Motorized setup is driving me nuts...

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c_perrone

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Feb 3, 2004
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All,

I have become rather good (Many thanks to Ice and all the others that have helped this newbie setup his system) at finding problems and such with my new setup. But I am just going nuts with the latest problem that has started about 2 weeks ago. I'll try to keep this short, but want all of you to know what I have tried and done. 1st off this setup worked from day one with about 200' of RG6 attached from my motor to the receiver and it worked for about a month. I had some connecters in place along the run and thought that the recent rains may have caused some problems. I changed the cable to 200' of RG11 with good Thomas and Betts connectors and things seemed fine until today. I once again have no dish movement from my receivers. I have two receivers (Pansat 9200HD and Fortec MercuryII) neither receiver will move the dish..period. If I go up to my dish, I am able to move it with the "east" "west" buttons. I have tried to reset the motor and both receivers to no avail.

I at first thought that maybe the length of cable was an issue, but I removed the motor and took the entire length (over 200') of RG11 down to the house and
connected it to the receiver and it worked every single time...not one miss and I left it there for about a day and would try from time to time. Once again, never a miss and dead on the numbers. So back up the hill with the cable today. Guess what, it worked for about an hour and then..nothing. I tried disconnecting the 22K switch and the LNB, but still nothing.

Am I missing something hopefully simple>>>>

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

--Clint--

BTW I have:

90CM dish
PowerTech DG240
QPH031 LNB.
 
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O

Othea

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 13, 2004
176
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DG240/DG380 motor

Let me see if I can help. I won Sadoun's DG 380 giveaway a few weeks ago, but haven't had the time to report back to everyone to say how the installation went. My installation went great; the motor performs just fine, but I did run into the problem that you are describing more than once. I assume--although I might be mistaken--that the DG240 and DG380 are very similar as far as the operation goes.

From my experience, if you switch out receivers, the motor's satellite table gets confused and (a) won't scan the full arc, or (b) will get to a point where it simply does not budge at all. That's when you need to do a "hardware reset."

My manual describes 3 methods of resetting the motor, but the directions are summary, even confusing; and they did not always work for me. For instance, if I reset the motor's satellite table then just turned on my receiver with USALS already on, the motor just became confused again. But after numerous tries, I did get it to reset and everything just fell into place. Since then, the motor works like a charm -- I just won't be switching receivers any time soon. (I seem to have read somewhere in this forum, about a year ago, that you need to reset the motor to "0" before switching receivers... I'm not keen on testing this method right now).

Anyway, here's what I did. It's a combination of the "Reset by Receiver" and "Hardware Reset" described in the manual:
(1) Go to "0" (or "go to reference"). Turn the receiver off while still in menu. That way the motor will stop on "0" and won't start moving again.
(2) Press EAST/WEST hardware buttons on the motor for 5 seconds to clear the motor's built-in satellite table.
(3) Now disconnect the LNB input from the back of your receiver so that your receiver has no connection to the motor. Turn your receiver on and turn the USALS off so that it won't start moving the motor when you turn it on again. Turn the receiver off.
(4) Now reconnect your LNB input to the receiver and turn it on. Repeat the commance Go to "0" (or "go to reference") and turn the receiver off. According to the manual (if I understand it correctly), this second Go to "0" command clears the table. (Again.)
(5) Now when you reconnect your receiver (and USALS), the motor should start tracking properly.

I realize that steps (2) and (4) are CONSIDERED redundant, but I wanted to be sure that the table WAS being cleared, since I had tried the EAST/WEST buttons several times, without much success.

I think (but I'm not sure) that part of my problem came from the fact that I simply reconnected the receiver with USALS already set up...

If you continue to have problems, you may want to Go to "0", reset the motor's satellite table, AND reset the receiver to factory default. (I did that too.) Then when you reconnect the receiver and turn it on, it will not be sending any confusing information to the motor.

Hope this helps! My motor tracks just fine. I did have the same issue that you are having at least two or three times during the initial setup -- so I learned not to switch receivers the hard way. I thought the problem might be the cable, the connectors, the LNB, the motor... It was me!

One final word: I'm used to switching receivers with an HH90 motor. Sometimes the HH90 gets a little confused as well, but with a nudge left or right in 1.2, the motor figures things out again and gets back on track without much difficulty. The DG380 requires a little more help.
 
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c_perrone

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Feb 3, 2004
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Thanks Othea,

I tried, once again to do the reset last night on both the receiver and the motor. It appeared that thing were working just fine at least for the 5 or six moves that I was able to do. Now this morning without any changes at all....bang no more movement, the motor is stuck on G10. I'm at a loss....


--Clint--
 
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Lak7

SatelliteGuys Master
Pub Member / Supporter
Feb 28, 2008
5,451
7
Near Chicago, Illinois
This is way out but, can you bring the Reciever "Up the Hill", with the 200ft of cable and try there.
Is it possible that there is something underground causing interference?
 
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c_perrone

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Feb 3, 2004
66
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Lak7,

I could try that I guess, although I can't believe that there is anything that would cause any interference, just two trees and an old outhouse....;). I just got off the phone with Steve from Sadoun, who was very nice and helpful. I switched from a vertical (13v) transponder to a horizontal (18v) transponder and the darn thing moved back to 0. I guess I need to do somemore testing and see if this is really the cause.

Thanks again,

--Clint--
 
O

Othea

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 13, 2004
176
0
Dg240

Hmm...
Are you using the Mercury II to reset the motor or the Pansat?
You say that you "reset" the motor's table. How? Using the receiver (Go to "0" twice, turn off factory default receiver in between), or the Hardware reset (press East/West buttons simultaneously), or both?

I wasn't having any luck with the Mercury II when trying to clear the motor's satellite table. Nor was the motor's "hardware reset" working... (at least not completely?). So I used an old Pansat 2500 (factory default, no satellites configured) with Go to "O" twice and that (+ perhaps the harware reset?) FINALLY cleared it for use with the Mercury II (also factory default, no satellites configured). Persistence worked here.

When I was having the same problem, my motor was also stuck on G10 or 97°, like yours. At other times it would only move East from 101°, 97°, or wherever. Sometimes when I used Go-to-"O" it went all the way East.

You say that it worked last night for 5-6 moves. I suspect that your motor's satellite table was in fact modified/reset (I did that several times), but not quite fixed. After I reset the motor, I turned the receiver on and it sent another confusing USALS command to the motor... Back to square 1.

Based on what you are telling me, I don't suspect a harware problem (such as cable too long or bad connector).
 
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c_perrone

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Feb 3, 2004
66
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Othea,

To try and avoid confusion on my part..;) I am staying with the Pansat receiver for now.

I did a hard reset on the motor itself (Hold both east and west buttons until they flash) and it seemed to work. I also did a factory reset on the Pansat unit last night. It seemed to work for the 5 or 6 moves I did last night.

This morning I tried to move away from G10 with no luck. I then called Sadoun and talked to Steve who suggested a 18V horizontal transponder to see if I could get back to 0 and the darn thing went to 0 and it's been working ever since.

I am going to do more testing and keep a log and see if there is any relation to the voltage sent up the line to move the motor and when it gets "stuck"

Thanks again,

--Clint--
 
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c_perrone

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Feb 3, 2004
66
0
Update on the "not moving DG240

Just an update on my motor problem. The motor stopped working again when I tried the first thing on Friday morning. It had been working fine all day Thursday.

I have tried and tested the following:

I placed a 6ft section of cable on the back of the Pansat 9200 and checked voltages both horizontal and vertical. Horizontal was 19.5V and Vertical was 14.5 these seemed a bit high but it might be my meter too.

I then connected my 250' of RG11 directly to the Pansat 9200 and went up to the motor to check voltages. Once again the Horizontal was 19.5V and Vertical was 14.5V.

I have to assume that since I see no loss of voltage whatsoever that the motor should be turning. I can move the motor manually with the east/west buttons and the led's are flashing as they should.

I can switch between 22k on and off with no problem and also between horizontal and vertical transponders with out fail.

One thing that Othea had suggested was to go through a process of reseting the motor and receiver but I can't get back to "0" unless I manually do it at the motor. Is this possibly my problem? I can do the "built in satellite table reset" by holding the east/west buttons for 5 seconds and the leds flash as they should, but is this the same as doing a "hardware reset by reciever"?

Also, the DG240 manual says to do a "hardware reset by receiver" do the following:

1: Execute the command: Go to Reference (Go to 0).....my motor does not move
2: Cut off the power by disconnecting the coaxial cable...I have done that....;)
3: Reconnect the coaxial cable....easy enough...;)
4: Execute the command: Shift "0" then its memory is erased, the receiver rewrites the satellite table to initial one and corrects the 0

Does anyone know how to execute a command of Shift "0" or is this a misprint in the manual..

Thanks again to all.

--Clint--
 
Last edited:
satcom1

satcom1

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Oct 7, 2007
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Near Chicago
The US Navy has a VLF transmitter that runs in the range of 22Khz at times. It is possible that your 250' of first rate coax is acting as an antenna for VLF. What would make it worse is if the cable were buried. Also consider your grounding system. If your grounded at the dish and another ground at your receiver, you may have a ground loop. I talked with another who had a 200' run and he could not get his motor to work and put in multi-dish installation. I'm not saying that long runs won't work but they can introduce problems that are not really hardware related. By the way I can tell you that that tansmitter is located in Wisconsin and runs so much power that the grass won't grow. Hopefully, interesting if not helpful.
 
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c_perrone

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Feb 3, 2004
66
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Satcom1,

This setup was working from day1 and worked for about 3 weeks without a problem. I guess I'm lucky that I did not bury the cable yet. As for grounding, I really don't have anything grounded yet. I put a 2 1/2" pole into the ground and mounted the motor to that. The cable just comes off the motor, through my upstairs window and to the receiver. I wanted to make sure everything was working fine, then I would bury the cable and do the grounding.

Clint
 
Wescopc

Wescopc

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Sep 11, 2005
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A voltage check will be the same both at the receiver and at the end of 250' of coax when there is no load. To check voltage drop you would need to put a resistor across the output at the point of voltage test. So if your motor draws 500 milliamps, for example, you would need a 40 ohm resistor or so.
Bob
 
satcom1

satcom1

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 7, 2007
364
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Near Chicago
Intermittent problems are very tuff to solve. We had an interferrence problem from a transmitter that was occassional use, tough to find but it was a business that had 30Khz Oscillators that heat sealed plastic notebooks. As the plastic heated up the frequency would go up and dissapear. When I found the plant, there were 25 little old ladies sitting at these machines with RF arc all around them. No interlocks to keep there hands out of the plattens, OUCH!
 
satcom1

satcom1

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 7, 2007
364
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Near Chicago
Oh! This guy I was telling you about thought it was his DC drop over the cable run so he went to Radioshack and bought an Insertor that boosts the dc MA to overcome cable loss. Cost him$250, didn't fix the problem. Keep your cash in your pocket.
 
O

Othea

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 13, 2004
176
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Shift O

C_Perrone:
Well, my manual has the same description: first "Go to 0", then "Shift 0" -- I assumed that that meant "Go to 0" in both cases. That's one of the reasons why I said that the manual was not very clear.

I'm sorry that you are still having problems!!

I remember that at one point, in my desperation, I unplugged the LNB input after a "Go to 0" while the receiver was still on, then plugged it back in and repeated the "Go to 0." Most people in the forum will tell you NOT TO UNPLUG the cable while the receiver is on -- but I didn't have a diseqc switch installed and the LNB was old, so I wasn't worried... Besides, that SEEMS to be what the manual is requesting! (Use your own judgment here.)

And good luck.
 
satcom1

satcom1

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 7, 2007
364
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Near Chicago
Another thing to consider is cable capacitance. You know you can only run an RS-232 a certain distance. Same for a USB cable. Digital signalling is dependent on the zeros and ones or in this case square waves being produced accurately at the receiving end. The RG-11 is the best choice but the capacitance of a 250 foot run may make the signal hard to read for the receiver. I would set the motor by your receiver but connected to the coiled up cable and run some tests. If it works then it is not cable capacitance, nor is it current drop.
 
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c_perrone

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Feb 3, 2004
66
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Othea,

I too agree that the motor manual is confusing...I totally understand go to 0 or go to reference, but Shift 0...well, anyway I tried the "double" go to 0 with the power on and off, removing the lnb in between, but no difference. I'm still stuck on G10.


Satcom1,

I did exactly what you suggested last week. I coiled up the 250' of cable and the motor, brought it to the house and connected it up as usual. It worked perfectly. I took everything back up to the pole and connected it up and it worked for bit, then...no more motor movement.

On a side note. with everything installed in its normal location, all switches work as I am able to switch between C and L on the lnb and between H and V on linear transponders. Quality strengths are just fine. Also, the lights flash as normal on the motor and I have always been able to move the motor with the east/west buttons on the motor. Manually moving the motor with the buttons on the motor itself has always worked.

I'll keep working on this and let you know what happens..I just know it going to be something simple....I hope..;)

Thanks again.

Clint
 
satcom1

satcom1

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 7, 2007
364
0
Near Chicago
Good, you know from your testing that it is not data signal loss or high dc resistance. You are gronded thru the motor to the mast. your receiver is a two prong AC cord so it is likely you are not grounded there which is typical except for the long cable run. Try a wire between your receiver chassis and a Known Ground.
 
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c_perrone

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Feb 3, 2004
66
0
Satcom1,

Something very interesting has just happened...I tried this morning to move the dish with no luck. I had gone out for a bit and when I returned (without changing anything at all) the dish is now moving perfectly. I have been keeping logs of when and if the dish is moving and at this point the only thing that appears to be common is......weather..... Yesterday the weather was rainy all day and no movement, and this morning we had a lot of fog and dew. The sun has been out for a few hours now and bingo..it's working.

My cable from the receiver is continious from the motor to the receiver and I have checked and double checked the cables from the lnb and 22k switch. My gut feeling is telling me now that either the motor/lnb/22k switch is somehow getting moisture inside and stopping the motor from moving.

Will continue to check on this.

Clint
 
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Lak7

SatelliteGuys Master
Pub Member / Supporter
Feb 28, 2008
5,451
7
Near Chicago, Illinois
Can you wrap all outside connections in Plastic / Tape to keep dry?
Maybe a Plastic Bag over the motor.
 
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