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old time radio ham wanting to get into SDR radio astronomy

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I passed my RAE back in the 80's when I was playing around with the old CB's but fell away from it when I started using computers and the internet
but recently I have got back into the radio bug primarily on 70cm, 2m and 10m for now but I have been looking ad SDR and realised it could be used for radio astronomy

as I live in Scotland with massive LP issues it plays havoc with my imaging and time I can spend doing astronomy
I've looked at a few tutorials and it looks like something I can do
but I'd need a dish that I hope I can mount on my NEQ6 mount for tracking solar or  directional observing

I plan on buying a good SDR transceiver as I plan to use it to transmit as well as I have a  decent antenna system
then I understand you need a few line amplifiers and an initial LNA to up the signal then and some sort of power inserter before the SDR then appropriate software to decode the signals

any info on getting started appreciated

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Nothing beats the old Morse key

Old radio guys, do not die, just mature with age

I did 27 years radio/telegraph tech Royal Australian Corp of Signals

We worked secure telegraph back from Vietnam to Australia, in late 60's early 1970's when I was there over HF

On URL Spaceweather, have seen articles of guys building amateur radio telescopes, and posting findings

Whole new world





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MRGC in Plymouth in 1985.  Topped out at 44wpm CW and operated G (and latterly) GM4WKN until children and other priorities came along.

Never went to sea: a life playing with radio and electronics in the civil service in central England beckoned.

I was active on EME and MS as well as several others.  Nowadays, I use those experiences to play around with meteor detection using an RTL-SDR.  If/when I get more time and if/when resources allow, it would be good to do some other radio astronomy too.

Meteor detections are pretty straightforward with low end kit, but if you really want, you could engineer an EME array on 23cm you should be able to run some very healthy Hydrogen line observations with both az/el controls.


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As a practical introduction to one aspect by Carl Reade. (Milky Way Hydrogen line observations)  I can suggest this thread.  Initially with the helical but later in the thread much better with a small dish

I think my dad put a soldering iron in my hand when I was born and helped me pass my RAE back in 1964 aged 14.  Still hold a ticket (G8DVW) but not been active for many, many years


Edited by robin_astro
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likewise before moving to france I was 2E0CEQ/M3CEQ in the UK I know..... but moved whist studying for my Full licence and no reciprocal over here in France so went silent and sold all my gear I was rather upset as I loved the hobby. Maybe one day now my french is getting better after 14 years since moving I might go back


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