Pagina 252 - TELE-satellite-1207

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TELE-satellite International — The World‘s Largest Digital TV Trade Magazine
— 06-07-08/2012
DXer”, remembers Ralf about his first
satellite system, “That was a stan-
dard reception dish for ASTRA but it
stopped working after only a year.”
He wanted to take care of the prob-
lem and started to disassemble the
feed horn and LNB from his first small
system. That was the start of a long
and deeply involved learning curve;
since then he’s immersed himself
even more deeply in the subject of
feed horns and matching them to
LNBs. He learned the basics on his
own and began collecting feed horns
and LNBs from various manufactur-
“I got a lot of my stuff from hobby
colleagues but I also acquired much
of it through eBay.” Especially inter-
esting to him were components that
were only manufactured in small
numbers; he has amassed a one-
of-a-kind collection of dishes of all
shapes and sizes. He used many of
these dishes together with modern
LNBs. With each individual antenna
he had to keep an eye on other pa-
rameters and either match and opti-
mize it with the correct feed horn or
LNB mount or both.
“Unfortunately I can’t install any
more dishes, my landlord won’t let
me”, comments Ralf sadly; he would
love to install more antennas. But
he can be proud of what he has. He
has two large 1.8-meter antennas,
a 1.0-meter dish, two 90cm dishes
and another 80cm antenna. He rear-
ranges things quite often whenever
he wants to try out something new.
One of his small Ku-band dishes is
motorized as is one of his large C-
band antennas.
“I can receive a total of 41 satellite
positions including some of the more
difficult ones like RASCOM at 2.8E on
which I’ve seen quite a few TV chan-
nels from Libya.” The hardest to re-
ceive is the AFN Pentagon channel on
1W. “I can only get this channel when
it’s cold outside and when the air is
very dry. This transmission comes di-
rectly from the USA and is intended
for the retransmission via HOTBIRD”,
explains Ralf.
“I used to be more active”, he ad-
mits, “but since it seems that there’s
always a new TV standard appearing
and I would have to have a receiver
for each of these standards, it’s tak-
en some of the fun out of it for me.”
His specialty is the mechanical side
of things, not the software side. DX-
Ralf, the name he calls himself when
he communicates with his hobby
friends, is very mechanically cre-
ative. One of the highlights of this
creativity is the satellite dish that he
fabricated from simple milk cartons
that he stapled together. “I came up
with the idea after realizing that the
inside surface of milk cartons are
coated with aluminum foil for protec-
tion; this makes for a perfect reflec-
tive surface.” Once he approached
the parabolic shape by trial and error
and cut out the necessary elements
from the empty milk cartons with the
Just a small selection
of Ralf Sunke’s
enormous feed and
LNB collection that he
put together over many
years. He took each
individual piece and
thoroughly studied it
to find its advantages
and disadvantages.
Over the years he has
built up quite a bit of
invaluable knowledge
in this area.