A project log for Roll your own Radio Telescope/camera

Take samples from an antenna, mounted to a robot that looks shockingly like a 3D printer, running slightly modified Marlin

Alex DickmanAlex Dickman 02/12/2015 at 05:023 Comments

Well, I fixed the firmware, put a resistor to the sanguinololu to trick Marlin into cold moves, hand pasted the data into a blank bmp file, and I've got dots. Wait... what? the image i uploaded is 40 x 20 pixels, and spaced 5mm apart in the backplane of the camera. Am I picking up pulsars?


Alex Dickman wrote 02/14/2015 at 18:25 point

The whole picture takes about 4 minutes, I have been planning to do an average of values, but right now it's one sample per pixel. I may need to put a cheap op-amp inline to boost the signal.

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PointyOintment wrote 02/15/2015 at 11:18 point

That works out to about 1/3 s/pixel, if my math is right. Then I think it's more likely just noise in the image, rather than any actual signal from pulsars or something. I guess once you calibrate it and/or compare long exposures/averages to short exposures you'll have an idea where the noise floor is. I'm not at all an expert on radio receivers, so there's probably an actual method for that that I'm not aware of.

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PointyOintment wrote 02/13/2015 at 02:25 point

How long was the exposure? Did you take multiple exposures and average them (something I seem to remember is standard in astrophotography)?

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