Registered: 1199982923 Posts: 5,994
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As mentioned in another thread, I recently bought a TBS-5520, mainly to be a backup since a couple of my other computer receivers have begun to fail. My 5927 is still working OK, but my 6903 has lost one port completely, and the other port has lost it's LNB power, which I repaired by running it through a Tru-Spec power inserter, which works fine except that I have to manually flip a switch to change polarity. Also, my Prof-7500 had failed, but then came back to life, failed again, then came back to life again. Also, my two 6925 receivers both failed completely. Anyway, I needed a backup.
After playing around with using the OTA port of the 5520 as a crude spectrum analyzer, I went back to normal sat viewing, and I must say that the receiver is doing strange things, some of which turned out to be expected, but some I haven't figured out yet. The first thing strange was that the Crazyscan spectrum display looks very crude. I'm assuming that the tuner or BDA procedures on this receiver aren't as sophistocated as those found on other TBS receivers. There are lots of flat spots (both tops of peaks and baseline) suggesting that the RF signal reading doesn't have much dynamic range or something. Using the newer Crazyscan/streamreader versions Crazycat suggested helps a bit, but the spectrum still looks crude. The second issue is rather strange. Since I generally use Crazyscan to select transponders to play, I found that if there are several relatively low SR signals nearby, if I select one of the signals, it will end up tuning another nearby transponder. For example, on AMC-21 horizontal, there are 5 SCPC PBS transponders on TP-23 at 12145, 12155, 12163, 12169, and 12175. If I click over the 12175 peak on the Crazyscan spectrum, it pulls up the 12163 transponder. If I tell it to tune the 12163 signal, it pulls up the 12155 transponder.To tune to the 12175 transponder, I need to tell it to tune to around 12180 or so. And before anyone suggests that it is because my LNB is off freq, yes it is, but I have compensated for that by adjusting the LOF, and it behaves the same. Related to the above, the third issue was blind scan. I first tried the receiver on G-17 Ku, and was initially happy with the blind scan since it found all the Ku signals on that sat except the Hughesnet signal that it shouldn't receive. However trying blind scans on other satellites revealed some strange problems. I tried scanning the horizontal side of AMC-21, which only has the above mentioned SCPC PBS signals, along with a bunch of signals in modes that aren't viewable by consumer systems. On my first attempt, the 5520 came up with nothing at all. With Crazyscan, I then specified a range that covered only the TP 23 range, ie around 12140-12180. When done that way, the blind scan quickly came up with the 5 PBS transponders. So scratching my head, I went back and tried the full scan again, and again NOTHING was found, however I then realized that actually the previous scans had never completed because the scans seem to take forever. In one scan, I let it go for more than an hour, and it was only a bit more than 1/3rd through the scan, so it was never reaching the area where the SCPC tps are found. When I'd scan using my 6903, it would find 11 transponders, ie the 5 PBS channels and 6 ACM/VCM generic stream transponders. The ACM/VCM generic stream transponders cannot be locked by the 5520, but apparently are severely interferring with the blind scan function of the 5520. When scanning via either Crazyscan or a version of Crazycat's BLSCAN program, you can observe blind scans going along at a normal rate until they encounter a signal it's not capable of locking, at which point it slows down to a crawl. At this point, with Crazyscan, I decided to only scan from 12060 to 12180 and then do a blind scan, chosen so as to include an ACM/VCM signal at ~12086 and the 5 PBS signals. On doing this, as expected it proceeded very slowly through the ACM/VCM generic stream for a while, but then skipped over it all the way up to 12145, then at a more normal slow pace finding 12155, 12163, and 12169. However the strange thing was that it then seemed to get stuck trying to find 12175. It would get up to a freq just above 12175, then give up, and jump back to ~12163, then work it's way up to 12175 again, fail and jump back to 12163, over and over. At one point I let it try for about two hours, and it never finished. I then tried a version of Crazycat's BLSCAN, and it would scan through the first four SCPC transponders, and finish up missing the 12175 transponder. This was before I did the test described in the 2nd issue above, ie that in order to tune 12175, you apparently need to tune well above 12175, or it will jump back to 12163. As it turns out, these symptoms are not a problem with medium or high SRs, as long as you click at a freq higher than the actual freq, and the blind scan will work on satellites that don't have transponders that the 5520 can't tune. However it could prove to be an adventure to tune specific transponders in an area with several neighboring transponders. I then wanted to see what the 5520 would do with TSREADER directly, ie not going through Crazyscan. After finding the TSREADER source for the 5520, I gave it a try, and much to my surprise, it worked perfectly typing in the actual freqs/SRs even ignoring the fact that my LNB was ~2 MHz off. So I'm happy that there should be no issue tuning most transponders with TSREADER. But at this point, there seem to be significant issues with the 5520 on Crazyscan. Not sure why TSREADER works fine, but Crazyscan and the Crazycat's streamreader based BLSCAN have problems. I think the next step is for me to try a few other PC programs, to see how they behave. I should have 2 or 3 other programs on my computer if I can find them. I'm wondering what programs other users of the 5520 have been using? There must be some other users on the list since Rick was out of stock temporarily when I ordered mine. Anyway, since it works with TSREADER, I'm not unhappy with the receiver, and I'm guessing that perhaps an upgrade to streamreader.dll might eventually fix all the issues. It's actually fun experimenting with it's quirks. 😉