Installing a Sailor 900 VSATStandard 9.74 antenna mounting pattern | Opening the hatch Torx 20 | Single crossdeck IF cable | System requires 24VDC supply at ACU | Connect Modem IF cables | Connect Modem Console RJ45 to DB9 | Connect modem to ACU LAN1 | Connect PC to the GUI in the ACU | Configure NETWORK/ Lan port 1: VSAT Modem Unit | Edit VSAT Modem Profile | Set Tracking Profile | Edit Satellite Profile | Connect Gyro Heading | Azimuth Calibration | Cable Calibration | Confirm GPS latlong update to modem | Satellite Line up with provider | Set Blockage Zones | Download Diagnostic and Statistic Report |
The antenna can be mounted in any orientation, and does not need to point at the bow of the vessel.
It is most important to provide a safe and easy path to the hatch in the base of the antenna without the need for long ladders, or serious acrobatics to access the hatch.
If the antenna is mounted on a flat surface, it should be raised up on, at least, a 12 inch (30cm) stub mast to allow a technician enough room to slide in under the antenna, into the hatch.
The single coax N-connector is offset to the side of the mounting base, but can be custom modified to enter from the center of the mounting base post.
If one does need to open the radome to inspect the antenna, it is very important to know that it requires a Torx 20 screwdriver to first release the security catches before unlatching the antenna base hatch.
The coax must have a maximum of
20-25dB attenuation (including the connectors) at 1700MHz,
2dB attenuation at 10Mhz,
4dB attenuation at 36 and 56 MHz,
and a total loop DC resistance of 0.9 ohms.
In many cases the DC resistance is the limiting factor, not the RF peformance.
These are the numbers I came up with and the maximums specified in the manual.
|1700MHz||10MHz||36-54MHz||Loop DCresistance||Calculated Max||Recommended Max(manual)|
|dB/100ft||dB/100ft||dB/100ft||Ohms/100ft||Feet (m)||Feet (m)|
|RG223||18.00||1.20||2.60||1.11||81 ft (25 m)||80 ft (24 m)|
|RG214||10.80||0.55||1.30||0.24||185 ft(56 m)||160 ft (50 m)|
|LMR300||8.5||0.60||1.30||0.43||207.9 ft (63 m)||N/A|
|LMR400||5.50||0.40||0.90||0.30||296 ft(90 m)||N/A|
|LMR600||3.60||0.20||0.50||0.17||520 ft(160 m)||440 ft (134 m)|
|LDF4 /RFA||2.97||0.21||0.46||0.13||660 ft (200 m)||N/A|
|LDF4.5-50||2.22||0.15||0.33||0.06||900 ft (275 m)||980 ft (300 m)|
LMR400 should suit most installations.
Most installations will use the TT-6080A power supply to run off AC power.
The antenna operates on 20-32VDC (23-14A) with a startup peak current of 35A. It can operate on ship's 24V battery supply fused with a 30A (Slowblow) breaker.
Voltages between 0 and 2.5V represent receive signal strength. Voltages between 2.5V and 5.0V represent signal strength and modem receive lock.
In an openAMIP installation, this is only used to display an RSSI bar graph on the GUI showing the modem receive signal. The cable is not required for normal operation. It is not supplied with the antenna.
The pinout is just 2 wires pins
5(RJ45) - 5 (DB9) and
8(RJ45) - 9(DB9)
Alternatively, The modem LAN A and the ACU LAN and the ship's network can be connected to an external switch. The modem will act as gateway. The ACU address is determined by the [ANTENNA] address in the option file and the subnet and gateway are determined by the [ETH0_1] paragraph in the option file.
The ACU LAN 3 will provide an IP address to the laptop in the range 192.168.0 XXX.
With a browser (preferably Google Chrome) browse to 192.168.0.1. Login as Admin with password ****.
LAN 3 can be jumpered on the rear of the ACU to the service port on the front of the ACU for ease of access for service. This jumper can also be removed after service to prevent front panel access.
Find the antenna IP address in the option file from the satellite provider, or downloaded from the modem via iSite or the modem web GUI.
LAN Port 1 IP address is in the option file paragraph under the heading [ANTENNA]. This is the address to be entered in LAN1 of the ACU.
The subnet mask and gateway IP address is found in the option file under the paragraph [ETH0_1].
The port must match the port in the option file under [ANTENNA] paragraph. Example 2000 or 4001.
Set to Narrow band
Select the VSAT Modem profile created in previous step (example idirect openAMIP)
Elevation caut off defaults to 10 degrees but can be set lower if needed.
Tracking type select Narrow band
Rx Frequency VSAT Modem
On the Web GUI, under SERVICE>Calibration> initially change the Heading input to None and let the antenna find the satellite and get receive lock on the modem.
NMEA 0183 heading from the gyro compass connects to pins 9(+) and 10(-) of the 11 pin connector on the back of the ACU. The BAUD rate is auto sensed and is not adjustable.
The antenna looks for the $HEHDT string from the compass.
On the Web GUI, under SERVICE>Calibration>change heading to External and verify gyro update on the screen.
The antenna must be tracking a known satellite, either the communications satellite confirmed by receive lock on the modem, or a DVB TV satellite configured in a satellite profile.
Under SERVICE>Calibration> Azimuth Calibration, select the Satellite profile of the modem or enter tyhe DVB satellite parameters.
For US waters, a known test satelite would be 121W Vertical, Co-pol or Crosspol, 12016 MHz 20 Ms/s NID =0 but any suitable, linear DVB satelite can be used.
For azimuth calibration the heading must be set to External, if heading signal is present, or Fixed, if no heading source is available.
Even if the antenna will eventually be operating in no gyro mode, it is essential to do an azimuth calibration in Fixed mode, before switching back to None for normal operation.
Whenever changing from Fixed to External or External to Fixed, a new azimuth calibration needs to be conducted.
Under Azimuth calibration press [Start] and wait for the cable calibration to complete.
At the bottom of the page under SERVICE>Calibration> Cable calibration press [Start]. The antenna will move in elevation to the zenith (straight up) and then measure the line loss at 5 different frequencies while measuring the output power using a built in detector in the OMT. This masurement can be seen on a bar graph on the DASHBOARD under TX. It is best to use Chrome or Firefox browser, as IE had some issues with early versions of software.
When the cable calibration is complete, the Attenuator margin will indicate the quality of the coax cable run, and how much extra margin remains. A low number (<5dB) indicates a coax run that is close to the maximum length limit or compromized connectors, and a high number ~20dB indicates a shorter cable run and good connectivity between ACU and antenna.
There have been issues with some versions of Internet Explorer where Cable cal is grayed out, so it is recommended to use Chrome or Firefox.
The modem must have GPS coordinates before it can transmit.
It is essential to enter the Modem CW frequency in the web interface Line up page under SERVICE/Line Up and click [ACTIVATE]. This allows the antenna to use the correct attenuation for that frequency. The test, Ku band, frequency is entered in both the antenna and the modem.
Polarization adjustment is seldom necessary. After peaking the polarization with the provider. Click [SAVE POLARIZATION OFFSET] and [DEACTIVATE] the CW carrier.
For the 1dB compression point test, the transmit power is adjusted with iSite, webGUI or telnet session as usual.
Note that because of the multiplexing of the signals onto the signal cable, and the cable calibration, the BUC compression point will be much higher than other antennas, in the region of -10dBm to -5dBm output from the modem.
Some NOCs can access the modem and Sailor antenna remotely to activate and deactivate the carrier and adjust power.
When the Diagnostic report is completed, click on Statistic report [Download].
the statistic report is in a csv format and can be opened in MS Excel.