pulling my hair out aligning dish (1 Viewer)

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B.J.

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 15, 2008
2,029
1
Western Maine
If the pole isn't plumb you add headaches since tracking will suffer somewhere in the arc. If it's off a hair it's livable for c band but not ku. ...

I don't agree. You can get absolutely perfect tracking with a pole that isn't plumb, even if it's sloping 20 or 30 degrees.
I've never done it myself, but I've read about people doing it, and I didn't believe it, so I made myself a little wooden model of a polar mount with a dish, trying to prove to myself that it wasn't possible, but I ended up demonstrating that it WAS possible.
Supposedly that's one of the things about that ArcSet device, ie that you can very quickly align a dish on a sloping pole.
But while I understand the process of how you'd align a dish on a sloping pole, I sure wouldn't want to try it. If it's sloping to the south, then it's just a matter of elevation, but when it's sloping either to the east or west too, then it's a combination of elevation and rotation of the whole mount on the pole required to get the rotation axis back in the right orientation.
It wouldn't be easy, but it is possible, and once the rotation axis is where it's supposed to be, there is no difference between this and a dish on a plumb pole.
 

starman345

SatelliteGuys Pro
Nov 25, 2004
3,647
0
New Brunswick, Canada
There was no internet when I started in 87. I bought a book, read and experimented. I know were all excited to get a picture asap but we hurt ourselves as newbies by being in such a hurry. Then I watched Doug Dennet's Tech Talk on the Sky Store religiously each week and learned quite a bit more.

Good Lord Tvropro you ARE old!!:D I thought it was Doug Dennert? Long time ago, maybe I'm wrong. I learned the same way, agonizingly slow but I enjoyed it, I bought those satellite books that those guys were selling, that helped me a lot to understand the theory. This stuff certainly isn't plug and play but once you understand it you can fix or setup any dish....its worth taking the time.
 

B.J.

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 15, 2008
2,029
1
Western Maine
Originally Posted by Inno
Good advice........unfortunately I don't think Tech. is into good advice.
I started in 1992 when I was 19 years old........I didn't have a clue about declination angle or true south satellite..........and there was no Satellite Guys website.........heck, there was no internet back then, at least where I was. But through patience and one or two calls to our local satellite installer (no I wasn't a PITA) I managed to get my first dish (a star trak 6 footer) to track the arc reasonably well.

There was no internet when I started in 87. I bought a book, read and experimented. I know were all excited to get a picture asap but we hurt ourselves as newbies by being in such a hurry. Then I watched Doug Dennet's Tech Talk on the Sky Store religiously each week and learned quite a bit more.

There may have been no .COM internet, but there was definately internet, and there were groups on the net discussing TVRO stuff. I started somewhere back in the mid to late 80s also, and I was lucky (or unlucky) enough to work at a DOD installation which had internet. Back then it was mostly .mil and .org (military and universities respectively). Back then, in the late 80s, there were 2 main ways of having interest groups like this, mailing lists and usenet. There was a GREAT collection of mailing lists that believe it or not was hosted out of White Sands missle range out west somewhere, and since I worked for the Army, I had access to that. I quickly found a group called something like Info-VideoTech or something similar. This group wasn't confined to TVRO, but all things Video, and there were a few people on it who had sat dishes. In reading the posts on this group, it soon became obvious that the posts on this list were linked to a "usenet" group, which was called rec.video , but at that time, we had no usenet server available to us at the base I worked at.
Finally, around late 1990, some fellow who worked at Univ of North Dakota, posted a message saying that there was going to be a spin-off usenet group dedicated to TVRO, and that it was going to be called rec.video.satellite, and that it was going to be linked to a mailing list called "homesat" . I still didn't have access to usenet, but I could subscribe to mailing lists. Homesat was hosted at NoDak.org, and the mailing list started up in December of 1990, and I was the first person to post to it :) , asking a question about why I was getting duplicate channels on Satcom K-2 with my Echostar 7000 receiver. A couple weeks later, homesat was joined by rec.video.satellite. Later, the usenet group split into 3 other groups, the main one being rec.video.satellite.tvro. This was done to separate out the little dish people. The most prolific poster to r.v.s.t over the years was Gary Bourgois from Marquette, Mi.
Homesat stuck around for at least 7 or 8 years at NoDak, but finally the guy who started it left the university, and someone on the list found a way to link one of those email places like Yahoo is now, to usenet. One of the places was onlist.com. We stayed linked for a couple years, but then that host got bought out by Yahoo. It's still at Yahoo, at Home-Sat : HOME-SAT - Home Satellite Technology
however there haven't been any posts there for a couple years, mainly because once the link to usenet went down, most people just switched to either using usenet or switched to forums like this, and Delphi, etc.


Anyway, probably much more trivia than anyone here cares about, but I just wanted to set the record straight, that there WAS internet back then, and there WERE groups discussing TVRO. It's just that it was via mailing lists and usenet, not WWW forums.

:)
 

Techfizzle

Banned
Apr 18, 2008
985
0
yes that as what i was trying to say, the pole is slopping south BUT since there is slop in my mount where it goes on the pole, if i tighten the bolts, i can level the mount

as long as the mount is level, the pole doesnt have to be

if i had the pole sticking out of the ground at 70 degrees, as long as i had a level mount, the pole is ok

now what i do is is use the motor to make the ring mount in a straigh posistion with the pole the same way you do with a sg2100 motor< which i have set up before

now that the dish is facing true south i scan back and forth using a fta receiver set at 3720 TP 6 at Galaxy 17, which is my ture south sat, scanning the dish back and forth untill i hit it

now i lock down the mount, using a wrench and a small level, to make sure the mount is level

now i fine tune my elevation till the satellite is peaked

now i point my dish to the farthest west satellite to ensure good signal reception

if need be i tune the dish to that sat and then back to my ture south sat ad tune that, going back and forth till they both come in and my arc tracks perfectly

the only thing i still need help with is my F/D ratio, i had it set for my perfect 10, but this may be a little deeper
 

tvropro

On Vacation
Mar 9, 2007
6,872
0
There may have been no .COM internet, but there was definately internet, and there were groups on the net discussing TVRO stuff. I started somewhere back in the mid to late 80s also, and I was lucky (or unlucky) enough to work at a DOD installation which had internet. Back then it was mostly .mil and .org (military and universities respectively). Back then, in the late 80s, there were 2 main ways of having interest groups like this, mailing lists and usenet. There was a GREAT collection of mailing lists that believe it or not was hosted out of White Sands missle range out west somewhere, and since I worked for the Army, I had access to that. I quickly found a group called something like Info-VideoTech or something similar. This group wasn't confined to TVRO, but all things Video, and there were a few people on it who had sat dishes. In reading the posts on this group, it soon became obvious that the posts on this list were linked to a "usenet" group, which was called rec.video , but at that time, we had no usenet server available to us at the base I worked at.
Finally, around late 1990, some fellow who worked at Univ of North Dakota, posted a message saying that there was going to be a spin-off usenet group dedicated to TVRO, and that it was going to be called rec.video.satellite, and that it was going to be linked to a mailing list called "homesat" . I still didn't have access to usenet, but I could subscribe to mailing lists. Homesat was hosted at NoDak.org, and the mailing list started up in December of 1990, and I was the first person to post to it :) , asking a question about why I was getting duplicate channels on Satcom K-2 with my Echostar 7000 receiver. A couple weeks later, homesat was joined by rec.video.satellite. Later, the usenet group split into 3 other groups, the main one being rec.video.satellite.tvro. This was done to separate out the little dish people. The most prolific poster to r.v.s.t over the years was Gary Bourgois from Marquette, Mi.
Homesat stuck around for at least 7 or 8 years at NoDak, but finally the guy who started it left the university, and someone on the list found a way to link one of those email places like Yahoo is now, to usenet. One of the places was onlist.com. We stayed linked for a couple years, but then that host got bought out by Yahoo. It's still at Yahoo, at Home-Sat : HOME-SAT - Home Satellite Technology
however there haven't been any posts there for a couple years, mainly because once the link to usenet went down, most people just switched to either using usenet or switched to forums like this, and Delphi, etc.


Anyway, probably much more trivia than anyone here cares about, but I just wanted to set the record straight, that there WAS internet back then, and there WERE groups discussing TVRO. It's just that it was via mailing lists and usenet, not WWW forums.

:)

I didn't have a computer back then so I guess I never followed on what was happening. Thank's for the info :)
 

Techfizzle

Banned
Apr 18, 2008
985
0
i really dont have a way to measure it acuratley, it said if you are off by an 1/8th of an inch it will make a 3db diffrence

someone on here has to have a channel master 10 foot that they know the f/d ratio
 

Kb Cool

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 31, 2005
1,442
1
Mesa, AZ
When your peaking on galaxy 17. Why not tweak the focal depth too (it only moves so far anyways). I don't know my focal depth either but after bringing a tv out to the dish. I somehow managed to get the feed to bring in a good picture. So it must be close to manufacturer specs.:D
 

turbosat

SatelliteGuys Master
Dec 26, 2006
9,001
75
Oneonta,AL
Put it on G17, scan in some c-band channels, and test moving it in/out while watching the signal strength meters on your receiver. Chances are, it's close already and on c-band is not going to make huge amounts of difference. If you're getting good analog and digital c-band already, go watch tv. Tinker later when it breaks down, if it does. I haven't messed with the settings on my 10' dish since I put it up,,about 1996. Replaced the actuator a couple of times, but everything else is just fine.
 

Techfizzle

Banned
Apr 18, 2008
985
0
the dish sits on a post about 6 feet outa the ground when the dish is on g17 the feedhorn is 10 foot up in the air so tweaking the f/d ratio is not an option when it is there
 

Kb Cool

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 31, 2005
1,442
1
Mesa, AZ
Put it on G17, scan in some c-band channels, and test moving it in/out while watching the signal strength meters on your receiver. Chances are, it's close already and on c-band is not going to make huge amounts of difference. If you're getting good analog and digital c-band already, go watch tv. Tinker later when it breaks down, if it does. I haven't messed with the settings on my 10' dish since I put it up,,about 1996. Replaced the actuator a couple of times, but everything else is just fine.


And if he owns a tape measure, calculator, some string and can read.:eek: He can calculate it himself. :D



C&P

A Word About Focal Depth

The f/D ratio is the focal distance of the dish (f), divided by the diameter (D). When dealing with most prime focus antennas, the number should come out between .28 and .42. If you notice, most of those numbers are also on scale on the side of the feedhorn. You simply set the top edge of the scalar ring even with the line that corresponds to your correct f/D setting. What this adjustment actually does is determines how wide of an angle the feedhorn can "see".

To calculate the focal distance, you need to measure the diameter (D) and the depth (d) of the dish. Measurements should be in like units (you can't use feet for the diameter and inches for depth). For this example, let's say we have a dish that is 120 inches in diameter (D) and 18 inches deep (d). Focal distance (f) equals the diameter squared (D x D) divided by 16 times the depth (16 x d) or:

D x D = 120 x 120 = 14400

16 x d = 16 x 18 = 288

D x D/16 x d = 14400/288 = 50

Therefore focal distance f = 50 inches

After you have calculated the focal distance (f), you can use that figure to calculate the f/D ratio of your dish. In this case, using the same diameter of (D) = 120; and the calculated focal distance (f) = 50

f / D = 50 / 120 = .416

f /D = .416

And round up to give a setting of .42.
 

Kb Cool

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 31, 2005
1,442
1
Mesa, AZ
the dish sits on a post about 6 feet outa the ground when the dish is on g17 the feedhorn is 10 foot up in the air so tweaking the f/d ratio is not an option when it is there

That's exactly why i mounted my dish "Low" to the ground when i installed it.:cool:
 

B.J.

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 15, 2008
2,029
1
Western Maine
the dish sits on a post about 6 feet outa the ground when the dish is on g17 the feedhorn is 10 foot up in the air so tweaking the f/d ratio is not an option when it is there

I have 2 ways of doing this.

(1) I have a utility trailer, which has a bed that's about a foot or two off the ground, then I put a step ladder on top of that, the top of which is then about 7 or 8' up there, so I can usually reach the feedhorn, even when pointing south. (Of course someone further south might have more of a problem.

(2) my second method is that I have a small farm tractor with a front end loader. The top of the front end loader is about 6 or 7' up there. Again, I can usually reach the feedhorn. Only problem is that the thing has a hydraulic leak, and the thing SLOWLY lowers itself when I'm up there, so I have to work fast. This doesn't get me quite as high as the stepladder on the trailer thing, however it's nice because I can put all my tools and meters and things in the bucket, and don't have to carry them out there, and have them all handy up in the air.
 

Techfizzle

Banned
Apr 18, 2008
985
0
there is also a hill next to the pole so a ladder is impossible to use, and the ground is to soft to drive a trailer or tractor on, and there is alot of junk in the way.

im off to walmart to buy a digital compass im going to set the mount to ture south when i get back

il think of some way to measure it, when i take the aucator off, i can swing the dish to ground to adjust the feedhorn

i cant run a tape across it because the feed pole is in the way, however, i measured it before i put it up and it is 10 foot 2 inches across so 122 inches.

what i can do is take a peice of flat stock and put it center on the dish till it touches the feed pole, then measure it
 

B.J.

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 15, 2008
2,029
1
Western Maine
That's exactly why i mounted my dish "Low" to the ground when i installed it.:cool:
I guess you don't get much snow on the ground in Az. :)

Can't mount dishes close to the ground here or they'd be stuck in the snow in the winter. Last 2 years I had to trudge out through 3 to 4' deep snow, and dig out my Fortec dish. Not to hard to get it free of snow to see the sats, but the problem was that it couldn't move until I dug all around it. I learned this year not to let my coaxes dangle around on the ground off the lnbf, because they got stuck in a layer of ice, and I couldn't move the dish until I got the coax out of the ice.

I guess in Az, all you have to worry about is a sand storm. :confused:
 

Kb Cool

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 31, 2005
1,442
1
Mesa, AZ
there is also a hill next to the pole so a ladder is impossible to use, and the ground is to soft to drive a trailer or tractor on, and there is alot of junk in the way.

im off to walmart to buy a digital compass im going to set the mount to ture south when i get back

il think of some way to measure it, when i take the aucator off, i can swing the dish to ground to adjust the feedhorn

i cant run a tape across it because the feed pole is in the way, however, i measured it before i put it up and it is 10 foot 2 inches across so 122 inches.

what i can do is take a peice of flat stock and put it center on the dish till it touches the feed pole, then measure it

Loosen the elevation bolts and drop the dish forward. Run a "string" across the dish from end to end. Then measure the depth of the dish from string height to bottom of dish.
 
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