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Ka-Sat dish alignment (Read 11379 times)
Gaia
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Ka-Sat dish alignment
Aug 30th, 2011 at 5:53pm
 
Hi,
We've been trying to align our new Ka-Sat dish for almost a week now. No matter what elevation or azimuth we choose (we want 40.5 and 171.8 ), or how carefully and slowly we move the dish,  the beep just doesn't change - just keeps on beeping away in the same tone/speed.  Arrgghh.

Can anyone tell me what to do before I completely lose the will to live?

Thanks!
Lynda

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Re: Ka-Sat dish alignment
Reply #1 - Aug 30th, 2011 at 7:05pm
 
Check that you have the cables not crossed over. Check that the F connectors are good.  The centre wire pin should be 1.5mm proud of the rim of the plug.  The pin should go into the hole and not push back when the plug is tightened.  The braid must make good connection with the plug outer body.  There must be no fragments of foil or braid wire short circuiting the power supply. Use a magnifing glass if necessary.

If you are in the Perpignan/Narbonne area try all of the beam types: 1, 2 and 3.
Ref:  http://www.satsig.net/tooway/satellite-dish-pointing-ka-sat-tooway-europe.htm

The most reliable way to point a dish is to set the elevation angle accurately and then swing the dish boldly.  The elevation scale will be wrong if the pole is not exactly vertical.  Some antennas may have a maximum elevation setting of 45 deg. Does this correspond to your equipment ? Some antennas may have a sloping wedge shaped box at the rear. The slope of this box is at right angles to the beam elevation angle.  In which case this may help: http://www.satsig.net/pointing/how-to-make-inclinometer.htm   If you fail, go up and down in 1 deg steps and swing again.  

An azimuth bearing of 171.8 deg is a little to the left of due south. The direction of the blue azimuth line (as visible in the Tooway dish pointing web page referred to above) relative to your house wall or garden fence may help.
wxw
Best regards, Eric.
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Gaia
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Re: Ka-Sat dish alignment
Reply #2 - Aug 31st, 2011 at 12:27pm
 
Thanks Eric,

There's only one cable on the Tooway modem system from Sky DSL. We were told to attach it to the Tx connector on the TRIA which then manages both Rx and Tx. Brand new, well made cables.  Will check the pin length though.

Have been using spot beam 3, will try the others.

<<Some antennas may have a maximum elevation setting of 45 deg. Does this correspond to your equipment ? >>

Yup, there is a sloping wedge shaped mounting box at back, but assume the scale on the elevation adjustment screw takes account of this?. We have been subtracting 9 degrees as our pole mount is off - elevating the dish by about 9 degrees.

The blue azimuth line on the dish pointing page gave us 40.5/171.8 - Sky DSL (which no-one in France seems to like!) gave us 40.5/ 170.92 . . .  but said try +/- degrees up or down and either side.

Will try again. If we don't succeed will call a local guy and hope he's familiar with the new Ka-Sat satellite!

Thanks again for your help
Lynda
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Re: Ka-Sat dish alignment:
Reply #3 - Aug 31st, 2011 at 1:47pm
 
[quote author=Gaia link=1314723195/0#2 date=1314790067]

 We have been subtracting 9 degrees as our pole mount is off - elevating the dish by about 9 degrees.

[/quote]

You're making things difficult for yourself with a mounting pole so far off vertical ... can you try and get it more vertical using packing washers or something like that? You'll then find the process much more manageable.

If you don't have an instruction dvd, you can use my pointing guide here:

http://www.bigdishsat.com/pdf/KaSat-DIY.pdf
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Re: Ka-Sat dish alignment:
Reply #4 - Aug 31st, 2011 at 7:23pm
 
With a 9 deg forward tilt on the pole and the need to aim the adjuster 9 deg higher, then since the maximum elevation of the adjuster is 45 deg you will never be able to point the beam high enough for your wanted 40.5 deg beam elevation. It won't work.  Attach the dish to a proper, exactly vertical, pole.

Apply an inclinometer to the back of the wedge shaped box to get a good beam elevation reading. If the back of the wedge shaped box is vertical the beam elevation is zero, towards the horizon. Make sure you read the inclinometer scale the right way.

Best regards, Eric.
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Re: Ka-Sat dish alignment: losing the will to live
Reply #5 - Sep 2nd, 2011 at 8:19am
 
Hi Eric and Big Dish Sat,

Thanks! I have been following your guide BDS!  It's much better and more detailed than what came with the system. Called in a professional installer yesterday to do the 'pointage' and even he couldn't get the TRIA to change its beep tone.  So SkyDSL are sending a new TRIA. Hope that will do the job.

Eric, the pole is sloping backwards (thus elevating the dish more), so we've been subtracting the 9 degrees not plussing them - hope that's right?  But will try to get the pole more vertical. Am going to make an inclinometer this morning too and try that whilst we wait for the new TRIA.

Thanks so much for all your support - it really helps!
Lynda
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Re: Ka-Sat dish alignment:
Reply #6 - Sep 2nd, 2011 at 8:30am
 
Quote:
Eric, the pole is sloping backwards (thus elevating the dish more), so we've been subtracting the 9 degrees not plussing them - hope that's right?  But will try to get the pole more vertical. Am going to make an inclinometer this morning too and try that whilst we wait for the new TRIA.


OK, you can point at the satellite with the pole tilted backwards.  It will be rather difficult to find the satellite however as the elevation angle will only be correct when aimed in the direction directly opposite to the sloping pole (assuming you have subtracted 9 deg). Any sideways movement will change the beam elevation angle and the azimuth angle simultaneously. Best to the get the pole upright. The back of the wedge shaped box will give you a true elevation angle measurement provided you hold the inclinometer is a vertical plane. With the back of the wedge shaped box vertical the beam elevation is zero. Tilt the back of the box backwards by 10 deg and the beam elevation goes up to 10 deg and so on.  You want 40.5 deg beam elevation. If you can see your house in http://www.satsig.net/tooway/satellite-dish-pointing-ka-sat-tooway-europe.htm then check out the direction of the blue line relative to the walls, fence etc.
wxw
Best regards, Eric.
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Re: Ka-Sat dish alignment:
Reply #7 - Sep 2nd, 2011 at 10:55am
 
Gaia wrote on Sep 2nd, 2011 at 8:19am:
Hi Eric and Big Dish Sat,

Thanks! I have been following your guide BDS!  It's much better and more detailed than what came with the system. Called in a professional installer yesterday to do the 'pointage' and even he couldn't get the TRIA to change its beep tone.  So SkyDSL are sending a new TRIA. Hope that will do the job.

Eric, the pole is sloping backwards (thus elevating the dish more), so we've been subtracting the 9 degrees not plussing them - hope that's right?  But will try to get the pole more vertical. Am going to make an inclinometer this morning too and try that whilst we wait for the new TRIA.

Thanks so much for all your support - it really helps!
Lynda

Follow the installation instruction of the Tooway KA-SAT Install Video step-by-step. Pointing is very easy because there is no KA satellite nearby (except Hotbird). Maybe a good idea to ask SkyDsl also for a spare modem.

...
Instruction video Tooway KA-SAT click here

Instruction manual Tooway KA-SAT click here

Send us a photo of the dish install.

If you still have a problem alinging your dish after you have received a new ODU, you are welcome to visit our office in Begur and setup your system at our location (only 3 hours drive) so we can test it for you (free of charge).

Please keep us updated !
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Gaia
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Re: Ka-Sat dish alignment:
Reply #8 - Sep 28th, 2011 at 11:07am
 
Hi,
Well, still alive - but only just. Thanks Eric and Europe-Satellite for replies.

We finally got a new TRIA from SkyDSL on Monday.  And it beeps and changes tone! Yay, progress.

However - it finds the signal OK (better on spot beam 2, though 3 appears better on your map), but then we can only get it to 12.4 DB and with no-one near the dish, no wind, perfect open sky, no impediment (we live on a high hill), it simply changes from the high tone and green tick circle there to the beep-beep tone and the little green tick circle on the coarse to fine pointing page on 192.168.100.1 disappears.  And the Rx SNR drops to 12.1 or so. then it sends itself back up to 12.4 and the tone changes and the green tick box comes back . . .

Are we wasting our time here?  Can we really get the 13DB min needed?  Already spent over 100 euros with professionals trying to point it (albeit with a duff TRIA first). Happy to have someone else come but not to waste more money if it's not going to work  . . .  getting fairly fed up with it . . .

Thanks for any ideas.
Lynda
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Re: Ka-Sat dish alignment: losing the will to live
Reply #9 - Sep 28th, 2011 at 11:24am
 
If you are at beam edge (perhaps at the intersection of the beam edges of three adjacent beams) then 12 dB sounds fine to me.

Please say what are your lat/long coordinates and I will slightly move the satellite beam position on page http://www.satsig.net/tooway/satellite-dish-pointing-ka-sat-tooway-europe.htm to make beam type 2 better than type 3 for your location.

I guess the problem now is that your reseller has not told Skylogioc the MAC address of your modem.  Call your reseller and tell them the MAC address on your modem, e.g. 00:F4:2A:00:00:7E
wxw
Best regards, Eric.

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Gaia
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Re: Ka-Sat dish alignment:
Reply #10 - Sep 28th, 2011 at 11:42am
 
Thanks Eric,

Will post lat and long.

Update. I left it to itself for 30 mins, then decided to try again. Plugged the cable back into my computer and it was online!!!! Not seeing the self activation page (on a diff tab), I stupidly, started the install again Sad  Now it is hopping back and forth between syncing, scanning, ranging etc., but more importantly the cable attenuation is changing from nothing to max on the scale.  Is this important?  Cable problem?

Feels like we're nearly there though! Smiley

Thanks,
Lynda
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Re: Ka-Sat dish alignment
Reply #11 - Sep 28th, 2011 at 11:53am
 
I'd leave it alone for while.

It is worth recording, with date, on paper, what are the cable resistance, signal level etc for future reference, in case there is some gradual deterioration.

Waggling the cable should have no effect at all on the service.  This is a test for bad cable connection.

The dish mount should be rock solid.  Pushing gently on the dish in all directions should have no effect on the service either. A very small decrease in signal may be observed but this is of no consequence.  The signal will go down significantly during light rain but the servuce will continue operating. The service should only fail during the heaviest of rain storms.

Poor F type connector workmanship is the main problem with in-service VSAT systems.  The centre wire pin length should be just proud of the rim of the plug (1.5mm) and must actually go smoothly into the hole in the socket and not "push back" as the plug is screwed in.   The braid wire and foil sheath are important and must make good contact with the plug outer.  There must be no fragments of braid wire or foil short circuiting the connection.  The plug should be firm finger tight - don't use brute force with a spanner and damage the internals of the BUC/LNB/MODEM.  The outdoor joint must be sealed from moisture.  Liberal use of electronic grade silicone grease and wrapping in self-amalgamating rubber tape helps.  Axial crimp F plugs, which exactly match the cable type, are recommended.

Best regards, Eric.
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Gaia
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Re: Ka-Sat dish alignment:
Reply #12 - Sep 28th, 2011 at 7:21pm
 
Happy Bunny!!

Left it alone, as you suggested, but it was in a do loop, syncing, scanning and ranging etc.  Called SkyDSL and they actually answered - Umberto seems to be their only tech support guy - even though they advertise their service in almost every European country!  

Anyway, we tried a whole bunch of things, pinging the modem etc., then changed the Internet settings to only IP4 and not IP6, which apparently they don't use. And . .  we  now have Ka-Sat broadband!!! Thanks Umberto.  Yay.

11.8- 11.9 SNR right now but just done a Skype video call and worked flawlessly, phew! So  . .  we'll see if it's still working tomorrow!

Le Boulou lat and long:       42.523 / 2.83  

We're a tad south east of that but spot beam 2 is still the best.

Thanks for all your help.  Will get those cable ends weather proofed - and might move the dish - it's exposed to the Tramontaine (Mistral) winds where it is . . .

Regards,
Lynda
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Re: Ka-Sat dish alignment:
Reply #13 - Sep 28th, 2011 at 9:22pm
 
Many thanks.

Do get the cable ends weather proofed. Due to the DC power and sea air moisture I have seen a cable with the centre pin vanished (burned black) and the braid sheath turned to white powder for a distance of 6ft down inside the cable, all within 1 month of installation !

On page http://www.satsig.net/tooway/satellite-dish-pointing-ka-sat-tooway-europe.htm I have moved spot beam 15 (type 2) about 7 miles SE.  You are close the intersection of three beams and there is some uncertainty about levels in such areas. Don't worry, there is in reality significant operating overlap and you can work fine beyond the lines shown.

Actual power levels vary from beam to beam and the beam pointings all drift around due to satellite movement, thermal effects and spacecraft attitude. It is not easy to aim the antennas at the earth with 0.015 deg precision!

Best regards, Eric.
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Re: Ka-Sat dish alignment
Reply #14 - Sep 30th, 2011 at 5:31pm
 
Can't get used to this speed Wink  after years of 64kb ISDN . .

"Do get the cable ends weather proofed."

On to it - we're close to the sea as well as the mountains . .

SkyDSL said the overlap between beams was such that it shouldn't be a problem and we had a SNR of over 13db yesterday, so it seems to be settling down.  I did notice a lost sync count of 7 - but we never seemed to actually go off-line. And that number hasn't gone up anymore.  12.8 SNR right now, so, given we're at beam end, not complaining.


Now to check download speed (do you have a best website for that?) and see what SkyDSL's advertised offer of "unlimited download volume" really means!  But so far so good . . . (touching wood!)

Thanks again for your and everyone's support. You've been life savers!

Regards,
Lynda
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