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Radio Astronomy basic dish setup

2 posts in this topic

I am thinking of setting up a basic RT and am limited to a dish diameter of around 1.9m (mesh, 2.8mm holes). I think this means that I'm going to be working at X- and/or  C-band frequencies since the beam width will be too large for L-band work. Both C- and X-bands have potential problems though since gain is likely to be low for C and the dish quality requirement at 10GHz of being accurate to 1/10 wavelength might be in question. If anyone has any comments on this I'd be very grateful.

My second issue is regarding signal conditioning. I was planning to use an SDR (eg Funcube pro +) at the spectrum end of the circuit. Does this require the signal to be downconverted using an LNB? If so, is it necessary to have the LNB positioned on the dish with an appropriate feed or is it better to have a matched feed with an amplifier on the dish and the LNB or similar further downstream? Any comments or recommendations to pieces of kit here would be great.

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Mate I'm intending to follow a similar plan with my year 9 students.  How did your work go?

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