Coolsat 4000 Plus

Status
Not open for further replies.

Iceberg

Thread Starter
The No Pain Train
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
283
35
The Lake House
I’ve been looking for a new FTA receiver to upgrade my free to air experience. I think I have found the answer in the Coolsat 4000 Pro. My main reason for an upgrade was I was sick of waiting 10 minutes to scan a satellite when I want to see the big game and wanted AC-3 audio for the PBS channels.

The Coolsat 4000 Pro is the newest model of the Coolsat line of free to air receivers, replacing the 4000 Plus. The first thing I noticed about the unit is it has more inputs/outputs than any other FTA receiver I’ve seen. There is an input for satellite, a loop out (to hook another receiver to it), antenna in, rf out, two sets of A/V outputs, a S-Video output and a coaxial output. I was happy because I can hook 2 VCR’s to it, without the use of a distribution box.

I already had a motor from my previous setup, so I put that at my true south and hooked it to the Coolsat. Setup is a breeze. When you first set up the unit, it asks for your language for the menus. Obviously, I selected English and away we go. Press “Menu” and go into the Dish Setup menu. You can select a fixed dish or motorized. One note; regardless of if it’s a fixed or motorized, you have to go into the fixed system first and get everything set up before you can go to the motorized.
I went in and selected IA6, which is my true south. I changed the LO frequency (to 10750) and added the DiseQc switch (I have a 2 way switch between the motor and the LNB’s). Saved it and went into motorized setup. You can use either 1.2 or USALS. I selected USALS and went in and put my latitude and longitude. Make sure to put the exact in. I am at 93.5 longitude, but on my original unit, I put 93.0. That ½ a degree can make a HUGE difference, so make sure you put in it right. I told the motor this is my 0 spot and saved. I don’t know why it does, but the motor seems to move a lot faster with the Coolsat than the other 2 receivers I’ve used that can motor. I can get from SBS6 to G10 in about 15-20 seconds, much faster than the Pansat would do it. The 1.2 allows you to fine tune a satellite, which I used for the DBS satellites, since the LNB is to the right of the KU LNB, so if I go to 91 for ExpressVu, I am actually at 87ish. I am a little more than 4 degrees off with the DBS LNB. Use the 1.2 and move it until the bar turns green. Hit it one at a time to fine tune. The unit controls the SG2100 motor very smoothly. Once you have USALS in the rest is a snap. Add a satellite and it goes to it. No extra work needed (I like no extra work).

You have 4 options of scanning. These are auto, blind, manual, and PID. Auto scanning will scan all transponders (TP’s) in memory. Blind scan will scan for unknown TP’s. Manual and PID scans allow you select a TP to scan, and in the case of PID scan, which PID’s to scan. I did a blind scan. Now, let me tell you about the blind scan capability of the Coolsat. It is fast, very fast. My Pansat would scan for frequencies, store them, and then scan the frequencies for channels. The Coolsat does it all at once. No waiting once you know how many TP’s are in memory for the channels to scan in. The Coolsat does it all. I hooked a line to both the Pansat and the Coolsat and decided to scan IA6. I scanned it on the Coolsat in about 3 minutes. The Pansat was about half done (it had just flipped to Vertical when the Coolsat was done) so the Pansat still had about another 4-5 minutes left. This fast scanning speed helps out immensely when you are scanning for the “big game”. No need to kill 7-10 minutes scanning the satellite, only to come up empty. Another thing that is really cool is you can select which satellites to scan. So you don’t have to scan one, then wait for it to be done, then go to the next one and repeat. You can select which satellites you want to scan, hit OK, and go grab yourself a snack. Let the unit do the work. Now you may ask yourself “Why wouldn’t I want to scan ALL satellites?” Well, if you have the DBS satellites programmed in, so you can listen to the audio channels, or to watch NASA or Gol TV, it doesn’t pay to scan them every time you want to scan for new stuff. Most feeds are on SBS6, AMC9, AMC5, G11 and IA6. So why scan 15 satellites when you can set it to scan 5? You can set the blind scan to scan fast, or scan for detail. I haven’t figured out the difference between fast scan and detail. I scanned G10 both using the fast setting and detail, and other than the detail setting taking longer, I got the same channels. The one drawback I noticed is sometimes the unit won’t pick up a TP during a blind scan. I was not able to blind scan KUIL on AMC4. Now I know this one is a bugger to get, but it stops near the frequency but won’t log it. The other drawback is when you blind scan, you can’t select only FTA, so if you scan a DBS satellite, you get all channels (once you have the frequencies in it, the auto scan solves this issue). But you can wipe out all scrambled channels with one delete. The auto scan works real well when you just want to scan to see if a transponder has any new channels (this works well for the G10 channels). You can scan all (scrambled & FTA), FTA only or TV only. I really like the TV only setting, as it allows you to scan IA5 (as an example) and have only the TV channels. The best part about scanning a DBS satellite (especially for me) is no dreaded Pansat issue. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, the Pansat will put 13 “dummy” channels PER TRANSPONDER when you scan a DBS satellite. This doesn’t. So you can scan without having to worry about deleting 300 channels. The PID setting scan is a neat little feature. As most of you know, there are some radio stations on G10, but they are set up as second audio on the video ones. You can manually put in the audio PID, and it will store a channel in the radio area. When you scan, if the channel isn’t labeled, it will put the TP info in the channel guide. An example would be “TV 1 11985 TP”

Now that you’ve got all these channels, what to do with them. What is really nice is you can “preview” a channel. Bring up the channel list and go to a channel and hit “OK”. The channel shows up in the corner. Want to watch it? Hit “OK” again and you’ll go to it. Don’t want to? Hit “exit” and you’ll exit out of the channel list and go back to what you were watching. Hit the info button while on a channel and it shows the channel name, satellite, signal, and time. Hit it again and you have the PID info. You can move the channels around, delete, rename, and even edit the PID’s. The EPG guide only works with channels that output it. Unfortunately, most channels won’t have a guide. The ones I noticed that do are the freeview channels on ExpressVu. The unit has a clock, which unlike some other units, doesn’t lose time throughout the day. It also has 8 timers that you can set, so you don’t miss your favorite program throughout the day. One word of caution. If you have timers that are on different satellites, I highly recommend (unless you feel you can’t) having the timer fire off a minute or two early. This allows the motor to move over to the correct satellite. I did some testing with the timers and they all fired off without a hitch (unlike some other equipment I’ve worked with).

The remote that came with it is a universal one, so you can control your TV, VCR and another item along with the receiver. The manual is actually the best one I’ve seen. You can actually understand it, and unlike some others, you won’t be more confused than when you started.

All and all, this is an awesome unit and an upgrade from my Pansat.

Some of the features are
-multiple A/V outputs
-S-Video and Optical output
-Multiple speed blind scanning (fast, detail)
-4 different scan modes
-multiple satellite scanning
-DiseQc 1.0, 1.2 and USALS
-A clock that actually works
-Sort channels by satellite, TP, alphabetized, or by favorite.
-8 timers that can do once, daily, weekly
-Security setting for the kiddies
-you can rename satellites pretty easily
-You can turn off some security settings, so you don’t have to press “0000" every time you want to go into the menus. This is a HUGE plus for me
-8 favorite lists
-delete all scrambled channels with one button
-multiple ways to delete channels (delete channel, TP, satellite or all)
-skip channels when using the channel up/down, but can select it manually
-3 games (Tetris, Snake, Sokoban)
-software upgradeable via their website

I have found two minor drawbacks on the unit.
-One of the drawbacks might be meter. It doesn’t seem to fluxuate much. I haven’t worked with it enough to see if this is a positive (the meter doesn’t bounce around as much as other receivers I’ve had) or a con (you don’t know if you have a 30 signal or a 70), but for right now I haven’t noticed an issue with signal.
-Another one is in the blind scan. I could not get KUIL or Montana PBS to log in on the blind scan. But I know it was hard to get these two unless you manually type them in. I was able to type them in manually and scan them. Also, when you blind scan, you cannot select “All” or “FTA”. So when you scan a DBS satellite, you get all the channels, even though 98% are scrambled. There is a workaround to this, by going into the menu and selecting “delete all scrambled”. This is only when you are blind scanning. If you use the auto scan, you can select “FTA”.

So after working with the unit for about 4 hours, on a 1-10 scale, I would give it a 9. It is easy enough for a beginner to get into FTA and enjoy it, but also is advanced enough for someone like me who has worked with many different receivers. Other than the two minor drawbacks I noted above, this is a feature rich receiver at a dang good price.

I would like to give a big shout out to the place I got the unit from. www.ftadirect.com specializes in the Coolsat units along with all the accessories you would need. When I was looking for a new unit, I wanted to purchase from a company that would help me if I had an issue. This is the place. You can e-mail them and they get back to you right away, or you can call them and an actual person picks up. Very few companies that specialize in FTA receivers have this. It seems most are fly by night operations who just want to take your money. Not www.ftadirect.com . They have been in the business for a while now. I e-mailed a couple questions to them before making my decision and they responded right away. I ordered it on a Friday and had it the next Wednesday. This is customer service that I expect. So if you’re looking for a Coolsat, check them out at www.ftadirect.com And tell them Iceberg sent ya : )

Here are some screen shots...they may not be the best (due to glare off TV and the simple camera I have) but you get the jist. More pictures coming soon :)
 
Last edited:

TuxCoder

Collector of Space Beams
Supporting Founder
Jul 8, 2004
2,050
0
Dayton, OH
I agree, great review - because you made me want one. :)

Hmm, I'll check out the distributor you got yours from. With the "no dummy channels" issue, I assume that means it just doesn't store any channels with APID & VPID 0 then? Also, I like the "delete scrambled channels" feature, how novel. There of course are sometimes a few channels that show up in the list as scrambled but are still clear (at least on the Pansat). It probably would whack those also, but that's fine with me. If anything out of those few goes away that I didn't want to, I can manually re-enter them.
 

Iceberg

Thread Starter
The No Pain Train
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
283
35
The Lake House
TuxCoder said:
I agree, great review - because you made me want one. :)

Hmm, I'll check out the distributor you got yours from. With the "no dummy channels" issue, I assume that means it just doesn't store any channels with APID & VPID 0 then?
correct
Also, I like the "delete scrambled channels" feature, how novel. There of course are sometimes a few channels that show up in the list as scrambled but are still clear (at least on the Pansat). It probably would whack those also, but that's fine with me. If anything out of those few goes away that I didn't want to, I can manually re-enter them.
I love this feature too :) You can delete all radio, all scrambled, all channels, or master reset (everything)

When you blind scan a DBS satellite, it does put all channels (even scrambled), but once the frequencies are in...you can just do an auto scan and say "Free" and it will find those only :)
So the Show all DBS channels is a one time shot, since the DBS frequencies are the same :D
 

spyder

SatelliteGuys Family
Jan 2, 2004
61
0
upstate SC
How many actual satellite positions can be programmed into this unit? I've also been looking at these since I agree the Fortec/Pansat units are not what they're built up to be as a blind scanner.
 

Iceberg

Thread Starter
The No Pain Train
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
283
35
The Lake House
well, lets see...this is what I have programmed into it right now
E3, AMC6, SBS6, AMC5, N2, AMC9, AMC3, G11, N1, IA6, G3, IA5, AMC4, AMC1, AMC2, E6, SATMEX, E7, E9, G10, IA7, H1, E1

23 :)

for a refresher these are at 61.5, 72, 74, 79, 82, 83, 87, 91, 91, 93, 95, 97,101, 103, 105, 110, 116, 119, 121, 123, 127, 129, 148
 

spyder

SatelliteGuys Family
Jan 2, 2004
61
0
upstate SC
Iceberg , a couple more questions if I may bother you for a moment. :)

A: Does the Coolsat allow you to specify a scanning frequency range? IE: on standard ku if I only wanted to scan from 11850 - 12000 instead of the entire range.

B: does it have any options related to symbol rate scanning, other than in the manual/pid scan option? IE: my Manhattan allows me to chose from "all , 2000-3000, or below 2000"

The reason I ask is because I'll mostly be using this unit mated with the 1 meter dish as an atlantic news feeds / DSNG setup, and many feed slots fall within a certain SR range and are somewhat weaker signals and harder to scan on a standard blind scan.

Appreciate the info.
 

Iceberg

Thread Starter
The No Pain Train
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
283
35
The Lake House
spyder said:
Iceberg , a couple more questions if I may bother you for a moment. :)

A: Does the Coolsat allow you to specify a scanning frequency range? IE: on standard ku if I only wanted to scan from 11850 - 12000 instead of the entire range.
I really haven't tried that...I'll have to see if it is an option.

B: does it have any options related to symbol rate scanning, other than in the manual/pid scan option? IE: my Manhattan allows me to chose from "all , 2000-3000, or below 2000"
not that I'm aware of...I know you can manual scan and input the SR
 

SJC408

Member
Apr 23, 2005
10
0
Thanks for the excellent review Iceberg :)

I was considering in getting a CoolSat and sounds like a pretty good receiver. I was also looking into getting DigiWave which its almost similar to CoolSat but a little bit cheaper. Well, i'll see what i'll get. I have to really look into it :cool:
 

eddisd

New Member
Apr 24, 2005
2
0
I have a coolsat 4000 pro, and I have been unable to get it to work properly. I had a panasat 2500 and it worked as well as you can expect. However, I have not been able to get any channels on the Coolsat other than NASA on the free list. Is there something I need to do to swith from the panasat to the coolsat? Do I need a new dish, is there some additional software or hardware I need. I really need some help, I am new to this, and haven't the foggiest idea what I should do. Can someone please help?
 

Iceberg

Thread Starter
The No Pain Train
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
283
35
The Lake House
TuxCoder said:
I agree, great review - because you made me want one. :)

Hmm, I'll check out the distributor you got yours from. With the "no dummy channels" issue, I assume that means it just doesn't store any channels with APID & VPID 0 then? Also, I like the "delete scrambled channels" feature, how novel. There of course are sometimes a few channels that show up in the list as scrambled but are still clear (at least on the Pansat). It probably would whack those also, but that's fine with me. If anything out of those few goes away that I didn't want to, I can manually re-enter them.
Here are a few more screenshots. As you can see, after scanning ExpressVu (blind scan) there are lots of scrambled channels...one button and they're gone :)
 
Last edited:

microlar

New Member
Apr 25, 2005
2
0
Will Coolsat 4000Pro work with Circular Polarity LNBs?

If I get the package Coolsat 4000Pro and T55 with 3 LNB's, will I be able to get the channels on W119 with circular polarity?
 

microlar

New Member
Apr 25, 2005
2
0
T55 vs. Dish 500

Using a Coolsat 4000Pro, how many more different channels do I get using a T55 instead of a Dish 500?
 

Iceberg

Thread Starter
The No Pain Train
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
283
35
The Lake House
microlar said:
Using a Coolsat 4000Pro, how many more different channels do I get using a T55 instead of a Dish 500?
NONE!

hack talk is not allowed here. I have a Coolsat for FTA (not free to steal) :)
 

elect101

Member
May 2, 2005
5
0
Coolsat 4000 Pro firmware

In your original discription of the Coolsat 4000 Pro, you mentioned you had IA6 in your satellite list. I just received my 4000 a few days ago and it does not contain an up to date satellite list - for instance, it has Telstar 5 and 6 in place of IA5 and 6. I've been trying to find where I can obtain an up to date satellite list to load into the receiver or a method of manually doing so (not desireable!). Have downloaded a zip file from an apparently legit site, but it has no "loader" with it or instructions - only a piece of what looks like an online conversation between two people in Korea - not much help there!
So my question is: how did you update your firmware list?
Thanks, Don
 

elect101

Member
May 2, 2005
5
0
Thanks Iceberg,
That leads me to another question then. The number of transponders and their particular frequencies are different between Telstar 5 & IA5 for instance. How do you get them changed to agree with IA5's setup (or any other satellite for that matter)? Also, how do you add a new satellite not already in the list?
Thanks again!
 

Iceberg

Thread Starter
The No Pain Train
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
283
35
The Lake House
elect101 said:
Thanks Iceberg,
That leads me to another question then. The number of transponders and their particular frequencies are different between Telstar 5 & IA5 for instance. How do you get them changed to agree with IA5's setup (or any other satellite for that matter)? Also, how do you add a new satellite not already in the list?
Thanks again!
They shouldn't be.....as to changing them, I just did a blind scan. It put all active TP's in :)

to add one, you can rename one (I renamed a C-Band one for SBS6 since I don't have C-Band) but there should be an option at the end to add some more...
 

elect101

Member
May 2, 2005
5
0
Thanks again Iceberg!
Would have been nice if the manual had mentioned that it would replace all existing transponder info with new stuff and that it does not have to even be the same type of satellite.
I have now picked up NASA ok on Echostar-7. Think that previously I had picked up Echostar-9 which also has Dish stuff on it and thought it was 7.
I see that the freq/transponder numbers don't match up with Lyngsat TP printouts - NASA shows up on 12.248 Ghz which I suppose must be on TP-2 instead of TP-6 as shown in the printout. Also, I got 7 free Tv channels (some are duplicate programming), and 135 radio stations.
You've been a great help & are much appreciated!
 

Iceberg

Thread Starter
The No Pain Train
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
283
35
The Lake House
elect101 said:
Thanks again Iceberg!
Would have been nice if the manual had mentioned that it would replace all existing transponder info with new stuff and that it does not have to even be the same type of satellite.
most manuals aren't good enough for toilet paper. But I just mingled aronud with it seeing if its user friendly...I did notice room for about 10 extra satellites at the end. Scroll through all the satellites, and there will be some ------ ones. These can be anything :)
I have now picked up NASA ok on Echostar-7. Think that previously I had picked up Echostar-9 which also has Dish stuff on it and thought it was 7.
I see that the freq/transponder numbers don't match up with Lyngsat TP printouts - NASA shows up on 12.248 Ghz which I suppose must be on TP-2 instead of TP-6 as shown in the printout.
If you blind search, it does all vertical first then horizontal...in my case, TP's 1,3,5,7,& 9 I can't pick up due to spotbeams, so TP11 might be in my system as TP 1....Its no biggie as if you need to know which TP its on, just hit "info" on the channel and it will give you the TP frequency and pids
Also, I got 7 free Tv channels (some are duplicate programming), and 135 radio stations.
Sounds about right...Dish 101 (and 480 & 490), NASA, Angel One, 2nd dish channel, Dish 501
You've been a great help & are much appreciated!
always glad to help :)
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Total: 1, Members: 0, Guests: 1)

Top