Help needed for calibrating and setting up a Paraclipse satellite dish

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Richinald

SatelliteGuys Family
Original poster
Mar 31, 2015
35
7
Aruba
Hello,
I would like to inquire if there might be a member that has experience setting up/ calibrate a Paraclipse Classic 12 PT satellite dish, the dish is mounted to the pole, as well there is a new LNB installed,
The problem is the two large "silver" bolts were replaced, since the original ones were extremely rusted and one of them was bended, so there are new bolts installed, the problem remains how to align those two large silver bolts so the satellite dish can track the C and KU Band correctly, since this was a procedure that I never did.
A satellite technician friend that is helping out, is also trying to find out how to do this procedure.
The request would be to describe/walk through in a simple term: the procedure for setting up the large silver bolts for the dish - if correct would be the elevation level - (according to the Paraclipse manual a inclinometer would be required) so the dish can track the arc correctly.
I have attached several pictures for reference, more pictures can be provided upon request.
According to the Paraclipse manual found on the internet this procedure on the two silver bolts would be for adjusting the elevation, but feel free to correct the information mentioned is wrong.
Latitude, Longitude and location data for setting up the dish is on the island of Aruba in the Caribbean Area.
Thank you all for your help and guidance, it is very appreciated.
 

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Look at my dish mount. Very similar. The bolts you replaced are the polar angle adjustment bolts.
You need to tilt the dish back so the entire pivot angle points basically at the North Star.
In my case there is also a locking bolt to rotate the entire dish on the pole.
The next setting will be declination. Where the dish itself tilts up or down towards the horizon.
In other words if the declination is set to 0. The dish will track the sky perpendicular to the dish pivot bolts.
You need to keep the polar angle but introduce a declination angle for you location to make the dish track the equator where satellites are in the Clarke Belt.
An inclinometer will work. I use a Klein digital gauge from Home Depot. Ones like it resolve to 0.1 degree.
There is a recent thread here with a diagram to figure out what you need to attain for proper tracking.

Your next bit of fun will be receiving your first satellite and then tweaking in all of the angles to track the sky correctly. Be prepared for some fun. Use the chart here:

 

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Its been over 30 years for me...I would also make sure the LNB is squared up and in the focal point and the correct distance from the dish center.
 
Latitude, Longitude and location data for setting up the dish is on the island of Aruba in the Caribbean Area.

For your latitude, the rotation axis should be ("modified elevation angles") about your latitude + 0.3 degrees from horizontal.
So, if your latitude is 12.5 north, the axis angle should be about 12.8 from horizontal.

I cannot recognize on your pictures though, if/how the declination of the dish can be altered. Is it maybe a fixed declination angle? If yes, what is the present angle?
(Modified) declination offset angle should be just about 1.9 degrees...
But, if only the bolts for the elevation are new and all else is unchanged, and the declination offset angle is indeed set at 1.9 degrees, setting the axis elevation would be all...

I've never set up such a dish myself, though.

Greetz,
A33
 
For your latitude, the rotation axis should be ("modified elevation angles") about your latitude + 0.3 degrees from horizontal.
So, if your latitude is 12.5 north, the axis angle should be about 12.8 from horizontal.

I cannot recognize on your pictures though, if/how the declination of the dish can be altered. Is it maybe a fixed declination angle? If yes, what is the present angle?
(Modified) declination offset angle should be just about 1.9 degrees...
But, if only the bolts for the elevation are new and all else is unchanged, and the declination offset angle is indeed set at 1.9 degrees, setting the axis elevation would be all...

I've never set up such a dish myself, though.

Greetz,
A33
Thanks for the messages and and the advice I appreciate it.
I have attached full size pictures for a better overview, any advice or recommendations is very appreciated
01af1e34-b6e3-452b-b3b3-a9119e1f0e9c.jpg
4d523a0e-5146-41c8-bd90-1d74eeacf6b1.jpg
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77ef4c29-22b8-45c7-9bc3-a38fa51be35d.jpg
472e6666-65e9-488d-9291-597b2a06f203.jpg
472e6666-65e9-488d-9291-597b2a06f203.jpg
92845aad-f578-4c69-a788-d9cbf701f6a4.jpg
661288bc-c551-46b0-9c3d-156c6e2f294e.jpg
fecaa4e9-d883-4293-9487-6f00a09dee81.jpg
fecaa4e9-d883-4293-9487-6f00a09dee81.jpg
661288bc-c551-46b0-9c3d-156c6e2f294e.jpg
92845aad-f578-4c69-a788-d9cbf701f6a4.jpg
.
 
Well, when even your satellite technician friend does not know where to begin, it looks like you need a setup manual.

Did you consult a setting up manual for BUDs, like here?

Or another: C-Band Polar Mount Dish Installation Guide - TVROSat


Added: NB I just noticed that the Paraclipse has a manual of its own: http://www.mcgeedesigns.com/pdf/12pt.pdf
As this is already a step by step manual, I don't know what you want?

Greetz,
A33


Edit: I see that this mount works with declination shims! So that would be the way to adjust the declination offset angle, as I wondered about earlier.....
 
That is indeed a very funky dish mount. It looks like you're located at a TV headend.
If I'm not mistaken from your photos. It looks like there isn't even an azimuth adjustment. Unless the base plate has a provision to rotate the entire mount on its axis.
If the only thing you replaced were the bolts shown in your photo. And you didn't move anything else.
What satellite was the antenna receiving before you started working on it? Because it's obviously a fixed position one.
Also. Unless the dish is complete with all of the missing sections in place. I'm not so sure it will be able to receive anything at all. I could be wrong.
 
That is indeed a very funky dish mount. It looks like you're located at a TV headend.
If I'm not mistaken from your photos. It looks like there isn't even an azimuth adjustment.
Square mount and a round pole. :)

Not fixed. This is a polar mount.

I don't see any declination adjustment. Very typical for a dish manufactured in the early days, when a dish might only track 3 or 4 C-band satellites in a small section of the arc. Maybe has shims between the elevation mount and the hub. Paraclipse were usually used for C-band and I wouldn't waste too much time as it isn't the best candidate for KU band.

Looks like it has weathered some storms and mesh will need some attention ... Paraclipse frames were certainly over-built to last.
 
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...I don't see any declination adjustment. Very typical for a dish manufactured in the early days, when a dish might only track 3 or 4 C-band satellites in a small section of the arc. Maybe has shims between the elevation mount and the hub. Paraclipse were usually used for C-band and I wouldn't waste too much time as it isn't the best candidate for KU band. ...
My BirdView dish also lacks a declination adjustment. So I added 6 washers on the top dish mount to increase the declination. I used a digital level to get the declination set appropriately for my latitude -- about 6 degrees IIRC.

I am using the dish for both C and KU bands. If it was C Band only, like you said, I probably would not have bothered.

... BTW - My dish motor mount is rusty. One of these days I need to give it some TLC and a coat of black paint.

Washers.jpg
 
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Older early Paraclipse antennas had a "center" declination setting that corresponded to a certain latitude.
A set of wide and thin shims were included with the installation so that you could insert proper amount of Declination up or down from that setting. Kind of crude, but it worked at the time. Best to take a digital inclinometer across the vertical face of the dish top to bottom, using a straight edge, and compare the angle parallel to that on the back of the mount. 5 degree drop in reflector would correspond to 34 degree latitude or so found in Los Angeles. 6 degrees would be around 43 degree latitude. Suggest checking out inexpensive digital angle finders at Harbor Freight.
 
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Older early Paraclipse antennas had a "center" declination setting that corresponded to a certain latitude.
A set of wide and thin shims were included with the installation so that you could insert proper amount of Declination up or down from that setting. Kind of crude, but it worked at the time. Best to take a digital inclinometer across the vertical face of the dish top to bottom, using a straight edge, and compare the angle parallel to that on the back of the mount. 5 degree drop in reflector would correspond to 34 degree latitude or so found in Los Angeles. 6 degrees would be around 43 degree latitude. Suggest checking out inexpensive digital angle finders at Harbor Freight.

There's your answer. Mike knows.

My Paraclipse is a horizon to Horizon mount so it looks like nothing like that. I did notice this dish has the quad leg conversion, so someone did an upgrade sometime in its long life time.

I love my paraclipse. Its been dialed in for almost 15 years and it just keeps on going.
 
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