Actuator jams with use?

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cracklincrotch

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 28, 2007
1,026
0
Halifax, Nova Scotia
I have a Von Weiss 24" actuator on my 10.5' BUD. Before putting up this beast I made sure that the threads on the jack were clean and well lubricated. I run this jack with a G-Box 3000.

I've noticed that the more I drive the dish around, the more I get an E-2. I can go 15-20 degrees across the arc, from and to anywhere in the arc, and it works great. But if I go any more than 20 degrees from any point in the arc, east or west, I'll get an E-2. And the more it moves, the slower it moves, and the more often I get the error.

For example, if I start at 43W and send the dish to 125W it'll start giving me an E-2 around 65W. If I start at 116W and drive to 83W it will begin to E-2 near 87W. If I continue to drive the dish one way or another once this has started it will get so bad that G-Box can't drive the jack in any direction for five minutes or more. If I wait about 10 minutes and try again it takes off as if nothing happened.

I did not have this problem when I was running an 18" jack on my 7.5' BUD. I'm using the same G-Box.

I can only think that it's an issue with the motor and not the jack screw.

This isn't situation I go through often. It just bugs me because I know it doesn't have to be this way.
 

oldfoggie

SatelliteGuys Family
Jan 27, 2010
49
8
canada
the dish is mounted on top and bottom pivot points, these can be set in bearings or bushings make sure they move freely and are well lubricated, most important especially with larger dishes (10ft and up) that the actuator is pushing straight into he dish, not up at an angle or down at an angle, to get it pushing as straight as possible use spacers on the actuator mounting bolts, I have a 10 ft Andrews dish and it needs about a 3 inch teflon block to get the motor end to look straight into the dish clear across the arc
 

upnatm

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 22, 2009
208
0
North-East Lake Superior
HI,

Is the G-Box heating up more that normal? (bad transformer?) have you checked the pulse wire connections? you might have a loose wire at one end, that will give you an E-2 error.
Perhaps the motor control cable is catching a snag while the dish is moving?

You say "well lubricated", perhaps the winter cold is hardening up the fresh lube?

On the jack I'm currently using, I sparingly applied a light bearing grease to the screw, and wet it down with 5w-30 oil. I then used my 1/2" drill to run the screw thru the nut a few times, and wiped off the excess before reassembly.
We had a short spell of -30C over here in Wawa Ont, I didn't notice any slowness.

Another spot to look at might be where the motor's shaft goes into the gearbox, mine was making a whining noise on the test bench, a few dabs of oil at the bushing, and the unit ran much better!
A chattering armature bushing will rob the motor of it's power.
Come to think of it, the problem could even be with the motor's brushes, if they're too short, the current meets resistance on the way to the windings.
Brush replacement isn't really very difficult, if you're handy that way, FINDING them can be the headache!
Remember to mark the housing so the magnets are oriented correctly at assembly.

Hope I'm not scaring you, but the motor itself may need some nursing. Check first the inexpensive things!

Good luck, Happy New Year!
 

Lone Gunman

SatelliteGuys Pro
Pub Member / Supporter
Mar 19, 2010
3,107
790
southeast
Since you didn't say anything about loosing counts, I'm going to assume that the E2 error isn't related to the reed switch?

I would disconnect the arm from the dish and run it to see if it does it with no load. You might want to check the amp draw too while it's running. If the amp load is high, then that may be what's causing the E2 error on the Gbox. It might have a circuit breaker/thermal overload that is kicking out to keep from burning up something. Running amp load should be listed on the tag on the motor.

And I was also wondering if the grease/lube you used was getting too stiff from cold weather. I use a really, really soft almost fluid grease on mine and it functions well so far down to 13 degrees.
 

cracklincrotch

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 28, 2007
1,026
0
Halifax, Nova Scotia
I should clarify that I didn't add any lubricant to the jack screw when i disassembled and reassembled it as it didn't need it. I could turn the jack by hand with my pinky finger with no effort. No rust. Just shiny steel that was coated in a light oil. I was quite impressed with this sight since the jack hadn't moved in years. Not like the little one I had on the 7.5. That took 45 minutes with a torch, penetrant, and eventually a wire wheel on a grinder to even get it to wiggle.

I should also note that this problem occurs in a no-wind situation.

The G-Box does not lose counts when this problem happens. The G-Box does not run any "hotter" than it ever has. It is not any hotter when the E-2 shows up than when it's not under load driving the jack.

The jack is louder than the smaller jack from the smaller BUD I used to use. I figure the increased noise is due to the increased size. It certainly doesn't sound unhealthy.

I don't believe it's the cold that's causing this. This problem existed back in October when it was in the high 50s/low 60s when I put the dish up too. It's just one of those things that's on my "list" of things to look into, fixed, done, etc. Lately, at it's coldest, it's been in the high 20s.

The jack draws between 2.4 and 2.8 amps. IIRC the jack is rated as a 2.75A load.
 

upnatm

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 22, 2009
208
0
North-East Lake Superior
Hi again,

Can you verify the quality of the pulse signal wires and their connections?

How long of a run are you using? Is the wire "shielded"? Old stuff or new?

Old wire might have broken strands somewhere along it's length, making intermittent contact, and unshielded
wires can suffer from interference if they are too near a noise source, such as the RF noise from the jack motor
and power wires. Fluorescent lights can cause interference too.

I believe the recommended cable is 20 to 24 gauge shielded, with at least 2 conductors and a drain.

Maybe this helps, keep trying.
 

cracklincrotch

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 28, 2007
1,026
0
Halifax, Nova Scotia
I finally got this figured out. Today was a nice day, I had time, and the interest in looking at it.

I got the motor down off the dish and attempted to drive the motor. Sure enough, even in a no-load situation, I get an E-2. So I unhook the wiring and take the motor apart. Found the problem right away. The permanent magnets that are supposed to be glued to the motor housing were no longer glued and would jam up when used. Re-glued, reassembled, and voila! Dish moves some fast now, and MUCH quieter. In fact I can't even hear it anymore.
 
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