heading to kansas city this week for easter. want to go see ricks satellite in blue springs.

chaskuchar

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Pub Member / Supporter
Apr 16, 2010
807
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saint charles, missouri
we will be only about 15 miles from there. the web has his place as selling the azbox. if i am interested in one, which one has dbs2? and i want to hook it up to the same dish, 7.5', that i am going to have the new microhd also hooked up. mainly to get 4-2-2 reception. don't want to pay a whole bunch but i can spring for a couple of hundred for it. any suggestions? anyone dealt with these satellite receiver shop? thanks. charlie
 

mr3p

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Jan 1, 2010
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oh well, just ordered the az box elite from ricks. 259 including shipping. now i just have to wait to order the microhd. charlie

charlie, at the risk of second guessing your plans, why would you purchase the elite when you are going to get the microHD? the elite is nice recevier but other than the ability to receive 4:2:2, I'm not sure its a good bang for the buck. the elite is one of the older azboxs and does not have hardware blindscan.
 

chaskuchar

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Apr 16, 2010
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saint charles, missouri
it is a new toy. i understand there are open source programs running the elite now and they do have blind scan. and since my solomend needs fixing occasionally i want another receiver to experiment with. i could have gotten the premium plus but think the elite is fine. maybe i will change my mind after i get it... charlie
 

AcWxRadar

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 26, 2006
4,575
4
40 miles NW of Omaha. Omaha?
Chas,

Sorry I did not see your post til today.

I would have liked to recommend that you go with the AZBox Premium Plus. I have several reasons to be pro on that model, but I cannot say that the Elite model has any drawbacks.

Pros for the Premium Plus:

1] WiFi:

This is a very important item for me, I hated having cables continually laid out or having to get behind the entertainment center to hook them up. I have several AZBoxes now and it is great to be able to access them all, individually by their own specific address via WiFi and manage them from my desk computer in the den. It is so convenient that I cannot imagine ever going back to using cables.

2] Internal HDD docking bay / access:

This is a real plus if you are into recording movies and programs. It doesn't take long to fill up a 1 TB HDD and therefore I have several HDDs. With the "hatch" access to the docking bay, I can quickly pop one out and another one in. Eventually, I would like to have several 500 GB HDDs and each one dedicated to a specific genre of movies. Westerns / Cowboy on one, comedies, drama, war flicks, etc. each on their own dedicated HDD. I started out with just one 500 GB Samsung HDD and filled that up right away by transferring all my DVDs to it. Then I upgraded to a 1 TB Samsung HDD and filled that up, too. I have specific folders created on the 1 TB HDD which are categorized to each genre, but it isn't enough space to hold everything. The original Premium doesn't offer a simple method to access the HDD bay. You have to remove the entire cover and unbolt the HDD from its mounts. The Premium PLUS has just a little door on top with six screws (that I don't bother inserting anymore) and when you remove that panel, you can simply lift the HDD up and out and insert the new one.

3] Blind Scan:

The Premium Plus has hardware programmed blind scan features. Not sure if the Elite does or does not. Scanning is painfully very slow, but it is more accurate than "simulated" blind scan via software. The tuner module is set up for it better.

4] Dual tuner capability:

With the Premium PLUS, you do have the option to install two satellite DVB-S tuners. The original Premium would handle two tuners, but one had to be terrestrial or cable. You couldn't install two sat tuners. This is what I wanted so that I could dedicate one tuner for Ku and one for C-band. A lot simpler to manage the channel lists and motor control this way.

5] Front Panel Display:

I think the Elite has this, but some of the newer models don't. This may seem like an old world perk, but I find it absolutely crucial. I would not purchase a STB that did not have a front panel display. It offers you a lot of info when you don't have your TV or connections / resolution set up properly. You can use the info indicated on the display to set up the receiver to match your TV without having to do so BLIND.

I have several AZBox Premiums and one Premium Plus. I love the PLUS! I also love the Coolsat 5000 receiver and I am looking forward to the new microHD receiver that we have all been hearing about. Bad part regarding the PLUS is that it is much more $. Personally, I think it is worth the money, even though the YouTube and browser features leave a lot to be desired, but that has more to do with my internet connection and not the box. For what I intended to use it for, it is great (satellite reception).

RADAR
 

AcWxRadar

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 26, 2006
4,575
4
40 miles NW of Omaha. Omaha?
radar, thanks for the tip. called rick and he had not shipped the elite yet and i switched to the premium plus. thanks for the tip. charlie

Chas,

You are welcome and I know that you will be proud to own the PLUS. All the AZBoxes have certain quirks and you are not trading out of the AZBox family, you are just getting what I think is the best box they offer. You will definitely have support from me. You will need to access the STICKIE for the A-Z Guide for the AZBox, it is a must read. Lots of information in there that you must digest. It will take some time, so get started on it as soon as you can.

The very first thing that you must do is North Americanize your satellite list. Check what they have installed first, but most of the receivers will come with a factory list that includes European and Asian satellites that we cannot see from North America. There are one or more sats that have incorrect TP data included (possibly fixed by now), but that can create conflicts for us.

Get the MaZEdit, ACC and AZEdit and FileZilla programs installed on your computer. You will need all of these programs, maybe not so much the FileZilla, but it is good to have.

Load the latest OFFICIAL firmware image file. Read the instructions about loading firmware and always use the USB stick drive for this, don't use the auto upgrade via internet as it can drop out and lose data and that may lock up your box if the download doesn't play through right. Download the firmware file to your PC and check the size of the file once the download is complete and ensure that the downloaded file size matches the original file size. I have had problems with this in the past where the download stops short and you only have 1/3 of the file or so.

Once you get a good download, copy the file to the USB drive and rename it a patch or patch.bin. Renaming the file with the .bin extension depends on whether your PC is set up to ignore known file extensions or not. For example, my PC is set up so that if a binary file is detected, it automatically assigns .bin to the filename. If I rename the file patch.bin, the PC adds another .bin extension to it. Now the file name appears as patch.bin.bin and the AZBox won't recognize that. This is not a major problem, it won't create any corruption or conflicts, you just need to know what to expect. You can go into your tools menu and change the setting or you can determine which way you need to rename the file and just keep that in your head. The AZBox will just ignore the file if it is not properly named, so it doesn't cause any problems, except for maybe confusing you. Now that you are aware of the issue, it shouldn't confuse you either.

The best tip I can give you is to NOT turn the HARDWARE ACCELERATION feature ON. All this does is overclock the processor frequency and from what I can tell, it doesn't improve anything that you will notice. But, what is much worse, it can kill the box outright on the spot. It makes the processor work harder and faster and HOTTER. I tried this with my first box, didn't really improve anything but it did run a lot hotter. Tried it with my 3rd box and it died right on the spot. I mean it was an immediate kill. So, if there is no real advantage to this setting, there is no reason to take the chance to use it. I feel that it shouldn't even be an option. You will have to trust my judgement on this feature. You just don't know what will happen in the first place and even if it doesn't kill the box, it doesn't really do anything for you. Don't chance it.

You should be well armed for all the situations that may arise so that you can enjoy this satellite receiver. I have had one AZBox for many years, I forget how long it's been, but it has been turned on 24/7 and still keeps on going. You will have to alter your past experience / knowledge from other IRDs because this box is unique. Some people dislike the AZBoxes, but I love mine and I have four of them now. It just takes a wee bit of adjustment.

Stick with the official OpenSat firmware until you get accustomed to navigating the receiver menus. Down the road, you might try some of the open source firmware if you feel brave, but don't do that right out of the gate. I have not strayed beyond the factory firmware as I am still learning and I am a bit leary of the new stuff. Many of them have a few bugs to work out. So does the official OpenSat firmware, but at least I am comfortable with that.

When I am able to check in to the forum during my moving experience, I promise to help you. Ah heck, you know that I would, but my responses might be a little delayed.

Take care and enjoy your new AZBox!

RADAR
 

chaskuchar

Thread Starter
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Apr 16, 2010
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saint charles, missouri
system software is o.9.5309. birds on there are 3w to 143w, both spares and everything inbetween as as far as i can see. rick scanned in 89w and 103w already. however, i am using a manual actuator that is probably 30 years old but in good shape. had to take it apart and put it back together and it is still working ok. am trying to figure out scanning but last night i got up a couple of times to do a blind scan and then went back to bed. i do not have any usb or hard drive memory for it yet. might have to format one of my usb's in fat32 instead of nfts. printed out the az box user guide but i didn't think it matched my receiver because it refers to other boxes than the premium plus but i am going though it. thanks again, charlie
 

AcWxRadar

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 26, 2006
4,575
4
40 miles NW of Omaha. Omaha?
Charlie,

The guide will consider the Premium (which will be the same as the PLUS) for all intents and purposes. Most of the information is universal to all the AZBox models.

When you run the BLIND SCANS, don't be confused if it doesn't find every channel during the scan. It will find all the TPs, but sometimes overlooks a few channels.
It usually does extremely well. I sometimes run a SATELLITE SCAN or a TP SCAN after the BLIND SCAN, especially if I am looking for a specific signal. If you run a
single TP SCAN, wait for the signal and quality bars to register a reading before you initialize the scan process. The tuner needs to see the signal before you start
the scan otherwise it will zip through the scan in a split second and register no channels.

The Samsung eco HDDs work great in this box. 300 GB, 500 GB up to 1 TB. Format them with your PC in FAT32 if you can. If you allow the AZBox to format them, that
works great, but then it is formatted in ext2 or ext3 (Linux) and you won't be able to remove the HDD from the AZBox and connect it directly to your PC with windows OS.
Either way has an advantage (format in Linux allows larger file size blocks to be recorded).

RADAR
 
Last edited:

Magic Static

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Oct 12, 2010
7,498
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Montana
One thing more about Blind Scanning, The AZ has a quirk. It sets limits in the GBox when it scans and then you can't move the dish until you clear them. After you move the dish and before you initiate a scan, TURN OFF THE POSITIONER. This will prevent limits from being set while scanning.
 

chaskuchar

Thread Starter
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Apr 16, 2010
807
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saint charles, missouri
i didn't see where that is at on the positioner. i don't have an automatic. i have to position the dish myself with this prosat positioner that i push east and west buttons to position it. had to readjust the actuator yesterday to see 55.5w to 137w. i could get further east but my neighbors house is in the way. i did scan 55.5w to 99w last night c and k mostly. did not get every bird though. btw, when i position, there is a potentiometer reading on the display. 55.5w is 167, just short of the east limit and 137w is 29, just short of the west limit of 25. i did find out that i need to postion on the k band before scanning the c band because the k is much sharper definition. now when i get this az box scanned and the favorites set up, then i can move it upstairs to the wife and she will have the gbox to position it. hopefully that will work? charlie
 

Magic Static

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Oct 12, 2010
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The quirk happens using DiSEqC 1.2 to control the positioner. If I understand right, you don't have the positioner hooked to the receiver, so it wouldn't be a problem. I use the remote to control the positioner manually, turn off/on.
 

AcWxRadar

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 26, 2006
4,575
4
40 miles NW of Omaha. Omaha?
Now when i get this az box scanned and the favorites set up, then i can move it upstairs to the wife and she will have the gbox to position it. hopefully that will work? charlie

Charlie,

Yes, that should work fine.

The problem with limits only seems to come into play when blind scanning with the G-Box / V-Box. If the dish is positioned and then the positioner or controller is powered OFF, then you can scan and limits won't be set. If the positioner is left ON, it must misconstrue some signal from the AZBox during blind scan as a signal to set up limits within the V-box or G-box.

RADAR
 

papabruski

SatelliteGuys Family
Feb 5, 2011
91
12
mountain west
I have the HD P+ and I'm happy with it now. Some software quirks were frustrating to circumvent...mainly the issue that renamed the positions. There is good support on this forum as well as at Rick's forum.
 

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