Solid dishes

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Victoria
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Solid dishes

Post by Victoria » Sat Aug 24, 2019 2:40 am

So I've been trying to source another commercial dish at least 12 feet in diameter or preferably even larger. I consulted with DH but they only had a solid one piece antenna available so that would require renting a crane and getting a crane operators license and renting a forklift and all sorts of other nonsense to add to the expense and difficulty of installation. It was a polar mount though which is what I need.

So then I was looking at Tek2000's offerings and noted you now have some solid dishes available at good prices but are you not developing any solution for motorizing these?

The design certainly looks pretty neat with an 12 petal design:
http://www.tek2000.com/cgi-bin/web.cgi? ... Antenna-ND

With the solid dishes that can be broken up into a bunch of different panels it is possible to transport/install them without using a crane and forklift and that is what I am hoping for.

The only problem I see is I can't find a polar mounting solution for any of the Tek2000 solids. Is there one in the works or just not listed on the site?

I'm looking for a solid antenna because I need something that offers uncompromised Ku reception. With the FCC's threat of taking away C-band it doesn't make much sense to me to invest in an antenna design that only performs optimally on C with mediocre Ku performance like the mesh designs. A solid dish should yield killer Ku performance in the way a mesh cannot so if we lose the C band my dishes are future proofed by being able to work as massive well performing Ku antennas.

I also don't really like the mesh antennas after all the horror stories I've heard of hail damage and wind damage. There's a bar in my town with two mesh BUDs on the roof long in disuse that are a testament to this as they are both missing about half their panels, clearly damaged by wind over the years. Plus, I think mesh dishes look very ugly. There's just this certain rugged aesthetic to solid dishes I like better.

With my last solid commercial dish I installed I got it from a radio station and was able to install it with a ladder, me, and a helper as it had an 8-panel petal design. It's actually a 35 year old dish and I'm skeptical a mesh that old would have survived as long and still be in as good condition as this one was.

I had a custom polar mount fabricated for it and motorize it with an Ajak H180.

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Re: Solid dishes

Post by Z_finigan » Sat Aug 24, 2019 9:10 pm

Sadly I had a 10 foot channel master. It got broke in the last hurricane. But I have one panel left. And when I get the extra money. I'm going to have 3 more panels made. So I can have my solid dish back. Because it did work better then my mesh ones.

My set up for the channel master. It has a tripod that is about 500lbs. And stands over 6 feet tall. It takes 3 people to place the satellite on it.

When it's on the stand. It about 16 feet tall. I had one of the newer motor jacks. Let's say it lasted about 2 years. And fell apart.

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Re: Solid dishes

Post by tek2000 » Thu Aug 29, 2019 1:46 pm

Victoria wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 2:40 am
So then I was looking at Tek2000's offerings and noted you now have some solid dishes available at good prices but are you not developing any solution for motorizing these?

The design certainly looks pretty neat with an 12 petal design:
http://www.tek2000.com/cgi-bin/web.cgi? ... Antenna-ND

With the solid dishes that can be broken up into a bunch of different panels it is possible to transport/install them without using a crane and forklift and that is what I am hoping for.

The only problem I see is I can't find a polar mounting solution for any of the Tek2000 solids. Is there one in the works or just not listed on the site?

Hi Victoria. The large solid antennas are just too heavy for traditional polar mount with a 2" actuator. Yes, it will work for a while, but the wear and tear on the actuator will eventually lead to dish slop and need constant replacement. We may offer the 10' solid with actuator polar mount, but not the 12' and 15'. The only way to motorize these larger antennas is with 7" slewing drives (both azimuth and elevation), which are damn heavy and damn expensive, but last a lifetime.

Victoria wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 2:40 am
I'm looking for a solid antenna because I need something that offers uncompromised Ku reception. With the FCC's threat of taking away C-band it doesn't make much sense to me to invest in an antenna design that only performs optimally on C with mediocre Ku performance like the mesh designs. A solid dish should yield killer Ku performance in the way a mesh cannot so if we lose the C band my dishes are future proofed by being able to work as massive well performing Ku antennas.

A solid won't really yield much better performance than a wired mesh dish, even when operating in the ku band. The hole size on our commercial mesh is 1.2mm wide. I doubt if more than 2-3% of the incoming microwave power is lost due to scattering by the holes. The efficiency of the dish is primarily determined by surface accuracy and feed illumination. You need a high quality prime focus ku band feed that is matched to your dish f/D ratio to get outstanding results with ku band.

Victoria wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 2:40 am
I also don't really like the mesh antennas after all the horror stories I've heard of hail damage and wind damage. There's a bar in my town with two mesh BUDs on the roof long in disuse that are a testament to this as they are both missing about half their panels, clearly damaged by wind over the years. Plus, I think mesh dishes look very ugly. There's just this certain rugged aesthetic to solid dishes I like better.

Mesh damage isn't really a big deal. Unless a tree falls on your dish, you likely won't need to replace any of the panels. If anyone wants to replace a tear in the dish mesh, we do sell replacement wire mesh cut to length.
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Re: Solid dishes

Post by Victoria » Thu Aug 29, 2019 4:56 pm

I've never used a slewing drive. Do you have a link to a suggested model that would work with your commercial antennas? Would you still be able to punch in a position to a positioner and the satellite move to a specific orbital location with these drives just like it works now with an actuator/HH motor on standard dishes? And if there are no adequate polar mount based motorization solutions for 12'+ solid dishes, why does DH offer polar mounts for their antenna sizes up to 14'?

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Re: Solid dishes

Post by Z_finigan » Thu Aug 29, 2019 9:28 pm

My solid satellite dish worked much better then my 2 mesh satellites.
Mine was a fiberglass solid dish with a copper screen impregnated on it. I could set my lnb and pick up both Galaxy 16 and 19 at the same time.. One lnb
I have not been able to do that with my mesh ones.

And my ku worked better. And it was only zip tied on.

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Re: Solid dishes

Post by Signality » Fri Aug 30, 2019 4:40 am

Solid dishes are way better than mesh dishes in performance. Not just on ku but also on cband.

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Re: Solid dishes

Post by fatso » Fri Aug 30, 2019 11:22 am

My experience has been the opposite and I favour mesh dishes for backyard enthusiasts like ourselves because they are lighter and easier to operate. I've been using a 12 ft classic paraclipse mesh dish for over 3 decades now without any problems. I also got a 12 ft mesh dish gifted to me by tek2000. It performs just as good as the paraclipse. I've got a home brew ku sidecar LNBF on the latter and I've locked every ku band feed out there. No need for a dedicated 1.2m offset dish here. I also got a DH solid in the original crate sitting in my garage since 1986. Used it for a while back in the day but kept getting sparklies on all the analog channels. I replaced it with the paraclipse and the picture was razor sharp. Never looked back.

If you are wondering why I have two 12 footers, well....they are his and hers tvros. My wife uses the paraclipse to watch TV and I use the tek2000. We had to share before. :lol:
12ft Mesh Dish
C-Band Enthusiast since 1983

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Re: Solid dishes

Post by Victoria » Fri Aug 30, 2019 7:08 pm

fatso wrote:
Fri Aug 30, 2019 11:22 am
My experience has been the opposite and I favour mesh dishes for backyard enthusiasts like ourselves because they are lighter and easier to operate. I've been using a 12 ft classic paraclipse mesh dish for over 3 decades now without any problems. I also got a 12 ft mesh dish gifted to me by tek2000. It performs just as good as the paraclipse. I've got a home brew ku sidecar LNBF on the latter and I've locked every ku band feed out there. No need for a dedicated 1.2m offset dish here. I also got a DH solid in the original crate sitting in my garage since 1986. Used it for a while back in the day but kept getting sparklies on all the analog channels. I replaced it with the paraclipse and the picture was razor sharp. Never looked back.

If you are wondering why I have two 12 footers, well....they are his and hers tvros. My wife uses the paraclipse to watch TV and I use the tek2000. We had to share before. :lol:
How large is your DH solid dish and would you like to sell it to me? :bigsmile

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Re: Solid dishes

Post by fatso » Mon Sep 02, 2019 1:04 pm

Victoria wrote:
Fri Aug 30, 2019 7:08 pm
How large is your DH solid dish and would you like to sell it to me? :bigsmile

The DH I have is a 10 footer. I thought about giving it away but kept it for sentimental reasons. Ol Frankie Weeks is still in business if you want to buy a new one from him. Paid just under a thousand with delivery for my first bud back in '83.
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Re: Solid dishes

Post by tek2000 » Sat Sep 07, 2019 10:10 am

Victoria wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 4:56 pm
I've never used a slewing drive. Do you have a link to a suggested model that would work with your commercial antennas? Would you still be able to punch in a position to a positioner and the satellite move to a specific orbital location with these drives just like it works now with an actuator/HH motor on standard dishes? And if there are no adequate polar mount based motorization solutions for 12'+ solid dishes, why does DH offer polar mounts for their antenna sizes up to 14'?

Slewing drives are traditionally used in heavy machinery.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slewing_drive

Prices have come down thanks to the solar industry where they are used as solar trackers. There are specialized versions with 0.1 degrees of accuracy, which are targeted at TVRO and radio telescopes. They come in a wide range of sizes and Hall Effect motors are used for precise tracking. Yes, you will need a custom tracker to steer your dish.

DH uses a chain drive for their larger solid antennas. The wind load on a solid antenna is at least 2-3x more than on a porous one of the same size. Plus, the solid weight is quite a bit more. A solid 12' dish can experience almost 4,000 lbs of force under 150 km/hr wind loads. The same size mesh dish will experience less than 1,500 lbs. Most 2" actuators are rated for under 2,000 lbs of force before the internal threaded screw gives way. Since nobody mass manufactures 4" actuators for satellite, it is generally not a good idea to use a 2" actuator on large polar mount antennas, especially the solid type. Our customers have no problems using 2" actuators with our 12' and 13.5' mesh antennas, but I am sure it would start to become a problem with the solid ones. And if someone wants to use a 16' or 20' antenna for radio astronomy, linear actuator drives are just out of the question. The other problem with linear actuators under high wind loads is slippage. Some of you have probably already encountered this, so we have fabricated some anti-slippage parts which many will appreciate.


We will have some slewing drives/motors available for sale within a few weeks, along with the pre-fabricated steel parts that bolt to the drive and then attach to the antenna mount. These parts will only be sold for our line of antennas. The first ones we are motorizing are the mesh models, followed later next year by the solid. This stuff is not for the average Joe who just wants to watch TV, but rather, for the military, university astronomy departments, TV stations, etc.

The big drives are used to motorize azimuth and elevation, while the smaller ones can be used for the feed. Some pictures below:


commercial_mesh_25.jpg

commercial_mesh_27.JPG

commercial_mesh_23.jpg
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