Openbox S9 and USALS Motor Problems

adk46er

Thread Starter
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Jan 14, 2020
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Adriondack Mts, NY
I guess one could say I am a new member. Quite a few years ago I was a member and active in FTA
discussions. Then I got transferred out of the country, where I have been for quite a few years. I am now back home, retired, and of course have a problem with FTA…..I am stuck, I come to you for help.

My basic system is 3 Openbox S9’s. One is Master, the other 2 are slaves running in the IF Loop, The dish is driven by USALS. The system described has worked perfect for my family while I was gone, and served me very well prior to my transfer. OK, lets get to the problem.

The ‘Master’ Openbox S9 has problems. The audio is garbled, USB memory card gets disconnected, and remote is very slow in accepting commands. It seemed to indicate Power Supply.
I swapped it with a known good one from one of the slaves…..no joy. I have put the Master away for parts.

I took one of the slave receiver to be used as a master. Turned on the LNB Power and USALS
motor control. I set the dish to 91 WEST with the old Master, then connected the Slave also set to 91 W. The USALS immediately moves the dish to some unknown location. I can’t even re-scan the satellites as the USALS immediately moves dish to ???

I am happy that I know the actual motor, lab and USALS motor are fine since due to lots of snow and Ice, I can’t get on the roof.

What do I have to do to get the Slave receiver to play with the USALS motor. By the way, the other Salve does the same thing.

I am puzzled
adk46er
 

KE4EST

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Welcome back!

Did you go in and set your lat and long to your location?
 

a33

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Feb 4, 2015
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netherlands europe
Did you do, at any time during the receiver swapping, give a motor reset command?
In that case the motor zero is likely to be not zero anymore.

To check: do a Goto-Reference or Goto-zero command; and see if the motor goes to zero, or not.

greetz,
A33
 
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adk46er

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Jan 14, 2020
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4
Adriondack Mts, NY
Goto-Reference or Goto-zero command
A33, thanks for the reply. No I have not done a Goto reference or zero command. Are you suggesting the original Rec even with problems still drives the dish to all selected Stats, But the swapped slaves dont have that zero or reference and thus dont know where to drive the dish ? I guess thats possible, the two slaves did not control dish movement nor power lnb, that was all done by the Master.

So this brings a new question. How do you do a Goto-Reference or Goto-zero command on a Openbox S9 ? I looked at the manual this AM and nothing is mentioned on how to do that. Even on the dish control screen menu set upp is nothing mentioned about driving the dish by any means other that USALS or Digi.

Thank you for your interest and help
adk46er
 

a33

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Feb 4, 2015
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If the box doesn't have a 'motor reset' command, you will not have been able to give it.
So no, if that command isn't there, I don't think that it was issued.

The zero-position is in the motor memory.
The Goto-Ref or Goto-0 command is a motor-command to drive the motor to zero, and to check if the motor-zero is still where it should be.

When you've set the Lat and Lon, is the motor control also set to USALS, and not to diseqc 1.2 anymore, in the receiver?
Can you post a picture of the motor-menu and its present settings?
All sats also must have the correct longitude-value (and east/west correct!).

greetz,
A33
 

Titanium

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Are you certain that the location's longitude and Latitude settings (numerical entry and East/ West and North / South selections) have been correctly entered in the new STB?

Many times I have found that a customer reversed the longitude and latitude entries or incorrectly entered the Longitude as a positive number or East selection.
 

adk46er

Thread Starter
Member
Jan 14, 2020
11
4
Adriondack Mts, NY
If the box doesn't have a 'motor reset' command, you will not have been able to give it.
So no, if that command isn't there, I don't think that it was issued.

The zero-position is in the motor memory.
The Goto-Ref or Goto-0 command is a motor-command to drive the motor to zero, and to check if the motor-zero is still where it should be.

When you've set the Lat and Lon, is the motor control also set to USALS, and not to diseqc 1.2 anymore, in the receiver?
Can you post a picture of the motor-menu and its present settings?
All sats also must have the correct longitude-value (and east/west correct!).

greetz,
A33
A33;

Attached is a screen shot of the Motor control page menu on the Openbox S9. All three, 2 slave and one master open box receivers are identical. Yes USALS is selected as motor control on all three receivers. My Lat/lon is set correct. The 3 Openbox S9 receivers were purchased at the same time when Openbox S9 was first available for sale. I don’t remember the purchase date, but its been many years ago. The Satellites are all programmed in correctly, USALS Control correct, evidenced by the fact the Master open box S9 has driven the dish back and forth to various Sat’s 100’s of times, no 1000’s of times with total accuracy.

As you can see on the motor control set up screen, there is no provision to send the motor any commands whatsoever. However, I do remember that the actual motor has buttons and a few led’s
on its rear. Maybe thats were you can do a goto ? But due to serious winter, snow/ice I can’t get to the motor/dish located on the highest peak of my home.

Let me ask this. We accept that the Master open box S9 has the position of each Sat stored as it drives the motor. The Slaves (2) have never driven the motor nor powered the LNB. So its possible that the Slaves are dumb in knowing the correct Sat positions. Is it possible to somehow CLONE
the 2 Slaves to be mirror images of the Master. Then it should work……..I think.

Thank You
adk46er
DSC_7892.JPG
 

adk46er

Thread Starter
Member
Jan 14, 2020
11
4
Adriondack Mts, NY
Are you certain that the location's longitude and Latitude settings (numerical entry and East/ West and North / South selections) have been correctly entered in the new STB?

Many times I have found that a customer reversed the longitude and latitude entries or incorrectly entered the Longitude as a positive number or East selection.
Brian, thanks for the reply. Yes, the Lat/Lon are absolute correct. The Master works as it should. The slaves, testing them one at a time, dont seem to know where to drive the dish

Thank You
adk46er
 

a33

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 4, 2015
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318
netherlands europe
Goto Reference should be available under diseqc 1.2 (not under USALS), says the manual.

Have all your openboxes the same software version?

If this brings nothing, you should maybe elaborate a bit to where the motor rotates, when choosing certain satellite positions.
What brand/type motor do you have?

Greetz
A33.
 

adk46er

Thread Starter
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Jan 14, 2020
11
4
Adriondack Mts, NY
Goto Reference should be available under diseqc 1.2 (not under USALS), says the manual.

Have all your openboxes the same software version?

If this brings nothing, you should maybe elaborate a bit to where the motor rotates, when choosing certain satellite positions.
What brand/type motor do you have?

Greetz
A33.
All the same software version, bought all 3 new together. Excuse me,
your last paragraph leads me to believeI did not explain the problem well.

Lets try this. Using the Master Receiver, I bring the dish to my low sat which is 87W. The Master Receiver is then removed. A slave plugged n and without connection to the coax, I select 87W, where I know the dish is pointing from using the Master Rec.

I then go to the search menu and attach the coax to the Slave rec. In the search menu, I can select either search single sat or multi sats. If I select single sat and hit search, the screen says motor running and yes, the dish has moved to point in some unkown location of course nothing is found. If I search Multi sats, again the screen says motor running, the dish moves a little, nothing found, dish then moves again. This repeated for the entire multi sat search, of course nothing is ever found.

This is the problem, the dish is correctly aimed using the Master (good) rec. The slave rec is set to the sat location, where the master has set the dish. When the search starts, nothing should move since the dish and slave are set on 87W. But the motor comes on and moves the dish a little ways, then everything is off after that. I apologize if I did not originally clearly explain the problem\\

adk46er
 

Titanium

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May 23, 2013
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Meadow Vista, Northern California
With many of the S9 type STBs is is possible to save the user settings as default on the master STB, then perform a "Save All" (firmware and users settings) file to a USB thumb drive. Take this "Clone" file of the master STB and then perform a software upgrade to load "ALL" (firmware and data) to the candidate STB.
 
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a33

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 4, 2015
488
318
netherlands europe
FWIW: Manual of S9 indicates that 3 buttons should appear with diseqc 1.2 chosen: GotoX, Save, Recalculate. And the text:
"Goto X: Press [OK] to open a list. You can go to X or go to reference."
Is it not there...??

Yours is a strange problem indeed.

Maybe Titaniums solutions works.

I have a receiver for which I can edit satellite positions for USALS only in the channel list editor. Maybe there is something wrong there with your receiver, and that would be a possible solution route?


Some things I wonder (though they might not be of help to find a solution):
You write:
the dish has moved to point in some unkown location of course nothing is found.
- Is there a consistent pattern to where / in what direction / how many degrees the motor rotates on a certain satellite?
- What happens when you DON't do a search, but just 'watch' the channels? (I assume the sat + programmes are already stored in the receiver?)

greetz,
A33
 

adk46er

Thread Starter
Member
Jan 14, 2020
11
4
Adriondack Mts, NY
FWIW: Manual of S9 indicates that 3 buttons should appear with diseqc 1.2 chosen: GotoX, Save, Recalculate. And the text:
"Goto X: Press [OK] to open a list. You can go to X or go to reference."
Is it not there...??

Yours is a strange problem indeed.

Maybe Titaniums solutions works.

I have a receiver for which I can edit satellite positions for USALS only in the channel list editor. Maybe there is something wrong there with your receiver, and that would be a possible solution route?


Some things I wonder (though they might not be of help to find a solution):
You write:

- Is there a consistent pattern to where / in what direction / how many degrees the motor rotates on a certain satellite?
- What happens when you DON't do a search, but just 'watch' the channels? (I assume the sat + programmes are already stored in the receiver?)

greetz,
A33
A33;
FWIW: Manual of S9 indicates that 3 buttons should appear with diseqc 1.2 chosen: GotoX, Save, Recalculate. And the text:
"Goto X: Press [OK] to open a list. You can go to X or go to reference."
Is it not there...??

Yours is a strange problem indeed.

Maybe Titaniums solutions works.

I have a receiver for which I can edit satellite positions for USALS only in the channel list editor. Maybe there is something wrong there with your receiver, and that would be a possible solution route?


Some things I wonder (though they might not be of help to find a solution):
You write:

- Is there a consistent pattern to where / in what direction / how many degrees the motor rotates on a certain satellite?
- What happens when you DON't do a search, but just 'watch' the channels? (I assume the sat + programmes are already stored in the receiver?)

greetz,
A33
A33
After dinner, I rechecked once again. Selecting DISEQC 1.2, no buttons come up at all. I may be onto the answer, see my reply to Brian

adk46er
 

adk46er

Thread Starter
Member
Jan 14, 2020
11
4
Adriondack Mts, NY
With many of the S9 type STBs is is possible to save the user settings as default on the master STB, then perform a "Save All" (firmware and users settings) file to a USB thumb drive. Take this "Clone" file of the master STB and then perform a software upgrade to load "ALL" (firmware and data) to the candidate STB.
Brian…….THANK YOU !

I have learned a lot since my last post before dinner. On wikipedia, search USALS. Its all software
driven in the receiver and maybe some at the motor. STAM LABS in Italy are makers of USALS motors and require certification testing to legally carry the USALS logo (My S9’s have no USALS logo. Without certification a Sat receiver maker is not supposed to have USALS setting in the entry window. (My S9’s have the very basic setting in the setup window). HA!

I looked once again at the box system info. It appears the build may have been 2/10/08. I do remember two things way back when I bought the receivers. First, software upgrades were flying around all the time from all different sources and countries. I never upgraded, I was worrisome
that I might get bad software. Second, I do remember when I installed the S9 and motor that I was told to push two buttons on the motor, wait till some LED’s flashed and then do something else. I now bet that was a go to zero set ?????

Here is what I believe; The 3 Openbox S9’s are not STAB certified in design and never passed the STAB test labs. Thus minimum cheap software to drive the non STAB approved software, no entry button to set to zero (this is done on the motor). No way to clear the software memory for the USALS calculations for dish drive (thus garbage in the software rec memory never being set to a zero on the dish motor) so anytime the motor gets a motor signal it just runs to never never land.

Sir, you have answered my question on how to clone. If I clone both S9’s that have always been slaves to my original Master. Then the slaves should (hope) be a mirror of the master and all will work fine. If not in the spring when its safe to climb high on my roof, then I can reset the motor as I did on the new install. Thank You, Brian

adk46er
ks2k
 

Titanium

AI6US
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May 23, 2013
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If the motor is running fine on the original STB, don't bother resetting the motor. The zero reference position is already correct. No need to clear or reset the motor as all USALS calculations are performed by the STB and driven +/- xx number of counts from the center "0" reference position.

I recall some of the ALI chip based STBs had problems with GUI in the USALS calculation menu. USALS only worked if the longitude was inputted as a East value. Try changing the USALS longitude setting to 286.51 (360 - your longitude), and the orientation selection from West to East.
 

adk46er

Thread Starter
Member
Jan 14, 2020
11
4
Adriondack Mts, NY
If the motor is running fine on the original STB, don't bother resetting the motor. The zero reference position is already correct. No need to clear or reset the motor as all USALS calculations are performed by the STB and driven +/- xx number of counts from the center "0" reference position.

I recall some of the ALI chip based STBs had problems with GUI in the USALS calculation menu. USALS only worked if the longitude was inputted as a East value. Try changing the USALS longitude setting to 286.51 (360 - your longitude), and the orientation selection from West to East.
Brian; You win the GOLD STAR !!!

1 Slave is now cloned to my Master and running perfect !

I downloaded all files from the Master Openbox S9 to a memory stick. Before shutting down
the Master, I drove the dish to 87W, my lowest Sat.

I then hooked up Slave 1, Openbox S9 and clicked the button full upgrade from usb. All went well.
But when I tried to scan in sats, the dish immediately moved as before to never never land. I bit the bullet and did a complete reset to Factory Default. I , once again did a complete upgrade from usb.

Starting once again to scan in sats, with the dish at 87W, I hit search, now the dish did not move since the rec and dish were already at 87W. It scaned in all transponders. To do the rest of sats that are available to me, I used Multi Sat Scan. She went right to the next sat and scared perfect and did so for the entire arc visible to me. I can drive the dish to any sat and it works PERFECT.

Many Thanks for your tips on how to clone to my original Openbox s9 Master. Tonight or tomorrow, I will do the same to slave 2. I wish we were close, I would buy lunch.

Thanks Again
adk46er
ks2k
 

KE4EST

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A lot of the those S9 and S10's back then were also sold for the sole purpose of hacking DISH Network. There was a big variety of "firmwares" floating around then. Many boxes were sold with the butchered firmware, to make stealing easier. IIRC some of those[firmwares] had issues with motor commands, as one would not need them anyway to hook to a fixed dish for hacking.
 

adk46er

Thread Starter
Member
Jan 14, 2020
11
4
Adriondack Mts, NY
A lot of the those S9 and S10's back then were also sold for the sole purpose of hacking DISH Network. There was a big variety of "firmwares" floating around then. Many boxes were sold with the butchered firmware, to make stealing easier. IIRC some of those[firmwares] had issues with motor commands, as one would not need them anyway to hook to a fixed dish for hacking.
Yes, I do remember back in the day when I bought mine, it seemed almost weekly new versions of firmware were popping up. My firmware is as shipped, I did not want to take a chance upgrading with some unknown firmware. As you suggest with motor issues may be the reason for so many versions of firmware back then.
adk4er
ks2k
 
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