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TooWay ™ dish pointing

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Eric Johnston
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Nov 24th, 2010 at 9:40am  
TooWay ™ dish pointing

I wrote this page http://www.satsig.net/tooway/satellite-dish-pointing-ka-sat-tooway-europe.htm in Sept 2009 to derive the azimuth, elevation and polarisation angles for Tooway dish pointing.

The polarisation adjustment angle given is relevant only to linear polarisation and the large circular blue plastic polarisation skew scale on the back of the dual-optics Raven Tooway dish.  This refers to the Hotbird 6 Ka band payload which uses linear polarisation.

KA-SAT is also Ka band but will use circular polarisation so no polarisation adjustment angle is requred.  It is not clear yet if all beams in KASAT use the same circular polarisation.  If there is a mixture, with some beams LHCP and others RHCP on the downlink, then the polariser will need assembing to the TRIA in one of two alternative +/- 45 deg positions.  Circular polarisation excellent news for self installers as less skill is needed.

Tooway services in Ku band use conventional Ku band antennas, linear polarisation feeds, LNB and BUC. Ku band satellites are EB3 at 33east and AB1 at 12west.
wxw
Best regards, Eric.
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« Last Edit: Jan 27th, 2011 at 3:18pm by Admin1 »  
 
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Reply #1 - Jan 27th, 2011 at 12:03am  
Hi, can you tell me if the TooWay service is a self install, and how difficult accurately pointing to the satellite is?
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Reply #2 - Jan 27th, 2011 at 10:56am  
I installed my second-hand system with little trouble.   The hard work was the actual mounting the antenna and routing the cable.

Using the page Eric refers to, find a landmark in the exact direction of the satellite.  In my case this was over the midpoint of a small Sitka plantation on a hill.  I attached a stick to the horn bracket to sight along.  (That was my second go; first I tried a compass - waste of time.) You then have to make a guess at the elevation.  The scale on the mount is reasonable for a first go.

You have to be within about 1 degree of the tue alignment to get any signal at all.  This is about 1cm movement at the reflector end, so make sure the locking bolts are done up enough to make the assembly firm but still just moveable.

It is possible, but not probable, that you will get a signal the modem can lock on to.

The top modem LED will blink if there is a signal, though it might not be the correct satellite.  More likely, though, you will have to gently sweep the sky in that region until you pick up the signal.   I found  the initial azimuth was quite close, most sweeping was with the elevation, which is actually easier anyway.

A meter makes it easy.  I used a cheap satellite alignment meter in the receive cable, but note that this took it's power from the modem, which supplies 24V.  The meter, probably typical, had a supply limit of 18V.  I modified it (I'm an electronics designer).  You might want to get a self-powered meter.  Nothing fancy is needed, since once you pick up the right signal and the modem locks on, when you attempt to access the Web you will get a page showing the signal strength.   This is the only page you will get.  In the absence of a meter, you can tweak up the alignment using this, though it might be rather a slow method.

Warning! This handy page disappears once you have activated the service.  Do not activate the service until you are happy you have the best alignment you have patience to achieve.  Actually, I don't think my service provider (B-W) would have activated it until they were happy themselves.

There is nothing particularly technical about installation, no special knowledge is required, just average intelligence and some DIY skill.

Have a go.

Regards,  John
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Reply #3 - Jan 27th, 2011 at 2:24pm  
Quote:
Hi, can you tell me if the TooWay service is a self install, and how difficult accurately pointing to the satellite is?

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When RX is solid you are on the right satellite.

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Activation page Tooway Ka and Tooway Ku.

If you have a Tooway (old) Ka system it should be not to difficult to align to Hotbird with a cheap satellite finder.

If you have a Tooway Ku systems it will be more difficult to align the dish at Eurobird3a or AB1 (activations from 17-01-2011) without a proper satellite finder.

You can find some installation info on our website and a video of an activation click here.

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Horizon HDSM Satellite finder (Satellite "found").

Transponder info AB1 @ 12,5° West click here

Satellite : Atlantic Bird 1 @ 12.5°W (AB1)
Carrier : 11.408Ghz (1408 MHz) 27500 3/4 V
MHz figures assume use of a 10 GHz local oscillator LNB

Hex file for Horizon HDSM meters, Tooway Ku EB3a + AB1 click here for download hex file
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Reply #4 - Jan 29th, 2011 at 10:00am  
I definitely approve of self-installation of Tooway VSAT terminals.  If anyone needs advice they are very welcome here in this forum where we will do what we can to help you.  Once you have learned about installing your own dish maybe you can help others nearby - in remote communities such self help is to be applauded.

Yesterday I upgraded the dish pointing and map drawing software underlying this page:

http://www.satsig.net/tooway/satellite-dish-pointing-ka-sat-tooway-europe.htm

It should be a bit quicker and is more 'future proof'.
If anyone had any probelms or comments pelase say.
wxw
Best regards, Eric.

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