Mesh vs Solid Dish

Discussion of large prime focus satellite dishes used for C-Band signal reception.
eric
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Mesh vs Solid Dish

Post by eric » Wed Jun 25, 2014 8:26 pm

Do you guys use mesh or solid?

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Re: Mesh vs Solid Dish

Post by sepd » Mon Jun 30, 2014 11:32 pm

Size makes all the difference. I recommend a 10ft Mesh dish to newbies. You will NOT be disappointed.

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Re: Mesh vs Solid Dish

Post by tedsat » Thu Jul 10, 2014 6:56 pm

In my experience, a mesh dish is a better investment overall.

First, mesh dishes come in 10ft and 12ft sizes and aren't that heavy. You'll be hard pressed to find a solid 10ft or 12ft dish and if you do, it probably weighs like 500lbs!

Second, a mesh dish offers a reduced wind load.

Third, mesh dishes don't rust (at least not as badly) as solid dishes. Over time, a solid dish will rust completely, whereas only the frame of the mesh dish may rust. The panels are usually made of aluminum and don't rust. Any rust on the frame you can touch up with some spray paint.

The only down side to mesh is for ku reception. If some of your rivet pop out of the panels, your signals will start to get distorted, especially for ku reception. This will happen over time. A brand new mesh dish will work well for both C and Ku reception. But after a couple of winters, ice will build up around the rivets and "push" the mesh out. In the summer, the mesh will pop back in and so on. These slight distortions will build up after a few years and you will start to notice a degradation in Ku reception. The only thing you can do is repair the mesh with a rivet gun.

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Re: Mesh vs Solid Dish

Post by madmike46 » Wed Jan 08, 2020 12:53 pm

I have a Star Track Alpha 10 mesh dish, been up for 27 years now, I have done nothing to this dish since it was installed, still getting 95% signal strength.

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Re: Mesh vs Solid Dish

Post by etlam34 » Wed Jan 08, 2020 5:57 pm

I bought a 6ft solid dish on amazon last summer.
This fall, we had strong winds in the backyard and the dish flipped upside down. It was held by 60kg of salt bags. I took apart that day and placed it in the shed. Usually we get about 9 ft of snow here, it was my plan to put it away for winter because i would need to build an upper platform to set the dish permanently at least 6ft above ground. But since i’m renting the place , this project will have to be put on hold until we become owners.

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Re: Mesh vs Solid Dish

Post by JKL » Wed Jan 08, 2020 10:51 pm

Let me put my two cents here too. :smile:
The only plain dishes better then the mesh are the ones use in broadcast industries. :geek: They are plain aluminum. ChanelMaster did those back in the day.

A telecom. engineer :geek: working for the main public broadcaster here told me some years ago to not bother with the used one in epoxy as they have less aluminum mesh in it the then mesh black and grey dishes we all use. :!:

They won't even work on Ku Band. Its important to understand that all plain dish are not maid equal as I just explain. :eek:

That's why I keep many grey mesh dish in parts for parts just in case. :bigsmile
I salvage many in early 2000 and never went for plain dishes, to many problems with no benefits. :idea:

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Re: Mesh vs Solid Dish

Post by Z_finigan » Thu Jan 09, 2020 8:06 pm

I had a fiberglass 10 foot channel master. That got took out in the last hurricane. But it did ku very well. And during the 1st hurricane. I live streamed the weather channel. Till the power went out up here.
And it stayed in the entire time.

It took 2 people to lift the dish onto the 500 lbs tripod.
And I have one panel left. That's in perfect condition. So I plan to have it remade. It have what looked Tobe copper screen impregnated on the fiberglass..

And the old lady that gave it to me said her husband got it in 1981. Which they had the money to have footer put down and it was bolted to it...

Me not so lucky. But once it's fixed. I'm going to do the same.

Do fiberglass work well. If you can get one..

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Re: Mesh vs Solid Dish

Post by tvroadmin » Mon Jan 13, 2020 9:13 pm

Mesh is the right solution for backyard enthusiasts. They are light weight, install on a smaller post and encounter much less wind resistance. Since you can "see" through them, they are much less of an eye sore and you can still see your backyard. Solid dishes are mostly for the TV stations. They are more "rigid" and don't deform or sag under high wind loads and/or when they get buried by wet snow. They are intended for mission critical applications. That is the only advantage. Performance is the same. But they cost more to manufacture, ship and install.

A 10 or 12 ft mesh dish may cause video pixelation on some transponders when wind gusts exceed 60 mph or a major snow storm hits your area. How often does this happen? A couple of times a year? How often do paying DirecTV and Dish customers experience rain fade? Probably a lot more. Heavy rain and overhead clouds don't affect a c band dish. :bigsmile
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Re: Mesh vs Solid Dish

Post by Victoria » Sun Jan 19, 2020 6:36 pm

tvroadmin wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 9:13 pm
Mesh is the right solution for backyard enthusiasts. They are light weight, install on a smaller post and encounter much less wind resistance. Since you can "see" through them, they are much less of an eye sore and you can still see your backyard. Solid dishes are mostly for the TV stations. They are more "rigid" and don't deform or sag under high wind loads and/or when they get buried by wet snow. They are intended for mission critical applications. That is the only advantage. Performance is the same. But they cost more to manufacture, ship and install.

A 10 or 12 ft mesh dish may cause video pixelation on some transponders when wind gusts exceed 60 mph or a major snow storm hits your area. How often does this happen? A couple of times a year? How often do paying DirecTV and Dish customers experience rain fade? Probably a lot more. Heavy rain and overhead clouds don't affect a c band dish. :bigsmile

We know you wanna sell your mesh dishes but you should also know there's some of us out here who would be willing to pay more than the price you charge for the meshes if you'd manufacture some sectional solid aluminum dishes with polar mounts for home users too. Ain't nobody in the home market inerested in buying a solid dish that can only do Az/El so the biggest practical solid dish you manufacture is that 8' one and that's just too small to be an acceptable primary dish for C-band.

I have a Scientific Atlanta 9000 series commercial dish that's a 2.8M spun aluminum sectional antenna and an Ajak H180 motor can drive it just fine. I'd love to be able to buy a slightly larger version of that dish with a similar design to it and motorize it. It was easy enough to install because it has 8 sections and you could get up on the pole and install it petal by petal, so it wasn't too heavy and didn't require a crane to lift it on to the pole. And it performs a lot better than a mesh.

I've also got a friend who'd like to get his hands on a solid 10'+ dish as he has not been impressed with how mesh dishes hold up in heavy winds.

Maybe if you make a 10' and 12' variant of your 8' solid petal dish, you'd snag some buyers :bigsmile

Speak for yourself on the whole eyesore thing. I think the mesh dishes look ugly and cheap. There's a bar in my area located on one of the busiest streets and it has two of the mesh dishes on their roof. Both dishes each have half the panels blown out from the wind. Not very good advertising for C-band seeing those dishes sitting up there in such a dilapidated state every time you drive down the street.

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Re: Mesh vs Solid Dish

Post by fatso » Sun Jan 19, 2020 10:14 pm

I haven't lost any mesh sections on my old paraclipse or newer tek2000 dish. The paraclipse has been in continuous use for over 30 yrs. :bigsmile The tek2000 mesh dish uses rivets (not clips) to hold the mesh. Last time I looked there were like 50 rivets for each mesh slice so I don't think the mesh will be coming off that easily. If you need a solid dish you can try ol franky weeks at DH. Problem is they are very expensive. Last time I checked the heavy duty polar (12ft sectional) was close to $4000. Truck shipping will set you back another grand at least, depending on your location. How many of us have that kind of coin sitting around? :scratchingmyhead:

Even back in the heyday of tvro (eighties) mesh antennas ruled!
12ft Mesh Dish
C-Band Enthusiast since 1983

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