Arteficial Satellites, TV, Radio, Deepspace Radioastronomy

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Improvements

LNB position in the holder
This LNB position gave the best results in my setup. If you're not sure just place the LNB half way.

LNB skew to improve signal
Just a few degrees. Experiment for optimal result. Here in Europe a few millimeters negative skew gave the best signal on Astra.

Tips
When you set the skew (Polarity) on your LNBF you are lining up your dish exactly to the same horizontal/vertical position as the satellite in the sky. The satellites all lie in a curve in the sky ( Clarke Belt ) and so are at different heights. Ku satellites use Horizontal and Vertical liner polarization and so the skew has to match the (H/V) position of the satellite for optimum satellite signal strength/quality.

Rotate the LNBF clockwise for - skew values.
When the LNBF is straight up and down it is in the zero position.
Keep your LNBF in the zero position when using a motor mount.

Polarization is not a factor with circular (L/R) polarized DBS LNB.
On a multi LNB DBS satellite dish (Phase III / Dish 500...) the reason the skew is set is to simply level or align the LNB'S with the satellites in the sky.

Tweaking and modifications
This is a close up of a TRIAX satellite dish where the alu arm leaves the dish. To improve the signal (only a very little +/- 2%) we can cover the opening with thin alu plate. The aluminum plate needs to be "molded" (can easily be done by hand) to fit the curve of the dish and fit the opening. Then paint it in the same color as your dish and glue it on.

This is the result. Of course, this modification will not alow you to fold the arm back up.

 

Satellite related software

Sat_Explorer
http://www.f1orl.org/satexG.htm
It provides visibility forcasts as a waiting delay and a visibility duration very quickly and all the time.
Ten (and even more) satellites can be monitored simultaneously.

Examples of satellite dish mounting

Satellite dish mounted beside the house +/- 3 meters high

Satellite dish mounted on a little tripod total length approx. 1,5 meters high
I bought a garden hose and burried it 10 cm under the ground. Before this I shoved the coax bit by bit into the hose. A little oil inside the hose helps if it is a long one (like in my case it was 25 meters long). Next plan...camouflaging the dish by painting it army style.
Tip: I used a double insulated and reinforced gardenhose. Grease the cable and lay the gardenhose as strait as possible and push the cable inside bit by bit.

Coaxial Cable
Picking coax cable for your dish is an important decision. The distance from your dish to receiver and the type of cable you use will directly affect the amount of signal that is delivered to your receiver.
Cable type Loss per 100' at 1000 MHz
RG-59 12 dB
RG-6 9.8 dB
RG-11 7.8 dB

Attention should be paid to the installation of the cable. Connectors not crimped and weatherproofed properly are certain to cause future problems. If routing the cable underground be sure to use conduit.

If you have to find the best place to put your satellite your first priority needs to be making sure your site has no obstructions towards the southern sky. By using a compass you can better pinpoint the major direction of the satellite.
Example: Astra 23.5 East = from South turn the dish 23.5 degrees towards East.
The satellite must be pointed towards a clear sky in order to pick up the signal that you want to receive. Even things such as branches and leaves can stop this signal from coming through.
If you decide to mount your dish to a wall inside your window then you will have to get rid of the glass and replace it with plexi glass as the signal won't penetrate glass itself.
It is of the utmost importance that you get the perfect satellite dish alignment if you are going to have trouble free satellite reception. This is to align the satellite dish to the satellite in order to receive the signal.
Make certain that the pole or tri-mast assembly is vertically plumb. Check it with an Angle Finder or a level
By using a compass and inclinometer you can check the arc from your proposed site. Inclinometers are available at most hardware stores and are sometimes called an "angle finder".
Golden Tip: if you have EQ-telescope mount you can use it to find the elevation and using the finder allows you to quickly see if the sky is free of obstructions.


Satfinder: satellite signal finder

Simply wire this affordable device between your dish and your receiver, turn on your equipment and adjust your satellite dish until the meter indicates optimum signal strength.
If you use a signal meter you can hook it into the system right at the dish and it responds to the signal immediately making it much easier to aim your dish. You do not need any one else to help you if you use a meter at the dish.
No batteries required, it is powered by the receiver. It has a built in light and audio tone.
Great product for the Do-It-Yourselfer
Easily set up satellite dishes on RVs, motor homes, picnic tables, truck, decks, roofs, or anywhere you want to setup your dish.
Make adjustments yourself without a secondary helper
What took 30 minutes now takes 30 seconds

 

Radio astronomy

Did you know that you can receive radio signals from Jupiter with your shortwave receiver? Jupiter is a source of powerful bursts of natural radio waves that can produce exotic sounds when picked up on Earth using simple antennas and shortwave receivers.
The shortwave radio signals from Jupiter aren't a sign of extraterrestrial intelligence. The emissions are generated naturally by plasma instabilities in Jupiter's magnetosphere.
Most space physicists say that ionized gas in the upper atmosphere above Jupiter's magnetic poles sometimes behaves like a powerful radio laser or maser. The radiation can be so intense that Jupiter frequently outshines the Sun as a source of radio energy at ham radio wavelengths.
Examples of shortwave reception of Jupiter's radiation:
http://radiojove.gsfc.nasa.gov/library/mm_exhibits.htm
http://www.spacetoday.org/SolSys/Jupiter/JupiterRadio.html


Astrophotography, info about telescopes, software, tips & tricks, homemade scopes and lenses etc.
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Astro photography, info about telescopes, tips & tricks, homemade scopes and lenses, how to collimate, online astronomical tools etc.