AVL 1278 Antennas, what are they good for?

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nbkhwjm

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Dec 20, 2016
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I acquired 5 of these antennas in various condition, Im a Radio guy (HAM) and avid at Electronics tinkering..

what are these good for?

Dish Network?
Sirus XM?
FTA?
Other?

Ideas?

TIA

Chris
 

Psikic

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If they are 1.2m like it says, they would be wonderful for Dish, DirectTV, or FTA for sure, supposing you could mount the proper LNB without too much trouble.
 

nbkhwjm

Thread Starter
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Dec 20, 2016
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Central Alabama, USA
the specs say it is 12 - 14Ghz, would the LNB still need to be replaced for use as a legit DishNetworks antenna? not hacked, using the normal dish receiver...
 

Titanium

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The downlink LNB is linear 10.95-12.75GHz, so it is suited for KU FTA. Maybe the LO frequency is printed on the LNB? Think that they used Norsat 10 or 12 series with LO 10000.

http://assets.cdnma.com/9452/assets/Specifications/AVL_Specifications/AvL_1278_Roof_Mount_VSAT_Antenna_Data_Sheet.pdf

The LNB mount is a WR-75, so it may be possible to install a C-120 adapter and circular unit suitable for Dish/Direct. The problem with trying to use a single LNBF system for Dish is that programming is on multiple satellites and there would be problems with auto receiver configuration, EPG, etc. Direct used KU and KA on multiple satellites, so the programming would be limited.

Maybe they made a upgrade / sidecar kit for Dish/Direct? Or remove the BUC fabricate a new feed specifically for reception (lighter and less unused hardware).

If you have excess inventory, I would be interested in one for experimenting. :)
 
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nbkhwjm

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Dec 20, 2016
52
18
Central Alabama, USA
The downlink LNB is linear 10.95-12.75GHz, so it is suited for KU FTA. Maybe the LO frequency is printed on the LNB? Think that they used Norsat 10 or 12 series with LO 10000.


The LNB mount is a WR-75, so it may be possible to install a C-120 adapter and circular unit suitable for Dish/Direct. The problem with trying to use a single LNBF system for Dish is that programming is on multiple satellites and there would be problems with auto receiver configuration, EPG, etc. Direct used KU and KA on multiple satellites, so the programming would be limited.

Maybe they made a upgrade / sidecar kit for Dish/Direct? Or remove the BUC fabricate a new feed specifically for reception (lighter and less unused hardware).

If you have excess inventory, I would be interested in one for experimenting. :)
Ok i understand about the LNB and Its LO... Ill look closer today and see what it says...

Regarding dish, i understand also, with the wider oblong dish it makes sense that this circular one may not provide enough "coverage" to get adjacent signals without repositioning. I could mount a DISH lnb on it and see how we do. also though they are motorized... ;-)

one thought is to mount this on my boondocker camper (actually an 2.5 ton army truck with a shelter on it) and play some.. its seems to be a bit more impressive than the little "tailgater" POS sitting on the roof you see at football games.. ahhh the glory.. :) (Roll Tide)

I got these from a company surplus sale, they lowered them and took them off the truck while i stood there, but they wouldn't sell the electronics for some reason.. they've sat awhile, ill need to see how they fared..

pictures to follow..

Chris
 

Titanium

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Mounting a multi sat LNBF cluster will not work as the convergence points on the AVL Focal Diameter Ratio and Focal Length will be significantly different than a Dish Network dish. You would need to fabricate a multi LNBF mount to match the satellites convergence points.

Too bad they kept the electronics. Without, the AVL is a glorified AZ/EL mount using the manual cranks. Unless you can find the controller (or reverse engineer the actuators and polarity servo), best to be used on a fixed satellite. :(
 

harshness

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May 5, 2007
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If they are 1.2m like it says, they would be wonderful for Dish, DirectTV, or FTA for sure, supposing you could mount the proper LNB without too much trouble.
Using anything other than the DIRECTV AT-9 ("sidecar") or AU-9 (Slimline) dish with AT&T DIRECTV HD service is next to impossible as you can't split the special LNB assemblies across multiple dishes.

Other than the relatively high-powered Sirius/XM, all of the other suggested uses may provide some benefit.

Just don't try to use them as part of an OTA antenna.
 

harshness

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May 5, 2007
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Salem, OR
Mounting a multi sat LNBF cluster will not work as the convergence points on the AVL Focal Diameter Ratio and Focal Length will be significantly different than a Dish Network dish.
Using multiple dishes, each dedicated to a particular orbital slot, is trivial with DISH.
 

nbkhwjm

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Dec 20, 2016
52
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Central Alabama, USA
Mounting a multi sat LNBF cluster will not work as the convergence points on the AVL Focal Diameter Ratio and Focal Length will be significantly different than a Dish Network dish. You would need to fabricate a multi LNBF mount to match the satellites convergence points.
Yea i get that, i was hoping not to have to do that, but im certainly able if need be. Id need to study up on calculating the proper mounting distance and position..

Too bad they kept the electronics. Without, the AVL is a glorified AZ/EL mount using the manual cranks. Unless you can find the controller (or reverse engineer the actuators and polarity servo), best to be used on a fixed satellite. :(
Well actually i contacted AVL and they sent me some rather since schematics, diagrams and specs on the positioners, actuators and related circuitry.. I can absolutely build a controller..


Would i damage either the LNB, or Disk network receiver by just hooking them together and see if they play?
 

nbkhwjm

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Dec 20, 2016
52
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Central Alabama, USA
Using anything other than the DIRECTV AT-9 ("sidecar") or AU-9 (Slimline) dish with AT&T DIRECTV HD service is next to impossible as you can't split the special LNB assemblies across multiple dishes.

Other than the relatively high-powered Sirius/XM, all of the other suggested uses may provide some benefit.
So are you saying that it WOULD be a good for Sirus/XM or not?


Just don't try to use them as part of an OTA antenna.
Im confused by this, sorry im a noob...
 

Titanium

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Would i damage either the LNB, or Disk network receiver by just hooking them together and see if they play?
Yes, you can connect the LNB to a Dish Network receiver, but nothing will be received. The LO frequencies do not match, so the transponder frequencies will be incorrect.

Better to connect to a FTA receiver as the LO frequency can be matched, the fixed 18Vdc power supplied to the LNB and the spectrum blind scanned for DVB/S2 compatible signals.
 

harshness

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So are you saying that it WOULD be a good for Sirus/XM or not?
"Other than" makes it pretty clear that the dishes would NOT be a good match for satellite radio. The satellite radio signals are wicked strong (this is why a <2" omnidirectional antenna can deliver passable service at 2.34+/-GHz) and they'd probably make a conventional LNB amplifier soil itself. Satellite radio is more like GPS than it is like TV or Internet.

Regarding OTA usage, there are "innovative theories" (brain farts) wafting around the Internet suggesting that a satellite DISH might be useful as a reflector "element" on a Yagi-Uda UHF antenna.
 

nbkhwjm

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Dec 20, 2016
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here are some photos of the set. Upon Closer inspection 2 of the LNBs are missing...

The white box on the face of the Dish is me redacting the prior company name...

20161221_121026.jpg
20161221_134714.png
20161221_135906.png
 

Titanium

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Nice looking group! Much better condition than I had anticipated.

That LNB is perfect for KU FTA linear reception. LO 10750 is the regular setting for a "Standard" type linear LNB. Good quality units and no reason to replace unless they have failed. Replacement LNBs are standard WR-75 mounts and waveguide adapters are available for C120 flange type LNBs.
 

nbkhwjm

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Dec 20, 2016
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Central Alabama, USA
Nice looking group! Much better condition than I had anticipated.

That LNB is perfect for KU FTA linear reception. LO 10750 is the regular setting for a "Standard" type linear LNB. Good quality units and no reason to replace unless they have failed. Replacement LNBs are standard WR-75 mounts and waveguide adapters are available for C120 flange type LNBs.
Thanks.. I also tested the manual AZ/EL controls on them to see if they were frozen and used some alligator clips to bump test the motors.. they seem fine.

for scale you can see my Iphone on the one in the background... they are tall...

I'm looking at the Linkbox 9000I unless someone thinks there is something better ill get that after Christmas...

Chris
"Other than" makes it pretty clear that the dishes would NOT be a good match for satellite radio. The satellite radio signals are wicked strong (this is why a <2" omnidirectional antenna can deliver passable service at 2.34+/-GHz) and they'd probably make a conventional LNB amplifier soil itself. Satellite radio is more like GPS than it is like TV or Internet.

Regarding OTA usage, there are "innovative theories" (brain farts) wafting around the Internet suggesting that a satellite DISH might be useful as a reflector "element" on a Yagi-Uda UHF antenna.
Ahh OK I understand.. Yea sat radio is crazy strong..

LOL "Innovative Theories" yea i hear plenty of that feces from mouth around ... chuckle and walk away...
 
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ken2400

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The dish and LNB were a good find. I am helping a guy who took a lightening hit and lost one of these. They are high end LNBs and I still see them for sale. I replace it with a Primestar dish round LNB for now BUT think this is a downgrade. Still working for him tho. Good luck
 

nbkhwjm

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Dec 20, 2016
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Central Alabama, USA
An update on this project...

Im open to other ideas or thoughts good or bad...

Ive gotten 3 of the 4 dishes up and going, they are manually positioned to check out the LNBs and cabling... they work great, but ive had to position them manually with the handcrank.

Now i need to clarify that these dishes will be moved around on the top of a Military S-280 Shelter(s) so they need lots of sensors and capability because they will not be in a fixed location, so everything has to work from an unknown position..

Ive built a PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) circuit and implemented a control Daemon using a Raspberry PI. each dish has a raspberry pi attached to it, and the PI integrates the dishes individual GPS (Furuno GN-79A), AZ, EL, POL Position sensors, Electronic compass, Tilt sensors and limit sensors. The sensors were all already there with the existing AVL controller that i removed (i don't have the control box). I built a custom interface board for the PI to plug into the existing sensors..

There is a custom protocol designed to allow the PI Daemon and the Client to interact

Some key features..
- Everything is connected via the network (video of course is via coax...for now)
- The client software is very flexible and allows control over 4 dishes at once.. (Each on its own thread)
- The client OR dish can compute the proper AZ, EL, POL from its real time gps coords.
- Client can monitor GPS stream from the Dishes or have a local one
- Satellite Details and Positions updated via the web (my website for now)
- GPS Satellite Time can be displayed as a "room clock"
- Real time dish position monitoring and updates (stationary or moving) with 1' precision


Future possibilities..
- being able to move the dish via DiSEqC ( i need to understand more how that all works...got the docs, but not the time)
- Other ideas?

OVERVIEW OF THE CLIENT

GPS Monitoring Screen, shows the current state of the GPS with a Pseudo polar chart indicating sky position (its buggy now). But lets me know the state of the GPS connection being used. This comes from either a locally attached GPS to the client, or one of the GPS interfaces on the dishes over the network.

To position the dish, you simple select the satellite via the dropdown and the client will compute the proper az, el, pol based on the GPS current position. these are then placed in the "Target" fields, and as the dish moves, the "Current" values will change. When the dish is positioned you can "bump" the position buy the up-down arrows on the field. If the client doesnt have a GPS position itself, the client will send the satellite lon to the dish and the dish will compute the necessary az, el, pol itself from its own gps. If the case GPS isnt yet fixed, then the dish tells the client its waiting for it..
ss-4.png



This clock is based on the GPS time, although it seems rather obvious, im getting correct time here for accuracy.. system clocks depend on Internet NTP, and this is here to allow clock even without the internet. (plus its just cool)
ss-1.png


This is a listing of the satellite name at the Longitude position. This is updated via a webpage on my website which is a simple XML file. i have not really decided what else to put in here, so now its just names and positions...

What else should i put here??
ss-2.png


This shows statistics and debug information from the Raspberry Pi, just anything that would be needed to figure out how the pi is running.. Temps, memory, etc..
ss-3.png
 
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nbkhwjm

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Dec 20, 2016
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Central Alabama, USA
Bernard,

Yes it is working, I haven't moved everything to a single board yet, but will soon. Yes, the software is mine.

it's been going well, having some fun moving the dishes around a lot, letting the neighbors wonder what the heck I'm doing... sometimes I'll move 2 at once just to get them to start gawking.. ;-)
 
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