Receiving radio waves from space is a difficult task that requires the use of instruments specially designed for the radio astronomer: so we designed the WEB230-5 2.3 meter prime focus parabolic antenna with supports. It was specifically designed to create an amateur radio telescope with a German equatorial mount, just like the ones used for normal optical telescopes.
Large 2,3 meter diameter parabolic antenna
Radio astronomy studies signals that, in most cases, are very weak. So when you are studying frequencies higher than 1 GHz, it is necessary to use a parabolic antenna with a diameter as large as possible. The WEB230-5 2.3 meter prime focus parabolic antenna with supports features a large diameter so it has high gain and resolution. In this way you can capture weaker radio signals and separate finer details.
Mesh construction – incredibly light
In order to allow installation and proper operation of a parabolic antenna on a not-too-expensive equatorial mount (like the EQ8), the main reflector must weigh no more than 12 kg, while the total weight of the antenna (with counterweights and supports) must not exceed 50 kg. The main reflector of the WEB230-5 antenna weighs only 10 kg so you can install it on an equatorial mount with a load capacity of at least 50 kg (with Losmandy dovetail). The perforated surface also results in a low reflection of visible and infrared waves (ie, when the radio telescope points at the Sun, the illuminator and the LNA do not heat up too much) and a lower wind effect. The reflecting surface of this parabolic antenna (primary reflector) is composed of an aluminum mesh with 3x4mm square mesh size for optimum reflectivity of radio waves with frequencies up to 5 GHz.
Support for L-band feed and focus system
In order to study the weak radio astronomical signals, it is necessary to optimize the antenna by adjusting precisely also the focus point. For this reason 4 aluminum rods rigidly maintain feed and LNA support (feed and LNA are not included in the WEB230-5 price). An appropriately-sized inner sleeve allows you to fine tune the focus of the system in order to maximize the gain. A special box insulates the LNA to minimize gain variations.
Support device for equatorial mounts
Our support device for equatorial mounts (patented) allows you to install the WEB230-5 2.3 meter prime focus parabolic antenna with supports on any equatorial mount (with Losmandy dovetail and load capacity of at least 50 kg, eg. EQ8 type). Thanks to a sliding system with two counterweights and protection against accidental blows, you can obtain perfect balance even in the declination axis for maximum tracking and automatic GOTO performances of the mount. Without counterweights the radio telescope would be completely biased towards the front (because of the weight of the primary reflector and LNA + illuminator group with support rods) and therefore could not properly point and track objects in the sky. A special system of rear tie rods increases the rigidity of the structure while minimizing the deformation of such a large-diameter parabolic antenna.