How it works
The basics of a satellite motor
There is a wide variety of satellite motors. There are actuators, H-2-H motors (like the Jaeger SMR1224 or Moteck H180) and the well known diseqc motors. Most satellite motors have a 36V DC motor inside. In most cases these motors also contain limit switches and a pulse sensor. The limit switches protect the motor turning not too far. Usually a satellite dish motor is equipped with a sensor circuit. This can be a reed sensor, an optical sensor or a hall sensor. The basics of each sensor type is that at each pulse the sensor wire is connected to ground. Some sensors require 5V to operate others donít. Pulses are generated when the motor is turning.
The operation of the Fibo-Box (version 1 and 3)
Every time the Fibo-Box was disconnected from the power and after restoring the power the Fibo-Box drives the Azimuth, Elevation and Skew motor to the start position. The start position is the maximum position of a motor. The original limit switch or an additional limit switch of the motor indicates when the limit is reached. Now the Fibo-Box knows the position of each motor. The user can now drive to a previously stored satellite position. For the Fibo-Box version 1 and version 3 the satellite positions are stored in a database on a PC. The Fibo-Box software (Windows) reads and writes to that database. Driving to a stored satellite position means the Fibo-Box has to count the pulses from each motor. With the Fibo-Box software it is easy to select a satellite position. The Fibo-Box software also gives the user the option to store a new satelite position or to drive each motor manually in small steps. The PC communicates with the Fibo-Box by a USB port.
The operation of the Fibo-Box (version 4)
The Fibo-Box version 4 does not use the build in limit switches or pulse sensors of a satellite motor. It operates with additional absolute rotary encoders. The absolute encoder is an electro-mechanical device that converts the angular position to a digital code. By this digital code the Fibo-Box knows the current position. Driving to a stored satellite position the digital code of the encoder must be equal to the stored code. The PIC microcontroller of the Fibo-Box version 4 has more memory then the one used in the Fibo-Box version 1 and 3. Because of this it was possible to store all satellite locations inside the Fibo-Box. And because of this the Fibo-Box version 4 can operate stand-alone although controlling it by PC is easier and gives the user more options.