Active Transponders for Motorized Dish Setup

Discussion in 'Free To Air (FTA) Discussion' started by SatNav, Sep 2, 2013.

  1. SatNav

    SatNav Thread Starter New Member

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    As you will discern from my question, I am new to FTA. I have a Geosat Micro HD receiver running 06/26/13 firmware downloaded from the G19 satellite. I bought a KU band motorized system, but the motor was backordered. I successfully setup for single-satellite operation on G19 and have been enjoying G19 programs for about two months. The motor is scheduled to arrive tomorrow and I want to install it in the system, hence my question.

    I suppose I could use G19 (97W) to align my dish after I install the motor, but I thought it might be more convenient to use a satellite closer to my longitude of 117W. I need to find an active transponder to align the dish. I checked Lyngsat for KU band transponders on several convenient satellites. When I compared the list from Lyngsat to the preprogrammed transponders for those satellites in my Micro HD, I found no matches. In fact, the list of satellites on Lyngsat did not match 100% to the satellite list in the Micro HD (SATMEX satellites have changed positions). My question is, will I find a satellite if I use the preprogrammed transponders in the Micro HD? Was the satellite and preprogrammed transponder list updated in 06/26/2013 firmware? If so, did I miss installing a current .UDF file if I only did an update from the file on G19? I feel like I'm missing something here...what?

    I would appreciate any clarification that the members here can provide. I have learned a lot from this forum and I thank the moderators and administrators for their efforts.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 2, 2013
  2. Anole

    Anole SatelliteGuys Guru

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    Just above where you posted, we have some sticky threads. :)
     
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  3. SatNav

    SatNav Thread Starter New Member

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    I'll check the stickies. Thanks.
     
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  4. primestar31

    primestar31 SatelliteGuys Family

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    Here's the basics:

    Make sure your new motor is Zero'ed out at the "0". Hook it to your receiver with a short piece of coax, and Set 97W to use the motor as USALS and enter your coordinates for the location the dish is at. The receiver will "drive" (turn the tube) the motor to where 97W should be on it's scale. Disconnect the motor, mount it to the pole setting it to your latitude, mount the dish on it at what elevation the book for the motor says it should be, and tune in any channel you previously had on 97W. Once you tweak it (spin it on the pole) to get those channels in, you are done.

    Go through your other KU sats, and turn them ON for USALS, (no need to re-enter coordinates, that was already done above and only needs it be done once). It'll auto-magically find all the rest of the sats (within it's physical limitations) on each side of your due south sat.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 3, 2013
  5. SatNav

    SatNav Thread Starter New Member

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    Thanks, Primestar31. That will probably be the technique I will use and I understand how it works. Most of my question centered on whether the satellite list and preset transponders are up to date in the Geosat HD files in update 06/26/2013. I thought it would be easier, but not necessary, to find a satellite closer to my longitude. I know that I have active transponders working on 97W, so I will just use one of those. Thanks for your clear explanation of how to proceed.
     
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  6. primestar31

    primestar31 SatelliteGuys Family

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    Yup, the latest (actually the last few) MicroHD firmware file has (some that were needed to be) the sat positions tweaked slightly from the original sat file last year.

    So you are good to go on that basis!

    With USALS, it's just not critical that the dish be setup on your south sat. Just make sure the motor itself is homed at zero as it's default, before you input your coordinates into the receiver, and "drive" it to 97W. If it's slightly off 0 for whatever reason, all your sats will be tweaked off by that much. That can add up to a big error on either end, or pulling your hair out trying to figure out why it just won't quite work right.
     
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  7. SatNav

    SatNav Thread Starter New Member

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    UPDATE: So I followed Primestar31's instructions and had my system up and tracking satellites in less than an hour. After moving between some satellites and getting good results, my dish alignment went out of whack. I believe this occurred because the motor shaft that holds the dish was loose from the factory and slipped slightly out of position. I made some changes to my active satellites and apparently tuned a channel on a deleted satellite and put my receiver into the continuous boot mode (I'm running 06/26/2013 firmware updated from the satellite and I definitely did a factory reset and unplugged the power cable for 20 seconds). Now I will buy the special cable and reprogram my receiver. More to follow when I get all this resolved.
     
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  8. cyberham

    cyberham SatelliteGuys Family

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    You could use one of the Satmex satellites, but I'm more familiar with and I would go for Anik F2 @ 111.1W quite near your desired longitude since you're quite far north. Anik F2 has a powerful transponder on 11770 V 3269 that is live with four channels 24/7. To answer your question in general, you will learn from experience in time which of the several satellite lists available is most reliable with accurate information.

    Added: Ah, I never saw your final post. Your explanation about editing your active satellites is EXACTLY what I innocently did that caused my rebooting of my receiver. I think, personally, this editing of active satellites is dangerous and may not be linked to a database corruption that occurs at time of upgrade. Don't edit active satellites. Once activated, leave them active.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 4, 2013
  9. Anole

    Anole SatelliteGuys Guru

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    Sorry, I couldn't help rubbing this in ;)

    This is how every USALS motor setup should turn out! :up
    No installer needed...when ya follow instructions.
    .
    Good work, SatNav!
     
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  10. cyberham

    cyberham SatelliteGuys Family

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    Some installs are tougher than others. :D Here you go...position your dish pole and line up 125W right through that space gap that drops down at the right side of this pic. All the tree tops are well above the 11 degree elevation of 125w. It's going to take a little longer than an hour. :rolleyes:

    DSC05093_sm.jpg
     
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  11. SatNav

    SatNav Thread Starter New Member

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    Update #2: So, a friend had a MicroHD recovery cable which he let me borrow. Armed with the ALI Editor and .udf file from the sticky, I tried to install the .udf file. It took me a while to realize I needed a driver for the device, but after I found a USB-to-serial driver and got it installed, I could see the device in the Device Manager conveniently annotated with the COM port number I needed for the installation. I launched the ALI Editor and, following the instructions in the sticky, finished updating the corrupt .udf file in less time than it took to write this sentence...continuous boot problem solved!:)

    So when I got home from work, I updated the firmware in the MicroHD by USB, remembering again to do a factory reset and pull the power cord for at least 10 seconds. Then I went outside, removed the dish from its post, tightened the motor shaft to fix the problem that started all this, rezeroed and reset the SG6100 motor using the instructions in the manual, and reinstalled the dish on the post. I reinserted the USALs data, drove the dish to G19, and called my long-suffering spouse to assist in yelling the signal strengths to me on the balcony. I moved the dish a degree or so and peaked the signal in less than 5 minutes. I ran down a few satellites to prove that everything is working properly. Good again!:D The entire process described in this paragraph took less than 30 minutes.

    I think the secret to getting good signals quickly was that I carefully set my latitude on the motor scale, properly set the dish elevation using the chart in the motor manual (which is actually the motor shaft angle of 35 degrees minus my declination at 47.5 degrees north of 7 degrees, resulting in a dish angle of 28 degrees) and insured that the mounting post was truly plumb. I set my true south by noting the path displayed on the satellite dish setup web site over some small bushes in my yard, which resulted in an almost perfect true south setting on the first try.

    The great instructions in the stickies and the friendly suggestions from members of this forum made this setup easy. I guess my time in the military taught me to follow instructions carefully. Thanks to all those who provided the helpful information to this newby and led this project to a successful conclusion. My hat is off to you guys and gals!
     
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  12. jorgek

    jorgek SatelliteGuys Family

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    Excellent work. You are now a motor install expert. I wish I had all the help you got when I installed my first motor back in 2007. USALS does make it a lot easier. As a matter of fact with the STAB 90 you don't even need the declination calc. The install settings take it into account.
     
    #12
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