Actuator tinkering


Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Guru
May 30, 2005
Raymond, Maine, United States
So I like to tinker FTA is not my sole source of TV and my family doesn't use it.

With that out of thw way. I got some 1.2m channel masters with polar mount and screw jacks. I don't really like the idea of running all of the multi conductor wire to the one spot in my yard where my one fixed dish is.

Here's my idea put a switch up and go to to my second dish. At the second dish put one of those cheap vbox units so I can control the jack using diseqc. I have a NEMA enclosure and I can power the unit (vbox) using a solar setup.

Now I have one run of coax going to my dishes and I can control the motorized one and fixed using my switch and receiver.

Why? Well the good location that I have my dishes in, it's logisticly easier to have one run of coax with the hopes of having more dises in the future . Plus it's just a hobby for me so I'm OK with a little tinkering. I just thought this would be better to have one run of coax and keep the vbox at the dish. It looks like they run on AC, so a small inverter would be needed. If there is a way to run one of straight DC that would make it easier.

Anyone out there already doing this?

Sent from my LM-G710VM using the SatelliteGuys app!


SatelliteGuys Master
Mar 15, 2005
Beta Omicron Delta III
It's doable, except for the solar power part. It would be MUCH cheaper to run a 120 volt AC power line out to the V-box, than a solar power setup capable of at least 3 to 5 amps, and with batteries sufficient to power it when it's dark.


Pub Member / Supporter
Dec 19, 2008
I have to agree with primestar31 regarding the solar power. Being in Maine you are fairly north so would likely work well in the summer time but in winter you will likely run out with the short cloudy winter days. If you are running cables anyway run some 14/3 too for an AC plug and be done with it. You can still use solar, but then you would have a backup.

I spent quite a bit of time (and a few $$) playing with a solar powered security camera. Continuous draw of about 180ma (12v) required a 100w panel, controller, and 2 40AH batteries to keep it going in the winter for more than 3-4 days if cloudy; batteries would run out. Keep in mind though I get temps in the -40 range and battery efficiency drops to like 25% at those temps, and maybe 4 hours of useful sunlight on a "clear" day. That was about $500 worth of power supply for one $40 camera... Was a good experiment and learning experience for me.

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