wiggly dish problem solved! (1 Viewer)

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Thread Starter
Angry consumer!
May 23, 2009
My folks have an Openbox S9 and a motorized primestar dish. The motor is Powermax SG-9120.

I guess about two months ago I helped them put it up.

My dad did the physical labor and all like putting the post in and running the wires. All I did was put the connectors on the wires and align the dish with my nifty meter. :)

But there has been a problem from day one. The dish would wiggle back and forth, a LOT. So when the wind would blow, it would blow the dish about and they would lose signal. The first time it happened they didn't even call me for a week! :confused:

When they did it was because my dad bumped it while mowing the yard. I went to look at it after finding a thread on here about these motors and how to adjust them if they wiggle. There's a screw inside the motor called the backlash. When I mentioned that to Dad he instantly knew what it meant. So I took the printout with the info on adjusting it and Dad messed with it. He tightened it up so much that the gears couldn't turn and it still wiggled, a lot. :(

So all I could really do was use my meter to push the wiggly dish back to where there was a good signal again and go back home.

A few weeks passed and we had a lot of strong winds off and on during that time. When it would lose signal my dad would go outside and move it until my mom yelled at him that they had a picture back.

This was so totally unacceptable and it really bothered me a lot because I was the one that said "here's the things you should buy".. :(

I did some more googling and I found someone mention something to the effect that the other model, the SG-9102B has a bolt up inside the motor tube that could become lose but that this motor, the SG-9120 does NOT have that bolt inside. Oh boy.....

So I went ahead the other day and took my motor totally down and looked inside the motor tube. HELLO! There IS a bolt in there. It's some sort of hex bolt, I can't remember what you call them. So I called Dad and told him about this and he asked it he could fix it himself. I said sure but he would be able to get the dish back to alignment without my meter since the whole entire dish had to be removed from the motor.

So he came and picked me up and we took it apart. He used some hex tool thing and sure enough, the bolt up inside it was loose! He tightened it up and then declared it to be "Tight as a tick". We put the dish back on then I sat down with my little meter and fine tuned the dish again. We go back inside and check and everything is working great!

Thus ends their wiggly dish problem. :)

I hope that this might be helpful to someone else with a similar problem.

Also, while I had my motor down my dad wanted to see the inside of the gears to see the backlash thing. He couldn't see it, it seems to be hidden under other parts. But now that it's down and open, I took some photos of the inside. I'm hoping to one day find a way to add a power supply to the motor because my pc tuner card is too wimpy to move the motor and that annoys me, a lot! :mad:

Someone posted a few weeks ago about how to do it but it's not anything I know about and I'm afraid to mess with it without very specific step by step directions with lots of high res photos. It's going to be some time before that happens. If ever..



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SatelliteGuys Is My Second Home
Staff member
Lifetime Supporter
Aug 9, 2004
Yes very good info and glad you got your folks all squared away now.


SatelliteGuys Master
Sep 22, 2005
L.A., Calif.
Excellent research 'n solution to an annoying problem. - :up

As for getting independent power to the motor, the best/simplest method I've seen was probably one Pendragon came up with a while back.
He cut one trace inside the motor, and may or may not have put in one jumper.
In the end, one of the coax connectors now received power from your independent supply.
The other connector hooked to the LNBF-to-receiver coax (maybe through a diplexer).
Thread should be easy to find; Pendragon hasn't started all that many threads. :)
And with any luck, maybe he even used the same motor. ;)

Wrong motor. Here's the thread I was thinking about:
Naughty Mods I: DG-380 Separate Drive Power
Last edited:


SatelliteGuys Master
May 6, 2005
Metro New Orleans, LA
The bolt inside the tube is one bolt of interest, but the actual backlash adjustment is under the sticker that says "WARRANTY VOID IF SEAL IS BROKEN". The bolt inside the tube should be checked for tightness first. It is the bolt that connects the tube to the actual motor shaft. On the SG9120B, this hex bolt is on the outside of the tube, in the same orientation as it is on the SG-2100 motors. To get at the actual backlash adjustment bolt, which is a much smaller hex bolt, you must remove the forbidden sticker ;) ...
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