Paraclipse 2.3 m / 7.5 foot Hydro Antenna feed supports

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mikekohl

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Jun 4, 2004
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Does anyone have an installed Paraclipse Hydro 7.5-foot antenna?
Two versions of its reflector were made. Prior to 1991, it was a deep dish with an f/d of 0.312 and a focal distance of 28.125 inches. Later models had a "normal" f/d of 0.375 with a focal distance of 31.8 inches.
I took one of the 0.375 models down about two years ago, prior to my move in mid-2016. Have misplaced the 3 feedhorn support legs and attempting to fabricate something (of course I finally found time to do this once the temperatures have dipped below 30 above). Would guesstimate that the legs need to be approx. 36 or 37 inches long end-to-end (including flat bent ends that attach to reflector with a 1/2 inch hole on each, and a 1/4 inch hole at the feedhorn end).
If anybody has the 0.375 version, could you please do an exact measurement of one of the legs?
End to end as well as the center "pole" length measurement without end tabs would be appreciated. Thank you. Mike
 

wvman

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Does anyone have an installed Paraclipse Hydro 7.5-foot antenna?
Two versions of its reflector were made. Prior to 1991, it was a deep dish with an f/d of 0.312 and a focal distance of 28.125 inches. Later models had a "normal" f/d of 0.375 with a focal distance of 31.8 inches.
I took one of the 0.375 models down about two years ago, prior to my move in mid-2016. Have misplaced the 3 feedhorn support legs and attempting to fabricate something (of course I finally found time to do this once the temperatures have dipped below 30 above). Would guesstimate that the legs need to be approx. 36 or 37 inches long end-to-end (including flat bent ends that attach to reflector with a 1/2 inch hole on each, and a 1/4 inch hole at the feedhorn end).
If anybody has the 0.375 version, could you please do an exact measurement of one of the legs?
End to end as well as the center "pole" length measurement without end tabs would be appreciated. Thank you. Mike

Paraclipse Hydro 7 Foot 31.800 inches focal length 0.375 FD. I have no idea where you would get the feed arm length. I don't have a listing on a Paraclipse 7.5 foot dish. If you have a piece of PVC pipe that would fit inside your scalar, you could figure out the distance from the center plate in the middle of the dish out to where the feed throat would be at the proper focal distance, you could have someone hold the PVC pipe in place and measure from the feed leg mounting hole on the dish up to the back edge of the scalar.

Then you could calculate how much extra tubing you would need to make the mounting flange on both ends. That should get you close enough to make your feed arms. You can adjust the feed in and out to get the best signal level. If you could locate an old junk dish with a button hook feed, you could modify it for your application. You could always trim away the excess inner tube to make it fit your application.

Hope this helps. :)

P.S. if you really want to be creative, you can always find tubing suitable for making the feed legs telescopic. That way you can adjust in and out as well as side to side. Just a thought.
 

mikekohl

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I have got some challenges, and rather than lots of experimenting in 20 above temperatures now, I need to find a range of length with a stable set of 3 support arms. Thought that I had it solved with three arms from a commercial NPRM mount, and drilled one end of each (very thick hard to drill steel) with the half inch holes needed to attach to the reflector. The other ends are between 4 and 6 inches too short, and it's not really stable to attempt an attachment on the end of each and still maintain a straight line that results in the proper focal length and staying in the center. I would attempt that with sliding adjusters, but do not believe it would be wise to cut off the ends of the existing heavy supports until I get a closer measurement. Helluva lot of time and effort will be wasted if I get this too short and have to start over, and all of the existing legs I have from other antenna systems are too small in diameter to allow a 1/2 inch hole without leaving only a small amount of metal left. So finding a perfect length with an existing antenna that is installed would be much preferable because of these and other logistics (and I am working by myself).

Mike
 

Horsepower

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Dec 11, 2017
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Mike, can you find some tubing that is strong enough, yet you could still flatten the ends in a vice to do what you want to do?
 

mikekohl

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Jun 4, 2004
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Montfort, Wisconsin
I got in contact with one of my good friends, who used to manage sales at Paraclipse. He fortunately had this antenna in his yard, and was able to measure the feed support legs. Bend to bend, the measurement was 31.5 inches. I took some extremely head support legs from a commercial NPRM and cut them off to allow me to use a bench grinder to machine some of the thickness away from the last inch of pipe. This allowed me to easily attach a 1/2-inch EMT conduit coupling and secure it with a screwdriver. I then had the means to use the ends of smaller-perfect fitting feed supports from some Ku-band antennas, and experimented with different lengths to reach the desired 31.8 inch focal length. Two tries and I got it pretty close, and actually a little further out, allowing finger adjustment of the adjustable bolts and nuts attached to the scalar ring. Will be fighting 10 above temps getting this actually connected to a feedhorn and dual C-band LNB setup, then I get to further drill and machine two thick pieces of pipe to thread some screws into the main mounting pipe holding an AJAK H180 motor and the antenna itself. If it's not too cold, I may be done by New Year's Day.

Mike
 

hank123

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If you still have issues PM me I might be able to help, I have one and it works amazing!
 

mikekohl

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Jun 4, 2004
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Montfort, Wisconsin
Have been working from before dawn to after dark, so no chance of a picture. It was 15 below zero yesterday morning, got up to 5 above this afternoon. Not really motivated to do further machining, but have everything in place ready to go, hoping for a break in the weather. If I was only as brave as I was in Far East Russia eleven Decembers ago, getting things working at temps between 25 and 40 below much of the time. That could motivate me, but it might also make me remember that once you are older and wiser, there are limits as to how much frostbite you should tolerate at one time.
Goal should be to have it at least above zero F, and no winds howling.
 

mikekohl

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Jun 4, 2004
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Montfort, Wisconsin
I was able to get feedhorn and dual port C-band feed/LNBs mounted and roughly aligned, just before an ice storm came in earlier this week. Put a small weather cover over the connections, and quickly examined the innards of the H180. There had been a wasp nest inside during the late summer, and I now notice that the sensor electrical connections are now unusable, so will check my scrap pile of old motors during our next break in the weather to see what can be done or improvised. Working outside during extremely cold temps is not something us "old folks" relish. I must have been crazy to do some of the things that were accomplished during my 30s, 40s and 50s (even crazier yet as a 20-something). But will get this thing working soon despite the unusually abrupt shifts in weather this year, from warm to subzero.
 
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satwrench

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Jun 6, 2012
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west central Florida
I was able to get feedhorn and dual port C-band feed/LNBs mounted and roughly aligned, just before an ice storm came in earlier this week. Put a small weather cover over the connections, and quickly examined the innards of the H180. There had been a wasp nest inside during the late summer, and I now notice that the sensor electrical connections are now unusable, so will check my scrap pile of old motors during our next break in the weather to see what can be done or improvised. Working outside during extremely cold temps is not something us "old folks" relish. I must have been crazy to do some of the things that were accomplished during my 30s, 40s and 50s (even crazier yet as a 20-something). But will get this thing working soon despite the unusually abrupt shifts in weather this year, from warm to subzero.
Satwrench here i have two Hydro's,do you still need the feed legs measured?
 

mikekohl

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Jun 4, 2004
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Montfort, Wisconsin
Feed legs were taken care of long before Christmas (see previous posts.)
Latest challenge is the AJAK motor I am using---will have to cannibalize from several units to make an entire working H-180. Now it's cold again, so maybe next week!
Mike
 
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