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Re: 10' dish radio astronomy?



You might be interested in the SRT (Student Radio Telescope) activity
initiated by the Haystack Observatory. Take a look at
http://www.haystack.edu/edu/undergrad/srt/index.html. It is based on a
7' (or larger) TVRO dish and the web site contains technical details and
suggested projects. About 100 high schools and colleges and a few
intrepid amateurs have made SRTs. All the hardware and software for the
SRT is open source. Also note the SRT bulletin board at
http://www.haystack.mit.edu/edu/undergrad/srt/forum/.

For folks who want to purchase SRT hardware, check out
http://www.cassicorp.com/; however I note that the last time I checked
with Cassi, their delivery times were ~6 months.

CASSI makes a nice az-el antenna mount and Haystack has also used the
Polish Alfa-Spid rotor (VE6JY and
http://www.alfaradio.ca/alfaspid.html). Both use DC motors which
provides for high torque at a slow, steady drive speed. You might be
interested in the az-el positioning controller for ~24VDC motors -- just
click on "Upgraded Ground Controller" at
http://www.haystack.edu/edu/undergrad/srt/receiver/Downloadable_Resources.html.
While there, also pick up the Functional Block Diagram to get an idea of
the scope of the project.

By way of "truth in advertising", I have had a strong professional tie
with Haystack and their projects for 35+ years -- especially in VLBI and
Geodesy areas (see http://www.haystack.edu/), and I now serve on their
Board of Trustees, so don't expect me say anything bad!

73. Tom

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