies are re-used. Makes it a pretty complex deal.
:)
 

SATire

Thread Starter
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Jul 8, 2010
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But let's assume that someone is scanning only one satellite, or has multiple LNB's or dishes, so that there isn't any dish movement going on. I would not expect to be doing this with motoring myself.
 

Mikhel

On Vacation
May 27, 2008
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San Diego, California
But let's assume that someone is scanning only one satellite, or has multiple LNB's or dishes, so that there isn't any dish movement going on. I would not expect to be doing this with motoring myself.
That's basically what those guys I told you were doing but i think they aren't doing it anymore (they included a CD, World Of Satellites, with the tele-satellite magazine), or at least their info i think it's no longer available as it was before, they had dish farms with one or more LNB pointed to a satellite and receivers constantly scanning and reporting the info to their servers.

I mean... it can be done, what i've done is using four receivers at the same time, one per parabolic dish (and two in a single dish), so while one C band antenna is parked at 116°W scanning C/Ku with a Pansat and a CaptiveWorks CW700s (I've find that useful for weak signals), there's another at the same time parked at 113°W scanning C/Ku with a Fortec, and a third one scanning 105°W C with a Pansat, i do three consecutive scans.

Once the scans have been completed (10-15 minutes), I move the antennas, so now i have:
One at 103°W
One at 101°W
One at 99°W

And so on and on... and that not counting the Ku offset dishes parked at 72°W, 91°W, 105°W and 99°W or at times 97°W, connected via a DiSEqC to a Pansat.

It saves me up a lot of time, at least 15min per satellite, altough most of the time what i've been looking for has already been found by rick's people (the best at hunting feeds, just don't ask because i think it can't be mentioned here), but i like to do it and from time to time stumble upon things that caught my attention.

Altough i'm pretty convinced that a BLSA would cut my scanning time an awful lot.

=)

Cheers!

Mike
 
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