Kaboom! I'm having a bad month.

northgeorgia

Thread Starter
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Nov 14, 2011
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North GA
Well, a few weeks ago on my last day of vacation, a young man ran into my car at a traffic light and totaled it. Added to my bad luck, today a lightning bolt struck a pine tree about three houses down and started a small brush fire. Thankfully, it was extinguished pretty quickly, but I had a thought to check my satellite systems after the fact. Ku-band is fine. C-band is dead :( Looks like the ASC1 got toasted somehow. I can hear it power up but the screen doesn't light up, and I couldn't move the dish -- neither by the STB or by manually pressing the buttons. I hooked up an old V-box, and I can manually press the keys to move the dish, but the STBs (tried two different ones) couldn't make it move. This may not necessary mean anything as the V-box tended to overheat and stop functioning well after a few hours, becoming very finicky if relying on STB commands to move the dish. So I moved the dish manually by pressing the buttons on the V-box, which seems to indicate the actuator is working fine, but I wasn't able to scan any transponders on the arc although there was a 5% signal quality. This was true even when I directly connected the LNB to the STB separately from the V-box. I'm guessing the coax is probably OK, but the LNB might have suffered some damage. I didn't notice any visible damage inside the actuator where the wires connected, so I'm hoping the sensors weren't damaged. I am ordering a new ASC1 (I just don't trust my V-box long term) and a new LNB just in case.

The dish is placed 150 ft. from the house because of trees, etc., and the M1/M2 wires are at the bare minimum. I would appreciate it if someone could recommend (perhaps by a link to eBay or Amazon) an example of good sensor wire to use at that distance, which is probably one reason the V-box had trouble in the first place. The wire I have on it is unshielded alarm wire (16 AWG 16/4). The ASC1 didn't have much issue with it. I'm hoping the sensors don't need replacing in the actuator (24" Venture Maxi Acme Screw). Would the M1/M2 wire be the first suspect in why an STB isn't communicating with the V-box/ASC1 to move the dish when the DISEqC 1.2 commands are sent?

Thanks in advance for your feedback! I've had an awful few weeks.
 

FTA4PA

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Nov 13, 2013
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Well, a few weeks ago on my last day of vacation, a young man ran into my car at a traffic light and totaled it. Added to my bad luck, today a lightning bolt struck a pine tree about three houses down and started a small brush fire. Thankfully, it was extinguished pretty quickly, but I had a thought to check my satellite systems after the fact. Ku-band is fine. C-band is dead :( Looks like the ASC1 got toasted somehow. I can hear it power up but the screen doesn't light up, and I couldn't move the dish -- neither by the STB or by manually pressing the buttons. I hooked up an old V-box, and I can manually press the keys to move the dish, but the STBs (tried two different ones) couldn't make it move. This may not necessary mean anything as the V-box tended to overheat and stop functioning well after a few hours, becoming very finicky if relying on STB commands to move the dish. So I moved the dish manually by pressing the buttons on the V-box, which seems to indicate the actuator is working fine, but I wasn't able to scan any transponders on the arc although there was a 5% signal quality. This was true even when I directly connected the LNB to the STB separately from the V-box. I'm guessing the coax is probably OK, but the LNB might have suffered some damage. I didn't notice any visible damage inside the actuator where the wires connected, so I'm hoping the sensors weren't damaged. I am ordering a new ASC1 (I just don't trust my V-box long term) and a new LNB just in case.

The dish is placed 150 ft. from the house because of trees, etc., and the M1/M2 wires are at the bare minimum. I would appreciate it if someone could recommend (perhaps by a link to eBay or Amazon) an example of good sensor wire to use at that distance, which is probably one reason the V-box had trouble in the first place. The wire I have on it is unshielded alarm wire (16 AWG 16/4). The ASC1 didn't have much issue with it. I'm hoping the sensors don't need replacing in the actuator (24" Venture Maxi Acme Screw). Would the M1/M2 wire be the first suspect in why an STB isn't communicating with the V-box/ASC1 to move the dish when the DISEqC 1.2 commands are sent?

Thanks in advance for your feedback! I've had an awful few weeks.
Sorry to hear you are having such a bad time with things lately. I hope it gets better for you! As far as sensor wire, maybe try 2 wire shielded alarm wire from Home Depot. Titanium mentioned it in this post. :)

Cleaning up and mounting a BUD
 

primestar31

SatelliteGuys Master
Mar 15, 2005
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Have you unhooked ALL motor and sensor wires from the ASC-1, done a power-plug pull reset, and then tried to power it back up with nothing but the power plugged in?

IF you got hit by a ground pulse from a lightning strike, it's very hard to tell just what all is truly damaged. Even your coax and wiring can now be junk due to flash-over.

I wouldn't trust ANY of it, and you need to be extremely careful when just hooking up other devices and turning them on, as you could fry them also.

You need to be getting busy with your ohmmeter, and checking for shorts and such on all your wiring, and to ground, etc.
 

northgeorgia

Thread Starter
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Nov 14, 2011
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North GA
Yeah, same result after disconnecting everything from the ASC1, unplugging it for an hour and plugging it back to the outlet with nothing else connected to it.
 
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Brct203

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Dec 24, 2016
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Glad to read that the damage is limited to the dish... Many wildfires start from lightning.

similar problem happened to one of my friend, he has a dish that is grounded but its ground is not bound to the house ground. After a thunderstorm, the LNBF got fried and so did some boards inside the ASC1. Brian was very helpful in getting replacement parts for the ASC1. The sensor in the actuator got fried too.

Mike (Primestar) is right, it's a good idea to check everything separately. And I agree with FTA4PA about the shielded alarm wire, it's cheap and works well.
 

northgeorgia

Thread Starter
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Nov 14, 2011
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North GA
Checked the sensor wire for continuity, and looks good. Will check Coax after lunch.

I own a 24" Venture maxi acme screw actuator.
1. how would I test the sensors?

And if they are fried,
2. where would I find a replacement?
3. how do you install them?

Totally new at this bit...
 
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primestar31

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Mar 15, 2005
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Checked the sensor wire for continuity, and looks good. Will check Coax after lunch.

I own a 24" Venture maxi acme screw actuator.
1. how would I test the sensors?

And if they are fried,
2. where would I find a replacement?
3. how do you install them?

Totally new at this bit...
Just put your meter across the sensor wires, and run the motor a bit with a 12volt battery. I use an old UPS battery I have laying around. You can use a car, or lawn tractor battery also. It'll just run real slow. The meter should show the reed switch opening and closing as the motor turns.

If they are fused together, or melted, you can get a replacement directly from Venture. Easy to replace with a screwdriver.
 
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northgeorgia

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Nov 14, 2011
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I'll have to see if I can find an old battery. The sensor wires should be connected to the actuator on one end and to nothing but the ohm meter at the other, right? I'm still pretty new to an ohm meter; am I still checking for ohms / continuity as I did on the wire before, or something else?


Just put your meter across the sensor wires, and run the motor a bit with a 12volt battery. I use an old UPS battery I have laying around. You can use a car, or lawn tractor battery also. It'll just run real slow. The meter should show the reed switch opening and closing as the motor turns.

If they are fused together, or melted, you can get a replacement directly from Venture. Easy to replace with a screwdriver.
 

primestar31

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Mar 15, 2005
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I'll have to see if I can find an old battery. The sensor wires should be connected to the actuator on one end and to nothing but the ohm meter at the other, right? I'm still pretty new to an ohm meter; am I still checking for ohms / continuity as I did on the wire before, or something else?
Correct.

Set your meter and test by putting the meter test tips together. It should show a connection, so you then know the meter is working right. They are just a magnetic switch, open/close. So you are checking that they have continuity, and then lose continuity, as the motor turns, on/off/on/off/on/off, etc.
 
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northgeorgia

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Nov 14, 2011
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Weather conditions and other errands have postponed my testing today. I did look at Home Depot for about 150 - 175 feet of 18/2 AWG shielded wire, but it is only available in 500 foot rolls! I tried to order "by the foot" online, but the order won't process unless you request lengths under 100 feet. Any other suggestions? I'd hate to drop $75 or so on a lot of wasted wire.
 

northgeorgia

Thread Starter
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Nov 14, 2011
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North GA
Thanks! That will save quite a bit. Right now I have a 16 AWG but it's unshielded. So, no problems with a 150' - 200' run with 18 AWG shielded? It is such low voltage, I'm guessing it would be fine. I know making the connections will be easier with 18 AWG!
 

primestar31

SatelliteGuys Master
Mar 15, 2005
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Thanks! That will save quite a bit. Right now I have a 16 AWG but it's unshielded. So, no problems with a 150' - 200' run with 18 AWG shielded? It is such low voltage, I'm guessing it would be fine. I know making the connections will be easier with 18 AWG!
You need it just for sensor wire, correct? If it's to be used for motor power wire, you need a heavier gauge for that length. Otherwise, 18 gauge is fine for sensor.
 

northgeorgia

Thread Starter
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Nov 14, 2011
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North GA
The new shielded sensor wire came today and works like a charm on the V-box, so I know the reeds are OK. Yay!

I'll have to spend some time this week, weather cooperating (which it probably won't in the evenings when I get home from work), to check whether the other fault lies in the LNB and/or the coax out to it. One problem solved, another to go!
 

KE4EST

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Glad to hear that you are almost back up and running!!
 
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