AMIKO DM3800 DiSEqC Motor Issues

TheBUDGuy

TheBUDGuy

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I recently purchased an Amiko Mini H265, which arrived yesterday. I’ve been using an Amiko DM3800 motor since October 2020 and it has worked great. However, yesterday, something happened. When I connected the coaxial cable to the Amiko, everything was working fine. About 15 minutes afterward, I noticed that, when switching satellites, I would get no signal. When I would go back to the previous satellite, the signal would show up right away, meaning that the motor wasn’t moving the dish.

I worked nearly all day yesterday to figure out the problem, but I’m running out of ideas. I noticed that, when moving the cable running from the motor to the receiver, the LEDs on the motor would gradually brighten and dim as the cable was moved/twisted. Sometimes, the motor would make a clicking sound and the LEDs will flash normally, which shows that there is adequate power, but this was only brief. If there was adequate power, the motor would move the dish slowly before coming to a stop, almost like it’s losing power or there’s a weak power source.

Today, I replaced the main cable running from the motor to the outside edge of the house (there are three cables connected together with cable extension adapters). At first, it looks like there is adequate power to the motor. The LEDs flash a few times, which is normal. Moving the dish, however, still doesn’t work. It’ll sometimes move the dish, but very slowly.

I find it coincidental that this issue happened as soon as I got a new receiver. Granted, the motor was moving the dish slowly beforehand. What could the problem be? It could still be a cable issue, which might be the most likely issue, but I’m afraid it’s a problem with the motor.
 
TheBUDGuy

TheBUDGuy

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Update: I went outside and used two new cables, one went from the LNB to the motor and the other went from the motor to the receiver. At first, the motor would turn the dish fine, but then, as the dish would move, it would start to gradually move slower until it came to a stop. There would be no power to the motor once the dish stopped moving. I would then disconnect the cable from the receiver, wait about 20 seconds, then connect the cable again. This would make the motor work once again, but like the last time, the dish would eventually move slowly until it came to a complete stop.

I have no idea what the problem is. I’m afraid this is a motor issue.
 
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primestar31

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Update: I went outside and used two new cables, one went from the LNB to the motor and the other went from the motor to the receiver. At first, the motor would turn the dish fine, but then, as the dish would move, it would start to gradually move slower until it came to a stop. There would be no power to the motor once the dish stopped moving. I would then disconnect the cable from the remover, wait about 20 seconds, the connect the cable again. This would make the motor work once again, but like the last time, the dish would eventually move slowly until it came to a complete stop.

I have no idea what the problem is. I’m afraid this is a motor issue.
What power supply are you using with the new receiver? It should be at least 2 amps to also run a motor. How does the motor move when you select a HORIZONTAL transponder? If you have a digital meter, you can check for a solid +18 volts at the coax right at the motor.
 
KE4EST

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I have found that sometimes the power supply that Amiko supplies with their receivers is just not got enough uphf for pushing a motor; ebay and Amazon sell bigger supplies. Just makes sure it is 12V, 2.1mm barrel, and tip is positive.
I used to buy and replace the power supplies in the receivers before shipping, but it just got to expensive, when I only run into one person every 2-3 years that has an issue.
 
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TheBUDGuy

TheBUDGuy

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What power supply are you using with the new receiver? It should be at least 2 amps to also run a motor. How does the motor move when you select a HORIZONTAL transponder? If you have a digital meter, you can check for a solid +18 volts at the coax right at the motor.
I've been using the power supply that came with the Amiko Mini. It's only 1.5 amps. I didn't consider that the power supply may have been too weak. I'll check the voltage with the meter later today while I perform some more tests. I'm starting to feel some confidence that this isn't a motor issue, thankfully so. I figured that it had to be coincidental that the motor would stop working as soon as I got a new receiver.

Concerning one issue, is a bad cable the cause of the LED lights on the motor brightening and dimming? When I would attach a particular cable to the motor, the LEDs would flash a lot because it would quickly gain and lose power. Afterward, jiggling the cable while it's connected would cause those LEDs to brighten and dim.
 
primestar31

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I've been using the power supply that came with the Amiko Mini. It's only 1.5 amps. I didn't consider that the power supply may have been too weak. I'll check the voltage with the meter later today while I perform some more tests. I'm starting to feel some confidence that this isn't a motor issue, thankfully so. I figured that it had to be coincidental that the motor would stop working as soon as I got a new receiver.

Concerning one issue, is a bad cable the cause of the LED lights on the motor brightening and dimming? When I would attach a particular cable to the motor, the LEDs would flash a lot because it would quickly gain and lose power. Afterward, jiggling the cable while it's connected would cause those LEDs to brighten and dim.
Read this post from above. Buy a higher current power supply. Perhaps your coax end connectors could also use replacing, hopefully you used good compression connectors, and not crimped or screw-on types.

I have found that sometimes the power supply that Amiko supplies with their receivers is just not got enough uphf for pushing a motor; ebay and Amazon sell bigger supplies. Just makes sure it is 12V, 2.1mm barrel, and tip is positive.
I used to buy and replace the power supplies in the receivers before shipping, but it just got to expensive, when I only run into one person every 2-3 years that has an issue.
 
TheBUDGuy

TheBUDGuy

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Read this post from above. Buy a higher current power supply. Perhaps your coax end connectors could also use replacing, hopefully you used good compression connectors, and not crimped or screw-on types.
I believe I've got an extra power supply that just might work; it has 2 amps. I will also try replacing the ends of the cables to see if that helps as well. I use high quality cable with compression connectors, so hopefully replacing the ends allows me to get more use out of this cable.
 
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primestar31

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I believe I've got an extra power supply that just might work; it has 2 amps. I will also try replacing the ends of the cables to see if that helps as well. I use high quality cable with compression connectors, so hopefully replacing the ends allows me to get more use out of this cable.
Good plan.
 
TheBUDGuy

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I was able to figure out the problem. The cause was a defective LNB. Replacing the LNB fixed the issue. I noticed that if I disconnected the cable that led from the LNB to the motor, the motor would work just fine. Connecting the cable caused the problems mentioned above to occur. I still took the time to replace all the cables, however. Glad to get this problem fixed.
 
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KE4EST

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Glad to hear!!
 
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a33

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I was able to figure out the problem. The cause was a defective LNB. Replacing the LNB fixed the issue. I noticed that if I disconnected the cable that led from the LNB to the motor, the motor would work just fine. Connecting the cable caused the problems mentioned above to occur.

I wonder if the LNB itself was defective, or that the combination motor+LNB drew too much current?
Because some LNBs draw more current than others. (The same is valid for motors.)

When a receiver can't deliver enough current, I guess that sometimes the power supply unit might be 'not heavy enough', and sometimes the circuit design for LNB(+motor) current might be limited (to 300mA, for instance).
I am not familiar with the Amiko, though.

With a power problem at the motor, your test (disconnecting the LNB) can indeed be very informative!

Greetz,
A33
 
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primestar31

primestar31

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I was able to figure out the problem. The cause was a defective LNB. Replacing the LNB fixed the issue. I noticed that if I disconnected the cable that led from the LNB to the motor, the motor would work just fine. Connecting the cable caused the problems mentioned above to occur. I still took the time to replace all the cables, however. Glad to get this problem fixed.
There's a few posts somewhere on the site that explain about modding the USALS motor to run on it's won power supply. IF you have a spare coax going out there, you could also try that. Then there'd be no drain on the receiver to power the motor. It would just use the control signals to run it.
 
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