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Motorised Dish newbie help

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 2,436 ✭✭✭ Richard


    Hi,

    I am trying (and failing) to get any channels using my motorised dish. I live in the north of England and previously used a Sky dish to get Freesat on my LG tv. I have now installed an 80cm dish with an Alsat motor (from the link below) but can’t get anything from any satellite.

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/202755254157

    The dish seems to have the correct elevation and declination (using the tables in the supplied manual) and will move to what I think is the right direction (according to this app on my iPhone 6S). I don’t know whether the dish is affecting the compass on my phone - it seems to be affecting a regular compass that I have.

    No matter what I do, I can’t get anything. I’ve tried manually turning the dish both horizontally and vertically to see whether i get any signal but nothing. I’ve also tried connecting the TV directly to the dish when I think it is positioned correctly and nothing happens.

    I’m reusing the Sky coaxial cable to connect the TV to the motor and a short piece of coaxial that I know works to connect the motor to the LNB.

    Has anyone got any suggestions of what to do next? In normal times I’d probably contact a local satellite installer to come out and fix it but is there anything I can do? Is it worth getting a satellite meter? Is there any way of telling whether the LNB actually works? And can I assume that the coaxial connecting the TV to the motor is ok given that the motor seems to turn when required.

    I’ve tried this with 28.2E, 19.2E and 0.8W.

    Sorry for the long message, but has anyone got any ideas?

    Thanks!


Comments



  • What receiver are you using? make model. Are you using USALS? Is it a pole mount? How long is the cable run? Any trees in the way or tall buildings? Have you sighted dish near where sky one was?

    I have same motor and a triax dish. I use USALS. The whole idea is that everything has to be plumb centre, ie 100 vertical, dead level, dish motor and lnb has to be dead straight ie the THree dots.

    You start by pointing dish true south ie 12 noon but with usals its no big deal as long as its at zero to start.

    Look at this video and note the three dots. its at 8.47mins in

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-k_yhxmGlEA

    good luck

    ps how do you know dish is at correct elevation, motor has to be set correctly as well. I have dish at 27.3 for north of england, then manual tells you motor elevation. I used dishpointer.com and just put in north of england.

    PPS When all set up you move dish with receiver to in your case 1west and if you get no signal you move the whole rig and get a lock. Aljazeera is the best on 1west.




  • Hi swoofer, thanks for your reply.
    swoofer wrote: »
    What receiver are you using? make model.


    Just using the built in receiver in my TV - 43'' LG ULTRA HD 4K TV 43UJ630V

    Are you using USALS? Is it a pole mount? How long is the cable run? Any trees in the way or tall buildings? Have you sighted dish near where sky one was?

    Using USALS, it's a wall mount that is shown here

    The cable is about 4 metres long. The dish is near where the sky one was and there don’t seem to be any trees or tall building affecting things.

    I've read that a separate box would be better for setting it up than this TV. Alternatively would it be an idea for me to get a satellite meter?
    I have same motor and a triax dish. I use USALS. The whole idea is that everything has to be plumb centre, ie 100 vertical, dead level, dish motor and lnb has to be dead straight ie the THree dots.

    It seemed to be dead straight but the mount is on a brick wall which is slightly uneven.I couldn't find the video on the amazon page you linked, but I will have another look (so I don't understand the three dots thing).
    PPS When all set up you move dish with receiver to in your case 1west and if you get no signal you move the whole rig and get a lock. Aljazeera is the best on 1west.

    My latitude is 53.5. I looked this up in the manual https://docplayer.net/50486763-Alsat-dark-motor-digital.html and it gives me an angle of 36.5 and a dish bracket angle of 27.4. I'll try dishpointer to check.

    I tried it on 1W as you suggested. I would have thought that even if the pole wasn't completely vertical that the "signal strength" indicator would have risen above 0% but maybe the TV doesn't work like that. I'll try and tune Al Jazeera in manually and see if I can pick that up.

    Thanks for all your help. I'll see how I get on.




  • Ok had a look that link for 3 dots is u tube and I did not post it!!! That was wrong link!!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-k_yhxmGlEA

    Where did you get 36.5? I would use 37, dish is correct.

    Those LG tv's are quite a struggle and it may be the case you go to satellite and then scan. When you do usals you need to be careful what you select, north is easy N but west should 0.???? Sometimes E may be shown. so it should show N and W.

    On the tv make sure LNB power is on. Then enter usals. Check cable is correct. That sky cable is iffy but you say dish moves so you are ok.

    Al jazeera is on 12418v 28000 7/8.

    use dishpointer to get a good fix, us motorised and that moteck SG2100

    https://www.dishpointer.com/

    You defenitley need that wall mount 100% vertical, sat is 26,000 miles away and 1% out means you miss it by 65 miles!! lnb HAS NO SKEW its dead straight. And believe it or not the lnb has to be tuned. ie move it in and out but your may have a marking on it. 80 cm is small so you could al jazeera on 13 east, ie move to horbird, then move dish either left or right.

    Can you do any pics and have you clear line of sight of the sky?? That sky dish may havee been very high up for a reason.

    PS did you sue a spirit level?




  • swoofer wrote: »
    Ok had a look that link for 3 dots is u tube and I did not post it!!! That was wrong link!!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-k_yhxmGlEA

    Where did you get 36.5? I would use 37, dish is correct.

    The table said 53N was 37 and 54N was 36 so I went in between. The scale on the motor seems quite small as well, but I will double check.
    Those LG tv's are quite a struggle and it may be the case you go to satellite and then scan. When you do usals you need to be careful what you select, north is easy N but west should 0.???? Sometimes E may be shown. so it should show N and W.
    On the tv make sure LNB power is on. Then enter usals. Check cable is correct. That sky cable is iffy but you say dish moves so you are ok.

    Al jazeera is on 12418v 28000 7/8.

    use dishpointer to get a good fix, us motised and that moteck SG2100

    https://www.dishpointer.com/

    You defenitley need that wall mount 100% vertical, sat is 26,000 miles away and 1% out means you miss it by 65 miles!! lnb HAS NO SKEW its dead straight. And believe it or not the lnb has to be tuned. ie move it in and out but your may have a marking on it. 80 cm is small so you could al jazeera on 13 east, ie move to horbird, then move dish either left or right.

    Can you do any pics and have you clear line of sight of the sky?? That sky dish may havee been very high up for a reason.

    PS did you sue a spirit level?

    Ok, I’ll try hotbird. I did use a spirit level, but it was not a very good one. I might have a better one somewhere.

    I’ll have another go tomorrow. Thanks again.




  • Ok, the spirit level was level at the side, but was not completely at the front (and my iPhone app was reading 88). I padded it so that the motor was level however.

    Still nothing, no matter what way I adjust it. I tried using the lnb from my old Sky dish and I put f plugs on a new piece of coaxial (which came with the dish) to connect it straight to the TV and that was no good either.

    I tried the QuickSat app and it shows line of sight is fine. There are some tall trees but the line of sight should be above these and the sky dish was fine previously.

    No matter what I try I get 0% signal strength and 0% quality. I would have though I would have at least got 5% or something even if it didn't produce a watchable picture.


    The only thing that is a bit odd is that the LED display on the alsat meter is so feint I can rarely make out anything. I need to go upstairs to be able to see it, but on the few occasions when I have done this I can just about make out a line when the motor is moving but no digits when it has stopped. So I don't know if there is a power issue but it does seem to be moving properly. It seems to be moving to the right position and it still doesn't work when I connect the dish directly to the TV.

    I have ordered a cheap satellite meter and I will try it with that.

    If I still can't get it to work I'll get a local dish installer to come out and have a look when it's safe to do so.

    I've attached a few pictures if that's any use. Thanks for your help!


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  • Pics are a great help. What you do now is drive the motor to 0, then take a pic from bedroom window looking down. The elevation on dish looks wrong ie too high. i'll do a pic of mine on 1west and show you. That motor has 2 readings one side is elevation and the other can be latitude, you need elevation. Take a pic of lnb as well and I can see if its in right position. Then take a pic of dish elevation. Make sure that sat cable inner core has nothing touching it. Also you can actually put a dish together upside down!!

    Those 2 buttons on motor near the lnb's will move dish, one is for east and other for west. So you use these to move motor to zero. You are nearly there and you wont need a signal meter.

    Have you still got that sky box?

    I'll do a pic on a mo.

    Also how have you put readings into tv for USALS it is usually 3 digits so 53 is 053. xxx and west is 000.xxx




  • Ok I can see where you have gone wrong. The bracket you are usingto fix motor to pole and thereby set the elevation is wrong way round. If you look at the other side it should say elevation and I thing you are using the latitude side. Here is a pic of my motor that's set at 38.00.

    I may be called away but back later. Look on other side of motor and put elevation at 37, dish will move down a lot.

    The other point to note is you need to put your exact co-ordinates into usals, so to google maps, put in your post code and click the search button and a red balloon will appear, zoom in with scroll until it stops, it will zoom right so you may have to drag screen, when it stops put pointer on red balloon, right click and click on whats here and at bottom of screen it may show your house and the co-ordinates, ignore the minus sign and these go in usals.

    You will be sorted.




  • swoofer wrote: »
    Ok I can see where you have gone wrong. The bracket you are usingto fix motor to pole and thereby set the elevation is wrong way round. If you look at the other side it should say elevation and I thing you are using the latitude side. Here is a pic of my motor that's set at 38.00.

    I may be called away but back later. Look on other side of motor and put elevation at 37, dish will move down a lot.

    The other point to note is you need to put your exact co-ordinates into usals, so to google maps, put in your post code and click the search button and a red balloon will appear, zoom in with scroll until it stops, it will zoom right so you may have to drag screen, when it stops put pointer on red balloon, right click and click on whats here and at bottom of screen it may show your house and the co-ordinates, ignore the minus sign and these go in usals.

    You will be sorted.

    OK great, I will try tomorrow when it’s light. I can’t get the motor to reset to the original position though as there is no “Go to 0” command in the TV. The TV is a bit weird in that although the USALS setting are universal, you set them from within the settings for a particular satellite. I’ve attached a picture of my tv below.

    If the dish details are any use, here they are:

    Type: Offset
    Offset Angle: 26 °
    Reception Frequency: 10.70 - 12.75 Ghz
    Antenna Gain (Ku-Band): 37dBi - 38dBi
    Material: Zinc Phosphate Steel
    Finish Coat: Polyester Powder Coat
    Small Axis Diameter: 70cm
    Long Axis Diameter: 78cm
    LNB Holder diameter: 40ø mm
    LNB Arm: Aluminum
    Operation Wind: 90 km/H
    Survival Wind: 150 km/H




  • NB the last image is a close up of your motor, look closely and you should see the word latitude and its the same on the other side, I could have sworn I saw motors with elevation on one side and latitude on the other but so be it. Look really closely and you will see the little pointer, its probably clearer on your new motor. So you were in effect putting the motor elevation in as opposed to latitude, the manual is not that clear.

    You are going to have a devil of a job peaking the signal with that TV, your best bet would be to use 0.8w once you have a signal or better still adjust motor, then select thor and use al jazeera and move rig if picture signal is low, then you start to peak it. I get 90 on a 1.1m dish but that's with top notch cable and lnb. 80 should be fine for your location and dish size.

    By the way it might all click in and you need no peaking.

    And it all looks level.

    Did any assembly instructions come with dish?

    Here is a little pic to illustrate where the motor setting should be, this is a pic from the manual. I cant see the any word side of motor on your pics. I also done a pic of my motor and the elevation position in closeup but my dish is quite high.

    Make sure that lnb is dead straight on the arm. I cant tell if it has the facility to move in and out. I am posting a pic of an lnb I have on a static dish and the position it is in shows how it can move towards the dish and away from dish. That is focal length. So if I move lnb either way I will lose signal.

    NB when peaking signal I always move motor up and down, I rarely if ever touch dish. Can you do a pic of the elevation setting on dish so I can check.


    good luck




  • Swoofer, you’re a star! Can’t believe I didn’t notice that the scale on the motor says “latitude”!

    To be fair the tv is rubbish for setting up the dish. I managed to get a reading of 96% signal strength and 0% signal quality on one of Hotbird’s transponders using the manual search and nothing at all on any transponder I tried on 19.2E and 0.8W. Then I adjusted the dish an I got 0% on both readings and couldn’t get it back to 96% or anything close. But I tried an auto search anyway and I’ve got hundreds of channels so far.

    I think I am probably missing some transponders so I will need to check later but its a great start.

    Thanks for taking the time to help me. I owe you one!


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  • Well done. Now your on your way. Can you say why you need a motorised dish? Don't get rid of that other cable yet. Ideally you should get a satellite receiver that will drive dish and with 2 tuners it allows you to record one and watch another. Your tv has freeview hd so should allow recording to usb. You can get a lot of different types of sat receivers and they come with freeview tuners as well.

    The beauty with a sat receiver is you get a nice signal meter along with other goodies.

    You should NOT adjust dish only the motor as that will affect other satellites. You should get 42east to 30west but not a lot of free to air these days.

    You can experiment with the tv and it may surprise you.

    To check on the various satellites I use a site called Kingofsat, you can even search for channels. here is the link. I have gone to 28e but if you hover along the top it will say which sat and just click.

    https://en.kingofsat.net/pos-28.2E.php

    Delighted your sorted and well done for sticking at it. Always come back if you get stuck, I have a lot of free time at the moment and for the foreseeable future although TRUMP says DETTOL trumps the virus!! (sorry)


    And go slow.




  • swoofer wrote: »
    Well done. Now your on your way. Can you say why you need a motorised dish? Don't get rid of that other cable yet. Ideally you should get a satellite receiver that will drive dish and with 2 tuners it allows you to record one and watch another. Your tv has freeview hd so should allow recording to usb. You can get a lot of different types of sat receivers and they come with freeview tuners as well.

    I don’t need it, but I was interested in trying it to see what I could get and I only realised recently that a motorised dish was relatively cheap. I’m most interested in French channels and I know that there’s not much FTA French stuff up there but if 5W is coming through ok (as it seems to be) I might get a Fransat cam and card.
    The beauty with a sat receiver is you get a nice signal meter along with other goodies.

    You should NOT adjust dish only the motor as that will affect other satellites. You should get 42east to 30west but not a lot of free to air these days.

    You can experiment with the tv and it may surprise you.

    I used to have a fta sd box but that got thrown out. The TV will do me for now. I don’t think I’ve got Astra 2D as I don’t have BBC or ITV but I do have other channels at 28.2E. I’m not that worried as I have Freeview but it’d be handy to have UTV as I’m from NI. When you say adjust the motor, should I turn the mounting tube or the elevation?
    To check on the various satellites I use a site called Kingofsat, you can even search for channels. here is the link. I have gone to 28e but if you hover along the top it will say which sat and just click.

    https://en.kingofsat.net/pos-28.2E.php

    Delighted your sorted and well done for sticking at it. Always come back if you get stuck, I have a lot of free time at the moment and for the foreseeable future although TRUMP says DETTOL trumps the virus!! (sorry)


    And go slow.

    Will do. Thanks again. I’ll stay off the Dettol though. :D




  • When you said you could not get BBC ITV it means the rig is not set dead square but about UTV, that has gone for a while because of virus so all the itv regions will have itv as logo, now in that u tube video it showed the 3 dots that means rig is square, you should take a pic of motor at 0 and then I can see if its dead straight. You can move motor with buttons on motor. Also does the lnb fit snug ie does it clip in as if it was made for the lnb arm? Twisting lnb can affect vertical and horizontal signals. Also its possible the channel list in the tv is very old, if you read the guide on tv it would appear if you leave dish at 28east i will check for channels and update list.

    Back to the rig. I had a good close up look and it does not look correct, the first pic shows the bracket for the motor and tat ridge is where the pole fits in to. Its quite possible your one does not have that, its a guide really. By the way those motors did have elevation wriiten on them in the past.

    Now the second pics has markers and these are observations. Whats that wadge of tape? And if you look closely your brackets are not snug enough on the pole. And can you say you did not tighten everything up at first, just drove dish and then moved rig to get a signal?

    The adjustment I want you to make is the motor elevation, you get best possible signal that way and you have to move rig from side to side. Then tighten but not fully. Now you can try dish but its not likely pic signal will get better. The better you fit the motor to pole the longer it will stay in situ.

    NB when tightening brackets I actually count the worm on each bolt!! that may I know its square and you tighten each one a few turns at a time and this makes the dish tighter and signal gets better, not a lot but better, dont squash the pole that is a no no. It will be perfect when you finish.




  • Cheers for that. I’d removed the plastic wadge and straightened the mounts at the same time as I fixed the elevation. The plastic was because I realised that the pole wasn’t completely vertical - it was about 1-2. But I took it out when you told me about the elevation problem. So it should snug now. But I will check.

    I’ve just realised what the problem in getting 28.2E was, though. I set my TV to pick up 28.2E, 19.2E and 13E. But what I was actually getting was 19.2E, 13E and 4.8E. I tried creating a new satellite on my tv at 35E and I got the main UK channels coming though loud and clear.

    So I‘m obviously out by about 6-9 degrees. What is the best way to fix this? I mean I could add 6 or so degrees to the longitude setting in my tv but it probably better to do it properly.

    I’ve noticed that if change the settings on my tv to DiSEqC 1.2 then I do get a “Go to 0” command so I can use that if necessary.




  • 6-9 degrees out!!!! You may get a signal on a fine day but if it rains!! The simplest method is send dish to 0 BUT you have to check it is at zero.

    NB when you send dish to O I would turn off TV or remove cable from motor in case you have tv on a sat other than 0.8w. By the way for your location 0.8 is almost due south so when you select 0.8w the dish will hardly move and if the rig was corect from the start you would get al jazeera. Anyway make sure the rig is dead straight ie the 3 dots. Now at 0 select 0.8w and I am assuming you have the rig loose so you can move it slowly to the exact position for 0.8w. As soon as you get a signal you then use this sat to peak the dish, when right on 0.8w all the others should fall in. So use Al jazeera for the Vertical signal, its 12418 etc. Then use the gospel channel for the Horizontal. 11357h, 24500, 7/8. and this is where you can fiddle with the LNB ie make sure it is dead straight and then move towards and way but you have to check back on al jazeera as well. Move elevation on motor, then try elevation on dish. In effect you are making sure dish is at 27.4 and motor at 53. Now you have to tighten everything up etc see above.

    But if rig is wonky you may have to settle for tweaks. I hope you get it spot on and if its cloudy when you do it thats perfect.




  • swoofer wrote: »
    6-9 degrees out!!!! You may get a signal on a fine day but if it rains!! The simplest method is send dish to 0 BUT you have to check it is at zero.

    NB when you send dish to O I would turn off TV or remove cable from motor in case you have tv on a sat other than 0.8w. By the way for your location 0.8 is almost due south so when you select 0.8w the dish will hardly move and if the rig was corect from the start you would get al jazeera. Anyway make sure the rig is dead straight ie the 3 dots. Now at 0 select 0.8w and I am assuming you have the rig loose so you can move it slowly to the exact position for 0.8w. As soon as you get a signal you then use this sat to peak the dish, when right on 0.8w all the others should fall in. So use Al jazeera for the Vertical signal, its 12418 etc. Then use the gospel channel for the Horizontal. 11357h, 24500, 7/8. and this is where you can fiddle with the LNB ie make sure it is dead straight and then move towards and way but you have to check back on al jazeera as well. Move elevation on motor, then try elevation on dish. In effect you are making sure dish is at 27.4 and motor at 53. Now you have to tighten everything up etc see above.

    But if rig is wonky you may have to settle for tweaks. I hope you get it spot on and if its cloudy when you do it thats perfect.

    Ok great, I’ve got Al Jazeera and the Gospel Channel on 100% for both signal strength and quality. Now tuning Astra 28.2E to check those channels are ok and will then move to do a few others. The problem I had before is that if I told the tv to tune 28.2E the channels that came through were 19.2E. Currently at 40% and it’s picked up 292 tv and 47 radio so that looks promising.




  • Got it sorted. Rock solid picture on 5W, 1W, 13E, 19.2E and 28.E.

    Will try others when I get a chance but I’m just going to sort the channels in ChanSort.

    Think I would have had to call someone out without your help so thanks again for taking the time to help me. Really appreciate it.




  • And you learnt quite a bit so if dish moves etc you can fix it, glad to help and you did it all.

    Give yourself a pat on the back and now sit back and watch some tv. You should be good for 42 east to 30 west but not a lot free anymore.

    Some channels you wont get and that's where you use kingofsat and click on beam and see the footprint.


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