Can't get a signal, but why

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larf

Thread Starter
New Member
May 22, 2009
2
0
Round Rock, TX
I have a pansat 150m and a 8' c-band dish setup. My inline meter and a compas say I am pointed at 97W G-19. LO set to 5150 and getting a level reading of 80% but a quality of 0%. Inline meter is at 9. Receiver set to 3905 V 4166. Any Ideas??
 
E

ECruzBUD

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 8, 2008
319
36
SEATTLE, WA.
Hi Larf,
:)
Are you using JUST the Pansat 150m, and not with the analog
C-band receiver?? If you are, then you would need splitters
in between the two to make it work. That's my understanding
from one of the members that sent me the link on how to setup
between the analog C-band receiver and the FTA receiver.
I haven't try it yet, but it works for them.

If you're using JUST the Pansat 150m, then have you gotten
the latest factory file from Pansat??? Is there the latest bin
file in your Pansat 150m?? I'm just trying to help with answers
for ya.

If you're using with two receivers, the analog C-band receiver
and the Pansat 150m receiver, here's the link to setup.

Connecting BUD C KU Band dish to one DVB receiver

This site also has some usefull helps answers that you might be looking for.
This sie might be able to help you.

Good luck,
;)
Eugene
 
Inno

Inno

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 13, 2006
1,596
5
NW Ontario, Canada
Were you previously using the 8' dish for analog C-Band reception or is this a new installation?
Sounds like you may not be on a satellite. You may want to remove your inline meter also, I've known those to hinder sometimes rather than help. Have you changed the elevation?
The LNB you are using, what type? Does it have the little blue polarity motor on the end pointing at the sky or is it an LNBF type which switches polarity based on the voltage it gets from the receiver?
The more details you can provide, the quicker we can get you going :)
Pictures help a lot too, pics of the LNB, the connections at the back of the receiver etc.

Oh, and WELCOME TO SATELLITE GUYS!!!! You are in the right place!
 
L

larf

Thread Starter
New Member
May 22, 2009
2
0
Round Rock, TX
Thank you Inno and EcruzBud.
Good questions, here are the answers.
I only have the pansat 150m. I bought my house and it had the dish already in place. It has a control arm but I do not have a controler (yet). I detached the arm temporaraly so I can move the dish around. I did not change the elevation of the dish, it is firmly planted on a large diameter pole in the back yard. It has a chaparral freehorn and an LNB with a servo motor ( can't control that yet ether). I am not sure how the servo works but I assume that the servo moves the small metal rode/hook inside the freehorn. Does it go up and down or swivel? It is currently up or very close to the servo motor. It has a standard LNB that can be picked up for $20 online (I looked it up by the model number). I am new to C-band. I have an 18" Ku for dish network on the house and I was able to hook it up and pull down Nasa from dish (everything else was blocked as it should be). I pulled down and loaded the lates bin from pansat. If the inline beeps at and the meter goes to 9 does that mean I am pointed at a satellite? Once pointed should I take it out?
 
Inno

Inno

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 13, 2006
1,596
5
NW Ontario, Canada
Ok, without being able to control the servo (also known as polarotor) you will only be able to access half of the available transponders on a given satellite. It rotates approx 45° when switching between horizontal and vertical transponders.
If the dish was there when you moved in, it's likely already correctly set up and may only need minor adjustment to make it track properly.
It would be easier to see if things worked if you had an old analog receiver which would control the servo as well as move the dish.

What you will have to do is move the dish to a satellite where you get a signal reading and approximate which satellite you think it is. Then go to SatelliteGuys.US - TheList and find an active transponder on that particular satellite. Probably best if you manually enter the transponder info. into the receiver, frequency, polarity and Symbol Rate. If you are on the satellite you think you are then you should see quality as well as signal strength. If you do not see signal strength, try a transponder of opposite polarity (H as opposed to V) and see if that works...........this step is because you do not have control over your polarity and your feedhorn is either set to H (horizontal) or V (vertical) already.

This should at least tell you if the dish is aligned and the LNB works. To make things simpler, what I have done is installed an LNBF (lnb and feedhorn all in one unit). Instead of having a servo to change polarity it uses changes in input voltage (13 or 18V) to determine which polarity to select. Your pansat will control this type of polarity and there is less wiring to hook up! As far as moving the dish, you could either get a V-Box or hook up an old analog receiver just for moving the dish. The V-box being the simpler of the two choices. I don't have one so I can't comment on them but it seems that a lot of the guys here have them. I use an old analog receiver to move my C-Band dish.

Good luck and happy hunting!
 
Inno

Inno

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 13, 2006
1,596
5
NW Ontario, Canada
It's probably ok to leave your satellite meter inline for testing purposes but it may drop your signal quality a bit..........I have seen the odd occasion where you could not get any quality with it inline.....if you're getting nowhere, set it on a satellite and remove it and see if the helps.
 
M

melgarga

SatelliteGuys Pro
May 11, 2008
834
0
SE Texas
New C bander...my kind of guy! Welcome to the hobby. Without an old analog rx or a V/G Box controller, and until you can get one, you are better off doing like Cad said and hooking the jack (actuator arm) back up (if it still works) and using a 12v car battery to drive the dish. A VERY small movement can make the difference between a solid signal and absolutely none at all. If you are not familiar with the level (sometimes, for some reason unknown to me called signal) and quality readings, essentially, the level indicates you are hooked up to a presumably functional LNB. The quality is an indication that a signal of the programmed freq/SR is present and locked. The higher this reading is, the greater the amount of unerrored (desirable) data is being recieved. For the purposes of dish alignment, it is analgeous to 'signal strength' but technically is not.
The motor is 36v so 12v gives you a very fine, slow running adjustment control. Of course being DC, reversing the polarity reverses the direction the jack operates. If you cant find one locally, flea markets, Craigslist, etc, analog C band IRDs show up on Fleabay pretty regular for a few buck over shipping, which it seems to be roughy $20 anywhere in the lower 48 for these guys. (They are a bit on the heavy side) I saw one this weekend at a garage sale for 5 bucks. Didnt get it.....got plenty of backups for the time being.
The first thing I would do is drive the dish to it's highest point, and look at the polarotor element and note it's position. It should be obvious (relative to the ground directly in front of the dish) what polarity you are restricted to searching until you can get a means of controlling polarotor position (also via an analog C band IRD) or opting out for purchasing, installing and aligning an LNBF that uses 13/18 vdc from your FTA to electronicly switch polarity. (some like this setup, but personally I dont recommend it)
The polarotor position is something you will need to control via an old C band analog rx, or if you are handy with electronics, a member designed and built a circuit that can use the 13/18 vdc shift from an FTA rx to drive the polarotor. I have not taken the time to sit down and construct one, but it looks straightfoward enough to do, and the member very generously shared his concept, design and code for the uC with the community.
The link to the thread, which links to his off site page with the details is here -
http://www.satelliteguys.us/c-band-...168889-polarotor-servo-controller-design.html
Regarding meters, I have two, and a 'toner' and have found them to be erroneous and more trouble than they are worth. On an initial setup, I drag a 13" tv, and the FTA out near the dish and go at it. ( a cooler full of ice cold Colorado Koolaid is a plus too!:eureka: :up :rolleyes:) The ir control is not very stable in direct sunlight, but all in all, IMHO, it is better and more versatile alignment setup than trying to use a meter. I have read that standing behind the dish when taking a reading helps shield the meter from unwanted readings, but I have never tried that.
Next you need to have in hand, a good list of the sat/freq/polarity/SR of the channels you want to (or can, in the case of a fixed polarity) receive. There are a number of DVB signals that have no FTA content but are still very useful as beacons to help align a dish. I am not familiar with your model FTA, but putting one of these known strong freq/sr combos in the 1st 'slot' on your freq table may be a helpful configuration when switching from sat config to scan config menu pages. After identifying a particular bird, you may find it useful to take a Sharpie or similar, and mark a reference point on the stationary part of the mount near the pivot point, and mark hashes on the moving part to be able to repeat locating that same sat in the future. An analog IRD and V/G box use pulse counts generated by the jack to keep up with the dish position in a normal installation.
No offense to the guys that take the effort to provide "The List" here, but Mike at this link does a very good job of keeping on top of current FTA data for C and Ku. It is arguably the most reliable, and up to date FTA list on the 'net. The C band info can be found here -
http://www.global-cm.net/MPEGlistCBandUS.html
Again, good luck and welcome to the hobby, and becomming a fellow C bander. We are a minority in a minority, but remember "C banders do it with the BIGGER ONES than everyone else!"
One word of caution. Dont attempt to drive the polarotor with a dc signal. It is not a 'conventional' DC motor. It is PWM controlled, and contains additional electronic circuitry that could be damaged by a continuous dc signal.
Keep us posted on your progress and pitfalls.
 
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