Totally new to AIM meter, SWiM, trying to aim a basic tailgate dish.

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Support Forum' started by manowell, Oct 22, 2018.

  1. manowell

    manowell Topic Starter Member
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    I used to install C-band and some Ku-band stuff as a hobby, that stuff was easy to align. I still have the tools, but man has the tech changed!

    I have a Slimline dish and a SL3 SWiM LNB, both new. I also have a 3D SWiM LNB, more on that later.

    I'm new to this meter, but have spent about 12 hours working with it now.

    I do an install with zip code, dish is on a tripod on my driveway (in Texas). I get AZ EL Tilt numbers (183 51 84), do the rough alignment. I get no signal until I turn the azimuth, much more west than I'd think. Like 7-10 more degrees west. But I get a solid tone from what the AIM 1.5 says is 101/tr25, it says "locked" and I peak on that. I do the dither procedure, everything progresses as the book illustrates. Then I start the EIV.

    EIV is nothing but black X markers. All birds, all polarities. No SWiM channels checked, either.

    I do a transponder survey and get all blanks except for the higher numbered 101 transponders:
    101/22 1280.18 -26.8 13.0 95 -0.06 YES 21.0 370 Slimline-3S 2
    101/23 1294.76 -27.6 10.5 81 -0.01 YES 21.0 370 Slimline-3S 2
    101/24 1309.34 -- -- -- -- NO 21.0 370 Slimline-3S 2
    101/25 1323.92 -28.5 11.2 85 0.11 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    101/26 1338.50 -28.1 13.7 96 -0.02 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    101/27 1353.08 -27.1 14.0 97 -0.02 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    101/28 1367.66 -27.4 13.5 96 -0.03 YES 21.0 370 Slimline-3S 2
    101/29 1382.24 -28.3 11.8 89 0.02 YES 21.0 370 Slimline-3S 2
    101/30 1396.82 -27.3 13.6 96 0.02 YES 21.0 370 Slimline-3S 2
    101/31 1411.40 -25.7 12.3 92 -0.08 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    101/32 1425.98 -25.7 14.0 97 -0.04 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2

    If I swap out for the spare LNB, I get basically the same results, only those transponders. Nothing on 99 or 103.

    I can put it on a known good Slimline SWiM setup at a buddies house and get a good transponder survey. Lots of hot signals on 99a, 99b, 101, 103a, 103b.

    I figured out how to update the firmware, so went from AIM V 4.0 Build 1080 with DB version 0041 to AIM V 4.2 Build 400 DB version 0053, not that any of it has helped my issue.

    I've watched a bunch of YouTube videos, none of which have done anything but confirmed that I'm doing it right, unless the adjacent Ka birds are Just That Freaking Hard to tune....

    Any pointers?

    Thanks!
     
  2. raoul5788

    raoul5788 Studebaker driver
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    :welcome to Satelliteguys manowell!
    It sounds like you are aiming at 110 instead of 101.
     
  3. manowell

    manowell Topic Starter Member
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    From the geometry, I would agree. But, it doesn't seem to see ANYTHING at 183 az. When I'm peaking, it thinks it's on 101, I'm assuming it knows it's own mothership -- but I'm new to this meter.

    2625_2018-10-21_191433.png
     
  4. raoul5788

    raoul5788 Studebaker driver
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    I know next to nothing about the AIM meters. According to dishpointer.com, you should be using 184.6 for your azimuth. I'm sure one of the installers will post here soon.
     
  5. slice1900

    slice1900 SatelliteGuys Pro

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    Actually you are aiming at 119, not 110 or 101. It has transponders 22-32 just exactly as you see. So you need to aim about 18* east of where you're currently aiming...
     
  6. raoul5788

    raoul5788 Studebaker driver
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    slice to the rescue, AGAIN! :)
     
  7. HIFI

    HIFI Resident Psycho
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    From his location I would say also raise elevation 4 to 6 degrees also

    Sent from my Note 8 using the SatelliteGuys app!
     
  8. manowell

    manowell Topic Starter Member
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    Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a WINNER!

    I went back out to brave the mosquitoes and try again. Unlocked the az and el, stared at the compass, and went to where I though 180 should be to start. Nothing, not a peep. Rolled a little west, nothing. Rolled WAY back east 20-30 degrees?) and got a nice light off something in the eastern arc. So. back to where 183 should be. I had a nice level tube, but decided, "Let's just assume the elevation is messed up beyond belief, why not?" WAY up at 59 I got signal. Quick job of dithering, and I have signals (really BAD ones, Appendix A below), but off all five birds expected. So, Slice was right. My eyes were right. Just couldn't believe the elevation that far off.


    Information I hadn't shared earlier: I ordered this dish from SatPro, it came in pretty banged up, corrugated box-wise. There was a little ding on the rim at 3 o'clock, I've seen a lot worse. Getting the LNB support in place was a bad time, too, didn't want to seat in and bolt down. I persuaded it enough to get the set bolt threaded and sucked down, moved on from there. So I've been playing with the meter it for a couple of weeks, tripod on the back driveway. (Been REAL busy, getting out there for an hour every 3-4 days) Rain storm, gust of wind to 24 mph one day, BANG it flew over. Set it back up and moved on. Yesterday my dear wife eyeballed it and said the reflected looked "torqued". I couldn't see it, be we had a year old Slimline from a buddy 50 feet away in the mud, so we cleaned it off and swapped out. For the first time I got the meter to say "locked" while rough tuning the next time, so I'm betting the dish was more deflected than I would have guessed. And finding the birds 8 degrees high and sketchy signal quality? I bet the LNB support arm is not lined up well, either.

    Lessons learned: When working with a not known good ODU, don't assume that since it's new it's right. Trust your eyes more. And I think that the elevation error even explains why I'd find 119 when I turned around WAY that far.

    I'll go back out in a while when she of the good eyes gets home, might swap out enough parts to make a clean one and repost.


    Appendix A:
    ======================================
    AIM Version: 4.2 Build: 400
    Db Version: 0053
    Date: 10-22-2018, 17:56:25
    ODU: Slimline-3S
    Multiswitch: None
    Config: ODU-SPL-IRD
    Location: At ODU output
    Options: All nationals
    Sat/Tr Freq(MHz) Pwr(dBm) SNR(dB) SQ Offset(MHz) Lock Volts(V) Cur(mA) ODU SWiM
    ssss/tt xxxx.xx -xxx.x xx.x xxx (-)x.xx xxx xx.x xxxx abcd x
    99a/9 1840.00 -- -- -- -- NO 21.0 300 Slimline-3S 2
    99a/10 1840.00 -- -- -- -- NO 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    99a/11 1880.00 -- -- -- -- NO 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    99a/12 1880.00 -25.3 2.7 16 0.11 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    99a/13 1920.00 -- -- -- -- NO 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    99a/14 1920.00 -- -- -- -- NO 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    99a/15 1960.00 -25.5 2.5 15 0.11 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    99a/16 1960.00 -- -- -- -- NO 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    99a/17 2000.00 -- -- -- -- NO 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    99a/18 2000.00 -- -- -- -- NO 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    99a/19 2040.00 -- -- -- -- NO 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    99a/20 2040.00 -25.3 2.7 16 0.11 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    99a/21 2080.00 -25.4 2.6 15 0.11 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    99a/22 2080.00 -25.4 3.0 19 0.11 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    99a/23 2120.00 -25.0 2.8 17 0.10 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    99a/24 2120.00 -24.9 3.1 20 0.10 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    99b/1 274.00 -- -- -- -- NO 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    99b/2 274.00 -- -- -- -- NO 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    99b/3 314.00 -25.3 2.8 17 0.13 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    99b/4 314.00 -- -- -- -- NO 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    99b/5 354.00 -- -- -- -- NO 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    99b/6 354.00 -- -- -- -- NO 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    99b/7 394.00 -25.4 2.7 16 0.13 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    99b/8 394.00 -- -- -- -- NO 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    99b/9 434.00 -- -- -- -- NO 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    99b/10 434.00 -- -- -- -- NO 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    99b/11 474.00 -25.5 2.5 15 0.12 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    99b/12 474.00 -- -- -- -- NO 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    99b/13 514.00 -- -- -- -- NO 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    99b/14 514.00 -- -- -- -- NO 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    101/1 974.00 -26.3 11.6 88 -0.08 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    101/2 988.58 -25.1 9.3 74 0.11 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    101/3 1003.16 -27.1 11.8 89 -0.08 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    101/4 1017.74 -- -- -- -- NO 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    101/5 1032.32 -27.4 11.5 87 -0.14 YES 20.9 360 Slimline-3S 2
    101/6 1046.90 -26.3 13.2 95 -0.11 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    101/7 1061.48 -27.3 11.7 88 -0.14 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    101/8 1076.06 -26.5 13.3 95 -0.14 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    101/9 1090.64 -27.4 11.6 88 -0.08 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    101/10 1105.22 -29.7 9.5 75 0.11 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    101/11 1119.80 -27.1 11.5 87 -0.08 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    101/12 1134.38 -26.7 13.6 96 -0.08 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    101/13 1148.96 -27.5 11.5 87 -0.02 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    101/14 1163.54 -27.3 13.3 95 0.32 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    101/15 1178.12 -27.2 11.7 88 -0.15 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    101/16 1192.70 -26.0 13.4 95 -0.10 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    101/17 1207.28 -27.5 11.5 87 -0.08 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    101/18 1221.86 -- -- -- -- NO 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    101/19 1236.44 -27.2 11.8 89 -0.02 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    101/20 1251.02 -25.9 13.3 95 0.53 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    101/21 1265.60 -27.6 11.2 85 -0.02 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    101/22 1280.18 -27.4 13.2 95 -0.14 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    101/23 1294.76 -27.0 11.9 89 -0.08 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    101/24 1309.34 -26.2 13.1 95 -0.11 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    101/25 1323.92 -27.6 11.5 87 -0.02 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    101/26 1338.50 -- -- -- -- NO 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    101/27 1353.08 -27.0 12.1 91 -0.02 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    101/28 1367.66 -- -- -- -- NO 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    101/29 1382.24 -27.4 11.2 85 -0.15 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    101/30 1396.82 -26.3 13.3 95 -0.09 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    101/31 1411.40 -25.8 11.8 89 -0.09 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    101/32 1425.98 -25.8 13.6 96 -0.12 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    103a/9 1840.00 -25.3 6.2 48 -0.15 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    103a/10 1840.00 -25.1 5.9 45 -0.15 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    103a/11 1880.00 -25.8 6.0 46 -0.16 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    103a/12 1880.00 -25.5 5.4 41 -0.15 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    103a/13 1920.00 -25.4 6.3 49 -0.16 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    103a/14 1920.00 -25.4 6.4 50 -0.16 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    103a/15 1960.00 -25.8 5.6 42 -0.16 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    103a/16 1960.00 -25.7 6.0 46 -0.16 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    103a/17 2000.00 -25.7 5.8 44 -0.16 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    103a/18 2000.00 -25.4 6.5 51 -0.16 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    103a/19 2040.00 -25.6 3.7 25 -0.16 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    103a/20 2040.00 -25.7 5.9 45 -0.16 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    103a/21 2080.00 -25.7 5.1 38 -0.16 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    103a/22 2080.00 -25.4 6.1 47 -0.16 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    103a/23 2120.00 -25.1 5.1 38 -0.16 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    103a/24 2120.00 -25.0 5.5 42 -0.16 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    103b/1 274.00 -25.1 6.1 47 -0.14 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    103b/2 274.00 -25.3 4.8 35 -0.15 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    103b/3 314.00 -25.6 5.4 41 -0.14 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    103b/4 314.00 -25.7 4.1 29 -0.15 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    103b/5 354.00 -25.6 5.5 42 -0.14 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    103b/6 354.00 -25.6 4.4 32 -0.15 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    103b/7 394.00 -25.5 5.2 39 -0.14 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    103b/8 394.00 -25.8 3.7 25 -0.15 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    103b/9 434.00 -25.5 5.5 42 -0.14 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    103b/10 434.00 -25.6 4.3 31 -0.15 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    103b/11 474.00 -25.7 4.8 35 -0.14 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    103b/12 474.00 -25.6 4.1 29 -0.15 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    103b/13 514.00 -25.7 5.3 40 -0.13 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
    103b/14 514.00 -25.2 4.4 32 -0.13 YES 21.0 360 Slimline-3S 2
     
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  9. Jimbo

    Jimbo SatelliteGuys Master
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    I was about to say to go out and try it without the AIM meter ...
    I've normally been able to point it without a high dollar meter, just using the recvr meter ... its nice to have the meter, but I haven't had enough play time with an AIM to know right from wrong.
    When I'm in Texas, I'm way down on the Rio Grande Valley and had an issue pointing as well and found that the elevation also was off, or should I say, when I found signal, the elevation wasn't where your expect it to be ...
    There again, I too had the wind blow it over at one point, so no telling how accurate the dish is.

    We generally take a gallon of window washer fluid and a bungee cord to give it enough weight to hold it from going anywhere.

    Glad you got it going !
     
  10. manowell

    manowell Topic Starter Member
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    My next step if I didn't get an answer today was to haul a DVR and TV out there so I could watch the signal level while I twisted. Yelling back and forth is an exercise in frustration I'm done with. I know the meter is overkill for me, but I got a deal and it solved another problem, too. :)
     
  11. Jimbo

    Jimbo SatelliteGuys Master
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    Its much easier with cell phones now... :)
     
  12. slice1900

    slice1900 SatelliteGuys Pro

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    ANY damage to the dish will make it pretty much impossible to get a good signal. You need to contact satpro for a replacement. Hopefully you took pictures of the damage to the box / dish when you first unpacked it. Good practice any time you get a damaged shipment, makes things easier.
     
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  13. Claude Greiner

    Claude Greiner SatelliteGuys Master
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    Dam right
     
  14. manowell

    manowell Topic Starter Member
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    I've have a spool of RG6 cable, good quality F connectors and crimper. Has there been any improvement in RG6 quality or standards in the last few years (namely, to support SWiM) that I need to be aware of?

    Assuming I want to get some more cable to have on hand, and a few spare couplers and caps, is there a spec I should learn about?

    And, what does the termination cap DO on a SWiM splitter? Resistance, weather cover, power protection, or something else?
     
  15. manowell

    manowell Topic Starter Member
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    I saw the damage to the box but I wasn't concerned enough. I have clean parts to compare with tonight. You're right, should have taken pictures.

    Live and learn. Hope to do a bakeoff with clean and warped dish tonight to see.
     
  16. Jimbo

    Jimbo SatelliteGuys Master
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    I use PPC compression fittings ... Copper Core Coax.
     

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