Fixing Satellite SuperJack Actuator

slayer7

Donating Member
Messages
154
Hi i am getting quite loud noises out of actuator that i replaced with old part, anyone ever taken one apart regarding the magnet part. will grease suffice as to resolve the loud noise.?

here is pics of what i am referring too.

image
 
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slayer7

Donating Member
Messages
154
thanks butchy, on that magnet coil drive shaft it does look rusted so maybe something that would clean it up, although i dont want to mess up the magnets. its spins around in the cylinder shaft on the left in the pic. would it be right to use brillo pads possibly? maybe to harsh im thinking but would get rid of the rust.
 

ArloG

Senior Member
Messages
127
You're lucky. I'm getting more cat lives out of my supercrap 36", 2"tube than you could believe.
Phosphoric acid, CLR, Lime Away, and light scrubbing. And time. The magnets are ceramic.
Look carefully around the edges of them for "rust jacking". It may have lifted them from the housing slightly and decreased armature clearance.
The bronze bearings hopefully aren't worn and loose, wobbly. Hopefully.
Soak them in solvent like lighter fluid, naptha to get the old dried lube out of them. They are sintered and designed to absorb oil. But once it gooks-up. No good.
Once they have soaked and the bores scrubbed once in awhile with Q-Tips. Rinse them good. Let them dry. Then use a light viscosity synthetic motor oil. 0W, 5W will do.
Saturate them good. Again, soaked Q-Tips work good. Make sure that the springy bearing supports work freely. Stick an armature shaft in and work them around. Should be friction but not loose.
You can put a dab of grease in the bearing support cavities, enough to ooze into the bearings over time. Don't mix up the spacer washers.
Hint. The brush wires hook over little posts on the brush holders and pull them back so you can assemble the motor w/o crashing the brushes.
If you have the skills. Being a supercrap. The brushes and springs are probably toast. Hardware stores or auto parts stores have ones that may very closely fit.
If you do find brushes. Choose ones that are copper and graphite. They will last longer.
Careful sanding on a glass plate and a piece of scrap for a guide to keep them rectangular. A little sanding, a little test fitting. Until they slip freely in the brush holders. Bevel the edges. You'll see. You can clean up the old ring terminals and solder the brush braid to them in a jif. Be sure the solder doesn't wick too far into the braid.
I couldn't find exact matches. But I found ones close. 15-20 minutes to size them and wa-frikkin'-la!
The commutator is hopefully still good. Fine sandpaper and spin it in your fingers to get them looking good. Be careful on the wiring.
So far so good?
On my actuator shaft when it got below freezing I would get motor, sensor errors because the old grease in it was....old.
I extended it with a drill. Got a small Zerk fitting. Drilled a hole about 1/4 way from the motor coupling end.
Be careful. You want a very tight interference fit for the grease fitting. 2 threads or so max so it doesn't interfere with the internal tube when it retracts.
I used clear Lucas super low temperature grease in a gun and pumped in a few squirts.
Put a drill on the shaft and ran it in and out a few times. Pumped in more grease. Did it again. It got the old super crap grease out. It will squish out of the drive coupling end.
You'll notice it starts working with less friction. It will probably puke out rusty crud. -15, -20 F and she moves. Slower than summertime. But still. No heat tape needed.
Oh. The motor gearbox. That Lucas grease. Definitely. Be smart. You don't have to fill the housing but every gear should be clean and grease forced in the teeth.
Pack a little grease in the corners. The last few reduction gears, drive gear are the highest load ones. Give them a good glob
What else? Oh yeah. Save up for a Venture or better yet a Von Weise. I spoke with the owner of Von Weise in Mexico some time ago. Awesome products. Did anyone say....
Group Buy?
 

moonbase

VIP
Donating Member
Messages
554


The only time I took apart a linear actuator was to re-glue the magnets to the sides of the tube.
They had come loose and were magnetised to the armature so it was just spinning on its axis with no drive.
I re-bonded them to the side wall of the tube, left it for a day or two for the bonding agent to cure then put it all back together.

The only place I applied grease when re-assembling was to the plastic cogs.

Since the fix the actuator has been OK, it makes the usual actuator noise when moving but nothing untoward.

.
Geotrack HV24 08.jpg Geotrack HV24 17.jpg
 

slayer7

Donating Member
Messages
154
how do you upload image to sat-uni @moonbase I wanted to put arrows pointing to things so i can reference in photoshop. Is it the bbcode thing.

I looked for a diagram online of a sat actuator to find the actual definitive names of each part but no joy. It looks like I got it wrong, the 2 magnets you taken out are in the housing that appear in your left picture. I was thinking the device in the middle bottom of your picture that I called the coiled drive shaft was magnetic.

I have a 24 inch actuator that i got for £25 + 13 delivery coming tomorrow. God knows if its any good.

I have two 18 inch actuators currently, 1 working eg klick/klacking loud noises but works, which I swapped the long main drive shaft arm over too. The one that broke has a bizarre problem where it wont fire up. It appears to need two new wires e.g. Moonbases pic on the right with the white and green wire, as i think they are possibly corroded. Was thinking of putting multi meter too it eg continuity test or someway of testing wires. advice here appreciated.

@ArloG that's an impressive guide! if you get time could you put some pictures to reference, as I'm levels below you here. I wish i could afford a venture, I was looking only yesterday at one of them, think it was £200+ Regards
 

ArloG

Senior Member
Messages
127
The only time I took apart a linear actuator was to re-glue the magnets to the sides of the tube.
They had come loose and were magnetised to the armature so it was just spinning on its axis with no drive.
I re-bonded them to the side wall of the tube, left it for a day or two for the bonding agent to cure then put it all back together.

The only place I applied grease when re-assembling was to the plastic cogs.

Since the fix the actuator has been OK, it makes the usual actuator noise when moving but nothing untoward.

.
View attachment 30983 View attachment 30984
Definitely not enough grease. You want enough so it's "scooped up" and distributed through the teeth while they spin.
Those magnets do come loose. A good epoxy works nice. Make sure (if you do see them loose) to reference where they originally were. Paint mark, whatever. So the N-S poles don't get mixed up. And clamp them firmly to the housing while the glue cures. Seal the edges with the epoxy so rust wont get under and pop them out again.
It's not necessary to take the limit switch gear apart. But be sure that the teeth are lined up before putting the cover back on.
Superjack is horrendous for quality. Compared to the big guys. It's almost like they are inviting failure.
I bought an entire replacement motor. The gears in the original were totally worn out and the aluminum coupling insert in the drive gear was split.
So what do you do? Open the new one up and check. Right?
No grease to speak of. The gear pins were dry. Main gear thrust surfaces were dry.
Moving into the motor. Both ring terminals and screws were loose. Brushes were softer than the softest pencil you can buy.
Dry bearings. Nothing. No signs they even used any lube at all. Within 2 or so months it stopped working. Both magnets came loose and were stuck to the armature.
At the time the brushes were quite worn. Lots of dust from them.
I use my actuator a lot for transponder hunting.
I feel as if I know this pos well. Made a 15 segment magnet wheel and added a schotty trigger hall sensor. Added a DPDT relay inside for a dynamic shunt brake.
When it shuts off. The armature stops dead in its tracks. Very very little count drift. Especially when 'bumping' the satellites to peak signal.
Currently. Depending on the dish position in the arc. I get close to 100 count difference in 2 degrees on Western arc sats. Towards zenith its around 80. Then over the top to the east holds 70 or so. So predicting where a sat is in the arc is pretty easy.
Then I added a sidecar ku lnbf. Once you calculate the positional difference between C and ku signal peak. For me around 300. It makes finding sats easy.
12' dish, Titanium ASC-1 mover. The software interface makes loading in new sat names and positions into memory a breeze. With the supercrap actuator I believe I actually polished a turd. But I won't ever buy another one when this one finally kicks the bucket. Never!
 

ArloG

Senior Member
Messages
127
how do you upload image to sat-uni @moonbase I wanted to put arrows pointing to things so i can reference in photoshop. Is it the bbcode thing.

Yeah they are strange. Uploading pics is a pain. An image hosting site maybe? Then post the link? A royal pain.

I looked for a diagram online of a sat actuator to find the actual definitive names of each part but no joy. It looks like I got it wrong, the 2 magnets you taken out are in the housing that appear in your left picture. I was thinking the device in the middle bottom of your picture that I called the coiled drive shaft was magnetic.

Motor housing. Ceramic magnets. Armature with helical cut gear.
Rt. pic. Wires leading to motor brushes. 2 reduction gears off of the armature helical gear. The big one is the actuator coupling drive gear. 2 fine-toothed ones are the limit switch reduction gears.
I have a 24 inch actuator that i got for £25 + 13 delivery coming tomorrow. God knows if its any good.
Time will tell. An ounce of prevention. You know. You can either put it in operation or give it a look-see. That's what I would do. The only thing that can happen if you;re careful is that it will last longer because you took preventatives.
I have two 18 inch actuators currently, 1 working eg klick/klacking loud noises but works, which I swapped the long main drive shaft arm over too. The one that broke has a bizarre problem where it wont fire up. It appears to need two new wires e.g. Moonbases pic on the right with the white and green wire, as i think they are possibly corroded. Was thinking of putting multi meter too it eg continuity test or someway of testing wires. advice here appreciated.


Multimeter and resistance check. Look for corroded crimp terminals. The limit switches are cheap. Spray a good contact cleaner in them while (lol the word I refuse to use..."whilst". haha!) clicking them rapidly.
Nothing wrong with bench testing the thing. They will work on 12 volts like from a car battery or a robust charger no problem.


@ArloG that's an impressive guide! if you get time could you put some pictures to reference, as I'm levels below you here. I wish i could afford a venture, I was looking only yesterday at one of them, think it was £200+ Regards

Kind of like me buying a VU+ over across the pond. I dont have my kb setup for Britain. So...$$$$$$. But like Men in Black. The last actuator you will ever wear! Man they are noisy. For a reason. Certainly not chinese junk.
I like my one-of-my-various hobbies and am good with electrical/mechanical things. Dumb as a rock with home construction. But...we do have YouTube. Right?
I have a literal pile of actuators. Saginaw Gear. Probably a rebadged Venture or 3. The motors are the weak point. And if you haven't considered an accordion weather boot for the extendable shaft. Good investment.
 

slayer7

Donating Member
Messages
154
I'll donate shortly thanks @moonbase

@ArloG Regarding the alternating current Armature(correct definition now lol) do you lightly grease with 0w to 5w car oil or is some solvent better(i have some pcb cleaner), not sure if you mentioned that. Surely you don't want any grease or anything else near the coil inner part of the Armature only the outer metal 8 or so small strip plates.(not sure what they are called)

"Look for corroded crimp terminals." yes i think it will be this and they need cleaner for sure, surely cant be wire break.

regarding build quality : I was surprised at the plastic cogs, but I guess they don't rust/corrode so probably better than metal cogs.

"And if you haven't considered an accordion weather boot for the extendable shaft. Good investment." Not sure where i could find that, haven't see them to often,I was thinking of putting some amalgamation tape(temporary)for now, its shocking how much rust gets in even though all sealed up.
 
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moonbase

VIP
Donating Member
Messages
554
Motor cycle gaitors should do the job for an accordion boot, the type that go over the forks?
 

slayer7

Donating Member
Messages
154
there are loads of Motor cycle gaitors on amazon and ebay not sure on the correct size in mm. will measure the 18 inch actuator. most start from 37mm diameter, i actually had an arm break due to corrosion so worthwhile..
 

ArloG

Senior Member
Messages
127
I'll donate shortly thanks @moonbase

@ArloG Regarding the alternating current Armature(correct definition now lol) do you lightly grease with 0w to 5w car oil or is some solvent better(i have some pcb cleaner), not sure if you mentioned that. Surely you don't want any grease or anything else near the coil inner part of the Armature only the outer metal 8 or so small strip plates.(not sure what they are called)
Actually the motor is a DC motor. Direction reverses by changing voltage polarity.
To clarify. If you want to do the job. Old lubricants dry in the carbon impregnated bearings (bushings??). And adding oil does not soak into the sintering (carbon in the bronze mix).
So getting that old lube out to refresh it will need soaking them in a solvent and scrubbing the bores.
Once clean and dry they will accept fresh oil. The idea is to provide oil to the armature shaft over time.
Synthetics are wonderful. Never use silicone. Ever. New, low viscosity oil soaks into the bearing. Too thick and it won't.
Okay.
Synthetic grease will not ooze the lube out over time like dinosaur based lube. From my experience there is a little bit of end play when the motor is put back together.
So I wouldn't hesitate at all to pack the bearing retainers with it. Be smart. Don't slather it on. But enough so that over time when the motor runs, the end shaft play would tend to squish a little bit of it on the shaft. Get it?? Of course. You don't want so much grease that it will splatter into the brushes or commutator (the segmented copper pieces that the brushes ride on.
I have 'just a little bit' of motor experience. Alternators, starters. You name it.
I did forget to mention to seal the motor with a small bead of RTV to keep water out. If there is a weep hole on the bottom side of the motor assy. Don't clog it. Be smart!!
"Look for corroded crimp terminals." yes i think it will be this and they need cleaner for sure, surely cant be wire break.

regarding build quality : I was surprised at the plastic cogs, but I guess they don't rust/corrode so probably better than metal cogs.

"And if you haven't considered an accordion weather boot for the extendable shaft. Good investment." Not sure where i could find that, haven't see them to often,I was thinking of putting some amalgamation tape(temporary)for now, its shocking how much rust gets in even though all sealed up.
 

slayer7

Donating Member
Messages
154
Got the new 24 inch superjack harl 3624+ actuator today looks good for £25 its not a heavy one but bargain considering others selling them for way more. its quiet too.
superjack 24 inch harl3624+.jpg
 

ro_54

Well Known Member
Messages
689
Got the new 24 inch superjack harl 3624+ actuator today looks good for £25 its not a heavy one but bargain considering others selling them for way more. its quiet too.
View attachment 31050
I had few of these, but they are 1.5" tube and not good for my 10' dish: they bend on inner & outer tub at the ends of the sat arc.
A "Venture" jack does a good job for the last 8 years. If your dish is smaller=lighter then you may get by with your new one.
 

ArloG

Senior Member
Messages
127
Over coffee this morning a thought kept passing.
Seeing that brand new actuator in the box. Same instruction sheet that came with mine.
Slayer is going to take it outside, bolt it on and wire it. And use it.
After all of the hands on advice I gave. At least open it up and be proactive and give it some lube.
As in post #7 you an see it's made to wear out. Compared to a Saginaw Gear, Venture, or others I have in my "pile"
They have a generous amount of grease around the gears and in the corners.
And since from different photos of the motors. How they are assembled. Through bolts vertically to mount them to the gear housing.
Vertical studs and nuts, Horizontal long bolts or studs and nuts. Seems they can't get their s**t together. I suspect they farm out to some tiny shop on a dirt street to make the motors.
"Don't touch the limit switches. NEVER EVER touch them". That's pure BS. What happens if you do? Buy a new actuator?
BTW. The lower limit cam and switch is the set closest to the cover they are mounted on. The gear case cover.
And if the case was opened certainly make sure you note where they are oriented. Perhaps run the tube to the lowest limit with a battery and watch which direction the lower cam turns until the microswitch clicks and the motor stops.
That setting is established by carefully aligning the gear teeth, cam-to-switch while putting the cover back on. No need to disassemble that part. And it's better if you don't.
The upper cam/switch on the stack is the upper limit. Loosen the 2 screws holding it in place when you get your own personal upper mechanical limit established.
Make sure you noted which direction the cam was turning while the tube extended. At the upper limit you want.
Loosen the screws and jump teeth on the cam until the microswitch just clicks. Then gently snug the screws back up.

The actuator was a bargain for sure. A bit of foresight and elbow grease, skill, will make it last a lot longer before you are out hunting for the next best deal.
I'll name them again. Because they really are. Supercrap. The instruction sheet for one tells you that. Kind of in chinglish.
Hey man. Good luck. Kirk out!
 

slayer7

Donating Member
Messages
154
@ArloG
I am actually not putting it up, as it is a spare. i have two now. I only bought it because i saw the low price and knowing everywhere sells them way more. Actually thought it was a scam. Was surprised when they sent me emails. If anyone wants the shop let me know, however there is a reason they are cheap, the back box cover is cracked on 1 corner, easily fixed it with superglue. I bought one in 2018 and then one in 2020 off satsuperstore both broke, I know they're crap compared to the heavy ones or ventures etc. Its just a case of affordability and me having it on a 1.5 Gilbertini dish. With the preventions you have mentioned, maintenance and fixes i'm sure this thread will help a lot of people so they don't have to buy anymore.
 
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