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  Topic Review (Newest First)
2012-01-27 01:16 PM
rpr In the early 80's I used to make them for a reseller, it was a very time consuming job, even with the jigs and patterns we used. Of course I was only 14 so labour was cheap...
2012-01-25 07:14 PM
Bungo Pony When I was around 6 years old, my dad tried to build a satellite dish. He took one of my mom's metal bowls, drilled holes in the edge, and used cut up coat hangers to mount the LNB (made from a ball of tin foil). His results were abysmal.
2012-01-12 06:42 PM

Another amazing creation from Thailand
2012-01-12 06:04 PM

In a remote village, Hand-making satellite dish in Nepal

I guess you can call this one "Kat Man dooooo anything"
2012-01-09 10:08 PM
Greenish Apple
Wooden Satellite Dishes have been made

I've been looking into building a 1.2-1.5m offset dish and I found that some guys in Australia have built 1.0-1.8m prime focus satellite dishes using either wood and aluminum foil-covered plywood or aluminum rod and aluminum mesh. There are a couple Canadian builders around pages 17-19. Some theory, a lot of practical info. The moderator glued aluminum foil on plywood and even though there were some small wrinkles it didn't hamper reception too much.

Separate thread, same site, in aluminum rod and aluminum mesh:

And a guy in the Caribbean made a wooden one (a long thread on a UK site, wanders a bit, the link goes to his construction pics):

I found aluminum flashing at a local big box home building centre (not HD), 10 inches x 50 feet $22.99 Cdn., 14 inches x 50 feet $30.99. Their plywood is cheaper than the others too.

After C-Band satellites... cheaper to build than ship and I like to tinker. I've made an OTA antenna that gets CBC and TVO from in my attic, the other TV stations might be too far away. My TV Fool results don't look good. That's why I'm looking at FTA too.

2012-01-09 05:28 PM
Danster It's not the tape I'm worried but more how smooth you can make the tape to be.
2012-01-09 11:41 AM
Kraven When I first left on paternity leave, I figured with 2 months off I'd have all these free time in the world to work on projects and get things done around the house....finnaly I didnt get anything accomplished!

This weekend, weather permitting, am thinking of setting up the dish outside for a test. Regarding the reflectors, would Alluminum tape make a good reflective surface? I have boxes of it at home and it would be easy to complete it.

Cheers, K
2011-11-06 05:28 PM
Danster Congrats on the new baby! I'm sure you will need your time off at times so you will be able to update this thread.
2011-11-06 12:11 PM
Kraven Update: Project is on hold for a while... the GF delivered 6 weeks early, so most of my free time is gone for the next 18 years.

Using all the articles emailed (thanks guys) and a parabolic calculator, the frame is done. The diameter of just under 7 feet (very light but sturdy) and can be taken apart in 3 pieces.

Next step is to apply the reflective material. Ive already scouted the local hardware stores and found some interesting options. If anyone seens anything to would work...(canadian tire, rona, reno, home hardware etc..) please let me know.

Due to its light weight, mounting shouldnt be a problem. How to apply a motor though is beyond me at this point since I need a better understanding of prime focus/off-set/allignments etc....

Cheers, K
2011-10-25 12:25 PM
bigredneck While watching News Casts about Afganistan a few years ago, I noticed what appeared to be home made sat dishes. I thought it was ingenious!
2011-10-19 11:30 AM
mrvanwinkles I believe the home made 12 ft dish design was in this book:

(Found the details in another post of mine about trough reflectors.)

copyright 1991 by
The American Radio Relay League
16th Edition
First Printing
ISBN: 0-87259-206-5

There are probably other versions and printings of the ARRL Antenna book out there. That's just the exact one I looked at in the library.

I imagined building a dish out of grey or black fibreglass, rectangular "fence spreader rods" as the tension rod frame, and some sort of mesh.
2011-10-19 11:14 AM
mrvanwinkles Kraven,

Yes, I believe it is quite possible to make a home made dish.

Another member (cyberham, post #7) mentioned a home made design seen in an ARRL magazine. American Radio Relay League (?)

I too have seen a home made design in a very old ARRL book. - when I was browsing in a library.

It was, I think, 12 ft dish made of 6 ft aluminum tension tubes as the frame, and mesh.
( the theory behind the design is that rods bent and held under tension form a parabolic shape ? I think that was the idea. )

The guy was using it, I think, for personal, home, Radio Astronomy hobby (!)

Yes, I've browsed (just a little) some of the calculations and theory behind satelite dish design - and it's very interesting.

You mention, you've got a 4ft dish but wanna have one a little larger? 5ft ?
I think that one (1) extra foot makes a big difference in receive area of the dish - and therefore a big difference in the receive capability of the dish.

Idea for all: What about extending an existing dish by adding an extra foot (ex. of mesh) around the outside? Possible? But that might alter the design characteristics of the existing dish some ... for sure.

Also, I have read that the higher in frequency you go, the more accurate the parabolic shape of the dish reflector has to be, and the more smooth the surface has to be.

(i.e. for C-band frequencies, the tolerances required are "do-able" by hobbyists, but if you go up in frequency, the tolerances get smaller and much harder for hobbyists to build realisticly. But higher frequencies usually require smaller dishes anyway - as the gain of the dish based on size also increases quite a bit as frequency increases - there's a formula I have seen that shows gain vs. size based on frequency)

Very interesting stuff. I am no expert - but the theory is fascinating.
2011-10-19 10:12 AM
Kraven Am curious though about the thickness of the mesh and its impact if any.
Still reading though. Am giving myself a month from today to complete this (before the snow hits)

Cheers, K
2011-10-19 09:29 AM
classicsat The way I heard it, is if a pencil can just go through, it is okay for C band, but not Ku. If a pencil lead can just go throug, it is fine for Ku as well.
2011-10-19 05:58 AM
Originally Posted by dirtroad View Post
Tele-Satellite magazine had articles in a February 2006 magazine on designing and making your own dish, and dealt with all the formulas required. Page 56.

The same issue also dealt with using a KU dish for C Band and mentions a Toronto DX`er who did it. Page 58.
I have these articles in .pdf format if anybody wants them emailed. Send me a private message with your address.
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