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SG2100 / USALS/DiseqC-1.2

Discussion in 'Free To Air (FTA) Discussion' started by B.J., Feb 26, 2009.

  1. B.J.

    B.J. Thread Starter SatelliteGuys Family

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    Been using a SG2100 motor with my 90CM Fortec for a few years now, and it's been working fine, even when my whole dish got covered by snow last year (I was fortunate to remember to disconnect it from my receiver when it got covered, so that it wouldn't try to move until I dug it out).

    However this last weekend, we got a big 22" snow, and although the snow wasn't a problem this time, the 2 day power outage (and apparently surges as it was going out) did a number on it. When the power came back on, I HAD been aimed at a sat near my due south, but couldn't pick it up at all. Looked at the dish, and it was looking at the western horizon. Told it to go to the sat again, still on western horizon. Told it to go to reference (zero), and it did. Told it to go to the sat 2 deg west of my south, and it went all the way to the west again (and I saw my channel come in and out as it went by). Basically any time I told it to go to ANY sat via USALS, it would go all the way to the western limit.

    Went back to zero, and decided to try DiseqC-1.2 instead of USALS. Located 2 or 3 sats via DiseqC-1.2, but I didn't want to save them, because I have all the sats saved via DiseqC-1.2 on other receivers and if I saved them on the Coolsat 8100, I would have no idea of what DiseqC-1.2 sat number it used, since (like the dumb Mercury) it doesn't have full DiseqC-1.2 functionality, and doesn't have a useable channel editor.

    Anyway, I was almost hoping that the problem was with the Coolsat, so I switched the coax over to my Diamond, but it wouldn't work on USALS either, so the problem was obviously with the motor, or the wiring to it.

    I tried doing a software reset of the motor through the receiver, but that didn't help. Then I noticed that I could no longer go east of my true south, even though I had just done this 10 minutes earlier.... Then about 10 minutes later, I found that my east limit was again reset so that I couldn't go past about 2 degrees west of true south.

    All these symptoms were starting to sound familiar to me, ie things I've read other SG2100 owners describe. I was starting to worry that this was going to be difficult to get this motor to work with all my receivers, however I finally decided to do a HARD reset by pushing a toothpick into the little hole on the motor (after getting it to as close to actual zero as I could).

    Anyway, the hard reset seemed to fix everything. USALS is now working again. However this exercise reminded me of how several receivers are quite lacking with respect to DiseqC-1.2 functionality. I use my SG2100 with several different receivers, including my Twinhan, Fortec Lifetime, Fortec Ultra, Fortec Mercury, CS-8100, and Diamond 9000. I used to prefer DiseqC-1.2 as it made it easier to tweak positions since my motor's zero was off, and this worked OK with the Twinhan, Lifetime and Ultra, because after I'd save a sat, say AMC3 on sat position 27, then I'd go to the other receivers and just tell it to use position 27, and I'd be all set on all three receivers.

    Then came the Mercury and the Coolsat. Neither of these receivers has an option to choose what satellite number is used for each satellite, or even know what satellite number it has used, and neither has a channel editor that allows it to be changed via the computer easily. My Diamond 9000 doesn't give access via the remote, but it has a nice channel editor that DOES give access to the sat number. With my Mercury II, I wrote a VB program that tells me what DiseqC-1.2 number is assigned to each sat, and I learned how to edit this list via a binary editor, so there is a workaround for the Mercury, although it is quite clumsy. However the CS-8100 doesn't seem to have an obvious workaround. Looks like some work on the data structure of the channel data file is in order. This proved to be relatively easy with the Mercury, but I'm not so hopeful with the Coolsat, mainly because I haven't had much luck even re-loading channel data that hasn't been edited, let alone channel data that HAS been edited, however I haven't really tried since I put this new 2025A version on the receiver. Hopefully channel restoration might actually work now, but I am not holding my breath on this.

    But if the SG2100 has USALS problems again, and I have to revert to using DiseqC-1.2, hopefully I can store all the locations via my Coolsat, and hopefully I can figure out the data structure enough to figure out what numbers it has used, so that I can enter those numbers into my other receivers. All of which would be a LOT easier if these newer receivers had full DiseqC-1.2 functionality to the extent of giving you access to being able to choose satellite numbers like you can do with the Lifetime and Ultra.

    Sorry for the rant, but this lack of DiseqC-1.2 capability is really annoying to me.

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  2. starman345

    starman345 PIT MEMBER

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    We received that dumping of snow as well, probably a little more that you say you got. I had to dig out my 90cdm dish which was a first, never had to do that before, snow is about waist deep here, drifts are much higher. I've had those SG-2100 weird issues as well, hard re-set seems to fix it most of the time, once it got stuck on the east side, a re-set did nothing so I took it inside and opened it up, couldn't see anything obvious out of place so put it back on the mast it worked fine. I'm not sure if there was a little moisture in there or if I jolted something back to where it should have been.
    I don't have the Coolsat 8100 but I've read its channel list format is "bin". Have you tried to import your list file into Channelmaster under the Ariza receiver? It uses the bin format as well. You might be able to do something with that as far as editing your positions.
    I enter the position numbers in Channelmaster for my Coolsat 5000 and it seems to work very well, although I noticed switch settings are not saved, or not exported back to the Coolsat 5000.
    Clarke Tech has an editor called CtechEditor Studio that might be usable with the 8100. I believe the European Clarke Tech receivers are basically Coolsat receivers, or probably the other way around.
  3. B.J.

    B.J. Thread Starter SatelliteGuys Family

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    Re snow, yeah, we're up to the waist here too. Got my snowmobile stuck 3 times just trying to get TO my dish a couple days ago. But after previous snows this winter, I dug out around my dish to free the cables dangling from the lnbf, so this recent snow didn't block it. We've gotten about 110" of snow so far this season. Well above average, but behind last year. It's a good thing that most of it has compressed or melted. My poor dogs are having a hard time finding a place to go outside, since the only places they can walk are either the driveway or the places my snowmobile have packed down.

    Re Channelmaster, I THINK that I tried several possibilies with the Coolsat files when I first got the receiver, but nothing worked, but I might try again. I also made a quick look at the bin files with a binary editor a while back, but that was before they changed the channel format, so I might try that again. I'll google the Ctech editor thing.

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