Amateur Radio Astronomy

15 years 11 months ago #3148 by albertw
Amateur Radio Astronomy was created by albertw
Hi,

I think this si the best category for this...

intro.fringes.org/

Introduction

If you're looking to get into radio astronomy and you've looked at other backyard radio astronomy sites on the Net, coming to the conclusion that all you need a "spare 3m satellite dish and $20,000 of surplus electronics", then this site is for you!

You can do some serious radio astronomy without a dish!

This site currently focuses on 20MHz radiometers (telescopes). The antennas typically look like two sticks with a piece of wire between. The radio receivers are built from an off-the-shelf electronics kit. You can observe with one receiver or multiple receivers (an interferometer). The calculations and display are done by standard personal computer with a sound card. A simple interferometer can cost you as little as A$300 if you've already got the PC and sound card.

Albert White MSc FRAS
Chairperson, International Dark Sky Association - Irish Section
www.darksky.ie/

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15 years 11 months ago #3152 by Seanie_Morris
Replied by Seanie_Morris on topic Re: Amateur Radio Astronomy
Is there any astronomy club in Ireland that has actually partaken in Radio Astronomy? Since 1992, Sean MacKenna in TAS set up and exhibited a radio telescope, with successful observations recorded of Io interacting with Jupiter, and numerous meteor "noises", including in-depth recording of the Perseids in 1995. That night, we got numerous flashes of FM broadcasts in the US!

Its somethig not actively partaken on an amateur level in Ireland is it? And its easy and cheap to do too.

Seanie.

Midlands Astronomy Club.
Radio Presenter (Midlands 103), Space Enthusiast, Astronomy Outreach Co-ordinator.
Former IFAS Chairperson and Secretary.

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15 years 11 months ago #3155 by michaeloconnell
Replied by michaeloconnell on topic Re: Amateur Radio Astronomy
It's something I'd be interested in hearing more about.
Perhaps a talk on the topic could be arranged sometime Seanie???

Michael

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15 years 11 months ago #3156 by Seanie_Morris
Replied by Seanie_Morris on topic Re: Amateur Radio Astronomy

Perhaps a talk on the topic could be arranged sometime Seanie???

Michael


In Tas? Why not! The only hiccup why we haven't done so already in the last few years has been because Sean Mac has been busy - he now runs his own company, so sometimes, the hobbies suffer a little! BUT, we're in the process of getting next years calendar organised, so I think there should be a spot for it.

Have you ever considered taking it upon yourself Micahel? You could (if you wanted) give your own lecture on starting it up and continuing it, and I'm sure Sean Mac would have no problem helping you out all he can.

At the time he had it in operation, it was the ONLY amateur radio telescope in operation in Ireland - 'twould be a shame to let it lay down!

Seanie.

Midlands Astronomy Club.
Radio Presenter (Midlands 103), Space Enthusiast, Astronomy Outreach Co-ordinator.
Former IFAS Chairperson and Secretary.

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15 years 11 months ago #3157 by albertw
Replied by albertw on topic Re: Amateur Radio Astronomy

Is there any astronomy club in Ireland that has actually partaken in Radio Astronomy?


I've listened to meteors alright, though have not set up an observatory to record this properly. You can get away with an FM radio and a sound card for this, though ideally you need a little bit more.

Listening to jovian events is something I've been meaning to try, the antenna is almost ready to go up for that, no reciever yet though.

The only other thing I have done, but a while ago so I must whats changed, is downloading `stuff` from satellites, mainly weather images.

Cork Astronomy Club seem to have done a fair bit of radio astronomy, I'm sure I've seen posts from ei5fk about meteor scatter. And I think I heard that Eamon Ansbro was working on putting setting up a dish in Roscommon.

Cheers,
~Al

Albert White MSc FRAS
Chairperson, International Dark Sky Association - Irish Section
www.darksky.ie/

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15 years 11 months ago #3163 by Seanie_Morris
Replied by Seanie_Morris on topic Re: Amateur Radio Astronomy
Thats right, I forgot about Cork AS and Charles' efforts. I'd like to see his setup.

Indeed, anyone can 'listen' to meteors by tuning their FM radio to a frequency where no national stations are broadcasting, with the aerial fully extended. A favourable meteor has occured when you hear a radio broadcast for a few seconds on that frequency. The high altitude meteor ion trail acts as a deflector, bouncing back radio signals sent skyward from one part of the globe down to another - like a rudimentary satellite link!

You do need a proper shortwave reciever to go above the 18MHz standard that a household radio with SW would have for other observations. Jupiter and Io can be listened to at arouund the 21MHz frequency. You will also need a specially designed aerial to properly pick this up. To properly record your findings on paper too, you will need a drum recorder - I can't remember the name of the device, but you would recognize it as the same pen-to-paper device seen measruing an earthquake - peaks across the page!

Apart from the receiver and drum, its quite cheap to set up your own radio observatory - like your bedroom!

Maybe Charles in Cork can give us some links/pages of interest and advice, including his homepage: www.qsl.net/ei5fk/

Seanie.

Midlands Astronomy Club.
Radio Presenter (Midlands 103), Space Enthusiast, Astronomy Outreach Co-ordinator.
Former IFAS Chairperson and Secretary.

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15 years 11 months ago #3172 by voyager
Replied by voyager on topic Re: Amateur Radio Astronomy

Is there any astronomy club in Ireland that has actually partaken in Radio Astronomy?


Astro2 in conjunciton with TASS (not TAS) did come succesful radio dopler observations of the Leonids a few years ago. It was good fun but the equipment belonged to TASS and since they seem to have taken a VERY downward turn the last few years we never got round to doing it again.

Pitty really.

My Home Page - www.bartbusschots.ie

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15 years 11 months ago #3187 by dave_lillis
Replied by dave_lillis on topic Re: Amateur Radio Astronomy
Hi, Seanie,
With the computing power thats around these days, maybe you could "plug" the radio telesacope into acomputer and do frequency/spectrum analysis ??, are there any facts you could derive from the radio noise of meteors or Jupiter, such as composition, altitude or velocity ???

With the meteor noise, I presume you could receive a signal from meteros which were well below the naked eye brightness ???

Dave L. on facebook , See my images in flickr
Chairman. Shannonside Astronomy Club (Limerick)

Carrying around my 20" obsession is going to kill me,
but what a way to go. :)
+ 12"LX200, MK67, Meade2045, 4"refractor

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15 years 11 months ago #3191 by albertw
Replied by albertw on topic Re: Amateur Radio Astronomy
Yes to all the above (apart from composition of meteors, dont think you can get that from a bounced signal)

www.imo.net/radio/ is a good place to start reading on this.

Cheers,
~Al

Albert White MSc FRAS
Chairperson, International Dark Sky Association - Irish Section
www.darksky.ie/

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15 years 11 months ago #3196 by Seanie_Morris
Replied by Seanie_Morris on topic Re: Amateur Radio Astronomy

are there any facts you could derive from the radio noise of meteors or Jupiter, such as composition, altitude or velocity ???


Al's right Dave, you can't derive any kind of analysis from the noises picked up. Although with meteor noise obervations, if you had a strong or long burst, that would indicate a very strongly bounced signal, thus a large meteor leaving a prolonged ionised tail would have just zipped by. The stronger and longer the signal would probably mean a fireball, and possibly something that survived 're'entry.

With Jupiter and Io, its more for fun to pick it up than any real analysis. I think it can almost be used as a beacon effect like a pulsar - when its heard, it must be in line-of-site. Then if you could confirm it visually, THAT would be a nice challenge!

The noise that Jupiter and Io makes is like listening to waves on a sea shore, they wave in and out, about 4 seconds apart, but again, only when in or around the line-of-site.

I remember when TAS had a Perseid Bar-B-Q in 1995 (I think it was), and we brought out all the radio gear in Bob's van, out to our observing site. Myslef, Sean MacKenna, Bob Campbell, and Sean Robbins stood around to see the meteors that wold match the radio bursts. Sean Mac saw one extremely bright one go across the sky and burst in 2 and burn up, and we got a 7 second FM and almost stereo signal of what sounded like a current affairs broadcast about Bill Clinton from America!

So, amateur radio astronomy can be cool! 8)

Seanie.

Midlands Astronomy Club.
Radio Presenter (Midlands 103), Space Enthusiast, Astronomy Outreach Co-ordinator.
Former IFAS Chairperson and Secretary.

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15 years 11 months ago #3207 by dave_lillis
Replied by dave_lillis on topic Re: Amateur Radio Astronomy
Seanie / Al,
Those noises of Jupiter sound real cool, if not a bit spooky.
Did you manage to record any of the sounds onto a tape ??
Recording the comet shoemaker/levy impact in 1996 would have been excellent, you could have pinpointed the exact time of impact with it, and see how long the "explosion" lasted etc... (as long as Jupiter was above the horizon).

Dave L. on facebook , See my images in flickr
Chairman. Shannonside Astronomy Club (Limerick)

Carrying around my 20" obsession is going to kill me,
but what a way to go. :)
+ 12"LX200, MK67, Meade2045, 4"refractor

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15 years 11 months ago #3232 by Seanie_Morris
Replied by Seanie_Morris on topic Re: Amateur Radio Astronomy

Seanie,
Did you manage to record any of the sounds onto a tape ??
Recording the comet shoemaker/levy impact in 1996 would have been excellent, you could have pinpointed the exact time of impact with it, and see how long the "explosion" lasted etc... (as long as Jupiter was above the horizon).


Dave,
Sean Mac did make recordings of the Jupiter/Io conjunctions, and I will ask him where they are. It might be a good idea for him to now put them to cd and keep tham on record.

As for the S-L9 impacts, I don't think many amateurs would have been able to pick up those signals! I think some were detected, but only by powerful instruments at the time. And also, no all the impacts were 'heard' as some occured on the dark side.

Would you want to hear the recordings if Sean Mac can get them out of the old dusty boxes?

Seanie.

Midlands Astronomy Club.
Radio Presenter (Midlands 103), Space Enthusiast, Astronomy Outreach Co-ordinator.
Former IFAS Chairperson and Secretary.

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15 years 10 months ago #3634 by ctr
Replied by ctr on topic Re: Amateur Radio Astronomy
Just came accross this, and they ship to here.

radiojove.gsfc.nasa.gov/office/kit_requests.htm

Each of us is here on earth for a reason, and each of us has a special mission to carry out - Maria Shriver

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15 years 10 months ago #3635 by albertw
Replied by albertw on topic Re: Amateur Radio Astronomy

Just came accross this, and they ship to here


they only accept cheques drawn on a US bank, though a western union transfer might be accepted. I mailed them a while back asking about credit card/paypal orders, but they have no plans to intorduce this.

Cheers,
~Al

Albert White MSc FRAS
Chairperson, International Dark Sky Association - Irish Section
www.darksky.ie/

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