Tek2000 10' Mesh Dish Install & Initial Review

Alan Rovner

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 8, 2013
153
72
Vancouver, WA
Guys how long does it take for Tek2000 to confirm an order? I ordered one of those 8' solid dishes 3 days ago and have not heard anything. I'm not worried but curious.

Tnx,
Al, K7AR

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Arion

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 23, 2005
466
197
Hi Al;

It took four days and I got an email from Paypal with the tracking numbers. And it takes awhile to make it through customs in Canada which was a little irritating. The shipping policy allows for up to two weeks and it took just about the full two weeks to get my stuff. The dish comes in two boxes with two separate tracking numbers with one box being the mesh petals and the other box being the mount. Very well packed. Another long skinny box had the actuator and another box yet had the receiver, V-box, and inclinometer as I got the whole 'kit' and not just the dish. I'm sure you'll hear something shortly.

Doug W8A**
 

kittyhas1000legs

That's a lot of claws!
Pub Member / Supporter
Aug 8, 2012
1,579
1,147
Western Slope, CO
Hi Al;

It took four days and I got an email from Paypal with the tracking numbers. And it takes awhile to make it through customs in Canada which was a little irritating. The shipping policy allows for up to two weeks and it took just about the full two weeks to get my stuff. The dish comes in two boxes with two separate tracking numbers with one box being the mesh petals and the other box being the mount. Very well packed. Another long skinny box had the actuator and another box yet had the receiver, V-box, and inclinometer as I got the whole 'kit' and not just the dish. I'm sure you'll hear something shortly.

Doug W8A**
Good to hear. When Tek2000 first appeared, things were packed poorly and sometimes damaged in shipping. I think I read that the mounts have been improved as well.
 

Arion

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 23, 2005
466
197
Success!!

I kept the dish on the mount and unloosened all the bolts on the panels and the mount of which their are many. Through some pulling and prodding I got all the panels to line up as well as the dish mounts on the frame. Still had trouble with one of the holes and then I looked closer at the bracket on the mount and the bracket wasn't vertical. Must of been a bad weld or the jig at the factory wasn't right. I just took a pair of channel locks and pulled on the bracket to make it vertical and the holes lined up. When I did all that the gap in the strings went from about three inches to an inch and a half. And then I started to tighten the bolts [do it like a car tire a little bit at a time and do opposites sides, ect] in a pattern and slowly the panels all pulled together and the dish came into symmetry. It's not quite 'perfect' but it's the best I can get it. When there is no tension on the strings there is still a gap of about a third of an inch but when I pull the strings tight they touch so I think I'm o.k. So a good lesson to others especially if you get a bigger dish with 8 panels or more is to do as suggested and when you assemble the dish keep all the bolts very loose and then tighten it up once it's on the mount. Putting the center plate on the dish is a bit of a bi*ch by myself but I got it done.

The next step will be the LNB rods, mounting the scalar and LNB and then make my measurements and reset all the angles. The dish seems very firm and I am very relieved and grateful to get this far as tomorrow were supposed to get a fair amount of wind and I didn't want a half tightened dish on the mount. This is a very well put together dish for the price and I do think it will hold up. More later!!

 

Arion

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 23, 2005
466
197



More success.....in a manner of speaking. I'm up and running but have a whole heck of a lot of fine tuning to do. The dish kit had a paper in it that said that these dishes come with two different lengths of LNB rods depending upon the design and manufacturer and they instruct you to measure the LNB rods. With the length of my rods they have to attach at 15" from the rim I believe. On the backside of the dish the holes are where they are supposed to be and you use a quarter inch drill to bust through the mesh. Easy enough. They said that the focal length was 48 inches plus a half inch for the center for a total of 48.5 inches. The rods come from the factory with straight ends. You bolt on the dish end and then when you elevate the rod the rod bends at the right spot on the dish end and then you have to bend the rods at the top to fit the scalar.

The scalar set up at exactly 48" and then I figured the other half inch I would get with moving the LNB in it's holder. I used the Titanium LNB and set the focal depth to .40 which should of been right for this dish. The signal levels were pretty low. The scalar seems centered o.k. and the measurements from the rim to the scalar were all within a quarter to half inch of each other so it can probably be centered a might better but not too bad to start off with. I moved the actuator until I got a signal peak and figured I was on a satellite but unable to lock a transponder. So I figured at least I would peak the signal strength and basically had to move the LNB as far forward in the holder as it would go to get the levels up. After locking it down and scanning with a receiver I ended up on 91W instead of 87W but decided to peak on 91W since I was there. Long and the short of it is the dish is only picking up the strongest transponders. I think the LNB depth is off and the LNB acts like it wants to get closer yet. Not yet sure how I'm going to fix that whether I try bending all four rods in pulling the LNB closer or drilling new holes closer to the rim and pulling it closer that way. I want to get the LNB closer to get max signal strength before I monkey around with fine tuning. Right now I'm only getting a handful of satellites but satisfied at this point considering that this morning I couldn't get the dish to fit in the mount and it was warped. This is enough for today. Looking forward to tweaking it and getting all the kinks worked out.
 
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bpalone

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 1, 2014
631
424
44N 105W
Did you measure the depth of the dish from the strings to the center?

Your initial results sound very familiar. If you didn't measure the depth, run a string again and measure at the center. While stringing the new string, also run a tape across the face (like the string) and get that measurement too. I don't remember the formula right now, but is available in threads here and all over the web. With the measurements do the math and check if your numbers jive with theirs. I am guessing, that they won't, but I have been wrong before.

If they don't agree, and want me too I'll measure from the lip on mine. I went a bit far with mine, had to shim upwards a bit. Here is a link to my experience: (Well, Just went to find my thread and you had a message there.) :)

Will go and measure my dish right now.

Be back in a bit. OK, I'm back.

Measured at 7 1/2 inches from edge. As I said, this was a bit far and had to shim up a bit to get to the right distance. If I remember correctly one of my pictures in that thread shows the shimming.
 

Arion

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 23, 2005
466
197
Our dishes are pretty much identical. We had the same length LNB rods and the same size dish and the LNB definitely wanted to go forward. So I looked at where you put your rods and you indicated that you went a mite far so I did mine just a little bit closer than yours. Instant huge signal spike and the LNB was happiest right at the .40 FD setting. Imagine that!! :D

Looking at your original thread along with reading his response on the other forum it seems that they measured from the apex at the back of the dish which is covered by the front and back center plate. And of course not knowing any better we install the center plates and measure from there. I'm right at 44" now from the center plate to just inside of the LNB throat. If it's expected to measure from the back of the dish without the center plates installed that is something they might want to mention. Experts with the dishes probably know to do that by rote but for novices we don't. So anyway the signal levels are now a lot stronger and I have the skew fine tuned and now picking up a lot of the S2 and 8psk feeds. I went back over the satellites I already found and am finding many more channels now. I still have to find every satellite in the arc which I'll work on this weekend and once I have all the sats I can get then I can do the process of fine tuning with adjusting the true north and then adjusting for elevation at the zenith and declination at the ends of the arc.

I wanted to thank you for documenting your experience as that showed me right where to look and you saved me a few days of frustration. Overall very happy with the dish as well as the quality and the wind is blowing pretty good today and the dish is rock solid. A real learning experience here and hopefully others can learn from the experience.



 

bpalone

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 1, 2014
631
424
44N 105W
Glad you got it worked out. The reason I did the thread, was to help anybody following in the foot steps.

Enjoy it, you will find that C band is very addictive.
 

hank123

COLORADO CONNOISSEUR BUD HUNTER
Lifetime Supporter
May 8, 2016
543
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N. Colorado
Good job man. Nice pics too.
People are mixed about these dishes but for the price it seems hard to beat.
 

Arion

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 23, 2005
466
197
The first and second generation of these dishes were flimsy in some parts from all that I read and the early reviews. The dishes being sold now are the 6th generation and most of the deficiencies have been addressed with the manufacturer in China and of course they are slightly more expensive than what they were. I'm pretty darn impressed with this dish. The mesh is good quality and tightly riveted to the panels and the mounts have been beefed up. I've started to fine tune the dish yesterday afternoon as the true south was a bit off and once that was dialed in better all the 8psk feeds are booming in. Of course it's new now and will take awhile to see how the paint and everything holds up and of course I don't have any of the good old American mesh dishes to compare it too but for the money I spent I'm pretty pleased with it so far.

About the only complaint is it would of been nice for them to include some extra bolts and nuts especially locking washers as it's easy to lose them while putting the dish together and I think they need to address the instructions on LNB settings if my experience and Bpalone's are common. That and their instructions say to mount one panel at a time but for me after getting some advice here it worked better to assemble the dish on the ground and then mount it. I think the mounting pole that I bought from them will work out well for me but if I lived in a windy area I think I would want to source a schedule 80 pole as I would like to see the sidewall a bit thicker. But being a lightweight aluminum mesh dish I think it's adequate where I live.
 
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KC7NOA

SatelliteGuys Family
May 10, 2017
79
10
spokane wa
Its not the weight of the dish (for the most part) that calls for a good pipe to mount on but the wind load of the dish when tge wind is blowing ... and tge concrete foot too. If the wind is normally low and you dont mind occasional signal loss then go with a small/light pipe .... it always depends on location.

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IntelPennny4

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 28, 2016
323
124
USA
So Arion was your FD .40 at the end when you where done with setting up? I have the same dish and would like to know what I need to set mine at. Thanks
 

wvman

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Sep 19, 2014
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Having assembled hundreds of C-band panel dishes, I would not recommend installing the panels on a mount sitting on top of a pole. This will make alignment difficult and shaping the parabola reflector nearly impossible.

Instead, assemble on a flat surface. Place a bucket the same height as the parabola depth and make it the center of the petal. The bucket will support the panels as they are placed face down and loosely bolted together. This method will help create the parabola shape that will have final adjusted once bolted to the mount and string tested.

When the panels are joined, have a few friends flip the reflector onto its back, align and bolt on top of the upward facing assembled polar mount. I would use several log cabin style stacked 4x4 posts on top of a few pallets to cradle the mount and raise it off the ground. Once the reflector is loosely bolted to the mount, stretch 4 or more strings across the face of the dish at opposing angles. Make sure the strings lightly touch in the center. If the strings to not lightly touch, adjust the individual panels until all strings cross and barely touch, then tighten the panel and mounting bolts to spec. Failure to adjust the panels to optimize the parabola shape during the assembly will create a warped surface that will not accurately focus the satellite signals into the feedhorn opening.
Had a neighbor once who purchased a 1 piece stainless steel 10 foot dish. Why he didn't buy from me I don't know because I only lived a half mile away, but the guy he got the system from stood the reflector up against the eve of the house and bolted it to the mount. It was egg shaped enough I could see it when I drove by. After about a month of searching for a signal, he called me.

I told him I could fix it, but I would have to charge him for a full install. He finally agreed and asked me why I was taking the mount off the reflector. I explained why and he asked me why I didn't stop and tell them what they were doing wrong. I promptly told him it wasn't my install and I didn't make a dime off it and I was not in the business of offering free advice. He laughed it off but I could tell he was a little miffed. Turns out his was the 2nd install this guy did.

Later, he polished the dish. You can imagine how that turned out when the equinox changed. It melted the feed, down converter and LNB. I don't know how much heat that thing generated, but it was extremely hot when the sun was focused dead center. Anyway, I learned to assemble the panels on a flat surface before lifting the reflector up to the mount. I also kept 4 small wedges in the van to peck in place behind the 4 mounting bolts that held the reflector to the mount. They kept it even all the way around.

Thought you might like that story. :)
 

wvman

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Lifetime Supporter
Sep 19, 2014
2,691
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Its not the weight of the dish (for the most part) that calls for a good pipe to mount on but the wind load of the dish when tge wind is blowing ... and tge concrete foot too. If the wind is normally low and you dont mind occasional signal loss then go with a small/light pipe .... it always depends on location.

Sent from my SM-G930V using the SatelliteGuys app!
I always used 3 1/2 OD schedule 40 steel gas line. It's readily available around here since we are in the oil & gas zone. Most of the time the well companies will give you used gas line they have laying around. On top of a hill, I used drill sections with 1/2 inch walls. It weighs a ton, but it won't bend in the wind. I even used it on hills for solid dishes and never had one bend.

Thin wall tubing is kind of risky. If it wrinkles just a little bit, it will go right on over. Could lose an expensive dish using it. We never used less than a yard of concrete and the poles I mentioned above. Never had a problem.
 

wvman

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Sep 19, 2014
2,691
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More success.....in a manner of speaking. I'm up and running but have a whole heck of a lot of fine tuning to do. The dish kit had a paper in it that said that these dishes come with two different lengths of LNB rods depending upon the design and manufacturer and they instruct you to measure the LNB rods. With the length of my rods they have to attach at 15" from the rim I believe. On the backside of the dish the holes are where they are supposed to be and you use a quarter inch drill to bust through the mesh. Easy enough. They said that the focal length was 48 inches plus a half inch for the center for a total of 48.5 inches. The rods come from the factory with straight ends. You bolt on the dish end and then when you elevate the rod the rod bends at the right spot on the dish end and then you have to bend the rods at the top to fit the scalar.

The scalar set up at exactly 48" and then I figured the other half inch I would get with moving the LNB in it's holder. I used the Titanium LNB and set the focal depth to .40 which should of been right for this dish. The signal levels were pretty low. The scalar seems centered o.k. and the measurements from the rim to the scalar were all within a quarter to half inch of each other so it can probably be centered a might better but not too bad to start off with. I moved the actuator until I got a signal peak and figured I was on a satellite but unable to lock a transponder. So I figured at least I would peak the signal strength and basically had to move the LNB as far forward in the holder as it would go to get the levels up. After locking it down and scanning with a receiver I ended up on 91W instead of 87W but decided to peak on 91W since I was there. Long and the short of it is the dish is only picking up the strongest transponders. I think the LNB depth is off and the LNB acts like it wants to get closer yet. Not yet sure how I'm going to fix that whether I try bending all four rods in pulling the LNB closer or drilling new holes closer to the rim and pulling it closer that way. I want to get the LNB closer to get max signal strength before I monkey around with fine tuning. Right now I'm only getting a handful of satellites but satisfied at this point considering that this morning I couldn't get the dish to fit in the mount and it was warped. This is enough for today. Looking forward to tweaking it and getting all the kinks worked out.
I machined this on my lathe and used a laser I bought off EBay and made a feed alignment tool. It has two straight pins 4 inches long sticking out exactly opposite of each other on the outer lip to line up the polarity. Just stick that baby in the throat of the feed, turn on the laser, set the polarity and use the laser to set the feed in the center of the dish. The two pins must be lined up with the horizontal dipole inside the LNB to set the polarity, but that's easy enough to do.

alignment tool.jpg
 
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Arion

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 23, 2005
466
197
So Arion was your FD .40 at the end when you where done with setting up? I have the same dish and would like to know what I need to set mine at. Thanks
Yeah, but if you read the whole thread I had to drill new holes for the LNB rods just like others have had to do. It ended up at .40 after I relocated the rods.

Fine tuning this thing has been a bit of a struggle as I haven't done this before but I'm starting to get it dialed in. There are similarities between the big dishes and the small ones of course but I have to admit that I'm surprised of how sensitive the dish is to very small movements. I had kind of expected C-band to be a bit less sensitive than KU but that hasn't been my experience. A couple of things I learned is when adjusting for due south on the satellites towards the end of the arc is to have just a bit of friction on the center bolts but then instead of moving the dish at the mount go to the end of the dish and gently apply pressure while looking at the satellite meter. Adjusting from the mount isn't precise enough. I pretty much left my elevation to what the charts have indicated but I'm using more declination than what I should even with the mounting pole being plumb, ect. Another thing is that after your satisfied with your due south position and before you make adjustments to write down what your current elevation and declination so you have those settings in cause you walk yourself out of alignment with other parts of the arc. That way you can return to what you had if you fudge things up.

Another problem I had is that I didn't get some signal levels as high as I had expected after peaking the LNB position as well as skew and azimuth. I know that the dish had nothing more than a mild warp if that and the LNB after measuring from the rim was within a quarter inch of each measurement. I looked a bit closer at the scalar and it was hard to tell if it was perpendicular to the dish face. What I did was to get an angle measurement off of the back plate as I couldn't reach the front center plate. Once I had that angle I disconnected the lower LNB rod and held the inclination meter up to the bottom of the scalar and there was about a 3 degree difference between the measurement. I used that angle to bend the scalar in the right direction and then bent the LNB rod at the top so it would line up with the new tilt of the scalar and tightened it back down. Picked up an instant 10% to 15% in quality on transponders. Still fine tuning and need to do some more but I'm getting close at this point.
 

wvman

SatelliteGuys Pro
Lifetime Supporter
Sep 19, 2014
2,691
1,265
N. Central WV
Yeah, but if you read the whole thread I had to drill new holes for the LNB rods just like others have had to do. It ended up at .40 after I relocated the rods.

Fine tuning this thing has been a bit of a struggle as I haven't done this before but I'm starting to get it dialed in. There are similarities between the big dishes and the small ones of course but I have to admit that I'm surprised of how sensitive the dish is to very small movements. I had kind of expected C-band to be a bit less sensitive than KU but that hasn't been my experience. A couple of things I learned is when adjusting for due south on the satellites towards the end of the arc is to have just a bit of friction on the center bolts but then instead of moving the dish at the mount go to the end of the dish and gently apply pressure while looking at the satellite meter. Adjusting from the mount isn't precise enough. I pretty much left my elevation to what the charts have indicated but I'm using more declination than what I should even with the mounting pole being plumb, ect. Another thing is that after your satisfied with your due south position and before you make adjustments to write down what your current elevation and declination so you have those settings in cause you walk yourself out of alignment with other parts of the arc. That way you can return to what you had if you fudge things up.

Another problem I had is that I didn't get some signal levels as high as I had expected after peaking the LNB position as well as skew and azimuth. I know that the dish had nothing more than a mild warp if that and the LNB after measuring from the rim was within a quarter inch of each measurement. I looked a bit closer at the scalar and it was hard to tell if it was perpendicular to the dish face. What I did was to get an angle measurement off of the back plate as I couldn't reach the front center plate. Once I had that angle I disconnected the lower LNB rod and held the inclination meter up to the bottom of the scalar and there was about a 3 degree difference between the measurement. I used that angle to bend the scalar in the right direction and then bent the LNB rod at the top so it would line up with the new tilt of the scalar and tightened it back down. Picked up an instant 10% to 15% in quality on transponders. Still fine tuning and need to do some more but I'm getting close at this point.
That's why I always liked a button hook feed better than a tri or quad leg feed. I always ordered the dishes we used with a button hook when available. It was really nice when the feed tube was long enough to stick out the back of the dish. I could put my helper behind the dish setting the focal length while I watched the meter out front. You could peak the polarity easier that way also.
 

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