Love My ASC1, But...

Comptech

SatelliteGuys Pro
Original poster
Jun 26, 2006
3,635
2,787
Travelers Rest SC
Brian, love your mover, but yes it has hiccups at times. Going back a year or to, it still runs wild at times. I use cat6 for the sensor blue pair for the sensor, orange pair connected at the dish end and the grounded at the ASC1, Motor wires are run separate. I know you to not want to here this, but there is a software glicht in the machine. 99.9 persent of the time it works great. just need to bump to get signal higher. But for no rhyme or reason, I will move to the sat 2 degrees a way and the dish will hit the limit switch. Been using two of them for years, seems like after sitting for a week or two this happens.
 
Brian, love your mover, but yes it has hiccups at times. Going back a year or to, it still runs wild at times. I use cat6 for the sensor blue pair for the sensor, orange pair connected at the dish end and the grounded at the ASC1, Motor wires are run separate. I know you to not want to here this, but there is a software glicht in the machine. 99.9 persent of the time it works great. just need to bump to get signal higher. But for no rhyme or reason, I will move to the sat 2 degrees a way and the dish will hit the limit switch. Been using two of them for years, seems like after sitting for a week or two this happens.
Use a polarity servo or LNBFs?

Would a moderator will break this off to a different thread?
 
.... I use cat6 for the sensor blue pair for the sensor, orange pair connected at the dish end and the grounded at the ASC1, Motor wires are run separate...
Cat 6 uses very thin 23 gauge wire. You are getting a substantial voltage drop! I would recommend 14 gauge minimum. It's more expensive than Cat 6, but the saving of frustration from the lost counts is worth it.
 
pretty sure that the sensor is just sending a small pulse, 23 gauge solid wire can handle that just fine and twisting another pair together at the dish end and grounding the the pair at the ASC makes it shielded. No were did I state I am running my motor on cat 6, as a matter of fact I said it was running on a separate 14 gauge lamp cord wire not bundled with the sensor wires
 
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The reason I asked if a polarity servo was used, the power leg is shared by the servo and the logic circuit. A short or high current draw on the servo circuit could show as loss or dimming of the LCD and/or glitching the process of the logic. Since this is not the case, disregard.

The shielding on the S1/S2 would not have anything to do with the motor running to the physical end stop, but it could produce count errors. To address Brett's shielding suggestion, it is valid... Personally, I would never use a twisted pair over and distance for noise rejection with a DC motor and DC reed switch circuits in close proximity. A twisted pair is not effective at broad frequency rejection. I would connect a scope and see if any noise artifacts are being introduced into the S1/S2 switch cycles from the running motor.

I am willing to accept that there is a problem with the software to cause a run to the limit switch, but approach that suggestion based on the thousands of units placed into service, years of technical support and customer feedback. I believe that there is something unique to your system that is causing this problem.

If you wish to troubleshoot, we will try to identify and resolve this problem. I would appreciate if this effort involves real testing processes. This thread may need to stay open for a while, as the information may need to be gathered over time to put the puzzle pieces in order. It likely necessary to answer these questions and address new information over time. I would appreciate if you provide as much documentation as possible. I.E. photos, screen captures, scope readings.

Let's start with these questions:

1. Is the ASC1 used stand alone or controlled via DiSEqC commands from a STB? If stand alone, using the front panel buttons or the RCU? If not using the RCU, have you tried disabling the RCU IR function with the front panel button?

2. If the RS-232 cable is used to read / write satellite lists, is the cable disconnected from the ASC1 when not in use?

3. When the actuator runs to the limit switch, do you find that the 0000 reference now offset (reset) to a point outside the range of the limit switch settings?

4. Does the run to the limit switch occur on a specific satellite in the list?

5. Is your dish grounded and is the dish ground bonded to the structure ground? If so, how is the dish grounded? How is the dish ground bonded to structure ground? Is the ASC1 AC plug ground verified to be connected to structure ground?

6. How Many LNBs? What is the power source of the LNBs? Are all LNBs powered at all times? Does the ASC1 control polarity selection or another device? LNBs total running current draw? LNB current draw at start-up? Inline polarity and or band switch? Type of switch? Powered or passive?
 
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Great reply Brian. At the risk of sounding like a broken record.
I share the glitch where my ASC1 did run to the east limit. And the counter completely freaked out..
In other words if the limit switch and counter displayed 2500 normally (you're going to get a few counts off due to motor coast and how refined the limit cam and switch play together). My counter could be anyplace it wanted to be. Kind of like the sense circuit went to sleep and let the motor zing right along. Soft limit is set close to 100 before switched limit either side of the arc.

Sometimes when fine tuning signal strength using the RCU. The dish will just take off in the direction it was going and stop 20-30 counts later. And it's not a stuck button because I also use a learning remote.

Using a UPS now on the mio4k and ASC1. Software is set to stay off on power failure. That setting seemed to cure the dish going broken arrow if the power flickered. It ain't the best UPS, just one I have for a spare. ASC1 is DISEqC controlled from the box.
My cable to the dish is 80's vintage with the signal wires in the same jacket. Signal wire is foil wraped, braided shield and 2 conductors. Ethernet cable seems like it should work well until you realize TCP/IP has a ton of error correction and packet re transmission. Save the Cat cable for Ethernet usage. Please.

My RS-232 interface is connected run through my router to a port sharing app. ASC1 is on 24/7.
Again. Since setting the mio to just-stay-off if power fails. No more surprise flopped dish in the morning and counts all over the place.
Lets face it. If an AZBox works with a reed switch well and the ASC1 doesn't. Is it a sensor output voltage difference maybe? I don't know.
These actuators are really just a gate opener. Not bolted to a CNC. And in the past analog satellite was a bit more forgiving in dish aim.
If you had the option at time of purchase to have a hall switch fitted to it. Probably should have.
I keep ranting on the subject, sure. Reed switch contacts are "noisy" the day you buy one and only keep going down hill from there.
Maybe the average Joe here doesn't have one of them there oc-cillio-scopes.
But if you look at hard contact open and closures on one. You see more than juice either going through or not to make a connection. Hint: YouTube.
The ASC1. Bad thing really. It natively does not support a hall effect sensor. I don't even know if the interface is still available. Bri?

Hall effect. Optical. With a Schmitt trigger output. They slam that square wave either high (like when the reed switch is closed) or slam it low (when the reed contacts open).
Below are some pics to peek at if you think you're going to beat your head against the wall and get that durned reed switch and wiring figured out. 100% positive that you will get rid of at least 99% of your reed switch woes.
I dug in my box-o-junk and fashioned up my own ASC1 interface. I could probably slam one together and send it out to someone if wanted. The Hall sensor and little bit to mount it inside of the motor....a small machine screw, epoxy, maybe a drilled hole, couple of adjusting nuts. And desire to do it? eBAY for the hall sensor.
Park it over the gear box magnet. And a length of shielded wire.

I'll drop this for now. I'm rantin' again.
 

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Cat 6 uses very thin 23 gauge wire. You are getting a substantial voltage drop! I would recommend 14 gauge minimum. It's more expensive than Cat 6, but the saving of frustration from the lost counts is worth it.

The reason I asked if a polarity servo was used, the power leg is shared by the servo and the logic circuit. A short or high current draw on the servo circuit could show as loss or dimming of the LCD and/or glitching the process of the logic. Since this is not the case, disregard.

The shielding on the S1/S2 would not have anything to do with the motor running to the physical end stop, but it could produce count errors. To address Brett's shielding suggestion, it is valid... Personally, I would never use a twisted pair over and distance for noise rejection with a DC motor and DC reed switch circuits in close proximity. A twisted pair is not effective at broad frequency rejection. I would connect a scope and see if any noise artifacts are being introduced into the S1/S2 switch cycles from the running motor.

I am willing to accept that there is a problem with the software to cause a run to the limit switch, but approach that suggestion based on the thousands of units placed into service, years of technical support and customer feedback. I believe that there is something unique to your system that is causing this problem.

If you wish to troubleshoot, we will try to identify and resolve this problem. I would appreciate if this effort involves real testing processes. This thread may need to stay open for a while, as the information may need to be gathered over time to put the puzzle pieces in order. It likely necessary to answer these questions and address new information over time. I would appreciate if you provide as much documentation as possible. I.E. photos, screen captures, scope readings.

Let's start with these questions:

1. Is the ASC1 used stand alone or controlled via DiSEqC commands from a STB? If stand alone, using the front panel buttons or the RCU? If not using the RCU, have you tried disabling the RCU IR function with the front panel button?

2. If the RS-232 cable is used to read / write satellite lists, is the cable disconnected from the ASC1 when not in use?

3. When the actuator runs to the limit switch, do you find that the 0000 reference now offset (reset) to a point outside the range of the limit switch settings?

4. Does the run to the limit switch occur on a specific satellite in the list?

5. Is your dish grounded and is the dish ground bonded to the structure ground? If so, how is the dish grounded? How is the dish ground bonded to structure ground? Is the ASC1 AC plug ground verified to be connected to structure ground?

6. How Many LNBs? What is the power source of the LNBs? Are all LNBs powered at all times? Does the ASC1 control polarity selection or another device? LNBs total running current draw? LNB current draw at start-up? Inline polarity and or band switch? Type of switch? Powered or passive?
#1 Stand alone with the remote
#2 no
#3 no

#4no
#5 yes dish and coax grounded to the house ground.
#6 Chaperall ortho feed with a pair of 5150 norsats, WNC switch modded to 19 volts for both LNB's, switch also crounded to the house ground. Has not done it in a year, but tomorrow I might pick a satellite 4 degrees away and it will run away, or it might be another few months from now. Just random acts of craziness
 
Brian, it's a 20 foot run, will take pictures if needed. If it was a wiring problem it would show all the time. You need to answer why every once in awhile it runs wild. I haved not had it do it in almost a year, but when least expected it does. Again, love the product. But if this helps, it it usally after a couple of weeks of non use when it does it. Not disconnected from power. I have learned to live with it, still a great mover and for the hour it takes to get it back not a bad machine. More than happy to have you send me your improved sensor wire recommendations, but if it was the wire it would always happen. I am a master ASE certified Tech, trust me I know wiring and programming problems. Modern car eletronics are open for all kind of fixes, yours might be limited to what changes can be made. Not tooting my horn, but I deal with automotive firmware flashes all day long. Thinking a good inexpensive box might have limited corrections with firmware, it all the chipset can handle. Again older technology, cheap PC tuners and receivers, what can you possibly do? Just saying, we as hobbies, generally use cheap stuff , sat receivers are the perfect example, but nobody wants to pay for the latest tech, just something may work. As much as old hams bother me, they used to have good equipment, no chineese sh*t covering 5 or 6 frequencies when they talk. splattering everywhere.
 
" has not done it in a year"... Random instances can be quite the challenge. We have only been able to replicate dish movement towards a position outside the mechanical limiter when an interrupt occurs in the calculation of current counts from 0000 reference vs the GoTo position counts from 0000 reference. What is glitch the matrix? Sorry, I don't have any additional suggestions for this random issue. Let me know when this happens again and any specifics of the event.
 
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The ASC1. Bad thing really. It natively does not support a hall effect sensor. I don't even know if the interface is still available. Bri?

Hall effect. Optical. With a Schmitt trigger output. They slam that square wave either high (like when the reed switch is closed) or slam it low (when the reed contacts open).
Below are some pics to peek at if you think you're going to beat your head against the wall and get that durned reed switch and wiring figured out. 100% positive that you will get rid of at least 99% of your reed switch woes.
I dug in my box-o-junk and fashioned up my own ASC1 interface. I could probably slam one together and send it out to someone if wanted. The Hall sensor and little bit to mount it inside of the motor....a small machine screw, epoxy, maybe a drilled hole, couple of adjusting nuts. And desire to do it? eBAY for the hall sensor.
Park it over the gear box magnet. And a length of shielded wire.

I'll drop this for now. I'm rantin' again.
No, Magic Static no longer manufacturers the OHR (Optical Hall Reed) adapter, but the schematic, proposed by Rainier Schulz (RIP) is posted in previous discussions. Could be a simple and inexpensive breadboard project. I installed a gifted reed switch replacement and converted the Von Weis actuator to an optical sensor which runs flawlessly up to approximately 100hz.

You are right, the Schmitt trigger circuit provides clean and timed cycles even from stuttering and malformed pulses. A DC reed switch circuit is unable to even come close is resolution or frequency.
 
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No, Magic Static no longer manufacturers the OHR (Optical Hall Reed) adapter, but the schematic, proposed by Rainier Schulz (RIP) is posted in previous discussions. Could be a simple and inexpensive breadboard project. I installed a gifted reed switch replacement and converted the Von Weis actuator to an optical sensor which runs flawlessly up to approximately 100hz.

You are right, the Schmitt trigger circuit provides clean and timed cycles even from stuttering and malformed pulses. A DC reed switch circuit is unable to even come close is resolution or frequency.
As you see the Crydom is pretty much self contained. I just soldered some pigtails on it and pulled 5V from the terminal to power the hall sensor.
The form factor for the SSR is standard so any one that matches the voltage specs will work.
I think I put up a schematic some time ago. If not I could dig it up I guess.
Oh. If I hijacked a bit. Bad trait and not intended. I just like things that have pixies running through them and do things.
I dislike seeing someone bet their head against a wall when there is perhaps a better solution. Especially with these gate mover thingies.
 

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