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Basic Jupiter/Solar radio astronomy

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The idea is that using a fairly simple receiver design and a half wave dipole for an aerial, radio noise can be monitored from Jupiter and from the sun. A typical frequency used is 20.1Mhz which is o

Nearing the end of the project now... Replaced a couple of tuning capacitors with high grade ones which has improved the thermal frequency stability. Put in a small panel meter to monitor the level of

Very interesting thread.

Thanks for taking the time to post your progress reports.

I would be interested to hear how you find using Spectrum Lab.


Cheers guys and yes, it's a very interesting part of the astro hobby.

Great for youngsters too as there's a lot of science involved.

Spectrum Lab's a lovely bit of software and I'm enjoying getting to grips with it. I use it mainly to monitor VLF,

looking out for solar flare disturbances, using another home brew receiver and this loop aerial...


Software weapon of choice for the Jupiter receiver is Skypipe which really is a jewel of a tool....

All great fun:glasses1:

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Great to see you back on the forum again and what a facinating thread! I did electronics at college and used to tinken a bit as a hobby - you just got me back to thinking about it again....... Need to see what kind of results you get from your setup but it loogs cracking!

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Captured a small but distinct solar burst on RadioGep mid day..

Lucky really as I'd only just calibrated and set it monitoring

Here's the screen grab of the event and a movie (sound only) containing

the recorded audio of a few seconds stretch relating to that peak in the graph.

Trying to figure the proper way of slicing chunks from .wav files for posting

but all conversions seem to knock the dynamic range somewhat so the sample below is a bit lack lustre compared to the original wave file


Click to play (sound needed)


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Little mod today...

On my astro puter there is a line in socket on the soundcard which matched

nicely with the level of audio from the receiver....

However, I wanted to monitor using an oldish laptop which only had mic in...

The audio level swamped the lappy and made calibration impossible so I

fitted the receiver output with a 50db attenuator as of below...

Now works fine


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Spoke a bit too soon, even with the attenuation, the receiver signal

through the mic socket still isn't 100% reliable as any very strong

signals still seem to swamp the soundcard....

Anyhoo, took a risk today and bought a cheapy external USB sound card

from Maplin.

This gives me back my line input and surprisingly, Skypipe recognises it as

a USB sound device in the setup...

Alignment goes very smoothly so well pleased...

I can now use my old lappy or my little net book for full time monitoring

Bloomin bargain

5.1 USB Multimedia Sound Card : Sound Cards : Maplin

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sky Beast,

yes you can on any rx you can tune to 20.1 Mhz

But all you guys how are interested in radio astronomy and have a little know a little about electronic, take a look at this one:

Science Workshop

Publications Department

Build a radio telescope on any frq you like from this one.

Here is yet another one, simpler:

CATV Tuner

Amateur Radio Telescope Plans

Spectrum analyzers has been out of reach for me, very expensive,

but now I can have one AND a great radio telescope for a nice price.

Think i will go for this one. (science-workshop)


Baron von Vulpes

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So can I get Jupiter on my shortwave receiver set around 20mHz?

You sure can....

You need to be switched to AM and if at all possible, if your radio allows, you need to switch off automatic gain control usually called AGC or AVC.....

AGC is a problem as it's job is to equalise the sound level but in this application, your looking for amplitude variations

Give it a go:)

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Don't know if I mentioned it before but this Radio Jove site

(see below) is awash with information on this subject and kits are available too....

Not cheap as they involve a fairly hefty postal fee and the

dreaded taxes....

It is however easier fo the less hands on enthusiast to get

started in this (still involves construction though)

My approach of "modding stuff to work", is an interest of mine

but you need a bit of backgound knowledge in radio circuitry

more than electronics....

Anyhoo, here is the site and worth a good read through:)

NASA's Radio JOVE Project: Home Page

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Started the loop aerial frame today...

Next job will be some paint on it before fixing the netting reflector

A big structure, 6 foot sides...

Don't know how Mrs Geppetto is going to hold it over her head pointing at Jupiter :(

Anyhoo, tried to give it a name that nobody can take the mickey out of so, from

henceforth, it will be called... "Geppetto's Loopy" :(

Based on this




Probaly won't work but if not, I can make three more and keep chickens :(

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Just to second Supay this is a fantastic thread - many thanks Philip although sadly my soldering skills are bad enough to make a grown man weep - and frequently do (that's me by the way) but seriously an excellent series of posts.


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