Did you get the white Direcway dish? They're pretty good for fta, but HEAVY! I suppose you could motorize one if you drop off that transmitter part, and the big mount/skew ring on the back. You can find lots of threads on motorizing dishes here, use the search feature for "motorized primestar" , plenty of pictures to help. Mostly you just need a good motor like the DG380, make a bracket to hold the dish to the motor shaft, with an adjustment built-in to allow the declination setting you'll need. Skew is taken care of by the motor, as it moves east or west it also will skew the entire dish/lnbf.
edit : one important point, try to keep the weight under 30lbs and most motors will do just fine. I motorized a .90 primestar dish, which is a little bit bigger dish, by getting rid of all the extra weight it came in at about 23lbs.
That's a lot bigger than my direcway dish, I'll try to dig up a picture (mine's the elliptical dish).
Sure you can paint them. Clean it good with some top-job or cleaner and brush, get a can of spray paint and have at it. I painted several of my dishes, makes 'em look brand new again.
Post a picture of your dish, if you can. If that's 54" you're talking about something crazy big for direcway (commercial dish maybe?)
Should be great for fta.
IS that dish plastic, or metal? The weight is the limiting factor with the H-H motors.
I put a 1m primestar on a polar mount from a big dish over a year ago, works with a regular
linear actuator. If you have a big dish , or parts from one that you could use, I can post some pictures of that project for you. It's not exactly a beginner project but if you're handy with tools and angles it can be done.
palenda , sorry I was aware that you must have a certain number of posts before you can upload pictures, but not sure what that # of posts is. Click on my name and send a private message to me, maybe you can send it to me and I can post it for you.