Very Strange thing (1 Viewer)

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Ironsides

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SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 4, 2008
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North Carolina
Before I start this I know some of you have a bad opinion of Dreambox and lately I became aware of why. I am hoping that this doesn't give you a bad opinion of me just because of the fact I am sharing what I felt to be a very strang happening.

That being said, I have a Dreambox 7020 and have very much enjoyed the open source image and think it to be a very fine receiver. For those of you that think this is hack talk please be advised nothing is illegal about open source as many of the features enjoyed by AzBox was done for Dreambox several years ago. Nothing about this post concerns hacking and hacking doesn't concern me. I am strictly FTA just for reference! :)

I have also very much enjoyed the fact it networks and records and has a hard drive. Very recently I purchased the DMX 741 lnbf's and very much like it. I am very happy I purchased it and so far I can't complain really about how well it has worked. Don't take this post as me knocking Dreambox or the DMX 741 either I am just sharing and event...

Now here is the strange thing I have encountered. I have never had an issue using the Dreambox 7020 with my C-Band Lnb; it setup very easy.

I would have thought the settings for the new lnbf would have been the same as the old one. But this is not the case as what happens is the 7020 either can not lock a signal or if it does it only sees one polarity. Or it locks up on scan and I have never seen it do that before...

Using one of my other FTA receivers I have NO issues with settings or locking signals and getting a good strong Q on the DMX 741.

Getting back to the 7020 I have tried every setting I could come up with or make up.

Lof/l 5150
lof/h 5150
Threshold 3200

and many other settings.. try a weeks worth!

I did some research and seems you can fool the box or boxes by doing a little math but for me it was just way to much trouble to try. Simply because the Lnbf is setup and works fine with my other FTA receiver. Which by the way has been considered by many as a junky receiver called Neusat. I picked it up at a yard sale and actually am very please with it's blind scan and other features!

I just thought it was very strange because no matter what settings I tired it wouldn't scan or if it did it only saw one polarity or the other. I have even thought the tuner was weak or perhaps something had gone bad. I can hook it up to my Invacom LNBF and no problems. Even tried it on a Primestar LNB that is very old and no problems good signals... So is it a problem with the 7020? I think more of a software issue personally but what do I know...

I have posted questions about this on this forum and several others. Seems no one has the same answer. It does seem a lot of people who own different models, some see it, while others don't. I just thought it strange and really actually a fun thing to try and figure out. That's my rant and thank you for reading my post. I appreciate the help and advice that many of you have shared with me here. I also appreciate the kindness shown here by several of the members.

FYI according to the research I did, this is not just a Dreambox problem or a DMX 741 issue but can and has happened with several makes and models of both receivers and lnbfs....

My reason for posting is, I am hoping that someone has seen or encountered a similar or same problem???
 
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McGuyver

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Apr 4, 2007
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Well Ironsides, your post is interesting and while I'm not a Dreambox owner I do have an idea. As you mentioned, it occurs with other models too. Think about it for a sec, what might this mean? From what you've written I can only suggest that models vary from one to another, some have more sensitivity and some not, some are quirky and some not and it goes on and on. But the one thing that may be an issue with the particular combination at issue is likely to involve other components like switches of any type and/or cabling, terminations and grounding. I just recently had a similar issue after expanding my c-band setup and had a switch vs diseqc compatibility problem where I suddenly lost all TP's except for one on a particular sat, other sats were effected but not like this one. I solved the issue by replacing one 22khz and one diseqc not only with new ones but another brand as well and this was after adding another c-lnb to the run. Prior to this I also found that a certain issue that I couldn't solve for years finally went away after removing some cables while moving some dishes around to another location on the property. Although the cables I removed were not part of the same run, they were bundled together and I think that somehow the shielding just wasn't enough and caused this glitching problem but once the bundle of cables were lessened to just a few, the problem is gone now.

There's many mysteries in this hobby and each one can be unique, it seems like every setup is different even if they are identically equipped. I'm trying to sort out an issue for a friend who has the same 90cm dishes and lnbf's pointed at 2 common birds but his has a big signal problem on one sat while mine works superb and I've been working on it for some time now here and there trying to find the solution and even with my experience I'm having a bit of trouble but I haven't given up yet, going there again this Sunday for another attempt.

It may be time for you to look at the things I mentioned and don't stay focused on just a small area. Although a part is new, it doesn't always mean it's good or compatible with everything you have. hope this gives you some ideas and good luck on your endeavor :)
 
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Ironsides

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Dec 4, 2008
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North Carolina
Thanks McGuyver!

Thanks McGuyver, you have given me several things to consider and think about. The Feedline I hadn't even considered, but now that you mentioned it.

The feedline is ribbon type that contained both the C-Band and Ku-Band plus the Jack wires and servo wires!. The C-Band side has a ground block and a surge protector in line. Maybe I should test the KU side to see what happens as it does not contain either.

I had not considered the length of coax either as it worked with the other receiver. My guess is around 125 feet of coax is involved. You mentioned grounding and again I had not considered that! You mentioned sheilding, I hadn't considered that but I think the coax has good sheilding as it was the best you could buy at the time. The best I remember it's Belden wire.

I researched this till about 2 this morning and came across an excellent read concerning Linux type boxes and setting up C-Band. After reading that it would seem a lot of linux type boxes have this common problem. It's suggested to set the LOF/L to 5150 and the LOF/H to 5150 and the threshold to 00000 or 06500. I tired these settings and it did help with signal but did not resolve my problem of only seeing one polarity. It did help it lock a signal better and without the freezing issue. I forgot to mention they also suggest doing manual scans and invert the polarity. I think that's due to C-Band satellites but I am not sure. I think that will be my next test...

Just for fun this morning I tested a Dreambox 500 and used the above settings. I noticed right off the signal was improved and the 500 locked a transponder much faster than the 7020. However it only sees one polarity!

Thank you McGuyver you have given me several ideas and I appreciate you taking time to read and respond to my post!

I am not really so concerned about this problem as the Neusat does an excellent job. I just like solving problems and perhaps this is something that is just not going to work together! It's been very fun to research and try to resolve. What else does an old retired guy that loves to tinker have to do anyway! Golf? I think not when I can be home messing with my Dish!

Thanks again!
 
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McGuyver

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Apr 4, 2007
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Good morning Ironsides...

The feedline is ribbon type that contained both the C-Band and Ku-Band plus the Jack wires and servo wires!. The C-Band side has a ground block and a surge protector in line. Maybe I should test the KU side to see what happens as it does not contain either...... Sounds like you're on the right track, every little thing must be considered especially with multiple connections and various connecters.

I had not considered the length of coax either as it worked with the other receiver. My guess is around 125 feet of coax is involved. You mentioned grounding and again I had not considered that! You mentioned sheilding, I hadn't considered that but I think the coax has good sheilding as it was the best you could buy at the time. The best I remember it's Belden wire..... Belden is good wire but is it solid core copper or copper clad (coated) wire? And although name brand wire is usually better, it's the standard type you should reconsider, it's only double shielded. Ask yourself, what is Quad-shield cable used for then? I suggest investigating the applications/usages of quad-shielded cable, you might have the need for it, long runs may act as an antenna picking up interference or interact with accompanying cables in the same run if they are bundled tighly together inducing signal interference. I'm not saying this is the cause but another thing to consider.

What else does an old retired guy that loves to tinker have to do anyway! Golf? I think not when I can be home messing with my Dish! You have a point there, I don't know about you but it's funny how I spend more time on tinkering with my dishes then I do watching TV. :D
 

guapoharry

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Jul 19, 2006
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Not sure who exactly who has a bad opinion of Dreambox. I'd love to have some.

Saw some DM8000s on eBay from Germany for $1100. :yikes

Some people have gotten burned on clones. That has nothing to do with Dreambox.

IMO, this isn't the best forum for Dreambox support, as members who have one are few in number relatively.

I think they are excellent units. It's just they are too pricey for me.

For the reason of cost, I can justify using a flakey-by-comparison STB that is not as mature a platform as Dreamboxes are.
 

Ironsides

Thread Starter
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Dec 4, 2008
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North Carolina
Clones

The biggest problem I have seen with the clone Dreambox is the fake Mac Address. Otherwise they are pretty much ok, however I have read some do have a Quality problem. I personally purchased a clone from Ebay and the seller was not aware of it being a clone. He ran the add as a New Orignal Dreambox 500. It looks exactly the same as the original but for one thing. The color is slightly different and several differences inside. The seller was very nice about the matter and offered to refund my money. I accepted to keep it for a half refund. He agreed and both of us walked away happy as we both got something for our troubles. When I think about it Honestly the tuner in the clone is better than the original. Getting back to the MAC address I think you can change that.

This is not the best forum for asking about Dreambox but really I am not asking about Dreambox. The settings are what I am asking about if anything.

However, it is the best forum to ask about C-Band FTA and LNBf's, the settings, cables, grounding and anything else concerning from switches to diseqc to anything else.

I am not really that concerned with the issue I ran into. I just thought I would share my findings and hopefully run across someone who had a similar problem. I also hoped that others would be interested enough to comment on the LOF settings. This problem isn't just with the Dreambox but as I understand concerns several Linux receivers.

From my Own personal experiences I think the Original Dreambox 7020 and 500 are 2 of the best FTA receivers that has been put on the market. Actually for the money the 500 with a Pli Image would be hard to beat. It lacks several features but what it lacks it makes up for in other ways. They lack blind scan but they certainly are worth the time to learn and setup. ( Pli Jade 3 image is the software, it is open source image and nothing illegal) I prefer to have the 500 with DreamMultiMedia image and original. The 7020 I have I use Jade 3 because I like the OSD better...

If I wanted to look for another receiver for FTA that was fairly cheap in price. I would look for a Dreambox 500 original. They can be purchased for less than $60 dollars if you are lucky to find a used on.

I didn't mean to imply that everyone on this site had something against a Dreambox. It's been my experience in the past that people often confuse the fact you are talking about open source and they confuse that for hack talk. Nothing is illegal about Linux or open source to the best of my knowledge. Discussing open source has nothing to do with hack talk...
 
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guapoharry

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 19, 2006
1,423
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32ºN 111ºW
Well, I would be surprised to hear much of that sort of attitude about open source software in these forums.

Over in the PC-DVB forum they are talking about ditching Windows because of problems with it over Linux. And they are talking about Linux support for the Prof Tuners PC receivers.
 

Ironsides

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 4, 2008
319
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North Carolina
Linux is awesome

Well, I am glad that doesn't happen here, but sometimes on other forums it does. The folks here have been nothing but kind and always have a good answer or a good link to share for information. I will check that thread as I enjoy reading about Linux. Personally, I think Linux based receivers are awesome and that was a huge factor in my purchasing a Dreambox. I haven't played with the OS in several years but it has always been more stable than Windows. Actually I like the MAC OS however I haven't played with it in years either. When I got my last PC I had a choice of OS so I choose Windows XP Pro over Vista as I never cared for it.

If you like Linux and open source Check out Pli's website and check Ebay and maybe get yourself hooked up with a Dreambox 500. You can do Movie Player and stream and all sorts of neat things with it. After you play with it a while and get used to the OS I think you would very much enjoy it!

Thanks again for your reply and reading my posts. I am still researching the problems I have encountered. Hopefully I can say I gave it a good try to solve but right now I am being lazy and watching the Neusat on Ion TV!
 
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