dish alignment

johnnynobody

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 2, 2009
2,580
303
42N 103W
I need my memory refreshed. After getting peaked on the southernmost satellite (103W in my case) by using the elevation rod, the dish is moved to the satellite closest to the horizon that I can see, then the "lip test" is done to see if the mount needs to be rotated CW (west) or CCW (east), then rotate the mount accordingly (no improvement in signal level for the horizon sat though - the signal level actually drops), then return to the southernmost satellite and repeak with the elevation rod. Does that mean to repeak with dish mover along with the elevation rod or do you just repeak where the dish lands with just the elevation rod after the dish is moved back to the south sat? I've been repeaking with both the dish mover and with the elevation rod and then go back to the horizon satellite and do the lip test again and repeat. I've been going back and forth between the horizon sat and the south sat but I'm not able to get the dish aligned. The declination is set as accurately as I can get it. The weird thing is that at some point I get the dvb-s2 high fec sats (13-14 dB C/N) but lose some of the dvb-s sats (that I had prior to this dish alignment effort). I've re-read this post several times but I'm not sure if I'm being clear on this.

Interesting that these 2 articles are so different on how to align the dish:


 

waylew

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 23, 2010
2,558
935
northern WEST new york
The way I used to do it (been a long time) was, move the dish to the peak of the sat then once you have it tracking go back and set the "positions".If that makes sense.:biggrin
 

clucas

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 30, 2012
176
116
Lompoc, California
It’s been a long time for me but I peak it on the southern most satellite-the one most directly overhead then go to the lowest receivable satellite and peak by turning the mount on the pole and use the actuator up or down if needed. Do NOT adjust the elevation for this so when you return to your top satellite it will still remain peaked. The rest should fall in place along the arc.
 

johnnynobody

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 2, 2009
2,580
303
42N 103W
One alignment instruction says to set elevation on the south sat and then adjust the declination on the low sats. Sounds like many methods. Sure would like to get a method that works without too much "fiddling".
 

johnnynobody

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 2, 2009
2,580
303
42N 103W
It’s been a long time for me but I peak it on the southern most satellite-the one most directly overhead then go to the lowest receivable satellite and peak by turning the mount on the pole and use the actuator up or down if needed. Do NOT adjust the elevation for this so when you return to your top satellite it will still remain peaked. The rest should fall in place along the arc.
That's not the way one alignment instruction advises. Another says to use declination adjustment on the low sats. My dish manual mentions adjusting the mount on low sats but says to go back and forth on the south sat (elevation) and the low sat (mount adjustment). Some instructions say to set elevation to match latitude while others calculate a figure that's close to latitude but not quite the latitude. I guess I'll have to try different methods until I find one that works for me.
 

clucas

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 30, 2012
176
116
Lompoc, California
The declination is calculated based on your latitude. Once it is set forget about it and peak using the elevation on the southern most satellite. It works for me.
 

a33

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 4, 2015
457
309
netherlands europe
Some instructions say to set elevation to match latitude while others calculate a figure that's close to latitude but not quite the latitude.

The ones that don't match the latitude, are the better ones to start with.

These are the so-called modified motor angles. The axis elevation angle has a forward tilt (as compared to the traditional value of 90-LAT), mostly of about 0.6 or 0.7 degrees. And the declination offset angle has a correction of the same value, in the opposite direction.
Using these modified angles, you are following the clarke belt better, right from the start; so that less tweaking has to be done.

Greetz,
A33
 

johnnynobody

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 2, 2009
2,580
303
42N 103W
It's frustrating and confusing. The alignment data in the antenna instructions don't match what is shown at web sites for modified polar mounts. Some web sites give elevation settings only. Some sites give declination settings only (which don't match the antenna instructions charts - the difference is about 0.7 degrees). And I have 2 12-foot antennas with modified polar mounts and the manual charts differ for each antenna. And then there are at least 2 different ways to do the alignment. I would expect the alignment instructions in the manufacturers instructions would be the go-to instructions but then some web sites claim to have the best method for alignment which differs from the manufacturers instructions. So, how is one going to be able to properly align these antennas? I guess I'll have to try to get it somewhat aligned. It's been over a decade since I've done a complete alignment so I'm no longer an expert at this. 10 minute alignments? Yeah, right.
 

johnnynobody

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 2, 2009
2,580
303
42N 103W
The declination is calculated based on your latitude. Once it is set forget about it and peak using the elevation on the southern most satellite. It works for me.
A lot depends on how well you can see the sats near the horizon. Some tweaking will probably need to be done. Some instructions say to adjust the pole mount to get a better signal while another alignment instruction says to tweak the declination when pointed at the "lower" sats.
 

johnnynobody

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 2, 2009
2,580
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42N 103W
Seems weird that when I began this "adventure", I was able to track from 89W to 125W but there were still services that I couldn't get. For example, I was able to get some unencrypted signals on 107W but not all of them. Same goes for 101W and 99W. From my understanding from the alignment instructions, if I can track all these satellites then I should be sufficiently accurate on alignment. Apparently, that's not so.
 

a33

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 4, 2015
457
309
netherlands europe
Yes, you can read some strange instructions, some of which I don't think are really practical.

Things that I would focus on, based on my understanding of the polar mount and the clarke belt, are:

1. Pole doesn't need to be perfectly plumb in all directions, just in east/west direction.
(North/south non-plumbness can be adjusted with axis elevation angle, if necessary.)

2. Use the modified motor angles, the ones with a forward axis tilt; they follow the arc better than the 'traditional' motor angles (with axis exactly parallel to earth rotation axis).

3. For setting/finding due south with "your most southern satellite", if you haven't a satellite at exactly due south, rotate your dish a bit with your motor/actuator, to compensate for the difference with due south.

4. When checking if you track the arc properly, first try to check if your zero is exactly right, by checking that there is symmetry in elevation/declination inaccuracies east and west.
There is no sense in changing elevation or declination angles, when the need for that is still different in the east than in the west.

5. Only when you are satisfied that your zero is right, check what adjustments to elevation and declination are still needed.
(Declination at the extremes, elevation at due south, if you want to do it step by step. When you do it somewhere halfway to the extremes, the first adjustment could easily be a little over-justification of the declination angle, as part of it is counteracted by the following adjustment of the elevation angle.)

I hope this helps?

Greetz,
A33
 

johnnynobody

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 2, 2009
2,580
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42N 103W
I aligned it "my way" and made a lot of progress but I'm still having trouble with bringing in 9/10 FEC services even though I had them prior to the panel replacements and realignment. Interesting that 125 W is booming with 18 dB C/N signals. I probably need to check feed adjustment since I didn't check it after last August when we had a nasty hail storm. Some of the support structure is made of aluminum and got damaged also. I hope my new TEK will be better built than this KTI.
 

Titanium

AI6US
Lifetime Supporter
May 23, 2013
6,942
7,735
Meadow Vista, Northern California
Wishful thinking... Most KTI dishes that I have worked on are still mechanically sound after 30+ years. Unless hit by a tractor or used as a livestock scratching station, the KTI was built to last.

The KTI build quality definately wins the blue ribbon in this contest.
I hope my new TEK will be better built than this KTI.
 

MikeI

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 25, 2004
3,218
241
I aligned it "my way" and made a lot of progress but I'm still having trouble with bringing in 9/10 FEC services even though I had them prior to the panel replacements and realignment. Interesting that 125 W is booming with 18 dB C/N signals. I probably need to check feed adjustment since I didn't check it after last August when we had a nasty hail storm. Some of the support structure is made of aluminum and got damaged also. I hope my new TEK will be better built than this KTI.
My KTI 7.5 dish is great. Tek 10 footer moves every time there is a windgust over 10 mph. It's really annoying.

Sent from my LM-G710VM using the SatelliteGuys app!
 

johnnynobody

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 2, 2009
2,580
303
42N 103W
Wishful thinking... Most KTI dishes that I have worked on are still mechanically sound after 30+ years. Unless hit by a tractor or used as a livestock scratching station, the KTI was built to last.

The KTI build quality definately wins the blue ribbon in this contest.
The KTI I have has taken a brutal beating at least twice by hail. The ribs for the mesh were dented by hail to where I had to replace them along with missing mesh clips. One of the intermediate rings was bent in last years hail storm and the mesh was ripped out of the clips. The only thing that ever got damaged on my Paraclipse was the mesh. The Paraclipse was a sturdier piece of engineering than the KTI. Maybe KTI was a sturdy design in the models before the one I got, I don't know.
 

johnnynobody

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 2, 2009
2,580
303
42N 103W
My KTI 7.5 dish is great. Tek 10 footer moves every time there is a windgust over 10 mph. It's really annoying.
Well, short of spending at least another $1000, I'll either have to live with the TEK consumer grade 12 footer or send it back and buy something better or just quit spending money. Maybe this 2019 TEK performs better? By the way, my KTI 12 tends to move in the wind also. We've been known to have wind gusts up to 60 MPH. I can't get the nuts and bolts any tighter without risking stripping the bolts and nuts.
 

johnnynobody

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 2, 2009
2,580
303
42N 103W
One thing that seems strange to me is why I can pull in H&I East but not the west feed on 101W. Everything is the same except that they are on different transponders.
 

mr3p

SatelliteGuys Pro
Pub Member / Supporter
Jan 1, 2010
1,130
134
West
Just curious but did you consider the tek2000 commercial model? From the pictures and specs it looks a more well built.

Sent from my MI 8 using the SatelliteGuys app!
 

johnnynobody

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 2, 2009
2,580
303
42N 103W
Just curious but did you consider the tek2000 commercial model? From the pictures and specs it looks a more well built.
I considered it but since the 12 foot model was out of stock....I might have been able to go to the 13.5 footer but I might have had to buy a new pole plus put in a more elaborate pad. And then there's the issue of whether or not the city would give me a permit for such a monstrous antenna in a residential area......I considered waiting for the commercial grade 12 footer to come back into stock but I have to get my insurance claim settled by August. Maybe I'll get something more elaborate/better after the next hail storm. And I still have to replace my shed and repaint the house.
 

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