small logo Membership Services Department

SETI League Equipment Exchange Terminated

When The SETI League launched its Project Argus All-Sky Survey, we began receiving calls, letters and email from private citizens around the world, wishing to donate their out-of-service satellite TV antennas to the cause. A number of SETI League members similarly asked for assistance in locating an available dish. As a service to our Members in Good Standing, the SETI League for three years acted as an antenna clearinghouse, by matching up those members in need of a dish, with those citizens wishing to have one taken off their hands.

We regret that The SETI League has been forced to terminate this "swapmeet on the Information Highway." With around 1000 members and an office staff of 1 1/2, we simply lack the resources to continue coordinating the SETI League Equipment Exchange. In addition, we have been swamped by hundreds of requests from non-members, who want us to provide them with free equipment for other than SETI purposes. This, of course, we cannot do. Fortunately, a number of alternative strategies have emerged to help meet our members' equipment needs.

The SETI League now maintains several email discussion lists where members have been posting messages about available and desired equipment. While the Argus list is open only to SETI League members, the general public can post offers of donated antennas and equipment to the open Public list. In addition, we will continue to post to the appropriate lists any emails received at headquarters pertaining to equipment wants or offers. Our members have been quite responsive to such posts, and we thank them for their participation.

Since the demise of the SETI League Equipment Exchange, a number of SETI league members have developed innovative approaches to securing suitable antennas and other equipment, at low to no cost. SETI League charter member John G. Richardson, WA7CRE, is one of them. In his words:

" I got a like new dish for $100 by driving around in the country and looking for a house where the owner had a 3 meter dish, and also had a small 18 inch dish. Sure enough, the three places I stopped at all tried to sell me their systems. The last guy, after some grumbling about losing money, agreed to sell me his dish only. The thing was only 3 months old. "

Doug Smart, N1WKV, writes:

"Consider this classified ad paper: Go to Index. Look up 'satellite' under TV's. I picked up a 3 meter dish plus receiver and actuator for $30.00! Many homeowners will part out the dish alone. Also find old hotels or sports bars with inactive SATV units. I found a free 5 meter dish in New Haven, CT but could not get it off the 2 story roof.

Canadian member Peter Cheasley, VE2TPR, tells us:

"In the land of no dish antennas I was sitting at MacDonalds for breakfast as I always do. I mentioned to a friend that I was on the lookout for a dish antenna. A fellow at the next table overheard me, and said he had plans for one and would bring them to me. This stranger subsequently gave me a Popular Mechanics magazine from 1983 containing plans to build a parabolic dish!

The following Monday morning, after a weekend of studying the plans, I was driving home from breakfast at MacDonalds and saw, one and one half blocks from home, a 9 foot antenna in the garbage. Immediately I stopped and picked it up but parts were missing. Tried to contact the owner, and later in the day (while passing just ahead of the garbage truck) I stopped and communicated with him. In short, the missing parts were in a garbage bag, and with his permission I took the whole bag home, minutes before the garbage truck arrived."

Click to email the Webmaster
| Home | General | Memb Svcs | Publications | Press | Technical | Internet | Index |
entire website copyright © The SETI League, Inc.
this page last updated 28 December 2002
Click for top of page
Top of Page