Smallest C band dish? (1 Viewer)

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weighman

Active SatelliteGuys Member
Apr 17, 2008
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Hope this is the correct place to post this.... just wondering, what is the opinion as to the smallest size possible for a C band dish? I live on the top floor of an apartment building in S. Ontario and have obvious restrictions for the size of dish on the balcony. If someone can please let me know what I can do for a C band ... is it possible in my situation to even dream of this??? I really really really want to go C band if I can. Did I mention that I really really want to have a C band dish LOL. Please, someone give me some direction. If its not possible, then I will just keep dreaming, otherwise I will purchase what I need. Thank you.
 
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tvropro

On Vacation
Mar 9, 2007
6,872
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I would suggest a 5 to 6 foot for any kind of solid reception. You can mess around with others and may pick up a few stronger channels but they will be very weak and unreliable.
 

Anole

SatelliteGuys Master
Sep 22, 2005
11,819
12
L.A., Calif.
From reading the posts here, it looks like 6' , though small and sometimes insufficient, is plenty to get 'er done in many cases.
Several members have 6' dishes and will happily tell you of their successes.

Then, there are the 4' guys.
We have a number of vocal members who'll tell you of their successes and troubles at that size.
If you can't or won't go to 6', then 4' might still give you some satisfaction.
I would not go out and buy a 4' dish with any serious expectations, though.
But if you happen to run across such a dish, give it a shot.

I think it all depends on what your expectations are.
If it's just bragging rights, you might get some signals on a 3' dish, but I doubt anyone would want to sit and watch it with you. ;)

But for 7/8 FEC, for S2, for hi def, or for some of the more overcrowded parts of the sky, the impression I get is that 8' or 10' is a good choice.
If I find a passable 8' dish before I get my hands on a particular solid commercial 6' dish I've been drooling over, that may put an end to it for me.

There have been a number of threads on use of small dishes on C-band, though I'm not sure how you'd search for them.
"120cm" & "C-band", maybe ...?
 

bcwmachine

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Lifetime Supporter
Sep 21, 2003
591
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Cortez, CO
Although what looks like reasonable results have been obtained with less than 2 degree compliant dishes, for serious C-band use an 8 foot minimum is recommended, 10 foot or larger preferred.
That being said, try whatever you can get your hands on, it may work for what you want.
 

truckracer

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 17, 2004
4,338
351
Charleston wv
As stated above, quite honestly for a fully reliable c-band reception you need 8 feet of dish.
I have a 7.5' dish that gets rock solid reception on most everything but it is precisely tuned.

10' is more of the norm for reception that is 110% reliable.

There are those that have experimented with smaller dishes and got good results on some satellites.
 

Corrado

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 2, 2007
2,399
284
Hudson Valley Region, NY
It probably depends also on what you're planning to watch with it. On the balcony, a motorized system wouldn't seem practical. What is the maximum permissible dish size? Here in the US, AMC18 is a popular choice lately and works great with a 6' dish for example.

The Fortec Star FS6D dish sits low to the ground and may not be noticed from below if you're on a upper floor balcony.:rolleyes: Sadoun has them for $169.
 

voomvoom

SatelliteGuys Master
Lifetime Supporter
May 18, 2004
6,660
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Lizella, Georgia Republic
I would recommend nothing less than 8' for a subscription based receiver and across the ark reliability....
I would recommend a 6' dish for adequate DVB receivers, across the arc fairly reliably....
You can actually find a reliably strong signal (on occasion) on something smaller than a 1m dish....
Good Luck...!!!!
 
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skitheberks

SatelliteGuys Family
Mar 26, 2008
102
2
CT
I remember seeing the 4 foot mesh dishes with the ground mount ring being set up on people's picnic tables on my ski trips to VT. This was back in the late 80's / early 90's. I think these were sold as "Galaxy 1" systems. Back in the 80's / 90's wasn't that the satellite if you had to park a dish that was the satellite to be on?

A few years back at a flea market in southern Vermont (Manchester??) I saw one of those dishes set up and running. It was a small receiver and the dish was pointed to the Galaxy 5 satellite (the one with TBN on C-band / transponder 3). The receiver looked pre - IRD but had a LED channel display.
 

Mr Tony

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
294
42
Mankato, MN
I remember seeing the 4 foot mesh dishes with the ground mount ring being set up on people's picnic tables on my ski trips to VT. This was back in the late 80's / early 90's. I think these were sold as "Galaxy 1" systems. Back in the 80's / 90's wasn't that the satellite if you had to park a dish that was the satellite to be on?
G5 was the "cable" satellite that had the main cable type channels (ESPN, TNT, TBS, WGN, CNN etc)...I know at Radio Shack we sold a 5 foot system for that back in 93-97 when I worked there
 

truckracer

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 17, 2004
4,338
351
Charleston wv
I remember those 5 foot mesh radio shack deals.
There's still one of those up in the air about 40 miles from me.
I guess the 5 footer worked pretty well for analog.
 

tdti1

SatelliteGuys Pro
Nov 23, 2004
2,318
1
Montreal, QC
The 5' dishes did a pretty good job back in the day as the arc was not as crowded, the 2 degrees is what causes issues.
 

PKII

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 22, 2005
791
19
WV
I'd like to have a 12 foot along with someone else to put it together. lol ;)
 

Stefan

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 28, 2005
324
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I would recommend nothing less than 8' for a subscription based receiver and across the ark reliability....
I would recommend a 6' dish for adequate DVB receivers, across the arc fairly reliably....


The problem is this kind of advice is exactly the opposite of what it should be. The kind of signals that are received by "subscription based receivers" on C band are split mode DCII signals using QPSK modulation and are usually wide and have more small dish friendly FEC rates. Those are the kind of signals you may be able to get away using an undersized reflector on. DVB or FTA signals are a different story. Some of them are the kind of signals you'd have little trouble with on a smaller dish, but many of them aren't as their not intended for home viewers and the trend is toward using types of signals that are very unfriendly to undersized dishes. So if anything for DVB you probably want an even larger dish.

s stated above, quite honestly for a fully reliable c-band reception you need 8 feet of dish.
I have a 7.5' dish that gets rock solid reception on most everything but it is precisely tuned.

10' is more of the norm for reception that is 110% reliable.

I think that's much better advice. I have an 8.5' birdview and it's a great dish for it's size. Lately, I've done quite a bit of tweaking on it and have managed to works some small miracles in terms of locking certain signals, but on quite a few signals I'm right on the edge and lose signal if it rains hard (yes, you can get rain fade on C band on some 8psk signals). Also there are definitely signals that are just flat out beyond the capability of my 8.5' dish and no amount of tweaking results in a lock. Anyway, if I were buying a new dish right now I'd get a 12' and not even think twice about it.
 
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