Linkbox Need Help With FTA setup (1 Viewer)

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sidekick

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 17, 2005
3,434
8
Port Angeles, Washington
Hi guys: I’m getting back into FTA after moving to a Washington State. I’m having one heckuva time getting my new setup lined up with my True South satellite so I can use my motor. Any help is greatly appreciated. Here’s my setup:

1) Linkbox 9000i receiver with locals
2) Stab HH90 motor
3) Starcom universal lnb
4) Geosat 90 cm

I live in Port Angeles, WA. My longitude is 123.481W and my latitude is 48.118N
My true south satellite is Galaxy 18 at 123.0W
With GeoSatFinder, they say this should be my dish setup: Compass reading: 162.3 degrees, Dish Elevation: 34.7, LNBF Rotation: -0.4 degrees.

I set my motor elevation at 48 degrees, and the dish elevation at 34.7. Not sure though if I should point the entire system at 162.3 degrees, the compass reading or at 179 which my app says is the correct position.

I’m getting a fairly strong signal when I set it up using a satellite finder device at both 179and 162, but no hits. My pole is plumb so that shouldn’t be a problem. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. It’s been a long time since I first did this about 14 years ago. Thanks in advance!
 
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Brct203

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 24, 2016
1,237
1,214
Connecticut
Welcome back to the FTA family!

well, it depends on your compass... 162.3 is magnetic azimuth. 179 is geographic azimuth. So it will depend if your compass has compensation for magnetic declination or not. Or look on satfinder.com, zoom into the map, adjust your location as accurately as you can, and try to figure out a landmark that you can use as an indicator of true south.

luckily 123W should be an easy one, with strong signal on KBS World
 
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spongella

SatelliteGuys Pro
May 12, 2012
1,625
1,230
Central NJ
Your compass indicates magnetic North, so when using the satellite lookup tables use the magnetic (not geographic) azimuth from the table, easier that way. Remember that you have to do a little adjusting of the dish elevation and azimuth when looking for a satellite. You might want to hone in on a good signal on your satellite meter, then do a blind scan to see what satellite you are receiving, then from there you can make adjustments. Good luck, keep trying and you'll be successful.

The Stab 90 is a great H-H motor, I just replaced an old Sadoun with the Stab, like it very much.
 
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harshness

SatelliteGuys Master
May 5, 2007
16,825
2,879
Salem, OR
Using dishpointer.com and your coordinates (entered as 48.118, -123.481 -- Google Maps style), I get these numbers:

Magnetic azimuth: 163.5
Elevation 34.7
Skew -0.4

You may get better numbers by picking out your dish location on the map (the numbers you gave place you in center field of Volunteer Baseball Field). dishpointer takes a lot of the research and guess-work out of the process but I'm not sure who has the better declination data.
 

sidekick

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 17, 2005
3,434
8
Port Angeles, Washington
Welcome back to the FTA family!

well, it depends on your compass... 162.3 is magnetic azimuth. 179 is geographic azimuth. So it will depend if your compass has compensation for magnetic declination or not. Or look on satfinder.com, zoom into the map, adjust your location as accurately as you can, and try to figure out a landmark that you can use as an indicator of true south.

luckily 123W should be an easy one, with strong signal on KBS World

So here’s the million dollar question. Would I point my system at 162.3 or 179? For some reason, that’s the thing that’s really causing me problems. And it’s probably so simple too!
 
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a33

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 4, 2015
575
373
netherlands europe
I live in Port Angeles, WA. My longitude is 123.481W and my latitude is 48.118N
My true south satellite is Galaxy 18 at 123.0W
With GeoSatFinder, they say this should be my dish setup: Compass reading: 162.3 degrees, Dish Elevation: 34.7, LNBF Rotation: -0.4 degrees.

I set my motor elevation at 48 degrees, and the dish elevation at 34.7. Not sure though if I should point the entire system at 162.3 degrees, the compass reading or at 179 which my app says is the correct position.

Edit: Oops, I misread. Deleted some sentences here.
And to add in my edit: Geosatfinder suggests 162.3, to aim the magnetic compass needle there. And then you aim the motorsystem setup at 180. And 123W satellite can then be found at 179, according to your app.
I didn't check the numbers. But I also find Dishpointer very usefull; it has a 'motorized systems' section. It also shows a map: no more bothering with magnetic declination, which values by the way aren't stable over the years, and calculators often don't mention when they have last been calibrated...


Furthermore: use the angles for motor setup. E.g. the modified motor angles in this topic: Elevation / declination chart

Greetz,
A33
 
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Brct203

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 24, 2016
1,237
1,214
Connecticut
So here’s the million dollar question. Would I point my system at 162.3 or 179? For some reason, that’s the thing that’s really causing me problems. And it’s probably so simple too!
it depends on what you use to measure the direction (azimuth). If you use an old-fashioned needle compass, you know that it shows the magnetic poles, so in that case you aim for 162.3. If you use an app like the iphone compass, well, there's a good chance that it compensates for magnetic declination and shows you the geographic poles, in which case you would need to aim for 179. But of course there's a bit of speculation on the way the app works. The one on my iPhone 4 and 5 was quite worthless, would jump all the time to directions that were clearly wrong. The one on my iPhone 8 seems to be a lot better.

The landmark method is worth a shot as it avoids that ambiguity. You can usually zoom in enough that you can identify something that you can use as a reference in relation to where your dish is, and show you where to aim for true south.

Last option: chose one, aim for 162.3, see how that goes... are you getting KBS etc when aiming to where 123W should be? If not, maybe try 179.
 
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spongella

SatelliteGuys Pro
May 12, 2012
1,625
1,230
Central NJ
Also, make sure that your Stab motor is at the reference (0) position and that the motor and dish are perfectly straight and in line with each other when you are pointing it magnetic South. That is always your starting position.

Make sure your LNB is set to 0 degrees skew.

Lightly tighten up the bolts, then using the STB turn the dish towards the satellite of interest, then manually adjust the dish elevation/azimuth slightly for a swing on your signal meter. Do a blind scan to see where your are in the Clarke Belt.
 

harshness

SatelliteGuys Master
May 5, 2007
16,825
2,879
Salem, OR
The landmark method is worth a shot as it avoids that ambiguity. You can usually zoom in enough that you can identify something that you can use as a reference in relation to where your dish is, and show you where to aim for true south.
This is another place where something like dishpointer shines as it shows the line of approach of the signal at your location on a Google satellite map. Tables are so 20th century and you don't always know what declination they are based on (because so many neglect to put dates on their data).

Phone apps make for pretty rotten compasses for the reasons you offered. Conventional compasses aren't all that great in areas with lots of man-made obstructions. The satellite view doesn't require any special corrections or interpretation.
 

a33

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 4, 2015
575
373
netherlands europe
Also, make sure that your Stab motor is at the reference (0) position and that the motor and dish are perfectly straight and in line with each other when you are pointing it magnetic South. That is always your starting position.

Hé, did you point your motor setup to magnetic south?
Never seen that advised before.
Or is it a slip of the pen?

A33
 

spongella

SatelliteGuys Pro
May 12, 2012
1,625
1,230
Central NJ
No, you can point the dish initially at magnetic South as long as afterwards you use the magnetic azimuths that are on the look up charts.

If you choose to point it initially at geographic South (correcting using declination angle for your area) then just follow the geographic azimuths in the look up charts. Of course this is for us folks in the Northern hemisphere who initially always point to the Southern sky.
 

a33

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 4, 2015
575
373
netherlands europe
Well, for a motor setup which needs to be set at geographic south (or north), this sounds like a rather complicated way. :)
First setting it to magnetical south, and then to geographic south.
I'd set it to geographic south immediatelly. ;)

For fixed setups, I can follow your line of thinking, though.

Greetz,
A33
 
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