We initially developed our 50cm Parabolic Dish because we were recording sporting events, but were horrified by the extremely high cost of available options. We thought that there simply had to be a way of producing a reasonably priced parabolic reflector that performed well. What we offer on this website is the result of that development. We have been extremely pleased with how the dish performs and feedback from customers is also very promising. We have, however, kept the price at what we hope is a reasonable level so that others can benefit too.
What is a Parabolic Reflector?
The purpose of a parabolic dish is to increase the effective area of the collector.
The parabolic shape is designed so that when pointing directly at the target, the sound from that object is reflected to a focal point. If a microphone is positioned at the focal point, its gain is dramatically increased. A parabolic microphone is therefore highly directional and has to be pointing directly at the sound source for maximum gain. The added advantage is that it has a good front to back rejection ratio. This means that as well as increasing the gain of a sound source in front of the microphone, it will effectively attenuate the sound from behind. Unwanted interference from other sound sources can therefore be reduced.
Focal Length: 140mm
Dish Material: Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) Plastic. Flexible and tough.
Handle Material: Aluminium with rubberized hand grip. Includes tripod mounting thread (1/4-20 UNC )
You can literally spend whatever you like on a microphone: from a few pounds to a few thousand pounds. We thought long and hard about which microphone to include with the dish. We opted for a simple clip on microphone with a 3.5mm jack. The thought being that this would a low cost option, giving reasonable results, whilst not being reliant on a Phantom power supply. Many users will prefer to use their own microphones, which can easily be mounted on the central stem.
The cable from the microphone obviously needs to be fed back to your audio amplifier / recorder. Some prefer to just dangle the cable in front of the dish, whilst others may prefer to route the cable through a hole at the centre of the dish. We originally provided the reflectors with a pre-drilled hole, however feedback from customers indicated a preference for leaving it undrilled. If you would like to drill a cable routing hole, start with a small pilot drill in the desired position, and slowly increase the bit size until the required diameter is achieved. If you don’t gradually increase the drill diameter, then the drill can ‘bite’ leaving you with an odd shaped hole
A stark white reflector could be a little distracting for wildlife recording. The best way to camouflage the dish is to use art acrylic paint. This paint does not effect the plastic and is waterproof once it has dried.