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Woofle
09-28-2008, 12:52 AM
I recently received GeosatPro's 1.2 meter solid dish, purchased from SatelliteAV.

This is my informal review.

The package arrived in a *large*, *heavy* box. It was exceptionally well-packaged, and took the better part of half-an-hour to remove everything from the box. I was pleased at the level of protection around the reflector.

Assembly was straightforward, and all parts were present. The mounting bracket is impressively sturdy, as advertised. The reflector feels more rigid than my 90 cm Fortec Star dish's. (It probably has to be, given the larger diameter.)

Overall, it feels like a sturdy, high quality dish. No wonder shipping was so expensive (almost the same as the dish's cost.)

Signal levels are exceptional vs. 90 cm dish. So it appears to work. :) See below for some examples.

I particularly like the two side-mounted support arms, to supplement the central LNB arm. This should support the heftiest of LNBs with no difficulty.

I have one major gripe, however. The 40 mm LNB holder could definitely be better. Specifically, the two side arms bolt to the LNB holder, and when attached, the LNB will NOT rotate. So for a fixed installation, if you want to repoint to a different satellite with a different skew, you'll have to remove the LNB holder and both side arms, unscrew the screw holding the two plastic pieces together, rotate the LNB, retighten the LNB screw, and take the side support arms and re-attach the LNB holder to the LNB arm and side arms again.
It's not the end of the world, but it's an annoyance in such an otherwise A+ design. Of course, with a motorized setup, or a true single-satellite application, this would not be an issue since you'd set the skew once and forget.


Signal quality on a few transponders on G25 on a FortecStar Mercury II (which reads significantly lower than any other box I've tried) and VisionSat IV200:

Readings are signal quality:
11789/V MII: 61-66% IV200: 87-87%
11819/H MII: 71-82% IV200: 92-94%
11966/H MII: 56-65% IV200: 87-87%
12090/H MII: 31-39% IV200: 87-87%

I have no explanation why the IV200 seems to like 87% so much. :) But at any rate, these are by far the highest Mercury II readings I've ever gotten on G25, so I think the dish is working.


LNB is 0.4 dB NF GeosatPro bullet Universal. I had one extra lying around. Presumably a quieter LNB would do even a bit better.

Woofle
09-28-2008, 12:57 AM
An addendum: I am expecting an HH120 motor to arrive from Canada in a week or so. At that time I'll put the dish to work on G18 on the weaker transponders (like California Community College). In the meantime, my 90cm dish is unintentionally fixed at nothing due to a burnt-out SG2100 motor. :(

Anole
09-28-2008, 03:09 AM
Wonder if you could check the same transponders with both receivers again?
This time, using the 90cm dish?
Probably should re-verify the 1.2m readings , then move the LNB over to the 90, just to make it fair.

The elevation pivot point appears superior to the Fortec 1.0 and 1.2m dishes.
(which we modified with a pivot bolt to improve them)
That elevation adjustment screw looks pretty good, too.
Perhaps you could comment on it.
Also, does the elevation scale seem to read accurately?

Hope Brian of SatelliteAV catches this thread and comments on the LNB holder.
Wonder if there's any chance you assembled it wrong? :cool:
Or, maybe you can come up with some clever adaption to improve it! :)

Too bad you didn't order up a CK-1 LNBf while you were at it.
Some of the guys around here run C-band on 1.2meter dishes. :eek:
Well, some have done it on even smaller dishes, but from what I've read, 1m and certainly 1.2m are better choices (if you don't have a 2m/6ft dish)

Thanks for your comments.
Look forward to more info in the thread, especially when you get the big motor under it - :up
(maybe some pix?)

Woofle
09-28-2008, 04:24 PM
Wonder if you could check the same transponders with both receivers again?
This time, using the 90cm dish?
Probably should re-verify the 1.2m readings , then move the LNB over to the 90, just to make it fair.

The elevation pivot point appears superior to the Fortec 1.0 and 1.2m dishes.
(which we modified with a pivot bolt to improve them)
That elevation adjustment screw looks pretty good, too.
Perhaps you could comment on it.
Also, does the elevation scale seem to read accurately?

Hope Brian of SatelliteAV catches this thread and comments on the LNB holder.
Wonder if there's any chance you assembled it wrong? :cool:
Or, maybe you can come up with some clever adaption to improve it! :)

Too bad you didn't order up a CK-1 LNBf while you were at it.
Some of the guys around here run C-band on 1.2meter dishes. :eek:
Well, some have done it on even smaller dishes, but from what I've read, 1m and certainly 1.2m are better choices (if you don't have a 2m/6ft dish)

Thanks for your comments.
Look forward to more info in the thread, especially when you get the big motor under it - :up
(maybe some pix?)


Yeah, actually I should have pointed the 90cm at G25 for comparison. It's just a matter of the broken motor.

I'll probably take the measurements you suggest fairly soon, because I want to have a baseline (G25 is "mid-arc" for me) to determine I'm pointing pretty well at west, mid, and east ends of the arc. And then I'm going to try the mini BUD stuff. I have the BSC621 lying ready, but one experiment at a time :)

Just a little more data. I put on the TechSat TrackerII+ LNB (NF 0.2 dB and very low phase noise), and noted further signal quality improvements.

I measured with Merc II because, although the signal "Q" meter is spastic, it never saturates like my other two boxes.

Measurements are made by watching the signal strength for 10 seconds, and recording the maximum reading, then watching for 10 seconds more, and recording the minimum reading. The average seems more repeatable than trying to guess by eyeball what readings are coming up most often. :)

Merc II readings for G25 with TechSat TrackerII+ and GeosatPro 1.2 meter dish:

Date: 27 Sept. 2008 Weather: Very clear, warm

11716/V 68-75 72
11749/V dead? 0
11779/H 60-66 63
11789/V 52-62 57
11819/H 73-84 79
11836/V 61-67 64
11840/H 69-77 73
11867/V 60-67 64
11874/H 69-75 72
11898/V 59-67 63
11902/H 69-76 73
11936/H 61-71 66
11966/H 61-67 64
11991/V 62-71 67
11999/H 69-76 73
12010/V 62-69 66
12053/V 61-66 64
12084/V 60-67 64
12090/H 69-75 72
12115/V DEAD AS A PENGUIN IN THE SAHARA AT NOON (or something)
12122/H 69-76 73
12146/V 55-62 59
12152/H 70-77 74
12177/V 31-39 35

I'll try to get the same measurements off the 90cm dish soon.

Note: Mercury II's detection threshold is about 27%, so all of these readings except 12177 are far above this.

SatelliteAV
09-28-2008, 05:43 PM
Disassembly of the LNBF clamp for LNBF skew setting shouldn't be necessary if using a standard 40mm LNBF. The LNBF clamp was designed for fixed or motorized use, so the need for repeated LNBF skew setting was not considered a high priority. In fact we desired a secure LNBF clamp that did not require rubberized tape or other means of securing the SKEW setting.

Try loosening or removing the threaded lock screw. The threaded lock screw is not necessary, but is an added SKEW locking feature. Now back off the nut on the bolt securing the LNBF clamp, LNBF arm and LNBF side support arms to a point just prior to removal. The clamp will remain tight, but the LNBF should be capable of being rotated in this semi clamped state.

If you find that you need to repeatedly adjust the SKEW, consider replacing the LNBF clamp attachment bolt with a longer bolt. This will allow the clamp to be opened wider to allow ease of rotation.

Iceberg
09-28-2008, 08:06 PM
12115/V DEAD AS A PENGUIN IN THE SAHARA AT NOON (or something)


known issue right now. That TP went dead a couple days ago along with 11716 but that one is back now (11716)

Woofle
09-28-2008, 08:46 PM
In fact we desired a secure LNBF clamp that did not require rubberized tape or other means of securing the SKEW setting.

There is no doubt that the arrangement holds the LNBF in place securely. You'd need a hammer to make it rotate when it's fully locked in place. :)

Thanks for explaining how it works. I probably will just remain at 97W (or possibly 101 W) until my motor arrives, at which time skew will remain at 0.

But it's good to know that leaving out the locking screw is an option for "ghetto-moving" the dish. :)

Thanks for the explanation. :)

With that, I'm very happy with the dish. It's a sturdy deal.

Woofle
09-28-2008, 08:50 PM
known issue right now. That TP went dead a couple days ago along with 11716 but that one is back now (11716)

Yeah. Unfortunately, 12115 hosts the "Access America" feed, which is kind of how I got into the whole hobby in the first place, so that sucks. Oh well. There's always Kossovar(?)/Albanian pop music on RTV21 plus :D

Iceberg
09-30-2008, 09:14 PM
also moved to review area :)

Woofle
10-02-2008, 03:43 PM
Addendum:

After moving the dish around to different satellites, there is one feature of this dish which is fantastic.

I am very impressed with the elevation mechanism on this dish. It's possible to set the elevation very accurately with the threaded elevation screw.

Taking the magnetic angle finder and elevation for the satellite and subtracting the 27.7 degree offset for this particular dish, I can easily set any elevation I want, making satellite finding MUCH easier than anything I've had before.

The degree of precision is incredible vs. the more usual "loosen the screws, nudge it up or down, and re-tighten" scheme of most other dishes.

Hopefully I'll have time to gather some 90cm vs. 1.2 meter transponder readings with the same receiver and cable by the weekend to post.

Reigster at SatelliteGuys