SANSONIC FT 300A Set Top Box

Recently I purchased a Sansonic FT300A converter box at a townwide garage sale for just a few dollars.  Up until now the only STBs I've used are either Zenith or Insignia boxes. I've never owned a Sansonic box but I've heard that channels can be manually tuned on this box like the Insignia/Zenith, so I took it.


This is the box.

First let's show you a picture of the remote. There are two things to note: the "ANT LEVEL" button and the "INFO" button.

When you first turn on the box, do a channel scan. Once that is finished you can tune channels with the CH+ and CH- arrows. But since the focus of this article is manual tuning, here is how to do it:

1. Select any channel you've added through a channel scan.
2. Push the antenna level button. When you press this button the signal strength and the signal quality are monitored. THESE DO NOT TIME OUT! You will stay in this mode until you press the ANT LEVEL button again. This mode is good for monitoring individual channels for activity over periods of time (overnight, for example). You can also manually change channels while in this mode by pressing the CH+ or CH- arrows.  When you leave this mode by pressing the ANT LEVEL button you automatically go into INFO mode where the PSIP is shown. Holding down the CH+ or CH- arrow will throw the box into quick mode and tune up or down faster.

By using the ANT LEVEL button and tuning to an empty channel you can monitor this channel. When something should decode the box will HOLD the video. When you either press ANT LEVEL again or press INFO the box will display the PSIP and RF channel number. To give you an idea how this works, I tuned to ch30 (WBZ) in Boston, which is  around 80 miles east of my location and is normally not watchable without some form of prop. I set the box for ch30 and left the room. I came back 15 minutes later to find WBZ had decoded and the PSIP info was still there!

BEFORE DECODE

AFTER DECODE

AFTER INFO BUTTON PUSHED

This method should work for unattended overnight monitoring for lowband Es targets. Because the box holds the video and PSIP info, one can set the box for ch 2,3 or 4 and leave it for several hours and still be able to log the station.

Everyone loves the Zenith/Insignia boxes. This box has features the Zenith boxes don't, just as the Zenith/Insignia boxes have features other boxes don't. It might be a good idea to use one of each for TV DXing.

2016 M. Bugaj No reproduction without permission.