Dish has that sinking feeling!

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walrus1957

walrus1957

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 24, 2008
280
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40 miles west of Omaha
I fought the cold, snow and wind all winter with Cband testing on my 1.2 meter dish. And now that the weather is finally starting to warm up I am fighting the freeze/thaw cycle and mushy ground from all the rain we have been having. The past few days I was out to the dish several times to re-plumb the mast on my portable testing tripod as the feet of the tripod heave and sink in the soil. It seems to lean one way and then the other different times during the day. It’s a real pain to go out and twist the turnbuckles on the tripod to re-align the dish every six hours :mad:. The only ease to the operation is the bulls-eye levels that are attached to the top and bottom of the mast for quick reference.

Last night I started testing certain transponders for signal levels when I noticed them changing dramatically in just half an hour. It has been raining nonstop here all day and overnight. This morning I went out to the dish and found it leaning about 5 degrees forward. My handy collapsible and portable testing tripod is great, but I think I made the 2x4 inch foot pads to small. The mounting of the dish has the bulk of the weight to the front of the tripod, and the pad extending underneath the dish is sinking in the mudding soil. I guess the frost isn’t all the way out! Thank God for a piece of folded cardboard, doubled it up and placed it under the foot. I have to decide on a permanent dish location this Spring and keep the tripod just for testing.

Thought I would share, Spring is on its way YA HOO!!!

Oh one more thing, my home is less than two miles from the Platte River. Ice jams have forced the river out of its banks overnight. Hope it doesn’t overflow the dike :eek:!
 

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Babadem

Babadem

SatelliteGuys Pro
May 21, 2007
2,294
163
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Walrus1957, thanks for sharing your experience. Could you take a closeup picture of the Scalar, looking inside the throat of the LNB? In addition to using a flat scalar, I understand you also attach some kind of nut (modification) to the scalar to gain more quality signal?
 
Panavision

Panavision

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 23, 2007
282
2
St. Louis Park, Minnesota
That tripod is awesome! I'm using a heavy duty video camera tripod that's a pain to adjust. Like you, my dish seems to need adjustment everyday. Especially as the snow melts here in Minneapolis. Also, my signal isn't nearly as strong as it should be with a 1.2m. Should have gotten a GeoSatPro dish instead of the Fortec.
 
AcWxRadar

AcWxRadar

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 26, 2006
4,575
4
40 miles NW of Omaha. Omaha?
That tripod is awesome! I'm using a heavy duty video camera tripod that's a pain to adjust. Like you, my dish seems to need adjustment everyday. Especially as the snow melts here in Minneapolis. Also, my signal isn't nearly as strong as it should be with a 1.2m. Should have gotten a GeoSatPro dish instead of the Fortec.

Walrus's tripod is an excellent creation. I have his original prototype for my 1.2 M GeoSatPRO dish and it works fantastic. You cannot buy a tripod like this anywhere. If anyone made one for resale, it would cost you several hundred US $.

So far this year, my soil under the tripod has not begun to heave, so I am not experiencing any change in my dish alignment (yet). I am crossing my fingers and biting my nails hoping that it stays level during the spring thaw.

I was very lucky this winter. I picked a spot in the yard where I could obtain a full LOS view of the entire satellite arc. As a bonus, it just happened to be the most perfect spot in the yard where the snow did not accumulate. The wind in that spot was just right, not too intense to blow the dish around, but sufficient enough to keep most of the snow clear around the tripod an under the dish. At most, it was 16 inches deep there, while the rest of the yard had drifts up to four and in some places five feet deep. Way in the back of the house, there is a drift that was close to seven feet deep, but it is finally melting away now.

I have to run a very long RG-11 cable to my most perfect dish location, but I am very glad that I chose the spot that I did. It worked out very well in the long run.

Back to the tripod, you can't beat this device! It is great for portability and just as stable as a concreted mast, as long as the thaw doesn't heave the ground around it. Ther soil here at my home is different than Walrus's soil, so that may have a lot to do in explaining why mine is not moving at this time. It may eventually give me troubles, but right now it is remaining stable.

This year, I would like to concrete a mast in the ground at this location. If I can get someone to video the process, I will make a nice tutorial for the forum. Maybe I can talk Walrus into assisting with this.

RADAR
 
walrus1957

walrus1957

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 24, 2008
280
0
40 miles west of Omaha
Walrus1957, thanks for sharing your experience. Could you take a closeup picture of the Scalar, looking inside the throat of the LNB? In addition to using a flat scalar, I understand you also attach some kind of nut (modification) to the scalar to gain more quality signal?

I think these photos are also posted in the review for the DMX242. I took these a few weeks back when I was testing that LNBF. By the why that so called nut is just a plain 9/16 metal socket straight out of my tool box. The simple tape add on boosts the signal quality roughly 10 to 15% on most channels. Heck your finger placed at that postion does about the same thing, but it gets pretty tireing holding it there all day :D!

I took a drive this afternoon to check out the ice on the Platte river, small jam at the bridge south of town, but no real flooding so far :)! Fog as thick as pea soup, couldn't see much up or down stream.
 

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1ADAM12

1ADAM12

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 4, 2009
576
0
10-6 Gas Pumps
I think these photos are also posted in the review for the DMX242. I took these a few weeks back when I was testing that LNBF. By the why that so called nut is just a plain 9/16 metal socket straight out of my tool box. The simple tape add on boosts the signal quality roughly 10 to 15% on most channels. Heck your finger placed at that postion does about the same thing, but it gets pretty tireing holding it there all day :D!

I took a drive this afternoon to check out the ice on the Platte river, small jam at the bridge south of town, but no real flooding so far :)! Fog as thick as pea soup, couldn't see much up or down stream.

Please post the focal length from the opening of the lnbf to the dish surface. Could you boresite the lnbf and place a mark on the dish for the focal center of the dish and give dimensions to it from the dish bolts.

With the Geosatpro lnbf bracket does your dish elevation work out to be exactly the calculated number?
 
Blindowl1234

Blindowl1234

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 16, 2008
2,034
90
SouthWest Ohio
Walrus, Looks like you need to extend the concrete patio in the picture, extend it over to the dish lol. Same sinking feeling here too. Rainy but warm here in the 60's! I guarantee you I can go outside, and shake any post I have, for any dish I have, and it will move in the muck this time of year. In the summer the dirt (clay) will be as hard as concrete. Blind
 
Babadem

Babadem

SatelliteGuys Pro
May 21, 2007
2,294
163
MA
I think these photos are also posted in the review for the DMX242. I took these a few weeks back when I was testing that LNBF. By the why that so called nut is just a plain 9/16 metal socket straight out of my tool box. The simple tape add on boosts the signal quality roughly 10 to 15% on most channels. Heck your finger placed at that postion does about the same thing, but it gets pretty tireing holding it there all day :D!

I took a drive this afternoon to check out the ice on the Platte river, small jam at the bridge south of town, but no real flooding so far :)! Fog as thick as pea soup, couldn't see much up or down stream.

Walrus1957, I'm extremely grateful for the photos. I will give it a try as soon as it gets warm here. :D BTW, what made you think of adding the 9/16 metal socket? :confused: :)
 
Last edited:
AcWxRadar

AcWxRadar

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 26, 2006
4,575
4
40 miles NW of Omaha. Omaha?
Walrus1957, I'm extremely grateful for the photos. I will give it a try as soon as it gets warm here. :D BTW, what made you think of adding the 9/16 metal socket? :confused: :)

Babadem,

The addition of the parasitic element of the 9/16" socket was a bit of my accidental research. Walrus loaned me a BSC621-2 LNBF with a flat scalar ring to play with. I kept trying to reposition the scalar ring for the best possible signal and moving it in and out along the focal axis. When I found a good spot, I tried to tighten the screws around the circumference but it kept twisting on me. So I tried to hold it steady and straight along the axis of the LNBF by grabbing the outer ring of the scalar with my free hand.

When I let go, I would notice that the signal quality would drop considerably. When I put my fingers back into that ring, the signal would rise up again. I told Walrus what I detected and he tried the same and found the results the same, so he thought to put something in place of our "fingers" in there and the nearest thing available was a socket set. So, Walrus picked the socket that fit the best in the scalar ring and stay in place to see if the signal quality would remain "UP".

With a 9/16" socket, it worked. He later experimented with the optimum position to locate it to provide the best results. I will let Walrus fill in any other details, but honestly, it was pure accident up to that point.

Why it works the way it does, I cannot explain exactly. But it was a nice perk to find.

RADAR
 
Babadem

Babadem

SatelliteGuys Pro
May 21, 2007
2,294
163
MA
Babadem,

The addition of the parasitic element of the 9/16" socket was a bit of my accidental research. Walrus loaned me a BSC621-2 LNBF with a flat scalar ring to play with. I kept trying to reposition the scalar ring for the best possible signal and moving it in and out along the focal axis. When I found a good spot, I tried to tighten the screws around the circumference but it kept twisting on me. So I tried to hold it steady and straight along the axis of the LNBF by grabbing the outer ring of the scalar with my free hand.

When I let go, I would notice that the signal quality would drop considerably. When I put my fingers back into that ring, the signal would rise up again. I told Walrus what I detected and he tried the same and found the results the same, so he thought to put something in place of our "fingers" in there and the nearest thing available was a socket set. So, Walrus picked the socket that fit the best in the scalar ring and stay in place to see if the signal quality would remain "UP".

With a 9/16" socket, it worked. He later experimented with the optimum position to locate it to provide the best results. I will let Walrus fill in any other details, but honestly, it was pure accident up to that point.

Why it works the way it does, I cannot explain exactly. But it was a nice perk to find.

RADAR
:eek: WOW!!! This is amazing!! :D ......and I understand this little addition can increase signal quality by 10 to 15%? The increase could be what is needed to make a difference on a MiniBUD!! Thanks to you too, my friend!!:up:cool:
 
AcWxRadar

AcWxRadar

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 26, 2006
4,575
4
40 miles NW of Omaha. Omaha?
:eek: WOW!!! This is amazing!! :D ......and I understand this little addition can increase signal quality by 10 to 15%? The increase could be what is needed to make a difference on a MiniBUD!! Thanks to you too, my friend!!:up:cool:

Babadem,

You are welcome for sure, but I don't know if I could quantify the difference in signal quality to any specific value. However, it did take several channels from below the threshold level to a level where they were consistently viewable. Some better than most and some just enough to get by. Walrus is the one you would need to gather specifics from. He spent much more time perfecting it.

Never-the-less, it was a great find for us.

RADAR
 
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