Trilithic 860 DSP RF meter - Workbench Software? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 5 Old 06-25-2019, 06:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Trilithic 860 DSP RF meter - Workbench Software?

Hi Everyone,
Does anyone have a Trilithic 860 DSP or DSPi RF signal strength meter? I'm looking for the free Workbench Lite software that came with the meters. (For building and transferring channel plans.) I know that asking for software is looked down upon on forums but this is the free software that came with the meters.

A little back story... I'm a former AV installer/service tech. I've been out of that industry for a while but I do side jobs from time to time fixing/balancing cable TV systems and setting up TV antennas. My beloved Sadelco DisplayMax 800D died a few months ago. I've been trolling eBay and bought a few meters to play with to see which one I like best. So far I've picked up the following:

Tektronix RFM 150 Signal Scout
Wavetek SAM-4040D
JDSU (Acterna) SDA-5000
Sencore SLM 1472
Trilithic 860 DSP
Trilithic 860 DSPi

So far, I love the Trilithic 860 DSP for its huge display and it's nice favorite channel (tilt) readings. I REALLY love the Sencore 1472's 8VSB signal quality measurements, MER, Noise Margin, bBER, and aBER. The spectrum displays on all of the units are AWESOME for seeing multipath interference. Even though the display on the Sencore is small and low resolution, it's spectrum display is really fast and really good for pointing an antenna. BUT the Sencore's favorite channel display isn't very good. Low-resolution bargraphs that aren't very easy to read.

I got the Trilithics last and have just started playing with them. The DSP is in really good condition but it looks like it was never updated. The software versions are ancient. I just got the DSPi today. The software versions are MUCH newer BUT I'm locked out of everything. I need the Workbench software to disable the user lock.

If I had the money, I'd get an Applied Instruments XR-3. Gorgeous big color display. Awesome favorite channel view with bargraphs and values. It even does constellation view for 8VSB!!! (I know that ATSC 3.0 is around the corner but still.)

I'm now searching for a Sencore SLM 1478, the newer color version of the 1472.

BTW, I found out that Sencore and Blonder and Tongue are just re-branding Rover Laboratories meters. Take a look at the Rover QAM Expert (B&T QAM Pro) and the Omnia 7000 (Sencore SLM 1479) and you'll see what I mean. BUT don't buy a Rover meter if you do find one. It is most likely only for European markets/signals, DVB/PSK/COFDM. 8VSB was an option, not standard.


TL;DR = I need Trilithic Workbench Lite software to unlock a 860 DSPi meter. Viavi bought out Trilithic a few years ago and their tech support won't respond to my inquiries so I'm stuck.

Thanks,
Ben
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post #2 of 5 Old 06-25-2019, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ButtonPuncher View Post
My beloved Sadelco DisplayMax 800D died a few months ago. I've been trolling eBay and bought a few meters to play with to see which one I like best.
Hello, Ben.

Yup, looks like they discontinued it.

https://www.viavisolutions.com/en-us...h-discontinued

I love my 800. Why not let Rob fix your 800?
http://www.rcbcal.com/home.html





I use an old Sadelco 719E to solve many digital reception problems in addition to my 800.

If you can not measure it, you can not improve it.
Lord Kelvin, 1883
www.megalithia.com/elect/aerialsite/dttpoorman.html

Last edited by rabbit73; 06-25-2019 at 08:04 PM.
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post #3 of 5 Old 06-25-2019, 08:32 PM - Thread Starter
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LOL! I love that 719. Looks alot like my Wavetek SAM III. My SAM III still works too. I like using it for FM antennas. The H+V output feeding my scope, it's a poor-man's spectrum analyzer. (But now my pile of SDR's have replaced that too.) Check out this guy's awesome site about the Wavetek SAM. I did the IF filter and the battery pack mod on mine.

I checked out Rob's site and thought about it but I wanted to see what else was out there. I REALLY thought about it. My 800D is in pristine condition. It had been my baby for 10+ years. The battery went bad years ago but it will still work plugged in to the power supply. But a few months ago the memory got corrupted. I get bizarre readings. Like 300dB. The setup menus where there's any parameter (like limits) had weird symbols instead of numbers. It is really messed up. And after playing with these newer meters, I'm think that I'm going to have to officially retire my 800D. Rob's prices are reasonable but after a new battery, calibration, and whatever memory fix that it needs, that'd probably cost me $300 or more.

I'm now also spoiled on having signal quality measurements and good and fast spectrum displays. It's really amazing to see the effects of multipath as you swing the antenna around while watching the spectrum display. And the MER and Noise margin displays for 8VSB are awesome. I can now tell that even when I've got plenty of RF if the actual signal is any good. Kind of like the C/N ratio measurement in the good old analog days. For instance, because of the FCC repack, we currently have a station or two in MKE running temporary setups. Much lower signal that usual so getting the most of of the antenna is crucial. I'm seeing almost a 25dB difference between one of the 750kW stations and the repack station. And that's with a 6' yagi pointed at the temporary station.

Yeah, I've trolled the internet some other forums. It just doesn't seem to exist. It really sucks with these company acquisitions, the old equipment is just dead. No support. My Tek RFM 150, they still have info on their site for it! Software only runs on XP but it's still there! For the Trilithic? Nope? Nada. Viavi knows nothing. So dumb too because you know it's probably on a 2MB download. Just throw it on a darn FTP server and let users find it. That's all that want.

BTW, Sencore support was awesome, they emailed me a manual for the 1472 and sent me a link for the software.


So, again, if anyone has the Trilithic Workbench software, give me a shout. If you're in the MKE area, I'll even bring you a case of beer of your choice.

Last edited by ButtonPuncher; 06-25-2019 at 09:06 PM.
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post #4 of 5 Old 06-26-2019, 09:53 AM
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I'm still using my 1985 vintage Blonder Tongue that looks
virtually identical to the Sadelco.
It's been dropped, kicked, rained on, and snowed on over the past 34 years yet it still works great.
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post #5 of 5 Old 06-26-2019, 12:44 PM
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I have the Sencore SLM-1456CM, and I agree, Sencore's support is fantastic. No problems getting manual or software, and they let me buy components to do my own repairs directly from them. (Battery replacement and replacement of the plastic covering the screen, which had been buffed by years of rubbing against the carrying case.)

Sorry to say I don't have the software you seek. I wish you the best of luck in finding it!

- Trip

N4MJC

Comments are my own and not that of the FCC (my employer) or anyone else.

RabbitEars

"Ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand in hand..." - Rush "Witch Hunt"

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