1.2m Channel Master UK project

timo_w2s

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Thanks for CJ on this forum I managed to get hold of a used 1.2m Channel Master dish, something I've always wanted to own ever since I got a miniature 35cm BSB Channel Master dish when they were selling them off cheap after BSB merged with Sky (which I still use today, currently looking at 1°W in Finland).

Anyway, my plan it to use the 1.2m dish in south Buckinghamshire to look at 1°W as the current 90cm in use suffers a little in the rain for the Finnish channels that I watch. I might even see if I can get an extra LNB looking at 5°E with a bit of ingenuity.

The site for the dish will be at ground level between a 6 foot fence and a garden shed so it should be well sheltered from all the neighbours and the wind. In fact I don't have many options where there is a good view south without trees interfering so it's here or nothing.

The biggest problem is going to be digging a hole for the pole to rest in. The ground is full of flint stones and you are lucky if the spade goes in more than an inch at a time. There are also a lot of oak trees in the garden and the dish will need to be positioned close up to one, so no doubt there will be a few big roots to contend with too.

I'm not sure when I'll attempt this project, I may start digging an "exploratory" hole and see how it goes in the next few weeks but I probably won't finish it until the autumn. There is no urgency in this project, it's more for fun really when I have some spare time and to see what it's like installing a "proper" dish.

The pole that came with the dish is 60mm wide and just over 2m tall so will need to be cut down a little to keep the dish down near ground level (or I need to dig a really deep hole) ;)

I've never attempted anything quite this major so have a few questions...

Bearing in mind the dish shouldn't be exposed to any major winds, how deep does the pole need to be for a 1.2m CM dish? What size hole should I aim for? How can I cut the 60mm pipe without going to too much expense? I'm guessing I'll go through a few hacksaw blades if I attempt this by hand, but is it even possible?

Thanks for reading, and I'll keep this thread updated.
 

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RimaNTSS

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I like your dish even before it is installed! This one is proper choice, nothing similar to dishes found in shops now.
Do not cut your pipe! Just dig hole in the soil, deeper than 1 meter. and fill with cement. Hole would better be 30x30 cm ish.
 

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I like your dish even before it is installed! This one is proper choice, nothing similar to dishes found in shops now.
Do not cut your pipe! Just dig hole in the soil, deeper than 1 meter. and fill with cement. Hole would better be 30x30 cm ish.

Thanks, the fence is 1.7m high so I need to keep the dish below that, with ideally about 80-90cm of pole above ground and about 120-130cm underground. I guess you are right, no point cutting it.
 
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Welcome to the CM120 owners club! Love those dishes, they just work so well...!

But, 130+ cm underground is a LOT of digging to do, if you want to concrete it in...
It gets awkward after about 70 cms, then you either wish for a mechanical digger, or better back/arms.
Did a 120 cm hole a couple of years ago for the CM180, that was tough going, I can tell you!
And do keep in mind the amount of concrete you will have to poor in. You need a mixer and lots of concrete...

How permanent do you think this will be? I mean, putting T-K brackets on walls is fairly ok for a couple of years of installation.
In constast, the concreted-in dish mount will stay there for many man many years, especially if you pout enough concrete in the hole.

Perhaps you might consider a non-penetrating mount, e.g. a couple of concrete blocks with a mount such as the one CJ has been using?
The CM120 will pull quite a bit if wind, but if it's sheltered, you can get away with just a couple of blocks with good bolts in them.
Of corse it costs a few bobs compared to digging a hole, but I know what my back prefers...

If you hapen to have a source of cheap concrete, you can also go for an above-ground-conrete-base.
Like they do in southern-Europe. Put a few planks up, and pour enough concrete to provide a firm base.
Whether to put threaded bars in, or drill holes after it has set t a matter of preference.
As yet another alternative, you may even be able to get something pre-made off of the roadworks people, just drill holes.
Just need a ground-based mount, and you are on your way. the concrete blocks can

I just think that a ground level mount is far easier on the back when you can't get a mechanical digger in to do th job, and gets results quick too.
 

RimaNTSS

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Couple of summers ago I made a fence around the house (mostly to prevent wild bore to come to property and do nasty holes in the ground). I made > than 30 holes 1,2m deep with the hand drill, I think diameter was more than 15cm. In our climate zone is necessary to go under 1 meter, other-ways during winter, when soil freezes to up to 1 meter and poles change their versatility. And this apples not only for fences but even more to SAT-antenna's poles. So, I did lots of holes without big difficulties, not in one day and with beer-breaks. Fortunately I had no stones, just dirt, sand, clay and maybe some small pebbles. So, I have some positive experience digging holes.
I also cemented pole for antenna when I used > 100kg of concrete. And, BTW, in similar way I cemented mast for flag 7meters tall, it is dead plumb after 5 years been exposed to all winds.
In timo_w2s case I would certainly dig the hole, if needed crowbar could also be used. Do not fill hole with cement up to the ground level, leave some 5-10cm without cement. In the future, when you decide to remove pole just cut it down and fill hole with dirt, plant some grass on top, no evidence will be left.
From another side, not-penetrating stand is also an option, but then you will have difficulties cutting growing grass.

Add: some pictures of pole I cemented attached
 

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timo_w2s

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I looked at some of the ground mounts suitable for a CM dish and they cost silly prices and I don't want to spend much money on this. Unfortunately I have no solid walls to fix the dish to, just the garden shed and it's pretty flimsy and not really in a good place for the dish if it is to be kept hidden (if I fixed it to the shed I'd have to have it towering above it and clearly visible from the road).

But, 130+ cm underground is a LOT of digging to do, if you want to concrete it in...
It gets awkward after about 70 cms, then you either wish for a mechanical digger, or better back/arms.
Did a 120 cm hole a couple of years ago for the CM180, that was tough going, I can tell you!
And do keep in mind the amount of concrete you will have to poor in. You need a mixer and lots of concrete...

I'm worried about the amount of concrete you think I'd need. I was hoping to buy a few bags and mix it myself. I can't be hiring mixers and diggers, this is taking things to another level and not really worth it for a bit more signal from 1°W (which is already watchable on my current setup!).

Couple of summers ago I made a fence around the house (mostly to prevent wild bore to come to property and do nasty holes in the ground). I made > than 30 holes 1,2m deep with the hand drill, I think diameter was more than 15cm. In our climate zone is necessary to go under 1 meter, other-ways during winter, when soil freezes to up to 1 meter and poles change their versatility. And this apples not only for fences but even more to SAT-antenna's poles. So, I did lots of holes without big difficulties, not in one day and with beer-breaks. Fortunately I had no stones, just dirt, sand, clay and maybe some small pebbles. So, I have some positive experience digging holes.

That would be nice to drill out the holes but it's not going to work here, there are more stones than soil!!

What have I let myself in for....
:eek:
 

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All these small holes are soo tiny in comparison to those I plan to make to be able to lift about 3 meters above the ground and hold ~1000 kilos 4,6 meter Andrew. Not sure if I do something in this direction this summer but someday for sure.
 

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The ground is full of flint stones and you are lucky if the spade goes in more than an inch at a time.
Pickaxe! I find it great for loosening up soils of rocks and hard clay. Once penetrated, you're supposed to use the leverage of the handle and bend up the soil. Maybe obvious but many people doesn't seem to understand how to operate them. They are surprisingly hard to find in hardware and gardening stores where I live.
 

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Timo, would a good quality, petrol powered auger drill be suitable? You can hire these from the likes of HSS.

No problems mixing the cement yourself. Get a couple of bags of Postcrete from your local b&q store and mix it up with water using a shovel. Some you dont even have to mix. Just pour the dry mix into the hole, fill it with water and it sets.
 
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Pickaxe! I find it great for loosening up soils of rocks and hard clay. Once penetrated, you're supposed to use the leverage of the handle and bend up the soil. Maybe obvious but many people doesn't seem to understand how to operate them. They are surprisingly hard to find in hardware and gardening stores where I live.
Yes, but in a reasonably narrow hole below 50cms?
You will need a hole 2m x 2m at least, so you can stand in it and operate the pickaxe...
 
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I'm worried about the amount of concrete you think I'd need. I was hoping to buy a few bags and mix it myself. I can't be hiring mixers and diggers, this is taking things to another level and not really worth it for a bit more signal from 1°W (which is already watchable on my current setup!).
:eek:
The CM people (be hy
[am I the only person who finds that the ext editor here regularly skipskey-presses? My posts always aev loads of spelling itakes and lacking letters..???]
suggest a lot of concrete for survival above certain wind-loadings etc.
The bottom line, as RimaNTTS points out, is that things will freeze in winter and may affect shallow mounts.
So with a pole in cement, dig deep and use lots of cement. Or potentially do regular re-aligment.

For an alterntative, use not too much concrete for the base, but employ three ground spikes around the mount.
Tether each ground spike to the mounting ube using steel wire and those metal twist-things for tightening steel wire.
Mount may move, but can be adjusted as and when necessary.
 

timo_w2s

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All these small holes are soo tiny in comparison to those I plan to make to be able to lift about 3 meters above the ground and hold ~1000 kilos 4,6 meter Andrew. Not sure if I do something in this direction this summer but someday for sure.
Looking forward to seeing photos of that project one day!

Timo, would a good quality, petrol powered auger drill be suitable? You can hire these from the likes of HSS.
It is tempting but trying to avoid spending too much extra on this. I've drilled holes in the ice for fishing but I think I'll try the back breaking method first. I've got all summer to come up with something even if I'm just using a trowel at arms length at the bottom. ;)

No problems mixing the cement yourself. Get a couple of bags of Postcrete from your local b&q store and mix it up with water using a shovel. Some you dont even have to mix. Just pour the dry mix into the hole, fill it with water and it sets.
Thanks, a visit to B&Q it is.

The CM people (be hy
[am I the only person who finds that the ext editor here regularly skipskey-presses? My posts always aev loads of spelling itakes and lacking letters..???]
suggest a lot of concrete for survival above certain wind-loadings etc.
The bottom line, as RimaNTTS points out, is that things will freeze in winter and may affect shallow mounts.
So with a pole in cement, dig deep and use lots of cement. Or potentially do regular re-aligment.
The text editor seems fine for me. While I want to make a decent job of this, chances are it'll only be used for a few years. Not sure how much longer I'll be living at the present UK address and so this doesn't need to last a lifetime and a bit of fine tuning is not a problem. I've had plenty of dishes on semi-permanent "temporary" mounts in the past that needed adjusting every now and then.

I'm hoping the ground won't be freezing too much in the UK in this sheltered spot under large trees and there's minimal wind as the dish sides and front are all surrounded by 1.7m high fences and a garden shed. Even behind the dish it is quite closed in with bushes and the house not too far away.

Thanks for all the comments so far, it's been very helpful. This has given me something think about and I'm getting a clearer idea on what to expect and what needs to be done.
 

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We don't get harsh winters here so it very rare for anything to freeze here, especially 50cm underground.
 

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Hmm, I may have over-estimated the length of my arms. I think I'd be lucky to get much more than 90cm down using the trowel method.
 

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What about cutting the pole down and welding a flat plate to the bottom and mounting it to a heavy paving slab ?
 

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Well my TD110 mounted like that fell over a couple of years ago, in a storm, resulting in a broken LNB arm: The slab is now weighed down with 100kg Sand!
 

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I think I'm going to try and dig a hole first and see what happens. I don't have access to any very large paving slabs or welding equipment. I did make a mount for my 60cm dishes into a standard paving flag which I'm still using 10 years later but drilling holes in that was horrible.
 

timo_w2s

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Had a play with the dish this afternoon just to make sure everything was suitable. I think this is just about where the dish will go, looking at 1°W. A good 10% increase in quality compared with the existing 90cm dish without too much fine tuning (since it's balancing on a chair!). Hopefully it'll be even better with a Black Ultra LNB. Now on to the next stage and see what the ground is like to dig...
 

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Brilliant!
Best temporary mount so far.
Looking forward to the continuation of the saga...
 
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