DSES Annual All Members Meeting April 19, 2021

Welcome to the DSES Annual All Members Meeting 2021-04-19
Meeting Notes: by Bill Miller


We had 15 participants in the virtual All Members meeting today: We had some problems with a number of the internet connections and am sorry if you tried to join and couldn’t get in or got dropped. Thanks everyone for joining.


Participants: Myron Babcock, Dr. Richard Russel, Gary Agranat, Dan Layne, Bob Haggart, Ted Cline, Bob Sayers, Ray Uberecken, Don Latham, Dan Layne, Edward Currie, Dayton Jones, Jerry , Jim White WDOE, Bill Miller.
See the Zoom Meeting Video at:

https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/J7cMjwB6K6kZxTGYgt-hgCsdyMZqfI7JhcnDIUl2lzH-5LIUClRx6k4ROLy3OcCU.KBMMsM1_5IxRvn0W?startTime=1618876857000

Start Time : April 19th 6:00 PM
Agenda and notes.

  1. Check In
  2. Myron’s Treasures report: Ck 2469.79 Sav 5742.33 Dues for 3 renewing members outstanding. Website DSES.Science, will auto renew. UPS mailbox is $135/year. Power is nominal $60-$85. Phone and Internet cost $106.50.
  3. Membership Dues are now due for 2021. Please submit check or pay pal payment to Myron or on the link in the website.
  4. BOD Election.
    a. We elected new board members to the three open seats for this year. Those are Floyd Glick, Don Latham, and Ray Uberecken. Bill Miller and Dave Molter are retired from the board.
    b. Other Board Members not turned over this time are Bob Sayers, Bob Haggart, Gary Agranat, and Myron Babcock.
    c. Officers will be selected by the new current board.
  5. DSES Aug. Open House: Plan for on-site open house in August but will watch the CDC for guidance on the Corona Virus guidelines and try to decide in June.
  6. Accomplishments
    a. Pulsars
    b. Moon Bounce 50 contacts in Oct. and Nov.
    c. Full control and Celestial and Moon tracking. Look up, Point and Track Sky Map, Raster Scan.
    d. H1 mapping, Ray and Rich are doing H1 full time on 9 ft dishes. Ted Cline has the data analysis underway to do imaging. Will do some tutorials for SARA website. Full Sky survey data is available.
    e. H1 small Scope in and box is available. SARA cost $290 on web.
    f. 1296MHz Tropospheric Scatter couple a hundred miles.
    g. Skip Crilly’s 1420 SETI observations
  7. The 2020 Virtual DSES Open House Presentation
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/zxpzj879iz7mt77/2020%20DSES%20Virtual%20Open%20House.mp4?dl=0a. Bill gave the presentation to the Front Range 6 Meter Group https://groups.io/g/FrontRange6Meter last month, recorded and posted it to our site.
    b. Everett Curry, W6ABM Assistant Section Manager/Oregon ARRL, asked to present the recorded presentation to the General Interest Amateur Radio Club in North East Oregon Thursday, Feb 18th
    c. The Artic Armature Radio Group of which Myron is a member asked for a live presentation of the Open House on Friday, March 12th.
    d. The Utah DX Amateur group would like the presentation on Wednesday March 17th.
  8. Rich’s projects and presentations:
    a. Has been invited to HAMsci on March 19-20th to develop an interactive poster on the eclipse detection. https://hamsci.org/hamsci2021
    b. https://www.eucara.nl/
    https://www.camras.nl/blog/2021/eucara-2021-webconferentie-oproep/
    The EUCARA presentation is about deciphering the pulsar map on the Pioneer Spacecraft
    c. Sara Western conference April 3.
    d. Call from Jason Outreach who is a documentary film maker that would like to do a film on radio astronomy.
    e. Editor for the SARA journal.
    f. 9 Ft dish in Rich’s yard generated a H1 full sky survey over the last year for H1 mapping.
  9. Science fair prizes and Judging. (Bill Miller, Gary Agranat, Tony Bigbee)
  10. Ham Radio K0PRT contests and contacts. Triband Beam.
  11. Photographers on site.
  12. The 1296MHz feed is now changed out to the 408MHz feed for continuing pulsar work.
    a. Need to learn how to use the B210 receiver. Rich has it set up as best as possible. Would like to have a faster computer to handle the throughput.
    b. Need more dwell time.
    c. Need a 10MHz reference source for B210.
  13. See the Feed Change Schedule on the main website page. This may need updating.
    a. 4GHz feed for aiming.
    b. 1420Mhz is on the table
    c. 1296 for Moon Bounce distance observations and moon orbit calculation.
  14. Need internet for SuperSID and Radio Jove, Magnetometer, Security System, Power monitors, etc.
    a. Phil Gage developed a Geo Pointing SW that points to GeoSync satellites for mount calibration. The scan pattern will hunt the field and log the output of the receiver and make a
    correction offset.
  15. Jon Ayers – Can you send a dual frequency beacon that can be used for range finding on the
    moon. Like a frequency phase comparison range finder.
  16. Bob Haggart has the Radio Jove Dipoles ready to put up back. Ray wants to us his Flex 1500 in the 54MHz band and have it on. See the NASA and Stanford Radio Jove webpage.
  17. Don Latham has purchased a data crunching computer for the data for the H1 and Pulsar data. This should increase the pulsar capability substantially. The machine has latest Ubuntu OS.
  18. Ray has developed a Pulsar Simulator that helps us to debug the pulsar data acquisition and post processing.
  19. Dan Layne using Gaussian fit to analyze the pulsar data. SARA has data on Skynet on Greenbank 20 meter dish and the data. Should look at that data from Greenbank. We should learn and make use of the data sets from our national radio observatories to go deeper. Note that EdX Radio Astronomy course starts March 14 https://www.edx.org/course/radio-sky-1 if you are interested.
  20. Plans for coming year:
    a. Plan on a lot of 1420 work. And do Pulsars and 15Deg from straight up drift scan.
    b. Raster Scan capability will give us RA, Dec 3D signal strength imaging.
    c. Additional 3.8 meter dish for continuous drift scan at any elevation angle and remoted for members to use.
    d. Scope in and Box for students
    e. Outreach opportunities with SARA, ECARA, HAMsci, Student Events. These items get us more donations, equipment, and members to do more interesting work.
  21. Maintenance and Infrastructure Items on Site
    a. Check clean out and fix the Sump Pumps in the underground before spring rains flood the bunker. (Bill talked to Dave Molter and he said they had never been completely mucked out as far as he knew.) (Bill also discussed how the sumps work with Ed Corn.) need to muck them out before spring rains. Don suggested that we get a septic tank cleaner company to come out and pump out the sumps. He would even pay for it.
    b. Last fall Steve Plock and Ed Corn noticed that the bunker was flooded. Bill checked it in December, and it was dry, but the floor was covered in silt and bugs. Need to sweep or vacuum up the dirt and bugs to make it operational. Clean the silt out of the Underground from the flooding damage. Need a pass through vacuum with a long exit hose.
    c. Gary and Bill worked on the Beam Antenna on Saturday, April 10th . The tip down hinge mechanism at the base broke. Bill and Gary let Ed Corn and Steve Plock know about this and they will rework it when they make a site trip in May for Skip Crilly’s SETI project. In the meantime, don’t tip the tower down. Bill called Ed and he said that this had happened before, and he has a plan to weld on additional angle iron supports.
    d. Take down the Beam on the tip over tower and align the 3 elements on the Yagi and reinforce the element attachment on the beam with cross bolts to keep the elements from rotating on the beam.
    e. While working the tower issue we discovered that the HyGain Antenna rotor is not breaking properly and probably needs the gear replaced or the whole rotor replaced and aligned. Myron said he might have access to another rotor.
    f. Cut off the 5 band vertical mounting pole and move the vertical base to ground level and reattach and add more radials and bury them for protection. g. Repair the dish bottom edge damage.
    h. Clean out the tower and the pedestal base. Too much junk and clutter are accumulating there.
    i. Clean out the junk under and around the Comm. Trailer and scrap it.
    j. Align Ray’s HughesNet Satellite internet dish. Call HughesNet for reprogramming and support. Find internet provider alternative. Couldn’t get DISH out to reset the microbeam position. Bill asked the group if someone would donate a hot spot modem for a period of time and DSES will reimburse the plan cost. Now Ed MaCauley may sponsor the internet. See notes above.
    k. Need to remove Tumble weeds have piled up in the ramp. Does anyone have a small yard waste chipper/shredder we could try? Bob Sayers has one at his cabin site that he will lend. We can try it out as a way of quickly dispensing the tumble weeds.
    l. Continue to look for more, higher (8 Ft) chain link fence to mitigate the tumble weeds in the ramp. Bill checking on Craig’s List and FB marketplace.
    m. Nails on Road. Several of Ray’s friends came out on the 10/3 trip and used metal detectors and magnets to clear the site of nail and metal on the road. We’ve all had flat tires and need to continue to clear the road and site of debris as many of us have had tire damage. Bill bought a new magnet roller and left it in the Comm. Trailer. Please walk it up and down the road once whenever you’re on site. Bill did this last Saturday and got two 16 oz cups of metal and nails from the road.
    n. The Ham Radio Equipment in the bunker needs some dust covers or enclosures to keep the dust out of the equipment. Need dimensions of the equipment to sew tarps or by plastic covers online.
    o. Myron secured a Dantron MLA2500 2KW Amp and Yaesu FT736 donations for the site or sale.
    p. Need a program to combine logs for position and time and signal strength from the dish instrumentation.
    q. Need to modify the Trailer heater with sheet metal or plastic covers to provide safety and the bracket needs to be reinstalled. Need 4 2 ½ inch drywall screws to hold the heater bracket to the wall. Bob has this done and only needs to reinstall it. Complete: Bob finished it.
    r. Replace the rear window of the Comm. Trailer. Complete: Bill bought custom window from Kent Glass for $81 and installed it.
    s. Ray has 8 brackets to fix a railing around the scaffold for additional safety. Needs some help to install.
    t. Ettus Research B210 receiver from Don Latham. Rich has it working except for the GPS input. Will work at the site with the GPS. Don says there is a 10MHz source in the electronics he brought down. Ray gave Rich a 10MHz ref source to implement. Rich will need to make an internal modification to convert the 10MHz clock to external.
    u. Retrieve Key for Battery Box from Ed Corn. Bill called Ed and he doesn’t have it. We can replace the lock. Myron will purchase to more Combination locks.
    v. Clean up the DC Bus on the Comm./Operations trailer wall. w. Find the perfect focal point and phase center of the dish. See: Ruze formula. Could we characterize the dish surface for problems and accuracy to determine the loss from damage and weathering? Or, could devise measurement and reference system so we always place the feed in the exact phase center? Ray has a measurement method to find the exact focal point of the dish to phase center the feeds.
    x. Ground the feed to the pedestal ground for lightning and static build up mitigation.
    y. Grounding bulkhead of the trailer. Discussion about lightning mitigation of the site.
    z. Fix old website to link to new one. Call Wayne Green and see who owns it or if he can fix
    it.
    aa. Facebook page link to new website.
    bb. KRCC has a 3.8 Comtech industrial dish that we can get. Dish is good to 12GHz. Need to get a work party to remove and reinstall. Ray and Rich had discussed setting this up as a second dish that could be a training and remoting dish at the site.
    cc. Feeds: Steve’s 1420Feeds for SETI work. Ray will remove the mount for Steve and then when he’s done will put up his 1420 feed for a period and then the 1296 feed again.
  22. Miscellaneous discussion on various topics, see the Zoom recording.
    a. Gary suggested analogy from his museum docent work experience, “When we had visitors at the museum, I would pay attention to what caught their interests and imaginations, and I would try to engage and build from those interests. That enabled them to genuinely feel ownership, and to continue to pursue what interested them, together with all the new things they were learning. And there was natural mutual respect. We can engage our members, especially our new members in a similar way too.” Gary invited our new members to share what was interesting them:
    i. Dan is interested in collecting multiple measurements of the same pulsars
    and do some additional data analysis to capture their differences over time.
    ii. Jim White is interesting in SETI and EME. He comes from the original
    Boulder/Longmont group. Also interested in the new radio mode Q65 for
    tropospheric scatter work on 6 meters for very long distance low power and
    low data rate comm. We could effectively do frequencies above 432MHz.
    Also, Ionospheric sounding work reflecting from Ionosphere to determine
    the strength of the reflection and the timing of the layer change. May need
    to post RF Power limit signs at the site.
    iii. Don mentioned WSPR in which you transmit an autonomous coded
    message and gives signal report to the website from multiple locations.
    Only uses 100MWatt XMTR.
    iv. Rich, Solar radiometer receiver, from Rodney Howe, measures solar flux
    units to measure the number of sunspots. We could be the US site for this.
    Runs on a Python program.
    v. Goal from this year is to do calibrated measurements. Need to do real
    absolute value measurements. We need to calibrate our equipment for
    pointing and signal strength. Don gave us a lock in amplifier that takes data
    from the Dicke switch to get an absolute measurement.
    vi. Ray wants to build a broad band downconverter at the feed to reduce the
    coax loss of the 200 Ft. feedline. At higher frequencies we will need this. IF
    frequency could be in the 200-300MHz range.
    vii. Dual polarization at the feed would improve sensitivity and capture.
    viii. University outreach programs for Educational opportunities and funding.ix. Ray’s feed has dual polarizations on the feeds s we could run dual lines to the receiver and improve the sensitivity.
    x. FRB capture and research.
    xi. How could we respond to Astronomical events like a supernova? If we had
    a plan, we might be able to capture some data.
    xii. Papers for the science meetings. Need some astronomy presentations.
    b. This weekend Saturday the 24th Ray is planning a work trip. We still need to coordinate the trips as work trips and observation trips.
    c. Rich will coordinate the Feed schedule and Observation schedule.
    d. Bill will continue to help coordinate the work trip schedule.
    End of Meeting. See you next week at the science meeting

DSES Science Meeting March 22, 2021

Welcome to the DSES Science meeting 3/22/2021.

by Bill Miller

We had 14 participants in the virtual science meeting today:  Thanks everyone for joining.

Participants: Dr. Rich Russel,  Ray Uberecken, Bob Haggart, Floyd Glick, Gary Agranat, Myron Babcock,Dan Layne, Edward  Currie, Jon Ayres, Tim Cline, Don Latham. Lewis Putman, Bob Sayers, Bill Miller

Also see the Zoom Video Recording for more detail:  

Topic: DSES Science Meeting,  Date: Mar 22, 2021 05:26 PM Mountain Time (US and Canada)

https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/WmQScWFaV2DH22cSW9CAnYJgjhMsYpHDCmyt39GC-BFhJoCtqjNfg2n1bxpNC-U.FJAeQcMiaKhBY2Bw

Chat File from Meeting: http://dses.science/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/meeting_saved_chat.pdf

Agenda and Notes.    

  1. Myron’s Treasure’s Report: Checking: $2627.70 Savings: $5742.33. 34 current paid up members that include 5-life members and 1-student membership. Please pay your yearly $50 for full voting membership or $20 for interest only membership on Pay-Pal on the web site or by check to Myron at our Austin Bluffs address. Web site and PO box
    $130 box rent are coming due. Utility bill was about $58 last month
    Mail: Deep Space Exploration Society
    4164 Austin Bluffs Parkway #562
    Colorado Springs, CO 80918
  2. Have Larsen Hess is a new member from Fairbanks on Myron’s list.
  3. Myron is in contact with Larry Ludlow of the Fairbanks Gilmore NOAA tracking center employee and the deputy director of Mars Rover missions at JPL and another JPL employee and will try to get them connected with the DSES.
  4. BOD nominations were made, the election was held, but only 11 ballots were returned and received.
  5. Election results and officer assignments will be made by the new board at the all members virtual meeting which we agreed to schedule on April 12th in lieu of the normal engineering and ops meeting . Bill will organize and send an invitation to all members.
  6. Virtual Open House Presentation
    a. Front Range 6 Meter Group. President, Paul Sobon sobonpaul(at)gmail.com asked for a DSES presentation on Wed., Feb 10th at 7PM. Please view Bill’s presentation of the “Virtual DSES Open House” recorded from the Front Range 6 Meter Group at http://dses.science/dses-presentation-to-the-front-range-6-meter-group. This prompted invitations to give the presentation to several other amateur groups.
    b. Bill and Myron gave the virtual live Open House presentation to the Artic Amateur Radio Group based in Fairbanks on March 12th c. Bill was invited and gave the Open house presentation to the Utah DX Amateur group on March 17th to about 28 members.
    d. Bill was also invited and gave the presentation to the Oregon Tualatin Valley Amateur Radio Club on March 18th to about 38 Members.
  7. The ARRL has published the results from the 2020 EME moon bounce contest last autumn, which we participated in. Gary wrote a short post on the website about this, with links to further information.
    a. Gary mentioned last month, we were contacted last month by Rick Rosen K1DS, who was writing an article for QST about the contest. He included a segment in the article just about us. Gary attached the article that is now being published and attached the certificate we were awarded.
    b. In the post Gary explained a little how the scoring worked. We were credited with contacting 36 unique stations, which gave us a score of 90,000. And that put us in 4th place in the Multi-operator, all-mode, 1.2 GHz category.
    c. The Stanford University station W6YX, which we contacted, placed highest in our category, with 113 contacts. The highest number of contacts in the contest results was by a single-operator Eastern Russian station with 388 contacts, over several bands and modes. Gary suspects there is a higher density of EME stations in Europe, which can enable this kind of performance.
    d. Our operators for the contest were AA0L, KL7YY, and WA2JQZ. Glen Davis also was crucial for adjusting our antenna pointing system and ensuring we were operational. (WD0CUJ and Michael Namieka and Bill Miller KC0FHN also came out, and made a moon bounce test transmission, but didn’t make contest contacts.)
    e. The post on our website includes the Certificate and the QST article. ARRL 2020 EME Contest Results – Deep Space Exploration Society (dses.science)
  8. Here is the pdf for in DSES pubs tab for 9 ft dish
    20-Preliminary-Drift-Scan-Survey-using-the-New-9-foot-Dish-Neutral-Hydrogen-Measurement-System.pdf (dses.science)
  9. Our Site is photogenic!
    a. Don Savage and Jason Fazio did an all-nighter at the site on March 17th. They would like to do an onsite class in night photography at the site need to work this through the board.
    b. Andrew Miller, another photographer based out of Denver would like to do a project on the site
    c. Marc Slover and Michael Rice compiled the time-lapse videos.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=HLrpsVmBchE&feature=youtu.be
  10. BOD Initiative
    In 2019 and 2020 we accomplished a lot of the big goals that we had been working on for a number of years including (H1) Hydrogen Line mapping, Tropospheric scatter communications, Pulsar detection, and EME. Now that we have those accomplishments and can replicate them at will, we should look ahead and decide what we do next. Everyone should think of a radio astronomy or organization project that they think would be doable and important and get those into a list that we can review and go after with some more detailed plans. The main categories of interest would be:
    a. New observation initiatives
    b. Ham Radio capabilities, contesting and special events
    c. On site open house for Aug 2021
    d. Continued Infrastructure upgrade and maintenance.
    e. Instrument and electronics upgrade and additions.
    f. Scientific discovery, theory testing, and publication.
    g. Educational programs and events for members and students.
    h. Public outreach and member recruitment
  11. There is an upcoming Schriever STEM Day on April 23rd from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm. This may be an opportunity to gain some new members and is an excellent outreach opportunity if we can get an invitation. Gary will check into it to see if we can get an invitation.
  12. Dr. Rich Russel’s Science presentation with Ted Cline’s graphical conversion and analysis of SpectraCyber data from Rich’s 9 ft backyard dish. Click on to view. Watch the meeting video for discussion.
    DSES Science Meeting 3-22-2021.pdf:
    http://dses.science/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/DSES-Science-Meeting-3-22-2021.pdf
    End of meeting

March 2021 DSES Engineering and Ops Meeting

2021-3-08 DSES Engineering and Ops Meeting Notes:                                                    by Bill Miller

We had 19 participants in the virtual engineering meeting today:  Thanks everyone for joining.

Participants: Myron Babcock,  Glenn Davis, Dr. Richard Russel, Gary Agranat, Dan Layne, Bob Haggart,  Floyd Glick, Ted Cline,  Jonathon Ayers, Bob Sayers, Phil Coker, Ray Uberecken, Don Latham, Don Savage, Jason Fazio, Dan Layne, Michael Nameika, Edward Currie, Bill Miller

See the Zoom Meeting Video at:  Topic: DSES Engineering and Ops Meeting

Start Time : March 8, 2021 05:30 PM

Meeting Recording: https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/l0GCX7TOgGgV_n3PmbRoQAnhr8vwR3xsQdBpo3lr6yj0l0ucsz6IbJDWn_Z45aZO.Ss4jjTkK7xGK4LBu?startTime=1615249952000

See the Zoom Meeting Chat at:  https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/sdownload/2elha-Q4036MY2M1oScm7Po25AUGFDpa3GeWd9tXZzkf_XwPH-eGYTt0oBjl7Fi4WaX6fioS2MT-0BNI.g29uN2jJhHJoehg5

Agenda and notes.

  1. Check In
  2. Note on Zoom: Per new security guidelines, you cannot change this setting. Please contact your account admin for more information.  Require that all meetings are secured with one security option. Require that all meetings are secured with one of the following security options: a passcode, Waiting Room, or “Only authenticated users can join meetings”. If no security option is enabled, Zoom will secure all meetings with Waiting Room. Learn more
  3. Membership Dues are now due for 2021.  Please submit check or pay pal payment to Myron or on the link in the website. 
  4. If you order on Amazon use the Smile option for Deep Space Exploration Society and we get a rebate.  Gary will post a procedure form Myron on how to do this.
  5. Myron’s Treasures report: Ck 2469.79  Sav 5742.33  Dues for 3 renewing members outstanding.  Website DSES.Science, will auto renew.  UPS mailbox is $135/year. Power is nominal $60-$85.
  6. Photographers Don Savage and Jason Fazio would like to do a Wednesday night photography session on site this week.  Is anyone planning a trip?  Good weather until Thursday PM, then bad weather thru the weekend.  Don will teach any member who wants to come out how to do this nighttime and time lapse photography.
  7. BOD Election.  Where are we with returned ballots?  Need to do one final call and close out election.
    • We will elect or retain 3 seats turning over in 2021.  These seats are  Dave Molter at Large, Floyd Glick- Secretary,  Bill Miller – President,
  8. So far, we have these nominations.
    • Ray Uberecken from Myron. Bill seconded that nomination, 
    • Don Latham nominated by Ray Uberecken and Bill seconded
    • Floyd Glick self-nominated and Bill seconded.
    • Bill Miller self-nominated and Myron seconded.
  9. In keeping with the Bylaws schedule changes voted by the board in 2019 the rough schedule is  as follows;  hold nominations open we will need to modify these dates by the delay. 
    • Open nominations now, January 15th, and close in 20 days, on February 4th.
    • Released the ballot to the members by February 24th.
    • Hold board election in the following 10 days.
    • Decided to send one final notice to the membership and then close the balloting by March 12th.
    • The 4 BOD members not up for election shall count the ballots and make results known to the membership by March 17th.
    • We are a little behind on that schedule but want to give members a chance to vote.
    • Schedule the virtual “all-member annual meeting” in mid to late  March and in that meeting the Board votes for or assigns officers from the elected BOD.  Although we would like to have an in person meeting, because of the Covid-19 and our responsibility to keep our members safe, the all-members meeting will be scheduled and held virtually.
  10. We need to finish and post the new bylaws changes related to the BOD election schedule that was approved last year to our website. Bill sent the Ver 3.1 Bylaws markup to Gary and Floyd for review, incorporation and posting.
  11. April 3rd is  the SARA western conference with papers already submitted.  Deadline for papers for the August conference is the first of June.  The annual SARA conference is Saturday, July 31 to Sun Aug 1 and will be held virtually.  See radio-astronomy.org Pay $25 attending member fee to SARA and attend.
  12. DSES Aug. Open House: Plan for on-site open house in August but will watch the CDC for guidance on the Corona Virus guidelines and try to decide in June.
  13. The last pulsar trip was not too successful. Next pulsar trip?
    1. Need a long dwell time of 4 hr. per pulsar that we haven’t already captured.
    1. Have 13 of the easy ones.
    1. Could do this weekend but weather may be a problem.
  14. Do a moon bounce and EME distance measurement weekend at 1296MHz.  Look for a Moon view window.  Gary says, regarding trying an EME ranging test, on the weekend from next Mar 21 the Moon will be at first quarter.  So, the Moon will be up from about noon to midnight that weekend.
  15. We have 1420, 1296 and 408 MHz feed capability. 
  16. Skip’s 1420 SETI observation is in May and requires Steve’s 1420 Feed.
  17. Compare Scope in a Box Receiver and other receiver tests between now and the open house. Maybe do a runoff of receivers at the open house?  This would be a great Science fair project for a high school student with hooking up and affordable SDR to the big dish and getting actual data.
  18. The 2020 Virtual DSES Open House Presentation https://www.dropbox.com/s/zxpzj879iz7mt77/2020%20DSES%20Virtual%20Open%20House.mp4?dl=0
    1. Bill gave the presentation to the Front Range 6 Meter group https://groups.io/g/FrontRange6Meter last month, recorded and posted it to our site.
    1. Everett Curry, W6ABM Assistant Section Manager/Oregon ARRL, asked to present the recorded presentation to the General Interest Amateur Radio Club in North East Oregon Thursday, Feb 18th
    1. The Artic Armature Radio Group of which Myron is a member asked for a live presentation of  the Open House on Friday, March 12th.
    1. The Utah DX Amateur group would like the presentation on Wednesday March 17th.
  19.  The 1296MHz feed is now changed out to the 408MHz feed for continuing pulsar work.
    1. Need to learn how to use the B210 receiver. Rich has it set up as best as possible.  Would like to have a faster computer to handle the throughput.
    1. Need more dwell time.
    1. Need a 10MHz reference source for B210.
  20. See the Feed Change Schedule on the main website page.  This may need updating.
    1. 4GHz feed for aiming.
    1. 1420Mhz is on the table
  21. The HughesNet dish for internet service may be a dry hole. Ray and Rich had called the service tech to the site, but he showed up at Ray’s residence, so it didn’t get fixed.  We need to look for other alternative Internet providers Myron has started to investigate this.
  22. Don checked on Musk’s Starlink internet connection which is in beta testing and as yet sporadic connectivity.  It costs $500 for a ground station and $99/month for a beta test setup. Too expensive for us.
  23. Need internet for SuperSids and Radio Jove, Magnetometer, Security System, Power monitors, etc.
  24. Rich’s projects and presentations:
    • Call from Jason Outenreath who is a  documentary film maker that would like to do a film on radio astronomy.
    • Editor for the SARA journal.
    • 9 Ft dish in Rich’s yard generated a H1 full sky survey over the last year for H1 mapping.
  25. Jon Ayers discussion on the data reduction and method for reducing and using the H1 data from Rich’s setup. 
  26. Discussion on the Dicke-Switch
  27. Glenn Davis system 1 status
    • Mid to late April scan SW and field of view SW 
    • Phil Gage. Commanding and GUI interface and field of view
    • Lewis Putman working on Python interface for integration and to log the data off the SDR.
    • Glenn working SW interface to connect the system across the network
    • Phil developed a Geo Pointing SW that points to GeoSync satellites for mount calibration.  The scan pattern will hunt the field and log the output of the receiver and make a correction offset.
  28. Jon Ayers – Can you send a dual frequency beacon that can be used for range finding on the moon.  Like a frequency phase comparison range finder.
  29. Bob Haggart has the Radio Jove Dipoles ready to put up back.  Ray wants to us his Flex 1500 in the 54MHz band  and have it on
  30. Ted asks about the H1 data from the 9 Ft dish.  The data needs to be processed.  The Data off the receiver is raw signal strength and normalized and is not square law or power. Ted is ready to plot processed data.  Ted will post on drop box.
  31. Dan Layne using Gaussian fit to analyze the pulsar data.  SARA has data on Skynet on Greenbank 20 meter dish and the data.  Should look at that data from Greenbank.  We should learn and make use of the data sets from our national radio observatories to go deeper.   Note that EdX Radio Astronomy course starts March 14  https://www.edx.org/course/radio-sky-1  if you are interested.
  32. Things to  do
    • Check clean out and fix the Sump Pumps in the underground before spring rains flood the bunker. (Bill talked to Dave Molter and He said they had never been completely mucked out as far as he knew.) need to muck them out before spring rains.  Don suggested that we get a septic tank cleaner to come out and pump out the sumps.  He would even pay for it.
    • Cut off the 5 band vertical mounting pole and move the vertical base to ground level and reattach and add more radials and bury them for protection.
    • Repair the dish edge damage.
    • Clean out the tower and the pedestal base. Too much junk and clutter are accumulating there.
    • Align Ray’s HughesNet Satellite internet dish. Call HughesNet for reprogramming and support.  Find internet provider alternative. Couldn’t get DISH out to reset the microbeam position.  Bill asked the group if someone would donate a hot spot modem for a period of time and DSES will reimburse the plan cost.
    • Need to remove Tumble weeds have piled up in the ramp.  Does anyone have a small yard waste chipper/shredder we could try?  Bob Sayers has one at his cabin site that he will lend.   We can try it out as a way of quickly dispensing the tumble weeds.
    • Continue to look for more, higher (8 Ft) chain link fence to mitigate the tumble weeds in the ramp.
    • Clean the silt out of the Underground from the flooding damage.  Need a pass through vacuum with a long exit hose.
    • Nails on Road.  Several of Ray’s friends came out on the 10/3 trip and used metal detectors and magnets to clear the site of nail and metal on the road.  We’ve all had flat tires and need to continue to clear the road and site of debris as many of us have had tire damage.  Bill bought a new magnet roller and left it in the Comm. Trailer.  Please walk it up and down the road once whenever you’re on site.
    • Take down the Beam on the tip over tower and align the 3 elements on the  Yagi and re-enforce the element attachment on the beam with bolts.
    • The Ham Radio Equipment in the bunker needs some dust covers or enclosures to keep the dust out of the equipment.  Need dimensions of the equipment to sew tarps or by plastic covers online.
    • Need a program to combine logs for position and time and signal strength.
    • Need to modify the heater with sheet metal or plastic covers to provide safety  and the bracket needs to be reinstalled. Need 4  2 ½ inch drywall screws to hold the heater bracket to the wall.  Bob has this done and only needs to reinstall it.
    • Replace the rear window of the Comm. Trailer.  Complete: Bill bought custom window from Kent Glass for $81 and installed it.
    • Ray has 8 brackets to fix a railing around the scaffold for additional safety.  Needs some help to install.
    • Ettus Research B210 receiver from Don Latham. Rich has it working except for the GPS input.  Will work at  the site with the GPS.  Don says there is a 10MHz source in the electronics he brought down.
    • Retrieve Key for Battery Box from Ed Corn.
    • Clean up the DC Bus on the Comm./Operations trailer wall.
    • Find the perfect focal point and phase center of the dish. See: Ruze formula. Could we characterize the dish surface for problems and accuracy to determine the loss from damage and weathering. Or, could devise  measurement and reference system so we always place the feed in the exact phase center?
    • Ground the feed to the pedestal ground for lightning and static build up mitigation.
    • Fix old website to link to new one.
    • Facebook page link to new website.
  33. Miscellaneous discussion on various topics, see the Zoom recording.

A PDF copy of this meeting’s agenda is here: http://dses.science/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/2021-3-08-DSES-Engineering-and-Ops-Meeting.pdf

DSES Science meeting 2/22/2021

Welcome to the DSES Science meeting 2/22/2021

2021-02-22 DSES Science Meeting Notes:                                                                            by Bill Miller

We had 14 participants in the virtual science meeting today:  Thanks everyone for joining.

Participants: Dr. Rich Russel,  Ray Uberecken, Bob Haggart, Floyd Glick, Gary Agranat, Myron Babcock,Dan Layne, Brian O’Rourke, Dan Layne, Edward  Currie, Jerry Espada W7IEW, Jon Ayres, Tim Cline, Steve Williams W0ML,  Bill Miller

Also see the Zoom Video Recording for more detail:  

Topic: DSES Science Meeting

Start Time : Feb 22, 2021 05:27 PM

Meeting Recording:

We missed recording the operations and house keeping portion of the meeting, but this link includes all but the first few moments of the Science portion of the meeting.

https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/kUiVcAAiyqMexQTmUzZSq4Y4Xs3CrEv5gFOKUQxHZA8_Iymu5gkL78_f2qF2NCt3.YvX6G2M_ZqKk_g1K

This meeting’s notes on PDF

Agenda and Notes.    

  • Myron’s Treasure’s Report:  Checking: $2716.09,  Savings:   $5792.29.   33 current paid up members that include 5-life members and 1-student membership.  Please pay your yearly $50 for full voting membership or $20 for interest only membership on Pay-Pal on the web site or by check to Myron at our Austin Bluffs address.

Mail: Deep Space Exploration Society

4164 Austin Bluffs Parkway #562

Colorado Springs, CO 80918

  • Science Fair: Gary and Bill reviewed he projects submitted to the 2021 Virtual Pikes Peak Regional Science and Engineering Fair.    The awards were as follows

Junior Division:

1. $100  Lily Sobers – Outstanding Science Project:  The Science of Spin 

2. $50 Shrey Rohilla – 2nd Place Science and Engineering Project: Battle of the Blades 

3. $25 Gurman Goraya – Honorable Mention Science Project: Stellar Endgame  

Senior Division:

1. $100 Kathryn Kummel – Outstanding Science Project: Investigating Atmospheric
Convection as a Chaotic System though the Lorenz Attractors using
Mathematical Modeling and a Lorenz Water Wheel 

2. $50 Alden Kruse – 2nd Place Engineering Project: Something in the Water – Creating an Origami Microfluidic Device for Developing Communities

3. $25 Sean Brooks – Honorable Mention: Separating Microplastics from
Beach Sand Using a Fluidized Air Bed

Bill made Parchment Award Certificates and Myron wrote award checks for our winners. The monetary awards were taken from money generously donated for the purpose by Rich Russell from proceeds of his “Mind Files” project.

  • On Saturday Feb, 20 Gary and Bill gave the 6 science fair award certificates and checks to  Carol Bach, the fair coordinator at UCCS, for distribution to the students.

If anyone wants to see the projects, Bill has a list and files

  • Call for BOD Nominations.  We need at least three nominations for the board to replace or retain BOD members, Floyd Glick, Dave Molter, and Bill Miller by Feb 3rd.  Bill called Dave Molter this week and he declined to be nominated for retention as he is too busy to serve.  Don Latham was nominated and seconded in the engineering meeting and Ray Uberecken and Floyd Glick were also seconded in the meeting.  Later Bill self-nominated and Myron seconded.
  • Bill moves that nominations after this meeting will close and he will send out the election ballots in Email.  This was seconded and Bill will send out the Ballots on Feb 23.
  • BOD Initiative

In 2019 and 2020 we accomplished a lot of the big goals that we had been working on for a number of years including (H1) Hydrogen Line mapping, Tropospheric scatter communications, Pulsar detection, and EME.  Now that we have those accomplishments and can replicate them at will, we should look ahead and decide what we do next.  Everyone should think of a radio astronomy or organization project that they think would be doable and important and get those into a list that we can review and go after with some more detailed plans.   The main categories  of interest would be:

  1. New observation initiatives
  2. Ham Radio capabilities, contesting and special events
  3. On site open house for Aug 2021
  4. Continued Infrastructure upgrade and maintenance.
  5. Instrument and electronics upgrade and additions.
  6. Scientific discovery, theory testing, and publication.
  7. Educational programs and events for members and students.
  8. Public outreach and member recruitment
  •  There is an upcoming Schriever STEM Day on April 23rd from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  This may be an opportunity to gain some new members and is an excellent outreach opportunity.
  • Our Site is photogenic!   Don Savage and Jason Fazio would like to do some all-night photography at the site. Andrew Miller, another photographer based out of Denver would like to do a project on the site as well as Marc Slover and Michael Rice who compiled the time-lapse videos. https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=HLrpsVmBchE&feature=youtu.be
  • Front Range 6 Meter  Group.  President, Paul Sobon sobonpaul@gmail.com asked for a DSES presentation on Wed. , Feb 10th .  at 7PM.  Please view Bill’s presentation of the “Virtual DSES Open House” recorded from the Front Range 6 Meter Group at http://dses.science/dses-presentation-to-the-front-range-6-meter-group.
  • If going to the site call Chad Carter to see if he would like to meet you there.  He often works on the camera on the large grain elevator in Haswell and other Eastern Colorado sites.  www.car-telenterprises.com 785-564-0118 cell. 
  • Planet Walk:
  • Dr. Rich Russel’s Science presentation. Click on to view.

Deep Space Exploration Society
Science Meeting

End of meeting

February 2021 DSES Engineering and Ops Meeting – Minutes and Video

Welcome to the February 2021 DSES Engineering and Ops Meeting

2021-2-08 DSES Engineering and Ops Meeting Notes:                                                    by Bill Miller

We had 16 participants in the virtual engineering meeting today:  Thanks everyone for joining.

Participants: Myron Babcock,  Glenn Davis, Jerry Espada, Dr. Richard Russel, Gary Agranat, Dan Layne, Bob Haggart,  Floyd Glick, Phillip Gage, Ted Cline,  Jonathon Ayers, Bob Sayers, Phil Coker, Ray Uberecken, Don Latham, Bill Miller

See the Zoom Meeting Video at:  Topic: DSES Engineering and Ops Meeting

Start Time : Feb 8, 2021 05:30 PM

Meeting Recording:

https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/sx1UdhzZEdMfq5k5vnjvTTTFt36VEptQcOj7K_edCM6YvzuhpdX-R_F-Bilyerrh.mPzKtAnKn__fnJkB

See the Zoom Meeting Chat at:  https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/sdownload/kY_gXTy5O0ogjIsRjH1elZFw2rkc9NmfVNxPEiXiyebkYrni7ugAMBTq_f8CjMxkzNNE1fx6Ek3LezqY.e46qIxQNO41we6rh (This will send a text file to your Download Folder.)

Agenda and notes;

  1. Check In
  2. Membership Dues are now due for 2021.  Please submit check or pay pal payment to Myron or on the link in the website.  We started 2020 with 62 members and ended  with 52 members. Several members that we normally see at the open house and renew dues then did not do so this year because we did not hold the open house.  Myron has tried to contact them but have not heard anything back yet. 
  3. Latest Treasures Report from Myron Babcock.  The current checking is $2579.20  Savings Is:  $5742.29, Jan 978.25 income and $471.73 expenses. Bob Haggart was reimbursed $360.25,  Electric bill $83.77.
  4. If you order on Amazon use the Smile option for Deep Space Exploration Society and we get a rebate.  Gary will post a procedure form Myron on how to do this. Update: the URL for the Amazon Smiles link is now at the bottom of the DSES homepage after the PayPal link. Use the URL: https://smile.amazon.com/. The site will then guide you. Select “The Deep Space Exploration Society” as the non-profit organization/charity.
  5. Discussion on Phishing EMAIL.  Getting a lot of 1 liner emails.  Don’t open the attachments!
  6. Photographer, Marc Slover, Road Trip Ventures visited the site with Dan Lane, Ray Uberecken and Rich Russel on Jan 23 and took some more time lapse videos while the dish was chasing and tracking pulsars. https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=HLrpsVmBchE&feature=youtu.be
  7. Marc’s Videos from Previous trip
  8. BOD Election.  Need to Nominate 3 BOD members.
    • We elected 4 BOD positions in 2020.  Myron Babcock – Treasurer and  Gary Agranat – Vice President were retained.  Steve Plock – At large, and  Dr. Richard Russel-At large were replaced by Bob Haggart and Bob Sayers. 
    • We will elect or retain 3 seats turning over in 2021.  These are  Dave Molter at Large, Floyd Glick- Secretary,  Bill Miller – President,
  9. So far, we have these nominations.
    • We have received only one nomination for BOD by Email for Ray Uberecken from Myron. Bill Seconded that nomination, 
    • Floyd Glick self-nominated in this meeting and Bill seconded.
    • Ray nominated Don Latham and Bill seconded. 
    • That is Three but to have a little competition we would like to have more and will hold nominations open for a few more days.
  10. In keeping with the Bylaws schedule changes voted by the board in 2019 the rough schedule is  as follows,  To hold nominations open we will need to modify these dates by the delay.
    • Open nominations now, January 15th, and close in 20 days, on February 4th.
    • Release the ballot to the members by February 9th.
    • Hold board election in the following 10 days, completing Feb 20th.
    • The 4 BOD members not up for election shall count the ballots and make results known to the membership by Feb 26th.
    • Schedule the “all-member annual meeting” in early March and in that meeting the Board votes for or assigns officers from the elected BOD.  Although we would like to have an in person meeting, because of the Covid-19 and our responsibility to keep our members safe, the all-members meeting will be scheduled and held virtually.
  11. We need to finish and post the new bylaws changes related to the BOD election schedule that was approved last year to our website. Bill sent the Ver 3.1 Bylaws markup to Gary and Floyd for review, incorporation and posting.
  12. April 3rd is  the SARA western conference with papers already submitted.  Deadline for papers for the August conference is the first of June. 
  13. The SARA Drake’s lounge is on Feb. 21st at Noon.  SARA members should be automatically invited.
  14. Rich wrote a paper for the spring SARA conference. Check out Rich’s SARA paper on “An Arduino Controller for the Yaesu G5500D mount”.
  15. Rich is doing a MAX2870 RF signal generator paper for SARA and will post.  The unit has  a frequency range of 23.5MHz to 6GHz.
  16. Last Pulsar trip was not too successful.  Had some issues of the tracking SW driving into the electrical limit switches.   One failure was caused by a power glitch. The second failure was unplugging the Ethernet Switch and losing communication. Resetting the power, limit switches and manually driving the dish corrected the error but when moving the dish, you should always keep an eye on it with the CCTV monitor or out the window.
  17. To get beyond the 13 pulsars captured so far and find fainter ones, we will need greater dwell times and more bandwidth in the receiver.
  18. Bill to do a DSES Virtual Open House presentation to the Front Range 6 Meter Group on Wednesday Feb. 10th at 7PM.  This was completed and the recording will be linked on the website.   This picked up a couple of new members, Jim White who was part of the original Table Mountain DSES and Paul Sobon the president of the Front Range 6 Meter group.
  19. Late breaking news is that Everett Curry, W6ABM Assistant Section Manager/Oregon ARRL. Would like to present the presentation to the General Interest Amateur Radio Club in North East Oregon Thursday, Feb 18th.
  20. The 1296MHz feed is now changed out to the 408MHz feed for continuing pulsar work.
    • Need to learn how to use the B210 receiver.
    • Need more dwell time.
    • Need a 10MHz reference source for B210.
  21. See the Feed change schedule on the main website page this needs updating.
  22. The HughesNet dish for internet service may be a dry hole. Ray and Rich had called the service tech to the site, but he showed up at Rays residence, so it didn’t get fixed.  We need to look for other alternative Internet providers Myron has started to investigate this.
  23. Need internet for SuperSids and Radio Jove, Magnetometer, Security System, Power monitors, etc.
  24. Things to  do
    • Check clean out and fix the Sump Pumps in the underground before spring rains flood the bunker.
    • Cut off the 5 band vertical mounting pole and move the vertical base to ground level and reattach and add more radials and bury them for protection.
    • Repair the dish edge damage.
    • Clean out the tower and the pedestal base.
    • Align Ray’s HughesNet Satellite internet dish. Call HughesNet for reprogramming and support.  Find internet provider alternative.
    • Need to remove Tumble weeds have piled up in the ramp.
    • Continue to look for more, higher (8 Ft) chain link fence to mitigate.
    • Clean the silt out of the Underground from the flooding damage.
    • Nails on Road.  Several of Ray’s friends came out on the 10/3 trip and used metal detectors and magnets to clear the site of nail and metal on the road.  We’ve all had flat tires and need to continue to clear the road and site of debris as many of us have had tire damage.  Bill bought a new magnet roller and left it in the Comm. Trailer.  Please walk it up and down the road once whenever you’re on site.
    • Align the 3 element Yagi and re-enforce.
    • The Ham Radio Equipment in the bunker needs some dust covers or enclosures to keep the dust out of the equipment. 
    • Need a program to combine logs for position and time and signal strength.
    • Need to modify the heater with sheet metal or plastic covers to provide safety  and the bracket needs to be reinstalled. Need 4  2 ½ inch drywall screws to hold the heater bracket to the wall.
    • Replace the rear window of the Comm. Trailer.  Complete: Bill bought custom window from Kent Glass for $81 and installed it.
    • Ray has 8 brackets to fix a railing around the scaffold for additional safety.
    • Ettus Research B210 receiver from Don Latham. Rich has it working except for the GPS input.  Will work at  the site with the GPS.  Don says there is a 10MHz source in the electronics he brought down.
    • Retrieve Key for Battery Box from Ed Corn.
    • Clean up the DC Bus on the Comm. trailer wall.
    • Find the perfect focal point and phase center of the dish. See: Ruze formula. Could we characterize the dish surface for problems and accuracy to determine the loss from damage and weathering. Or, could devise  measurement and reference system so we always place the feed in the exact phase center?
    • Ground the feed to the pedestal ground for lightning and static build up mitigation.
    • Fix old website to link to new one.
    • Facebook page link to new website.
  25. Miscellaneous discussion on various topics, see the Zoom recording.

DSES Science Meeting January 25, 2021

Welcome to the DSES Science meeting 1/25/2021

2021-01-25 DSES Science Meeting Notes:                                                                            by Bill Miller

We had 14 participants in the virtual science meeting today:  Thanks everyone for joining.

Participants: Dr. Rich Russel,  Ray Uberecken, Bob Haggart, Floyd Glick, Gary Agranat, Lauren Libby, Myron Babcock, Robert Sayers, Dan Layne, Michael Nameika, Marc Slover, Phillip Coker, Paul Sobol NO0T, Bill Miller

Also see the Zoom Video Recording for more detail:  

https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/4QX0KYVA-hEwRBuzXQOOWFATULWSDa1Om-BvlxFOdpIICmBVScbEnOn-f242PxYm.WmvPFXtfQNb75LwO?startTime=1611621114000

  1. Myron’s Treasure’s Report Checking $2533.03 Savings $5742.25 , We have 31 paid members. 23 yet to pay. Paul Sobon, Marc S.  Myron will pay the property tax shortly.
  2. Questions on ORION Meeting invite from David Fields.
  3. Call for BOD Nominations.  Need three nominations for the board to replace or retain BOD members, Floyd Glick, Dave Molter, and Bill Miller by Feb 3rd.
  4. BOD Initiative

In 2019 and 2020 we accomplished a lot of the big goals that we had been working on for a number of years including (H1) Hydrogen Line mapping, Tropospheric scatter communications, Pulsar detection, and EME.  Now that we have those and can replicate them at will, we have to ask ourselves, what else can we do and what direction(s) should we go in? In my opinion here are several key areas or categories that the org. needs to address with some more detailed plans.

1. Continued Infrastructure upgrade and maintenance

2. Instrument and electronics upgrades and additions

3. Scientific discovery, theory testing, and publication

4. Educational programs and events for members and students

5. Public outreach and member recruitment

6. New observation initiatives

  1. Science Fair:  Letter from PPRSF below.  The Science Fair will be on Feb. 18-20.

Hello Bill,

Please send us a list of your special award judges and their email contact information by February 10, 2021.

We will send you and your judges an email with the details and code to view projects in the virtual showcase.

The attached letter outlines the information for this year’s fair.

We are looking forward to your participation in the virtual science fair and are hoping that next year will be an in-person event.

Thanks!

Carol Bach, Karen Crosson and Lynne Williams 

  1. Our Site is photogenic!   Andrew Miller, another photographer based out of Denver would like to do a project on the site.
  2. Front Range 6 Meter  Group.   Paul Sobon sobonpaul[at]gmail.com The group would like an open house virtual presentation on Wed. , Feb 10th at 6:30 opening at 7PM. Bill is working on a general presentation.
  3. Chad Carter was in Haswell on Friday working on the camera on the large grain elevator.  Did anyone call him into the work trip Saturday. www.car-telenterprises.com 785-564-0118 cell.  Ray sent him email but he didn’t show at the site Saturday so probably had to return to home base.
  4. Planet Walk:
    • Bill will write an endorsement letter and have the DSES Board modify and approve for Planet Walk Colorado Springs. See https://www.planetwalkcs.org/ 
  5. Rich:  See all the notes about the site visit from Saturday Jan 23rd.
  6. See the DSES Science Meeting 1-25-2021 slides PDF from Dr. Rich Russel. http://dses.science/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/DSES-Science-Meeting-1-25-2021.pdfhttp://dses.science/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/DSES-Science-Meeting-1-25-2021.pdf
  7. Saturday Power Glitch: A Mains power glitch caused an upset of the system and that drove the dish to the electrical stops. Rich believes that we should have a UPS or backup battery power on the tower electronics, including the Raspberry Pie and Ethernet Switch and on the Ethernet Switch and computer in the trailer to prevent this.  Bill suggests that anytime the dish is active the operators should monitor its position on the CCTV and use the panel VFD switch to kill the drive if not in control.  In this particular case the watch dog timer in the controller didn’t stop the drive because the computer was still sending updates.
  8. Marc Slover took some pictures while at the site up until about 9PM when the clouds came in.                  
  9. Dan Layne came down for the first time and he and Ray had a good conversation about the systems and the site.
  10. Rich got his 27 KHz, SuperSids receiver and data collection working again and it agrees with Floyd’s data. See graphs in the presentation.
  11.  Floyd uses a 5 ft by 5 ft. loop antenna in PVC to hook up. About 20 Ft per loop.
  12. Rich’s H1 hydrogen measurement with the spectra Cyber.
    • The Sara $300 H1 receiver or Radio Scope in a Box can receive Hydrogen data similar to the Spectra Cyber instrument.
    • For Positioning Use Stellarium Program for Windows or Linux.
  13. See the Zoom recording that will be up for the next 2 months for more detail.

End of meeting

January 2021 DSES Engineering and Ops Meeting

Welcome to the January 2021 DSES Engineering and Ops Meeting

2021-1-11 DSES Engineering and Ops Meeting Notes:                                                    by Bill Miller

We had 10 participants in the virtual engineering meeting today:  Thanks everyone for joining.

Participants: Myron Babcock, Dr. Edward Currie, Dr. Richard Russel, Gary Agranat, Bob Haggart,  Ted Cline, Skip Macaulay VE6BGT,  Ray Uberecken, Don Latham, Bill Miller

See the Zoom Meeting Video at: 

https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/-tZz-hVs35qaAW1W9TdgZsWWd5nBllxjPzMV8LvzKWZdwtyuD7hBLKuAZTHZh-bR.C64RcRjK8IIIvuzV?startTime=1610411790000

Agenda and notes:

  1. Check In
  2. Membership Dues are now due for 2021.  Please submit check or pay pal payment to Myron or on the link in the website.  We started 2020 with 62 members and ended 2020 with 52 members. Several members that we normally see at the open house and renew dues then did not do so this year because we did not hold the open house.  Myron has tried to contact them but have not heard anything back yet. 
  3. Latest Treasures Report from Myron Babcock.  The current checking is; $2791.73  Savings Is:  $5742.20  Electric Bill for 2020. $825.94 for electric and telephone. $337.56 to Steve and $335.81 for Glenn for materials for facilities and Tracking System. Bob Haggart submitted 12 receipts for construction on the Communications Trailer operating desk and separate workstation.  He also built the wooden steps leading up to the trailer and did some electrical work inside the trailer for the electric heater.  The total cost was $360.25.  The Board approved this reimbursement.
  4. Photographer, Marc Slover visited the site with Michael Rice on 12.20 – 12.21 and created time lapse videos of the site.   They would like to do it again on a night where we are moving the dish for Pulsar or other observations.  See the video at:
    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R54ISmo89aw&list=PLwjisv8b2orePaFTec7ZItOC650vqrY9Y&index=1
    2. Everything they shot that night is in the Dropbox: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/zkv03916jeegaf9/AAAtFFC2fRmyQHWLXYGz80kCa?dl=0
  5. Eric Vanhorn, K0EV, donated $150 to DSES for the help provided to him from Ray, Myron and Bill last weekend for the tear down of the tip over tower and antenna, sold from Silent Key Bob Card, AE0W.
  6. K0OJ up in Greeley who also helped with the tear down, posted this info on a new SDR covering 47 MHz to 6 GHz with a 61.4 MHz sampling rate.  https://www.nuand.com/product/bladerf-xa4/
  7. BOD Election.  Need to Nominate 3 BOD members.
    1. We elected 4 BOD positions in 2020.  Myron Babcock – Treasurer and  Gary Agranat – Vice President were retained.  Steve Plock – At large, and  Dr. Richard Russel-At large were replaced by Bob Haggart and Bob Sayers. 
    2. We will elect or retain 3 seats turning over in 2021.  These are;  Dave Molter at Large, Floyd Glick- Secretary,  Bill Miller President.
  8. We need to finish and post the new bylaws changes related to the BOD election schedule that was approved last year to our website. Bill sent the Ver 3.1 Bylaws markup to Gary and Floyd for review, incorporation and posting.
  9. In keeping with the Bylaws schedule changes voted by the board in 2019 the rough schedule is  as follows:
    1. Open nominations now, January 15th, and close in 20 days, on February 4th.
    2. Release the ballot to the members by February 9th.
    3. Hold board election in the following 10 days, completing Feb 20th.
    4. The 4 BOD members not up for election shall count the ballots and make results known to the membership by Feb 26th.
    5. Schedule the “all-member annual meeting” in early March and in that meeting the Board votes for or assigns officers from the elected BOD.  Although we would like to have an in person meeting, because of the Covid-19 and our responsibility to keep our members safe, the all-members meeting will be scheduled and held virtually.
  10. Status of SARA mini H1 1420MHz Receiver kit containing a Sawbird LNA and SDR from NoElec with 2,4GHz Wi-Fi dish and mount with AirSPi SDR Sharp  SW from Rich.  The kit is on the SARA website.  There is also a user’s manual on the site.
  11. April 3rd is  the SARA western conference.  Deadline for papers for the August conference is in June.
  12. The SARA Drake’s lounge is on January 17th for SARA members.  There are now 2-3 80ft dish groups in the group.
  13. The 12 ft H1 dish is working at Rich’s residence. Rich’s SuperSID receiver is broken. The 408MHz SDR receiver is up and ready for pulsar observations.  The B210 SDR receiver from Don Latham is working at Rich’s Lab.  Only missing the GPS connection.   This can be connected to the GPS are the site.
  14. Next pulsar trip; New members Dan Layne, AD0CY and Photographer, Marc Slover would like to attend the next pulsar trip. Please contact them if you are going.
  15. Rich wrote a paper for the spring SARA conference. Check out Rich’s SARA paper on An Arduino Controller for the Yaesu G5500D mount.
  16. Michael Lowe donated an Edmond Scientific 8 inch, 65 inch focal length optical telescope to the DSES.  Bill started working to clean and refurbish the telescope to the original condition.  Floyd offered some advice and assistance in collimation once the scope is ready.
  17. Planet Walk support:  Bill worked with the Planet Walk Org. and got some on air PSAs for them with KSTY, KCME and KRCC.    
  18. Dark Skies support: The DSES organization should support the Dark Skies initiative in South East Colorado to help extend the dark skies area for all astronomers.
  19. Did anyone find Rodney Howe’s 1.665GHz feed? Looking for this still but Ray discussed his building of a new 1.665GHz OH feed he will share with Rodney. Rodney’s feedhorn  is a copper cylinder about 5 inches in diameter and 12 inches long  Keep an eye out for it at the site.
  20. The 1296MHz feed is now changed out to the 408MHz feed for continuing pulsar work.
  21.  See the Feed change schedule on the main website page this needs updating.
  22. Things to  do
    1. Check clean out and Fix the Sump Pumps in the underground.
    2. Cut off the 5 band vertical mounting pole and move the vertical base to ground level and reattach and add more radials and bury them for protection.
    3. Repair the dish edge damage.
    4. Clean out the tower and the pedestal base.
    5. Align Ray’s HughesNet Satellite internet dish. Call HughesNet for reprogramming and support.
    6. Need to remove Tumble weeds have piled up in the ramp and add some fencing to mitigate.
    7. Clean out the silt in the Underground from the flooding damage.
    8. Nails on Road.  Several of Ray’s friends came out on the 10/3 trip and used metal detectors and magnets to clear the site of nail and metal on the road.  We’ve all had flat tires and need to continue to clear the road and site of debris as many of us have had tire damage.  Bill bought a new magnet roller and left it in the Comm. Trailer.  Please walk it up and down the road once whenever you’re on site.
    9. Align the 3 element Yagi and re-enforce.
    10. The Ham Radio Equipment in the bunker needs some dust covers or enclosures to keep the dust out of the equipment. 
    11. Need a program to combine logs for position and time and signal strength.
    12. Need to modify the heater with sheet metal or plastic covers to provide safety  and the bracket needs to be reinstalled. Need 4  2 ½ inch drywall screws to hold the heater bracket to the wall.
    13. Replace the rear window of the Comm. Trailer.  Complete: Bill bought custom window from Kent Glass for $81 and installed it.
    14. Ray has 8 brackets to fix a railing around the scaffold for additional safety.
    15. Ettus Research B210 receiver from Don Latham. Rich has it working except for the GPS input.  Will work at  the site with the GPS.  Don says there is a 10MHz source in the electronics he brought down.
    16. Retrieve Key for Battery Box from Ed Corn.
    17. Clean up the DC Bus on Comm. trailer wall.
    18. Need to characterize the dish surface for problems and accuracy.
  23. Miscellaneous discussion on various topics
    1. The GPS 10MHz 4 way distribution box that Ray built just needs a small power supply. 
    2. Ray would like to make a work trip on Saturday the 16th.  Need to build the scaffold railing and add the U-bolts on the feed hub.  This trip was cancelled for wind and other activities.
    3. Bob says he will modify the heater with covers over the exposed wiring.
    4. Skip Macaulay sent us the spectrograms of our EME signal in the first frame compared to others in the second  as received with his dish and equipment in Lacombe, Alberta Canada.  This clearly shows our excellent signal strength amplitude off the moon.
The signal spike in the middle is the DSES signal, as received by Skip Macaulay VE6BGT in Alberta, Canada. The DSES signal is significantly above the noise floor.
The DSES signal is the tallest spike in middle left. (The spikes at right are an artifact and not an actual signal.) The DSES signal is stronger than the other signals being received. As received by Skip Macaulay VE6BGT in Alberta, Canada.

Work Trip Report, December 8, 2020

Text & pictures by Bill Miller.

On Tuesday 12/08 Ray Uberecken and Bill Miller traveled to the Plishner site.  We found that the gate chain lock was not properly attached to the post and could be removed without unlocking it

We replaced two of the coaxial cables running from the dish pedestal control deck to the upper deck just below the dish.  These cables had stretched from their own weight and from the elevation rotation of the dish. As a consequence the center pin pulled out from the mating connector, losing the conductivity. We added to the cable a loop over the elevation axis. Ray added a feedthrough connector attachment on the ceramic slip ring collar, in order to remove the rest of the hanging stress on the wires, and he re-added the swivel joints below that.  This arrangement completely eliminates the cables traveling up and down thru the collar as the elevation is changed, and this also virtually eliminates the coaxial cable wrap in the control deck area.  We redressed all of the cables there with tie wraps and tape to get them out of the way of personnel in the deck and to remove the mechanical strain on all the cables. 

At the top deck we removed the AC extension cord, which had been temporarily installed to a power amplifier at the feed for EME.  Its cord insulation might not have survived the winter, and the uninsulated cord could potentially short out to the structure.  A more permanent and reliable 120 volt power distribution is needed to the feed point. 

We also re-dressed all the wires and coax cable in the upper deck. We reused the pipe grommets as a weather shield for the cables going down thru the azimuth axes collar to the control deck level.

We then placed a ladder on the mount and proceeded up to the dish surface. There we continued to remove the  120 volt extension cord, and we inspected the surface and the support. This is a wide angle shot of the scene in the dish. It does give a sense of the surreal feeling of the view from there. 

Wide angle view from atop the dish.

We inspected the attachments and connections.  We discovered that the grounding cable connection on one of the legs leading to the focal box had been cut off.  Furthermore, the wave guide that is attached at the dish structure is not electrically attached to the focal point box. Therefore the only ground to protect from RF, lightning, or static is the coax shield and the low voltage control cable ground wire. This may be one of the causes of failures in the electronics. We should retrofit to provide a good DC ground connection between the feed box at the focal point to the pedestal. 

The ground cable cut, near the dish end of the support arm.

We also wanted to know how the fiber glass supports for the feed are adjusted.

The fiber glass supports are badly weathered after 60 years in the open.  We should derive a plan to rework the fiberglass surface, for the next time we rent a bucket lift to work on them.

Full view of one of the dish’s support arms that supports the feed.

Once we had inspected the dish, we tipped the dish down to the service elevation, donned climbing harnesses, and climbed the scaffold tower.  We removed the 1296 MHz feed and installed the 408MHz antenna using Ray’s quick-change mount.  This only took about an hour where before the process could take as much as half a day.

Lowering the 1296 MHz feed antenna from the dish focus.

We also reworked the connector attachments in the electronics box. Ray then reattached the additional 20db amplifier, and checked everything out with the TDR and Spectrum analyzer.  He reattached the cables in the pedestal to connect the correct coax lines to the Comm. Trailer.

Bill replaced the broken window in the back of the comm. trailer with the new one he purchased from Kent Glass and sealed it with RTV.  This provides a much clearer view of the dish from the trailer.

We parked the dish, turned off all the equipment, locked the site and left for the day.

DSES Science Meeting Nov 23, 2020

Welcome to the DSES Science meeting 11/23/2020

2020-11-23 DSES Science Meeting Notes, by Bill Miller

We had 16 participants in the virtual science meeting today:  Thanks everyone for joining.

Participants: Dr. Rich Russel,  Ray Uberecken, Lewis Putman, Bob Haggart, Don Latham, Floyd Glick, Gary Agranat, Glenn Davis, Jay Wilson, Jon Ayers, Lauren Libby, Myron Babcock, Robert Sayers, Ted Cline. Jerry Espada, Bill Miller

Agenda and notes;

Also see the Zoom Video Recording for more detail:

https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/3mwT_OSBrUV6KMi8GTTrcFaiG77Jmuuke72Jk1zmmUDpSrO2nAY3jFx49_muRz5I.7GK8PFSy5Vs-kL4R?startTime=1606177717000

Agenda and notes:

  1. Myron’s Treasure’s Report Checking $1774.28. Savings $5742.15. We have 49 paid members.
  2. Science Fair: 
    • Bill spoke with Carol Bach the coordinator,  she replied, “The Pikes Peak Regional Science and Engineering Fair will be held virtually on February 20, 2021.  We are hoping that the Deep Space Exploration Society will again sponsor a special award or awards at the fair.  In addition, we are hoping you or another member of your group will consider being a special awards judge.  We will send you a code to unlock a showcase with digital displays that you can view.  Virtual judging will take place between February 18-20, 2021.”
    • Bill to send board DSES Special awards criteria for approval.
    • “Please respond by December 2, 2020 to this email and confirm that your organization is planning to participate. Also, please let us know the name and contact email for future communications.”
  3. Planet Walk:
    • Bill will write an endorsement letter and have the DSES Board modify and approve for Planet Walk Colorado Springs. See https://www.planetwalkcs.org/
  4. Arecibo Failure:
    • See Bob Haggard’s repost on the Arecibo Radio Telescope status.
  5. Rich presented the DSES Science part of the Meeting:  See all notes in the DSES Science Meeting Power Point. http://dses.science/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/DSES-Science-Meeting-11-23-20.pdf
  6. Ray
    • Problem with the 1296 feed last trip.  Took down the Feed amplifier and found that the unit was stuck in the transmit configuration again due to a failed FET in the Relay driver.  Fixed this and added more gate protection circuitry to solve the problem. 
    • Also had a bad diode and a bad cable that had to be corrected.
    • The FT-736R Keyer connection failed on last trip but Ray fixed it.
    • Tried CW EME but couldn’t hear the echo.
    • Did receive Rays Home Based beacon bounced off Pikes Peak and verified pointing so the receiver chain is working.
  7. Gary Underground K0PRT  bunker station summary report.
    • FT8,  PSK Reporter website showed our station was received on 40 meters during afternoon in CA and TX.
    • 15M operation was hot
    • Our rare grid square (DM88) attracted many Japanese stations
    • Vertical working well on 15 and 40 meters. 10 meters was tried and at least had good SWR, but band was dead.
    • Yagi was also working well to Japan
    • PSK reporter showed good coverage on 15 meters all around the Pacific Rim.
    • See more in Rich’s slides above
  8. Glenn says that Phil is working on an elevation tracking update that will need some onsite testing when ready.
  9. Much discussion about the SDR receivers, GNU SW and the computer power needed to run them.  See the meeting recording for too much detail to capture here.

Plishner site trip summary of 2020-10-31:

Written summary and photos by Bill Miller.

Ray Uberecken and Bill Miller went to the Plishner site on Sat. October 31.

Ray brought back his EME 200 Watt amplifier box that he had removed on the previous weeks trip.  The unit had blown a relay control FET that kept the unit in the transmit position so it would not connect the feed to the receiver.  Ray and Bill donned climbing harnesses, scaled the scaffold, and installed the amplifier before the wind could start blowing about 11:00 AM at the site. 

Ray also brought back the FT 736 Transceiver after repairing the seized tuning knob.  He brought in a computer and an audio interface with JT-65 HF software loaded.  This will enable digital mode EME on the next contest  EME 50-1296 MHz — November 28-29, 2020.  In addition, he installed  an extra 1296 MHz 18 Watt auxiliary amplifier between the FT736 10W max output  and the Amplifier at the feed point.  This extra amplifier will enable the full power of the linear amp at the feed.  Both the 18 watt amp and the 200 watt feed point amp are enabled with the Key circuit from the FT 736.  

There is an extra power supply on the bench to power the 18 Watt amp and the key circuit to the feed amp is attached with the terminal block on the rack.

Ray also brought back the Electronic Keyer and Paddle for the FT736 moon bounce CW mode.

Once all this equipment was installed, we climbed the tower and replaced the bad swivel joint on the down feed coax with a short segment of very flexible RG8X cable to allow the cable wrap. Because this is the same impedance as the main hard line coax and very short it has insignificant loss to the signal.

We then called Myron Babcock to test the equipment.  We pointed the dish at Colorado Springs and at first did not hear his signal.  He swung his antenna around to point at Pike’s Peak and we did the same and established communication on 1296.1 MHz with clear copy.  This proved the overall system viability.  

Bill set up his phone app and computer program for aiming the Hughes Net dish for internet.  After using the compass to point the dish to the apps specified Azimuth and Elevation and working the dish around for half an hour, we still couldn’t get the modem to lock up and receive the satellite.  More research is needed to make sure we are trying for the correct satellite and have the right coordinates and tools to do the alignment on the next trip. Once we have the Hughes Net system working, we should have high speed internet capability for a number of uses.

Ray has been working on his new radio Astronomy receiver based on a medical signal preconditioner and a stable amplifier/integrator and A/D converter.  The receiver will give a greater bandwidth than current SDRs with  up to 100MHz of bandwidth.

A conversion program is needed to convert the comma delimited tabular output of the A/D to the .Fil file format for radio astronomy.  Ray installed the receiver and checked its operation.

We stowed the dish, shut everything down, removed the trash and locked the site.  Note that the new service  position on the scaffold after the recalibration of the pointing system is 314.5 deg. All old bearings for Beacons and such should be adjusted by -2.5 deg.

You can read a PDF version of this report here: 2020-10-31-Plishner-site-trip-summary-v2-.pdf