23cm Dish Construction

Fusion 360 layout of spars.

I used my small CNC Router to cut the spars for the 23cm dish. The material is 1/2″ baltic birch which, when painted, should hold up in exterior conditions for quite a while. Below is the cutout ready for CNC. Because my CNC is limited in lenght I had to cut the spars in two sections and then splice them together. There are two round center hubs. one for top and one for bottom.

I initially coverd the dish with Radiant Barrier which is available at Home Depot or Lowes and is used in the attic to cut down on heat load. After the initial tests were successful, I switched to 48″ wide 1/4″ galvinized mesh wire cloth which is available at ACE Hardware.

I used the full 48″ and set the middle about 3″ from the center of the dish which extends the outer edge about 8″ beyond the spars, making the diameter 2.4m. I used the galvenized wire which secured the roll of wire cloth to tie the sections together.

Radiant Barrier 2.0m diameter
Wire mesh 2.4m design


First licensed at the age of 15 in 1962 as WN5DTM. After passing the Technician license my callsign was WA5DTM. In 1976 I passed the Extra Exam and recieved N5TM which I’ve held ever since. Here’s my first logbook and my first contact in 1962.

As a novice, I built a 6L6 crystal oscillator which would make about 50W on 40m. As luck would have it, my first crystal was right in the middle of a foreign broadcast station. I finally got another crystall which was in a better location.

Through the years, I’ve experimented with various modes, but I still like cw. I’m a CWOps member, number 856, and often operate the weekly CWT contests. I have also been a CWOps Academy Advisor.

My favorite operating mode is CW, but I do dabble in the digital modes, MSK441 for meteor scatter and JT65 or Q65 for EME operation. Occasionally I’ll make an FT8 contact, but I may not even bother to log it, as I really hate FT8