Motorised dish setup problem and receiving 12.5W

Ken King

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Technomate TM-6900 HD Combo Super, DigiPower SG-2100A motor, 80cm dish, Triax TQD007 Quad universal LNB.
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I've had this motorised setup for some years that I only used for Astra1 and Astra2 and everything was ok for just that.

So recently I started looking at other stations, in particular one called Nuvolari, which was on Hotbird at 13E and I received that fine, but for some reason it is no longer there, but is apparently still available on Eutelsat 12WestA @ 12.5W, which I can't get.

Technomate TM-6900 HD Combo Super, DigiPower SG-2100A motor, 80cm dish, Triax TQD007 Quad universal LNB.

The dish and motor are mounted off a south facing side of house on a pair of T&K brackets approx 5m up, and with a clear line of sight from probably approx 40E to 90W (if motor allows).

I have been up and checked, and adjusted the pole holding the motor so the motor bracket now (it wasn't before) shows as level (i.e. pipe is vertical in the east-west axis, as if you looked at face of dish when it is at 0degrees.) In the north-south axis it is fractionally at an angle. i.e. if you looked the dish/motor from the side. But only by a degree or two (as a guess), which I assume the elevation of motor should can compensate for?

My latitude is 51.5 degrees, according to the "elevation and declination angle table" from my motor it says I should set the motor elevation to 38.5 degrees.... I have tried to do this as best can... but the motor bracket has rusted and the original degrees markings have gone, I can only make out the 35 and 45 markings on the side.... I have tried a range of settings around that....

The manual says I should set the dish to 40 - declination angle of 7.4 approx .... i.e. approx 32.5 degrees ... BUT

Also I experimented with the LNB skew and have it set where I got the best results for Thor and Astra 2.

If I set the motor to Thor at 0.8W I can receive a max signal quality of 77% with dish angle reading 20Degrees.

If I then move the motor to Astra2 28E I do not get a signal, if I adjust the dish to 15Degrees I get a max quality of 90%

If I then move the motor to Eutelsat 12.5W I do not get a signal unless I move the dish to 23Degrees and get a quality of 74%.

As a compromise for now I have set the dish at approx 17Degrees. I don't know if this could help point to the issue(s) but I have made a note of the Quality % against some of the sats from the list "Strongest TV Transponders Dec 23rd 2014"

Astra 2F @ 28.2 east 10964 H 22000 Channel 5 78%
Astra 1L @ 19.2 east 12226 H 27000 Euronews 80%
Hotbird 13D @ 13 east 11137 H 27500 Bloomberg Europe 80%
Thor 6 @ 0.8 west 12418 V 28000 Al Jazeera English 57%
Eutelsat 5WestA @ 5 west 11591 V 20000 France 2 44%
Eutelsat 12WestA @ 12.5 west 11407 V 27500 KTO 0%.....

Question 1: Any thoughts on what I am doing wrong or suggestions on what I should try next?

Question 2: Even when I pointed at 12.5W and got the strongest signal for KTO (74%), the channel I wanted 12718 H 36512 was "patchy". The signal quality seemed to be "flickering" and change from something low up to I think I saw 51% but it was rapidly and constantly changing. So the picture was just "blocky". Is this expected, could I need a bigger dish to get that signal?

Ken
 

Ken King

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Martin,
ta, I will look at getting a TBS6983 once I get the other issue(s) sorted.
The first issue I guess looking at the results I got for dish angles/quality results is despite me thinking the motor was level (i.e. the pole vertical) it is not... or that it does need to be at a slight angle, in order to arc correctly for the satellites from this location?
Once I get that sorted I then will have to see what sort of strength signal I get with existing dish, and whether I might need a bigger dish for 12W
 

sonnetpete

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The first issue I guess looking at the results I got for dish angles/quality results is despite me thinking the motor was level (i.e. the pole vertical) it is not... or that it does need to be at a slight angle, in order to arc correctly for the satellites from this location?

Your pole (or mount) MUST be vertical, irrespective of which satellite and it's relative postion on the arc you are looking at. There is a very small amount of compensation by way of adjusting mechanical settings on the dish and motor to overcome some lack of vertical alignment (both ways) but starting off with the pole vertical is more or less essential.
 

Ken King

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thanks for your responses, I thought I would just give an update, which while something is clearly not right, my experience may help others with thoughts or things to consider.

Ok, so the pole holding the motor should be perfectly vertical in each axis and hence the motor (bracket) should be level.

So I did that (as best I could) and then set for maximum quality signal on Thor 1W, with approximately motor elevation and dish declination as per manual for my motor*

But if I moved to 28.2E I found I had to point the dish downwards a number of degrees to get a signal.
And if I moved to 30W I found I had to point the dish upwards a number of degrees to get a signal.

Initially the difference in dish inclination was around 9 degrees difference.

So I deliberately started adding spacers to bottom T&K bracket to make the pipe have a slight angle. The more spacers I added the less dish adjustment was required. Eventually I cut the U Bolt ends and used thick nuts to join two separate bolts onto it and used separate nuts on the bolts to be able to fine tune the amount I was inclining the pipe. I eventually got to have 80+ % Quality on both 30W and 28.8E, and reasonable signal on the few satellites in between that I checked. To get that I had to set the pipe so that the top of it leans towards east by approx 6 degrees!

I can only assume my motor mount is somehow buckled/bowed/deformed or badly made, it appears to be seated on pipe okay, so that's all I can think of, but maybe some of the above will help others when attempting to do themselves and things to look for and try, to resolve.


* The other thing to mention is the motor manual (and it's table) said I should set motor elevation at 38.5 degrees and the dish scale should read 40 degrees minus declination of 7.43 = 32.57. Whereas to get best signal I have had to set my dish, so it's scale reads 18 degrees.
 

Captain Jack

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Wow - I've never seen such a workaround before :)

But if I moved to 28.2E I found I had to point the dish downwards a number of degrees to get a signal.
And if I moved to 30W I found I had to point the dish upwards a number of degrees to get a signal.

There's your best clue - your dish is pointing too far east. You need to move your entire dish/motor assembly around the (vertical) pole to the west a few degrees to compensate.

1000026_6adjarcsr.jpg
 

pontiend

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As has been said often enough before the pole has to be vertical.
Well last september I finally sorted my tracking problem.It turned out that the motor mounting bracket was bent. Probably caused by overtightening the bottom right bolt.The solution was to loosen the bottom t k bracket and bash it to the left until the motor bracket was vertical.My dish now follows the arc well.
 

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william-1

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"The dish and motor are mounted off a south facing side of house on a pair of T&K brackets approx 5m up, and with a clear line of sight from probably approx 40E to 90W (if motor allows)."

Your maximum arc will be 40 east to 70.5 west,

Further west is over the horizon so no reception in Wales.
 

Ken King

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many thanks all, as I said hopefully this information can help others, who go the wrong way like me.

Captain Jack
<<
Wow - I've never seen such a workaround before :)
>>
Well it was the only thing I could think of, and it may not be ideal but eventually got a result.

<<There's your best clue - your dish is pointing too far east. You need to move your entire dish/motor assembly around the (vertical) pole to the west a few degrees to compensate.
>>
Now if I only I had known that earlier, I could have saved myself so many fun filled hours balanced on end of a ladder :-)
I did post same symptoms in my first post, but obviously not succinct enough to highlight my issue.

that jpeg you uploaded would have been damn useful if included in my motor's instructions, as I read my motor's instructions it just says point motor at true magnetic south....

william-1
<<
Your maximum arc will be 40 east to 70.5 west,
Further west is over the horizon so no reception in Wales.
>>
Ta, useful to know
 
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