Satellite update for summer 2008
Currently, I have antennas looking at these orbital locations:
- 61.5°w: Echostar 3, 12
- 82°w: Nimiq 1, 3
- 89°w: Galaxy 28
- 91°w: Nimiq 2, 4
- 97°w: Galaxy 19
- 110°w: Echostar 6, 8
- 119°w: Echostar 7
- 121°w: Echostar 9
- 123°w: Galaxy 18
- 129°w: Echostar 5
- 129°w: Galaxy 27
- 148°w: Echostar 1
Out of these, Echostar 9 is the only one that doesn’t really come in. I pick up two very strong transponders on it with a linear LNB as a side-effect of aiming a Dish 500 at Echostar 5. The 500’s pan is too small to receive a good signal from Echostar 9, and its 9-degree separation misaligns 121°w when 129°w is locked in. This same arrangement picks up one strong transponder from Anik F3, Echostar’s odd bird at 188.7°w that transmits circular signals on linear frequencies.
My switch configuration is unchanged since last time, but the last leg has been filled by 89°w.
Here are my four linear Ku-band antennas. They are all ex-Primestar Channel Master hardware picked up for free from people who wanted them gone. I have one 79-centimeter, two 1-meter, and one 84-centimeter reflector.
This receives Galaxy 28, and spiders like to nest here. I should really cut up a coffee can lid and cover it and seal it with epoxy. The plastic doesn’t attenuate Ku-band by a noticeable amount and will keep out the elements.
The 1-meter antennas are my favorite. They’re so sturdy and will pick up everything even in the worst weather. Their obvious downside, then, is their monstrous size. Good thing I don’t have to care about that!
This Invacom QPH-031 will be motorized some day. The 22khz tone switch selects linear or circular output from the LNBF. There’s no circular signal at this orbital location, but it’s a very nice linear Ku LNBF.
These are aimed at Echostar’s Dish Network and Bell Canada’s ExpressVu satellites. They have some unencrypted channels worth recieving, like Hallmark Movie Channel on Echostar 3 or NASA-TV on Echostar 6/8.
Here’s where it all comes together. It’s the same switch setup as last time, just with that last leg utilized. Twelve RG-6 runs are trenched under the skirt of the house up and out through the wall behind the television.
This ex-Primestar LNB outputs the vertical and horizontal polarities on different connectors. You can re-combine them using a standard multiswitch. I like Zinwell’s switches and seal the VHF/UHF input to prevent water seeping in.
The whole setup. I know my house isn’t very glamourous, but farm living has its advantages in lots of available space for satellite projects!
Bonus photo: The birds get to enjoy my bent reflectors. One is for water, one for seeds and our stale bread.