Newbie Here Bringing a Seatel system back to life

J

Jon Lee

New Member
Messages
3
My Satellite Setup
Ship based 40" Seatel 4894
Seatel TAC-92 ACU
My Location
On a ship so varies
Hi,

I've just started working on a ship and we have a Seatel satelite for receiving TV signals. It hasn't been used onboard for about 3 years but I'm taking on the project of trying to get it back working. I know very little about satellites specifically but have dug up the following information.

Seatel 4894
48" dish with stabilised pedestal assembly
Controlled by TAC-92 ACU

I believe it has a universal twin LNB with the following spec
Output: Dual output
RF Frequencies: 10.7 – 12.75 GHz
LO Frequency: 9.75/10.60 GHz
Noise Figure: 0.2/0.3 dB
Polarization modes: Linear: Vertical and Horizontal
Polarization control: 13/18v switch

We have a number of decoders/receivers onboard in a cupboard from when it was working and the ship has been in different regions.

My first aim is to try and ascertain whether the satelite and PCU/ACU are working. When I power it up there is movement in the dome but the dish seems to rotate until a limit and then keep trying to move. You can see motor slipping and jumping back on itself. I don't mean Az or El here I mean a rotation of the dish itself.

Here's the complete newbie bit as I am unsure as to why the dish would actually be rotating like this? Whats it trying to do?

I have a DSTV decoder attached up and was trying to point at 68.5 E. Whilst I know the card will be out of date I assumed I could prove that the dish setup was working, then look into providers/packages and prices etc after that.

If someone could teach me about the dish rotation, advise how I might calibrate/reset it as it's clearly trying to move the dish beyond it's limits and offer any good suggestions as to where to start to simply confirm that the ACU/LNB and Dish are working, I can deal with which provider/channels afterwards.

Thanks in advance for any assistance.

Jon
 
Analoguesat

Analoguesat

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
48,231
Location
Scottish Borders
My Satellite Setup
TM 5402HD
Skybox F3
Sky+ UK.
My Location
Scottish Borders
Hi Jon welcome to the forum. This sort of thing is a bit specialised but we will try and help if we can.

First of all where are you at the moment (approximately). For instance theres no point trying to get 68.5E if you are in the western Atlantic.
 
Terryl

Terryl

Specialist Contributor
Messages
2,668
My Satellite Setup
OpenBox X5 on a 1 meter motorized dish.
And now a 10 foot "C" band dish.

Custom built PC
My Location
Deep in the Boonies in the central Sierra Nevada mountains of California.
It's trying to find it's last known satellite, and the ship may have moved far beyond that bird, don't power it back up until you contact SeaTel for reset or calibration instructions, or thoroughly read through the manual on to do a reset/re-calibration on the ATU.

If you don't have a manual then look here.
Code:
https://www.cobham.com/media/71150/126310_B2.pdf
There is a contact number in the manual for tech support, but it's not free.

And if you have the radome off the antenna, DO NOT get too close as this thing can/will move by it's self if the ATU is powered up, depending on the mounting location it could knock someone off the deck, or seriously hurt someone.
 
J

Jon Lee

New Member
Messages
3
My Satellite Setup
Ship based 40" Seatel 4894
Seatel TAC-92 ACU
My Location
On a ship so varies
First of all where are you at the moment (approximately).
Hi Analoguesat, and thanks! We're currently in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, specifically

Latitude 6° 49.698' S
Longitude 39° 17.319' E

It's trying to find it's last known satellite, and the ship may have moved far beyond that bird
Hi Terryl, thanks for the suggestion, would this not mean it would most likely be trying to change the AZ and El though?

The thing that is slipping is the rotation of the dish (is polarisation the right word?), I mean if you stared at the dish from the front it would be trying to turn clockwise/anti-clockwise.
 
Terryl

Terryl

Specialist Contributor
Messages
2,668
My Satellite Setup
OpenBox X5 on a 1 meter motorized dish.
And now a 10 foot "C" band dish.

Custom built PC
My Location
Deep in the Boonies in the central Sierra Nevada mountains of California.
If the system has been off for a long time it needs to be calibrated, there is a GPS system ether in the unit it's self or connected to the ships GPS system.

The ATU needs to know exactly where it is in relation to a set of co-ordinates, you need to enter these co-ordinates into the ATU, once this is done then the GPS unit will track the satellite you select, but first the ATU and it's control system may need to be reset to it's zero, both AZ and elevation.

Read through the manual and see what is required to reset these co-ordinates and also to keep the antenna from trying to auto find a possible non existing satellite for your location, this is why it's rotating the wrong way, it does not know where it is anymore and is trying to find the last satellite it last looked at.

This is a fairly complicated system, it uses a GPS location to track the satellites as the ship moves around, if not setup correctly you could damage some of the servo motors.

If you think you are technical enough to do the setup, then read the manuals carefully and follow the setup steps in it.

Or call the customer service number closest to your location and see what they can tell you about the system setup.
 
Last edited:
hairybadger

hairybadger

Bricoleur
Messages
1,370
Location
46.1N 6.4E
My Satellite Setup
see sig
My Location
near Geneva, Haute-Savoie, France
The thing that is slipping is the rotation of the dish (is polarisation the right word?), I mean if you stared at the dish from the front it would be trying to turn clockwise/anti-clockwise.
Skew :)
 
Terryl

Terryl

Specialist Contributor
Messages
2,668
My Satellite Setup
OpenBox X5 on a 1 meter motorized dish.
And now a 10 foot "C" band dish.

Custom built PC
My Location
Deep in the Boonies in the central Sierra Nevada mountains of California.
If the ATU has been off for a long time and the ship has moved, and was in the Northern Hemisphere when it was first turned off, and now you are in the Southern Hemisphere, then all it's stored information is 180 degrees out of sync, it needs to be properly re-set.
 
J

Jon Lee

New Member
Messages
3
My Satellite Setup
Ship based 40" Seatel 4894
Seatel TAC-92 ACU
My Location
On a ship so varies
I knew there would be a good term, thank you!

it needs to be properly re-set.
Thanks for the manual, I managed to find a 'Remote Reset' in the menu and set some of the initial parameters back to their defaults and it managed to lock on and the AGC went way up.

I tried the 3 DSTV decoders we had in the cupboard and none of them found any channels. I found one decoder that seemed to let me program in my own settings for frequency etc. Are there any recommended free to air satellites/channels I could try and get working just to prove the next step in my quest? Would be great to see anything appear on the TV screen!

Jon
 
Analoguesat

Analoguesat

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
48,231
Location
Scottish Borders
My Satellite Setup
TM 5402HD
Skybox F3
Sky+ UK.
My Location
Scottish Borders
Your best bet is probably Lyngsat

Intelsat 20 at 68.5°E - LyngSat

Ignore the top half of the chart (the 4 digit frequencies) - they are C-band and of no interest to you.

From this it looks like 11170V & 11514V might be worth trying
 
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