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Thread: Please identify this dish and what to do with it

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    Default Please identify this dish and what to do with it

    Hi,

    I bought a house recently around Hobart and found this thing sitting in the backyard (see photos). Being a total satellite newbie I have no idea about these things. It's a Kaul-Tronics Inc dish, ~2.3m in diameter, but that's about all I can say about it. All labels etc are washed out so I can't find any model numbers or anything. It's currently pointing northish, or ~300 degrees WNW by a phone compass app (which I think is bogus, don't have a real compass, sorry), previous owners had tuned it to Indian broadcasting so I suppose it's pointed to a relevant satellite. I'm guessing the LNB is C Band. I don't have a DVB-S receiver or anything and before I spend dollars towards one I'd like to know whether it's worth the effort or not? I had a look at lyngsat but... that's just confusing. Also looking at the rear "arm" and cabling, is this thing motorised? If so will need to look at where the cables lead to...

    Any help/suggestions/etc are more than welcome.

    Thanks






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    C-Band Satilite Dish
    If u want to go on an expedition get a Land Rover, if u want to come home from an expedition get a Landcruiser!

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    Your post is a little bit confusing saying you bought the house and 'found this thing sitting in the backyard', which suggests you didn't inspect the property and see the dish prior to purchasing the property?

    But then you said you know what the previous property owned used the dish for.

    Yes, it's a C-Band dish and LNBF. (You must know a little bit, as you guessed correctly)

    It has a motorised actuator, but looking at the rusted condition, it may not be operational.

    Given you know what the previous owner used it for, you might have asked them about it?

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    Very likely the label on the actuator or 'Jack' has long gone but expect it to need a 36V supply.
    At the end of that cable COULD be a box roughly the size of a decoder which is designed to go between the decoder and the Actuator and when you choose a channel, it then provided power to the actuator/Jack.
    Under no circumstances try to power the actuator without finding out exactly what it is and how its meant to function as it is a precision devise and although very robust and designed to last for years outside, a wrong voltage or polarity could see it go up in smoke.
    If the mesh still look in good condition with no holes in the mesh or buckling distortion of the dish, it should still work ok.
    Next is to find out is if the LNB is still in working order.
    I stand unequivicably behind everything I say , I just dont ever remember saying it !!

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    Thanks for the replies!

    mtv: Unfortunately humour amongst other things is poorly transmitted and received over forum posts. I did see the dish, but that went to the non-important basket as that was not the reason, nor did it provide any incentive, for me to purchase the property. Plus as real estate works, you don't usually even get to meet the vendor. All I got from the real estate agent was that "it's probably pointing to India" or some such. Just wondering what to do with it now

    gordon_s1942: That's very useful info, thanks for that. It actually makes perfect sense now, I have 2x 2 pair copper wires hanging off the wall in the sitting room next to the plate of two coax connectors (F/RG6 connector?), similar to ones used to wire speakers to an amplifier. Been wondering about those as well... So judging from what you are saying I'm up the creek without that box that the previous owners took with them. There's a ton of random cabling around/underneath the house to sort out as well so I suppose I'll find it eventually.

    Cheers

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    decr, thats what I have on the rear of a 'bought but never used' controller called a "POSITIONER".
    And on the rear of the box is marked M1, M2, GRND and PULSE.
    Inside the actuator or Jack would be similar notations to allow you to connect up a suitable cable.
    Colour coding is not important as you could use your own choice so long as if RED went to M1 on the 'Positioner', it did the same on the Actuator/jack.
    Now I think (MTV or other can advise) it works this way, to drive the Jack OUT, it MAY take a 36 V + on M1 and the - negative on the GRND, to close the jack, + is applied to M2, with the - still on the Ground.
    The Pulse I think is actually a 'Counter' that every time the motor whatever turns 1 revolution, it send a 'pulse' to the 'Positoner' to say where it is, ie from closed to midway may equal 300 turns which could be the angle needed to pick up a specific satellite.

    If you know how a Cars cruise control works, than thats similar.

    Those F connectors, one at least should go to the LNB unless its Dual type.

    No harm in reading up and ask the forum for anything your not clear on.

    Please dont try out my thoughts on this without getting it confirmed first by someone who knows how these operate.
    ****************************

    DUH........... enlarged those pics and that dish looks like its in very good condition and ignoring the surface rust on the actuator, it looks ok too.
    Whoever installed it looks like they spent time and effort doing so which means you should be able to use it if you have a mind to.
    And I noticed a label on the 'bottom' of the actuator so that may aid in checking it out.
    The LNB is obviously a Single fed LNB with only one cable coming from it so if you have 2 on that wall panel, eeny meeny Miny Mo to see which it is and where does the other go ??
    ohh dear, how poetic of me???
    Last edited by gordon_s1942; 21-11-15 at 06:16 PM.
    I stand unequivicably behind everything I say , I just dont ever remember saying it !!

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    Nnngh the mobile site just ate my reply, but in short:

    gordon_s1942: Geez, with your feedback I now feel obligated to research and set it all up and I blame you .

    Seems like I deleted a part from my earlier reply, there's also your standard foxtel like looking dish on the roof so that's probably the other one of those connectors. The label you mentioned is totally blank, whatever was on it has been eaten away by the weather.

    If I'd omit the "positioner" bit at this stage just to try it out (like I said, I have no idea what I am able to receive and just adjust it manually), what sort of receiver should I look for? I suppose your standard STBs are ok? Is it worth going with DVB-S2? Any decent capture cards that work with Linux with potential CI card support... Never had "pay-tv" so this is unknown territory for me, I suppose I'll read up about it but in the mean time any advice is welcome.

    Edit: Mobile phones...
    Last edited by decr; 21-11-15 at 08:24 PM.

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    The label on the motor of the actuator indicates that it is a very commonly available Venture actuator.

    All the Venture actuators I have encountered operate on 36 volts DC (as Gordon has suggested).

    I can't remember ever seeing any labelling on a Venture actuator indicating which connectors are for the motor and which are for the pulse generator, so be careful. Connecting 36 volts to the pulse generator will destroy it!

    The length of an actuator used with a 2.3m dish is commonly 24 inches. Measuring the length of the rusty section of the "barrel" of the actuator will confirm whether yours is also the 24 inch type.

    The actuator is fixed to the LHS of the dish and it is almost closed at present, indicating that the dish is pointing in a north-westerly direction, but it is not possible to know whether it is actually pointing at a satellite. Use of a satellite meter (or at a pinch, a satellite receiver) will indicate whether any signals are present, and if so, can also indicate which satellite the dish is currently aligned to.

    The motorised dish is mounted to the post using a polar mount. The polar mount will be accurately aligned to due north, assuming that it was installed correctly and has not been interfered with.

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    If you are buying a decoder, one suitable for dvbs-2 is advisable as more and more satellite transmissions are using that platform..

    Foxtel typically have two F type connectors on an outlet plate if a dual tuner decoder has been installed. Eg. Foxtel iQ.

    If the LNB on the Foxtel dish has two cables, both on the wallplate may be just for Foxtel... or, maybe one for Foxtel and one for the C-Band dish... or... perhaps the Ku-Band dish isn't for Foxtel at all.

    You would have to try setting up a decoder on several different satellites to be able to check signals.

    A professional satellite meter (in the hands of an experienced operator) could determine what satellites the dishes are pointing at in a matter of seconds, but looking at and entering your address and selecting the satellites will give you a guide using Google Earth. Move the marker to where your dishes are and when you select various satellites from the list, you'll see a directional line that should give you an indication where the dishes are pointing.

    You can't use a Foxtel card in a CI slot of anything other than the decoder the card is supplied with if that was what you were considering when you mentioned pay TV.

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    Thank you all for your informative feedback! I'll need to look into this Venture controller box as well as a receiver/decoder. I thought dvb-s2 would be the go but thanks for confirming this as well.

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    decr, I am so pleased to have whetted your curiosity to see just what you do have and what may be connected to what.
    Firstly, DONT disconnect the Actuator from the dish or try to turn it (Dish) for the time being at least.
    Check out what you think may be a Foxtel dish (ku Band) and note if it has one or more cables coming out of the LNB and very roughly, do you think its pointing in the same direction as others of a similar design are.
    If it has only one, there are 2 possibilities, it could be an earlier Foxtel/Austar installation and neither a MyStar or IQ was ever installed as the original STB's did not require 2 cables or its pointing to maybe D2 which is close to the C1/D3 used by Foxtel.
    If there is only one cable, then this may be the other in that Wall plate but again, unless you can visually trace the cables, do nothing for the present.

    Time to put the 'thinking Cap on' and review where your at and what do you want to do??

    Before buying a decoder, I think you need to consider MTV's suggestion of either finding a Satellite knowledge friend or get a professional in to test what goes where and what still works and what doesnt.

    I am suggesting this because you say this is all new to you and it could be a bit of a 'Money Pit' if you dont know where your going.
    Have Fun...........
    I stand unequivicably behind everything I say , I just dont ever remember saying it !!

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    Just another note on the actuator, mine stopped moving the other day and the positioner was giving me an error message. So I hoped on the roof and checked the wiring and got my son to push the button on the remote to move it which produced a strained 'trying to move but can't' noise .

    I pulled it off the dish (as working on things on the roof ends up with nuts etc... rolling into the gutter - not good when you don't like heights) and opened up the motor part on terrafirma. decr, make sure you don't put a hole in the dish when disconnecting the actuator as these dishes are heavier than they look.
    Sure enough, there was rust in the cilinder and on the magnets. Used sand paper, WD40, an old toothbrush, and put a bit of sewing machine oil at the end and bob's your uncle it's working again after resetting the positioner box. Saved me some dosh.

    I would check Lyngsat to see what channels that you might like to watch. Good luck with it.
    2.3 M Phoenix C-Band dish, Star C-Band LNBF, 24" Actuator, Phoenix V-box, Strong 4930L decoder & ex-foxtel KU-Band dish, Sharp twin LNBF

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    Hi guys,

    haven't abandoned this project, just been busy with other things. I measured the "barrel", it's 32" from the top where the rusted shell starts to the bottom of the "actuator", so actuator included.

    Any suggestions on which decoder to get? Preferably DVB-S2 if it doesn't blow the budget. I just googled Mattsat's Phoenix V-box, is that unit functional or would anyone recommend something else? I'm still tossing and turning whether just to get someone in (who knows these things and costs $$$ ), or just see if I can make sense of it myself. It's currently hanging on whether I can find a way to wire up the actuator without destroying it as mentioned couple of posts back and which satellites I can actually get to. The satellite is elevated, to around head level, with free line of sight WNW to N, towards NE it might get obstructed.

    Oh, and the other dish seems to be a Foxtel one as there are similar dishes around nearby houses and seem to point in the same direction.

    Need to keep my thinking cap on.

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    I am not totaly sure but I dont think any brand of decoder on the market has the required power output of 36V to drive the actuator.
    If this is correct, then because you dont have any idea of where the Dish is pointing, you could be scanning blank space forever.

    Decoders WILL drive what is called 'H to H' (Horizon to Horizon) type of rotators but not the screw jack type.

    If I am correct, you have your decoder connected to the 'positioner' through the Co-Ax cable so that when you change channels that requires the Dish to be turned, a signal is sent through that cable to the 'positioner' so it then applies power (36V) to the actuator to drive the dish where you want it.

    In a new installation, there is a procedure to follow to syncronise the actuator and positioner together to suit your specific location but presently you have no idea where the dish is pointing or where the actuator is positioned, a bit like getting in a car blindfolded and not having any idea where the wheels are pointing with no hands on the wheel, drive off.....
    In the handbook I have for a positioner, it does suggest ways of resetting everything and bringing the actuator back to its lower limit (fully retracted) and going from there but never having done it myself, I cannot say if this applies to all.
    I stand unequivicably behind everything I say , I just dont ever remember saying it !!

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    since you don't sound confident you have unobstructed view across the whole arch and maybe want to try a cheap option first
    you could make up a crank handle pretty easy yourself and manually spin your dish
    two angle brackets, a 1 meter length of threaded 12mm rod, some bolts,nuts and washers
    the nuts at the very end will need to be 'locked' onto the thread either side of the bracket
    remove your actuator and replace it with this (you might want to make a mark on the mount somewhere before removal so you can line it up the the current sat again easily)
    slow but it works
    I put some heatshrink over the handle end to protect my dishwash hands
    if you're happy with what you can get (and catch that bug) you can always get a v-box then

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    decr,

    If you are absolutely certain that the dish and associated hardware, LNB(F) and actuator, are currently in working order, it is safe to proceed with the acquisition of the required receiver and/or positioner.

    If you are uncertain however, it would be wiser to get someone with sufficient knowledge to test the installation before proceeding to purchase anything, otherwise you will waste your hard-earned cash.

    Make some inquiries to see whether there is a local satellite installer who would be prepared to help, or alternatively, try to locate a local "enthusiast" to assist with testing. If you have to pay a professional (usually the less risky option), get a quote first.
    Last edited by tristen; 27-11-15 at 10:05 PM.

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    The Pheonix postioner I got was with a package - dish, lnb, receiver etc... I don't think it is the greatest quality but it hasn't let me down yet. By the way, you can get a switch and to change between the mesh and foxtel dish and use the smaller dish to get Ku band channels - check out lingsat.
    2.3 M Phoenix C-Band dish, Star C-Band LNBF, 24" Actuator, Phoenix V-box, Strong 4930L decoder & ex-foxtel KU-Band dish, Sharp twin LNBF

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    Mattsat, from reading decr's posting he has a Ku Dish as well as the Mesh but again, he has no idea (as yet) where it is pointing and is it connected to the wall plate that he mentions.
    No doubt from only recently moving in this house recently if I am correct, he is busy 'settling in' and doing the '100 and 1' (Honey Do Jobs?) before he has the time at least (and money) to sort out the satellite installation.
    I agree with you based on his own comments he is unfamiliar with such installations that he does indeed need to 'Find a Cluey Friend' or a qualified installer as it will save him a lot of time and I believe money in the long term.
    If he had bought all the bits pieces and was setting it up, you learn as you go but coming in 'Cold' without knowing if it still is usable and what the other person has done, is a quite a task for a newcomer.
    I stand unequivicably behind everything I say , I just dont ever remember saying it !!

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    You said it points WNW on about a 300 bearing. Could be pointing at about 100E on the Clarke belt, where things like your Asiasats and such was located years ago, which held European bouquets and things when digital first came out. Hence the reason the guy saying it probably pointed to India.

    The only others of significance that I know of from that time was things like your PAS4/PAS10 at 68E C-band, but that only had a footprint up to Western Australia, so it's unlikely that it was pointing that far west. The elevation angle looks too high anyway.

    Bearing in mind, I'm just going on the fact that this seems to be an old dish, so I'm thinking back to stuff that was up there that might not be up there anymore.

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    Asiasat 5 at 100.5 degrees east has not, to my knowledge carried any Indian C-band channels.

    Neither the OP nor we have any idea whether the dish is in fact aligned to any satellite at this stage, or whether the installation is operational, hence my suggestion in post #16 to seek informed local advice.

    Probably, the most helpful thing that we all can do is wait to hear what course of action decr wishes to pursue before offering additional comment, lest we add to any existing confusion due to information overload.

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