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Basic Jupiter/Solar radio astronomy

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I use my Realistic 306-DX 0 to 30 meg am/usb/lsb hf reciever. Not got a decent antenna though, I use a nice "long wire" and keep listening through the 20 meg region but, it was seriously interesting reading how the OP made his reciever. Must get software for the lap top though.

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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

OK, apart from water proofing the cable end, the aerial is pretty much done.

Seriously cool looking beast it is too :D

The support is just a length of timber self trapped in a loop of

wire at the top..

This means I can infinitely adjust the altitude with little hassle..

If it works, I will treat it to some micro bore copper plumbing

pipe to replace the wire loop...

At £20 a coil though, it's got to be worth it......

Looking forward to trying it out :)




Edited by geppetto
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  • 4 months later...
  • 3 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Great write up Phillip and found it interesting being a ham myself nice build on the ten-tec very neat

i downloaded skypipe and i have an hf receiver so i will have a play with it ,

Ray .

Edited by Ray49
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  • 3 months later...

Bit more to do on this subject...

Got together with a few folk who are interested in the Radio Jove stuff.

They all use the comercial Radio Jove Receivers and as I wanted to do

signal comparisons with them, I decided to look into setting up one of

those receivers here.

This would mean we were all on a level playing field with kit...

Sadly, to buy a full kit from the States with added taxes and stuff, it would

be getting on for £200 or there abouts which is too rich for me...

Sooooo, decided to scratch build one and so far, have etched and drilled

a copy printed circuit board and started adding the components I have in


Ordered the rest of the bits from various suppliers and it looks like the

project will cost about £38 in total which is a big saving.

Some bits are tricky to source as are a lot of electronic components


Anyhoo, will post more as this unfolds and looking forward to getting

my hands on a Radio Jove receiver all beit a copy.... :mrgreen:

Hope I'm not treading on any copywrite laws but I've looked and can't

find anything.

All the Radio Jove receiver info and circuitry is well published on the

Net and this will be for personal use, not for selling on...

More later..


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Coils in cans turned up today so they are fitted...

Whilst waiting for the other stuff to arrive, I've made a start on making

a little "nest" to house the receiver.

Nice cheap aluminium case from Maplins.

The small board to the right of the main board is just a noise generator

to calibrate the SkyPipe charting software.

There isn't one in the Radio Jove kit but I find it a must have and being

an add on, it still keeps this copy receiver main board as per their design...

More later...





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Still waiting for some bits....

Today's job was to build a little amplifier so that the audio out from the receiver can be heard without finding headphones.

Made a simple LM386 amplifier feeding a miniature speaker glued to the back wall of the case.

Switch on the front means I can monitor if there are any interfearing signals needing a tuning tweak then switch back to silent running....

Amp board on rear of case....main board still faithful to the origional design..



Circuit diagram of Jove receiver...

Very simple but elegant..... bit like me really.. :rolleyes:


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I know nothing about electronics but am fascinated by your posts and your ingenuity.

I can't imagine how you can take a schematic such as Radio Jove and turn it into a beautiful pcb. Electronics is just so ........ pretty!;)

I assume the "smoke test" is making sure the smoke stays inside the components/wires?:rolleyes:

Regards, John

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Very interesting thread. Ah, my electronics days are but a distant memory which came flooding back on reading your posts.

I had forgotten how exciting it is to build and getting stuff to work.

Thank you.

Have I got 50 posts yet, Pete.

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Interesting set of posts.

I'm thinking of trying some backscatter radio astronomy - solar and meteorites mostly - so that I can continue my astronomical activities even when it's cloudy :rolleyes:

I've considered projects like Radio Jove, but the antenna is a bit big for me. Maybe one day though?

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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:)

sorry to jump in what freq 1 am a radio ham and have many receivers and radios what are the freqs ? 21.100? could you let me no


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Awesome thread. I have heard about some of the home made radio scope projects and never really found a satisfactory set of instruction, but this thread has really been an eye opener.

Thank you for your superb work. can you advise where you purchased the receiver and other bits from please

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My last post should have said 20.1 Mhz not 21.1 Mhx...sorry


Sadly, the kit I made the first receiver from is no longer available or at least I can't find any anymore...

Scratch build like this latest project is about the only way now unless you fancy spending a fair bit of money for the genuine Radio Jove kit from the USA..

NASA's Radio JOVE Project: Kit Requests

You can of course listen on most types of short wave receiver but a dedicated machine is best as these signals are weak, fleating and not very predictable so you need a system set up to do long run monitoring...

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It works :rolleyes:

Well it does now, after I fixed a small mistake I made on the printed circuit board but I'm allowed one mistake ;)

Very sensitive and stable, picking up the time signal transmission on 20 Mhz with no problem at all....



Done a slight mod to the tuning circuit in such a way that it can be easily clicked back to orional.

Idea is that during long term running, these simple tuning circuits can drift.

Not a problem normaly unless it drifts into an unwanted broadcast signal.

The mod involves two little sockets on the board.

In normal mode, the capacitor shown is plugged in to connect the standard tuning circuit.

In stable mode, the capacitor is removed and a crystal (kept on the board) for safe keeping, is plugged in as shown.

This only gives the tuning one fixed frequency but it's hugely more long term stable.


Always wanted a Jove receiver to play with and now I have one....

Next job is a double dipole down the garden and I'm set for Jupiter as it climbs higher towards winter....

Great fun..

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All boxed and tidied up today.

Just been setting the ouput levels ro suit the SkyPipe charting software.

Nice stable base noise level and very sensitive to noise spikes and such

which is good news for Jupiter grabbing...

Nice little receiver :rolleyes:


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  • 2 weeks later...

Nice day today so put up a better aerial for Radio Jove etc..

Simple half wave dipole (11' 7" per leg) but this time I have calculated

the height such that the maximum pickup angle (vertical) matches the

height in the sky of Jupiter as it passes due south...

Dipole is east west so maximum pickup (horizontal) is north south again

to match Jupiter's position.

New scratch built Radio Jove receiver is now in the Geppetto command

centre AKA me shed :)

Well away from house electrical noises and running on a leisure battery

which is constantly charged by a large solar panel..

On in the day for grabbing solar activity and at night in a few more weeks to

watch Jupiter which is climbing higher now...

Computer is my very low energy usage Atom processer astro puter.

Runs about 40 Watts with monitor switched off....

More later..



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