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Low budget jove receiver?

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NB Reading through thread again, I can see that many folks have had a lot of success with simple loop antennae.....I wouldn't mind giving one of those a go myself!


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Worst thing that can happen is that it won't pick up a thing ;-)

Though I am sure they'll have fun trying to pick up different stations.

So Seeing there are multiple loop antennas, any insight on wire thickness and dimensions neccesary?

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Sorry to double Post, but I forgot, as there seems no cheap sdr solution for under 50MHz - at least for under 150€, I have read a lot about

the Degen de 1103


At least Sounds very interesting, even though not as cheap as the kk11 and not as versatile like the cube plus sdr.

Though I still wonder if the r.receiver circuit or a ssb converter would be a solution...

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Still nothing at eBay.de :-/

They won't ship to Germany.

I guess I will have to try my luck with the kk11 and the circuit.

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Hello everyone,

after a long pause due to work and other projects I have read into USB SDR (software defined radio) again.

The USB DVB-T dongles start at around £5/€6/$8 and while the lowest some chipsets can go is 22 MHz, there is a simple mod (solder antenna directly to microcontroller pin) to recieve signals under 30 MHz.



and http://www.reddit.com/r/RTLSDR/comments/12d2wc/a_very_surprising_discovery/ sounds interesting, too.

Or with a converter



So this seems like a great low budget solution - Plus for Radio Jove recording a frequency range is much more useful then tuning to a single frequency as the signals move across the band :-)

I know the fun cube would probably be a better solution, but its amazing what you can do for less then $10.

Anyone here that used one of the cheap USB dongles for radio astronomy?

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Dont forget that for older students, the sat finder radio telescope can teach a lot of physics.


Yes you can only see the sun and moon (and students!) but there are a number of exciting and pretty fundamental questions that come up just from that

A)  temperature and black body radiation:-

1 Why are students (and everything else) emitting microwaves? 

2. Why is the moon so bright at microwave frequencies (much brighter than in visible light relative to the sun) 

3. Is there much difference in radio brightness between the new and full moon? If not why not?

B)  wavelength and diffraction

4. Why is  the diameter of the radio image of the moon (measured by drift scanning) so  large compared with how we see it by eye?  and what do the  professionals do to get high resolution radio images?

C) Cosmology and the Cosmic Microwave Background

5. aim it at the buildings, some students  and at the zenith. How cold is space really ? 

A lot of great physics there :-)  



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Trying to muster up a radio telescope myself but never considered the TenTec 1056. Just happen to have several in the bone yard, one assembled, others still silent in kit form.

I know from years back the 1056 proved a very good shortwave radio for narrowband signals but never considered broadband signals from space. Today it may be a dinosaur compared to SDR technology but with software like ARGO and SpectrumLab and Audacity results may prove fascinating.

The JOVE RJ1.1 receiver manual show a front-end pre-amplifier, which the TenTec 1056 does not have, but the 1056 offer a horde of band selections and other twiddle knobs.

I am sure for only the penalty of postage a kit can be yours.






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Hello everyone,

excuse me for the late reply, I am currently busy planning the new semester courses at the school I volunteer at :-)

Building stopmotion boxes and planning some new projects for the 5th grade astronomy (robot kits, building telescopes...) kept me pretty busy ;-)


Thank you for the ideas and project suggestions! I'm definitely going to ad those to my list of experiments.

I'm not sure radio astronomy is suited for the younger students, I've learned that they are more curious about visual observation and fun facts about planets, galaxies and such.

But I am sure I will do some RA with older students sooner or later.

The last weeks I've been chatting with a student about detecting the hydrogen line, galactic rotation, LNA, antenna designs. Learning a lot myself.



I've seen the cheap "LNA4all"/"LNA4HF", I suppose it could be added as preamplifier if necessary.

The TenTec 1056 seems very interesting! I was still unable to find a inexpensive receiver capable of SSB and usable for more then a narrow frequency band.

I did order a USB DVB-T dongle as they only cost 6€ but seems like they are not very sensitive under 50 MHz, only if adding a converter or soldering the antenna to another pin which exposes the uC to static damage. So a classical receiver as the Tentec would still be very well suited for projects, as it would be more reliable and simpler to use for children :-)

Yes, the Jove kit is nice, but over budget and too technical for a course where some don't know which planet is Saturn and which is Jupiter, or need two hours to build a cardboard telescope.

I'm trying to keep it simple and fun, frustration free ;-)

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