As previously discussed, the migration from AMC-8 to AMC-18 is in full swing. There is less than two weeks left to complete the re-aiming process. All totalled, we have 24 of these things to re-point and all but two of them are done. Toward that end, I have this down to an art:
- Go inside and make a note of the signal strength on the satellite receivers on AMC-8
- Look up the elevation angle on dish align app for AMC-8 then compare that to what the inclinometer reads, note the difference between the calculated and actual readings
- Look up the elevation angle on the dish align app for AMC-18, apply the difference noted above to the final value
- Connect the XR-3 satellite aiming tool to the LNB, make sure LNB power is on and the unit is set to AMC-18, C-band
- Elevate the dish to the AMC-18 final elevation angle calculated above
- Note the azimuth on the dish align app, look at the satellite picture and pick out a land mark. Swing the dish towards the land mark
- As you start to see signal from various satellites, swing more slowly. If the elevation angle is set correctly, when the dish passes AMC-18 at 105 degrees W, the XR-3 will lock on
- Peak the signal (azimuth and elevation)
- Rotate the LNB feed horn for maximum signal to noise ratio
- Go inside, check satellite receivers, reprogram carrier frequencies as necessary
It is pretty easy. I can do the whole thing in about thirty minutes if there are no rusted bolts, etc. I wonder how many small station owners will wake up on July 1st with no satellite programming?
The Applied Instruments XR-3 (XR-S2ACM-01) VSAT-ACM satellite signal meter with AMC-18 locked. This hand held tool is great and makes aiming any dish a snap. As the sky around AMC-18 is a wee bit crowded, it is easy to mistakenly find the wrong satellite. With the Identify function, the satellite the dish is aimed to will be displayed, then the dish can be adjusted accordingly to the correct bird.
There are many different flavors of dishes; Comtech, Patriot, Prodelin, etc.
These are all about the same to work with, the only difference is the degree of rust and deterioration on the mounting hardware, the age of the LNB and number of bees nests that need to be removed.