One thing taken for granted is that your dish is fine. This could be true but many times is far from the truth. You need to ask yourself a few questions. How old is my dish? How many hailstorms and bad storms has it gone through? Has the dish been hit or damaged in anyway?
The next step is too look at the dishes surface itself. Are you missing panels? Are there dents in the mesh? Are there holes or tears in the mesh? Are panels popped from parabolic shape or distorted? All of the above will achieve the same results Weak or no signal.
Missing, dented, or hail damage panels. Major signal loss.
Deformation to mesh causing incorrect focus of signal.
Why is this so important?
Your dish is a collector of weak signals coming from some 22,000 miles above the earth. The accuracy (shape) of the parabolic curve plays a very important role in focusing these signals into your feedhorn and LNB to collect and amplify these signals for later processing by your receiver. When panels are imperfect the signal misses the feedhorn and now your 10 foot is working as a 6 foot.
The next step is to see if there is anything you can do to repair the panels. Sometimes some auto body hammers and tools can flatten the surface enough where you can refocus the signal back into the feedhorn where it belongs. Other times no matter how much you try it’s a lost cause.
What do you do then? Its time to go dish shopping. With many choices that use to be available back in the day not there anymore your choice is limited. One thing to be weary of when dish shopping is throwing away good money just to save a buck. There are some low cost Chinese built mesh dishes on the market that are nothing but junk. Their low cost can make them seem attractive, but once received and assembled the horrors just begin. There are damage panels, parts don’t go together right, once assembled the parabolic curve is egg shaped. The mounts are weak, and don’t survive even moderate wind load well. Once assembled signal is weak or non existent no matter how well you try to tune it due to surface and manufacturing anomalies. Purchasing this could put you in a worse condition then you were in originally with your old dish.
Low quality packing of Chinese mesh dish panels cause damage in shipping. You end up with distorted panels that do not conform to proper parabolic curve.
Panels mesh torn and deformed on low cost China import dish. This will cause signals to reflect everywhere but where they should.
Chinese manufactured dish poorly designed thin mount cannot survive high winds. Notice the paper thin metal that can twist under wind load stress.
Mount damage incurred from 35 mph winds with low cost Chinese made mesh dish. A good dish and mount should survive 95 mph wind gusts without damage.
Being forewarned of you get what you pay for. Where should my money be spent? Rainier has the solution. We carry our base 9 foot 4 piece solid dish designed and built by D&H antenna. The 9 footer is built in the USA and shipped professionally in wooden crates to prevent damage in shipping. It’s assembly is simple as all panels are marked where they should go. This maintains excellent parabolic curve.
Rainier Satellite’s Dish panels as delivered. Excellent condition.
Rainier Satellite’s solid built dish mount. Notice the thick heavy duty steel and multiple attachment points. High winds? No worries.
Simple matched assembly of panels for perfect parabolic shape.
Included at no extra cost is the Harvard Scientific TUNED ortho feedhorn.
Assembled Rainier Satellite C band dish antenna.
You can read the complete installation and review of our 9 foot American made dish here
You can read more about our dishes and get them here