Wing nuts on the elevation? (1 Viewer)

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penguinsix

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SatelliteGuys Guru
Oct 4, 2005
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My dish is a few points off and I'm getting tired of adjusting it.

For example, on IA-5, I get about 40 quality. But, while I'm out there, if I put a little pressue on the top of the dish and pull it back a bit, I go up to about 70 quality. This is part of the 'wiggle' or 'play' that exists in my setup -- a sort of softness that I can move by hand but if I let go it goes back down.

Now, I can unscrew the elevation bolts and try to move the dish up 1/4 of an inch or so, but this almost always results in my screwing everything up and going down to quality of 0 or so. Took about an hour to get back to where I started last time.

Would something like a wing nut make this process easier? Something where I could control the nut easier (than spinning around a wrench) and make the process simpler, or, if you have tried it, is it too loose?
 

Othea

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 13, 2004
176
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Wing nut

It sounds to me like you are adjusting your dish, then running back inside to see if the signal is stronger or weaker. That can take hours or days. You need to adjust your dish using a signal meter or, as I do, place a tv set in your line of sight so that you can SEE when you have the strongest signal, then tighten your bolts. Once you can SEE what you are doing, this shouldn't take more than a couple of minutes at most.

If your mount is not solid, you will end up having to readjust on a regular basis. Reinforce your mount.

In short, I don't see how wing nuts could really help unless someone were doing an installation while hanging upside down on a ladder perched on trash can. But even then, one would have to wonder just how much another nut could make thing go smoother.
 

123tim

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 22, 2005
355
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Pennsylvania
penguinsix said:
This is part of the 'wiggle' or 'play' that exists in my setup -- a sort of softness that I can move by hand but if I let go it goes back down.
This won't be of any help, but my dish is the same way. The "friction" plate on mine has a lot of play until it's really cranked down. By the time it's tight, the antenna is likely to have moved out of adjustment. I have a Fortec 90 cm dish - If this is what you have, I doubt that you'd be able to get enough compression using wing nuts (Unless you're super-human :))

This is something that you started me wondering about. I'm not saying that it would work.... I wonder what would happen if fairly heavy compression springs were placed between the dish and antenna mount? Then (theoretically) the nuts could be tightened or slightly loosened to fine tune the antenna. One potential problem is that the antenna might distort (probably). Another is that the focal point of the antenna would change in relation to the lnb. My lnb is pushed close to the antenna, so I would have room for adjustment.
Just something to think about.
Good luck!

Edit- Just another thought (most likely unrelated to your problem.) I remember Pete saying something about changing the shape of the dish (and power level) by pulling on it. Just something else to think about. :)
 
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Larry1

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 24, 2005
1,576
114
Port Hope, ON Canada
If you have two bolts to lock the elevation, try just loosing them up enough for you can force the elevation to change. Only very small movements are needed and it is quite tricky to get them to move only a small amount. Use slow turns of the wrench when tightening them in place. Another problem is the pivot bolt for the elevation usually has enough play in it that it can also change the elevation when you tighten it down. Even my StarChoice dish with the bolt to adjust the elevation has way too much movement without turning the bolt. Someday a project of mine is to drill out the pivot bolt hole on my dish and put in a larger bolt to remove the play in it. That will remove some of the play when trying to tweek the dish. It really just takes a lot of patience any retrying to get it peaked properly. This is one area of the dish that most manufacturers seem to not put much engineering or quality into. Afterall, once it is properly peaked, most dishes will not have it adjusted again.
 

123tim

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 22, 2005
355
0
Pennsylvania
Larry1 said:
Another problem is the pivot bolt for the elevation usually has enough play in it that it can also change the elevation when you tighten it down. .

Always the problem that I have. :(
 

TiminMb

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 10, 2005
700
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Winnipeg, Manitoba
I'd like to see a mount where it has turnbuckles or threaded elevation adjustments. That way you turn a screw or nut 1/4 turn, the signal peaks, and you are done. Nothing else after that to lock it down.
 

Iceberg

The No Pain Train
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
282
35
None Your Business
My C-Band dish is the same way. There is one bolt but when you lock it down, it moves forward a smidge, which can mean marginal vs. good signal
 

Larry1

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 24, 2005
1,576
114
Port Hope, ON Canada
TiminMb said:
I'd like to see a mount where it has turnbuckles or threaded elevation adjustments. That way you turn a screw or nut 1/4 turn, the signal peaks, and you are done. Nothing else after that to lock it down.

These types of adjustments would be very helpfull. On my motor I put a piece of angle steel across the one u-bolt and out to one side. It then has a threaded rod going back to my mounting post. Makes it extremely easy for making very slight adjustments to the motor turning on the pole. I actually put it there to also firm up the motor from turning, as it mounts on one of the pipes of a TV tower. This type of adjustment on the elevation would be very easy to fabricate as well, but would add to the weight. The adjustments need to be fine enought that one turn would only make a slight adjustment and you could see the signal quality rise or lowe slightly. The pivot point seems to be one place to start as the bolt in it usually has a lot of play, making any adjustment hard to adjust. Just replacing the pivot bolt with one that would fit tightly for the play is eliminated is a start I would recomend.
Your turnbuckle or screw sounds like a good idea, but would still need a locking nut for it does not turn with any vibration.
 

sdoradus

SatelliteGuys Guru
Oct 28, 2005
147
0
My 1M has a channel master screw drive to set elevation. When mounting the SG 2100 I ignored the motor elevation settings on its mounting plate, slapped it against the CM head and made up an offset elevation plate out of some 6061 aluminum 1/4 in plate I had laying around. Fine tuning elevation is a breeze with those older CM heads. Haven't seen a new one but would hope they havent changed much.
 

digiblur

SatelliteGuys Master
Jun 8, 2005
14,190
2
Louisiana
I know exactly what you mean! When I was setting up my 90cm dish I had more trouble setting that thing up than I did with the 10 footer I setup 10 years ago. And that was my first dish install, and I just copied what I saw on a 7 footer. The elevation nut was nice, turned it with a wrench to get the correct elevation.

The 90cm install with a motor was definately a fun experience, and still is!
 

penguinsix

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Guru
Oct 4, 2005
120
0
I look at a bike derailer as a comparison....

Wouldn't it be nice if you could have a mounting bracket that could allow for massive shifts (i.e. the bolt that we all currently have) but then a secondary system (like the screws on a bike derailer) for finer adjustments? It would probably have to be a wratchet type system that would move it in 1 degree increments, but then a smaller 'adjustment barrel' or something that would allow 'fine tuning'.

That would be nice.
 
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