"Well there's your problem!" (2 Viewers)

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Dee_Ann

Thread Starter
Angry consumer!
May 23, 2009
3,420
286
Texas
DOH.......

For a few weeks now I've been stumped as to why my ku motorized dish would only see between 83w and 103w. Anything else, NOPE........

So tonight it was COOL out. It's the time of year where we finally begin to get little tastes of fall like weather now and then.

So I decide to go see what's up with my stuff. For days now the dedicated dish on 123w has been MIA. No signal, nothing. Hmmmmm... :(

And the motorized dish as well.

So I pack up my new S10 tuner and assorted tools and head out to the back yard.
I put the S10 on the 1.2m dish and BOOM! FSTV is there loud and clear.. :confused:

So at that point I am assuming the 22k Ecoda switch has gone bad. :(

Then I go over to the motor and put the tuner on it. I go to the menu and tell the motor to move to 125. It moves but no signal. :(

Basically, I spend an hour loosening everything up and wiggling everything around, tipping the dish up and down, you name it. Still can't find 125w. :(

So I tell the tuner to put the dish to zero. I look on dishpointer.com for true south. I check the motor and it is indeed pointing to true south as best as it possibly can. Google has a very high resolution picture of my backyard (They take new pictures after every hurricane) and you can see not only the individual dishes but can even see the LNB's on them! So once I was sure I had the motor pointed the right way I got a square piece of metal and put it against the side of the motor and the back of the dish mounting plate so that I know with 100% absolute certainty that the dish is aligned properly with the motor.

And being that I made this dish from spare parts left over from other dishes, it's a Frankenghetto dish all the way. :eek:

Back and forth, back and forth. I also discovered that some of the satellites had their coordinates in backwards, for instance 85 and 79 were reversed, if I selected 79 it would go to 85 and 85 would take me to 79. Huh? How did that get in there??

Finally I was ready to admit defeat, again, when it dawned on me at 2am in the morning sitting outside on a stool in the dark to check the level of the pole. DUH......... I go get a level and TADA!! Ms. Dumby discovers she went to school without her thinking cap, again!

So yeah, the pole is waaaaay off from east to west, it tips a lot to the east and a bit to the north as well. The bubble is all the way to the side, it's not even remotely close to being in the middle of the lines. With the pole all cattawhampus like that I can see why it's not working right!

This darn drought has dried up the ground so badly so I guess that's what's going on.
There's not a lot I can do about it tonight but tomorrow I'm going to Lowe's to get gardening supplies and I'll pick up a new pole and cement. The pole that's there now is in a bad spot and it's too short. I bolted some goofy rig onto it that I found on the side of the garage to make it taller and I really don't think it's the right answer. So a new pole would be best. I'll dig it deeper and put more cement and maybe that will help with the drought. Maybe if I plant it while the ground is all dried up it may hold tight since the ground is already shrunk up as much as it can be.

Oh and tomorrow my dad is going to put a new power cord on my S10 and a fan. He found an itty-bitty fan on an old mainboard from an old pc (packrat is the family middle name).. I'm hoping that will cure the heat problems.

If I can get the kooky pole problem fixed so that I can tune in ALL the satellites, I will be so much more happy with things. My pc will not get the LPBS channels at all so that leaves it to the S10 to pick up the slack. Adding in the C-band 87w will also make me a a happy girl too, then I can record several things off 87 at the same time or record one, watch another.

With fall coming those stupid trash trees will defoliate soon and I should be able to pick up HOT TV. I just don't understand how the big dishes can't see 118 (HOT) but my smaller dishes right next to them can see 123 and 125 just fine? :confused: Can just a few feet make that much difference? I guess it can but it really messes with my head. All I know is, those trees have to come down. One way or another. They are only there because birds sat on the fence and pooped seeds and previous property owners were too lazy to take them down when it would have been very easy. Idiots..

Oh well. I'm getting closer now to getting things ironed out..

:)
 

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JerryVT

SatelliteGuys Family
Mar 12, 2010
42
0
Vermont
Level,

I had the problem when I installed my small dish, spent three hours getting it PERFECT.

Glad to hear you got it fixed. I enjoy your posts, always a little story.
 

Dishman Dan

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 22, 2008
1,549
0
N/A
I enjoy your posts, always a little story.

Yeah same here!

She had a terribly rough time with satellite stuff at first and then she must of klunked

her head on a dish or the aliens finally got to her and now she is a guru!! ;)
 

bobvick

Pub Member / Supporter
Pub Member / Supporter
Lifetime Supporter
Jul 20, 2006
4,458
2,151
Northwest Alabama
That sounds like me Dee. I always over look the simple things most of the time, and often try to over complecate the problem. Then it just hits you to check something simple. Glad to hear that you found the problem. Always enjoy reading your posts.
 

sergei

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 29, 2007
1,266
5
iowa
Now, what's the first thing we tell everyone when installing a dish, make sure it deep enough to hold the dish and by all means make sure the pole is plumb. So, anyone having problems get your level and recheck your dish.
 

Pixl

Senior Member
Pub Member / Supporter
Feb 27, 2010
1,902
66
Traverse City, Michigan
So yeah, the pole is waaaaay off from east to west, it tips a lot to the east and a bit to the north as well. The bubble is all the way to the side, it's not even remotely close to being in the middle of the lines. With the pole all cattawhampus like that I can see why it's not working right!
:)

Dee Ann,

This is where your past comes back to haunt you. I did a little cut and pasting from one of your previous novels in here.




Here is the post going in..






[
Hi Dee,

I'm wondering from your pictures about pole leveling. I don't see any temp support arms to keep the pole level while pouring the concrete?




As to leveling the posts. The guy mixed the cement so it was like peanut butter. He put the pole in the center of the hole then began to pour cement in. As he put more cement in he would straighten the pole more and more and when the last bag was dumped in he leveled it up perfectly along the four points of the compass and stepped away. The cement was gooey enough that it didn't need supports. I checked several times after he left for level and it stayed perfect. I checked it today and it's still perfect and the cement is pretty much hard to the touch though I think it would be best to wait till next week to put the dish on it, just to be sure.



Hmmnn.. How good did that work for ya :p
 

Dee_Ann

Thread Starter
Angry consumer!
May 23, 2009
3,420
286
Texas
Dee Ann,

This is where your past comes back to haunt you. I did a little cut and pasting from one of your previous novels in here.




Here is the post going in..




Hmmnn.. How good did that work for ya :p


Well actually it worked out quite nicely. The pole in that photo is for my 10' dish and it's super-dooper level and is pretty much trouble free for quite some time now. :)

The pole that right now is the problem, is one I myself planted a few years ago. It had been loose and wiggly (my ex had planted it originally) so I dug it up and replanted it. But, when I did that, the ground was pretty damp at that time. Since then, we have been in an exceptional drought and the ground is dry as bones in the desert. When it dries out, it contracts. Like a sponge. Get it wet and it swells. Let it dry out and it shrinks. That's what has happened. My fence all around my yard is so loose you could walk around and pluck the poles out by hand!

Satellite poles that got planted when the ground was very dry are doing great. Poles that were planted when it was damp, are all loose and I've had to hammer sticks in to steady them up but it also makes it hard to keep them level so I have to put sticks on both sides. :(

And to exacerbate the problem, I clamped some goofy rig I found onto the post to make it taller. My dad said it looks like it was scrap cut off of an old commercial sized gate. I don't know, it's weird looking but it has a big clamp on it and a piece of pipe sticking off of it. The original pole is too short so I had to do something. This was a cheat to get past that problem. And apparently it wasn't the best move I could have made.

I went to Lowe's this morning to get some gardening stuff and some stuff to make planters with. Some helpful guy tried to help me, he asked me what I needed, I explained it to him what I was wanting to do and he came up with some far out alternative way of doing it and by the time he got through explaining it to me I was so confused I didn't know what planet I was on and I totally forgot to get another dang pole and cement! I did get my other stuff but I had already ordered it and they were holding it at the loading area for me. I'm still confused and have a migraine now trying to figure out WTH that guy was trying to tell me.

Well at least cooler weather is here so I can finally get outside and get some work done on my dishes that's long overdue. I need to buy more poles, dig up the old short wiggly poles and plant new taller poles deeper with more cement and in a layout that's actually planned out and makes sense. I still say my ex layed out the original poles using beer and lawn darts as his guide. GPS? Naw. Beer & Lawn Darts... I don't know, he did what he did, I wasn't a part of it, I wasn't here most of the time and he never explained or discussed any of it with me. I would come home and see new stuff and just go about my biz, I had other things to worry about than his crazy projects. But I can't complain too much, at least it got me started in this. I used to not even watch TV, maybe an hour a week at most, for years. Unemployment kinda fixed that though... Sigh......... :eek:

Well, I need to get some rest, I've had a long night and long morning. I'll go see what I can do to that post this evening when I get up. Right now I'm going to sleep through the hot part of the day..

TTFN!! :)
 

Dishman Dan

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 22, 2008
1,549
0
N/A
Dee Ann,

This is where your past comes back to haunt you. I did a little cut and pasting from one of your previous novels in here.

Hmmnn.. How good did that work for ya :p


You have to consider her extreme weather conditions down there too,

she has photos where her farm looks like the swamp in the Shrek movies! :eek:
 

Pixl

Senior Member
Pub Member / Supporter
Feb 27, 2010
1,902
66
Traverse City, Michigan
Well actually it worked out quite nicely. The pole in that photo is for my 10' dish and it's super-dooper level and is pretty much trouble free for quite some time now. :)

OK, glad to hear that. Now I have my mind right. As jerryvt pointed out you can see now the time invested in being fussy about a level post pays off. Now to get the other ones as good!
 

turbosat

SatelliteGuys Master
Dec 26, 2006
9,001
75
Oneonta,AL
Good work Dee, remember: The problem will always be whatever you forget to check!
Had that same thing happen to me a couple of years ago, big drought, ground cracked open, rocks and earth shifted, made 2 of my dishes lean over. Luckily they were both ku dishes so it wasn't a big ordeal to replant them.
 

AcWxRadar

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 26, 2006
4,575
4
40 miles NW of Omaha. Omaha?
Dee,

I have a recurring problem here every spring. I have a 1.2M Ku dish planted on a heavy-duty tripod with good spread legs and anchors that are about 18-24 inches in the ground. However, when the frost goes out of the topsoil, and we get the spring winds, it never fails to throw off my level. The worst thing is the spring winds. The weather patterns have changed a bit over the past few years here and I have been experiencing about two weeks of constant 30-40 mph winds with gust up in the mid to high 50 mph range. This coupled with the soft soil after frost-out can really wreak havoc on my dish, even well anchored as the tripod is. I can imagine with your drought and dry soil that this could generate errors in the plumb of your masts (I have seen some of the pictures and read about some of the TX lakes drying up and the soil cracking with deep fissures). I also remember just a couple or a few years back when your backyard was floating away and your dishes were all on little islands within a lake! When the soil moisture content changes that extremely over not too long of a time, it is obvious that there could be some major alterations to your pole settings. And... you don't need any high winds to assist it, either! I can definitely identify with your leveling and plumbness problem.

RADAR
 

whatchel1

SatelliteGuys Master
Sep 30, 2006
9,099
48
Great High Plains
Dee,

I have a recurring problem here every spring. I have a 1.2M Ku dish planted on a heavy-duty tripod with good spread legs and anchors that are about 18-24 inches in the ground. However, when the frost goes out of the topsoil, and we get the spring winds, it never fails to throw off my level. The worst thing is the spring winds. The weather patterns have changed a bit over the past few years here and I have been experiencing about two weeks of constant 30-40 mph winds with gust up in the mid to high 50 mph range. This coupled with the soft soil after frost-out can really wreak havoc on my dish, even well anchored as the tripod is. I can imagine with your drought and dry soil that this could generate errors in the plumb of your masts (I have seen some of the pictures and read about some of the TX lakes drying up and the soil cracking with deep fissures). I also remember just a couple or a few years back when your backyard was floating away and your dishes were all on little islands within a lake! When the soil moisture content changes that extremely over not too long of a time, it is obvious that there could be some major alterations to your pole settings. And... you don't need any high winds to assist it, either! I can definitely identify with your leveling and plumbness problem.

RADAR
What a re these thing you talk about called Lakes? Right there are really big holes in the ground w/ rocks where water used to be. :D I kid you not on that.
 

AcWxRadar

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 26, 2006
4,575
4
40 miles NW of Omaha. Omaha?
What a re these thing you talk about called Lakes? Right there are really big holes in the ground w/ rocks where water used to be. :D I kid you not on that.

Yes! I know what you mean. I have seen the pictures and the news videos. It's extreme. I have recently witnessed Lake McConaughy in Nebraska be reduced to half or less of its normal size. But, I have never seen a lake twice that large be reduced to nothing at all!

RADAR
 

Dee_Ann

Thread Starter
Angry consumer!
May 23, 2009
3,420
286
Texas
Well now I'm stumped... :(

I went out there and I hammered sticks in around the cement and I got the pole VERY level and it's tight. No wiggling at all. I checked the level on it on all four points of the compass and the bubble is perfectly centered between the lines. Not sort of centered, I mean truly, absolutely centered. The pole is level and sturdy now.

Then I used dishpointer.com to aim the motor at true south as best as I could. Google has very hi-res photos of my yard and dishes (as they were the last time they flew over) so it is extremely easy to select individual dishes or the spot where new ones are now that weren't there when they took the photo.

It draws a line from the dish to true south and I can see that it lines up just a smidge over from the peak of my neighbor's roof. So I aim the motor to that point.

So, I get everything between 72w and 103w and then, nothing. From 103w on, there is no signal at all. I have other dishes within a few feet of this one that are aimed at 123 and 125 without any problems.

I've verified that the GPS coordinates are set precisely in the tuner for the USALS. I have an iPhone and a GPS thingie for my car that I can carry out there and they jive with each other. Plus I can drop a "lat/long marker" on google maps that's 1000x more detailed. I looked up the instructions for the motor and I set the motor tilt according to what the manual says to do.

The motor and the dish are square to one another in the zero position. I don't know if that's the right terminology to describe it.

I checked the dish settings in the tuner and they are all set correctly. Originally I found a few satellites that were flipped, like 89 was flipped with 72, or something like that. I double checked them all and they are all set correctly.

When I tell the dish to use "accurate scan" on ALL the satellites, it starts at 72 and scans everything west of that, one at a time. It finds everything up to 103 then from there on, it's all a dead zone. The dish does move but it finds nothing at all. :confused:

It can't be trees because I used this same pole to put my parents dish and motor on when I set it up here. Using their dish I could see everything from 72w to 125w and in between. And this dish is larger than theirs. I'm using a true 1m Primestar dish, my old "Lawnchair dish". I guess it's an Andrew or Raven or whoever they are this month, whatever..

I just can not understand why it won't see anything west of 103w....... :confused:

Can you guys throw some suggestions at me please? I don't know what I'm doing wrong or what step I'm missing.

I do have to say though that this is a true Frankenghetto dish, I robbed parts from other dishes and the junk box to put this one together. So, like the mount on the back, there are no markings you can set it by like you can with a store bought dish that was designed to be mounted to a motor.

Thanks guys! :)
 

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Tron

SatelliteGuys Master
May 6, 2005
6,599
33
Metro New Orleans, LA
You may have to re-adjust the dish elevation since the position of the pole has changed. Try to tug up and down on the dish and see if the satellite pops in.
 

Dee_Ann

Thread Starter
Angry consumer!
May 23, 2009
3,420
286
Texas
You may have to re-adjust the dish elevation since the position of the pole has changed. Try to tug up and down on the dish and see if the satellite pops in.

I did have to readjust the dish after fixing the pole, I took the dish totally off the motor when I was leveling it so I essentially had to start over again from step one. After leveling the pole nothing was coming in. I had put marks on everything and lined them back up just in case but now they were all off.

I started with the motor at it's zero position, aimed at true south. I put the dish on the motor and made it square with the motor so that the dish was pointed along the same line as the motor, to true south. Then I used my S10 to move it to Galaxy 3C which is the satellite that is as close to my true south as there is.

I then adjusted the dish up and down until I got as good a signal as possible, highest level and zero BER.

I then moved it back and forth and checked other satellites and everything was coming in just fine between 72 and 103. But past 103 is the Twilight zone.

I don't understand how it can be getting all those other satellites in loud and clear but not the others??? :confused:

I had no problem when I was testing out the dish for my folks, it worked like a charm the first time around. And when I put it up at their house, it worked like a charm there too.

I did gently lift on the edge of the dish and pushed on the top but I was afraid to put too much pressure, what with the pole being on borrowed time like it is. I did walk out a while ago and put the level on it again and it's still good.

What about those angle meters? As I said, this dish is made up of all sorts of parts and some of them are put on upside down so there are no marks on the dish to use like you have on a store bought dish. Could I use one of those angle meters somehow? I have a brand new one from when I was fighting with my big dishes.

Thanks! :)
 

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whatchel1

SatelliteGuys Master
Sep 30, 2006
9,099
48
Great High Plains
I'm going to ask if there is another possibility that you have over looked. Could it be that when it goes past a certain point the connection to the LNB is no longer good? BTW you are putting sticks in to shim the dish now pour some more concrete into the hole to fill in those areas.
 

Dee_Ann

Thread Starter
Angry consumer!
May 23, 2009
3,420
286
Texas
I'm going to ask if there is another possibility that you have over looked. Could it be that when it goes past a certain point the connection to the LNB is no longer good? BTW you are putting sticks in to shim the dish now pour some more concrete into the hole to fill in those areas.

Well, the wires are all brand new. I made them using RG6-Q wire and compression fittings. I spent several months learning how to do it right. :D
The wire is wrapped several times around one of the LNB arms and there is a large slack loop under the dish so it's not possible. The LNB and wires are all very snug and secure so that movement can't affect them.

As for the pole, I've had this happen many times in the past two+ years that I've been doing this, we are under an "exceptional drought" which is far worse than a severe drought. In the past I ended up having to dig the poles up, dig the holes deeper then put new, longer poles in deeper with more cement to get below the level where the ground dries up and fractures. Like 3 feet deep. I need to do this soon but finances are on hold for now so it will have to suffice with the current patch job until later in the month. At the moment, it's holding and should be ok until the next rain, then the ground will soften and the sticks will press into the softened dirt and everything is loose again. There's no chance of rain anytime soon so it should hold until I get the $$ to do it over a little better..

:)
 
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