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Grasping at straws

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#1 EricJD

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 01:06 PM

So I've been doing astrophotography for a while and, for numerous reasons, have decided to look into radio astronomy, talk about frustrating. I've spent days scouring the internet only to come up with either very generic answers or very specific answers for projects that there is no possible way I can do. So here I am looking for help.

I have a nice Atlas mount that I'd like to hook up a small radio telescope to. Specifically, I was looking at this one:
1420Mhz radio telescope

Despite emailing the person running the site I can't get any useful information regarding this thing, specifically I want to know the type of resolution I can expect from it.

Alternatively, I was hoping someone could tell me which type of radio telescope could best make use of my mount and permanent observatory rather than what the typical amateur radio astronomer does which is just point the thing at the meridian and change elevation every once in a while.

Any help would be appreciated.

#2 jgraham

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 01:40 PM

Have you seen this?

http://radiojove.gsfc.nasa.gov/

#3 bob71741

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 04:34 PM

Eric - I agree with John that perhaps you should start with something such as Radio Jove, if your yard can support the room for the antenna; it will be much cheaper that what you considered and if you found enjoyment in doing radio astronomy at 21 MHz then you could move up later to 1420 MHz with the increased costs knowing that you would enjoy doing that from your prior experience at 21 MHz.

#4 robin_astro

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 05:03 PM

[quote name="EricJD"]I have a nice Atlas mount that I'd like to hook up a small radio telescope to. Specifically, I was looking at this one:
1420Mhz radio telescope

Despite emailing the person running the site I can't get any useful information regarding this thing, specifically I want to know the type of resolution I can expect from it.
[/quote]

This is a very modest looking antenna for this sort of work. The beamwidth (resolution) would be measured in tens of degrees. I suspect it is intended for building an array using many of them.
[/quote]
Alternatively, I was hoping someone could tell me which type of radio telescope could best make use of my mount and permanent observatory rather than what the typical amateur radio astronomer does which is just point the thing at the meridian and change elevation every once in a while.
[/quote]
In general radio telescope antennas have to be very large to be effective so drift scanning is a standard technique in radio astronomy not just amateurs. You allow the object to drift through the antenna beam and measure the signal. By taking multiple scans a map of sources can be constructed
If you want to have a bit of fun and learn something of the fundamentals of radio astronomy without spending too much money take a look at a simple setup I played with here.
http://www.threehill...astronomy_1.htm


Cheers
Robin

#5 gregj888

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 08:12 PM

Eric,

I assume you've found these folks-
http://www.radio-astronomy.org/

I have plans to build a 1420MHz system based on old 3m sat dishes. I have one dish, a LNA, a SDR and Spec An if I get too it soon enough.

Lot's of good information on the web, but what Robin says is true.

#6 kinoeye

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 08:42 PM

If you want to have a bit of fun and learn something of the fundamentals of radio astronomy without spending too much money take a look at a simple setup I played with here.
http://www.threehill...astronomy_1.htm


My employer has 9 dishes similar to the one Robin used in his project above. We've been trying to get rid of them for months. They're yours for free if you want them, simply arrange for pickup or cover your own ship costs.

I don't recall the exact model but it was one of the dishes here: http://www.samsonic....aspx?SubCatID=2

3' to 4' in diameter. We used them for wireless internet, we also have PCI cards to link up with these dishes as well, if someone is interested I can check the boxes, they're sitting in the server room across the hall from my office...






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