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It had to happen sooner or later. A suprising set up.

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Paul Alciatore View Post
    Ahh ha! So you wrote the manual. Now I know who to blame.

    Some decades ago I was working for a TV station in Miami and I had a project going to add a remote control to a big satellite dish (5 or 6 meter). So I am working the midnight shift at the transmitter site which was where that dish was installed and I did some experiments with my new system and somehow lost the memory which stored the satellite positions. It is like 2AM and that dish was needed around 7AM for the morning shows. PANIC! And no one to call. I tried to find a satellite for a starting point and that was hard enough. Getting a positive ID on it was equally difficult. But then, FOLLOWING THE INSTRUCTIONS, it would not move to the next position on the arc. I could not locate a second satellite. A big dish like that literally has a very small beam or angular view so you needed to be within a fraction of a degree to see anything. I was literally out there with angle gauges on the moving dish trying to get even an inkling of a signal. It took me literally hours to discover that the internal calibration constants were off by almost a factor of two. I was only moving around half way between the satellites, but not exactly so two jumps also did not work. Like I said, PANIC!

    I finally found a second one with a lot of small jogs and was able to deduce the new factor needed and stored it in the memory and then was able to move from one to the next along the arc. I think I had it back in operation with only 45 minute or so to spare. But the instructions in the manual were WRONG, WRONG, WRONG! And I guess the factory guys who installed it didn't bother to tell us or to correct the manual.
    LOL. I didn't write "that" manual. I specifically left out all the regional stuff that would just confuse my guys. On the old C-band dishes as long as I got the same mount I would just count the threads on the elevation screw. Of course I was doing fixed terrestrial mounts on a steel pole set in concrete that I had made sure was perfectly level when I set it. Mobile installations were much more of a pain. Once we started installing automatic positioners I still would take a hand crank with me that was marked with all the satellites. I'd install that first, dial in the arc, and then switch to the power jack.
    *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.