(Un)Fortunately work is keeping me busy so I can’t do any serious imaging. I think it’ll take still a few days/weeks before things calm down. I’m developing new things and I need to keep my mind focused.
But as usual I’m not that good in that so I started studying how new “ways” for solar observation. Radio waves will be the next step and I’m already working on two simple projects that working on SHF (Super High Frequencies) and VLF (Very Low Frequencies).
The first one is based on a Satellite Dish attached to a “satfinder”, attached to a multimeter (Lafayette DMB-USB1) wireless transmitting data to my PC. This is a very simple setup and I have almost everything I need. I’m only missing the satellite dish. I plan to take it next week but I’m still deciding if I’ll buy a 45cm or a 60cm one. I want to use a small dish as I want to attach everything to a Celestron AltAz GoTo so that the dish can automatically track the Sun.
I already tested the multimeter for the wireless sending of data. Cool! 🙂 But I think I won’t use the real time sending as it uses more batteries. The multimeter is able to record up to 9999 data and I can choose the frequency of them (up to every 255 secs). And then transfer data to the PC at the end of the observing session.
I already modified the “satfinder” to be attached to the multimeter.
With this project I’ll be observing the Sun at around 12Ghz (circa 2.5cm).
But the project that I think it’ll be more interesting to be done is the one working on VLF. I red something online and also bought a paper book (Radio Nature by Renato Romero- http://www.vlf.it/libro_sandit/radionatura.html) and an ebook (How to build your own radiotelescope by Percival Andrews – http://www.radiotelescopebuilder.com). I still have to receive Radio Natura but I just finished reading the ebook and I love it. Very practical and I just ordered all the electronics at Mouser so I can start building the amplifier ASAP. I’ll also have to build my VLF antenna but it won’t be difficult to find what’s needed here locally. Fundamentally I only need a few hundreds meters of wire 🙂
With the VLF I’ll be observing the Sun at around 20Mhz (circa 15m).
Both the projects will be realized with very low budget and they are my first step into radio astronomy. I still don’t know if “it’s for me” or not 😀 But I’m already pretty excited about them. I know that results won’t be great as observing from my city terrace is not the best situation for that but it’ll be a good experience for learning new approaches.
After all… it’s all a matter of wavelength!
I’ll write more on those two projects as I’ll start building the setups. I’ll also post pictures and results of observations.