My Home Made Tool For Aligning Feed

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wvman

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I had a brainstorm after reading a post by Titanium about an alignment tool for setting the feed to center and setting the polarity. This is my prototype that has been tested and shown to work. Just thought I'd run it past you guys and see what you think. It has a green laser mounted in the center to set the feed center on the dish, and the holes in the side is for installing two pins, one on each side that extends out about an inch past the scalar in order to set the polarity to the axis of the dish.

I used it to set 2 dishes and it works like a charm. The step down has spacers I made for fitting inside different size feed throats. They are made to slip over the inside surface of the step down so the surface would remain centered in the throat. Thought you'd like to see it. Simple to use and makes two very important adjustments very easy. Happy New Year
alignment tool.jpg
 

KennyR

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Nice, how far are you from Alderson, wv are you,, can come and check mine for me. Kidding lol
 

wvman

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I'll take one.

I hadn't really thought about mass producing them. It's pretty simple to make. The main body is made from a heavy duty plastic used in bed liners in dump trucks about 3/4 thick. and I bought the laser off E-Bay for about $9.00. You may want to get a lower power laser. This one will light matches. You could burn a blister on your arm or hand if you aren't careful. The bigger ribbed end screws off on this one and all I did was make a 3' disk and then cut a recessed lip on it to fit inside the feed throat.

When I received the laser, I chucked it up in the lathe and cut the hole in the middle to a nice snug fit and unscrewed the ribbed head, put it through the hole and tightened it down. I put a 1/8th inch hole 1' deep 180 degrees apart along the outside and put a 1/8th pin in each side and left about 1' sticking out past the scalar so You can line the pins up with the axis of the dish, which is horizontal. I made some spacer bands for mine so it would work with different diameter feed throats, but if you stick with one feed like the Titanium, you won't need the spacer bands.

If you make one, leave about 1 or 2MM oversize for a snug fit so it won't slip out of the feed throat. If you have any old scalars, save them. I've noticed most of the new feeds fit really sloppy in the scalars, which makes aligning them a pain in the butt. I saved an old Chaparral Gold scalar that came on the 12 foot dish I got, and it has less than a 1/4 inch difference between the scalar and the feed diameter. I found a WS International LNBF I forgot I had, and used it in the old Gold scalar. Had to grind the lip off the feed throat around the outside to get it in the scalar.

Not sure why that lip is there since the feed fits so sloppy in the scalar they send with them. It would make it easier all the way around aligning these things if they closed up the inside diameter of the scalar to get within a 1/4 inch of the outside diameter of the feed throat. I'm going to check to see if Chaparral makes LNBF's. I'm sure their tolerances would be a whole lot tighter. Anyway, feel free to copy the one I made. If you need the dimensions, let me know. I'll be glad to share.
 
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wvman

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( little bit of windshield time there)
If you decide to make more I may be interested.

Do you have access to a small lathe? You'll have about an hour making the plug in order to get it right. It takes about 15 minutes to fit the laser to the plug considering you'll have to cut the hole in the center to the right diameter. Better to have it a bit snug than too lose. You can always take a half a mm out, hard to put it back.:) If I decide to make another one, I'll keep you in mind. It cost me $40, not including the laser, to make this one since I had to pay for the use of the lathe. I have just under $50 in this one since I no longer have a lathe of my own.
 

wvman

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I do not have a lathe.. :(

I know what you mean, I had a Jet lathe for years and didn't use it, so I sold it. I went to a guy I know who has several, and rented a little time to make this one. I may still get the urge to make another one when the weather's too bad to work outside. You never know what may pop up when I'm bored :)
 

iBoston

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I rigged up a laser and put it on the side of the lnbf and then drew a pencil line circumference on the center of the dish the same size as the diameter of the lnbf taking into consideration the extra depth of the laser, and then adjusted the lnbf to the pencil mark on the dish. That seemed to work good, but it was all hodgepodged together. It would be nice if someone designed something.
 

wvman

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I rigged up a laser and put it on the side of the lnbf and then drew a pencil line circumference on the center of the dish the same size as the diameter of the lnbf taking into consideration the extra depth of the laser, and then adjusted the lnbf to the pencil mark on the dish. That seemed to work good, but it was all hodgepodged together. It would be nice if someone designed something.

I'm sure there's many ways to get the job done, but this one seemed simpler than any I thought about before. I figured if they made laser bore sights for guns, why not for something like this. After all, you're looking for a center line whether it's lining up a feed or aligning the point of impact on a rifle. There are variables though. This wouldn't work if for some reason if the focal point of the dish was off center and then you'd be back to square 1 locating the highest signal concentration.

However, if you string the dish and the strings touch or are very close to touching, there shouldn't be a problem with the focal point. If the weather holds this weekend, I have another dish to get on the pole I set the other day, and I'll use this device again to align the feed on it. I am welding up some lock down bars to set each one of my dishes on separate satellites, and then I'll be ready to tackle the task of hooking up the switches to combine all 4 into one cable.

I already buried the conduit to the house to run all the cables to a weather head cabinet for my switches. That was a bit tricky since I have cables buried all over the yard from other projects in the past. I should have a V8 Golden receiver in the mailbox today, so that will give me something to play with if the weather is bad this weekend. We'll see how it works with the stuttering problem on Grit, Laff and Buzzer. I was told the stuttering wasn't a problem on the V8. Hope not.
 
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wvman

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Well gang, I got my V8 Golden and so far, I love it. No stuttering on LAFF or any of the channels in that MUX and it has the proper aspect settings to get my screens filled out. It took me a bit to figure out some of the functions (may have been quicker if I had read the manual) :) it's a man thing ya know, but it's really not all that different than the menu on the V7. It has a really quick scan mode and it actually found 4 Fox feeds I didn't know where there on 99W.

It located the LAFF MUX on 97W, but it listed them as CH1, CH2 and so on, but not much of a chore to rename them. It comes with all European satellites in the list, so you'll have to delete them and enter ours. (I expected that), but really not much of a problem. The remote has a lot of different functions, which are largely unexplored at this point, but overall, It's a great receiver. For $59 you can't go wrong. I liked it well enough to order two more, along with a couple xtra remotes. Cheers. Thought I'd pass that tidbit along.
 
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