Discovery Dish

A system for weather satellite reception and hydrogen line radio astronomy

Available for pre-order

View Purchasing Options
Jun 26, 2024

Project update 7 of 7

Latest Manufacturing News

by KrakenRF Inc

In this update we’d like to share the recent progress in manufacturing of Discovery Dish.

Dish Manufacturing Progress

The Dish has been coming along slower than we liked, but we have just received the first finished manufacturing samples of the petalized version of the dish, and they are looking great!

Performance of the dish is also great. The prototype dishes we originally tested with were hand made and had a little bit of a rough surface. With parabolic reflectors - the more perfect the surface, the better it works. With the smoother surface of the actual production dish, the maximum possible SNR on a satellite like GOES has increased by around 0.5 dB - 1 dB, and it’s now possible to get up to 7 dB SNR on GOES-18.

Originally we decided to anodize the dish petals to create a duller surface that does not reflect the sun, and would protect the metal. However, after some tests, we have decided to go with powder coating of the dish instead. Powder coating gives a less shiny and more professional looking finish that reflects the sun less. The images above show the powder coated version.

We also wanted to point out that we had also discussed previously that the dish would be just under 1 kg in weight. However, petalization adds a few folds, and requires the addition of a few screws. So the weight of the dish (not including mounting gear) is just over 1 kg now, at about 1.15 kg. This is still extremely light and easy to handle.

There are still a few minor issues to correct, but the dish is about to start its mass manufacturing run. Once that starts, it will take about 40 days to complete. Unfortunately, that means that even in the best-case scenario we will need to push the delivery date back a couple of months once more, as the sea freight transport of the dishes to the USA will also take about 2-3 weeks minimum.

Feed Manufacturing Progress

We received the final test of our injection molded enclosure for the Discovery Dish feed PCB. We have taken care to select and test various plastic mixes, settling on a mix that is highly UV resistant, has a high melting point (to avoid damage from focused heat by the dish), and is highly RF transparent to not affect reception.

All parts of the feed are now being mass manufactured and they should be ready to ship to the USA in about 4-6 weeks.

S-Band Feed

In the last update, we mentioned that we will soon be releasing an S-Band feed. This is still coming soon, we are just waiting on confirmation of production of the SAW filters required for this product before we release it for sale on the store.

Discovery Dish Outdoor Metal Enclosure Progress

The Outdoor Metal Enclosure sets have now safely arrived in the USA, after a month long sea freight journey. We are awaiting final packaging in the USA, and then they will ship to the Mouser warehouse. Please note that Crowd Supply will not ship individual parts of your order separately, so if you have ordered the entire set including the dish, you will need to wait until the dish is ready to ship.

Antenna Rotator

We’ve decided to modify the design of the original antenna rotator prototype to make it more durable in high winds. The result is a larger more sturdy rotator, but the price will need to be a bit higher than originally anticipated. We are still targeting an affordable price, similar to other options like the AntRunner.

A Bit About the Delays

Unfortunately, as mentioned before, we are a bit delayed and expect there to be at least two more months before backers will receive their product. The making of Discovery Dish required a lot more custom manufacturing than initially anticipated, and not everything turned out perfect on initial samples. Because of this, we had to go back and forth with manufacturers a few times more than expected to resolve issues. The good news is almost everything has now been worked out and we’re entering the final stages! We wanted to extend a big thank you to all backers for your patience.

Customer Questions

Can I receive Electro-L2 LRIT at 1.69 GHz?

Elektro-L3/4 LRIT can be received without a problem. On Elektro L2 both the LRIT and HRIT transmitters are unfortunately inactive.

I can mount the dish on a vertical or horizontal pole. What elevation range does the included mount have? Can I mount the dish to a horizontal pole? I might want to use a rotator I already have, which has a horizontal boom.

The Dish will come with a L-bracket mount and with that you can easily mount it on vertical or horizontal poles. For vertical poles you have settings for 0 to 60 degrees elevation (in either infinite or 10 degree increments), and then another setting for 70 degrees, and then 90 degrees. For a horizontal boom you can mount the dish at 0 degrees, and rotate the boom to any elevation.

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Discovery Dish is part of Qorvo RF Accelerator

Key Components

QPL9547TR7 · RF amplifier
enables RF range

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