First C-band Dish Install Strategy (1 Viewer)

Inclined Orbit

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 2, 2018
376
201
Los Angeles
I'll add a little bit to this big C-band dish install as a challenge to your home C-band install. This job showing a single 9m dish was actually to install three 9m class C-band antennas on temporary mounts with associated electronics like antenna controller, high power TWT amplifiers, wave guide and wave guide switches, LNBs, LNB controllers, a complete turn key package tested to spec including running transmit and receive antenna patterns, G/T and adjusting power levels to customer requirements.

Nothing that unusual, except from the point in time where the customer said "I'll take it" to the point it was completed was right about 30 days. This includes packing and shipping all three huge 9m antennas across the country, purchasing the huge steel I beams locally, assembling three complete 9m antennas, aligning the reflector panels with a theodolite, running all internal and external wave guide runs, building all the inside rigid wave guide, switching and filters, installing many racks of TWT amplifiers, ACUs, patch panels, cable trays, final alignment of reflector panels in the middle of the night, all customer acceptance testing, etc. That's 30 days total for three complete systems, I think this must be a record.

So how long does it take you guys to purchase, receive goods, dig a hole, assemble and align a single backyard 10ft dish and run the cables into the house?

I'm in one of these pictures installing wave guide connectors on some eliptical wave guide.

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I agree the dish will fall over and it will be nearly impossible to use wood unless you make a big mount out of something like old railroad ties and sandwich them between some thick plywood. Even then it will have to be large to avoid tipping and you will need a lot of weight on it.

For declination, there is no guarantee the original owner had it set right so you will probably have to experiment to get it dialed in. You can tune in a satellite at the highest point in the arc, then go to ones at the far east and west end and gently bend the dish up and down to see if there is any improvement. If so your declination will need a little tweaking. When top of arc and both ends degrade by bending the dish up or down you should be good.

Here is an above ground dish I worked on, albeit a much larger dish. Notice how far the I beams go beyond the dish diameter. There are many tons of steel laid out on this dish to keep it in place and a smaller dish should have an adequate base like this but on a smaller scale. Believe it or not, this is a 9m meter temporary dish. Everything including the huge I beam base comes apart and it goes in a sea container off to the next job.

View attachment 146636
 

johnnynobody

SatelliteGuys Master
Pub Member / Supporter
Aug 2, 2009
5,388
932
42N 103W
I'll add a little bit to this big C-band dish install as a challenge to your home C-band install. This job showing a single 9m dish was actually to install three 9m class C-band antennas on temporary mounts with associated electronics like antenna controller, high power TWT amplifiers, wave guide and wave guide switches, LNBs, LNB controllers, a complete turn key package tested to spec including running transmit and receive antenna patterns, G/T and adjusting power levels to customer requirements.

Nothing that unusual, except from the point in time where the customer said "I'll take it" to the point it was completed was right about 30 days. This includes packing and shipping all three huge 9m antennas across the country, purchasing the huge steel I beams locally, assembling three complete 9m antennas, aligning the reflector panels with a theodolite, running all internal and external wave guide runs, building all the inside rigid wave guide, switching and filters, installing many racks of TWT amplifiers, ACUs, patch panels, cable trays, final alignment of reflector panels in the middle of the night, all customer acceptance testing, etc. That's 30 days total for three complete systems, I think this must be a record.

So how long does it take you guys to purchase, receive goods, dig a hole, assemble and align a single backyard 10ft dish and run the cables into the house?

Gee, I love this kind of talk. Anyway, I haven't seen a TWT since the early 90's. Or even a Klystron. Anyway, I wouldn't mind having a 9 meter in my back yard but I don't think my neighbors would like it (or the city). I don't need an uplink so I won't need a TWT.

As for a new dish install, if I can remember correctly, it took somewhere between 2 to 4 weeks to do my most recent install. Got a permit from the city, ordered the antenna and pole, all underground utilities marked, dug a 2 foot diameter hole 5 feet deep by hand, had fiber concrete delivered and poured, waited about 2 weeks to set the concrete (overkill, I know), assembled the antenna and ran cabling while the concrete cured, hail severely damaged the antenna while laying on the ground, ordered a replacement antenna since I couldn't get just manufactured mesh or mesh supports (made of aluminum) for the dish, assembled the new dish, rounded up some friends and set the dish on the pole, aligned the dish, enjoyed fruits of my labor. If I had to do this again I'd hire someone to do it.
 

Cham

VE4GLS
Pub Member / Supporter
Dec 19, 2008
2,290
837
Boonies
Took about 2 weeks to get my first C-band dish installed and operational. Burying in the conduit for the cables was the most labour-intensive part of the project from what I remember. Dug three 10' by 14" piles and mixed my own concrete in a wheel barrow. Think I would rent a ditch-witch and a proper mixer next time. Dish was used and mostly assembled so that's cheating a bit.. :)
I have two 8' dishes bolted onto two railroad ties (ea.) buried in the soil. They turned out to work really well and haven't moved at all since the first year of installation. The last 10-footer was an old microwave dish (Andrews) using heavy tower corner legs as the mount, just sits on the ground pointed at 97w.
 

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