Satman Reviews the Trimax SM2200
The Trimax SM2200 is for the satellite professional installer or the serious hobbyist . The Trimax is unquestionably a major technological innovation. Feedback that Satman has received from installers show that the finder is easy to use. Prehaps the best is "It has saved me time doing setups ..things are so easy I save 30 minutes on each job !!"
Out of the Box
One needs to plug in the charger and do an 8 hour charge. One notices that the init is improved from the original Trimax SM1100. A new charger design and new nylon case are pleasant surprises.
Pre-Field Operation Set Up
You need to register your meter. Simply go to http://www.trimaxmeters.com/registration.html . Remove the meter from the case and you will see a 12 digit number on the back .Enter the appropriate info on the site and submit. Now your product is registered. Registration helps Trimax factory service team work with you. Now turn on the meter the meter the first time you turn it on it will ask again for the 12 digit number .Enter the number . Satman would advise writing the 12 digit number down in a secure location perhaps the manual. Satman uses the meter without the case and noted that some of the digits are beginning to fade. Simply putting a piece of protective Scotch tape may solve this problem.
Turn the meter on and go to System Setting . Select language of choice . TV standard is the transmission standard being used. Here in North America that is NTSC . The meter will also do PAL and SECAM . Satman recommends that the AUTO setting be used. Timer 0 . Factory reset is just like any FTA receiver this will set to original settings..be careful and think twice before you use this!! The software verson lets you know if a software upgrade is required .
After working with this first menu screen an installer will recognize that the Trimax SM2200 operates like any FTA or proprietary receivers issued by the DBS companies such as DirecTV or Bell . Operational steps are like what you do everyday in setups.
Load Information You Need Into Meter
Each installer will have a routine that works for the type of install being done. Some installers may do contract work for a DBS company and do one type of install. Others may to everything from fixed , motorized , to the occasional c-band tune up . The type of work you do will really determine the degree of pre-loads required. For the purpose of this article we will discuss all modes so you can choose what is right for your operation.
To get the best feel for the meter Satman suggests that you set the meter up at your place of business. Most storefront or home based dealers have a display area. You have spent a great deal of time setting up dishes feeding the displays because you want customers to see THE BEST. Use these setups as your standard and you will have something to measure field set ups by.
1. Define Strongest / Weakest Transponders also Spot Beams required for Locals
You can check this on a site such as Lyngsat or SATCO DX . If you are a DBS contract installer you operations manual will have a list of transponders used.
Select > Satellite Setting >Edit Satellites
Use down arrow v to highlight the the satellite you wish to work with. Use > and the OK button to get to edit menu
As you will see this looks like the screen of any receiver you work with. Enter the Frequency , polarity, and SR of your known strongest transponders. Then use the same for the weakest transponders.
2. Define Receiver Parameters
Select > Satellite Setting >Dish Set-up
These settings are you common set-up values used in satellite set up. Universal , 5150 (c-band) , 10750 (standard) or Customized (enter your own low/high values) . Switch 22k,LNB power, Switch type and number.
Go to auto scan menu v to Transponder. Check the strength for the strongest v/h transponder then the weakest which you have programmed into the system. Because you are doing this on a well tuned system it is wise to write down the values as this is your standard for a well tuned dish.
Next turn network search on ,search mode to FTA or All channels . Set search value to Satellite . A complete blind scan will be done and a complete channel list constructed.
Repeat as required for work you are doing.
Remember you are working with an ideal signal this helps you to quickly troubleshoot weaker readings found in the field.
5.Ready to use in the Field
NOTE: Channel lists can be found at http://www.trimaxmeters.com/downloads.html . For many users especially hobbyists these lists are complete. Which will make start up easy for many users. We advise Atlantic and European customers to use the lists for their area.
Satman has written a totally manual set up procedure because installing is a very localized activity especially when dealing spot beams and C band TI. Every installer knows what works best in their area.
On the Job
On the job site the Trimax SM2200 saves you time because you do not need to carry a TV and satellite receiver to the point of installation. The Trimax is everything you need in a small package .
The procedure you will use is almost plug and play. Many installers will do a pre-set up in the shop--especially on cold winter days. The dish will be assembled and angles set . An angle calculation program can be accessed from the main menu. Enter your location co-ordinates and each satellite set up angle is calculated. This calculator is helpful if you are doing a project on a satellite you dont install every day.
One on the job site the pole will be installed and plumbed and dish mounted. Satman's due south satellite is T5 . The experienced installer will be able to compass to the correct position usually finding a signal with ease. The T5 procedure Satman uses is locate the strongest transponder 11836 V 20770 then 11996 H 22000 . Do adjustments to maximize. Go to 11874 H 22000 then 12053 V 22000 which are the weakest transponders. In your shop set up you noted the values of an ideal signal srength so it is easy to compare with your field set up. Make the needed adjustments .A further check can now be made of the entire satellite by running through all the channels which were stored in the meter when you scanned the entire satellite. Doing the check in the channel information mode will allow you to see the signal/quality bars so you can compare against the ideal settings you did at your shop.
On motorized installs the same basics apply . Start out at the center go west go east. Satman does T5, AMC 4 , G3 ,G10r , IA8 ,W3 , Echo 8 , Echo 10, Echo 5, Echo 1 ,Nimiq 1 , Nimiq 2 , Echo 3 on a linear/circular set up using a 1 m or larger dish. Satman does the linear first then circular. If linear is set correctly the circular part of the install is a check and program operation with no major adjustments to the dish required. The Trimax offers no direct motor control therefore you will need to use buttons found on the DMS SG2100 or use the control module tab sells as a accessory.
Tim Heinrichs , President DMS writes the following proceedure for tuning a SG 2100
" You CANNOT use the holler when you see a picture method
for a motor install. You need to be able to see the changes on your
meter the instant you make them. You need a TV to confirm which satellite
Make sure your declination is set correctly and don't move it again. You're ready. Find that first satellite by looking for the one that's closest to south. Make sure the receiver has the correct information. Move the motor only small amounts giving your receiver time to react should it find a signal.
If you don't find that first satellite, re-evaluate your south direction and move your azimuth only a little in the direction you feel is best. "
C-Band installs are something that the average hobbyist can still do and the meter can help. Most projects for the hobbyist will be re-installing a c-band dish that has been orphaned and rescued. Professionals such as cable head end ,broadcast station engineers ,and satellite truck engineers will find the Trimax a must have tool.
C-Band installs are like any motorized install except they are all linear. Simply start at the center and work out is the simple rule to track any c-band. In Satman's c-band tests of the Trimax a Drake 1724 with UHF remote was used to control the motor operation. On older units especially Uniden non UHF units you need your motor contol unit at a spot near the dish. This may also apply if you are using the V-Box which is an old motor contol concept like the Drake APS424 Programmable Antenna Positioning System updated.
Satman's satellite list from our site has most North American C-Band/Ku frequencies for your convenience. We have customized this to add extra emphasis to c-band.
Trimax SM2200 a Must Have Tool
Any tool has the basic function of making a job easier to do. In todays business world better tools lead to increased productivity with in turn leads to higher profits. Users of the Trimax meter report they are saving about 30 min per job . For the average installer this means an extra 1 or 2 jobs a day depending on travel time between jobs. Most installers will be able to recover the cost of the meter within the first month of use. Even if you are serious hobbyist four service calls will pay for your meter.