In this, I describe how I use the Cantenna and add it to an old satellite dish.
First, you must have a Cantenna. If necessary, search for that on this site or in google.
Then, you need an old satellite dish. It might not be like the one I use here, so take a look at: http://people.wallawalla.edu/~Rob.Frohne/Airport/Primestar/Primestar.html This primestar has an easy to use feed arm. I had to improvise a method of mounting the can, because the arm on my dish doesn't go all the way to the feed-point area.
Tools were just a couple wrenches to re-configure the dish, a phillips screwdriver to rip apart the old lnb's, a utility knife and a roll of electrical tape. Oh, and an ink pen.
Step 1: What the cat drug in
There's a pair of LNB's on a y-adapter. The y-adapter is a two-piece clamshell plastic affair that looks rather doubtful. It looks like I'm going to have to add something to get from the arm to where the cantenna is going to go. Oh well, I'm feeling determined at this point. Besides, if I tear it apart enough, maybe something will inspire me. It's happened before
Step 2: The Contemplation Begins...
The Cantenna really needs those rings on the end. I remember seeing something about how that improves the radiation pattern. But I can't remember in what way it's changed. I'll google that later and bookmark it into my wifi folder. Then there's the chamber at the end of 'their' feed horn. 'they' put the antenna inside of a small chamber that runs off to one side from the end of the main guide tube. That'll be another thing to look into.
Eventually, I get the idea to use one empty feed horn and mount it back on the y-adapter so that I can mark on the dish where it's aimed at. Hey! Maybe that's why I tore the LNB's apart? Yeah....Right...
Step 3: Now it get's interesting
Then I marked where the open end of the cantenna would be if you were to take a square, such as a framing square and held it up against the end of the can, with the other end resting on the support arm. Only, I eyeballed this part by looking across the end of the feed horn, and noticed that it almost touched the end of the steel LNB support. So that will work for a reference.
One more reference mark, though I'm not sure if it's as serious. The direction the cantenna is pointed away from the dish. I decided to just use the taped-up feed horn to compare against the cantenna. The can just needs to be parallel to the horn.
And, I got lucky. It just so happens that the very back end of the cantenna is right where the steel LNB support would meet, if it were simply extended.
And this is where I figured out how to finish this. I just found some handy flat stuff that looked like it was the same width as the LNB support arm. Turned out to be that wood stuff you use to shim door frames up against the studs of a house. And this is where I decide a hacksaw is not a good idea for cutting the flat wood stuff (possibly cedar) after knocking over stuff a couple times, I go for simply using the utility knife to cut the wood strips. This requires two simple slices, one on each side at the same length, and then just bend the wood at the slices and it snaps like cutting glass.
I also use that knife to cut one end of each wood strip to fit the cantenna better. A shallow half-moon whittling job that is going to get covered up in tape, so don't do too nice a job of it!
Then, because vinyl electrical tape holds tighter than duct tape when stretched, use that to attach the wood strip that goes to the very far back end of the cantenna. I only tape it a little bit at two places, and double check the wood strip position by holding the dish in one hand, the cantenna in another, and the taped-up feed horn in my third hand.
Once that first strip is figured out, go ahead and really tape it like your going to show McGuyver a thing or two about using vinyl electrical tape.
The second wood strip should go a little quicker as you only need to keep the cantenna aimed at the mark on the dish while positioning it all up.
Then some more tape to keep the cantenna from moving around on the end of the wood strips.
But wait, there's more!
Step 4: Dish Geometry
First, tear it all apart. Then put the round base thingy that bolts directly to the back of the dish, back onto the back of the dish, only put it on upside down.
Then, assemble the mast mount base thingy to it's bit of tubing so that it's also the opposite of a wall mounted setup, and connect the mast mount/tubing assembly to the dish/base assembly. Only this connection should go like it used to.
If you look at how the parts are arranged in this picture, you will eventually see what I mean.
The best part though is that this thing is perfectly balanced! It needs a wider footplate, but other than that, it couldn't have turned out better. I recommend sitting this thing on a flat level surface. Maybe for a more permanent mount, it could be bolted to a car tire.
Step 5: Business Time
I got a small improvement though. I counted 70 networks total, but most are weak signals or just don't connect. Now my friends think I'm extra serious! Only now, they think I can watch HBO on my laptop. I sure hate to ruin the image, I just told them I didn't want to pay for the premium channels! Honest! I'm not hacking into any satellites!