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    Available online starting from 26 September 2008

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    34 TELE-satellite & Broadband 10-11/2008 www.TELE-satellite.com

    As Light As A Feather

    Satellite Mesh Dish

    INFOSAT V055Primary Focus Dish

    InstallationV055 of INFOSAT is a 1.65

    m aluminum mesh antenna. Itcomes in three packages. Fourparts of the reector make up

    the rs t one. The second con-tains the pole and the LNBFlegs and the third one nuts,washers, bolts and the rest of the mounting stuff. The weightof the reector is only 3.8 kg.It means that one segmentweights less than 1 kg.

    After unpacking everything,we looked for the assemblyinstructions. The producerdid not include any. Well, wecounted every bolt and nut,sorted them by size and com-

    pared with the holes we couldsee in the reector segments

    and mounting parts. It did nottake us long to gure out whichbolt/nut should be used for.However, if INFOSAT decides tosell this product directly to the

    end users, it could be a goodidea to attach simple instruc-tions.

    The assembly of the four partsof the reector was really easy.We did it quickly and moved toa more tricky part prepara-tion of a provisional base forthe antenna pole. Fortunately,a piece of particleboard waswaiting in our garage exactlyfor the moment like that. Howwise, that we did not throw itout. We could nally justify why

    so many strange things coverdust in our garage.

    INFOSAT V055 PRIMARY FOCUS DISHLightweight dish for C-band, easy to

    assembly and elegant looking

    If you are a satellite fan living in Europe, theKu-Band satellites are something very commonto you. But havent you ever thought aboutexploring the mysterious world of C-Band? Youthink that the C-Band dish needs to be big,heavy and ugly? Well, not quite. You cannotdo too much about the size the C-Band has

    approximately 3 times longer wavelength thanthe Ku-Band. So to get the similar gain, theantenna must be also 3 times bigger. But you donot have to use a solid dish. You can choose analuminum mesh reector instead. In this way,you get a light antenna wit a much more appeal-ing look than a solid one.

    After adding four adjustablelegs, we could use the board asa horizontal base for the pole.We attached the pole to thebase using three legs includedin the package. Mounting thereector on the pole could notbe easier. You just put it on.

    After mounting the reec-tor on the pole, the last step todo was the installation of fourlegs supporting the LNBF. Itdid not cause any problem. Theantenna was ready for testing.We were quite anxious to seewhat this lightweight dish isable to provide.

    C-Band Reception Linear PolarizationThere are not too many C-Band

    satellites receivable in Europethat transmit with linear polariza-tion. Thanks to the Satellite DishPointer (www.dishpointer.com)and SatcoDX (www.satcodx.com), we selected 4 such satel-lites. Only one of them: BADR-C had high elevation: 30. Theelevation of the remaining three:ABS-1, TELSTAR and NSS-10was only around 10. Our fearsmaterialized. We were able onlyto receive the European beamsof BADR-C.

    The V055 1.65m dish is delivered in three packages

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    The 4 parts of the reector are protected with cardboard

    Reector parts are unpacked...

    ...and so is the rest of the package

    Assembly of the reector was quite easy due to the very low weight

    Are all the nuts tightened?

    The elevation is set with the help of this long bolt

    Well done, all parts t, now the electronic parts

    The improvised supportfor the antenna has beenprepared. The includedmast has been attachedto the particle boardequipped with adjustablelegs to level it off.

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    The nished dish with the typical C-band LNB protector. Its elegantand is allowed be xed permantently next to the trees

    Time to align the antenna. We recommend to use a water levelequipped with an angle meter it will make setting the elevationmuch easier.

    The other satellites did noteven produce the smallestpeaks on our spectrum ana-lyzer. The trees surroundingour place made it impossible.In that moment, we were reallysorry that the TELE-satellite testcenter is not located on the roof of a skyscraper.

    The signal from BADR-C,26E, was very, very strong.We received transponder 3880H(27500, 3/4) with the chan-nel power of 84 dBV and C/N12 dB. Noise margin was over6 dB. Another digital trans-ponder: 4040H (27500, 3/4) wasnot worse. Signal strength 84.1dBV and C/N 12.6 dB. The noisemargin: 6.3 dB. Very good!

    The analog transponders wereequally strong and clear. The C/N was higher than for the digitaltransponders (what is natural)but would you expect C/N=23.5dB!? We noted this record forthe transponder 3996H (PAL).The Al Jazeera English channelis transmitted with such power-ful signal.

    Ku-Band Reception Linear Polarization

    Although mesh antenna israther dedicated for C-Band, wealso tried a primary focus LNBFfor Ku-Band. The reception inKu-Band was not so strong. Wetested one transponder on HOT-BIRD satellite (13East). Gener-ally speaking, the carrier to noiseration was slightly worse thanthat of a regular LNB mountedon 90 cm offset dish (12 dB vs.12.5 dB). We were hoping for aperformance of a 120 cm soliddish but remember that a meshantenna is not the best goodchoice for Ku-Band. Some noisefrom the ground can get throughthe mesh surface and reach theconverter.

    Because it could be quiteinteresting for our readers, wealso tried a regular Ku-Band LNBfor offset dishes. We installed iton INFOSAT V055. Theoreticallysuch LNB has too high f/D ratio(0.6) so it can only see a centralpart of the primary focus dish.Our measurements conrmedthe theory. The signal qualitydropped by 1 dB when comparedwith the primary focus LNBF (C/N = 11 dB). However, strong sat-ellites like HOTBIRD could still bereceived even with such wrong LNB installed on V055.

    The fun starts: trying to receive a C -Band satellite located very low over the horizon

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