Use a Surplus Primestar Dish

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Use a Surplus Primestar Dish as an IEEE 802.11 Wireless Networking Antenna Use a Surplus Primestar Dish as an IEEE 802.11 Wireless Networking Antenna
Primestar was recently purchased by Direct TV who is phasing out all the Primestar equipment. This means that the dishes are being trashed, and are available for other uses such as the one I describe here. It is easy to make a surplus Primestar dish into a highly directional antenna for the very popular IEEE 802.11 wireless networking. The resulting antenna has about 22 db of gain, and is fed with 50 ohm coaxial cable. Usually LMR400 or 9913 low loss cable is used if the source is more than a few feet from the antenna. The range using two of these antennas with a line of sight path is around 10 miles at full bandwidth. I must stress the line of sight part though. Leaves really attenuate the signal.

6 Replies to “Use a Surplus Primestar Dish”

  1. I just purchased a house and the house is equipped with a satellite dish. All I however need is a rabbit ear antenna to get a just basic local news channels. I was wondering if we can utilize the existing satellite dish as a TV antenna. No, I don’t need movie channels, sports channels, adult channels, or 100s’ channels. All we need is the same basic channels we get with the rabbit ear antenna, but may be in cleaner reception. Is it possible to use it as TV antenna? HPak

  2. Sorry, the answer is no. The satellite thing is really tuned to be directional for a certain set of frequencies that are very different from terrestrial. If you want to get an antenna, they aren’t expensive, although installation can be hard. Check out antennaweb.com to find out more. They have a great directory of good antennas.

  3. Hi,
    Anyone know where I can purchase two aluminum, 48″ satellite dishes for reasonable price?
    Thanks,

  4. Anyone have any old PrimeStar Satellite Dish they would like to get rid cheap. If so please
    contact me. Thanks, Luke

  5. To whoever asked the question about using the satalite dish as a tv reciver, the answer is YES, it can be used for that purpose, but the drawbacks to using it for that purpose are not limited to, but include some of the following; You must adapt the feed horn to the exact frequency you want to recive, you must aim the dish in the exact direction of the brodcasting tower you must determine the focal point for the dish you are using, they are not usually easily aimed at the broadcasting tower unless they are elevated several feet off the ground (about 30 to 60 minimum)to clear teretrial obstructions. The frequnecy set that TV’s use range from 59 Mhz to 850 Mhz from the lowest to highest channels. so you must decide which channel you wish to recieve on the dish, and the fabricate a feeding horn spcifically for that channel. If you wanted it to recieve another channel you would have to rebuild the feed horn to accept a new frequency. The reason for this is is because the length of metal that is actaully “absorbing” the radio raves has to correspond in length of radio wavelength. In laymans terms, the arial has to be either 1/4 1/8 1/2 or the same length as the radio wave bveing recieved. the length is substatially diffrent from 49Mhz to 850Mhz. That is the reason why you see the larger TV atenna’s with many many pieces of aluminium of diffrent lengths. To make a long story short, yes, you can do it, but it requires some time and effort that is considerably greater than purchasing a Yaggi antenna or the likes!

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