21cm hydrogen telescope assembled onto support frame

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.

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.

Small workspace, and place for our hand-tools

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…

RF entry bulkhead put in place

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.

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.

Moving in!

Gary and I moved a few things into the office at Gallipeau Centre this evening.

Gary and I with our shiny new sign


An interior shot of one corner of the office–starting to fill up with equipment,


Some of our receiver equipment

This is a small stack of back-end, SDR (Software Defined Radio) receivers, including both Ettus Research USRPs, and AirSpy R2 receivers.


Receiver Stack

Here’s a look inside the “guts” of our main pulsar receiver


Here are two of the dishes we’ll be using–1.2m offset-parabolic which will be used at 4.2GHz


We’ll have another 4 dishes installed by the spring, twice the diameter, and thus 4 times the area.

We’ll also have arrays of fairly-ordinary HDTV antenna for an interferometer at 408 and 610MHz, as well as a pulsar monitoring system for monitoring pulsar B0329+54 this pulsar is the brightest in the northern hemisphere, which allows use of quite-modest antennae to receive its wideband pulses, at a uncorrected pulse rate of 1.3995409505Hz.

We’ll be using the techniques of interferometry to map bright sources in the sky at 4.2GHz, 408Mhz and 610MHz.



This site is the online home to the Canadian Centre for Experimental Radio Astronomy.

In the coming months, there’ll be more content, and we hope to update this blog regularly as our funding program grows:


We’ll be moving in to our offices over the next week or two, at this site here:



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