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Old Satellite Dish

2022-08-24 by: Dave Brockman
From: Dave Brockman 
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I have inherited a couple of old Satellite dishes (smaller ones like 
DirecTV/DISH, not the giant things I grew up with).  Is there anything 
geeky and neat that can be done with them, or do I just have two new 
bird baths?

-Dave



=============================================================== From: Lynn Dixon ------------------------------------------------------ I've seen folks doing some neat things akin to "Cantenna's". Some of the DirecTV and Dish Network dishes have multiple LNB's (the receiver part) and they each are positioned to align with a particular focal point of the parabola of the dish. If you have the really old, single LNB's they can be easier to aim and focus a receiver, since you are only dealing with one focal point.

=============================================================== From: Dan Danese ------------------------------------------------------ I believe the dishes are just collectors. The real tech needed is the LNB. There are lots of 'free-to-air' satellite signals running around. You just need the right LNB and the tuner for it. When I was researching this about 10 years ago the units were $2-300. There was one special dish that was called a toroidal dish that had a rack in the front for 13 dual LNBs that could tune into 26 satellites at once without re-aiming the dish. Once you have the tuner and LNB, you'll need the info on where to point it, the azimuth and elevation. -br Dan

=============================================================== From: Joe Freeman ------------------------------------------------------ Dave- I'm not sure if it can be done with those, but I took a 90cm wifi mesh dish, added an SDR and rPI, and made a weather satellite receiver out of it. From this area, GOES16 is about SSE. I think the elevation is about 35 degrees, with a 12-13 deg skew (tilt the antenna clockwise about 12-13 degrees). There are websites that will allow you to put in your lat/long and give you azimuth/elevation and skew info. Image decoding is done by open source software on a PC running Rocky Linux. The rPI with the SDR is in a weatherproof box at the dish. It mounts an NFS share (via wifi) on the image server to save the downloaded files for decoding.

=============================================================== From: Michael Harrison ------------------------------------------------------ Used to be able to use them for line of sight long distance WiFi links. I think modern actual line of sight ones are probably much better. Mount them on top of a van labelled "not the FCC" ?

=============================================================== From: Stephen Kraus ------------------------------------------------------ I've been hunting for one of the full sized dishes to make a simple radio telescope. On Wed, Aug 24, 2022 at 9:05 PM Michael Harrison wrote: