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First successes

A project log for The tiny radio telescope

Ever wanted a meteor detector? Interested in radio telescopes? This project is for you

Paul Scott 08/29/2015 at 09:162 Comments

With the basic components here, we have managed a first successful test! This test officially puts us on par with the NRAO "Itty bitty" project!

Check out the pics for the "data" :)

First off, we pointed the dish (and attached LNB) to some relatively open sky. Unfortunately, I live in a townhouse complex, so open sky is a bit of a commodity here (hence the small reading). This was to calibrate the LNB to get a baseline "0" reading.

We then pointed the LNB near the sun.

Immediately the satellite finder lit up like a Christmas tree and gave us a much stronger reading. This is quite expected as the sun is a very strong RF source. I also pointed it at IS20 (found via a mobile Android app, and eyeballing where our regular TV satellite dish was pointing) and got about the same reading.

After about a minute, the sun started passing out of the dish line of sight, and the following reading was taken

This is great confirmation that, at least, the components are all working! I hacked an LNB power supply from an old Set Top Box that I had lying about (a proper one is on order, waiting for delivery).

Altogether, a great morning's work! Very pleased with the results!

Discussions

Allen Versfeld wrote 08/29/2015 at 11:05 point

Fantastic!  So what's the next step?

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Paul Scott wrote 08/29/2015 at 11:11 point

As soon as the power inserter and coax  F type to MCX connector arrives, we will be able to start gathering data to the laptop/phone. The steel lazy susan is also on order, and when that gets here, we will be able to construct the base. Once that is done, we can then do the bracket and altitude adjuster mechanism and put it all together and start writing some code to drive it! 

Still a way to go, but this little bit gets us to where others have been, everything from now on is new territory, which makes it a lot more interesting!

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