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Author: mux22

Actuator help

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Post time: 2017-02-09 06:42:45
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Edited by Bow at 2017-02-09 07:16

The best BUD dishes are free, LOL.   I got my dish and first Satellite Receiver (Tracker 4 Analog Receiver) for next to nothing back in the 1980's from a guy that had changed to Dishnet and his wife wanted the BUD out of their yard ASAP.    His wife came outside and was smiling when we took it down. LOL

Your son's idea on the Captain America paint job sounds cool and maybe more recognizeable than a Deathstar.  LOL

Yes I noticed the wrench marks on the bolt in the 2nd picture but hoped you just tightened it up, hope you do remember the setting it was on previously.      there is a way to test the dish to see if it tracks the Satellite Arc correctly that you can do on a nice day if you find that you don't get satellites on each end of the dish's arc (East and West ends).    Let me know if you want to do it.


I've seen that brand on the internet but i've never owned one so i'm not familiar with that brand LNBF but as long as it works well and you are happy with it.  Thats what matters.

It sure wouldn't hurt to at least try that new scaler ring (since you know Simon Bolevar is a weak satellite that would be a good one to test on) I would do some testing and settle on a channel on that Satellite and write down the signal strength and quality readings with both the old scaler ring and the new one and see which peaks signals the best.    A little bit more signal on a thick cloudy and rainy day/night can be the difference in getting weak Satellite's Channels clearly or suffering from rain/snow fade.
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 Author| Post time: 2017-02-09 07:51:27
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Yes, I would like to see if it tracks the arc.  This weekend would be as good as time as any.  How do I test it?
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Post time: 2017-02-09 10:47:48
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Edited by Bow at 2017-02-10 08:39

First if you can remember where to adjust that Polar Mount cam back to its original spot then do that.

Next on your (South Satellite) on Simon Bolivar with a signal meter on the LNB or have someone watching the TV inside your house (or if you have a small tv bring it outside on an extension cord) then do the below.

You also need to find and lock in Satellites at the East and West end of your dishes arc.

1. Gently but firmly lift the bottom edge of the dish for about 30 seconds and then firmly push down on the dish for 30 seconds and find out if the signal goes up or down when lifting or pushing down on the dish.  (if it stays the same or drops when lifting and pushing down its good to go).   

2. Next go to the Satellites at each end of the dishes arc and do the same thing.

Below is a picture that will explain some of the ways the dish can be misaligned, including if the Polar Mount is out of adjustment which will affect the Declination (high or low) or if your (South Satellite) is too far West or East.
satellite_arc.JPG
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 Author| Post time: 2017-02-13 13:43:01
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I had a bad weekend with the dish.  While checking to see if I would track the arc I found my axis was off so I adjusted it so I would be sure to get 139 W.  I moved the axis but in doing so I have messed up my actuator.  The actuator was in it's furthest eastern location when I moved it.  Moving the dish evidently put too much strain on the actuator and now it will not extend.  

This actuator does not have adjustable mechanical limits.  When it reaches it's max it will keep spinning but it does not push or pull it just goes into some sort of neutral setting.  When I moved the dish it was in this neutral setting.  Now it will not extend do I have removed it from the dish.  

Now when I move it by had it is very hard to moved bet prior to this it was very easy to move by hand.  It is in some kind of a bind so I am going to take it apart to see what is going on.
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Post time: 2017-02-13 16:57:06
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Edited by Bow at 2017-02-13 17:21

"I had a bad weekend with the dish.  While checking to see if I would track the arc I found my axis was off so I adjusted it so I would be sure to get 139 W.  I moved the axis but in doing so I have messed up my actuator.  The actuator was in it's furthest eastern location when I moved it.  Moving the dish evidently put too much strain on the actuator and now it will not extend. "

Sounds like its jammed in the fully retracted position, here is a video, yours may be different on how its assembled but this video may give you an idea or two on disassembly and what to do on yours to unjam it as that is what he does in this repair video.      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=togBgTe9HJA


This actuator does not have adjustable mechanical limits.  When it reaches it's max it will keep spinning but it does not push or pull it just goes into some sort of neutral setting.  When I moved the dish it was in this neutral setting.  Now it will not extend do I have removed it from the dish.    Never saw a Linear Actuator do that before but yours may have a clutch built into it so when its locked up or when it reaches the limit of travel the clutch just slips, if not something may be sheared (shear pin).  Most BUD linear actuators have switches that stop powering the motor and tell you on your TV when it has traveled and reached its East or West limit and will not travel any further.

Now when I move it by had it is very hard to moved bet prior to this it was very easy to move by hand.  It is in some kind of a bind so I am going to take it apart to see what is going on. I wouldn't force it as you may damage it internally and may have to buy a new one.
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 Author| Post time: 2017-02-16 00:54:18
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I have not had much time to work on the actuator but I am far enough into to see that it does have a clutch.  Also this actuator comes apart differently than the one in the video.  The outer sleeve screws directly onto the motor housing.  It is basically an aluminum pipe with threads on the bottom.  
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Post time: 2017-02-16 12:48:51
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Hahaha, i'd be curious to how old that is.     See any kind of data plate on it?
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 Author| Post time: 2017-02-16 23:11:46
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Bow 2017-02-16 12:48
Hahaha, i'd be curious to how old that is.     See any kind of data plate on it?

There is a data sticker on it but it cannot the info on it is long gone.  I took it off of a very old 12' dish. I like it better than the Venture I have.
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