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Service Providers >> TooWay and KA-SAT satellite >> Fine Tuning Tooway

Message started by outofstepper on Nov 28th, 2009 at 9:00pm

Title: Fine Tuning Tooway
Post by outofstepper on Nov 28th, 2009 at 9:00pm
Greets all.
Great resource here.  I'm a new subscriber.. got my kit last week and have been up and running ever since.  Was hoping to get a few pointers from those of you that have had the service for a bit.

Have to say installation was pretty straight-forward.  I'm located in central Italy -- after calling tech support about polarization angle (I was supposed to *start* at 90 degrees!) -- it was pretty smooth.  Used a cheap (less than 10 euro) sat finder that I found at my local electronics shop.  Looks to be exactly the same one in the installation PDF, judging by the photo.  Couldn't get the sensitivity down without losing the signal altogether, but here I am.

At any rate, a few questions, somewhat in order of importance:

1. I assume that the accuracy of my installation effects performance -- correct?  Just because I have a signal and I can run a decent speed test, I may not be seeing the whole picture?  Any suggestions (equipment?) for getting the best possible installation?  I'm hoping the answer is cheap :) (ie not a spectrum analyzer)

2. I do most of my work via VPN into a home office in the U.S. -- I notice that I have the most trouble uploading.  That is, speed test says I have decent upload speed.. 200-300 kbps.. but I lose my connection (to the VPN) 4 out of 5 times on large file uploads.  Any insight?

3. I do alot of Skype.  Now I know satellite isn't suited, but its the only I option I have where I live.  Round trip times have been up to 1.5 seconds but the connection seems to stay live and, well, considering my options, can't complain.  I'm wondering if there is anyway to make this better?  not roundtrip, but performance.  Can I open any of the ports skype would like to see open?

As far as I can tell there is no config options for my tooway router.

Thanks all.

Title: Re: Fine Tuning Tooway
Post by Eric Johnston on Dec 1st, 2009 at 6:06pm
1.  Your service provider can access graphs showing your uplink and downlink signal levels over last month, last week etc and can determine if your signals are good enough, and by implication if your pointing is acceptable. Your site can be compared with others nearby. Example Twoway signal graphs:

Ask if they think you need to do anything.  With an inexpensive signal meter is is possible to achieve excellent results, if you interpret the scale readings with skill. I would suggest degrading the signal either side to precisely equal degraded qualities and then setting the dish mechanically to half way between, both sideways and up and down. The polarisation is best set by calculation, starting from the nominal starting position.
I don't think you will see any benefit in speeds from correct dish pointing, during clear sky conditions, unless you are severely mispointed.  
The Ka band frequencies used by Tooway suffer attenuation from rain but the system has special link margin countermeasures which assure that the service survives light and moderate rain.  During rain your uplink power will increase and the forward error correcting code rate may change. In the downlink to you, the modulation method and coding may also alter to assure continuing service.
Poor dish pointing is likely to show up with the symptom "outages during light rain", due to lack of adequate clear sky link margins.

2. VPN involves all your packets having special outer headers added to route them to your private company LAN.  The content of the packets comprises an inner private destination address and your text etc.  All the content may be encrypted.  Encryption prevents the satellite modem and Skylogic hub from applying any acceleration processes so your VPN traffic does not really fit well into the satellite link.  I don't know why your VPN line fails - as a guess it may be due to excessively long packets which have to be split up en-route.  I suggest you talk to your company IP staff and ask if your VPN connection can be made suitable for a satellite link at your end.

3. I'm suprised that Skype works at all but there have been a few reports, like yours, of people getting some kind of service.  I believe that Skype has some automatic adaption process - whatever, it is important to use the low speech coding rate and pack several speech samples per packet to minimise stress on the satellite link.  The low tariffs on Tooway have traffic limits which you may meet rather quickly with streaming data flows like Skype and large file transfers. The table below shows typical useage quotas:

Your service reseller will tell you your specific limits.

Best regards, Eric.

Title: Re: Fine Tuning Tooway
Post by on Feb 28th, 2010 at 5:02pm

wrote on Feb 28th, 2010 at 4:53pm:
Thanks!  I was using these install instructions on your site yesterday.  All is the same on mine, except that I've noticed my transmitter cooling fins are up instead of down.  Does that matter?

No and you should be able to align the dish without the transmitter unit. Maybe you just need a bit more time to align the dish, thats all. If you use a cheap satellite finder , you could be pointing at the wrong satellite ! Make sure you are on Eurobird 3A, there are a few close to it ! Check your Tooway model number (you never know).

Tooway model numbers
KA = 2101
KU = 1101 (this should be yours).

Title: Re: Fine Tuning Tooway
Post by on Feb 28th, 2010 at 5:17pm
It can take 20-30 minutes !

Title: Re: Fine Tuning Tooway
Post by Eric Johnston on Feb 28th, 2010 at 7:58pm
The LNB has a rectangular waveguide aperture and this must be aligned to match the rectangular waveguide in the flange to which it is attached.  It does not matter which side of the LNB has the printed lable.  There is a pin inside the LNB waveguide and which side that is on does not matter either.

The BUC has a similar rectangular waveguide which must also be aligned correctly, which leaves you with the option of having the fins on top or underneath.  My preference would be to have the fins underneath.  The smooth top lid is then the part that receives the full heat of the sun in summer.  The lower finned part is the heatsink for the transmitter transistors and having these fins shaded underneath will make them slightly cooler in summer. Cool air also rises up through the fins and out the raised side, which helps cooling.  If you have the fins on top it gets very hot between the fins with the sun shining and no wind to force air into the spaces.

A cheap satellite meter will enable you to peak up on each satellite.  For you, the adjacent satellites are in a gently sloping line across the sky from lower left to upper right.  Once you have found the satellites try each one in turn for 8 - 30 minutes and your receiver will lock up on the wanted carrier when you find the right satellite.

The elevation scale will be in error by several degrees if the pole clamp is slack or the head unit nuts not all tightened down.

Without a simple meter you will need to be very patient and still may not succeed.  

Once you do find the satellite spend at least 30 minutes peaking up.

Best regards, Eric.

Title: Re: Fine Tuning Tooway
Post by on Mar 7th, 2010 at 3:16pm

Left an old (reused) Gilat dish, right a Channel Master dish. Both are pointed at Eurobird 3a, signal level is the same.

I did an installation today (see picture, left dish), it took me less than 1 minutes to find Eurobird 3a and about 8 minutes to activate, the whole installation was done within 1 hour (incl. tea break) not a big help for you but it gives you an indication. Feedhorn, buc and lnb should all be in-line like Eric mentioned. It could take 30 minutes before the modem locks on the satellite.

I realy think you need a proper satellite finder to align the dish, thats all.

I will send you our MSN address by email so you can talk direct to me.

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