30th of January, 2008

Well I am pleased that the recent dispatch of my Income Tax and VAT return forms means that all my tax work is over until my next tax return form is due in April. I am also quite thankful that for the first tax year since back in 2001 I now have functional accounts to be able to return correct tax forms. There is of course vast details in my Old News section to cover that one.

Getting all this tax work out the way leaves this weekend free to be able to fully test these Diablo Wireless CAMs and to put them on-line. Diablo Light CAMs as well and maybe I will even get that Matrix Revolutions CAM testing completed as well.

As can be seen I am soon to give my CAMs page an update but this does not mean that the completion of my Cards page update is going to be delayed. Just today I paid one Italian supplier to send some Knot cards to me. Maybe these Knot cards will be little more than site decoration after I already discontinued them once due to being unpopular but since I still stock White cards 8 years after they ceased to be popular then you can begin to see that I do things differently compared to your average hobby card supplier.

Well as since 2005 I have sold more White cards than with the third generation cards then being the only supplier around with White cards does provide one advantage when I still get the odd customer looking for the original hobby card.

You can say that other suppliers disposing of their unpopular card stock at almost any price allows me to stock good value cards that will at least sell in the longer term. Smartcards also do not take up space required for more popular items.

Beyond the soon to arrive Knot cards I still have to add my existing card stock of the Opos, Titanium 2 and Cerebro cards to this Cards page. More a question here of going and doing it but I really have to find out where I left those Cerebro cards when they are currently misplaced.

My thoughts concerning third generation cards has also recently made me decide that I should soon stock the Silver card's big brother with the 24LC256 EEPROM. I have been a little doubtful about buying thousands of a new card type but since I can obtain them at a great price then there should be little risk here.

To end on one nice thing then for the first time like ever my Cards page actually contains photos of all the actual cards I sell. Previously I did not care to spend hours scanning a card every time I restocked on a new design but since I desire to make my Card's page a very beautiful thing then I am even going to rescan the FUN7 photo to straighten it up.

Well as mentioned recently my taxes are now all done and paid, this weekend I can complete this Diablo Wireless CAM testing, Matrix Revoltions testing as well, then I can get these two web pages updated. I will also keep a look out for any other third generation cards being sold off cheap.

27th of January, 2008

I can say that the testing of this Zeta Blue CAM status took a lot more work than expected when I decided that my old Echostar AD3000IP VA satellite receiver was not up to the job. Possible but since this receiver has been faulty longer than it has been working I decided to get a new receiver.

That also was easier said than done when all modern digital multi-satellite receivers use DiSEQc 1.2 or USALS actuator control. As changing my excellent 36 volt Jaeger 1224EL mount to a lesser DiSEqC mount was not an option then my first step in this upgrade was to buy a V-Box II to turn DiSEqC 1.2 commands into 36 volt control.

My next step was to pick my new multi-satellite receiver. I soon gave up on the idea of actually finding a receiver with Magnetic Polarizer control when like with the 36 volt actuator control such "better" features have been sacrificed to make modern systems cheap and easy.

Well maybe I can also find an external Magnetic Polarizer control box but in any case my new multi-satellite receiver just happens to be the Fortec Star Passion. The reason why I picked this model is that it comes with HDTV support including a HDMI socket. It also works great and is my best multi-satellite receiver to date.

The two desired missing features of this model just happen to be a blind search option and a USB PVR feature. The first is promised by Fortec Star and the second I decided was not worth paying an extra 120 for in order to get my other choice.

Still even with these desired features not available then getting this one delivered from Maplin for under 150 was a good deal.

The biggest problem I see with this receiver is that it currently has problems finding all stations on its Antenna Setup search option. For example just this morning I had to scan in 11,739V at 28.2e when I discovered that Living 2 was missing on my station list. How this receiver can miss out an entire transponder from a very powerful satellite I don't know but that it does. This is not a major problem when it just means having to watch out for unfilled transponders and doing an Advanced search.

Well so far I have tuned in most of the Eastwards satellites all the way out to Intelsat 4 at 72e where RU Music and News One come in strong on 12,518V but with a fluctuating signal. Unfortunately my quest to hit 75e or beyond has yet to work out. ABS 1 at 75e should be giving me a strong 44dB on its North beam but so far I see nothing. Maybe I was just unlucky but seeing that this satellite is just 2 degrees above the horizon then maybe that tree down the road has grown some since I last picked up the former LMI 1 satellite at 75e.

I will soon get out my signal meter to try and find this and a couple of other missing satellites but no blind scan feature is unhelpful here. Also my magnetic polarizer control would be quite useful for 75e when this one would come with a serious tilt. No luck there though.

The other possibility is that footpint maps are a guide at best and my expected 44dB could be a whole lot less. Take Nilesat at 7w for example when its Wide beam footprint map tells me that at around 20dB I getting this beam should fall close to impossible. Nice but I get this beam coming in very strong at something over 46dB. Then to top it off I can also pick up the Middle East beam in a weaker but perfect signal. That footprint map tells me that I would have a problem picking this one up even if I moved as far South as Italy with zero for the UK. I can only wonder how much of these footprint maps involves scientific miscalculations and how much is political. After all there are certain political advantages to saying that we really don't broadcast to most of Europe. In this more extreme case I can only wave my arms saying that I can pick up everything Nilesat sends out in SE England.

I have also recently started tuning in the Westwards satellites. I have only done them quickly though to move my dish out to Hispasat at 30w to see what is there these days. Not much it seems where soon I will go back over the 1w to 30w satellites and to tune them in correctly. You can say that the default listing only comes with sample transponders for different regions. So the transponders I cannot get have to be deleted, the transponders I can get added, then I have to add on the feed transponders when the default list skipped them all. Nothing unusual there then.

Currently I have been using the SetEdit version for this Fortec Star Passion to bundle all the scanned stations into packages. Digital+ and the like. A lot of work needed there as well but currently all this is on-hold while I get my tax forms completed and dispatched.

In the end I have been awaiting this point in time to be able to upgrade to a HDTV MPeg4 supporting receiver when only now do we have the suitable technology. The likes of BBC HD comes in great and displays perfectly. This upgrade unfortunately means that I will soon have to sell my current TV in order to buy a HDTV one. As my current TV is a Toshiba 61PJ98B 61 inch rear projection TV with 56 inch widescreen mode, PAL/NTSC/Secam support, and DD5.1 built in, then this would not be a welcomed sale but I do need the space.

As things happen moving about all my equipment recently allowed me to discover that my huge TV comes with automatic 4:3 and 16:9 switching. Discovering this feature after having this TV for 7 years you could say proved quite a surprise when former reviews said it did not auto-switch display modes. It seems that removing some old equipment allowed this extra scart signal to pass though.

I have been using my Sky Digital subscription card with my Dragon Module CAM recently when this is one of the few options to allow a Sky Digital card to work on a non-Sky receiver. Like I am currently watching Charmed on Living+1 on my Fortec Star Passion receiver.

I would like to be able to sell these CAMs to my customers but I currently lack a suitable wholesaler to be able to obtain them. So the only Dragon Module CAMs I currently sell are to those customers asking me how to use their Sky card on a normal multi-satellite receiver.

Soon I will get my stocked Diablo wireless CAMs tested and put on-line. This is a nice system when put your subscription card in the slot and you can share it between many receivers. I have been meaning to do that for some time when early testing did not work out when my PC's satellite card does not provide enough power to power a wireless CAM and my main Echostar was faulty... again.

As to this Zeta Blue CAM then testing shows that Sex View 264 does not decode as hoped. No idea what CAM/Card does work on that station but my Zeta Blue CAMs give me the default blackness. This leads to quite a problems seeing that Sex View killed off the Sex View XXX station two years early. I am currently getting into contact with Sex View directly to hear some official news about what is going on, where I am currently awaiting their reply, but for now I am stopping my sale of these CAMs when they do not do what is claimed within the firmware on these CAM.

The larger situation is somewhat more complex when this "until 2010" guarantee was actually concerning a former service that Sex View took over. Up until last month Sex View have been honouring that agreement by providing the Sex View XXX station instead but due to reasons currently only known to them they decided to switch off this service two years earlier than expected.

The other aspect here is that new Zeta Blue CAMs actually come from Neotion who have been happy to continue selling these CAMs with their "upto 2010" date. Sex View use their conditional access system and somewhere in exchange Neotion sell CAMs for their service.

I can only say that with enough public annoyance over this promise breach that in time they are likely to whack out something to watch. Mostly what Neotion and Sex View can agree on. And if not then at least these CAMs work with Conax or Viaccess cards, depending on the firmware used, and with some work they can be reflashed to a multi-system CAM as well.

I am somewhat upset myself when these Zeta Blue CAMs proved a popular sale. It is also my belief that this is a market that Neotion and Sex View can profit from if they desire to do so. To cut off paying customers is after all not a wise business choice.

As there is no shortage of advanced pornography on satellite then for now I will start looking into the second best value option. I currently have no idea what that will be which makes a good time as any to go and take a look.

10th of January, 2008

All the orders my company received during this Xmas and New Year holiday did indeed depart on Monday as I had expected without a single exception. Answering all the received e-mail was only completed on Tuesday though due to when you e-mail people they tend to e-mail you back resulting in more work. For the reason of wanting to get all e-mail answered then orders received on Tuesday only departed on Wednesday.

One problem I noticed on my return is that some customers of my Zeta Blue CAM mentioned viewing problems but since this was only very recent customers and not previous customers then the reason for this viewing problem is currently inconclusive until I swing my big dish around to check.

From what I can already see SexView have just added a HDTV station to their transponder. I expect HDTV porn will get some people's interest but their station reordering seems the main cause for this reception break. From what I can also see the Sex View XXX station, subject to this Zeta Blue CAM, has now become Sex View 264.

All a nice theory but testing is required and that should not take long.

Some good news at least is that I have now started to convert my Card's page to the new CSS Stylesheet format. As this is the final page to be converted then this huge long term site reformatting is now almost complete. Currently all the wafer cards have been added up to the FUN7 card, including updated description and larger card photos, meaning that only the 3rd generation RSS cards remain to be done.

Gone are all the PCB cards when they only get a very rare sale anyway where soon I will remove them from the order forms as well.

This though is just the first stage of this page restructuring when after the conversion is complete it will be largely reformatted and broken up. Some new and older wafer cards will be added as well which will not only help to sell more cards but will also make my card listing more complete.

As this one lonesome page has been looking ugly compared to the other pages then now by clicking on the Cards option in the menu you can see the new beautiful version.

You can also if desired watch me add the remaining cards one by one. After that I really have to get around to adding three new CAMs to my CAMs page. One job I have already done was to move all the news from 2007 into the Old News section allowing 2008 to rule this page alone.

So as you can see it is all work at this time not to forget that before this month ends I have to complete my two lots of taxes.

5th of January, 2008

Well as previously foretold today has been the first day of back to work and a very busy day it has been as well which helps to explain why it is that pending tasks have only allowed me to write this required news page update shortly before midnight.

Pending a check to confirm that my three web sites are still working as they should then the upload of these updated web pages will be my final task for today.

I can also say that all order forms received during this very relaxing holiday have now been printed out (following sorting out my network settings) and that every one of these orders will certainly depart this Monday the 7th.

Like the above the previous reading of this news page highlights how I will now spend the next two days answering all the e-mail received during this holiday and sorting all the problems a two week closure has caused.

I should do another new news page update soon but for now I can only say that if you been awaiting my return then well here I am.