Power Scan Issues with Fortec Mercury II...

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IA6Newspath

IA6Newspath

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This afternoon I've been playing around with my Fortec Mercury II, and I seem to be running into a bit of a problem with its Power Scan feature. When running a power scan on AMC 5, for example, I found that the receiver skipped over KTEL-TV (Telemundo Carlsbad). Keeping the dish in the exact same position, I ran a smart scan with my Pansat 3500 and verified that the Pansat did, in fact, pick up KTEL in its smart scan. Strangely, after manually entering the TP info. for KTEL and doing a TP scan, the Fortec did scan in KTEL which, by the way, was showing up at a very decent 70% SQ. I've been running additional power/smart scan comparisons on AMC 3 and IA 6, and I've noticed that the Fortec has been missing some channels detected by the Pansat. I haven't determined if it's a pattern yet, but the channels that the Fortec seems to be missing have all been 5 Msps or less. That's not to say that the Fortec isn't picking up any channels at 5 Msps or less--it has detected some, but it seems to be missing others that the Pansat is finding without any problems. I did make sure to choose the most detailed scan possible in Fortec's configurable power scan (I've been selecting frequency step of "4" and locking speed of "detailed"), but even so the Fortec seems to be missing some channels that are picked up by the Pansat. What's more, with selecting the more detailed scan, the Fortec scans are taking about three times as long as the Pansat, only to miss a few channels in most cases.

I noticed that there is a firmware upgrade for the Mercury II that was released just yesterday (June 17th). Does anyone know if potential problems with the power scan have been corrected in any recent firmware upgrades? I checked for revision notes with the new firmware upgrage but haven't been able to locate anything.
 
drhydro

drhydro

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I hadnt notice any problems with the power scan on the Mercury II, compared to my pansat 2700a (on g10) the Fortec found more tps in about the same amount of time. That being said, I will spend some time tomorrow and see if i can reproduce your results on amc 5. Admittedly I didnt try any sats with data carriers, could it be the fortec doesnt like them?

I havent tried the new firmware, but if I can replicate your findings I will give it a shot and see what happens.
 
scottc98

scottc98

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Feb 28, 2006
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IA6Newspath said:
I noticed that there is a firmware upgrade for the Mercury II that was released just yesterday (June 17th). Does anyone know if potential problems with the power scan have been corrected in any recent firmware upgrades? I checked for revision notes with the new firmware upgrage but haven't been able to locate anything.

The one big complaint I have with Fortec: Providing firmware upgrades with no info about what the upgrade fixes/updates!!!!!
 
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Stefan

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Apr 28, 2005
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I don't have a Fortec Mercury II. I do however have a Fortec Lifetime ultra. I also have a pansat 2500a. Anyway, based on my expereince the Pansats do seem to be the best receiver at finding stuff from a blind scan. The Pansat does however seem to be buggier and seems to have much less user freindly menus than most other FTA receivers but when it comes to finding stuff through blind scan they seem to be the best. So, if your a feed hunter, and can't afford a good spectrum analyzer, a Pansat is probably the way to go. Although if your a really serious feed hunter you probably really need a spectrum analyzer as well.
 
IA6Newspath

IA6Newspath

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Well, I've done a little more experimenting since my initial post this afternoon. After first updating the Fortec Mercury II's firmware to v1.09 (although I really don't know what fixes are associated with this version...just did it to have the most recent version), I ran a couple more power scans on AMC 5, AMC 3, and IA 6. The maximum "resolution" was selected for all power scans--frequency step was set to "4" and locking speed was set to "detailed". As was the case earlier, in both additional power scans of AMC 5 the receiver failed to detect KTEL (Telemundo Carlsbad, 11900 MHz / H / 2.170 Msps). However, when I would enter KTEL manually as a TP and run a TP scan, the receiver would immediately pick up the signal at a SQ of 70% or so. I had better results with AMC 3, as in the additional scans I ran this evening, the receiver did pick up everything that my Pansat picks up in its smart scan. Finally, the results were mixed for IA 6. On one of the additional scans, the Fortec missed the Macy's channels (12178 MHz / V / 5.147 Msps), while it detected the signal on a subsequent power scan.

While KTEL and Macy's are two channels that I'm not particularly interested in watching, I'd still like to know that my receiver will pick up as much as possible in a blind scan. While my Pansat seems to hit everything all the time, the Mercury II seems to be skipping over some channels here and there. Drhydro, if you (or anyone else with a Mercury II) are able to run some power scan tests with your Mercury II on AMC 5 and IA 6 using the same power scan settings as I did, it would be interesting to compare our results.
 
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lsat

lsat

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Apr 13, 2005
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I'm seeing the same pattern as you are IA6. I'm not impressed at all with this receiver's scanning ability and accuracy. It completely misses some of the hottest signals up there- some you mention and others like ONN on SBS6 and it misses them using the highest level of detail you can set.

The Mercury is going back in the box and I'll go back to using my Coolsat 4000 for scanning. If I'm going to take the time to feedhunt I'd like to be sure the box is seeing just about everything it can. I realize that none of these receivers will compare to a true SA type setup but IMO the Mercury would be on the bottom of the list and I've used several different brands.
 
IA6Newspath

IA6Newspath

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I ran a power scan on SBS 6 yesterday, and I believe that my Mercury II did pick up ONN in the scan. However, on my initial scan of IA 6, I think my receiver missed the University Channel which is always comes in very strong here.

I hope to do more testing today, but it does seem that the Mercury II's power scan, even when set at the highest level of detail, is missing signals that other boxes will pick up consistently.
 
drhydro

drhydro

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Oct 19, 2004
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Hi IA6,
I ran some tests on amc5 today. I used my Fortec, Pansat 2700a and Satworks recievers. I found some pretty interesting stuff out.

The first scan I ran was on the Fortec. I selected 4 steps, detail scan, scan all. You are correct, it missed tp 11900 2170. Then I scanned with the 2700a, set for "scan all". It also missed tp 11900. Then I scanned with the Satworks 3618, and it found 11900 right off.

So, time to play with the Fortec some more. I ran several scans, all detailed and set on "scan all". I factory reset the fortec in between each scan.

amc 5
1) at 4 steps missed 11900
2) at 6 steps found 11900 with no problem.
3) at 8 steps found tp 11900.
4) at 10 steps, detailed, and suprisingly found 11900

sbs 6
1) normal scan at 6 steps found ONN (and others)
2) detailed scan at 4 steps found ONN (and others)
3) detailed scan at 6 steps found ONN (and others)

IA 6
1) normal scan at 6 steps missed 11865 v (University Network)
2) detailed scan at 4 steps found university as 11862
3) detailed scan at 6 steps found university as 11862


So, it seems as if the Power scan isnt working quite right. For example, on ia6, scan set at 4 steps, detailed, the Fortec found 16 tp's and 35 channels. Set on 6 steps, detailed, the Mercury II found 18 tps and 37 channels.

As this is a new reciever I am not suprised to find a few bugs in the firmware. Hopefully Fortec can get this straightened out soon. As I hadnt spent a lot of time playing with the blind scan on the Fortec, I did not notice this bug when I wrote my review. I will edit my review immediately.
 
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M

Mr Tony

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Nov 17, 2003
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Doc
I think you meant SBS6 (not AMC6) :)

I know my Pansat 1500 can hit 11900 on a blind scan. Doc Scott (University Net) has been a bugger for my Coolsat (I think because there is another frequency really close to it)
 
drhydro

drhydro

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Iceberg said:
Doc
I think you meant SBS6 (not AMC6) :)
OOPs thanks Iceberg, fixed the typo.
Iceberg said:
I know my Pansat 1500 can hit 11900 on a blind scan. Doc Scott (University Net) has been a bugger for my Coolsat (I think because there is another frequency really close to it)
I scanned IA6 again (fourth time) and this time it missed University (11865), but did pick up another tp at 11867. I saw it pick up 11865, and then the tp disappeared from the list when it hit 11867. The funny thing is that 11865 is the stronger of the 2 tps. As I said, hopefully Fortec can fix this soon.

Doing this testing has made me real glad I have held on to my Satworks. Though it has the slowest blind scan of all my recievers, so far it seems to get more TPs than my other two brands (Pansat and Fortec).
 
PSB

PSB

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Nov 5, 2003
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drhydro said:
Doing this testing has made me real glad I have held on to my Satworks. Though it has the slowest blind scan of all my recievers, so far it seems to get more TPs than my other two brands (Pansat and Fortec).

So TRUE!
 
IA6Newspath

IA6Newspath

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Thanks, drhydro, for taking the time to run those tests and report your results. Hopefully once the rain lets up here I'll be able to move my dish outside and try a few more power scan tests of my own.

I meant to try a few power scans yesterday using the 6 step setting, as it is the default, but I never got around to it. It's very strange, though, that some channels missed on a 4 step scan were picked up in a 6 step scan. Obviously, one would expect that to be the other way around.

I wonder if there are any contacts at Fortec to whom we could report this issue. Perhaps Sadoun, being an exclusive Fortec dealer, might have some channels through which this power scan problem (and maybe even a link to this thread) could be forwarded to the engineering staff at Fortec. It would be great if they could come up with a firmware upgrade to correct this problem.
 
Sadoun

Sadoun

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Feb 27, 2005
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Hi There

Interesting results. I will report this to Fortec for a future f/w fix.

It seems that using 6 (freq step) gets better results than the 4.
 
IA6Newspath

IA6Newspath

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Sadoun said:
Interesting results. I will report this to Fortec for a future f/w fix.

Thanks! If you happen to hear of a firmware fix for this problem, it would be great if you could mention it here in the forum, as Fortec doesn't seem to include revision notes with firmware upgrades.
 
Sadoun

Sadoun

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IA6Newspath said:
it would be great if you could mention it here in the forum, as Fortec doesn't seem to include revision notes with firmware upgrades.

I sure will. I agree with you that revision notes would be most helpful. I hope Fortec will read this thread (I have already passed the link to them) and take some notes.
 
drhydro

drhydro

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Oct 19, 2004
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Sadoun said:
I sure will. I agree with you that revision notes would be most helpful. I hope Fortec will read this thread (I have already passed the link to them) and take some notes.
Thanks Sadoun,
Its nice to see a retailer go the extra yard to support thier product.
 
IA6Newspath

IA6Newspath

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Well, the results from today's power scan tests turned out to be a little more promising. While my Mercury II still wasn't able to lock in KTEL on AMC 5 in either power scan I tried (one with a frequency step of 4, and the other with a frequency step of 6), on all my power scan tests on AMC 5, IA 6, and AMC 3 (using a frequency step of 6 for these tests), the Mercury II pulled in everything detected by my Pansat. That said, the power scan feature may not be as faulty as I originally thought, however I'm still a little concerned by the fact that I was having issues yesterday, and I'm still afraid that reception of certain signals in a power scan may be intermittent.
 
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