Another Birdview Convert to FTA (and still on HITS) (1 Viewer)

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Michigan Winter hasn't hit us yet. Thursday was spent back at a dish I sold back in 1986 when I worked for a dealer! A friend of mine has inherited this dish on the family farm where he lives, (and he's joined the forum-username: Ivesons) and, last winter we put the dish back into use with a dual C-band LNB (Geosat) and he's been enjoying HITS on W-5 via SRL, not using the motor.

Thanks to the design of the circuit from forum member NE8E, and its integration into the guts of a V-Box10, and the use of a rotary encoder replacing the (too low in count) Birdview reed-switch kit, This Birdview is scanning the skies on an Openbox S10 unit! Also thanks to friend and forum member NicknJen for pre-loading all the firmware and favorites from his box, making install much easier! This dish now returns to W-5 so the secondary feed can run the DSR-410 for as long as subscribing has a value to the user. Unlike my birdview which had been converted years ago from a rotary pot (which had screw holes in strategic places ready to hold an encoder of this type) Ray had to drill into the aluminum casting to put two screws in to hold the encoder until a suitable bracket is made, but the encoder's not moving, and is rock-steady on reporting its pulses!

This birdview has the FAST gearbox, and makes mine and most I've seen look like The Tortoise and the Hare! I don't think you could even USE a standard mechanical relay on this one, the numbers FLY by on the V-box. The LED indicator light in the pulsing circuit goes so fast, you don't see it blink off! But, the BV doesn't seem to have overshoot issues, which I halfway expected given the speed it books from satellite to satellite. Interesting thing, the "automatic" function makes the dish move at its fast pace, as does the remote for the VBOX 10, but, the buttons on the top for East/West seem to be somehow make the dish go much slower, and are better for "fine-tuning" of the signals.

We sealed the LNB connections temporarily with a rubber-ish roll compound used on high power transmitter cables (leftover from projects at our radio station) until the Nosecone for the Birdview can be extended a bit with some aluminum added to it. Water and these newer LNB's don't mix well!

The "standards" of FTA channels are programmed in for him, and over time he'll hopefully learn to check in here and learn the "new" way satellite works. The last time this dish saw a wild-feed, it was likely on an STS receiver or maybe a Houston Tracker VIII.

I hope we have another "info-hungry" user now. Toughest thing about this is explaining some of the quirks of the Openbox unit, and the fact that he's now going to want to stay up to date on services moving, arriving, and disappearing. It was nice, however seeing the happy "wow" on his face as the first FTA signals showed up on his projection big screen. By the way, the Openbox through standard video looked DARN NICE on this older rear projection box, using standard audio/video. Wish I'd snapped a picture of that, too.

Another BUD, (Birdview to boot) back in FULL operation! (we'll get him to go C/Ku sometime soon, I bet!)
 

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radio

Thread Starter
"On the Air" in MI
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Oct 13, 2007
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West Central Michigan
Yep. never thought about it! I'll be down that way again soon, and can do so! Good idea! Believe me, it looked like one of those old movies shot at slow speed
then played back on a faster rate. That bird can FLY!

I'm sure there's more of the "slow' ones (BV gear boxes) than fast in use. I say that based on the fact this one had no screw holes for an original potentiometer, meaning it was a later model! With mine, you can almost order a pizza between the lowest and highest birds, but..I don't mind! As long as it moves and gets there, I'm happy!
 

phlatwound

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Dec 25, 2007
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Very nice, good to see another BV back in service.

I have seen BV mounts with ratios of 37:1, 70:1 and 110:1, the ratio is usually on the motor label somewhere.
 

radio

Thread Starter
"On the Air" in MI
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Very nice, good to see another BV back in service. I have seen BV mounts with ratios of 37:1, 70:1 and 110:1, the ratio is usually on the motor label somewhere.

Interesting! Can you hel help educate me, please? We seldom if ever had to replace a motor or a gearbox, were they just "issued" at a certain ratio?
I never remember offering options when I was in the sales end of 'em! I had only heard of "slow" and "fast!" I assume they got faster as the receivers got
more advanced and as people wanted "more" from their systems! I last sold these in about 1986, before the "new" Birdview was resurrected then died.
 

Dishman Dan

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Jun 22, 2008
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radio,

You got me thinking again about a Birdview looking BUD about 15 miles from my house. I can never catch anybody home to ask to take a look at it. It sits far back behind the house and I always ask permission before I "hunt". ;)
 

radio

Thread Starter
"On the Air" in MI
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Oct 13, 2007
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If you know the place is inhabited, a nice note left in an envelope (maybe even a Christmas card this time of year) expressing interest and put in their mailbox or..in their door may help! Never let a Birdview go unappreciated! They last.....and last....and last.......I usually got 'em fairly cheap. I've been trying to remember where we sold 'em years ago and see if any are still around! Extras never hurt! "Backups" so to speak!
 

Cham

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Dec 19, 2008
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Hi Radio,
Noted on the 4th picture the scaler ring is above the LNB plate. Does the feed plate have it's own scaler and the new LNBF doesn't fit the way the original did?
Looks really well done. Wish I could find one of those dishes up here!
-C.
 

radio

Thread Starter
"On the Air" in MI
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West Central Michigan
The Birdview units came with built in scalar on the bottom of the mounting for the LNB. The only thing that anyone has to do modifying a BV unit is to enlarge the hole that the original scalar plate has, then....believe it or not, with the proper bolts, the "new" scalar plates' holes line right up with Birdview's unused bolt holes, and you get "instant mount" for your newer LNB! Ready to adjust!
 

Anole

SatelliteGuys Master
Sep 22, 2005
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I have seen BV mounts with ratios of 37:1, 70:1 and 110:1, ...

Yea, that's all I've ever read about.
And I was kinda under the impression that the 37:1 gearboxes were the most common by far.
... so I assumed they were the early ones.
However, with just a sample of one, it's hard to know.

If this one is so fast, you might look at the actual voltage delivered to the motor.
Perhaps the controller box has a particularly high voltage or stiff supply?
Large wiring to the motor will give you more "go", too.

If you are comparing to the speed on a 4Dtv receiver, they only put out 24 volts (new laws, I guess).
But the new Vbox/Xboxes put out (a poorly regulated) 36 volts.
I'll bet the old mover boxes had a really stiff 36 volt output!
... and any of 'em might put out more under some sort of failure mode ...(?)
 

radio

Thread Starter
"On the Air" in MI
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Oct 13, 2007
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West Central Michigan
Good points!
The wiring is original heavy duty birdview motor, drive, and signal cable.
The box is was voltage tested on the bench and was same as my Vbox 7.
I think we just have a newer BV setup. One of the clues was that there were NO holes for the original potentiometer mount
that the earlier BV's came with. It had only the reed switch kit, thus it had to be manufactured post-potentiometer, and we were still selling
those in 1986 new from the factory! I recall this being a rental return unit (yes, we used to rent-to-own these, but only to our BEST customers)
so my best guest still remains that we have a high gear ratio unit! I will be returning there this week, hopefully daytime and will try to post a video of it!
 
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