Requesting help with some basics for a motorized installation.

I'm perpetually confused over terminology so bare with me.
I'm located in south Birmingham. I have a 0.8m dish mounted to a H-H motor.
I've bought a Amiko A6 combo receiver/media device.

First thing is to point the dish south. But how do I find true south? My latitude is 52.4 & longitude is1.85
Ive read lots of guides - but surely there's a tool somewhere to dial this up from my location?

From the Latitude I understand I adjust the angle of the motor mount - so 52.4 degrees - is this correct?

For the rest I'm very confused about.

Do I set the dish's declination to a satellite of my choice and align the zero position on the motor to align with it or do I keep the motor zeroed to due south ?

I think the H-H mount has an angle of 35 degrees. For my location the declination angle given in tables is 7.4, so I think my dish has to be angled by 35-7.4=27.6 degrees.

But I have read suggestions that you align everything to the reference satellite. I'm assuming a reference one is one you choose to use the most.

Are both viable approaches?
In my location I have a greater arc of view for the east than for the west.

The amiko I have has no means to display the number of steps the motor has moved. Is this normal? I find I'm having to run in and out the house to work out where the dish has moved to. Very user-unfriendly.

Finally, USALS. This just doesn't work for me. I've set my lat and long. But its goes wildly out of position. Is there a trick to getting this to work?

Cheers guys (& gals). I appreciate any help you can give me.
I did manage to get a few satellites working but later thought I had things positioned wrong. But since I've lost it all again. Well I have one. But I figure my arc just happens to catch one satellite correctly by chance. Once I understand the principles - I'm confident I can get things back on track.
 

bmitie

Member
No the first thing is to make sure the rig is 100% straight. What fixings are you using? Can you say exact model of that receiver? What is the make of the motor? Don't worry about due south but at 1pm look at sun that's due south.

Have you a motorised channel list on receiver?

1. Put motor at 0. 2. Select a channel on 0.8west, say aljeezera. Dish will move, now go and move whole rig to get a picture. Then you tweak settings ie motor elevation or latitude. You need 2 channels one vertical the other HoriZontal. The god channel is another one. But before you start everything has to be dead straight and level. You only need 2 settings dish elevation, motor elevation/latitude.

USALS is easy peasy and the best. I don't have your receiver but USALS is same so you put in above figures and you are west. 001.85 WEST
52.4 NORTH

With USALS you can use any satellite but 0.8west is good as when dish is at 0 it only has to move a fraction and 0.8west has a nice signal level.
The book that came w.th motor should have a chart but this is from dishpointer.com for you.

Dish Setup Data
Motor Latitude: 52.4° = 1
Dish Elevation: 22° = 2

That's all you need

And lnb is dead straight.

Don't overcomplicate things. Its dead easy. You can use a smartphone to point due south etc.
 

Arrowflash

Newbie
Thread starter
Fast response- thank you.

"No the first thing is to make sure the rig is 100% straight. What fixings are you using?"

The pole is as true to vertical as I can make it. Its well secured to a wall by two angle iron metal brackets.
I originally had the pole for a system I installed years ago. It worked then OK. All Ive done now is buy a new motor and LNB.

" Can you say exact model of that receiver? "

Amiko A6 combo, but after watching youtube videos, mine has the square casing. It seems OK but I don't like being unable to see how many increments or steps the positioner takes.

"What is the make of the motor? "

Not sure I can. I may have lost the paperwork. Ill search for it though. Its a made in taiwan assembly.

"Don't worry about due south but at 1pm look at sun that's due south."

Never look at the sun - but I understand what youre saying. Ive managed to use my phone and a compass. And yes I was being careful to not let the metal work affect the phone.

"Have you a motorised channel list on receiver?"

No. But it has the various - are they called bouquet - references with frequency and symbol rate.

"1. Put motor at 0.
2. Select a channel on 0.8west, say aljeezera. Dish will move, now go and move whole rig to get a picture. Then you tweak settings ie motor elevation or latitude. "

AH I see. So move the motor to where it thinks it should be then manually tweak it until it is. Good approach.

"You need 2 channels one vertical the other HoriZontal. "

Good tip - I like this!

"The god channel is another one. But before you start everything has to be dead straight and level. You only need 2 settings dish elevation, motor elevation/latitude."

I have checked and my dish has a typical 26 degree offset angle.
Ive started by setting the motor at an angle the same as my latitude. And if I target Thor 1, with my location and the 26 degree offset, I now believe I need a 4 degree angle on the dish. (Previously this was incorrect)

"USALS is easy peasy and the best. I don't have your receiver but USALS is same so you put in above figures and you are west. 001.85 WEST
52.4 NORTH"

I'll give this another try. I am just phased by not really seeing what its doing to mentally check its action - and getting nothing at all on the screen and knowing it was way off - put me off. But Ill try again.



"With USALS you can use any satellite but 0.8west is good as when dish is at 0 it only has to move a fraction and 0.8west has a nice signal level.
The book that came w.th motor should have a chart but this is from dishpointer.com for you."

"Dish Setup Data
Motor Latitude: 52.4° = 1
Dish Elevation: 22° = 2"

I shall look at this. ON first sight its confusing me though.

"That's all you need"

Thanks

"And lnb is dead straight."

For thor- though I'm sure it wont matter, it says a squew angle of 0.8 (?)

"Don't overcomplicate things. Its dead easy. You can use a smartphone to point due south etc."

I was getting hung up about the true south and magnetic south. But I can see your approach to setting up partially gets round this. cheers.


A throw in comment too- when looking up channels for various satellites, so many seem to be wrong and contradictory. And many use different names. Very bewildering when youre searching for facts.
 

pieeater2015

TK Veteran
Fast response- thank you.

"No the first thing is to make sure the rig is 100% straight. What fixings are you using?"

The pole is as true to vertical as I can make it. Its well secured to a wall by two angle iron metal brackets.
I originally had the pole for a system I installed years ago. It worked then OK. All Ive done now is buy a new motor and LNB.

" Can you say exact model of that receiver? "

Amiko A6 combo, but after watching youtube videos, mine has the square casing. It seems OK but I don't like being unable to see how many increments or steps the positioner takes.

"What is the make of the motor? "

Not sure I can. I may have lost the paperwork. Ill search for it though. Its a made in taiwan assembly.

"Don't worry about due south but at 1pm look at sun that's due south."

Never look at the sun - but I understand what youre saying. Ive managed to use my phone and a compass. And yes I was being careful to not let the metal work affect the phone.

"Have you a motorised channel list on receiver?"

No. But it has the various - are they called bouquet - references with frequency and symbol rate.

"1. Put motor at 0.
2. Select a channel on 0.8west, say aljeezera. Dish will move, now go and move whole rig to get a picture. Then you tweak settings ie motor elevation or latitude. "

AH I see. So move the motor to where it thinks it should be then manually tweak it until it is. Good approach.

"You need 2 channels one vertical the other HoriZontal. "

Good tip - I like this!

"The god channel is another one. But before you start everything has to be dead straight and level. You only need 2 settings dish elevation, motor elevation/latitude."

I have checked and my dish has a typical 26 degree offset angle.
Ive started by setting the motor at an angle the same as my latitude. And if I target Thor 1, with my location and the 26 degree offset, I now believe I need a 4 degree angle on the dish. (Previously this was incorrect)

"USALS is easy peasy and the best. I don't have your receiver but USALS is same so you put in above figures and you are west. 001.85 WEST
52.4 NORTH"

I'll give this another try. I am just phased by not really seeing what its doing to mentally check its action - and getting nothing at all on the screen and knowing it was way off - put me off. But Ill try again.



"With USALS you can use any satellite but 0.8west is good as when dish is at 0 it only has to move a fraction and 0.8west has a nice signal level.
The book that came w.th motor should have a chart but this is from dishpointer.com for you."

"Dish Setup Data
Motor Latitude: 52.4° = 1
Dish Elevation: 22° = 2"

I shall look at this. ON first sight its confusing me though.

"That's all you need"

Thanks

"And lnb is dead straight."

For thor- though I'm sure it wont matter, it says a squew angle of 0.8 (?)

"Don't overcomplicate things. Its dead easy. You can use a smartphone to point due south etc."

I was getting hung up about the true south and magnetic south. But I can see your approach to setting up partially gets round this. cheers.


A throw in comment too- when looking up channels for various satellites, so many seem to be wrong and contradictory. And many use different names. Very bewildering when youre searching for facts.

Have a watch off this it will give you an idea of what you need to do
 

Drbox

TK Veteran
What motor do you have? On your motor, you should have some latitude and elevation markings. Set them to your latitude.

I’ve just been setting up mine over the past few weeks.
1. Mount the motor on the pole.
2. Make sure motor is at zero, use the east-west button if need be
3. Mount the dish on the motor. Make sure it is dead centre.
4. Drive the motor to the Thor using the receiver.
5. Then move the dish and motor in together to where you think Thor is.
6. Adjust the elevation of the dish. Don’t worry about the exact numbers for this part as they’re just a guide.

If you’re having trouble finding Thor, do steps 4-6 using an easier Sat like 28e. And then move the dish to Thor using the receiver and fine tune there.
 
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Arrowflash

Newbie
Thread starter
What motor do you have? On your motor, you should have some latitude and elevation markings. Set them to your latitude.

I’ve just been setting up mine over the past few weeks.
1. Mount the motor on the pole.
2. Make sure motor is at zero, use the east-west button if need be
3. Mount the dish on the motor. Make sure it is dead centre.
4. Drive the motor to the Thor using the receiver.
5. Then move the dish and motor in together to where you think Thor is.
6. Adjust the elevation of the dish. Don’t worry about the exact numbers for this part as they’re just a guide.

If you’re having trouble finding Thor, do steps 4-6 using an easier Sat like 28e. And then move the dish to Thor using the receiver and fine tune there.

The motor is a DiSEqc H-H Motor by Technomate, a TM-2300M3.

I'm having a little more success following an earlier response.
I'm as confident as I can be that I'm vertical and now pointing due south with a move to see Thor at 0.8west successful.

I need to tweak my declination angle- which isn't easy on my rather crude dish. It has no fine tuning, I have to loosen bracket and lift the bloody thing by hand (its a 1.1 m dish)

At the moment I have three satellites close to south pole working. But as soon as I go further from south it loses it all.

There are latitude and declination markings. I'm setting it to my latitude. 52.4

Ive even had success using USALS. By motoring it to the Thor position, from the centre position, I then rotated the dish to get the satellite. Then clamped it up. And two other satellites were readily accessible. I might have entered my own location wrongly on previous occasions. Its the only explanation why I had such crazy things going on before.

The sat at 28.2 east is so strong I can almost point a coat hangar to the south and get it. Although at the moment I have lost is because my declination must be wrong. Hopefully - if the weather stays dry- I'll nail it all today.
 

Drbox

TK Veteran
The motor is a DiSEqc H-H Motor by Technomate, a TM-2300M3.
Then your declination on the motor will be very similar to mine.

I need to tweak my declination angle- which isn't easy on my rather crude dish. It has no fine tuning, I have to loosen bracket and lift the bloody thing by hand (its a 1.1 m dish)
It sounds like you have a triax. I have a maxx digital dish that was a pain to use, and @Fez gave me the tip to use penny washers which made the world of difference.

At the moment I have three satellites close to south pole working. But as soon as I go further from south it loses it all.

It could be that the dish is not centred on the motor. Do you have any pictures?
 

Ferret.

VIP Member
Ive even had success using USALS. By motoring it to the Thor position, from the centre position, I then rotated the dish to get the satellite. Then clamped it up. And two other satellites were readily accessible. I might have entered my own location wrongly on previous occasions. Its the only explanation why I had such crazy things going on before.
So using usuals you moved the dish to thor, now you say you rotated the dish to get the satellite if thats what you did you did it wrong. The dish should be central to the mark on the motor down tube.

Do this

Make sure the dish is central on the motor down tube with the mark this has to be 100%

Move the dish to 0.8w with usuals.

Now to peak signal loosen the clamps holding the motor dish assembly to the motors mounting pole and max out the signal. Tighten the motors bolts evenly in a diagonal fashion making sure you dont loose any signal.

Now adjust the dish elevation to max out the signal, as above from Drbox penny or repair washer allow a bit more clamping force to help the dish adjustment glide.

Thats all there is to it.
 

Arrowflash

Newbie
Thread starter
I'm getting better. USALS now works - sort of. I can grab a few satellites now. But something is bugging me.
If I concentrate only to satellites in the east, I can line up on one OK, and the nearest will work ok too. But when I wind round a few more degrees I get no satellite. But is I turn it backwards manually using DISEQ I pick the satellite up.
I'm trying to envision the effect of the inclination angle on this - but I'm just not sure. Is my USALS arc appears wider than the actual position of satellites - might it mean I need to tweak up my motor axis angle and compensate with the declination angle to get back on track?
I'm fairly certain my post is vertical. Previously I was struggling because the bracket I have my dish mounted on was upside down. Sounds daft, but there's not much in it - except the angles were wrong. Once spotted and sorted Ive had the better results, but still get this USALS arc being wider than the actual placement of satellites.
 

Drbox

TK Veteran
I think it may be the elevation on your motor, what is yours now? I had a similar issue and had to adjust that.
 

Arrowflash

Newbie
Thread starter
52.5 degrees. On the "Elevation" scale its 35 degrees. Hmmn, its high isn't it? I'll adjust it closer to the 30 figure and see what that does.
I might have a go at that tomorrow, weather permitting.
 

Ferret.

VIP Member
52.5 degrees. On the "Elevation" scale its 35 degrees. Hmmn, its high isn't it? I'll adjust it closer to the 30 figure and see what that does.
I might have a go at that tomorrow, weather permitting.
Mate if your Lattitude is 52.5 then the lattitude on the motor scale should be set at 52.5 if you have a elevation scale on your motor not latitude then you subtract your lattitude from 90 52.5 from 90 giving you 37.5 so 35 is no good . Its then your dish elevation that needs to be adjusted but that is usually done by finding the strongest signal on the reference sat you are using.

All the above has to be done on a 100% plumb mounting pole the pole your motor clamps to if thats not 100% you wont track the arc properly. On top of that when the motor is at zero your motor and dish rig must be 100% central to each other in that you could draw a straight line through the centre of both of them.
 
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Arrowflash

Newbie
Thread starter
I started from there. And the pole is vertical also. And I get this strange overshoot from the motor as soon as I go far from the satellite I line up to.
I'll try moving it. I can always go back to where I started from.
I used to be good at visioning arcs of movement etc, as I was trained as a draughtsman many moons ago. But thats all failing me now. I just cant make sense why I can line up to two or three then overshoot one further way. Only by moving it manually back a little I can get the other satellites.
I could be off the target arc I suppose, but to pick up three or four then overshoot another but be able to get it manually is puzzling me.

Maybe I need a drink or three. Then it'll all line up perfectly.
I take your point, I might be too low to begin with. But Ive used the latitude scale and in my opinion it was spot on. But they're referenced to a nut so there's room for some error. As Ive said I'll try a few settings and gradually home into the right position.

Just an after thought- not necessarily related to my problem. Those H-H motors are very poor quality. They rotate about 4 degrees with play in the shaft and drive system. But their saving grace is they seem to locate very well - presumably taking the weight of the dish to drive it to one end of its travel.
 

Ferret.

VIP Member
I started from there. And the pole is vertical also. And I get this strange overshoot from the motor as soon as I go far from the satellite I line up to.
I'll try moving it. I can always go back to where I started from.
I used to be good at visioning arcs of movement etc, as I was trained as a draughtsman many moons ago. But thats all failing me now. I just cant make sense why I can line up to two or three then overshoot one further way. Only by moving it manually back a little I can get the other satellites.
I could be off the target arc I suppose, but to pick up three or four then overshoot another but be able to get it manually is puzzling me.

Maybe I need a drink or three. Then it'll all line up perfectly.
I take your point, I might be too low to begin with. But Ive used the latitude scale and in my opinion it was spot on. But they're referenced to a nut so there's room for some error. As Ive said I'll try a few settings and gradually home into the right position.

Just an after thought- not necessarily related to my problem. Those H-H motors are very poor quality. They rotate about 4 degrees with play in the shaft and drive system. But their saving grace is they seem to locate very well - presumably taking the weight of the dish to drive it to one end of its travel.
What motor do you have, most motors have a backlash adjustment to compensate for play in the shaft !

On your coordinates WEST is a minus figure is that what you have done ?
 

bmitie

Member
"But they're referenced to a nut so there's room for some error". This is not the case, look carefully and you should see a pointer, its ahead of the nut. Look carefully at the pic above by Dr Hook and zoom in. With the problems you are having I would say the rig is not straight ie it does not correspond to the 3 red dots as shown in the video above. Also you don't say if you are using a spirit level to make sure everything is level. Its hard to find a manual for that motor but if you have the manual it will have a chart at the rear to show you the correct angles for the dish and the motor. I am at the same latitude as you but I use a dark motor so my dish elevation is 27.5 but for your technomate 2300 the dish elevation would be 22.5. I think you may be missing the point on why you 0.8w. When you get a signal from 0.8west you now have to peak the signal for H and V. There is no point moving to another dish until you have got best possible signal. So set dish at 22.7 and motor at 52.4 now go to 0.8W. I very rarely change the dish elevation but always the motor elevation. You have to tune the lnb as well by moving it in and out to get best possible signal on V and H. I note you have a new lnb and you may have put it back exactly as the old one but MAKE SURE LNB IS DEAD STRAIGHT WHEN MOTOR IS AT ZERO. The movement of the motors adjusts the skew for each satellite.

The readings I gave you above, if the rig was straight and lnb was tuned correctly you would have got a good signal on 0.8w from the outset. I dont know amiko but I assume it has a signal meter. How are you reading signal strength? I have a 1.1m triax and on god channel I get 84% quality and on al jazeera its 94%, this is normal for V and H. Its a black ultra lnb and a VU DUO2 receiver. Its openvix image and that gives a higher signal than say openatv but you should get very high as well.
 

Arrowflash

Newbie
Thread starter
Youre written a lot. thank you. I'll study these and see what I can do.
Ive had much better success. Ive aligned to about seven satellite's. Although a couple are quite weak. The stupid Amiko device hangs if the signals so poor it cant build the picture. Very annoying. I'm still only really getting satellites in the eastern quarter.
Ive fiddled with the LNB, which is new. So far its not made any appreciable difference so for now I have it set to zero (no squew).
I used a couple of spirit levels on the pole. But I actually found a mobile phone had more precision and repeatability.
I think my dish and motor angles may be out. Its quite hard making fine adjustments. And both also have considerable play and movement in them. Thius movement is a magnitude greater than the adjustments I'm making. Just seems strange to me to seek out fine adjustments when its basically incapable in the first place. This is just my engineering hat on - I'm not blaming this for my problems.
I'm pretty happy with what Ive got but know there's more satellites I don't detect. So I shall tweak and fiddle a little more.
I use the pair of signal strength and quality indicators on the screen. I might buy one of those hand held units but need to get a bit of spare cash first for that.
Pulling or tweaking the dish is an art I cant do. Any signal change doesn't help me when trying to re-adjust. So I'm pencilling on marks and moving things a bit to try and peak things a bit. I might invent a long-jack or something to move the motor too. Its just a bit too heavy to make fine adjustments accurately. I expect more expensive larger set ups have threaded adjusters for fine movements. Its a shame this isn't universally provided on all equipment.
 
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