Satellite Dish Crane in Action (1 Viewer)

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thomas34461usa

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Hello everyone,
I made some inquires about a "Dish Crane" before and have even spoken of the fact that a dish crane was used on the Unimesh dish I got from the out of business satellite dish owner. I thought it was an amazing tool to have and made some inquires about it here and also some Internet searches for some. Could find any listed. I spoke to Linuxman and he said it was referred by some of the old timers as a dish crane. Still I couldn't come up with anything with the name of Dish Crane. Some of you may be aware of what I'm talking about, some may not.

Anyway the other night I'm on Yahoo and checking out some of their Yahoo Groups for Big Satellite Dishes and came up with these images. The first one is a shot of a satellite dish with a bent Quad Leg.




Then it moves on to them putting on the dish crane to the support pole and then hooking up the dish thats laying on the ground.




Then brinking it up to the top of the pole and bolting on the mount to the pole.



The final images is of the dish being hooked into position and them doing the fine tuning. The Dish Crane makes the job a lot easier.


Notice Dish Crane is now laying on the ground. Everyting is hooked up. If any of you have a Dish Crane please post your images of them here so that we all can see them and benefit from having one for ourselves!!Thanks,
Tom :D
 
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rv1pop

SatelliteGuys Pro
Hmmm. Looks like the old beam hoists we used to use for field day. I have no idea how to draw a picture and make it show up on the forum, But we would take a 6' + length of 3 or 4" pipe (irrigation?). In the top we would drill a hole through both sides for a pulley centered in the pipe with a through bolt and bushings. At the other end of the pipe at a right angle, we would bolt and weld a pair of angle irons about 18 inches long with another pulley centered on that bolt. Drill holes about 5" and 1" from the outer end of the angle iron for bolts to hook around the tower leg. About 2 feet up the pipe a simlar (but shorter, if I remember) pair of angle irons, not welded so they could adjust and fasten to the tower leg higher up. We would run a cable on the tower side of the lower pulley then over the opposite side of the upper pulley. The upper pulley would be over the center of the tower or rotor. We would fasten the beam to the upper end of the cable (yes the end of the cable was near the ground). The other end of the cable would be fastened to a trailer hitch on someones car and they would slowly pull away to lift the beam. (That "beam" is a ham antenna.) Yes, if they had gone too far it could have been a real disaster.

Those pictures sure look better. But ours did work and it was 50+ years ago! I was too young to climb the tower! I see this one has a hand winch on the "crane"
 
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thomas34461usa

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Satellite Dish Crane Tool

Hello everyone,

I made a drawing of the Dish Crane for you all to look at. What you have is
Aircraft Tested Aluminum Metals. You have a winch welded on a section of four sided boxed in metal. Connected to this section of boxed aluminum are two sections of boxed aluminum about 12’ long. These two sections you have one being at the very bottom and the other just under the winch. Now you have a section of aluminum angle iron that is welded to the two support braces. This section has two places for connection straps to hold it on the Support Mounting Pole.

On the top is a section of aluminum that is 3 sided with rollers placed inside the section to keep the strap in place. The tension belt is placed under this section and held in place by spinning caster wheels. Connected to the top 3 sided top bar and the section of the boxed in metal is a piece placed on both sides to act as a brace and give support.


I hope that helps! I tried to describe it the best I could from memory. If you have any questions please write to me.

Tom :D






 

linuxman

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 16, 2006
3,903
15
North West of St. Louis, MO
Thank you for the link Photoman, and thank you for the drawing thomas34461usa!

Photomans link shows the assembly being adjacent to the pipe which I think it would need to be out from the pipe and lift the dish by the mounting ring instead of the mount cap.

I'll try and get my installer buddy to make a hand drawing of the one they had from memory.

I like the design of the drawing better because of the offset.

We'll get one proto-typed here soon. :)
 

phlatwound

SatelliteGuys Pro
Lifetime Supporter
Dec 25, 2007
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Goosapeak Junction
I have a feeling linuxman is way ahead of me on this thought but.....If I was going to try to put one of these rigs together, and didn't have the winch part laying around to be had for free, I'd probably consider buying a cheap 12 volt winch (Harbor Freight?). That would give you one-handed, push button control of your up/down motion, it can be a real pain operating those ratcheting winches, especially when you are up the in the air and in a bind.

Harbor Freight Tools - Quality Tools at the Lowest Prices
 

gpat

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 27, 2007
323
0
last one I took down(was scrapping the pole) I cut almost all the way thru the pole
with a portaband saw, like you would cutting a large tall tree down,let the metal hinge
the dish slowly down to the ground via helper and a rope on backside.Unbolt the mount
and carry it off.
If building a crane I would consider a small electric winch that could be ground mounted.
A boat winch can also be used and are very cheap.
Thomas,I like your design but think it needs to pivot the arm so it will center itself away
from the pole and can be easily swung over the pole when in position.
Also make it large enough to get the big dish down(12 ft)
Large U bolt clamps will keep the crane in place better than the wood scraps and will center themselves
on about any diameter pole as long as they are 5 inch. C channel also works good as it will center itself also.
 

thomas34461usa

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
12 volt winch

Hello phlatwound,
You're right it would be better having a 12 volt winch on it rather then a manual winch. You can still use the same design, just swap out the different winches. At the time when I was doing my drawing of the dish crane I was using my memory as my guide in what the satellite dish installer was using. :)

I hope the drawing can be useful to everyone here, I know it will make the task easier.

Thanks for the link too for Harbor Freight Tools too.

Thanks again,
Tom :D

[B said:
phlatwound[/B];1304583]I have a feeling linuxman is way ahead of me on this thought but.....If I was going to try to put one of these rigs together, and didn't have the winch part laying around to be had for free, I'd probably consider buying a cheap 12 volt winch (Harbor Freight?). That would give you one-handed, push button control of your up/down motion, it can be a real pain operating those ratcheting winches, especially when you are up the in the air and in a bind.

Harbor Freight Tools - Quality Tools at the Lowest Prices
 

thomas34461usa

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
pivoting the arm away from the pole

Hi GPAT,
First thing that I tried to do her in making this thread is bringing information about Dish Cranes into the present. It was said that the old timers would use these to lift and take down a dish. It was then that I learned that this amazing tool was called a Dish Crane. When I got my Unimesh the Guy I got it from was an Installer and used one. I wish I would of had on me a camera at the time!! So in my drawing I'm using memory. He hook the strap around a secured part of the mount and put some tension on it. Once that was done he started to un-bolt the actuator and take it off. Now the dish was straight vertically with the horizon. Then he un-bolted the dish from the support pole. Now to pivot it away from the pole he had be grab the bottom and walk backwards as he lowered it to the ground.

I think I have an idea on to have it pivot away from the pole by doing it yourself. I just have to draw it out in my mind then to paper!! lol

As far as the other photo's of a dish crane using two separate peices that would connect on to the pole at ground level and another one at the top of the pole... I think I would like to control it from one spot and use a tool similar to one in my drawing which is also like the images I put on at the top of this page. The Installer who took off the dish and gave me the dish didn't use
wood scraps to center themselves on the diameter of the pole. This is where my memory is a little bit faded here. I remember he used two tension straps, one just below the winch and the other at the bottom of the angle iron bar. He would bring these straps around the pole and get them tight to support the weight of the dish. I will be seeing him soon and yes this time I'm bringing my camera!

I do very much like the idea of using a 12 volt winch!

I hope that this thread gets a whole lot of drawings of Dish Cranes so we can pick out what we would want to use as far as a dish crane. Having the idea of a 12 volt winch instead of a manual winch has alread made the design better. Keep the ideas coming!!! :up

Thanks,
Tom
:D

last one I took down(was scrapping the pole) I cut almost all the way thru the pole
with a portaband saw, like you would cutting a large tall tree down,let the metal hinge
the dish slowly down to the ground via helper and a rope on backside.Unbolt the mount
and carry it off.
If building a crane I would consider a small electric winch that could be ground mounted.
A boat winch can also be used and are very cheap.
Thomas,I like your design but think it needs to pivot the arm so it will center itself away
from the pole and can be easily swung over the pole when in position.
Also make it large enough to get the big dish down(12 ft)
Large U bolt clamps will keep the crane in place better than the wood scraps and will center themselves
on about any diameter pole as long as they are 5 inch. C channel also works good as it will center itself also.
 

phlatwound

SatelliteGuys Pro
Lifetime Supporter
Dec 25, 2007
3,253
203
Goosapeak Junction
Hello phlatwound,
You're right it would be better having a 12 volt winch on it rather then a manual winch. You can still use the same design, just swap out the different winches. At the time when I was doing my drawing of the dish crane I was using my memory as my guide in what the satellite dish installer was using. :)

I hope the drawing can be useful to everyone here, I know it will make the task easier.

Thanks for the link too for Harbor Freight Tools too.

Thanks again,
Tom :D

Hey Tom,

I can see where something like that would be a great help, especially if you were trying to install way up in the air. We have a tractor with a front loader here on the farm, it will reach about 18' high with the pallet forks on it. As gpat mentioned you need to make it big enough so you have enough "headroom' to set the biggest diameter dish that you want. You might also check with your local equipment rental outfits, I have seen some little "snorkel-type" platform lifts that have outriggers and can be towed behind a car or small pickup, they should have enough capacity to set a dish. A lot of Harbor Freight's stuff is of questionable quality but I have had good luck with most of it for occasional use, wouldn't try to make a living with cheap tools though. Good luck and keep the pics coming!
 

chefwan

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 13, 2007
752
0
South Carolina
Tom, That looks great man. im glad you finally found something you can use to install the dish's with. that would be a great idea to get your welder to make that for you. good luck with it .:)
 

linuxman

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 16, 2006
3,903
15
North West of St. Louis, MO
I will be seeing him soon and yes this time I'm bringing my camera!
Not only take your camera, but also take along a tape measure and a notebook. Draw out a rough sketch with distances, thickness, point to attach winch, pulley sizes etc.

In other words reverse engineer it for us. :)
 

gpat

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 27, 2007
323
0
Hey Tom,

I can see where something like that would be a great help, especially if you were trying to install way up in the air. We have a tractor with a front loader here on the farm, it will reach about 18' high with the pallet forks on it. As gpat mentioned you need to make it big enough so you have enough "headroom' to set the biggest diameter dish that you want. You might also check with your local equipment rental outfits, I have seen some little "snorkel-type" platform lifts that have outriggers and can be towed behind a car or small pickup, they should have enough capacity to set a dish. A lot of Harbor Freight's stuff is of questionable quality but I have had good luck with most of it for occasional use, wouldn't try to make a living with cheap tools though. Good luck and keep the pics coming!



A good friend who was a Snap On tool salesman for about 8 yrs told me of a saying his dad had"it takes a rich man to buy a poor quality tool"

Lately Ive had a belly full of the Chinese junk they sell as name brand stuff.
 

thomas34461usa

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Excellent idea Fred

Fred,
Excellent idea I will do just that, hopefully I can have it for a few days and also take it my local welding shop too. Maybe I can borrow a movie camera and also get on film in action?
It will be soon, or as soon as it stops raining here!
Working on an idea nor using a 12 volt winch and what it would look like, it also has a spindle for it to pivot away from the pole. When I finally can get it right as I see it in my mind and to do the same on paper it will be posted here. :eureka

Not only take your camera, but also take along a tape measure and a notebook. Draw out a rough sketch with distances, thickness, point to attach winch, pulley sizes etc.

In other words reverse engineer it for us. :)
 

chefwan

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 13, 2007
752
0
South Carolina
Tom ,

Are you going to have ur welder start making the dish crane now? that would be nice to have hope everything works out for you, good luck finding a solid dish. I figured they would be all over flordia, alot of people are cheap and will not let the dish's go for a small price or even free. and then again you get some people that say hell take it. its an eye sore been wanting to get someone to get it for awhile never could get ne one to take it , there has a been a few people on here get free receivers with the dish's also which is great!...and keep searching man. on evenings you have nothing to do just ride around and check around i've found plenty of them by just crusing and taking it easy out on the country side more and likely to find them there you'll be riding and bam here is one up on a pole rusted or pointing at the ground well whatever happens good luck to you and hope you find you a good solid dish take care man ,

Chefwan
 

thomas34461usa

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Size and Weight Question

I have a question, some of you know because of working with some of the larger sizes and the difference in satellite dishes. How heavy can some of these dishes get? I guess I would need to know the heaviest scenario. Right now I'm working with a winch that lifts up to 900 pounds. Will that be enough? Also working on an arm that will let the crane pivot, need to get some things iron out on that. Got it on paper now. Just not sure if it would work or not??? :confused:

Thanks,
Tom :D
 

gpat

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 27, 2007
323
0
where are you at in Fla?
I have welder and all the equipment to build one.
May even have some of the parts.
Yes a 900# winch would be fine,most of these weigh less than 200#
solid dish are about 100# more.
 

thomas34461usa

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
where are you at in Fla?

where are you at in Fla?
I have welder and all the equipment to build one.
May even have some of the parts.
Yes a 900# winch would be fine,most of these weigh less than 200#
solid dish are about 100# more.

Hi GPAT,
I live in Citrus County, Lecanto, Florida 34461
. If you still can't find Lecanto Try looking for a city called Ocala. Just follow Interstate 75 to you get to Ocala on the map. Then I'm west of Ocala about a 45 min. drive from there. Follow HWY 200 to HWY 491 to Lecanto/Beverly Hills area. I'm off of HWY 486 and Hwy 491. Hope that helps!

Thanks,
Tom :D
 
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