Radio observation in hydrogen line (1420MHz)

Frustration, Frustration, FRUSTRATION, AHHHH! Hydrogen line radio observing can be hell!

After my previous posts in which I have very excitedly described my recent successes observing Milky Way at 1420MHz, I ended up spending entire day yesterday trying to get the system to work again after it stopped working when I made minor changes to components.

I have concluded:

(i) SMA connectors and patch cables are very fragile and seem to break at slightest pull.

(ii) Once you get a system working, stay away from it because ANYTHING you do will stop it working!!

Also, I have a humidity problem – this is England in Autumn and each morning there is a small pool of water in bottom of box formed from dew condenscing inside of it. The box does not leak but is not hermetically sealed.

I am going to try putting it inside a large plastic bag and including some of these dehumidification boxes below in first instance – if that does not work I will need to buy a large (expensive) hermetically sealed box and possibly an electric dehumidifier of the type using in caravans.

In passing, the meteor scatter system has also stopped working after working so well – why? I don’t know!!

Perhaps I should give up and go back to astrophotography or solar – but there are hardly any clear days or nights currently in UK and do not seem to have been this summer – seems to be effect of global warming on our climate.


2 thoughts on “Frustration, Frustration, FRUSTRATION, AHHHH! Hydrogen line radio observing can be hell!

  • Leave a hole in the bottom of the bag or box and mount it vertically so that any condensed water wil drain away.

    What I do with masthead amplifiers is to take a plastic cup/glass and mount the device through a hole in the bottom of the cup (Mounted upside down) , best with a rubber washer or bathroom sealant. The cup is open at the bottom.

    Yes, the strain on sma connectors is too great if they have to take a weight or pendulum. Use an adaptor m-m (or f-f) and strap the adapter to the cup holder with a piece of garden wire..

    Drifts look good. Have you found the sidereal day , begin/end time?

    • What great advice! Definitely will follow it once we return from our holiday in Italy in couple weeks.
      Sidereal day – not yet – what is the best way to do that?


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