Scored a Pansat 250sm cheap! (1 Viewer)

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Ironsides

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 4, 2008
319
0
North Carolina
Yard Sales! Scored a Cheap Pansat 250SM today, got it home and naturally had to stick the factory software on it but I should've known...I can say this it isn't a 2700 by any means. Slow to boot up but it has a fast Blind Scan that misses more than I can add in an hour..Over all my impression of this receiver is I should have left it at the Yard Sale. I guess it is what it is...

I blind scanned in Galaxy 17 and most of the channels had no sound at all. I had to go back and to a tp scan for some reasons to get sound on the channels.

It's a nice looking receiver, didn't care for the Remote so I am using my 2700 remote. The 250 remote is to big and laid out really icky.

It's less than a year used and supposedly was purchased new about 9 months ago. The plastic care wrap hadn't been removed from the display. It looks brand new. No dings or scrathes so $20 bucks wasn't bad...

Now I have a backup for my backup!

ANYONE KNOW HOW TO ADD THE CW CHANNELS TO THIS CRAZY THING?
 
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Ironsides

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 4, 2008
319
0
North Carolina
PVR

The PVR works pretty well on this receiver but I can honestly say either this thing has issues or the firmware bites bulls butts.

Rename a channel doesn't work or I am not doing it correctly...

The factory bin does not have blind scan or it isn't taking completely.

It says you can manually enter pids..but that is difficult...

IT does have an AWESOME VIDEO output..

It runs super cool!

Manually entry of audio information is hard to even find..

Several things on the menu either don't work or I can't or I am not doing it correctly...

Then again what can I expect for $20 bucks..
 

turbosat

SatelliteGuys Master
Dec 26, 2006
9,001
75
Oneonta,AL
Thanks for the heads=up, if I see one, I'll keep looking! Don't know about pansats at all, but if you scanned in 91W c=band and got no sound on most channels, a lot of those 'usually scrambled' channels have ac-3 sound. Some also have regular pcm-audio but you'll have to look through the audio channels available on each channel to find out.
You might find out the other firmware works better on scanning, its doubtful but something to try. The 3rd party stuff has worked on some models, better than the factory files.
 

panek75

SatelliteGuys Family
May 29, 2007
45
0
IL
I don't have my 250sm no longer but i am using the 150m which is very similar to the 250 and even uses the same firmware.The blind scan is called "smart search" and does work fairly well on my end.Channel rename seems to work ok on mine but i have never used the option till i seen this post.I have had issues with no sound on channels but a hard reboot fixes this.
 

Ironsides

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 4, 2008
319
0
North Carolina
is there a way too

Can pid's be manually entered?

I would like to add the CW channels on this thing but so far have not figured out how..

Also can a channel editor be used with it, if so what kind?

The sound issue, I corrected with installing factory firmware after the install I did a power off and main power off and reboot. No problems with the sound...

The scan feature on the bin that was on it when I got it, it had several scans one being blind scan which worked pretty well..

When I didn the factory firmware the blind scan went away so that must be something better in the 3rd party stuff that was actually better than the factory...

Still playing with it and so still learning something new about it...

It seems to actually get better each time I try something so maybe It's just it needs some play time and changes made..
 

panek75

SatelliteGuys Family
May 29, 2007
45
0
IL
Yes you can enter a pid manually by going to the "Advanced & TP Scan" and then switching the "pid scan" to manual with the right arrow key and pressing ok to open up the pid info screen.I don't use channel editors so i can't answer that question.The blind scan is called "Smart Search" with the factory file.
 

jogon64

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 18, 2009
199
0
Northern Mexico
Congrats on the $20 250sm! Pretty good deal... for a backup.

I have pansat 2500, 2700, 3500 and 250sm. This last one would be the one I least recommend. I love the the 2700 and 3500. They have great blind scan and picture quality.

I had a few issues myself with the 250sm especially with ac3 audio but folks here helped me a lot and solved it... well partially, because I then lost some non ac3 audio!

Here´s the thread:

Pansat 250sm ac3 audio help


But you can do blind scans (smart search) , rename channels and other things as the other pansats, but aside from the usb port (and the $20 steal :D) I don´t see much better features than your regular 2700.

Just my opinion.
 

Ironsides

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 4, 2008
319
0
North Carolina
Thanks McGuyver!

Thanks McGuyver my friend, I have to say what little experience I have, says this has to be the most horrible receiver I have ever owned. I would not recommend it to anyone period. The factory firmware is useless as it drops the sound on FTA channels. Rebooting does not help, you can however use the Advanced scan and bring back some channels audio.

I did discover through changing settings over and over, with lots of errors that it misses a lot of channels when scanning with a diseqc sw in line. You can remove the sw from the line and it missed a lot less. I also discovered it scans better using diseqc 1.1 than 1.0 for whatever reasons.

Lucky for me I was smart enough to make a backup of the firmware before I changed it to factory. The end result is I am forced to use the firmware that was on it when I received it, if I want to have sound on FTA channels. I am sure that is the result of the issues with the AC3 audio an some lame attempt to fix that. Note also that it appears to miss way less channels using the other firmware.

Seriously saying that for Pan*** to release a receiver that is more or less useless without the use of 3rd party software is something that really pissed me off. I do not condone the use of 3rd party firmware but this receiver is basically useless without it as Pan*** firmware is Crap!

I realize that I don't have but $20 bucks in the thing but still it's sad that an otherwise beautifill designed receiver can't be used for its real intended purpose. It looks good but that's about it!

Pretty sure that other people might have a different opinion of this junk box but I'd like to know why! LOL Be nice to see someone actually be able to use it and it work for them... :)
 
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Mr Tony

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
291
39
Mankato, MN
I dont know if the 250 can be used with Channelmaster

I agree with jogon. I have used pansats before and usually have no issues. Have a 1500 for 6 years now (use that to aim dishes), a 2500 clone and have used a 3500, 9200, 5000 & 6000

All work pretty well :) Have not used a 250 though
 

McGuyver

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 4, 2007
783
0
Nuclear Testing Grounds
Well Ironsides, the problems you mentioned may be a result of a hardware issue rather than a f/ware issue. After reading your test results with and w/o a diseqc sw, it dawned on me that just maybe the power supply isn't producing the required voltages as it may have when new. Power supplies are notorious for failing and usually the only thing that does fail on any FTA stb unless the early failure is caused by misuse such as making and breaking connections when power is on, many user's have killed their boxes this way either by ignorance or forgetting to power down first.

If the box is having a p/s failure you can always look for a replacement from another box and see if you can adapt it. I've done this with my friend's Ariza 800s after he tampered with the cable connections thinking he'd fix a signal problem that wasn't even hardware related. He smoked the lnb power taps while the others remained undamaged. The stb would boot up and show a "no signal" message and the menu was working as well but no signal status. So I took the box home and searched through all of my spare junk pile of useless DirecTV and DN boxes and found a compatible p/s from a Samsung DirecTV box that had all the neccessary power taps and more and it was almost the exact mounting configuration as the Ariza so I McGuyvered it and BINGO! it worked. It actually works better with the replacement p/s than it did originally. The p/supplies in FTA boxes are typically CHEAP and don't last long, the p/supplies you find in proprietary receivers such as DirecTV and DN are much better and might last a lifetime because the manufacturing specs call for a long lived p/supply cuz the service provider's don't want their boxes failing and have a flood of problems with their customer's.

It pays off to snag any of these proprietary receivers for spare parts, I have picked up about 6 from time to time all for free. As I've advised a few times in various threads, search for the Freecycle.org in your Yahoo community, join it for free and place a WANT ad for unwanted satellite equipment, you'll get all kinds of useful stuff for free. I can't list all the stuff that I've aquired from Freecycle.org or can I mention all the things other's have reported that they have aquired.

I've even picked up about 6 TV's, some I fixed and gave away and some I kept for field testing the dishes. Do a Google search for Freecycle.org in (your city and state) and sign up online, read the giveaway ads and place your own want ads too. The whole purpose of this group is to keep useful items out of the landfills/dumps. It's all free and you'll also have to create a Yahoo email account (free) to send and receive messages from other Freecycle member's. You won't be disappointed, believe me! :D
 

Ironsides

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 4, 2008
319
0
North Carolina
Thanks

I dont know if the 250 can be used with Channelmaster

I agree with jogon. I have used pansats before and usually have no issues. Have a 1500 for 6 years now (use that to aim dishes), a 2500 clone and have used a 3500, 9200, 5000 & 6000

All work pretty well :) Have not used a 250 though

Iceburg,

I have a 2500 and 2700 Pansat and they are excellent receivers and do an excellent job. Just this 250SM must have been a miss for Pansat is all..I can't honestly recommend anyone getting one of these. It misses a lot on Blind Scan, It has issues with AC3 and it also has glitches in the firmware not to mention a few other things.

McGuyver, thanks for the advice, I will check the voltages on the output to see if it's weak. It works fine using the 1.1 switch settings though so I am not sure why that is. It could be just the switches I am using? I will check the output though and also try another brand switch to see what happens.

It scanned in AMC1 and only missed 2 channels so that isn't bad really...

My problem with it is I can not add the CW no matter what I try...I am wondering if I could add it using Channel master or some other tool?
Seems like at one time Pansat had some kind of channel editor but I can't remember or If I am mistaken about that and it was for another receiver brand...
The Channel Master I have will see the bin file but every time it trys to load it the program crashes. I mean every time..I can open my Neusat stuff or my Dreambox stuff with no issues...But for some reasons Channel Master crashes on opening the Pansat file. I know Channel Master works with Pansats because I used it with my 2500 and 2700...Maybe I should research the channel list programs to see if I can find something that works with this thing. I really wish whom ever was working on Channel Master would do some updates that was a nice program...

I tried something new today, I installed the firmware using the RS232 port and I really think that made a lot of difference. Seems Like I see way less problems with it now, although I tried the 3rd party firmware. I might test later today with the factory firmware and see if it takes better using the RS232....
I have noticed several times receivers using USB sometimes the firmware doesn't seem to take fully and causes glitches. Maybe this is the case, because I think at the time the 250sm was released it was one of the 1st to use the USB for upgrades.

I admitt the PVR works really well and I think I will test that out a little more...
 
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McGuyver

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 4, 2007
783
0
Nuclear Testing Grounds
Ironsides, have you tried doing an individual channel scan and enter the PID's manually for the CW mux? My 9200HD has the option but I don't know if your's does. The 9200HD also has a channel editor but it's supposedly only for the 9200HD, the channel data file system is ".DAT"

You can check Channel Master and see if it supports your stb file. Some reeivers files have to be converted in CM, edited and then converted back in order to download to the stb.

It can get tricky using CM but I'd first try entering the PID's manually and scan each channel individually. Hope it works out for ya :)

edit: if you need the PID's for the CW channels, I believe they are:

CW1 is 101/102/101
CW2 is 201/202/201
CW3 is 301/302/301
 

Ironsides

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 4, 2008
319
0
North Carolina
Can't Help but wonder...

McGuyver,
I can't help but wonder something. I tried the receiver on my Primestar dish and it scanned in every channel. Next test was to try it on the 2nd Primestar on another satellite, scanned in all channels. 3rd Test was to try it connected to a Chieta DiseQc Switch, and re-scan both satellites.

Found all channels that my Pansat 2700 and Neusat finds without any problems. Heres the kicker the thing I wonder about when I hook it up to my C-Band dish running the DMX741 is when I start seeing a lot of channel misses.

My 2700 misses some channels on that lnbf but not nearly as many as the 250sm does. That's the 3rd receiver I have hooked up to the lnbf that has issues. My Dreambox 7020, and 500 has problems on that lnbf and now the 250sm has problems. My Neusat 6000 SP scans it fine and I rarely ever have to manually add any channels, it has an awesome blindscan.

I have a question, may sound silly but could it be a polarity issue causing the Dreambox and the 250sm to have troubles?? In my haste to beat the rain the day we installed the DMX 741 LNB; I accidently inverted the polarity. If that makes sense, basically the lnb should be turned to get the correct polarity because as it is, now it's seeing the verts as horz...I set it to 3 o'clock and should have set it to 9 o'clock.

The Neusat has no problems with that, it scans in the verts as horz is my guess, it missed only a couple of channels like that. The 2700 and even the 2500 do fairly well also on that configuration. But like I say, neither the 7020 or the 250sm seems to care for that at all! I really need to fix that polarity problem on the DMX 741, I just have not had the time nor the means to get back up there. I have to get my kid to bring his 4x4 and get on a step ladder on the bed of the truck to even reach the Lnbf. That's even unbolting the dish arm and dropping it down as low as it will go! LOL

You mentioned manually entering the PID's for the CW mux and I have tried that over and over with the 250 and it doesn't lock the channels. I have tired everything it will let me do. I also checked the voltages on the output of the 250sm and it seems ok on both. My 2700 I have no problems adding the CW's nor with the Neusat...both see those channels just fine.
 

McGuyver

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 4, 2007
783
0
Nuclear Testing Grounds
Well Ironsides, I don't have a good answer for the polarity issue other than doing what you need to do and skew it properly. The more I advance in this hobby, the more I see mysteries. It seems that some receivers are finicky about particular lnb's and/or switches, etc. Take note of this, my coolsat 6100p has trouble locking on the CW channels when I change from another c-band channel such as the 103W or 95W or even another channel within 91W. I first have to switch to a Ku band channel then back to a CW channel for it to lock. This problem showed up after installing the DMX242 lnb's. It appears that maybe it could be a voltage issue within the lnb or a frequency matter or what??? I just don't know, my Pansat 9200HD handles them fine. FTA gets more complicated as my farm grows, lol Keep plugging away and keep us informed and maybe our problems will get solutions... hopefully :)
 
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Ironsides

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 4, 2008
319
0
North Carolina
Good Advice

Thanks McGuyver, good advice! I will try to get the polarity problem fixed as soon as possible. Hopefully within the next week or so as I plan on doing some other work around the dishes.

Some of the earlier problems I had with firmware bugs seems to have been resolved by using the RS232 update method. The factory firmware seems to even work better. Several things I wasn't able to do like re-naming a channel now works. At any rate, it still had some troubles so I went back to the 3rd party firmware and it's worked very well for the better part of the day. It even scans much better now!

I agree totally some receivers are more picky than others but in my case it seems odd that 3 different receivers have trouble with the same lnbf. Only one of my receivers really works as it should with that lnbf. I am hoping that the polarity is the issue and not something with the lnbf. It doesn't matter really as long as it continues to work with the Neusat I guess.
 

McGuyver

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 4, 2007
783
0
Nuclear Testing Grounds
Ironsides, there may be an unknown issue with your DMX lnb, I'm having problems using 22KHz switches with my new DMX242's and also the channel changing problem I mentioned, these new LNB's don't like the 22KHz switches but WSI is working with me on a solution, Iceberg is also testing one so maybe there's hope for a solution.
 

Ironsides

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 4, 2008
319
0
North Carolina
Yea?

I do remember now you mentioning that you had troubles with the 22hz. Maybe we accidently stumbled on something here as it could be associated with the lnbfs in question! I just thought it odd that all my receivers work well on the Primestar dishes I have and seem to work well with my Invacom Lnbf. Only 2 differences with the 741 come to mind, the coax and the length of the coax. I can't actually say for sure about the 250sm working well with the Invacom but it works fine with the Primestars.

Maybe Iceburg will come up with something to add to this...
 

McGuyver

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 4, 2007
783
0
Nuclear Testing Grounds
Well Ironsides, it doesn't look like I'll find a solution for the LNB issue I have with the DMX242. Nobody so far has been able to duplicate my problem. I'm not stupid, I'm not a newbie and I've never had this problem before installing the 2 new DMX242 lnb's, go figure. I just don't know what to believe anymore. Maybe there's a defect in a batch of the DMX242's that they haven't caught. Manufactureres sometimes change sources of components from time to time and maybe other changes too but haven't associated any issues with the changes in production. It's only a guess as to what this is. I've exhausted every test method and all of my 22khz switches and it costs money. I should have gone with my gut feeling and spent a few extra dollars and bought GEOSATpro lnb's.
 

Ironsides

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 4, 2008
319
0
North Carolina
Don't give up!

Well Ironsides, it doesn't look like I'll find a solution for the LNB issue I have with the DMX242. Nobody so far has been able to duplicate my problem. I'm not stupid, I'm not a newbie and I've never had this problem before installing the 2 new DMX242 lnb's, go figure. I just don't know what to believe anymore. Maybe there's a defect in a batch of the DMX242's that they haven't caught. Manufactureres sometimes change sources of components from time to time and maybe other changes too but haven't associated any issues with the changes in production. It's only a guess as to what this is. I've exhausted every test method and all of my 22khz switches and it costs money. I should have gone with my gut feeling and spent a few extra dollars and bought GEOSATpro lnb's.


They can't duplicate the problem because they don't have your Lnbfs or setup. In order to duplicate they would need an exact setup, I would think. Before giving up, Maybe you could talk with Robbie and come to arrangement to ship those lnbfs back to him and maybe split the costs or something. If he can get the lnbfs back maybe they can test and see what is going on. Blowing 8 22hz switches had to be expensive and shipping is expensive but maybe you guys can work something out.

It would be in his best interests to resolve the issue now before it turns into a much larger issue with other buyers. I am sure he would work with you and try to resolve it. It would also be good for other members here to follow along with the testing so we can all learn something.


From what I've read my guess is the lnbfs you have are the problem but that's just my opinion. From my own problems with the DMX 741 install and what happened with my tests I concluded that I had one of 4 problems, Coax or the length or the lnbf itself. Or perhaps Polarity.

I ruled out the coax and length because it works fine with other lnbfs and all my receivers.

I tested every receiver I have, Pansat 2500, Pansat 2700, Dreambox 7020, Dreambox 500 and a Twinhan DVB card. I also tested it on a Neusat, the Neusat is the only receiver I can get to work correctly on that lnbf at this time. Latest test has been with the Pansat 250SM and it hardly sees any channels on either C-Band or Ku. I can stick it on my Primestar dish and test it on one of the same ku band satellites I tested prior and it scans in almost all the channels. It does miss a few but dude, not nearly as many as it does when connected to the 741....Actually the 741 has a better Q than my Primestars...

I still need to test the polority issues and see what happens.

Point to note, Don't give up, the answer is out there and it could be something very simple or just a defect. You have went the extra mile on your part and the great expense in both time and equipment. Perhaps due to that fact Robbie would be willing to help with the costs of shipping them back to his lab so they can test. If they find faults maybe he can offer some replacements and replace those bad 22 hz swithes.

It would be interesting to see the results...

Also I don't think anyone within reason would question your abilities, your dish farm speaks for itself in a huge way. That took a great deal of knowledge to aquire and setup and maintain! Anyone with half a brain wouldn't question that! Your replies here on the forum speaks for themselves! Dude you are the man when it comes to FTA! You speak in simple language often times I have no idea what someone else is talking about and you'll come along an explain things and it clicks. I've read a lot of your posts where you are trying to explain or help someone who has troubles, You don't over complicate it, you just get to the point and explain it in a way a newbie can understand! That says a lot right there IMHO!

:)
 
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