Offical AMC 8 Transition Thread (was Sat. AMC-8)

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kkiddkkidd
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Re: Offical AMC 8 Transition Thread (was Sat. AMC-8)

Post by kkiddkkidd » Sun Feb 26, 2017 1:10 pm

TPT wrote:
Sat Feb 25, 2017 6:49 pm
Supposedly the major networks have downloaded (internet? Sat feed? both?) the settings for the new bird. Now would be the time to make sure any idle receivers that may be needed later (e.g.--for a sports feed) are powered up and hooked up to the internet and the present AMC-8 satellite feed so they will be ready when moved over to the new bird.

They setup a "fallback table" (IIRC) on the Wegner & XDS receivers. Of the 4ea XDS and 2ea Wegner receivers at this station, all of the rx's seemed to find the new carriers after a reboot. 2 of the 4 XDSPro RXs didn't have a display but had all green lights so I didn't try to log in to the web interface.

But yes, all spare RX's should be connected to AMC8 and internet. Otherwise you will have to manually change the tuner info.

Regards,
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Kevin C. Kidd CSRE/AMD
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Re: Offical AMC 8 Transition Thread (was Sat. AMC-8)

Post by awsherrill » Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:51 pm

Spent some time in the barrel the last couple of afternoons, trying to repoint our first dish of about a half-dozen or so.

We are lucky to have a spare dish to play around with, without worrying about disrupting any feeds. It is a Comtech 3.8m of unknown vintage, probably about 15-20 years old, similar to the one in use pointed at AMC-8. It took some solvent and heating with a blowtorch to get the hardware free.

We were able to borrow a "Super Buddy" aiming tool, which was somewhat useful. The internal field guide had not been updated recently, which may be why we could never get it to lock onto AMC-18. It did find one of the Anik birds at 107d, which at least gave us an idea of where we were on the arc.

Ultimately we had to hook up a spectrum analyzer and watch for the transponder signals while moving the dish in small increments, working back from the known satellite at 107 and carefully adjusting polarity. Finally got our Orbital test receiver to lock with an EB of just under 12, and called it good.

As Kevin noted, the neighborhood at 105 is pretty busy. You don't have to move the dish much in either direction to be on the wrong bird.

We have about three station groups still using old TVRO mesh dishes. After the ordeal with our (allegedly) 2-degree compliant dish, I really wonder if the old mesh jobs have a prayer of working at the new location.

Next time I will try to remember to bring a hard hat or bicycle helmet. I bonked my head on the dish mount hard enough to draw blood.

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Re: Offical AMC 8 Transition Thread (was Sat. AMC-8)

Post by KPJL FM » Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:19 am

That's just not right to draw blood from the dish mount. It doesn't deserve to treated that badly. :lol:
Your head, on the other hand, is an expendable item, according to most management. :twisted:
Trim to fit, paint to match, tune for minimum smoke.

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Re: Offical AMC 8 Transition Thread (was Sat. AMC-8)

Post by kkiddkkidd » Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:32 pm

Hi all,

Today we reaimed an old (but solid) 12ft mesh TVRO dish mounted on a wobbly home made mount on the roof of a wobbly roofed studio building... All in all, it didn't go too bad. We have absolutely no idea how stable it will be on the new bird but got EBNOs around 13 with AG up around 55 on the WW1 carrier. This dish is slightly under illuminated by design so may be OK. Or it may start taking interference hits as soon as someone fires up another carrier on an adjacent or cross pol bird. I have given the owner a written list of potential problems and caveats and he understands that the situation is far from optimal but the station owns nothing outside the building walls. A new ground mounted dish would have to be placed on a rented parking area adjacent to the studio building.

One issue that I kept running into today... The XDS rx freq kept switching back and forth between the new and old carrier freq until it was locked firmly onto the new sat. I assume that this is a function of the "Fall Back Carrier" but even after manually programming the new freq, it still continued to switch to the old freq every few minutes. The freq swap was indicated by a quick screen flicker and odd changes in indicated AG and brief non-existant EBNO numbers. It would spend several minutes on the old freq and then switch to the new for a few min... And then back to the old. All this on a 3 to 5 minute cycle. Plenty of time for us to miss 105d before discovering that it wasn't staying on the new freq (even manually programmed).

Access to this roof requires either a 32+ft ladder or a man lift capable of same. Someone stole my 32ft extension ladder several years ago so we rent a towable man lift to get up there as needed. I don't miss that ladder at all...

The owner is retired military comm tech and quite sat knowledgeable. After we reaimed the dish he immediately asked how I (as in ME) was going to clean out the snow from the now semi-bowl on his roof... Not my problem there bud... I see a new ground mounted dish in his future.

Later,
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Kevin C. Kidd CSRE/AMD
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Re: Offical AMC 8 Transition Thread (was Sat. AMC-8)

Post by Lee_Wheeler » Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:43 pm

My Eb/No looks really bad.
20170315_095744.jpg
...Lee

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Re: Offical AMC 8 Transition Thread (was Sat. AMC-8)

Post by kkiddkkidd » Thu Mar 16, 2017 7:51 am

Lee_Wheeler wrote:
Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:43 pm
My Eb/No looks really bad.

20170315_095744.jpg

...Lee
HA... I bet. That looks like a clients C5/AMC8 dish way back in the '80's. A tornado blew away a neighboring house but didn't damage the studio building or tower. Their mesh dish looked much like yours from wood & sheetrock debris. The old SA SEDAT RX came back on when power was restored but with significantly lower signal level.

We put most of the panels back in it, the signal level returned to about normal and it was operational for at least another 15yrs until the station sold and was moved. You can do that too... Be a hero.

Is that ice damage?

Later,
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Kevin C. Kidd CSRE/AMD
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Lee_Wheeler
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Re: Offical AMC 8 Transition Thread (was Sat. AMC-8)

Post by Lee_Wheeler » Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:23 am

What that is is a really bad execution of a bad idea. The tower behind it is a 1000' Stainless G-10 and it was doomed from the start. I think some fly-by-night data service put that in and then leased a subcarrier. I think they were out of business before the first ice storm so I guess from that perspective it was a success.

American Tower had a crew in to re-lamp that tower yesterday and sometimes a picture is just teed up and begging to be taken.

...Lee

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Re: Offical AMC 8 Transition Thread (was Sat. AMC-8)

Post by TPT » Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:45 am

If you have a receiver that is not currently in use (e.g., for baseball coverage) you may want to carefully check it out before you need it. Even if you've already made the switch & the receiver looks happy.

Our new dish is still sitting in the garage, but a couple of weeks ago we noticed that the breaks weren't running on Delilah. Pulled up the relay table on the XDS--and found everything was scrambled. Only thing that makes sense is some errant command got in there when they downloaded new settings.

(For the uninitiated, the relays on an XDS can be programmed in any sequence you want..but you need to use the special codes assigned with each program to get them to work.)

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Re: Offical AMC 8 Transition Thread (was Sat. AMC-8)

Post by kkiddkkidd » Tue Mar 28, 2017 6:52 pm

Moved an old 10ft AFC dish today. This dish was physically moved and aimed at AMC8 at it's new location about 6 months ago so the bolts were still very workable. We got the dish reaimed and mostly zeroed in a record time of about 40 minutes. The owner (and engineer) and myself were chuckling to ourselves how easy that went... Bad move.

We then spent the next 3 hrs trying to figure out why their Premier RX had an EB of 15 and AG of 60+ but a WW1 RX languished with NO EB and an AG of 54. We tried every move and gyration either of us had ever heard of. Nothing worked. The owner had an accomplice bring another similar (OLD) serial number WW1 RX from another station and it wouldn't lock either. Hmmmm...

I finally called WW1 support and Ron Rollo told me to "offset" the published WW1 01,121,000khz rx frequency to either 01,124,000khz or 01,127,000khz to see what happened. Did so and instantaneously got 10+ EB at the same AG. I tried the 127 and it was worse than 124...

The LNB is a new 25khz (or better) unit. We have moved a number of WW1 dishes and never ran into this but was glad to get it resolved. I have asked Ron via email if it is an LNB or OLD XDS rx issue but haven't received an answer so far.

It ain't supposed to be this hard...

Later,
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Kevin C. Kidd CSRE/AMD
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AM Ground Systems Company
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Re: Offical AMC 8 Transition Thread (was Sat. AMC-8)

Post by steveschuh » Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:48 am

Same problem here with the WW1 XDS. Had to change it up 01,127,000 khz. All the other XDS receivers and our Wenger were fine. It seems to be a problem with some of the older WW1 XDS receivers. All our receivers locked on and worked without doing a reboot. After the frequency change on the WW1 XDS it was reading about a 10 EB and the rest of the receivers were in the 14 EB range.
Steve

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Re: Offical AMC 8 Transition Thread (was Sat. AMC-8)

Post by Shane » Fri Apr 14, 2017 1:15 am

Repointed our undersized 10-footer Tuesday and Wednesday. It was only supposed to be Tuesday but we managed to get it to where it wouldn't receive anything unless we pointed it AMC-3.

That worked well enough we entertained the notion of leaving it there and point the 12-1/2 footer at -18. But first, made one more try on the 10-footer and SUCCESS!

Learfield recvr has EB/n0 of 13+. WW1 XDS is only 9, which is equal to where it was but the new environment will get more crowded, I'm told, and we could still have trouble on the horizon.

I'm going to try Kevin's suggestion from Ron Rollo just to see what it does.

Should clarify. We=our chief and another from across town. Mostly I played puppeteer with the programming to dance around the missing satellite feeds. Had to do it again last night when I was alarmed over missing programming that would have been recorded while the XDS was still out. Apparently it can't play a file back that it never heard. Imagine that.
Mike Shane, CBRE
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Re: Offical AMC 8 Transition Thread (was Sat. AMC-8)

Post by steveschuh » Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:38 am

I had forgotten one detail somebody brought to my attention. It is probably a good idea but I don't know how important to pay attention to the center of box predictions for AMC-18. Will this come back to bite me?
Steve

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Re: Offical AMC 8 Transition Thread (was Sat. AMC-8)

Post by Chris Arnesen » Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:44 am

steveschuh wrote:
Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:38 am
I had forgotten one detail somebody brought to my attention. It is probably a good idea but I don't know how important to pay attention to the center of box predictions for AMC-18. Will this come back to bite me?
If you do the peak alignment at the center of the box you can minimize issues that could cause attenuated signals -- rain, snow, wind, etc. I don't know how often others re-peak their dish alignment (no dish here to align), but it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to do as a part of annual maintenance.
Sincerely,
Chris Arnesen, CBNT, CRO

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Re: Offical AMC 8 Transition Thread (was Sat. AMC-8)

Post by kkiddkkidd » Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:05 am

It is important but not a huge issue that I have found. If I have a dish that is taking crosspol hits, I absolutely will check it at CoB just to be sure but typically just aim it and let it fly. So far, I haven't identified a problem.

With that said, to do it 100% correctly, yes you need to aim during one of the daily CoB times.

CoB on AMC18 occurs twice a day for anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hrs. The SES website will spit out a text file for each months CoB.

Later,
steveschuh wrote:
Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:38 am
I had forgotten one detail somebody brought to my attention. It is probably a good idea but I don't know how important to pay attention to the center of box predictions for AMC-18. Will this come back to bite me?
Steve
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Re: Offical AMC 8 Transition Thread (was Sat. AMC-8)

Post by kkiddkkidd » Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:10 am

I am having trouble getting a couple of my sometimes clients to OK reaiming their dish for the transition... I sent both an email basically saying that we need to be working on it now and that waiting until June 29th will be very expensive and problematic.
Chris Arnesen wrote:
Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:44 am
but it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to do as a part of annual maintenance.
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Kevin C. Kidd CSRE/AMD
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