Got one of two UHF antenna “modules” assembled.
Each of these modules consists of two “8-bay” UHF HDTV antennae, and each of those actually breaks down into 2 4-bay modules. By designing with modularity in mind, and leveraging the economies-of-scale of consumer items like these antennae, we can scale up individual antenna modules in a step-wise fashion.
It’s looking more like a lab every day.
Managed to scavenge a couple of 80s-era “printer tables”. From back when they knew how to make office furniture that would last. I had to explain to my daughter what a printer table was….
Our first live data feed is now up and running, showing the neutral hydrogen spectrum as seen by our 21cm telescope, aimed at a declination of +40 degrees. This will show interstellar neutral hydrogen twice a day, for a couple of hours each time, when the galactic plane passes through the main beam of the antenna.
Check out our “Live Data” page for information.
I did some local network improvements, including bring wired network into our lab/office, and setting up a more-reliable 2nd-floor WiFi connection, for visitors, etc. This doesn’t appear to interfere with our existing receivers in any noticable way, so, that’s good.
Finished building the two “stands” for the pulsar antenna, which is a stack of garden-variety 4-bay HDTV antennae. This arrangement will give ushttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_ascension an asymmetric beam, with a roughly 2:1 ratio, with the declination axis having a narrower angle than the right-ascension axis, somewhat like an ellipse.
This asymmetry will allow us to “see” the target pulsar for long enough to integrate the pulses synchronously for an extended period, without having to move the antenna at all. This lowers telescope complexity enormously, but compromises on sensitivity. We may add a 2nd “stack” of 3 4-bay antenna if this proves to be insufficiently sensitive.
Gary and his son, Andrew came over today and we got the hydrogen-line monitor set up temporarily on the lawn, next to the office.
A quick pic of the hallway display was snapped on the way out this evening with a nice hydrogen-line “bump” on the doppler-view of the spectral display.
Some cross-bracing was added to the support stand for the 1m dish–should be ready to go up on the roof very soon.
Our small 21cm hydrogen-line radio telescope got mounted on its lumber support stand this evening, with the help of some student hangers-on.
Helpers (left to right) Edward, Chris, and Richard with our 21cm radio telescope.
The stand, with some concrete blocks will go onto the roof sometime soon, and will be pointed at a fixed +40degree declination, to capture interesting transits of the galactic plane twice a day.
Any experimental-science project requires a certain amount of improvisation, so it’s good to have tools around, and other bits-and-pieces that you might need. We have a small work surface now.
We’ll be bringing in test equipment and parts as well, as soon as we have a secure storage cabinet or lockers to put them in. The building itself is quite secure, but it’s best not to tempt those of light fingers…
Put the RF entry bulkhead up today, with enough circuits to satisfy our immediate needs for this coming winter. Still need to do some sealing, etc.
RF entry bulkhead.
Each circuit will have a surge arrestor on it, and the bulkhead plate is grounded to the aluminum window frame, which is itself grounded to the building heating system.