AJAK- Pushing the envelope

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Magic Static

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With all the AJAK activity lately, (Vintagesports & Greg Mueller) I have renewed my interest in the sensors. Going thru all my sensors lately I came across a 16 magnet wheel I had built before I discovered how AJAK did the double counting of the 5 magnets. So double counting a 10 magnet wheel sufficed for a great improvement in pointing accuracy. I also found some small reed switches that I had tried during my development and learning of AJAK sensors. That got me to thinking, can I double count the 16 magnet wheel? 32 counts per degree? That's crazy! I gotta try it. That would give me .016° pointing accuracy. :biggrin2 Digging around thru more of my sensor materials I found some terminal blocks too. This gave me an idea on manufacturing the AJAK reed switch in a different manner than I used before. So I have put together a couple to try when the weather warms up. I made one with a cap in the circuit for noise suppression. The AJAK moves at about 2° a second. The would make the sensor run about 60hz. Of course that brings the count over the full arc up to around 4000 counts and only the ASC1 can do that. Some pictures of the new sensor....
FTA2018 005.JPG FTA2018 007.JPG FTA2018 012.JPG FTA2 003.JPG FTA2 007.JPG FTA2 010.JPG FTA2 015.JPG
 

RimaNTSS

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Nice customized sensor block Magic Static . Did you think of using optical or Hall sensor to count pulses? I have one project going on (the drilling machine) where I made ring with 72 magnets and Hall sensor will be used. IMG_20180117_181452.jpg
Unfortunately Ajak does not have too much space to place big magnet wheel.
 

Magic Static

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Nice customized sensor block Magic Static . Did you think of using optical or Hall sensor to count pulses? I have one project going on (the drilling machine) where I made ring with 72 magnets and Hall sensor will be used. View attachment 131151
Unfortunately Ajak does not have too much space to place big magnet wheel.
Actually I did make an optical sensor that fit inside the sensor housing for my AJAK. That is how I came up with the OHR adapter for the ASCI. :)
The optical AJAK
 

wvman

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Actually I did make an optical sensor that fit inside the sensor housing for my AJAK. That is how I came up with the OHR adapter for the ASCI. :)
The optical AJAK
How much problems have you had with the adjacent magnets interacting with the reed switch once it's passed center on a magnet? I replaced a trigger wheel in a Von Weise once and it had problems when it doubled the number of magnets in the wheel. I've worked on several H-H mounts and found the slack between the worm and drive gear to be sufficient to keep me from selling them. Having said that, the slack could have came over time as the gears wore.

Many of the ones I worked on weren't kept lubricated and the wear on the teeth was noticible. Kinda falls back to out of sight, out of mind. Just a thought.
 

Magic Static

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How much problems have you had with the adjacent magnets interacting with the reed switch once it's passed center on a magnet?
I spent some time experimenting with strength, size and spacing of magnets. Took a while to get it down. In the 16 magnet wheel I actually focus the magnetic field of the magnets by slipping them into a steel tube leaving only the ends exposed. This allows me to crowd more magnets on a wheel. If I made the wheel from a ferrous material it would have the same effect as putting the magnets in a steel sleeve. The size of the reed switch has a lot to do with the spacing of the magnets in this application.

The AJAK mount has adjustments to keep the slack out of the worm gears and the chain tight. But there is wear in the center of the big gear. There is more of a load on the motor on the ends of the travel as the gear tightens up. But not bad.

When I modded the C-band mount for a PrimeStar 1.2m dish I also modded the VonWeise sensor. :)
? offset angle Primestar 1.2m
 
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wvman

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I spent some time experimenting with strength, size and spacing of magnets. Took a while to get it down. In the 16 magnet wheel I actually focus the magnetic field of the magnets by slipping them into a steel tube leaving only the ends exposed. This allows me to crowd more magnets on a wheel. If I made the wheel from a ferrous material it would have the same effect as putting the magnets in a steel sleeve. The size of the reed switch has a lot to do with the spacing of the magnets in this application.

The AJAK mount has adjustments to keep the slack out of the worm gears and the chain tight. But there is wear in the center of the big gear. There is more of a load on the motor on the ends of the travel as the gear tightens up. But not bad.

When I modded the C-band mount for a PrimeStar 1.2m dish I also modded the VonWeise sensor. :)
? offset angle Primestar 1.2m
Placing the magnets in a steel tube was a great idea. I've been poking around looking for some old 3 digit read out stand alone actuator boxes. Ironically, I had a building full of that stuff and ditched most of it when I closed the business. Hind sight is always 20/20 as the saying goes. I never thought I'd be scrounging around years later trying to locate what I had disposed of years earlier.

I bought an AP600 Pansat a couple years ago, thinking it would do what I needed to do, but that was a disappointment. That thing is more forgetful than I am. It's will lose track of the counts right in the middle of the programming process. It loses the limits throwing everything out of kilter and sometimes it will give off a big thump sound, causing the display to go off and you're done until you unplug and reset it. It doesn't blow the fuse, it just goes off. It's a real piece of junk. It has a new arm on it. I've checked it out and everything is fine with it.

I've been putting off buying a Titanium unit, but that's going to happen soon. All but one of my dishes are stationary. I like to leave one mobile to nose around to see what's on other birds. That way I know whether or not I need to plant another dish. :)
 

Magic Static

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I have experimented a bunch with dish controllers. :) But I had no interest in that Pansat. When the ASC1 came out I got together with some guys and bought a case of them. Well those first run ASC1s had a discrepancy in the build components and were discarded. Well they may not have worked as planned but they still had a great case. :) So I have used those for a lot of fun in this hobby. Two of those are on my project list this year. The one that is now a functioning ASC1 will be getting two new circuits added to it and a new front panel. :) Another will house a VBox X with additional circuits.

Never throw anything away. ;) That material I make those sensors from and the OHR adapters I acquired in 1987 from a neighbor of mine that worked in the Hewlett Packard plant in Loveland, CO. Several sheets of blank circuit board (fiberglass sheets) I packed around for ever thinking one of these days this will be useful. I never imagined how I would end up using this stuff. :) But it turned out to be one of the best freebies I ever got ;)

I wish I had the space for a full array of fixed dishes. I have access to enough to put put up a dedicated C and Ku to every satellite I can see. And then some LOL
 

Magic Static

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I’ve heard of the V Box II. I actually have one but what is a V Box X?
When you really think about it, that is a hard question to answer. What is a VBox (anything)? VBox (II, 7, X) are distributed by many companies over the years. Some put there brand on it others don't. So who makes them? A factory in the east run by Some-Anybody. Who knows. If you look on Ali-baba you can find dozens of VBoxes. I have studied a few of them. There seems to have been two variations of firmware in these boxes. The one that is used in the boxes available now and recently is not as desirable as the older one IMHO. The VBox X was a version distributed by Galaxy Marketing. It had an unusual case design. Some called it the "Flying Saucer".
 

primestar31

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When you really think about it, that is a hard question to answer. What is a VBox (anything)? VBox (II, 7, X) are distributed by many companies over the years. Some put there brand on it others don't. So who makes them? A factory in the east run by Some-Anybody. Who knows. If you look on Ali-baba you can find dozens of VBoxes. I have studied a few of them. There seems to have been two variations of firmware in these boxes. The one that is used in the boxes available now and recently is not as desirable as the older one IMHO. The VBox X was a version distributed by Galaxy Marketing. It had an unusual case design. Some called it the "Flying Saucer".
My V-box X has been absolutely flawless in moving my dish since I got it years ago.
 

Magic Static

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I like mine also. But the plastic case and cheap connectors could not stand up to my constant hobbyist activities. They soon became damaged. So....(as Tim Allen used to say) "I rewired it". The one in the picture looks like this...
VBoxMod 002.JPG VBox-X-Mod 001.JPG
 
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Magic Static

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A quick check at dishpointer and you can cover approx 140°. This explains the way your limit switches are bent ;) So you just installed a high resolution sensor in your AJAK and if we do the math 20 counts per degree times 140 degrees is 2800 counts. :) The VBox can't help you. :( max 2000 counts. You need an ASC1 :)
 
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Magic Static

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And just in case you are wondering about that 2000 count limit, the VBox doesn't stop when it hits count 2000. It rolls over like an old car odometer. But you just entered the "Twilight Zone" where things are not as they appear to be and anything can happen with a VBox. This is why we need to set those hardware limits. ;)
 
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Vintagesports

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With a VBox about 1100 From Galaxy 13 to Amazonas it’s about 600 counts and about 500 more counts from Amazonas to Intelsat 901. That was with my 5 magnet sensor. Not sure if it will differ with the sensor you sold me. Haven’t installed to dish yet
 
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