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Conifer II Microceptor model QD5650 S-band Downconverter



I recently bought an intriguing looking Conifer II downconverter for a mere 
$5.  How can you go wrong?  Actually, I bought several different types of 
d/c's, all for $5 each--just to play with :-)  You can see another one of 
these for sale here:
http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1329944841

Using my 24/7 S-band test range (local MMDS channels), I compared the new 
acquisitions.  This particular unit performed better than any d/c+small 
antenna combination I have tried, including a CalAmp model 31732 with an 18" 
wire dish.  I suspected it had some really cool, high-tech patch antenna 
under the radome (the main reason I bought it), so I proceeded to perform a 
cover-ectomy.  This was not too easy as the unit was vacuum sealed (really!) 
with many screws, a gasket, and some kind of hot-glue "stuff."  

Was I ever shocked when I opened it!  Inside were eight bow-tie dipoles in a 
classic 4x2 array configuration (right out of the ARRL Handbook).  The back 
of the case provides a common reflection plane.  It is quite reminiscent of 
those old UHF TV arrays.  The dipoles are etched on double-sided board with 
one "leg" of each dipole on each side of the board.  I posted a picture of 
the antenna, with dimensions, for anyone who might want to replicate the 
design, here:

http://members.aol.com/k5oe/conifer_QD5650.jpg

I do not think this particular d/c offers any advantages for AO-40, 
especially since it is all one unit and too big to use as a feed, but it 
would make a neat terrestrial antenna for 2304: the "fan out" on the dipoles 
give it coverage over a very wide range.  And.. it is a great MMDS receiver.
73,
Jerry, K5OE

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