USALS alignment (1 Viewer)

johnnynobody

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How does one adjust USALS using the Menu->Setup->Tuner->Positioner Setup on the OSMIO-4k? After searching for 103W, how do I tell the positioner to store that position? I thought "Calculate" would get the job done but it doesn't. There is no "Store position" for USALS.
 

johnnynobody

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Aug 2, 2009
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42N 103W
USALS is a calculated position and not a user setting. If a USALS position is not correct, the motor and/or dish is not properly aligned.

If you wish to save a user set satellite position, use the DiSEqC 1.2 mode.
I must be close on the alignment because I can find sats using diseqc. So far, I have 91W to 103W Ku programmed in. Signal levels are 11 dB or better. When a warmer and light wind day comes along I'll see about fine tuning. However, I would like to know more about all these options such as "Calculate", "Calibrate", etc. I might not ever use them but it would be nice to know if they are usable options. Experimenting with this stuff gets me in trouble.
 

cyberham

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Jun 16, 2010
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USALS is only for finding a satellite, in my opinion. Once you find the satellite, I switch over to diseqc mode, manually use Fine Movement to rock the dish west and east to find the highest reading and save the position to a unique memory location.

My experience is that using Calibrate tells the dish to move east and west, measuring received signal of the current satellite. It does this many times to automatically find the highest reading. It concludes by reporting the difference in azimuth from the original setting. I don't use it much. Auto Focus is a mystery to me. It seems to be like Calibrate but endlessly rocks the dish back and forth without really accomplishing anything.

Calculate will do a global change for all satellite memories. I've never used it.

When it's time for a tweaking of the dish, I switch to USALS for LPB on 87W and NBC on 103W. I use the Edision app on my smartphone that remotely shows received signal on any satellite and only take the smartphone to the dish. I then manually move the whole assembly slightly to peak these two tps. When they are peaked, everything else will be good. I then switch back to diseqc mode, and manually repeak and save each satellite, if necessary.
 

johnnynobody

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Aug 2, 2009
5,915
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42N 103W
USALS is a calculated position and not a user setting. If a USALS position is not correct, the motor and/or dish is not properly aligned.

If you wish to save a user set satellite position, use the DiSEqC 1.2 mode.
OK. I was wondering if the dish could be fine tuned in software for USALS just like diseqc. Apparently not.
 

cyberham

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Jun 16, 2010
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OK. I was wondering if the dish could be fine tuned in software for USALS just like diseqc. Apparently not.
The only way to fudge this is by modifying by a little your own latitude coordinate that you enter. This can work (or cause more trouble...) but simply moving the dish with diseqc commands and saving the final position is probably a better idea.
 

johnnynobody

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The only way to fudge this is by modifying by a little your own latitude coordinate that you enter. This can work (or cause more trouble...) but simply moving the dish with diseqc commands and saving the final position is probably a better idea.
I guess it depends on how well the usals calculations are done? I've tried lat and long to one decimal place so I suppose I could get better accuarcy with 2 decimal places? Is their a rule as to how accurate (how many decimal places) your lat/long should be in the lat/long field? Anyway, I've gone with diseqc 1.2 for now.

I probably should open a new thread but I was wondering if anyone is having trouble with the dish not moving with the osmio4k (TNAP 4) in standby while using webif to move the dish. I have found that I had to turn the receiver on in order for a dish to move. It's strange because the receiver, that is connected to 2 dishes (1 C and 1 Ku) via a 4x1 switch, will always move the C band dish while in standby while I have to power the receiver on in order for the Ku dish to move. I've also noted that the C band dish will move to another satellite when I power on the receiver. In other words, I'd be using webif to move the C band while the receiver is in standby and then when I turn the receiver on it moves to another satellite without me doing anything. Clear as mud, right?
 

arlo

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Dec 4, 2016
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Could be the image. I know when I setup ku on my c band dish it wouldn't switch a 22 KHz switch.
It worked an 8X1 switch just fine. Figuring it was a bad switch I swapped it for another one in the Geosat package. Same thing. No joy. I installed openvix and everything worked like it should with no issues. Maybe turn it over the el bandido for him to test on his end.

Hell I never tried the webif with my mio in standby. Mater of fact it's usually on.

But one thing that did happen is there was a power flicker that was so fast my UPS didn't have time to switch over and caused the mio to power cycle. My ASC1 headed east to the limit switch and the receiver stayed at the channel it previously was on. Telling the dish to move to a sat left it pointing up too far in the sky. The ASC1 showed where it was supposed to be. Funnier yet was the counts were all fupticated up. Required uncoupling the motor, sending a go-to to put it to where the receiver said it should be, and vice gripping the actuator to where it should point to. 2nd time it happened in a bit. Luckily I had the data backed up on my PC and wrote it back in.
 

johnnynobody

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Aug 2, 2009
5,915
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Could be the image. I know when I setup ku on my c band dish it wouldn't switch a 22 KHz switch.
It worked an 8X1 switch just fine. Figuring it was a bad switch I swapped it for another one in the Geosat package. Same thing. No joy. I installed openvix and everything worked like it should with no issues. Maybe turn it over the el bandido for him to test on his end.

Hell I never tried the webif with my mio in standby. Mater of fact it's usually on.

But one thing that did happen is there was a power flicker that was so fast my UPS didn't have time to switch over and caused the mio to power cycle. My ASC1 headed east to the limit switch and the receiver stayed at the channel it previously was on. Telling the dish to move to a sat left it pointing up too far in the sky. The ASC1 showed where it was supposed to be. Funnier yet was the counts were all fupticated up. Required uncoupling the motor, sending a go-to to put it to where the receiver said it should be, and vice gripping the actuator to where it should point to. 2nd time it happened in a bit. Luckily I had the data backed up on my PC and wrote it back in.
I guess we get what we pay for. I remember the good old days of analog receivers that worked near flawlessly. Of course, I paid about $1000 for them (not including the VCRS module). I guess I can't expect a $200 receiver and $150 dish mover to compete with the "bullet proof" receivers of "yesteryears".
 

a33

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Feb 4, 2015
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netherlands europe
I guess it depends on how well the usals calculations are done? I've tried lat and long to one decimal place so I suppose I could get better accuarcy with 2 decimal places? Is their a rule as to how accurate (how many decimal places) your lat/long should be in the lat/long field?
USALS calculates to the precision of 1/16 part of a degree for the rotation axis.
If you can enter two decimal places, I would do that.

The USALS calculations should be pretty accurate, though they are usually done for traditional motor angles I presume (so not accounting for the forward axis tilt of the modified motor angles). I would guestimate that you normally would end up within 0.1 degrees of the actual satellite direction, if you have done the motor setup correctly.

If you are systematically off a few decimal degrees of all the satellites of the arc, while using USALS, your zero-alignment isn't OK. You could fool your USALS a bit by changing your longitude coordinates.
Better, of course, is to adjust your actual motor angles.

Greetz,
A33
 
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cyberham

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Jun 16, 2010
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...You could fool your USALS a bit by changing your longitude coordinates.

Greetz,
A33
Yes, my mistype. You can edit your longitude a little. I enter my value with two decimal places. The truth is USALS works well and is precise as long as the pole is plumb, the motor assembly is positioned correctly and nothing moves. The problem is that in real life something usually changes a little over time. This is when a slight edit of your longitude can be helpful.
 
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arlo

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Dec 4, 2016
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I really have to get a USALS motor. I know I need to do seasonal position tweaks on my big dish.
Word has it if you do tweaks on a USALS per sat that it's only for that moment and the receiver software doesn't save it. True? Longitude tweaks I get. And how about using the motor in DISEqC mode. How are positions saved in the receiver? Do they show up in counts?
Yeah the digital age is here to stay. I don't ever want to hand crank the dish over to Satcom 4 to watch Playboy in February at -10 degrees after the bars close ever again. Lol!!!
 

a33

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Feb 4, 2015
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netherlands europe
Word has it if you do tweaks on a USALS per sat that it's only for that moment and the receiver software doesn't save it. True?

When you find an individual satellite e.g. 30.0W at 30.1W, you can define the longitude of that satellite as 30.1W in your receiver.
From then on USALS calculates with 30.1W.
I'm not sure that ALL receivers allow editing the longitude of a satellite, after initial setup, though. Mine do, however.

I've never thought through the angular effects of play in the motor shaft and weight effects; and with which angles to compensate for them (in motor setup, and in USALS calculation).
Though I do think that for an optimalized motor setup, the use of the 'modified latitude' as latitude coordinate for USALS is sliiightly better than using your actual latitude coordinate. See https://www.satelliteguys.us/xen/threads/usals-notebook.166471/page-2#post-4136366

Greetz,
A33
 

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