Skywalker 1 - getting transponders to come in (1 Viewer)

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guapoharry

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 19, 2006
1,423
0
32ºN 111ºW
I use a Skywalker 1 looped out of a Fortec Merc II. From time to time, Sometimes there's a problem where TP's the Merc scans in don't work on the Skywalker 1.

Case in point, today I tried pulling in Macy's on 105ºW. The Merc sees it on 11854V 3550. Plugged those numbers into the Skywalker and it was no good. When this happens sometimes I try TP and freq. numbers out of the List, or from Mike Kohl's site. Or, I subtract two or five, or ten from the SR and often that works.

But today, I tried different numbers for about 30 minutes and no joy.

Then I tried bringing up the Echostar title card on 105. The Merc scans it in on 11936H 3980. Those settings didn't work on the Skywalker. Then I tried 11936H 3978 from the list and that did work on the Skywalker.

This is really a pain when finding feeds. There's nowhere to look for better numbers.

Am I doing something wrong here, is the Skywalker fussy about input parameters, or what?

Maybe I ought to try a different receiver to blind scan with...

Looking for ideas...:confused:
 
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B.J.

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 15, 2008
2,029
1
Western Maine
I use a Skywalker 1 looped out of a Fortec Merc II. From time to time, Sometimes there's a problem where TP's the Merc scans in don't work on the Skywalker 1.

Case in point, today I tried pulling in Macy's on 105ºW. The Merc sees it on 11854V 3550. Plugged those numbers into the Skywalker and it was no good. When this happens sometimes I try TP and freq. numbers out of the List, or from Mike Kohl's site. Or, I subtract two or five, or ten from the SR and often that works.

But today, I tried different numbers for about 30 minutes and no joy.

Then I tried bringing up the Echostar title card on 105. The Merc scans it in on 11936H 3980. Those settings didn't work on the Skywalker. Then I tried 11936H 3978 from the list and that did work on the Skywalker.

This is really a pain when finding feeds. There's nowhere to look for better numbers.

Am I doing something wrong here, is the Skywalker fussy about input parameters, or what?

Maybe I ought to try a different receiver to blind scan with...

Looking for ideas...:confused:

Well, except for one thing you said, I would have said that it is because the Skywalker 1 is not a very sensitive receiver. Ie you need a fairly strong signal for it to lock. HOWEVER, when I saw that you're using a Mercury II, I changed my mind. The Mercury not only has a very loose tuner in that it can tune channels 10-15 MHz off freq, but it's blind search is almost ALWAYS off freq. I have almost NEVER been able to take the freq/SR from things that I blind scanned with my Mercury, and plug them into another receiver with a tighter tuner, such as my Twinhan, or my old Fortec Lifetime, or even my Azbox or Diamond. Because being off a few MHz on these other receivers can often make the difference between locking the transponder or not locking the transponder. Now, the Skywalker is sort of a strange beast. On wide transponders, it can sometimes tune when off by 15 MHz, but on narrow transponders, I generally need to be within about 2 MHz of the proper freq for the Skywalker to lock. Most reported freqs for that first signal are a couple MHz higher, plus your LNB could easily be off by 2 MHz, so you could be off as much as 4 MHz. Anyway, I don't find it at all unusual that you'd have to change the freq AND the SR a bit to get the Skywalker to lock. The Mercury just isn't a very good blind search receiver, and data you find in lists is also often off because it's reported by people with receivers that aren't accurate and/or lnbs that are off.
 
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brentb636

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 24, 2006
4,278
6
5 miles N of Saugatuck, Mi
The Merc II ALWAYS scans the SR at 0.1% above the true SR. That creates a problem. I've gotten used to it, and simply always "discount " the reported symbol rate. A Big Ten Network feed always scans as 30031 , for example, instead of 30000. It's a little bit of a PITA, but I've gotten used to it, and love the Merc II.
:)
 

guapoharry

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 19, 2006
1,423
0
32ºN 111ºW
Good to know that about the Merc..

I am using TSReader.

EDIT: That Merc reading 0.1% above the true SR tip worked. 3547 got the TP to tune in. :)
 
Last edited:

B.J.

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 15, 2008
2,029
1
Western Maine
The Merc II ALWAYS scans the SR at 0.1% above the true SR. That creates a problem. I've gotten used to it, and simply always "discount " the reported symbol rate. A Big Ten Network feed always scans as 30031 , for example, instead of 30000. It's a little bit of a PITA, but I've gotten used to it, and love the Merc II.
:)

I agree with that 0.1% thing, and the old 30000 CBS feeds ALWAYS registered as 30031 like you say.
Seems like the freqs were off too, but that varied. Sometimes they would be pretty close, other times off. I can't remember. I just remember that almost NEVER could I plug in parameters I found via blind scan on the Mercury into any other receiver. I pretty much switched back to my Fortec Ultra for blind scan, although it finally pretty much died, so I haven't done much blind scanning lately.
 

brentb636

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 24, 2006
4,278
6
5 miles N of Saugatuck, Mi
I agree with that 0.1% thing, and the old 30000 CBS feeds ALWAYS registered as 30031 like you say.
Seems like the freqs were off too, but that varied. Sometimes they would be pretty close, other times off. I can't remember. I just remember that almost NEVER could I plug in parameters I found via blind scan on the Mercury into any other receiver. I pretty much switched back to my Fortec Ultra for blind scan, although it finally pretty much died, so I haven't done much blind scanning lately.

The Merc feed freq is sometimes off by 1 ( always lower freq, I'd say ) , but that's not a big deal compared with the SR discrepency . Over the years, I've come to automatically recalculate the SR and enter one that's closer to the true value, in my CS8000's and for the skywalker-1.
:)
 
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