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Combine AT9 Dish w/ Existing SatC Dish? Trees!

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by litzdog911, Aug 18, 2006.

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  1. Dec 5, 2007 #261 of 529
    litzdog911

    litzdog911 Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. I think these special LNBs are simply bigger versions of the "sidecar" LNBs used on the AT9 5-LNB dish. Carl will determine if they're equivalent on the integrated SlimLine AU9 5-LNB dish.

    Too bad they're so darn expensive! You would think folks in Hawaii and Alaska would need to commit for like 10-years to justify the payback!
     
  2. Dec 5, 2007 #262 of 529
    carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

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    Actually I don't think I will determine that at all. I have disconnected the internal jumpers to the 110/119 "sidecar" inside the slimline LNB so theoretically they should not send an interfering signal. The combiners are supposed to show up tomorrow, so hopefully by tomorrow night I will be able to report if the modified slimline combined with a Phase III, will work or not. I put my Phase III back up yesterday and tested it, so everything is in place except for the combiners and Sonora. Both show delivery dates for tomorrow (the 6th).

    But this configuration uses power from either the receiver, or a Sonora, via the combiners, to power the Phase III - not the feeds from the main board of the slimline. I did not intend to try and measure any voltages or signals inside the Slimline.

    As to the AK/HI LNB's that doctor j has and posted information on, I agree that they appear to function very much like the AT9 sidecar. What that SHOULD mean is that you could combine the AK 99/101/103 LNB assembly outputs via in external set of combiner with a standard 110 and 119 (or Phase III for that matter), in the configuration posted earlier in this thread. You just couldn't plug a regular 110/119 into the custom 110/119 port on the AK 99/101/103.

    Carl
     
  3. Dec 5, 2007 #263 of 529
    Bill Broderick

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    If it turns out that you need additional combiners for any reason, let me know. I have two of the Channel Vision HS-2 combiners and two of the Holland HFS-2P Power Passing combiners that became unnecessary when it was determined that I could, in fact use the Slimline instead of multiple dishes.

    If they can help with the testing, I'd be happy to donate them to the cause.
     
  4. Dec 5, 2007 #264 of 529
    doctor j

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    Carl6 :
    I think you may have something.
    I went ahead and ordered the 1.2 meter dish. Freight shipping may take a while but before I invest in two I think I'll test the phase III with the AH 101 array.
    Probable will be a couple of weeks to get set up and test but will report back.
    Given the predicted transfer of MPEG 2 HDTV to Ka MPEG 4, I wont need 110/119 "soon". The expected increased gain of the 1.2 m dish may really help on rainfade. I'm going to make actual strenght measurements in dBm via the Superbuddy and will report that as well.


    Doctor j
     
  5. Dec 6, 2007 #265 of 529
    carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

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    Well, UPS just showed up and the HFS2P splitter/combiners I was supposed to receive were substituted with P7002AP splitters (which don't combine).

    So, my test is postponed until the correct parts arrive. Don't know when that will be. I ordered two different sets of splitter/combiners. The first pair is what came today. The second pair is delayed in delivery due to I-5 being washed out south of here.:(

    At the moment, my testing is on hold for an unknown period of time.:crying:

    I did hook up the modified Slimline LNB today though (all by itself, not combined with anything else) and got the expected results. Good signals on 99/101/103 and no signals on 110/119, according to the HR20 transponder signal meters. I don't have better test equipment available (i.e., spectrum analyzer) to do more detailed testing. It looks promising, but just won't know until I see good signals from all satellites through the combined system.

    Carl
     
  6. Dec 6, 2007 #266 of 529
    Bill Broderick

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    Carl,
    Send me your address, via PM, and I'll send you a pair of HFS2P's and a pair of Channel Vision HS-2's to test with.
     
  7. Dec 7, 2007 #267 of 529
    carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

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    Okay, impatience leads to innovation:D

    Using six splitters and a Terk BMS58 (for power) I created my own pair of combiners.

    THE MODIFIED SLIMLINE COMBINED WITH A PHASE III DISH WORKS GREAT!:joy:

    I will post instructions and pictures tomorrow. Given that this works, I have no doubt the modified Slimline will also work with two separate dishes (one each for 110 and 119).

    (Note: The only thing I'm using the Terk for is as a power source, not as a multiswitch.)

    Carl
     
  8. Dec 7, 2007 #268 of 529
    carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

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    Thanks Bill. As you can see, not necessary.

    Carl
     
  9. Dec 7, 2007 #269 of 529
    veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Gee Carl, did you get it to work? I missed that somewhere. :lol:
     
  10. Dec 7, 2007 #270 of 529
    jefbal99

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    I can't wait to see the pics of how you modified everything
     
  11. Dec 7, 2007 #271 of 529
    jbraden

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    Congratulations Carl! Great work... I look forward to seeing all the details! I'm also curious as to why you needed a power source, since fo71 got a 2-dish configuration to work without one. Did disassembling and modifying the Slimline LNB assembly affect its weathertightness in any way? Thanks!
     
  12. Dec 7, 2007 #272 of 529
    hiker

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    :goodjob: Kudos for Carl, Good Job :goodjob:
     
  13. Dec 7, 2007 #273 of 529
    veryoldschool

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    Carl didn't have the correct splitters, as he posted, so he needed to power the LNBs with the "power source"..
     
  14. Dec 7, 2007 #274 of 529
    carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

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    Exactly - a real kluge but it works. With the proper combiners I would expect it to work without a power source, although a Sonora (which is also enroute but not yet here) is probably a good recommendation.

    Carl
     
  15. Dec 7, 2007 #275 of 529
    carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

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    Cal Amp 5-LNB Slimline Dish Modification
    by Carl6
    December 2007

    NOTE: THIS MODIFICATION IS ONLY FOR THE CAL AMP LNB ASSEMBLY, IT IS NOT APPLICABLE TO THE WNC LNB ASSEMBLY.

    Taking the LNB assembly apart.

    Keep in mind, everything you do you want to be reversible. The goal is to take the LNB assembly apart, modify it, then put it all back together so that it remains weather sealed and functional. So exercise care all along the way. Don't use force, you don't want to break anything.

    The first step is to remove the large back plastic cover. This just snaps on, and is easily pried off using the tip of a flat-blade screwdriver. There are small "dimples" all around the inside surface of the cover that fit into indentations in the LNB assembly. You just need to snap them apart and pull the cover off. Photo S769 shows the back cover and the remaining LNB assembly.


    S769.JPG Photo S769

    Looking at the back of the LNB assembly with the plastic cover off, you can see that the back metal cover is completely sealed with silicon. Under that, there are six small phillips head screws that actually hold the cover on. Carefully remove all of the silicon. I started with a small flat-blade screwdriver and a small box cutter blade, and scraped out as much as I could. Then I used a wire brush wheel on a drill to clean it further. Finally, I used a tiny flat-blade to scrape the silicon out of the cross-head of the phillips screws so a screwdriver would properly fit in. Photo S771 shows the sealed assembly before taking it apart. These are small little screws, so be careful removing them - if you drop one it's a pain to find it (yes, I know from experience).

    S771.JPG Photo S771

    With the screws removed, you still need to carefully pry the metal back plate off of the LNB assembly. Photo S782 shows one corner with the screw out. I broke a couple of box cutter blades trying to use them, finally used a tiny flat-blade and got enough of a bite to pry the cover up, then it was easily pulled off. Photo S784 shows the unit with the metal back cover removed. You can still see a lot of silicon around the joining lip of the LNB assembly, you want to clean all that off before you put it back together so you get a good weather tight seal.

    S782.JPG Photo S782


    S784.JPG Photo S784

    Photo S788 shows the entire LNB assembly and integrated multi-switch. The LNB's are from left to right in this picture are 99, 101, 103, 110 and 119. Our goal is to electrically disconnect 110 and 119. As you can see in the picture, they are connected to a separate circuit board (to the right side of the picture), and if you look carefully you can see three solder connections/jumpers between the main circuit board and the 110/119 circuit board. Photo S805 shows the three jumpers in detail.

    S788.JPG Photo S788
    S805.JPG Photo S805

    Performing the Modification

    This turned out to be really easy. Using a low wattage soldering iron and some copper solder-wick, I removed the solder from the three connections and pads on the main circuit board, and gently lifted the jumper bars up to clear those connections. I suppose you could also cut the three jumpers, but my intent was to keep this fully reversible, as I plan to restore the LNB to original function when I'm done testing. Photo S818 is a close up of the jumpers lifted.

    S818.JPG Photo S818

    Putting it back together.

    As mentioned above (in the taking it apart section), you want to carefully remove all of the old silicon from the mating surfaces for the back cover. If you leave some, it can result in not getting a waterproof weather seal when you put the back cover back on. Photo S801 shows good detail of two of the screw holes, as well as the cleaned surface. Note at the bottom of the picture there are four white spots (just below four black squares). That is heat sink compound, not silicon. You want to get the silicon off, but leave the heat sink compound in place. As an aside, the entire circuit board in photo S801 is the internal four output multiswitch. The four coax connectors are in line with, and facing opposite, the four black squares.

    S801.JPG Photo S801

    Photo S846 shows the back cover reinstalled with the screws back in. It is ready to seal with a fresh silicon bead. Because I intend to reverse this modification, and because it isn't tested yet, I am no re-sealing with silicon for the testing phase.

    Too many attachments. Photo S846 will be in another posting.

    The final steps are to reseal with silicon, let it dry, then snap the plastic back cover back on. It is important to get a good, waterproof seal, with the silicon. You want these electronics to work for a long time out in the weather.

    Testing - does it work?

    First test was to use the modified 5-LNB assembly by itself to feed my HR20 and verify it worked as expected on 99/101/103 and did not provide signal on 110/119. It is working exactly as expected, and transponder signal strengths have been documented.

    Second step is to use a set of combiners, and combine the modified 5-LNB with the Phase III dish.

    When the combiners I ordered failed to show up today (wrong items sent), I decided to get innovative and created my own pair of combiners using six splitters and a Terk BMS58 powered multiswitch as a power source. Note, all the Terk is doing is providing power, I am not using it as a multiswitch. I'm using the power from it to lock the 13V 22KHz and 18V 22KHz lines to those values. Necessary due to the way I'm using the splitters to combine (they won't pass the power from the receiver/WB68 through to the dish).

    SUCCESS! I am now getting 99/101/103 from the modified Slimline, and 110/119 from the Phase III. Works great.
     
  16. Dec 7, 2007 #276 of 529
    carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

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    Okay, here's the last picture that shows the back cover re-installed without silicon. Note that in the cleaning process I have also managed to remove some paint. I would touch up the paint also before final re-assembly to prevent future rusting. Then apply a new silicon bead all the way around.

    S846.JPG


    I will draw a schematic of the "combiner" I created using splitters, and how I powered it, and post that a bit later today for those who are interested.

    Once the proper parts are received (combiners and Sonora), I'll hook everything up "the right way" and test, then I'll also test with separate 110 and 119 dishes.

    Once all that is proven, I intend to restore this 5-LNB to original function, then modify a WNC 5-LNB to prove it can be done the same way. Don't expect that for about another week, minimum.

    Carl
     
  17. Dec 7, 2007 #277 of 529
    veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Anybody notice the crappy solder joints in Photo S805?
    Make you wonder about the "bad" LNBs.
     
  18. Dec 7, 2007 #278 of 529
    248 F1

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    Carl,
    You have obviously got a handle on the multiple dish issue. This guy seems to be in need of assistance. Do you make service calls? :D
     

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  19. Dec 7, 2007 #279 of 529
    veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I think he has cable too [for when he can't find something good to watch].
     
  20. Dec 7, 2007 #280 of 529
    carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

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    I notice he is performing a dish alignment in this photo:lol:

    Carl
     
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