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Stub Mandrel

What's the minimum to start meteor detecting?

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Still struggling with the SpectrumLab detection scripts. I need to create some folders but I'm not sure where they go. If I edit the upper and lower frequencies in the config window, they don't seem to change. Should I edit the config files  directly?

Could either of you (Steve & Ian) upload your screen capture script for me to try? Thanks...

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2 minutes ago, Stub Mandrel said:

I got a decent detection of the ISS today. Not sure what the difference was:

Probably well placed!

Ian

PassGTrackLargeGraphic_aspx.jpg.1282d82b1b9c2e1a0ea9eabb56de59d3.jpg

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13 minutes ago, Stub Mandrel said:

Still struggling with the SpectrumLab detection scripts. I need to create some folders but I'm not sure where they go. If I edit the upper and lower frequencies in the config window, they don't seem to change. Should I edit the config files  directly?

Could either of you (Steve & Ian) upload your screen capture script for me to try? Thanks...

Various folders go in the SL folder, at least, that's where mine are. Incidentally, did you note the recommendation NOT to put the program in the Windows programs folder? It's too long ago for me to be familiar with the details of SL now I'm afraid, but make sure that you click 'APPLY' after making changes.

I've never used the 'conventional' script, but doesn't that contain the screen capture option? I'm sure that Steve has a link to the standard script.

Ian

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1 hour ago, The Admiral said:

I'm sure that Steve has a link to the standard script.

Hi,

I've had several hundred sleeps since I downloaded the necessary scripts ?. Hmm let me see, are these any help Neil?

https://www.britastro.org/radio/downloads.html

If not let me know and I'll see if I can copy those I have on my pc hard drive.

Cheers,
Steve

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Thanks both.

>BOGGLE< those configuration files make Windows registry look user friendly - well they don't actually, let's just be thankful they don't use the registry for the SpectrumLab configuration!

I seem to have got Badger's script working by editing the original file.

It's saving a screen grab for every meteor, no matter how tiny, but I think I can see how to change that.

Seems much quieter today than yesterday?

I've decided to leave it running overnight to see if it picks up a dawn peak.

Popped out with the bat detector, seeing as it works on a similar principle (heterodyning two signals). Plenty of pipstrelles to see over eth garden, let alone detect! Three in formation at one point.

Edited by Stub Mandrel
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10 hours ago, Stub Mandrel said:

Seems much quieter today than yesterday?

I've decided to leave it running overnight to see if it picks up a dawn peak.

Pleased it's working more to how you want it Neil. If you have skills in programming making a script for what you want it to do is well within one's means and that's wneh SL customisation really comes to the fore.

From what I recall the Aretids will be due South of Dijon around 10.00AM local time (UTC +2) so the peak might well be slightly different to the usual showers peaking in the wee hours. I'm going to turn on my system today and see how the hourly rate varies over time. Good luck with your detections.

Cheers,
Steve

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OK, I've almost got this working.

I have the screen captures, far too many, a few are rather nice. Lots more around dawn, a few streaks, a few blurs and one or two good 'hooked' traces.

I don't have logs, but I think I created the directory in the wrong place - it won't create a missing directory, but instead just reports an error.

If my tweak works, the next steps are:

Making the threshold a tiny bit lower, it missed a few small but obvious meteors (in comparison another script did the opposite).

Setting a test with a higher threshold for screen captures, once I am happy with what it is counting.

 

Thanks @SteveNickolls and @The Admiral for getting me to this point, not least by supplying encouragement and enthusiasm!

Looks like I will be able to supply counts for the Perseids.

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2 minutes ago, Stub Mandrel said:

Thanks @SteveNickolls and @The Admiral for getting me to this point, not least by supplying encouragement and enthusiasm!

Looks like I will be able to supply counts for the Perseids.

Hi Neil,

Thanks indeed. It's is difficult years down the line to be able to recall things exactly especially the nuances of SL he, he. however once you have things working the way you want you will be able to switch on any time in the future and detect showers. I agree this year's Perseids will be very worthwhile following and comparing.

Cheers,
Steve

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10 hours ago, Stub Mandrel said:

Popped out with the bat detector, seeing as it works on a similar principle (heterodyning two signals). Plenty of pipstrelles to see over eth garden, let alone detect! Three in formation at one point.

Oh what a coincidence, I've recently got myself a bat detector! I downloaded the free Kaleidoscope Viewer from Wildlife Acoustics to analyse some recordings I made from it. FFT processing again, after the event, and I recommend you take a look. I had also thought I might try getting some meteor recordings analysed using it as well (easier than SL!). The occasional Pipistrelle in the garden, and I think Soprano Pipistrelles on a walk not far from here.

Glad you got it up and running. It's useful to be able to amend the scripts, but I did find the SL manual to be very extensive and densely packed. You will need extra bits of code to be more selective about which meteors are committed to screen and/or to sound file.

Ian

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10 hours ago, The Admiral said:

You will need extra bits of code to be more selective about which meteors are committed to screen and/or to sound file.

Yep, I see much experimentation with threshold levels ahead - I've got it counting but NOT screen capturing any small events but, I haven't had a big enough event to capture yet...

I need to unplug the computer so i can use it for guiding later - I hadn't thought about this, especially as having set up two scopes I have relaised I need one for guiding and one for planetary video... looks like the vista one IS coming out of retirement.

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Here's an interesting observation. the SDR module I got was this 'aluminium' one:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Aluminum-RTL-SDR-USB-Dongle-RTL2832U-R820T2-0-5PPM-TCXO-TV-Tuner-Stick-Receiver/302715920328?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&amp;_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

It gets quite warm, and I've noticed the noise levels were higher when used in the day than overnight, and also rose as it warmed up.

I dug out a decent sized heatsink and held it against the case with a clamp. The temperature of the unit has dropped, probably by 15-20 degrees and the noise levels have fallen too.

 

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All working now, but I have to disconnect now to do some guiding. Some SpectrumLab results!

Long lasting trail:

event20180621035555.thumb.jpg.01516bd8ee0656b396e3406dd8ec3636.jpg

'Hooked' trace (doppler part + ionisation trail):

event20180621033439.thumb.jpg.5383d8376d7671dbac2456570eee630d.jpg

Another 'old hooky':

event20180621053312.thumb.jpg.de0c4a6d7910ded9565ed323ab542a5e.jpg

And one that's mostly just the doppler part:

event20180621042024.thumb.jpg.89a668ce7a41bb329919861f10ff9ebd.jpg

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14 hours ago, Stub Mandrel said:

I've noticed the noise levels were higher when used in the day than overnight, and also rose as it warmed up.

I can imagine noise levels will be dependent on temperature. I looked back over some measurements I did during the 2015 Geminids. They seemed to fluctuate inconsistently.

This is over the whole period

1229519458_Noiselevelsduring2015Geminidcaptures.thumb.jpg.0c017a4d11519e0440557c96d0a2db5e.jpg

Just stretching out the first day. 12.0 is from the midnight of the 11th

499232674_DiurnalNoiseLevelsduring2015Geminids.thumb.jpg.4193beeb3b9035ecf7f912acbf7974d2.jpg

Ian

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Set up the system last night after I'd finished my planetary session at 1am >yawn<.

No convincing captures this morning, lots of vertical wide-frequence noise stripes, I noticed that a burst of these accompanied me entering the workshop.

As the module is on the shelf above the door I wondered if it was a dodgy connection or microphony or something... but it also happened at other randonm times, especially with me around the computer.

Despondent at only getting noise and no meteors I tried listening to Radio 4 and the VHF beacon in HDSR. Something broken? Hang on when I chaneg teh output to loudspeaker a dialogue for the input had appeared as well.

Thought back to last night --- when I started up the dongle wan't plugged in, I plugged it in, clicked OK and HDSR started logging. Except what I didn't know was it had defaulted back to the laptop microphone...

Lesson for future, always make sure the dongle is connected and being used!

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Subscribing to topic. Totally new to the subject of meteor detection via radio and looking forward to it, thanks for posting all this great information to help me get started.

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2 hours ago, ajk said:

Subscribing to topic. Totally new to the subject of meteor detection via radio and looking forward to it, thanks for posting all this great information to help me get started.

Good luck, let us know how you get on. @BiggarDigger has had success in Scotland.

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3 hours ago, Stub Mandrel said:

Good luck, let us know how you get on. @BiggarDigger has had success in Scotland.

Indeed I have.

@ajk For receiving sites in the North, the reflection medium appears to be in a different geographical location than for colleagues further south.  The signal strengths are somewhat variable and are, at least in my experience, more greatly affected by troposhperic anomalies too (aka the weather).  This is as a result of relying on forward scatter from the reverse lobes of GRAVES at 144MHz rather than backscatter from the presumably much stronger frontal lobes of the array. 

Unfortunately, I have no first hand experience on detection of  reflections from BRAMS, but the mechanism should be similar.

I saw your note in the other thread about developing your own detection code.  That'll be excellent if you're successful.  I see from your profile that you have experience in software engineering: it's a big task without that experience as you need to interface with the audio subsystem and build FFT algorithms to be able to process and filtering the data (there should be suitable FFT libraries around I would think).

Please do keep us updated on progress.

Richard

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