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Surprise Outreach Attraction: Itty Bitty Radio Telescope

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#1 michaelcaba

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Posted 07 June 2024 - 11:26 PM

During a recent daytime public viewing event I was happily surprised to see the interest expressed by people in the Itty Bitty Radio Telescope. At our event we had the typical white light filtered and H-alpha scopes, which are common tools at solar observing sessions. In addition, I decided to bring along my newly constructed IBT, which I had built primarily as a classroom tool to demonstrate the range of the EM spectrum to students. The IBT had worked great in the classroom, but I was uncertain about its applicability in the general public arena. Boy, were my apprehensions misplaced!  From my experience H-alpha is usually the highlight of a solar event, and in this case it performed well (e.g. nice prominences); and the filtered white light scope showed nice sunspots. But at the end, I think the IBT was the hit. For some reason folks liked to watch the shadow of the LNB (i.e., the detecting device on the extended arm in front of the dish) cross the centerline of the dish and to listen to the corresponding change in pitch of the meter. Then the questions came fast and furious. Lots of fun. As a result, I think I will submit a larger review article on the IBT to encourage further use of this device. I would also like to know, has anyone else used the IBT at an outreach event and, if so, what were the results? Developing.

 
 

Edited by michaelcaba, 08 June 2024 - 03:19 PM.

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#2 ShaulaB

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Posted 07 June 2024 - 11:54 PM

I have an Itty Bitty sitting in my kitchen. Thanks for the report on how it worked well for daytime outreach.

 

What is an LBN?



#3 B 26354

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Posted 08 June 2024 - 12:10 AM

Interesting. For those of us who haven't a clue about how you made your IBT from an apparently discarded DISH antenna... have you submitted a thread or a descriptive post about the process?

 

And please define "LBN". The use of obscure, topic-specific acronyms, without also defining them, is not at all helpful.

 

Also... clicking on your photos to get a closer look at them, produces a "You do not have permission to view this image" message.

 

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#4 michaelcaba

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Posted 08 June 2024 - 12:23 AM

Interesting. For those of us who haven't a clue about how you made your IBT from an apparently discarded DISH antenna... have you submitted a thread or a descriptive post about the process?

 

And please define "LBN". The use of obscure, topic-specific acronyms, without also defining them, is not at all helpful.

 

Also... clicking on your photos to get a closer look at them, produces a "You do not have permission to view this image" message.

 

shrug.gif

Thank you for your questions.

 

The LNB is the detecting device on the arm sticking out from the dish. I will make this edit.

 

I plan on doing a larger review/article that explains how its built and how it works with appropriate links soon.

 

I am not sure what to do about the photos not allowing permission to view. I will look into this and see what needs to be done,


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#5 B 26354

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Posted 08 June 2024 - 12:28 AM

Cool. Thanks! Looking forward to your article. Be sure to post a link to it in this thread!

 

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#6 italic

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Posted 08 June 2024 - 01:22 AM

I have an old offset dish that I've been wanting to repurpose with an SDR for radio astronomy. It's sitting in storage with the arm and the feed was cut when removed. You might also like a project by KrakenRF that is going through final pre-production runs. You can buy constructed feeds with filters for different bands like hydrogen, inmarsat and L-band satellites. I have one coming for hydrogen.



#7 michaelcaba

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Posted 08 June 2024 - 06:21 PM

The LNB (Low Noise Block) is the receiving device on the end of the arm that sticks out from the dish. Here is a picture of the shadow crossing the centerline when the device is focused on the Sun.  Notice the shadow at the bottom of the dish.

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  • Close Up Labeled.jpg

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#8 michaelcaba

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Posted 10 June 2024 - 08:44 AM

I hope these photos allow you to view close up. I am still learning CN website methodology. 
 

 

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  • IBT.jpeg
  • Group Photo.jpg

Edited by michaelcaba, 10 June 2024 - 08:46 AM.

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#9 michaelcaba

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Posted 10 June 2024 - 08:49 AM

Cool. Thanks! Looking forward to your article. Be sure to post a link to it in this thread!

 

biggrin.png

Would you mind checking to see if you can access my newly submitted photos of the Itty Bitty? Also, I did submit a review article, we shall see if it gets published. If so, I will share a link. Thank you. 



#10 B 26354

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Posted 10 June 2024 - 01:27 PM

Yep. Clicking on them works. Sending you a PM.  biggrin.png


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#11 michaelcaba

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Posted 10 June 2024 - 04:16 PM

Yep. Clicking on them works. Sending you a PM.  biggrin.png

Thank you. 



#12 rutherfordt

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Posted 11 June 2024 - 11:57 AM

And please define "LBN". The use of obscure, topic-specific acronyms, without also defining them, is not at all helpful.

I had to smile when I saw this since using acronyms without defining them is pretty much a standard thing on Cloudy Nights (in all fora).  smile.gif

 

 

I have an old offset dish that I've been wanting to repurpose with an SDR for radio astronomy.

An IBT isn't really large enough to work in bands other than 12 GHz, I don't believe.  Mine would detect the sun and could also detect a person walking in front of it but not much else.  I didn't try it with the 21-cm hydrogen line so it might be possible that it will pick it up, but the dish is so small that I suspect there won't be much signal. 

 

If you are successful at it though, I'd really like to see the results as that would open up a world of possibilities.

 

Tom

 

 



#13 michaelcaba

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Posted 11 June 2024 - 08:00 PM

I have an old offset dish that I've been wanting to repurpose with an SDR for radio astronomy. It's sitting in storage with the arm and the feed was cut when removed. You might also like a project by KrakenRF that is going through final pre-production runs. You can buy constructed feeds with filters for different bands like hydrogen, inmarsat and L-band satellites. I have one coming for hydrogen.

Yes, I too would like to be kept informed re the SDR for radio astronomy.  Please post in this forum again. 


Edited by michaelcaba, 11 June 2024 - 08:02 PM.



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