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Thread: Help needed for using Diseqc

  1. #1

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    Help needed for using Diseqc

    Hi everyone
    For the past 40 years (truly!) we have been using a 1.25m motorized dish with a 36v, 3-wire motor attached to a Superjack II "DiseqC 1.2" Positioner. I had about 10 satellites programmed. We have a VU+2 receiver. So 4 dish wires and Coax -> Superjack -> VU+

    At the end of March a hurricane decided to visit our village in NW Switzerland and not only was our dish forced about 50 eastwards, but also rotated clockwise about 15 and it also now has a dent from being blown inwards and springing back into shape. Because of the wind-forced west-east rotation, the motor is totally blocked and I can't move the dish using the controller in the living room. A local sat supplier came past 2 weeks ago and confirmed my suspicions that our sat dish needs to be replaced.
    About five years ago our daughter and her husband bought a 1.25m dish with a "normal" DiseqC motor which they took down after about six months and have now brought it to us.
    I would prefer to have a motor of the 36V type to use with my Superjack II, but if the supplier has trouble finding one, I would have to keep the "new" (ex-daughter) dish as it is.
    However I have absolutely no idea how to use it, how to set the various satellites - my main satellite is 28.2 E and I would like to set at least 19"E and 16.
    Setting up satellites with the Superjack system I would use the VU+ box menu to move the dish to a satellite, then give that satellite a number, then do the same with the next satellite. The positions were therefore stored in the Superjack Positioner. How is it done when you use a "normal" Diseqc motor ?

    Can anyone give me an Idiot's Guide ?

  2. #2
    abu baniaz's Avatar
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    For a dish using USALS/GoTo motor controls:
    If the dish is aligned correctly, you do not have to store positions etc. The software knows where and how far it should send the dish. You just enter your co-ordinates in tuner configuration.

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    abu baniaz's Avatar
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    Hardware setup:
    Code:
    https://www.world-of-satellite.com/showthread.php?18087-Fruitballs-Motorised-Installtion-Guide
    Tuner configuartion picture atatched

    The way I learnt to do a motorised setup: (1st point repeated to emphasise what not to do)


    1. Forget scanning and bouquets
    2. Forget scanning and bouquets
    3. Forget scanning and bouquets
    4. Reset motor. The TM receivers are brilliant at this.
    5. Send motor to "0"
    6. Install channel list on E2 receiver
    7. Configure tuner for USALS
    8. Select a service on a chosen satellite. Somewhere near middle of arc
    9. Tweak dish assembly to get best signal
    10. Select another service on another chosen satellite on western extremity
    11. Tweak dish assembly to get best signal
    12. Select another service on another chosen satellite on eastern extremity
    13. Tweak dish assembly to get best signal

    As you dish follows the arc, it should be simple


    Tuner configuration picture attached:
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Thanks VERY much, you two - and the Fruitballs-Motorised-Installtion-Guide.
    The sat man is coming "this week" (he's been saying that for two weeks) to install the dish. To be honest, I'm a bit wary of that USALS thing.
    With our previous-but-one motor, I had USALS set by mistake and when I was scanning for channels, the damn dish turned and turned and turned, twisted the cables round the mast, got stuck and burned the motor out....
    Since then, in my own printed sheet of dish settings and "how to find a satellite" I have DO NOT USE USALS in thick black letters..
    We'll see how it goes - maybe he can find a 36v motor after all, then I know where I am. Otherwise I will follow the instructions.
    Let's see how it goes.

    LATER; Just read through Fruitball's guide. He mentions a "reference satellite" for one's area and that there is a list online to find your own reference satellite. I can't find any such list, only stuff about GPS, Landsat imagery etc. What would mine be, for 7.31 E, 47 N?
    Last edited by Helvetica; 22-05-23 at 19:08.

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    Huevos's Avatar
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    How could the dish keep turning? USALS motors go from 75 west to 75 east. That is all. If the cable got damaged that was down to a bad install, not USALS.

    Once a dish with USALS is properly set up it just works. No need to set up positions. Just input your coordinates once and you're done.

    Most important thing is absolutely solid and vertical pole, and easy to get to. If it needs to be adjusted from a ladder it will never be set up properly.

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    When I set USALS that time, it did not know my coordinates. All I know is that the number on my SuperJack Positioner kept going up and up and up and then gave an error and there was a clanking noise on the roof. By the time I had got my husband (he was younger and more agile back then) up on the roof, we saw that the dish had turned through 180 degrees had dragged the cables around the mast and was still trying to turn.. So it was only a "bad install" insofar that I had USALS: Yes by mistake.
    The mast is VERY solid. And as far as using a ladder goes - the dish has to be 12m up the roof (two-thirds of the way up the roof) because there is a forest behind our house. If it was in an "easy" place, we would get no signal at all.

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    So a superjack positioner is not USALS capable. Also the hardware stops on the dish motor were set wrong because no setup should be able to inflict damage on itself even if the 36 volt box sends the wrong instructions.

    A modern DiSEqC motor understands USALS.

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    They couldn't fit the dish yet because the bracket attached to the DiSEqC is for a 70mm pole and our pole is 90 mm. We couldn't find an adapter (I called the companies who advertise here on the forum) but they couldn't help, so finally my husband welded something together.

    However, the dish is, as mentioned, about 2/3 up our roof and whilst searching for a suitable bracket a very knowledgable seller in England, who has been in the satellite business since the late 1970s told me that a 120cm dish is too big for a DiSEqC motor. I actually found our brand new, still boxed, spare, 36V Supermount motor in the loft but it will be a hassle for the techies to swap the DiSEqC motor for the Supermount. I measured the dish and it's more like 130 cm...

    The specs for the Stab HH120 motor have e.g.
    Maximum antenna diameter 120 cm
    Maximum antenna weight 17 kg
    Pole support diameter 50 – 83 mm

    The specs for the Gibertini OP 125 L dish has
    Reflector measurements (cm) 124.5 x 133.5
    Weight with alu reflector (kg) 15.1 kg

    So my question, does anyone else use this sized dish with a Diseqc motor - does anyone foresee any problems ?

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    Whatever you see on spec sheets you need to be realistic. For a DiSEqC motor I wouldn't go above 1.0m. The DiSEqC motor only has a 50mm stab and that is just not enough to holding power for a 1.2m dish in the wind. So even if it doesn't break the motor it will continually be going out of alignment. Also a dish that size that needs to be adjusted off a ladder is never going to get done properly. It is impossible to hold two spanners, a meter, adjust the dish and hold on to the ladder at the same time.

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    Well the techies came and installed the dish. We'll just have to risk it and see how it behaves in the wind.

    Then we tried to follow abu's instructions given above. We couldn't find any Reset Motor option in the VU+ but the motor appeared to be positioned at 0.
    We first entered my location, set USALS, etc etc and it just moved to and fro a bit (about 10 each way) and back to 0 no matter which satellite we then selected. We thought, "ah, it has sorted out the positions" but it hadn't - when we then selected a channel on Hotbird or Astra 19E or Astra 28 E, it did damn all....

    We finally did it manually by turning USALS off, finding Hotbird, setting that to Pos. 1, LNB 1, then finding Astra 19.2, setting that to Pos. 2, LNB 2 (it took a while before we realised that, unlike the Superjack positioner and VU+ which stored everything internally as LNB 1, the Diseqc needs a different "LNB number" - even though we only have one LNB - for each satellite) and doing the same for Astra 28 E as Pos. 3, LNB 3.
    At least it's working. I'll set my other satellites when I have time - it won't be as easy as it was with the Superjack with which I could calculate how far to turn the dish.

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    abu baniaz's Avatar
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    USALS motor controls does not use positions. It calculates where the motor/dish has to go based on the co-ordinates of where you located. (Based on what you tell it). Pity you were not able to physically set the motor to use USALS. It would have avoided having to save positions. Here is the guide for what you have decided/ended up doing:
    https://www.world-of-satellite.com/s...e-1-2-no-USALS

  12. #12

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    Hi Abu.
    At first we were able to set "Use USALS" to YES, but it didn't seem to work as it should.

    The problem we had was that when we were setting it up (after then setting USALS to NO), we found the first satellite (19E) and had the setting LNB to LNB 1 and saved it. As I mentioned before, we only have one physical LNB on our dish. When we found the second satellite (16E), we could not get a picture until the techie set the LNB to LNB 2 - then it worked. The same applies to the third satellite - when it was set to LNB 1 by default, it did not work, but it worked when we set the LNB for 28E (third satellite) to "LNB 3".
    Your "Set-Up PDF for not using USALS" is more or less how I used to set and save satellites using my 36v motor with SuperJack positioner and that all used "LNB 1".
    So it is weird that each satellite now seems to need a different LNB number. Could it be that this particular Diseqc motor requires it (Stab Rotor HH 120) ?

    However, when I have finished the translation work I am currently doing, I will go through that instruction pdf line by line.
    Thankyou very much for your constructive help.

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    Huevos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helvetica View Post
    Well the techies came and installed the dish. We'll just have to risk it and see how it behaves in the wind.

    Then we tried to follow abu's instructions given above. We couldn't find any Reset Motor option in the VU+ but the motor appeared to be positioned at 0.
    We first entered my location, set USALS, etc etc and it just moved to and fro a bit (about 10 each way) and back to 0 no matter which satellite we then selected. We thought, "ah, it has sorted out the positions" but it hadn't - when we then selected a channel on Hotbird or Astra 19E or Astra 28 E, it did damn all....

    We finally did it manually by turning USALS off, finding Hotbird, setting that to Pos. 1, LNB 1, then finding Astra 19.2, setting that to Pos. 2, LNB 2 (it took a while before we realised that, unlike the Superjack positioner and VU+ which stored everything internally as LNB 1, the Diseqc needs a different "LNB number" - even though we only have one LNB - for each satellite) and doing the same for Astra 28 E as Pos. 3, LNB 3.
    At least it's working. I'll set my other satellites when I have time - it won't be as easy as it was with the Superjack with which I could calculate how far to turn the dish.
    So why didn't the installer test it and get it working properly. If you enter your coordinates and it doesn't go to the correct place it means the "techies" haven't done it properly.

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    Huevos
    I prefer to receive constructive help such as that given by abu than just criticism. It WAS the installers who installed the dish, and set it up, one of them in the living room with the remote control and me translating and reading out abu's first instructions, and the other technician with an app or something on his phone and a satellite finder up on the roof checking the rotation, angle, elevation etc.

    You must understand that private dishes in Switzerland are EXTREMELY rare - everyone either has cable TV, digital terrestrial TV and/or streaming services. My husband and I are the only people for dozens of miles around who have their own dish.
    So - unlike places like Spain or England, where there seems to be a dish on every wall, - satellite installers are a VERY rare breed in Switzerland and we were lucky to find one relatively close, even with the usual Swiss high travel and labour costs.

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    So if they were in the living room checking everything and the other one was on the roof getting it perfect, why doesn't it work?

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