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I have access to a couple of old rooftop style satellite dishes, and cannot help but wonder if anyone has found a use for these things. Can they be adapted for say wireless signal, or cell signal? Or some other function?

 
                        
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Location: Iowa, border of regions 5 and 6
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Storm wrote:
I have access to a couple of old rooftop style satellite dishes, and cannot help but wonder if anyone has found a use for these things. Can they be adapted for say wireless signal, or cell signal? Or some other function?


As luck would have it, I spent WAAAY too much time going through this site last night. 

http://www.greenpowerscience.com/

(Helps that his wife is good looking.)  He also has a bunch of videos on YouTube about modifying parabolic (satellite) dishes to be used to generate heat, including using them to drive steam engines that in turn drive generators; or making solar ovens.
 
                              
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Thanks! I will check it out.. I fear that these are too shallow (the standard dish network type of roof mounted satellite) but I hope I am wrong..

 
Len Ovens
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Location: Vancouver Island
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Storm wrote:
I have access to a couple of old rooftop style satellite dishes, and cannot help but wonder if anyone has found a use for these things. Can they be adapted for say wireless signal, or cell signal? Or some other function?


Yes and yes and yes. I don't know how easy it is to get a wireless ap that will act as a client these days... not at your local big box (an old laptop with a plugin wireless card will work too), but they can be used to send wireless as far as 25 miles line of sight. A tomato can will do pretty good too By the time you get to 25 mile apart, your speed is pretty low though (1Mb/s or less if you want security). Still, if you know someone who has broadband within 25 mile line of site (means you can see some part of their roof at least) who is willing to let you share it and you don't have land line or cable, it could be worth while.

If you live in a valley where the cell signal won't reach but there is a nearby hill where you can... You can hook the two of them back to back and point one at the tower and one at your homestead for an instant passive (no power required) repeater. Again you want line of site.

You can coat the surface with a reflective coating and use the sun to cook meals.

Put a microphone where the pickup is to use as a nature listener (leave the spying to the government please... you really don't want to know what your neighbour is doing!).

Make a bird path.

etc.

Oh ... and you can use them as satellite dishes too
 
                              
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Len, I might just have to pick your brain once I get just a bit more set up.. I do have a possible line of site for wireless, though I am thinking of doing the cell net connection instead (more reliable and faster..)

I am in a peculiar location, so I might be able to use two of them to work the cell signal angle.. Glad to know that it is possible..
 
                              
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Oh, and yes I did realize that could be dishes, but I have no receiver and more to the point, I am not much of a tv watcher.. (I have never owned one, though I've been around them)

I am a bookish sort, so most of the tv drivel just annoys me.. still, I will admit to a British mystery addiction..

Luddite with an internet addiction.. that's me..
 
                        
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Location: Iowa, border of regions 5 and 6
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Storm wrote:
Thanks! I will check it out.. I fear that these are too shallow (the standard dish network type of roof mounted satellite) but I hope I am wrong..


If you mean "too shallow to use for heating", then you're wrong.  The site has a lot of information on calculating where the focal point is for a parabolic surface.  Depth of the dish isn't an issue; size is.  A larger dish will focus more energy than a smaller dish.  One project he had on YouTube as "in progress" (I'm trying to find more about it) involved putting 10 or so satellite dishes next to each other, with the point being to focus all that information onto a pipe and heat the water in it.

You've GOT to find the video where he's demonstrating how quickly you can heat water at the focal point of a dish.  He is using a metal bottle to hold the water since most glass bottles can't take the intense heat.  At the end of the video there are all sorts of bloopers, including one where he had to stop filming because the Goodyear Blimp flew through the shot!
 
                              
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Thanks! Again I hope I am wrong.. but these seem very shallow so the point of focus would have to be pretty far out.. but I am more than happy to be wrong..

I am less concerned with heating than I am for other uses.. Heating I can do with aluminum foil and a box, but cell signal or net signal I am far less knowledgable...
 
Len Ovens
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Storm wrote:
Thanks! Again I hope I am wrong.. but these seem very shallow so the point of focus would have to be pretty far out.. but I am more than happy to be wrong..


The focal point as designed is pretty much where the pickup head is. It has been a while, we used to call it a horn because of the shape they were, but I was probably working with a longer wavelength. I think these use a short stub of a wave guide with a probe of some fraction of the wave length. I don't think 1/2 or 1/4 is what is used... unlike the average TV antenna.... so that part may have to be remade for your new frequency. Also, I am pretty sure the long distance hops are only possible with the b version wireless... not g or n. Certainly it would be the most reliable.

They look kind of funny when you use them for terrestrial targets, kind of like they are pointed at the ground. They are not like the old style dishes where you pointed the center of the circle at where you want to target, they are offset so the head doesn't block any of the signal. You will need to know what that offset angle is. I don't use one so I don't have one to look at.

We do have a TV, but it only plays dvds or vhs (well I think we do, I haven't got the vhs to work the last few times) I haven't even put the rabbit ears up.... I want to know what my kids are watching. I used to (25 years ago) work in broadcast. I have started to loose interest in much of this technology... I realize it adds very little to my life and that it is very fragile. Very few people have a good understanding of what does what. Most of our tech is a box full of boxes where each of those boxes is full of boxes... and they are all black boxes. one good hot emf spike in the wrong place and we are running on what is already made till it breaks...

I just hope I still have an amp for my bass   Making our own music may be what keeps us sane.
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