These minutes were taken by Floyd Glick with help from Bill Miller.
Minutes by Bill Miller
Attendance: Ed Corn, Gary Agranat, Myron Babcock, Phil Gage, Rich Russel, Bob Haggard, Dave Molter, Lewis Putnam, Jonathan Ares. Online via TeamViewer: Tony Bigbee.
Next work Trip in 21st of Sept. Gary and Ed may also use the 28th for to work on the tower.
- Pointing System 1 HW/SW status and completeness: Phil Gage, Dave Molter, Johnathan Ares
- 3 weeks ago. Fixed the bad bit by jumpering to another channel and changed the SW to match. Tested and Ed verified last weekend.
- Dish mount stiction and inertia make continuous control too erratic so need to do a step and drift control.
- The team took data on the command voltage verses speed and found both axes to be pretty linear. See the graph.
- Glenn added a computer supported manual control that tells the operator what commands to give the system to track manually. A little labor intensive but works.
- With elevation axes is now stable and we should do a calibration using astronomical objects.
- Should also mark the feed horn mountings to reduce the RF pointing error when changing or reinstalling the feed antenna.
- Make a table of offsets for each feed and do a calibration for each feed.
- Bill gave system 1 team the control relay circuitry used in System 2.
- Pointing System 2 HW/SW status and completeness: Bill Miller
- The PID control system that Ed Johnson implemented in the SW has been tested and can drive the dish mount to within one or two bits on the encoders.
- The system worked fairly well on the last test in July except that the system would hang up and continue to drive the mount when it should have stopped. This sometimes caused an overshoot or required manual shut down.
- Bill is building a physical simulator to make it easier to trouble shoot the system 2 without the Plishner Dish. In this way Ed can work on the SW at home and work out these last bugs.
- It would be nice to have a second spare encoder to work this but the lowest cost one found on eBay was over $500.
- Synchro pointing system status and completeness: Bill Miller
- The Azimuth Synchro system worked when installed last year. Bill installed the Elevation Synchro in the early June Trip but when testing there was a problem in the system with a fault to ground. This is 120VAC supply current flowing where it shouldn’t and must be fixed to be safe.
- Several of the old terminal boxes were used in the hookup. Bill suspects that one of those is causing the leakage. We will have to trace down and correct this before the synchro can be used as a backup pointing system.
- Members are asked not to plug the synchro panel into AC power until this is resolved.
- Dish Feed system status and changes
- There was apparently a lightning strike on the dish this summer that took out the feed electronics and the power supply in the trailer.
- Steve worked on the feed and found a bad amplifier. Steve rebuilt the amplifier pack and still found another bad amplifier. Skip sent Steve a set of amplifiers that he will install on the next trip.
- Steve has the noise source to test the RF through the amplifier chain.
- The power supply was also bad, and Skip shipped a new one that works.
- Preparation for Stratospheric and Moon Bounce (EME) radio operation.
- Ray and Steve terminated the hardline on the 3rd deck and will attach to extensions down to the tower base. One hard line is complete.
- Need to be careful to get the feed mounted exactly as we had it.
- Hope to be able to do Stratospheric long distance communication and Moon bounce (or EME) in the autumn or near future.
- Status of Hydrogen Detector at Rich’s House
- Rich has taken 4 declinations in a daily drift scan and is generating a composite color image of the HI emission.
- Ray added a second LNA in the system that works much better than the first.
- Drift scan HI is working well and anyone in the core group can get the data from Rich’s computer. Send him an email.
- Pulsar Detector Status
- Have the Cavity filter and Low Noise Amplifier for pulsar has just been received and we have the SDR made for this calibrated and ready to go from Steve and Joe Martin in New Mexico.
- Will try for the strongest Pulsars with the long Yagi in Rich’s back yard.
- A dish with tracking or a Yagi array would be better.
- SETI observation plans and schedule
- Steve has a time crunch to fix the feed, power supply and amplifiers and make it work by the end of September for a 3 day run.
- Plans to do Tropospheric Radio Communication
- Want to do Texas, Kansas, New Mexico and Wyoming
- Plans for Moon Bounce Radio Communication
- Tentatively considering upcoming ARRL contest weekends. Two weekends in October 19th and 20th and November 16th and 17th.
- Ham Radio Station and Antenna Status
- Ed and Gary built the 50-foot tower and are ready to mount the tribander beam antenna for 10, 15 and 20 Meters on the rotor.
- Will also mount a 2 meter antenna on the side of the tower for the talk in radio.
- Ed reworked the buckled pipe section of the vertical antenna with some clamps and bradding to make a splint to repair.
- Gary rechecked the vertical antenna SWR with an antenna analyzer. He reports antenna is working as well or better. He posted a table of SWR values for each band behind the station operating desk.
- Repaired the broken radios.
- Gary operated three QSO parties: for Hawaii, Ohio, and Kansas, and made CW and SSB contacts on all three.
- In the open house we had a special event station and had a number of members get on the air.
- When using the Ham radio Equipment make sure to unplug the Antennas from the radios when you leave.
- The tower is a tip down design. The winch will tip down the tower to be able to lower the antenna and work on the antenna.
- Infrastructure items
- Ed has the Electrical system built out. A couple of stubs for add ons are all that is left.
- Need a 32-inch steel clad pre-hung door for the top of the spiral staircase.
- Need cement board to skirt the trailer. Dave may have some.
- Installed the mid hallway door and it needs the blocking panel at the top
- In the future would like to slit the tool room into two compartments.
- After he amateur tower is finished Ed will install the hot water heater.
- Will also install a European type shower.
- Ed wants to have a dump station with a grinder pump and pump out the sewer line.
- Ed uses a deveining rod method to locate the pipes and wires.
- He says the sewer line runs to the SE corner of the lot were there is a square vault and then a pipe leaves that and goes across the road.
- Open House. Bill owes the group a report.
- Need the Attendance list from Myron which was let in the Comm. Trailer
- Need any additional photos that you took. Paul Berge may have more.
- October Haswell Bazar. This will be in late October. Bill and Gary plan to support a table.
- Open House. Bill owes the group a report.
- Myron’s Treasures Report
- 2067.75 Checking
- 5740.11 savings
- At Monument Mega Fest made $356 selling surplus equipment.
- United way Philadelphia $30
- Collected $260 in dues and a $50 donation, $88 in food donations for the open house
- Expense for electric account is $128 for July and will be between $70 and $125 monthly.
- Telephone is $38.25/month for only 911 and the local exchange
- 55 members 35 voting 25 not voting
- 18 have not renewed
- $90 charge for Eads newspaper ads for open house
- General Discussion
- May approach Dalton Eichenberg on spraying or getting a brush hog on the site.
- CHIMES program in Canada. Canadian Hydrogen Mapping Long term project. They need infrastructure, power and fiber. 150 by 150 ft. footprint.
- The block wall has made a big difference in the mud flow.
The bulker hasn’t had a lot of water since the pump was replaced.
Batteries in the battery box in the battery room are dead and Ed will hook in the RR batteries for the Inverter power.
DSES Science Meeting 10-22-2018 Meeting Notes by Bill Miller
Location Rich Russel’s Residence, Colorado Springs
Attendance: Gary Agranat, Ed Corn, Floyd Glick, Glenn Davis, Steve Plock, Rich Russel, Tony Bigbee, Ray Uberecken, Dave Molter, Jon Richardson, Bill Miller
Attending Remotely via TeamViewer: Skip Crilly, Dayton Jones, Jamie Riggs
Last Trips: Oct 19 Observation Trip. Oct 20 Work trip for ED. Steve, Hans, Gary, Paul
Next Trips to site: The regularly scheduled 3rd Saturday of the month, Saturday Nov 17th. Observation the night before on Nov 16th
- DSES Technical and Operations Meeting- 2nd Monday of Every Month
- DSES Science Meeting – 4th Monday of Every Month
Accuracy: The notes for this meeting may be out of order. This was done to group the discussion into subjects for better clarity and continuity, so they are not true chronological minutes. As always if I have misstated, omitted or misrepresented anyone please feel free to correct me WKM.
Agenda and Notes
Ray Uberecken has his mount ready to install a 12 ft dish with capability up thru the KU band. He needs to move the dish from the KCME radio station to his site in Payton. The dish F/D ratio is the same as the 60 ft Haswell dish, so the 12 ft dish could be used to prototype feeds and receivers for the Plishner site. Ray would like some volunteers from the DSES to help move it next Sunday the 28th at 10AM. (Note: Recent change of plans. Ray will hire a crane to pick the dish out of the KCME yard enclosure before disassembly. This is currently scheduled for 7 AM Saturday, November 10th.) He could use some volunteers, power drills with sockets and a trailer. KCME is at Fontanero and 1921 N. Weber in. Bill will send an EMAIL out to the group.
Once the dish is in place the first thing that Ray will install is a Dicke Switch.
Ray also wants to know if we want to use the 8 channel UHF remote at the site for reset and control of the systems. We have not been using it, but that is available and installed in the communications trailer rack and can be commanded remotely from Ray’s residence.
Ray has also started his optical observatory with 8 inch Celestron and a good refractor at his residence.
Dr. Rich Russel reviewed his new Radio Astronomy Guide Rev. 3.
The RA/Dec of many of the objects are from both celestial coordinate year 1950 epoch and year 2000 epoch, so needs updating.
The output of the SpectraCyber is in volts and a translation to Jansky is needed.
Rich and Gary observed a number of sources on the Oct. 19th observation trip.
Some source positions were very good. Others were not. This may indicate a pointing error or other system issue.
They were getting a lot of clear source signatures but don’t know what many of them were. Rich would like to do cross galactic scans while changing declination to map the whole area in the future.
Cassiopeia A, Cas-A, was thought to be seen, but at a relatively low amplitude. Cas-A, being a 2200 Jy source it should have been clearly seen but they weren’t sure they had it.
Sagittarius A was strong and had the instrument setup with too high of gain, resulting in scale saturation.
Special sources 1 and 2 were studied.
The special source 2, a contact binary star is getting close to a supernova event in a few years, and we want to baseline it and get ready to observe the supernova emission.
To find objects Gary used the tables in Rich’s observing guide and in the Data Book “Astrophysical Data: Planets and Stars” by Kenneth R. Lang.
The V notch object that Tony studied was not tried in Rich and Gary’s session.
Rich and Gary also did an experiment to measure the hydrogen (HI) Line Doppler shift and therefor the velocity along the galactic plane. They were able to get reasonable hydrogen measurements of the galaxy’s rotational velocity at multiple points from the center out to the radius of the sun.
Rich plotted these observations and got a curve that is in the ballpark but a little different than the published data on similar measurements. This is the first time that the Galactic angular velocity measurement has been attempted with the 60 ft. dish.
See Dr. Rich Russel’s attached Science Meeting presentation for more detail on the site trip and the observations mentioned above.
DSES Science Meeting Presentation October 22, 2018 [Please click to view.]
Tony Bigbee also went to the site for the observing session last week. Tony installed onto the system after Rich and Gary had finished. He did not get the expected results on the RASDR 4 receiver when attached to the 60 ft. dish over the weekend. He thought that the issue may be with the pointing accuracy of the System 1 controller. We used System 2 at the open house when Tony had very good results but did not get the same on this last weekend’s observation session using System 1. Tony looked for the V notch absorption object and is using a new code to calculate the source amplitude. He did not get good results on this and suspects pointing error.
He calculated the curves for the open house and last weekend’s observations showing time and discovered that these are different indicating that something is wrong between the two.
Tony did a Mollweide projection plot like the one below. In Tony’s plot the green line is the meridian, the blue line is the galactic plane. The black X is the position of the telescope. See Tony Bigbee’s actual plot when he posts or sends it out.
Rich suggests that anyone going down to observe should measure some of these same sources and get data to compare their results.
Skip Crilly says we have aligned NRAO 5690 at Greenbank and Haswell sites three times using the System 1 controller and it seems to be positioning correctly. Steve can do an additional observation next week, Tuesday and Wed and verify the alignment.
Another difference from the open house observation was that Steve Plock added the alternate cavity filter configuration.
As mentioned previously the coordinates of some of the sources are from celestial coordinate year 1950 epoch and year 2000 epoch so may be different positions now due to precession and galactic movement. A mathematical correction to the coordinates may be required to make an accurate set of coordinates for the current date. However, the small difference afforded by this is probably within the capture angle of the dish.
Glenn Davis says that his NTP time sever may be useful to improve the accuracy of the pointing systems.
Bill Miller said that the System 1 controller may still have a discontinuous elevation reading error. This was seen previously this summer and has not been fixed. This could contribute to a pointing error and inaccuracy on some coordinates.
Anyone going to do observations at the site should try to replicate the studies of the observation guide and use the Observation Checklist to make their session useful and comparative.
Currently the LMST is close to local time, and so one needs to consider this and observe in the evening instead of afternoon.
See the back of Rich Russel’s observing guide for dish rules and limits. An observation data sheet and suggestions are available in the back of the guide as well.
We need a list of some calibration sources to start all observing session with, to be sure that the pointing system is working properly and that it isn’t broken with new SW drops. Also, we hope the voltages we measure from calibration sources (with known Jansky levels), will enable us to derive the Janskies of other objects we wish to observe. Janskies are the measure of the flux density that the antenna receives.
Three papers have been accepted in the next SARA journal.
“The Deep Space Exploration Society 2018 Perseid Meteor Shower Open House”. By Bill Miller, Gary Agranat. Deep Space Exploration Society.
“SpectraCyber Neutral Hydrogen Measurements using the Deep Space Exploration Society 60 – foot Antenna System“. By Richard Russel D.Cs., Ae.E.; Gary Agranat. Deep Space Exploration Society.
“Dark HI Cloud Observation using the Deep Space Exploration Society Plishner 18 – Meter Dish with the RASDR4“. By Tony Bigbee, Richard Russel, Steve Plock. Deep Space Exploration Society.
Skip Crilly discussed his new 28 ft. antenna that has a 5 pixel or 5 separate antenna segment feed and is mounted on a cargo trailer but will be used mostly for SETI. The antenna may not be large enough to observe the strange signals we have seen. File size is one challenge since it is inversely proportional to the gain and noise ratio.
Meeting was adjourned after much secondary discussions not captured here.
Old 9/24/2018 Agenda and Notes from last science meeting:
- Glenn Davis proposes a graphical user interface called Astro Guide that would allow better guiding and tracking of radio sources.
- Rich’s presentation and overview of the radio astronomy guide
- Started with Floyd’s list
- Added the 1420 MHz sources from the book “Tools of Radio Astronomy” by K Rohlfs and T Wilson.
- Added the hydrogen measurements from K5SO, Dr. Joe Martin who has provided signature images of the objects.
- Gary, Jay Wilson, Rich and Steve all went to the site on 9/22 and did observations using the 60 foot dish.
- Used Spectra Cyber
- Used system 1 pointing
- Used the new setup with the cavity filter
- Limit switches are set at +/-15 ether way of north. CCW to 345. CW to 015.
- Gary got great pictures of the event.
- Need screen print capability to capture the Spectra Cyber parameters display.
- The Spectra Cyber SW is easy to take the data and use it.
- Need a Lap Top with a com 2 serial port to attach the spectra cyber. This is difficult because most of the Serial to USB port adapters don’t want to set for Com1 or Com2.
- Need to do calibration sources before and after observation of an observed object and keep all settings on the Spectra Cyber the same.
- From Tony, “To avoid problems of solar interference all observations were made between sunset and sunrise. Most scans were taken with the telescope on the meridian.” Galt and Kennedy, 1968, ‘Survey of Radio Sources Observed in the Continuum near 1420 MHz, Declinations —5° to +70°’ http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1968AJ…..73..135G
- Rich presented a number of plots from their observations. See Rich’s report.
- The scan across the galaxy were at one RA. The radio hot area was offset from the optical.
- The galactic rotation rate was also observed.
- Got a lot of raw data, learned how to catalog it and analyze it.
- The calibration sources did not show any signal above the noise.
- Got good data for Sagittarius A, SAG A.
- 3 Papers have been submitted for the SARA Journal.
- The Western SARA conference is in Boulder in March.
- Next Observation Trip. Need a couple of nights.
DSES Technical and Operations Meeting Minutes- October 8, 2018 by Bill Miller, DSES Vice President and Acting Secretary.
[Please click to read the PDF file.]
DSES Technical and Operations Meeting Minutes- September 10, 2018 by Bill Miller, DSES Vice President and Acting Secretary.
[Please click to read the PDF file.]
Please click to open and read the DSES Engineering Meeting Minutes of August 13, 2018. – Bill Miller
DSES Technical and Operations Meeting Minutes, 7-09-2018
Minutes written by: Bill Miller, DSES VP and Acting Secretary
Location: IHop/IHob, Constitution Street, Colorado Springs
Attendance: Gary Agranat, Myron Babcock, Ed Corn, Glenn Davis, Floyd Glick, Dave Molter, Steve Plock, Bob Sayers, Bill Miller
Attending Remotely via TeamViewer: Dayton Jones, Skip Macaulay, Jamie Riggs
Next Trips to site:
- July 21st site work trip.
- Site work trip on an additional weekend before open house.
- Open house trip for the group on Friday, August 10th thru Sunday August 12th with the public event on Saturday, August 11th.
Accuracy: As always if I have misstated, omitted or misrepresented anyone please feel free to correct me.
- If Quorum present board vote on tower section disposition.
- Completion of outhouse project.
- Operation Briefing
- Closing of Synchro Cable Conduit trench
- Installation of RV electrical pedestals.
- Additional open house preparations.
- Tentative menu for Saturday in bunker.
- Questions and Comments
- Steve and Ed only made $40 from the Ham Radio Mega Fest in Monument after Steve spent about $50 in diesel to haul the equipment back from the site. However, this did get most of the junk out of the bunker. We still have a lot of site junk and surplus material to clean up.
- Dave got a lot of the wood that was taken down last year cleaned up around the ramp.
- We have an additional metal scrap pile in bunker needs to be cleaned out. Bill will help clean out and dispose of material.
- Myron Treasures Report
- Got $100 dues and donation from Skip at Centennial electronics
- Got $50 dues from Don Lewis
- $1383.22 in checking
- $5731.02 in savings
- If we have a quorum at the meeting, present board to vote on tower section disposition. We have all board members present in this meeting except for Dr. Richard Russel.
- There are 9 – 10ft sections of ROHM 45 in Ray Uberecken’s yard that he would like to get removed.
- We have a Rohm 25 base above the bunker and we have 2 sections of on site and 2 more sections at Ray’s house, so we can still erect a 40-foot Rohm 25 tower at the bunker.
- Michael Lowe would like to have 5 sections of the ROHM 45 for the Pueblo Makers Space. A motion was made and seconded for the Board vote on giving the non-profit the excess ROHM tower sections that we don’t need.
- The board voted to give 5 sections of the ROHM 45 to Michael’s makers space project in Pueblo. Bill later let Michael know of this decision and Michael will arrange to pick up the tower sections from Ray’s property.
- Completion of outhouse project.
- Wiring: Ed has material to hookup power to the outhouse.
- Operation Briefing: Will have a rail road exhaust fan and a red light for occupancy indicator. Will brief the group on maintenance and operation of the facility.
- The second narrow door of the small building will have a pin on the inside to allow emergency exit should the main door become jammed or blocked.
- Toilet: Ed and Steve now have the chemical toilet and the service pipe installed.
- Closing of the synchro cable conduit trench: We need volunteers next trip of Saturday, 7/21 to cover the trench in before the open house. Most who will be at the work day said they would help.
- Installation of RV pedestals.
- Will setup best locations from last year’s open house RV parking.
- The RV hookups are for 20 Amp, 120V, and no ground fault. The connection will run from the outhouse electrical connection. They are not suitable for RV air conditioning loads. The DSES will ask for a $10/night donation for RV plug in usage.
- Wiring: Will need to purchase additional materials for the RV electrical hookups. Ed, Steve and Myron will go to Colorado Electrical Supply this week to purchase the remaining material to install the RV Electrical pedestals.
- We will need to trench in the additional wires for the RV electrical permanently before winter.
- Additional open house preparations.
- Clean up garbage and scrap.
- Clean up under the comm. trailer.
- General cleanup and marking of hazards.
- Tentative menu for Saturday the 11th. Lunch and Dinner menu.
- Dave will bring the grill.
- Bill will bring the coffee mess with camp stove and another 10X10 canopy.
- Myron has been buying all the food in the past and he has had a donation pot but paying for the remainder out-of-pocket. The Board voted to cover food expense not covered by donations out of our bank account, so Myron is not stuck with the bill.
- Will have hotdogs on the grill for Saturday lunch for public.
- Steve will bring “Modified Brunswick Stew” for the dinner on Saturday night.
- Presentation for Saturday in bunker:
- Rich will provide the presentation agenda for the weekend.
- Gary will have a ham radio presentation and demo.
- Others may also present solar, and optical astronomy and other radio astronomy topics such as eddy bitty telescope.
- The pointing controls:
- System 1:
- Dave, Glenn and Bill are working to add analog power supply, motor control electronics and modified software program with tracking for system 1.
- Dave is reworking System 1 box at home and will reinstall on July 21st.
- System 2:
- Bill is working to complete software port and details for system 2 and will reinstall.
- Will add the Lenovo laptop for this.
- Dave and Bill will add 3 switch boxes to the DB 25 connections to the encoders and tracking output to make the systems selectable.
- Synchros: We have the azimuth synchro indicators working for azimuth position but still need to hook up the elevation synchros. Need a new access plate and Liquid-tight flexible conduit to route the wires from the Elevation encoder/synchro enclosure.
- System 1:
- Questions and Comments
- The GPS time base used in Skip Crilly’s SETI observations is a TN4 model from Spectrum Instruments. It has been sent back to Skip for repair or replacement before the next observation session in August.
- Need an announcement for the open house on August 11th in Eads, Sugar City, and Haswell businesses and in the Kiowa county newspaper. Need a one or two paragraph announcement for the open house.
- Ed had installed the telephone intercom and the talk in radio at the site on 146.46MHz simplex. Bill and Dave tested this on the last trip and had good audio and range as Bill drove out, almost out to Arlington on a hand held with rubber duck and good audio and copy. Great job on this to Ed! We may increase the height of the antenna when the tower is erected for even more range.
- Gary placed the announcement for the Open House on our DSES website. And he placed an announcement in the August QST and on the ARRL website about the ham radio special event station to be operated during the Open House.
- The meeting was adjourned, and Dave, Glenn and Bill spent an additional half hour after discussing the system 1. controller motor drive electronics design.
Submitted 7/16/2018: Bill Miller, DSES VP and Acting Secretary