Picked up a Birdview Dish today

N6BY

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I found a Birdview dish on Craigslist several days ago listed with a title of "Free scrap metal". Fortunately when you do a Craigslist search it also searches the body of the message, because my search was for 'large satellite dish'. Below is a clip of the ad:

Screen Shot 2020-06-13 at 7.43.53 PM.png


I got another Birdview dish several years ago ( Brought home a Birdview today ), but it was damaged in a strong windstorm last year. It was on a temporary pedestal base while I had my patio put in. Unfortunately the temporary base I built was not sturdy enough for the wind and it fell over.

It was apparent to me that the dish in the ad photo was a Birdview. So I emailed the guy on Monday and got no response. Emailed again -- no response. I figured my emails were ending up in his spam folder. So I sent a 3rd and final attempt email yesterday from my cell phone instead of my laptop and got a response. :)

I had to make a platform out of 2x4s to hold the dish on my truck bed. When that was done I drove 85 miles this morning to Truckee, CA to pickup the dish. They also had a pole and motor base that was required to take as part of the deal. The base and gears were there, but the Von Weise motor was removed. That was OK since I already have one.

The dish in my driveway ready to unload:
BirdviewDish.jpg


The dish sat upside down in the dirt for several years. Will need a cleanup. You can still see a portion of the Birdview logo. :)


DishFacingUp.jpg


The 6 aluminum struts are broken off inside the bases where they screw in. My previous Birdview had the same problem. Will need to extract the broken strut ends. I don't remember exactly how I did it last time. All I know is that I need to be really careful and not mess it up. Any and all suggestions on how to take out the broken ends will be appreciated. :)
 

phlatwound

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It's been a while since I extracted broken-off strut stubs from a BV dish but IIRC I used a combo of PB Blaster, a little heat (blow dryer), a small EZ out screw extractor and a lot of patience, that aluminum is pretty touchy.
 
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N6BY

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It's been a while since I extracted broken-off strut stubs from a BV dish but IIRC I used a combo of PB Blaster, a little heat (blow dryer), a small EZ out screw extractor and a lot of patience, that aluminum is pretty touchy.
Looking at the thread from 5 years ago, I only had to extract 2 or 3 broken strut stubs last time. All 6 strut holders are plugged on this new dish. But I can't complain -- the dish was free.

Will get an EZ out extractor. At least I know this time that the threads are 5/16", and I still have the 5/16" struts that I used on my previous Birdview.

... Last time I used the pedestal base with some bolts embedded upside down in the concrete. I remember that it was very difficult to get the bolts set in the concrete in the exact spots to match the triangle base bolt holes. This time I might just use the pole that came with the dish. The only problem is that the bolt holding the dish mount to the pole top is frozen. Hopefully a day or two with PB Blaster will do the job.

And one thing I forgot to mention in my first post here: After I had the dish loaded on the truck, the guys wife said her kids used to climb on it (it was stored facing down in the dirt). :facepalm She could tell they were playing on it because they came in the house with white chalky residue on their clothes. However, I looked at the dish edge from a distance and it seems like it is still flat. The dish is very strong too. I know it will be good for C Band. Hopefully KU band too, but (of course) it requires much better surface accuracy.
 
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N6BY

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I managed to get all 6 broken strut sections extracted from the holes. For the first 4 holes I used a #3 extractor and a 3/16" drill bit. Only 1 of the 4 came out cleanly.

The I switched to a 1/8" drill bit and a #2 extractor for the last two holes. Both broken strut fragments came out quickly. So I ended up with 3 clean extractions and 3 that needed drilling and tapping.

screws.jpg


Next step was digging a huge hole and mixing and pouring 10 1/2 80 pound bags of concrete to set the pole. I used my jackhammer to get through the hard clay and rocks. After a couple of days drying I had my son help me put the motor base on. It is HEAVY! Then we put the dish on. I used 6 washers in the upper dish mounts to get 1/2" extra spacing so the declination would be approx. 6 degrees.

Fortunately I saved the struts and the 1/2" PVC LNB mount from my previous Birdview dish. So it was easy putting it all together and getting it lined up to the arc. It still needs some fine tuning.

In the photo below you can see a hole in the shadow of the LNB holder. A C-Band LNBF will go there soon.
Anyway, after about 9 months I finally have a good working FTA dish. :)


BV625.JPG
 

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