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Old 02-08-2013, 08:57 AM   #1
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Default Radio telescopes

Has anyone played around with them much before? Our uni has one (falling apart a bit at the moment) and I may be involved in a project on the side where it'll be relocated and fully restored, possibly writing the software to control it (and perhaps doing some of the physical interfacing as well.)

Here she is at the moment:






Once upon a time it also panned / tilted, the mechanism is still there but looks like it's been a long time since it's ever moved. Hopefully should have some fun with it!
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Old 02-08-2013, 09:07 AM   #2
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Default Re: Radio telescopes

Pics not showing up berry120.

As for playing with one, no. I would imagine getting the aiming calibrated is going to a pain. Should be interesting.
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Old 02-08-2013, 09:13 AM   #3
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Default Re: Radio telescopes

Wow cool ! good luck with the project
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Old 02-08-2013, 09:28 AM   #4
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Default Re: Radio telescopes

you weren't joking when you said falling apart a bit!!


Good luck with this project!!
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:49 AM   #5
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Default Re: Radio telescopes

Quote:
Pics not showing up berry120.
Sorry, missed the second link - they're there now.

Quote:
As for playing with one, no. I would imagine getting the aiming calibrated is going to a pain. Should be interesting.
If the thing is aligned properly (which isn't going to be my job!) then I don't think it should be too hard from there - I'll leave that to the guys physically getting it back up to scratch

Quote:
you weren't joking when you said falling apart a bit!!
It's actually not quite as bad as it looks, there's a couple of bits that need replacing but most of the rust, somewhat surprisingly, doesn't look like it goes too deep.
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Old 06-26-2013, 12:00 PM   #6
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Default Re: Radio telescopes

This project is progressing rather slowly, but it is progressing (for anyone that cares!)

It's now been taken to a new site and is currently in pieces...



Lots of astronomy / physics / engineering decisions now need to be made about how the thing is going back up and what it's going to do... all good fun!
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Old 06-26-2013, 03:21 PM   #7
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Default Re: Radio telescopes

Ah yes, the melody of the universe. It has driven many to keep late night hours listening to it. The siren song of the birth and death of distant stars. Of galaxies serenading as they travel through the infinite expanse of space.

Those look like microwave repeater dishes. The receiving area is going to be very narrow. Calibrating dead on to a target light years away is going to be a pain. An old Radio Shack satellite TV dish would give a wider field and be a little more tolerant of aiming errors.
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Old 06-26-2013, 05:24 PM   #8
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Default Re: Radio telescopes

There's only one dish - the big one face down. The other dish-like looking thing is a WW2 gun mount used as the base!

Yup, calibrating onto a target is going to be a pain, but at this point the plan is more to look at Jupiter (apparently some interesting stuff going on between it and Io in terms of plasma exchange...) and the narrow FoV is deliberate for accuracy in this context. It's something like 3 degrees from memory.
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