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SL3 (non-SWM) Alignment Help - Why am I so bad at this?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Installation/MDU Discussion' started by byrd, Oct 1, 2010.

  1. JB292

    JB292 AllStar

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    Apr 24, 2009
    Play around with different elevations. It's not supposed to be upside down. That may be throwing you off.
     
  2. byrd

    byrd Legend

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    Apr 29, 2009
    I checked out the voltages to the LNB this morning using the my 6 inch RG6 cable with the slot cut out as eakes had suggested. I could actually see the voltages switching between EVEN and ODD TPs as the IRD was searching for a signal. Here are the voltages that I measured:

    Unpowered LNB:
    ------------------------
    At IRD:
    ODD TPs: 13.6V
    EVEN TPs: 18.9V

    At LNB:
    ODD TPs: 13.5V
    EVEN TPs: 18.8V
    ------------------------


    Powered LNB:
    ------------------------
    At IRD:
    ODD TPs: 13.3V
    EVEN TPs: 18.6V

    At LNB:
    ODD TPs: 13.1V
    EVEN TPs: 18.4V
    ------------------------

    It appears that I'm loosing about 100mV through the long cable without the LNB powered and about 200mV WITH the LNB powered. So, I shouldn't be having any issues powering the LNB at this point. It looks like the wife and I will need to go out this weekend a yell back and forth across the lawn in another attempt to align the dish. I'll just need to be sure that I'm meticulous about moving the dish.

    Does anyone know what the absolute low voltage cut off is for powering the LNB? I believe that the receiver outputs slightly higher voltages than the SWM8. I didn't write it down, but I seem to recall when I first connected the SWM8, I measured voltage level at the LNB (with the LNB disconnected) of 13.3V for the ODD TPs. This might mean that when I finally switch over to SWM my voltage at the LNB could be approx 12.9V. My MAIN goal is just to get the dish aligned, but I'm just thinking ahead a bit.
     
  3. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Dec 9, 2006
    So far, I haven't seen any problems.
    Somebody once posted the minimum voltages, which I think were around 9+ volts.
     
  4. dontknow

    dontknow AllStar

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    Apr 29, 2010
    IMO doesn't seem like it would be an issue with the receiver at all since it worked fine at the In-Laws
     
  5. JB292

    JB292 AllStar

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    Apr 24, 2009
    I still think your elevation is off.
     
  6. RobertE

    RobertE New Member

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    Jun 9, 2006
    Agree. I'd try 42-44 degrees elevation. 40 seems low to me, I use 38-39 here in NE Ohio.
     
  7. JB292

    JB292 AllStar

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    Apr 24, 2009
    RobertE, did you notice it's upside down? I've had a few drinks, and my old brain can't think straight at the moment. But I would be willing to bet the farm it's not the same if it was on right side up.

    What I would do is try different elevations, everything else seems covered.
     
  8. RobertE

    RobertE New Member

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    Jun 9, 2006
    It's not upside down, thats the normal way. It's been that way for at least the last 2 generations of the AZ/EL mount. It's rightside up when you look at it from top down. ;)
     
  9. byrd

    byrd Legend

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    Apr 29, 2009
    Yeah, the upside down scale has confused me a bit, but it seems to be in the correct orientation; at least compared to my old phase III. 20deg is down towards level, and 60 is way upright. I thought a first that I should invert the number (90-40 = 50). You can see the mark the nut made at 50, but that was way the heck up there so I went back down.

    Since it's upside down, and there's LOTs of empty space to the left of the scale, I was also wondering if the whole scale should be shifted counter clockwise. If that's the case, than who knows how far off the scale is!

    You can see by the scuff marks that I was working down below 40deg quit a bit, but didn't go much over. Seemed higher than the dishpointer app was showing on my Droid (also felt a lot higher than the old Phase III dish). We'll definitely cover the scale (over 40 too as RobertE suggested). I have other plans tomorrow, but I already told my wife to be ready to be out there on Sunday for quite a while yelling "nothing yet!, nothing yet!, nope... nothing yet!".
     
  10. Richierich

    Richierich Hall Of Fame

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    Jan 10, 2008
    Do you and your wife have cell phones?

    Call her on the cell phone and you don't have to bother with YELLING!!! :lol:
     
  11. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    It might be "good therapy". :lol:
     
  12. JB292

    JB292 AllStar

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    Apr 24, 2009
    OK, my bad. It's been over a year since I installed one.
     
  13. byrd

    byrd Legend

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    Apr 29, 2009
    We finally had some success today! We headed out earlier today, and it actually didn't take that long before we were able to find the signal. Aside from being more meticulous, I think my main problem before was the fact that the receiver didn't work on the long extension cord. Along with correcting that, I did a few other things differently today.

    1) I took a grease pen and marked lines on the pole so I could get a better idea as to how I was moving the azimuth around. There's a photo below that shows the markings. The large center marking is roughly the 225 azimuth that I got from the IRD. Each marking corresponded to maybe an inch of movement at the LNB.
    2) I then imagined a straight line from the LNB through the center of the dish, to the ground behind it. I lined my cell phone up along that imaginary line with the Dishpointer app open. I adjusted the angle of the phone so that the elevation value in the Dishpointer window was roughly 40degrees (as specified by the IRD). At that point I adjusted the dish azimuth so that Sats shown in the Dishpointer app were lined up with the center of the dish.
    3) I started working with the elevation adjustment at a higher elevation as RobertE suggested. I began at 42degrees.

    After some slight azimuth adjustments, we actually found the signal! You can tell by the photo of the pole that I was off by a good bit on the azimuth. And of course the previous elevation was too low as well (ended up around 42-43degrees). Once we peaked the dish and dithered it, we then moved the receiver over to the SWM8. That worked well, so we then connected BOTH receivers in the house with the full setup and cabling.

    I've attached a couple photos of the TP signal levels that were taken from the HR24 that is located in our bedroom. This is about 245t of total cable. Here's the setup:

    SL3 LNB (Non-SWM) ->
    24” Solid Copper RG6 Quad Sheilded ->
    F81 Barrel Connector (blue insert, 3GHz rated) ->
    150ft Solid Copper RG11 ->
    SWM8 ->
    10” Solid Copper RG6 Quad Sheilded ->
    SWS4 (PI inserterd on 1 output, 2nd output to receiver, 3rd output to receiver, last output terminated)->
    40ft Solid Copper RG11 ->
    Ground block (blue insert, 3GHz rated) ->
    50ft Solid Copper RG6 Quad Shielded ->
    Wall Plate (blue insert, 3GHz rated) ->
    3ft Solid Copper RG6 Quad Shielded ->
    HR24-500

    The signal levels are a little better in our living room where the cable is a bit shorter, and it was even better when the receiver was connected without the SWM8.

    So right now I only have one remaining issue. MRV is not working on one of the receivers for some reason. Both receivers can be seen by my home network and router, and can connect to the internet. My living room receiver can see my bedroom receiver, but my bedroom receiver cannot see the living room receiver. The connection is still wired via CAT5 the same as it was before when it worked with my Phase III dish, so I'm not sure what the issue is. This might be a question that needs to get posted over on the Connected Home forum.

    We're pretty ecstatic though! After so much time, it's nice to finally be able watch TV again. HDTV to boot!! Thanks for ALL the help guys. It's certainly appreciated!!! :D
     

    Attached Files:

  14. byrd

    byrd Legend

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    Apr 29, 2009
    Oh, a couple transponder questions...

    1) I think, but am not certain, that 101 TPs 4, 12, 20, and 28 spot beams for locals and should not matter for me. Is this correct?

    2) What are the 99(s), 103(s), and SWM Sat TP pages? The SWM page has all high values, but the 99(s) and 103(s) are all zeros.
     
  15. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

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    Nov 15, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    1. Correct.
    2. (s) is for Spot beams. You should have at least one TP on either 99s or 103s with your HD locals (assuming you have HD locals).
    2b. The SWM page shows SWM channels (which reflect some other actual transponder). There really isn't much you can ascertain from the SWM screen.
     
  16. SWORDFISH

    SWORDFISH Legend

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    Apr 16, 2007

    Your HD locals come from 99(s). Your zipcode (23149) shows two different markets:

    Norfolk-Newport News -- Transponder 21

    Richmond-Petersburg -- Transponder 24

    Depending on which market you are in, that Transponder should have a high value. Zeros on the rest of the 99(s) transponders and on 103(s) are fine.






    SF
     
  17. byrd

    byrd Legend

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    Apr 29, 2009
    Thanks guys. I'm in the Norfolk market, so I'll check this out tonight. I wasn't too worried since everything seems to be working well. I only let 103(s) screen fill in completely once. I checked the 99(s), but never let it get past the first few zeros. It took so long to determine each zero value that I ran out of patience. I'll let the 99(s) screen fill out tonight, and I'm sure TP 21 will be there since all the HD locals work just fine.

    So do those signal levels in the photos above look reasonable (for ~265ft of cabling)? They are certainly better that I ever recall seeing with my old Phase III dish. I never did do anything with the Tilt adjustment. I just left it at the recommended 63 degree value. I don't how much the 99 and 103 benefit from that. If they should be better than that, I'll ask the D* install tech if he can fine tune the dish, IF he's ever able to come out. There's still another week before they attempt to come back out.

    Oh... and by this morning, my MRV was up and running fine. I don't know why it took a while for the second receiver to start working but it is now. I still had one or two MRV questions (DECA vs CAT5), but I'll check out the Connected Home forum for that.

    Finally, through all this madness, all of our previous Seasons Passes on both receivers got deleted. I don't know if it's because it's been 3 weeks since the HR24s last successfully saw a signal from the sats, or because new software was downloaded last night, or because of all the monkeying around I did with the units while trying to set things up, but they are all gone. All the other receiver settings seemed to still be there, so they aren't completely back to their defaults. Oh well, that's VERY minor, and can be fixed very easily.
     

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