How I Learned To Love The Bomb...Or...Paraclipse Modifications...... (1 Viewer)

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stogie5150

Thread Starter
Crazed Cajun Rebel
Jan 7, 2007
3,816
39
Slidell,LA
Over the past year and a half or so, I had been using my BUD's with SatAv's excellent C/K-1 LNB. However, being the perfectionist type that I am, it bothered me that the old big Paraclipse's mesh was just too big for really good Ku reception. And my 1m Primestar does a VERY good job with Ku. So awhile back I tinkered with the idea of converting the dish to an orthomode type feed, C-band only.

Now anybody that's ever talked to me more that five minutes knows two things about me. One, I love cigars, and TWO, I am flat-assed CHEAP. So there had to be a way to get this done on the cheap, and still get good performance, or at least better C-band than the C/K-1 could provide.

Enter Sir Bill of Impakt Products, and his Ortho feed. 50 bucks plus shipping, and some 10.00 LNB's, I was in business for under 100.00!

Here it is:
Dual*C-Band*Feed*::*C/Ku...

And here are the LNB's:

C-Band*LNB*13*Degree...


Now, as you may or may not know, our FTA boxes put out 13v on the Vertical polarity, and 18v on the Horizontal. Well, a regular C-band LNB NEEDS 18V regardless of polarity. Now, how, HOW I ask you, was I gonna get that done cheaply? Enter Brother Pendragon. He had the idea of using powered WNC 4X8 Multiswitches, modded with a resistor to put out 18v on all legs! Listen to Brother Pendragon, he knows of what he speaketh.

http://www.satelliteguys.us/fta-shack/174802-naughty-mods-ii-4x8-switch-all-18v-outputs.html

Now I know as much about soldering as I do about sending a rocket into space or molecular biology. But off to ebay I went for some multiswitches, and off to Radio Shack for some resistors. After some very inspired conversation with Brother Anole on the phone, I managed to get some resistors globbed in there where they worked.


Now, when I got outside....man what a mess. My Paraclipse was fitted with a Ku quad leg feed kit, which adds a steel plate to mount the scalar/feed assembly to. Well thats all fine and good, but its only open on one side, in a "C" shape. and it DIDN'T match what I needed to let the Vertical LNB clearance properly. So the first thought was to do away with the stock feed plate and make up some brackets. First attempt was a disaster. oh I made the brackets alright, but the scalar was THREE INCHES away from the focal point! Thats in pic 1 below.

Second attempt....I bought a 3' length of steel bar stock to make brackets with, so I decided to make brackets from that, and with some help from Brother ACRadio, make an adjustable setup. Picture 2. (adjusters not shown, because they didn't work, so I didn't capture them on digital) While that was better, it still didn't give me what I wanted, it was just too flimsy when I adjusted the scalar where I needed it to be.

I had to figure out a way to use the stock plate. After a couple days of thinking, smoking, discussing with Anole on the phone about it and getting nowhere....I brought the plate back out and began brainstorming (a small event, but you get the idea.)

HEY, I could use the second set of brackets I made, twist the plate to make the "C" open where I needed it, match drill it to the brackets, bolt it up and VIOLA! (such as it is). So I clamped it up with some vise-grip clamps, took a pic, and pondered. I think this will work. Pic 3.

Drilled it out, bolted it up. And it worked. I had all the room I needed to tweak the skew, and plenty of room for better LNB's to stick out later.

Now, to the question I KNOW you want to ask.

IS IT BETTER? Damn straight it is. I picked up 15 quality points on some weaker feeds. With better LNB's I bet it could do EVEN better! For the money I am VERY pleased. Next up, converting the Birdview the same way. The horn is already on order. :D

Some of the pics are HUGE, so be aware.:up

Thanks to all that put their ideas into this, Anole for making me think, Lak7 for the ideas after looking at pictures I sent him..., ACRadio for the bracketry ideas, Linuxman for the inspiration, and Pendragon for the inspired multiswitch mod. A tip of the hat to ALL of you. Thank you!

I figured this might help some of you guys that are timid like me. :)
 

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stogie5150

Thread Starter
Crazed Cajun Rebel
Jan 7, 2007
3,816
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Slidell,LA
And these are pics of my fabbed feed cover. I am kinda weird, I don't like rain and sun beating down on my electronic equipment....
 

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crackt

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 24, 2007
1,000
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101w up north.
i wonder how that feedhorn performs against the ortho chaparral feed. it looks alot different anyways. i bought one not long ago with some nortsats 8515's i found cheap. im a miser too. nice work. i find inspiration in the posts of all the same members. haha.

crackt out,.
 

johnnynobody

SatelliteGuys Master
Pub Member / Supporter
Aug 2, 2009
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I noticed the nylon thumbscrews. Were they part of the original feed assembly or did you buy them from someplace? I need to replace one of the thumbscrews.
 

stogie5150

Thread Starter
Crazed Cajun Rebel
Jan 7, 2007
3,816
39
Slidell,LA
I noticed the nylon thumbscrews. Were they part of the original feed assembly or did you buy them from someplace? I need to replace one of the thumbscrews.

Part of the original assembly. You can do away with the thumbscrews if you just use jambnuts on the bolts.

Alternately, maybe an industrial nut/bolt outfit can find ya something. Only other thing is to take a bolt and drill a hole through it. Might take a machine shop or a danged good drill press. Maybe if you can find a solid nylon bolt, it would be a LOT easier to drill through.:cool:
 

phlatwound

SatelliteGuys Pro
Lifetime Supporter
Dec 25, 2007
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Goosapeak Junction
That's some good stuff there Stogie, well done. I'm thinking I might like to try that same rig on my BV solid.

Where did you locate your multiswitch, inside the house or out by the dish?
 

stogie5150

Thread Starter
Crazed Cajun Rebel
Jan 7, 2007
3,816
39
Slidell,LA
That's some good stuff there Stogie, well done. I'm thinking I might like to try that same rig on my BV solid.

Where did you locate your multiswitch, inside the house or out by the dish?

Thanks, I been thinking about doing this for awhile. Frankly, I am a little embarrassed that I didn't think about doing the same thing when I bought the ortho before...:(

My BV is next. Stay tuned. Bill is sold out of horns right now, so I am on hold.

Multiswitches and diseqc switches are on a board in the attic. when I get the BV done and everything finalized I'll snap a pic of it. :D
 

Blindowl1234

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 16, 2008
2,034
90
SouthWest Ohio
Stogie, Looks good! I moved my 8.5 Paraclipse yesterday and boy am I sore. Had it on the stupid wood pole, now on an aluminum pole. Took three of us to move it. Bent the button hook pole in the process of lowering the dish....ouch. Kinda of eyeballed it and straightened it out. Seems to work anyway. Man these old Paraclipse dishes are heavy and work good too. Probably out last any dish out there. Blind
 

crackt

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 24, 2007
1,000
1
101w up north.
Thanks, I been thinking about doing this for awhile. Frankly, I am a little embarrassed that I didn't think about doing the same thing when I bought the ortho before...:(

My BV is next. Stay tuned. Bill is sold out of horns right now, so I am on hold.

Multiswitches and diseqc switches are on a board in the attic. when I get the BV done and everything finalized I'll snap a pic of it. :D

rick has a chaparall ortho for 67 bucks shipped. its the one i got from future vision for a couple bucks more. its a bit of a different looking animal than the one you used. id be interested in seeing the performance differences or hearing from someone smarter than me explain the differences in the theory. just a thought. i included a pic for illustration.

crackt out,.
 

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stogie5150

Thread Starter
Crazed Cajun Rebel
Jan 7, 2007
3,816
39
Slidell,LA
rick has a chaparall ortho for 67 bucks shipped. its the one i got from future vision for a couple bucks more. its a bit of a different looking animal than the one you used. id be interested in seeing the performance differences or hearing from someone smarter than me explain the differences in the theory. just a thought. i included a pic for illustration.

crackt out,.

I am of the opinion that it doesn't matter. If it works, it works. :D

Mr.Caylor, God Bless him, is no longer an option for me personally. We disagree on too much about the direction the hobby is going, and that's all I am going to say about that. :up
 

Anole

SatelliteGuys Master
Sep 22, 2005
11,819
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L.A., Calif.
Stogie - good lookin' job there! - :up
And the results certainly justify the modest cost and serious work.

I noticed the nylon thumbscrews.
You can do away with the thumbscrews if you just use jambnuts on the bolts.
Some time back, we discussed making hollow nylon bolts to replace some of the original on the Paraclipse.
I visited a local bolt & nut shop; they could get ya pretty much anything.
I proposed drilling 'em out to make replacements.
Not sure it was really necessary.
Stogie (and others) seem to have done an excellent job with long metal bolts and many jam-nuts.


rick has a chaparall ortho for 67 bucks shipped.
its the one i got from future vision for a couple bucks more.
its a bit of a different looking animal than the one you used.
Due to the awkward shape of the feed with LNBs, it looks like Stogie had to overcome the problem of getting it to fit 'n focus properly, without doing a major re-design to his feedhorn support poles.
Floating the assembly forward (toward the dish) on those bolts was inspired!
And it allows restoring the original configuration, 'cause you didn't do major nasty to the feed arms! :cool:
I'm thinking I might like to try that same rig on my BV solid.
The Birdview design has six feed legs, all held in place by that casting which is also the scalar.
I've just been looking at mine and discussing it with Stogie.
I can see that becoming the subject of a whole new thread! - :rolleyes:
 

turbosat

SatelliteGuys Master
Dec 26, 2006
9,001
75
Oneonta,AL
Hefty! Nice job Stogie, that is what happens when you put heads together with the anole!!
I dont know why you say you'?e cheap, though. Anybody who owns that many pairs of vice-grips is wealthy, in my book, lol.
 

crackt

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 24, 2007
1,000
1
101w up north.
I am of the opinion that it doesn't matter. If it works, it works. :D

Mr.Caylor, God Bless him, is no longer an option for me personally. We disagree on too much about the direction the hobby is going, and that's all I am going to say about that. :up

yes if it works it works is the only way to live. and personally ive never bought anything from rick either. he is way to slow for my impulsiveness. 4 days to get a shipping quote is pretty ship - o - saurus rex to me in this day and age. future vision has the feed i posted for a decent dollar (67+ shipping). i was only thinking the feedhorn you used looks a bit like some circular cband feeds i have seen and for what you paid id be interested in one like it for myself. nice work on the dish. its almost warm enuff here to get on my dish farming. lots of cultivating (tweaking) and harvesting (dish harevesting that is) to be done and a short summer to do it all in. haha.

crackt out,.
 
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pendragon

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 13, 2008
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Nice work. Your single ortho looks a little different than say the Chap version, but the concept is simple and one would have more than a few loose screws to design a bad one. The performance boost these beasts offer over other C-band feeds is quite noticeable. Enjoy!
 
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