Monday, 23 December 2013

My Best Experience as Head of IT Services in 2013

Contributed by Jonathan Barwon

Installation and Configuration of DVB Receiver and DATUM Modem are one of my major achievements in 2013 as Head of IT. It was difficult understanding the system and platform, but eventually I was successful in understanding and was successful in how to configure and setup the device.  

My best moment in 2013 was when I successfully migrated the iDirect Modem Platform to the DVB SCPC Platform for a client in February 2013.

The DVB SCPC Platform is very good and easy to use if only you can understand the setup. In this setup, the Ayecka DVB Receiver works as the Receiving Modem (RX) and DATUM Modem works as the Transmitter (TX). It took me days and months to understand this Platform, even the Skyvision (a V-SAT company) technician that I was coordinating with from the UK took time to understand the Platform. Now working with DATUM Modem and the DVB Receiver has become very easy for me, I have understood the platform very well and how the devices work.

One of the good things about this DATUM Modem is that you can login to your Modem using the Modem IP Address, Username and Password. Sometime in June this year we had a break down in one of the devices (Ayecka DVB Receiver). We had to replace the DVB Receiver with a new Receiver from the UK that was sent from the ISP office (Skyvision UK). The problem on the modem was due to power failure in the modem.  

The illustrations shown above and below show the various equipments that was configured and set up for the client. The 4 port Switch is next to DATUM and under the Switch is the Ayecka DVB Receiver; The Dell Sonicwall VPN Router is placed below which serves as the DNS Server for my LAN. The CAT6 network from both the DATUM and The DVB Receiver are connected to the 4 Ports switch and from the 4 port switch to the VPN router (Dell Sonicwall) from the Dell Sonicwall (Dell Firewall) to the LAN switch, unlike the iDirect Modem that serves as both the Receiver and Transmitter.

Working with this platform is cost effective, too. I recommend it as an IT technician. Please contact NATC. We can also train your IT Department on this platform after the installation of the platform and give you tech support on the platform.
The illustration below shows the migration from iDirect to the Ayecka DVB Receiver and DATUM Modem:
Part 1: Configuration of the SR1 DVB-S2 Receiver:
I was guided by the Skyvision technician, Ben, on phone to do the configuration in this way:
Before defining the COM port, check the Device Manager of the computer (right click on "My Computer- Manage-Device Manager -Ports COM Port").

Configure the Serial session using HyperTerminal or any equivalent program to the device’s COM Port Speed – 115200 (it does not work with lower speeds)
* Connection to the management IP is done via Telnet.
The menus and configurations of the SR1 provide easy access to all functionality, as detailed in the following sections.

The main menu displays the unit details at the top of the screen, along with the two Rx ports and their status.
Select option 3 "Network."
There are 3 separate configurations:
Management IP – for remote access via LAN (can be used with a private IP LAN).
LAN IP – The LAN IP is needed for the ARP request from the router. It must be the second IP address from the provided subnet and have the router IP address configured as the first IP address of the subnet.
I changed the LAN IP Address:
LAN IP Mask                           :
Router IP Address                    :
Note this IP was giving to me by Ben the Skyvision technician. 

ARP configuration: Set it on "Automatic."

Once the router's Ethernet interface is configured properly and connected to the SR1, it will reply as the default gateway. To verify that this is set properly: check the Router Ethernet Address and compare it with the actual Ethernet port's MAC in the router.


Via the Statistics menu, you can see the amount of packets being received (to PID) and the amount being passed to the router.

Filter Table

The following options are displayed in the Rx Transport Filter table:

PID in decimal value (104)

MAC address (should be the SAT0 MAC address by default and should not be changed)

Status – Enabled

IP multicast - Pass

At this point, the SR1 is configured to get a lock and receive packets designated to the configured PID (104) and Air MAC. Configurations of the SR1 are done using the Configuration and Network menus.

Using the Configuration menu, you first need to set the redundancy option (Rx channel switching mode:

You can set Channel switching mode to "Manual" and then choose which of the ports will be active. Alternatively, you can choose "Automatic" and define the time between port switching (the device will switch ports only if there is no lock).

If you chose Manual, set the Rx channel port to be Active.

Choose which configuration set to work with (Configuration Set 1 as a standard). In the Configuration Set, only three parameters should be configured:
Tuner frequency – Provides L-Band Rx frequency
LNB power – off/13v/18v
Filter table – PID I configured along with the correct MAC address. For more information on the settings, see below:

Change the Tuner Frequency  to :  990.000 MHZ
I was on phone during this entire configuration with the technician. After the configuration, I was asked by the technician to disconnect the IDirect modem and connected RX cable from V-SAT to the DVB Receiver and the Tx cable to the DATUM Modem.

Part 2: Configuration of the DATUM Modem

Contributed by:
Jonathon Barwon
Head of IT Services
New Africa Technology Company

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