Pike Peak Regional Science and Engineering Fair Judging Report

by: Bill Miller  Feb 24, 2024

On Saturday, February 24th the DSES team consisting of Floyd Glick, Dan Layne, Roger Oakey, and Bill Miller participate as special awards judges for the Pike Peak Regional Science and Engineering Fair.

We judged the senior and junior projects by splitting into two 2 man teams.  For relevance and time savings with so many projects to cover, we tried to judge only those projects that had some relevant aspect to what we do in the society involving, space science, radio, computers, engineering, energy, and other related areas.  

We planned to give a 1st and 2nd place award in both senior and junior divisions for a cash award in an amount decided by the DSES BOD and a certificate from the DSES.  However, in the senior group, we found one additional and unconventional research project for this age group and believe that it also deserves a special award, so we have added one additional award in a tie for senior division second place.

Here are the projects and award levels:

Senior 1st Place Special DSES Award:    SD 2 – Waste to Watts: Converting Locally Sourced Organic Waste into Activated Carbon Based Supercapacitors.  Shrey Rohilla,   Grade 11  The Classical Academy High School

Senior 2nd Place Special DSES Award:   SC 5 – Strength of EMF Waves Radiating from High Powered Electrical Lines.  Jessa Book  Grade 10,  Miami Yoder High School

Senior 2nd Place Special DSES Award:   SC 1 – Can Quasars create “dark” Stars using the Dark Matter they Absorb?   Rhianna Williams  Grade 12  Palmer High School 

Junior 1st Place Special DSES Award:   JD 2 – Shopcart 2050.  Advait Jadhav  Grade 7   Chinook Trail Middle School

Junior 2nd Place DSES Special Award:   JD 6 – Object Detection with Raspberry Pi to Help Blind Mobility  Angelina Won  Grade 7  Challenger Middle School

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: 


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.

Very Large Array (VLA) Imaging Results – 2nd Update & HI Drift Scan using 9-ft Dish at Russel Observatory September 2019

This autumn Dr. Richard Russel attended the Very Large Array (VLA) Imaging course in Socorro, New Mexico. The course taught how to take the data sets from multiple large interferometer antenna systems and produce images and science statistics.. This post presents the slides from the DSES Science Meeting on November 25, 2019. This is an update from Dr. Russel’s posts on the topic from October 19 and 31.

Dr. Russel also presents his September 2019 results of Hydrogen 21 cm (HI) drift scan measurements at his newly installed 9-foot dish antenna at his home in Colorado Springs.

Please click the link to view the illustrated pdf file:


Antenna Work Site Trip – October 25, 2019 – Ed Corn and Steve Plock

By Ed Corn. Photos by Steve Plock.

Steve and I went to the project. We had perfect weather.

We got the messenger cable between the tower and dog house up, and we got the coax cables strapped to the cable. We dressed the cables in the bunker with the cable end for the Tribander at the radios. Steve turned the radios and made a contact with one of the islands (a 9Y, Trinidad and Tobago) on 15 meters. He also made a 20 meter contact with Mississippi. The Tribander is working well.

I put the batteries in the new CO detector and left it on the desk with the fire alarms. I will complete the install on the next trip down.

Steve has pictures of the messenger cable and the used gas grill he picked up. I fixed the grill’s electric igniter.

The messenger cable, added today, runs between the tower and the dog house. It keeps the coax cables for the antennas off the ground, and neatens the arrangement.
The grill brought by Steve, with fixing up by Steve and Ed.


Western Conference of the Society of Amateur Radio Astronomers, in Boulder, March 23-24, 2019

The Deep Space Exploration Society will closely participate with this year’s Western Conference of the Society of Amateur Radio Astronomers.  Conference talks will be given on Saturday March 23.  On Sunday March 24 conference participants can travel to visit the DSES radio telescope site in Haswell, CO. A hotel in Eads is available for staying overnight. Registration is open until February 25, 2019. Below is an announcement we received to pass on.

* * *

Radio amateurs with an interest in radio astronomy and space science are invited to attend the Western Conference of the Society of Amateur Radio Astronomers, which will meet in Boulder, March 23-24, 2019.

Registration information is online at:  http://www.radio-astronomy.org/node/301

Registration is open through February 25, but is first-come-first-served and available seats are going quickly.

Please share this information with anyone who might be interested.

Thanks and 73,

–       Jay

Bascombe J. Wilson, WØAIR

2017-09-02 DSES Plishner Site Work Trip Report

Here is a summary from our work trip to the Plishner Radio Telescope site on Saturday September 2, 2017.  It includes many photos of what we did.  Highlights include:

  • Work started on rebuilding the bunker ramp retaining wall
  • Work on the control boxes which control the azimuth and elevation pointing of the 60 foot antenna
  • Maintenance and calibration of the Radio Jove and total power measurement instruments
  • Positioning the 60 foot antenna for detecting radio source Cygnus A during drift scan
  • Colorado ham radio QSO Party participation

The summary report was written by DSES Secretary Bill Miller.  The ham radio report was written by Gary Agranat.  Click the link to see the report in PDF.

2017-09-02 DSES Plishner Site Work Trip Report rev3