8ft Fiberglass Dish on Trailer Mount

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glater

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Dec 14, 2005
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I found an ad for a 8ft satellite dish mounted on a trailer. Also mentions that he has electronics with it (?). $150 for all of it. Even though I never had c band, I can remember satellite shops in the eighties down this way would take a setup out to your location, hook it up, and show you what you would get. Don't know why it would be trailer mounted otherwise. (c band RV'er?). I'll have to wait to see this stuff (the trailer could be worth the price), but my concern is the fiberglass dish. What do I need to know about them? I know that the mesh is better in windy conditions, but how about signal quality? I'm making arrangements to see it next week & would like to be aware of what to look for. Thanks
 
thomas34461usa

thomas34461usa

SatelliteGuys Pro
I found an ad for a 8ft satellite dish mounted on a trailer. Also mentions that he has electronics with it (?). $150 for all of it. Even though I never had c band, I can remember satellite shops in the eighties down this way would take a setup out to your location, hook it up, and show you what you would get. Don't know why it would be trailer mounted otherwise. (c band RV'er?). I'll have to wait to see this stuff (the trailer could be worth the price), but my concern is the fiberglass dish. What do I need to know about them? I know that the mesh is better in windy conditions, but how about signal quality? I'm making arrangements to see it next week & would like to be aware of what to look for. Thanks
Take some pictures of it as in Lots of them from the back where the mount is, the actuator, the Dish itself with different angles and the feedhorn, Since you getting the trailer too take some photo's of that too. Ask him if he still runs and if it has the receiver for it. Tell him you think of it and get back to him soon. Shows us the photo's and we'll do are best to help you.

Tom
:D
 
osu1991

osu1991

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Sep 4, 2004
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Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
If you are lucky it may look like this with the birdview, in which case you have found the holy grail of dishes.:)
 

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G

glater

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Dec 14, 2005
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I drove out this afternoon to check it out. I didn't take my camera but wished that I had, but at least I got some info. It was about 80 miles round trip, so I won't be going back unless I buy it. I did get some info though. The 8ft dish was made by Beachcraft Electronics, the actuator had Houston Tracker on it, couldn't get any closer because of wasps, the receiver was made by Toki, and he had a General Instrument VCII. He used to own a TV & Satellite business and this setup was what he called a "demonstration trailer". It was last licensed in 1990. The trailer was similar to your picture osu1991, but only had a single axle and the frame was lighter, more like a boat trailer. Man, I wish my camera would have been with me. It had a manual winch to raise the dish & 4 jacks to level the trailer. I have no use for the trailer (no floor), but if I thought that if I could get $150 for it, the dish would basically be free if you guys think it's a worthwhile dish. I don't know anything about c band and have never seen a Beachcraft Electronics dish mentioned on this forum. I told him that I wanted to see if anyone on the forum had heard of this equipment and would get back to him. He's holding it until I contact him. Thanks for the input.
 
gabshere

gabshere

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Aug 20, 2006
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ok i did see a beachcraft dish listed on ebay about a year ago , it was a nice dish....it was rigged up for both c & ku. now i don't know the area your in how easy dishes are to find. but i will list some points to take in mind.

1) a fiberglass dish is very heavy ( requires more people to help move it.
2) a trailer that been parked for 18 years isn't going to travel 80 / 40 miles well without some work. tires old , bearing locked ect if you do attempt to move be careful.
3) mesh dishes are a lot lighter and usually easy to move. dish moving equipment isn't very expensive ( old analog movers)
4) in my area dishes are plentiful..... i've located 6 or 7 birdviews but i wouldn't pay for a dish unless it was worth it to me. and it would have to be a great dish :)
5) if dishes are plentiful in your area i would pass on this deal and find a good mesh dish for your first dish and after you play with it a while you might want to add a heavy dish.

the beachcraft from what i remember wasn't a bad looking dish ( its just going to be heavy)
 
Anole

Anole

SatelliteGuys Master
Sep 22, 2005
11,819
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L.A., Calif.
a few concerns

One last thing to wonder about is whether it'll do Ku or not.
Real old fiberglass dishes may not have had fine enough mesh embedded in them to do better than the popular C-band of the day.
As for that brand, I wouldn't care to hazard a guess.

Also, if there are any cracks or crazes in the dish it may have allowed moisture to penetrate.
One would think that would be a bad thing anywhere the weather freezes each year.

Consult with someone who knows old fiberglass dishes and see if either of these concerns would matter.
I know I'd want answers before taking such a dish.


Now, as to commercial molded dishes which are sometimes called "fiberglass" when they are really molded dishes, I'd take one of those in a heartbeat!
But there's about zero chance that's what you are looking at, here.
 
G

glater

Thread Starter
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Dec 14, 2005
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That's why I didn't want to make a quick, uninformed decision without running it by this forum. I watch you guys give very sound advice to others & I value your input. The only reason I would consider buying this one, was the hopes of getting my money back on the trailer & that might not happen, even though it has been stored in a pole barn for 18 years and out of the weather & is in very good condition. As of right now, I think, I'll keep looking and will ask for opinions on the next one & yes, I'll take my camera. Thanks for the honest opinions.
 
ACRadio

ACRadio

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 25, 2006
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Near Asheville NC
The molded dishes, as Anole stated, are the only ones I would even consider. They have molded ribs in the back that helps keep the critical shape. Most regular fiberglass dishes don't have this. The molded type is more of a commercial dish, but were used somewhat in the home TVRO market. They generally use a mesh similar to old timey screen door wire. Two of the premier dishes of this type is Prodelin and Channel Master. But even the molded dishes are still fiberglass. :) They have a plastic resin over the fiberglass that makes them look like...well...plastic! The resin resists cracking, but after years in the weather the fiberglass becomes visible. Prodelin did make a version that was compression molded totally out of the plastic resin but the surface accuracy from about 3 feet out to the edge sucked.

Now you're hearing this from someone who lives in an area where C band thrived in the 80's and even though it's a place where sunshine is piped in daily there are some choices when it comes to dishes. Some folks might not have many choices or may have to travel a long way to get a quality dish...they may be tickled to get ANY C band dish. About 3 years ago I drove from here to Canton Ohio (about an 18 hour round trip) after a 1.2 meter Channel Master offset dish. Around here there are still several prime focus Channel Master dishes like I use. Back in the mid 80's there was a regional hardware store chain that sold a sledload of Channel Master systems, and the first systems used the molded glass dish. Later they went to a perf dish similar to a Birdview, but there are still some of the glass dishes still standing. I'm going after a couple more just for spare parts.

Edited to add that if you look at the back of a Channel Master offset or an old PrimeStar dish that's what the molded ribs look like.
 
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glater

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 14, 2005
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ACRadio, thanks for your suggestions. From all of the input I've received, I emailed the guy & told him that I have decided not to get this setup. I'm not in any hurry & there are plenty of dishes down this way (mesh & fiberglass), so I'll continue my search & knock on a few doors. I'll only look at fiberglass if they are molded. Thanks!
 
M

mikekohl

Prehistoric Satellite Guru
Supporting Founder
Jun 4, 2004
819
206
Montfort, Wisconsin
Sorry to see that you have already made up your mind.
One angle that should be considered is the FCC protection for antennas 1.0 meters or less. An 8 foot dish does not qualify for such protection, but if it was mounted on a trailer, it does not really qualify as an "installation"; thereby opening up the possibility of getting a pass on such restrictions. A trailer would be classified as a temporary structure, and as long as it was licensed for road use, little could be done about the entire contraption being parked. Unless there are restrictions about portable signs or other large objects that might apply.

Just some food for thought, because in many jurisdictions, this may be a useful tactic to circumvent annoying local rules.
 
truckracer

truckracer

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Sep 17, 2004
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Charleston wv
can we say "The ultimate tailgate dish" LOL. Can you imagine the look on the other tailgaters when you pull up in your RV towing a 10' dish on a trailor!! Ha Ha....the look on their faces would be priceless especially when you pulled out your 13" color tv!!
 
G

glater

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 14, 2005
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Mike, I live on 5 acres in the country and don't have any of the restrictions you mentioned, but I when I saw the trailer setup, I liked the idea of moving the trailer around to a couple of different spots on my property before making a dish permanent. I know that the trailer alone is worth the asking price of the whole rig. It might be worth a trip back to invesigate further. Thanks
 
gabshere

gabshere

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 20, 2006
3,720
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Rison , Arkansas
i didn't think of that Mike so its a good point :) I also like the movable idea. it lots harder to move my current dish set in concrete :D like when the trees grow taller.. :( lol i topped it back 15 years ago but you know gum trees ... they have a mind of their own lol

Jerry , take you a grease gun with you and get those bearings and it will probably make it ok
being stored inside something it should be in better condition than i was thinking of one stored outside in the elements.
 
thomas34461usa

thomas34461usa

SatelliteGuys Pro
the holy grail of dishes.

If you are lucky it may look like this with the birdview, in which case you have found the holy grail of dishes.:)
Hey OSU1991,
I was thinking of that Birdview that you found on the trailer. That was a Great Find! :up

I was meaning of asking you when you first made the post (if you did, sorry I missed it) did you ask about it and were you able to get it? It sure needs a better home besides collecting old wood and trash. At lease somebody to put it to good use before it hits the scrap yard! :eek:

TOM
:D
 
osu1991

osu1991

SatelliteGuys Master
Sep 4, 2004
9,934
2,357
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
It belongs to the former Birdview dealer and is where I got the closeups of the birdview logos. He had 2 solids, one on a pole and one on the trailer and a perforated laying on the ground.

He didn't want to part with them last time I was in that part of the state. Unfortunately I am stuck in the office and around Tulsa, and have to assign some of my employees the monthly jobs of traveling now, so I haven't been able to follow up on the other 3 Birdviews I have seen. Hope with the coming cooler weather I can get out of the office some more.

The heat/HUMIDITY got to me after 4 hours of yardwork and an hour fooling with my primestar, I didn't have the energy to put my 8fter back together today. Missing the football feeds is driving me crazy.
 
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