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Thread: motorized dish tutorial

  1. #1
    Senior Member kirky1423's Avatar
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    motorized dish tutorial

    My motor setup tutorial

    Installing a motorised satellite system

    Most people that install a motorised satellite system do so because they are not happy with all of the repeats that Sky show, because of curiosity, channels in their native tongue or maybe for the various sport or other channels

    Installing a motorised satellite system is a challenge but well worth the time spent. For this tutorial I will assume that you are going to wall mount your dish but if not you will be glad to know that most of the information here will still apply to you.

    Following the instructions found here you should be able to have a fully working system within 3-4 hours.

    You will need:

    A satellite receiver
    A satellite dish
    An LNB
    T & K brackets
    A pole
    A motor
    Satellite cable
    F plugs etc to make the connections
    A satellite Meter
    A compass
    Ladder
    Toolbox

    Advice on what to buy

    Determine what you want to watch i.e. movies, music, documentaries or whatever you can get as this will determine what satellite receiver you buy. Some receivers can be patched with software to allow you to view pay TV but others may require you to buy a conditional access module which you would have to program in order to view encrypted channels. There are receivers out there that use software to emulate these cam's but these types of boxes are usually for enthusiasts only and are quite expensive i.e. Dreambox.

    Your best bet is to buy something that can be upgraded in the future but also very simple for you to use and for this purpose I would recommend a Technomate satellite receiver. The Technomate 1500 CI+ would be my choice as it represents good value and is so simple a young child could operate it.

    Buying a complete kit is a good way of saving money and you know that everything you have purchased was designed to work together.

    Satellite dishes can be thought of as very ugly devices but there are ways of disguising your dish. Metal dishes can be sprayed with car paint to help them blend into the surroundings or you may want to by a transparent satellite dish made of polycarbonates which for installations near the seaside are brilliant as they do not rust. New products are always being developed to help people disguise their satellite installations. As with allot of things size really does matter but due to the local council's dislike of satellite dishes you may not get planning permission for anything to large and your neighbours may complain if the dish obstructs a view from their property so I would recommend not going for a dish any bigger than 90cm though you can always risk a bigger dish and hope that nobody notices. Bigger dishes are essential for picking up weaker signals.

    You want to buy a universal LNB and preferably 0.3db. The lower the number the better the picture quality will be. Universal means that the LNB is not fixed to only receiving channels on a certain band.

    The motor should support Diseqc 1.2, Goto X and USALS as should your satellite receiver. USALS stand for Universal Satellite Automatic Locator System and use your longitude and latitude in order to track the satellites positioned above the Clarke belt. Having USALS will make things simple so it's a good thing to have. The Moteck Digipower 2100A would be my choice as it supports all of the above and can turn from 75E to 75W. This motor can be driven using buttons on the base of the unit which helps to set the dish up quickly. It also moves quite quickly so you don't have to wait so long when moving from one satellite to another.

    Starting the install

    A dry warm weekend is best for this preferably when your partner is out shopping or something. Start by looking for a neighbours Sky satellite dish and look where the dish arm is pointing. As we are in the North and the satellites circle the equator we know that our dish has to have a clear view of the south. Alternatively use a compass for a more precise reading. Look at your home and decide where the best place to mount the dish will be. Mine is on the side of my house just above the roof so it has an unobstructed view of the Sky both East to West.

    Once you have decided where the dish will go you need to fix the brackets to the wall. Opinions differ as to how these should be fitted to the wall but I prefer to have the K at the top as I believe it adds greater stability to the dish especially in high winds. The brackets should be approximately 1m apart. You will need strong bolts in order to get a good fixing.

    Once complete you will need to attach the pole using U clamps and make sure that the pole is 100% vertical. This is the most important thing you will do so make sure it's spot on and check with either a spirit level or inclinometer.
    A hammer may be needed to tap the brackets and pole in order to get things completely level.

    Once complete go and have a cup of tea and read the instruction leaflet that came with your dish. Dish assembly is quite straight forward.

    Unpack the motor and flick through the instructions. There should be a chart which tells you what to set the inclination and declination to on your motor and satellite dish based on your latitude. If you don't know what your latitude and longitude are you can visit www.multimap.com and type in your post code. Your latitude and longitude will be displayed under the picture of the map.

    Now would be a good time to wire up the LNB to the motor. Pre made cables for this purpose are available.

    Set the motor and dish to the settings given in the motor manual and triple check everything as it's far easier to work on the dish when it's on ground level. Now bolt the dish to the motor insuring that the motor is set to 0 degrees and that the dish goes on completely central. Again this is an important step so make sure it’s accurate.

    Take the dish up the ladder and bolt it onto the pole making sure the dish will not be obstructed by anything. Using a compass find magnetic south and adjust to find true south. A map that shows the magnetic variation for your location is helpful but not essential as you can turn the dish manually and raise and lower the dish as long as the brackets are loosened.

    As a general rule you want to find the closest satellite to your longitude, which will always be the highest satellite in the Sky and gives you a better chance of tracking the arc, in my case I chose Thor 1W (If you were in Dublin say, you would be better with Atlantic Bird at 5W).

    Plug in your satellite receiver and run a cable outside so that you can plug in your satellite meter. Satellite meters take power from the receiver so the receiver will need to be on and not just in standby. A good meter for this purpose is the Digisat Pro satellite meter. Connect your cable from the receiver and another cable to the motor and gently move the dish side to side and up and down until you get the best possible signal. Once complete you can tighten up the brackets and run a new satellite cable from the motor to the satellite receiver.

    Satellite cables come in 3 main colours which are white, brown and black. You should use the colour of cable that is most pleasing to the eye. I find black cable is best suited to brick houses.

    You should now weatherproof your hard work with silicone and tape and make sure that the cables are long enough that should the dish move a long way in one direction that the cables will not be stretched or damaged.

    You can now set your receiver to USALS and start scanning and storing satellites.
    It is advisable to check which satellites you can receive for your size / type of dish on the satellite forums. You may need to tweak your setup a little to get a good signal on all satellites.


    That's all there is to it.

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  4. #2
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    Kirky1423 just read your tutorial it very good but if you can get your dish close to the ground it can help with high wind problems

  5. #3
    Member BeBeINC's Avatar
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    Here is something i don't understand, the 0 point on my motor should focus the dish to the highest satellite or to the middle point (around 0 like Astra 2E) ?
    This is my position: http://img594.imageshack.us/img594/2896/5gx4.png

    My receiver comes today so i didn't set the dish yet or read the manual.

  6. #4
    Security Admin echelon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeBeINC View Post
    Here is something i don't understand, the 0 point on my motor should focus the dish to the highest satellite or to the middle point (around 0 like Astra 2E) ?
    This is my position: http://img594.imageshack.us/img594/2896/5gx4.png

    My receiver comes today so i didn't set the dish yet or read the manual.
    the zero point on the motor always points at true south which is also the highest satellite for your location

    so for example, if your longitude was 13e your zero point would point at hotbird at 13e

    this is why its best to setup a receiver with a channel list and add your latitude and longitude in usals, now let usals send the motor to a known reference satellite, like say 13e hotbird

    now you setup on hotbird and usals states that once one satellite has been found, the rest all fall in line, you may need to tweak your alignment slightly but usals is designed to make the process easier

    the problem happens when people think that the zero pointer should point to the zero longitude of the greenwich meridian (the greenwich observatory in greenwich, london)
    that statement is correct if you lived in greenwich, or say leeds , here in the uk

    its totally incorrect for rumania or cork or dublin or istanbul

    for diseqc 1.2 working you have to calculate this disparity , but usals does it all for you, hence the long names that acronym stands for (google it)

    so for 26e you would have your zero pointer pointing to the arabian sats at 26e , and not 0.8w like we may do here in england

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    To find the true south I always use dishpointerdotcom put in your postcode and it will show an aerial photo view of your site. choose whatever satellite is highest for your site and the software will draw a line on this photo. Later you can fine tune the mount using a satellite meter as per varies postings.

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    Hi guys,

    I am just realigning my system after purchasing a new motor and larger triax dish.

    I have read the above, but would like a little more assistance.

    True south should be the highest point of the arc. but if I am using USALS to locate the sats.

    Should I enter my position (longitude and latitude) into my receiver and then select Thor 0.8W before trying to locate the signal?

    This would mean that the motor is no longer pointing on zero, but using usals it would make sense to me to move the motor to 0.8W before trying to locate the signal?

    Also, does anybody know the best FTA frequency to locate on Thor as I have not been on there for a while (I live in Oxfordshire, so Thor is my highest point of the arc)?

    Lastly, I have not been able to accurately set my dish up at right angles to the motor arm (when set at zero) before mounting due to the weight and awkwardness.

    Does anybody have any good tips on how to achieve this with any accuracy other that eye lining it through?

    What often sounds simple can throw up quite a few anomalies?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated as always.

    Chris

  11. #7
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    Yes, the point of using Usals is to get zero pointing at due south, which is your longitude reading. When entering your co-ordinates remember negative longitude readings = West, positive = East.
    The Triax brackets are known to be a little awkward but owners like the dishes performance, once set up.
    Try BBC World News 10778 H 24500 or Sky News International 12418 V 28000

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  13. #8
    Member amdaley's Avatar
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    New on this site.
    Its been about ten years since I was last involved in Satellite but I will be setting up my 1.2mt dish again shortly
    My longitude is 10.2 West which would make 11W EXPRESS-AM 44 the highest sat in my arc.
    Does anyone know if there is anything on this sat in Ku band ?

  14. #9
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    Check lyngsat.com, or other satellite sites.
    There are a few, using the S1 beam, but I can't see a map, for dish size required.
    Code:
    http://www.lyngsat.com/Express-AM44.html

    Found link to official beam map:
    Code:
    http://eng.rscc.ru/171/197/198/
    Last edited by Mickha; 11-07-2014 at 08:55 PM.

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    Hi Guys,

    First of all thank you for this post, very interesting.
    I am new in the Satellite field. Please could you recommend me a good kit for a motorized satellite dish.

    Thank you
    A

  17. #11
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    Can you first please check where you will need to site your dish, to get a reasonable satellite arc, 52E to 30W.
    You can use dishpointer.com, to check where it's best to site it.
    If you're lucky, and have an open, south facing, garden, then installation, and maintenance, is a lot easier.
    If it has to go above roof level then you need some quality brackets, and a very sturdy pole.
    A lot depends on your general location, budget, andf requirements, which satellites you want to view, which might require a larger dish.
    Please post back, with the relevant information, and amybe a moderator can move your post to its own thread.

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  19. #12
    V.I.P ManikM's Avatar
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    Hi guys, what bolts should be used for the T&K brackets?
    Going to be installed in new home...cant remember what I used at previous location.

  20. #13
    Senior Member Mobley2's Avatar
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    Always used Rawlbolts myself, and never had a problem.

    regards mobley2

  21. #14
    In the beeches
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    Everyone has their favourite method, pluses and minuses with each.

    I used to use Rawlbolts and cracked a few bricks, so now I prefer plastic wall plugs. 10 mm plastic plugs and 10 mm coach screws with a bolt head.

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  23. #15
    V.I.P TheBadger's Avatar
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    I like Multi-Monti's. Similar to Burnham but no plugs involved as they screw in cutting their own thread in a pre-drilled hole. Great near edges/corners.

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