THE SATELLITE DISH
Satellite dishes come in various forms and designs but essentially can be broken down into two categories:
- Tripod mounted dish
- Integrated base stand
The MiniMax has an integrated base stand and does not require a separate tripod. It simply hinges open and sits on its triangular base on the ground. This keeps the weight down and setup time is quicker too.
If you were planning to mount the dish on a mast or pole on the drawbar or rearbar of your van then you would be best to opt for a tripod mounted dish instead (see either the TravelSat or Optima75T)
The Minimax satellite dish is easily adjusted for elevation by loosening off the rear knob and tilting the dish forward or back. There is an elevation sticker on the tube too so you'll know what the angle of the dish should be.
The LNB arm on the front of the dish folds up when packing away or setting up and comes complete with padded carry bag.
Please note that dish design may change slightly from pictures above.
The dish reflector is 75cm side to side and 83cm top to bottom and the entire package weighs around 4KG. This dish will provide good signal coverage in all of Australia.
PROS and CONS
The benefits of this style of dish are:
- Integrated mount so no separate tripod is required. This reduces weight by up to 5KG.
- Less space. As there is no tripod required, only the dish needs to be stored.
- Setup time is about 30 seconds to have the dish ready for alignment.
- Alignment is easier than a standard tripod mount dish. This is due to the placement of the elevation tube on the rear of the dish. Each 5 degree graduation is about 1.5 inches apart so it is much easier to locate the signal. On a traditional dish, 5 degree increments are about 5mm apart so greater accuracy is required.
- Lower cost. The MiniMax dish comes complete with LNB and padded carry bag and is around $80 less than a tripod mounted dish with bag.
The disadvantages of this style of dish are:
- As the dish and base are one, it is more difficult to move the dish side to side on rocky terrain when compared to a tripod mounted dish.
- It cannot be pole mounted. Many travellers choose to take their dish off the tripod and mount it on a mast on the drawbar or rear bar of the van. This isn't a practical option with the MiniMax75 dish.