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Author Topic: Meteor Radar SDR Receiver (usnig FUNcube dongle)  (Read 12439 times)

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Offline Nomis Elfactem

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Re: Meteor Radar SDR Receiver (usnig FUNcube dongle)
« Reply #30 on: 16:17:42, 18 August, 2014 »
Chris - one thing I noticed is that the noise varied depending upon which USB socket I used for the dongle.... with one of them it made the whole set-up un-usable :(

S.
Simon

Scopes: Astro-Tech AT-111EDT Triplet, TS65ED Quad, Orion ST80, Modded PST-90 Solar Scope, PST Cak (on loan)
Cameras: SXVF H694, Atik 16ic, Canon EOS 600d, DMK41, DMK21, QHY 5L-II (mono & colour)
Accessories: SX USB Filter Wheel, SX OAG, Baader LRGB Ha SI OII Filters, SharpSky Focuser
Mount: EQ6 (EQMOD), SW Star Adventurer, plus a lot (and I mean a lot) of other bits and pieces

Offline ChrisLX200

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Re: Meteor Radar SDR Receiver (usnig FUNcube dongle)
« Reply #31 on: 18:39:29, 18 August, 2014 »
Chris - one thing I noticed is that the noise varied depending upon which USB socket I used for the dongle.... with one of them it made the whole set-up un-usable :(

S.


Ah yes, USB ports are not well shielded, and the front (or extension) ports are worse because they use un-shielded connecting cables running inside the PC case which will pick up all kinds of RF. I'm using discrete receivers which are earthed outside to a 1metre copper pipe hammered into the ground, and the audio output uses a single shielded cable to connect to the audio input on the PC. Everything is fine up to that point! The only other connection between PC and receiver is a good quality RS232 control cable.

I'm only using one receiver at the moment:



ChrisH
Chris Heapy - current: 10-Micron GM2000HPS-II U/P, G11/Gemini, TV NP127is, Altair 8" RC, TV Genesis SDF, TV Pronto, SW Equinox 80ED, 10" LX200, 12" f/5.4 Newt, Vixen 90mm.
Atik 490EX, Atik EFW, Baader LRGB filters, Astrodon 3nM NB filters, Lodestar, QHY5L-II all-sky, Canon 70D and 350D
Whirley Obs., MPC Code Z89

Offline ChrisLX200

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Re: Meteor Radar SDR Receiver (usnig FUNcube dongle)
« Reply #32 on: 21:03:32, 18 August, 2014 »
Have you tried receiving a signal from that FUNcube-1 satellite? I'm just tracking it now and waiting to see if I can detect a signal from it :)



ChrisH
Chris Heapy - current: 10-Micron GM2000HPS-II U/P, G11/Gemini, TV NP127is, Altair 8" RC, TV Genesis SDF, TV Pronto, SW Equinox 80ED, 10" LX200, 12" f/5.4 Newt, Vixen 90mm.
Atik 490EX, Atik EFW, Baader LRGB filters, Astrodon 3nM NB filters, Lodestar, QHY5L-II all-sky, Canon 70D and 350D
Whirley Obs., MPC Code Z89

Offline Nomis Elfactem

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Re: Meteor Radar SDR Receiver (usnig FUNcube dongle)
« Reply #33 on: 21:24:38, 18 August, 2014 »
I haven't yet Chris, no.... on the list of things to do next week when I've got the week off !!

Happy hunting and let us know how you get on !

S.
Simon

Scopes: Astro-Tech AT-111EDT Triplet, TS65ED Quad, Orion ST80, Modded PST-90 Solar Scope, PST Cak (on loan)
Cameras: SXVF H694, Atik 16ic, Canon EOS 600d, DMK41, DMK21, QHY 5L-II (mono & colour)
Accessories: SX USB Filter Wheel, SX OAG, Baader LRGB Ha SI OII Filters, SharpSky Focuser
Mount: EQ6 (EQMOD), SW Star Adventurer, plus a lot (and I mean a lot) of other bits and pieces

Offline ChrisLX200

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Re: Meteor Radar SDR Receiver (usnig FUNcube dongle)
« Reply #34 on: 15:03:12, 19 August, 2014 »
Well still no meteors on Graves, and no lock on the FUNcube-1 satellite, but I think that is down to the Discone antenna and I'm beginning to wonder if it works at all... On a more positive note the new sound card is brilliant, the amount of background noise is a tiny fraction of what it was when using the on-board sound chip. I think with a new 4E Yagi antenna I should be set to go.

ChrisH
Chris Heapy - current: 10-Micron GM2000HPS-II U/P, G11/Gemini, TV NP127is, Altair 8" RC, TV Genesis SDF, TV Pronto, SW Equinox 80ED, 10" LX200, 12" f/5.4 Newt, Vixen 90mm.
Atik 490EX, Atik EFW, Baader LRGB filters, Astrodon 3nM NB filters, Lodestar, QHY5L-II all-sky, Canon 70D and 350D
Whirley Obs., MPC Code Z89

Offline ChrisLX200

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Re: Meteor Radar SDR Receiver (usnig FUNcube dongle)
« Reply #35 on: 12:16:04, 25 August, 2014 »
Today I ordered a new antenna, this one: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/290812915938?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649
which I hope will work better for radio meteors using the Graves Radar beacon than my Discone. Have to wait and see. I can't mount it at the required height (30ft) for maximum gain but luckily there is a gap pointing SE so it should still work. I hope.

ChrisH
Chris Heapy - current: 10-Micron GM2000HPS-II U/P, G11/Gemini, TV NP127is, Altair 8" RC, TV Genesis SDF, TV Pronto, SW Equinox 80ED, 10" LX200, 12" f/5.4 Newt, Vixen 90mm.
Atik 490EX, Atik EFW, Baader LRGB filters, Astrodon 3nM NB filters, Lodestar, QHY5L-II all-sky, Canon 70D and 350D
Whirley Obs., MPC Code Z89

Offline Al.Grant

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Re: Meteor Radar SDR Receiver (usnig FUNcube dongle)
« Reply #36 on: 18:55:18, 31 August, 2014 »

After a bit of a delay with the antenna I finally got my meteor detector set up last night.
No meteor pings yet but I can see other signals so I'm fairly sure the antenna, cabling and software are all working.

I have loaded the S@N meteor scripts and have a question ......  Can anybody tell me why a frequency of 143028khz is included in the script ?

The GRAVES radar transmits on 143050khz, the instructions say to tune to 143048khz. But any screen captures report 143028khz (as below) regardless of the actual freq set:


Looking inside the script itself, in the [CAPTURE] section it says:-
 
     InfoDef0=$"Date="+str("YYYY-MM-DD",now)
     InfoDef1=$"Freq= 143028 kHz"
     InfoDef2=$"Config = MetScat_starter_v1"

I understand the reason for actually tuning 2khz below to allow for an audible ping, but is there a reason the script is designed to report a freq 22khz lower than that of graves?


Al

Enthusiasm exceeds experience & aspirations exceed budget!
http://www.ukstargazer.org/

Offline ChrisLX200

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Re: Meteor Radar SDR Receiver (usnig FUNcube dongle)
« Reply #37 on: 19:29:07, 31 August, 2014 »
I should get my new antenna either tomorrow or Tuesday, already got a new cable made up ready for it (although the antenna will need assembling because it arrives as a kit). I don't know where the 143.028 comes from but yes, you're using SSB (single side band), either USB or LSB which is offset from main carrier frequency. Maybe it was a typo as you could put whatever you want in there and it would make no difference to the capture.

ChrisH
Chris Heapy - current: 10-Micron GM2000HPS-II U/P, G11/Gemini, TV NP127is, Altair 8" RC, TV Genesis SDF, TV Pronto, SW Equinox 80ED, 10" LX200, 12" f/5.4 Newt, Vixen 90mm.
Atik 490EX, Atik EFW, Baader LRGB filters, Astrodon 3nM NB filters, Lodestar, QHY5L-II all-sky, Canon 70D and 350D
Whirley Obs., MPC Code Z89

Offline Al.Grant

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Re: Meteor Radar SDR Receiver (usnig FUNcube dongle)
« Reply #38 on: 11:53:26, 01 September, 2014 »

It looks like the 143028khz doesn't make any difference. 
It is listed in the [CAPTURE] section of the S@N scripts and it seems it just adds text to the screen capture info box, so I think it's just a typo and can be changed to anything ......
..... Perhaps something like the correct freq!

It certainly doesn't make any difference to detection as I caught my first 2 pings last night .... only small ones but at least I know it's working.
Enthusiasm exceeds experience & aspirations exceed budget!
http://www.ukstargazer.org/

Offline Al.Grant

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Re: Meteor Radar SDR Receiver (usnig FUNcube dongle)
« Reply #39 on: 16:05:05, 04 September, 2014 »

I now have my detector working (although some bits still need tweaking!)

Rather than sit waiting for a meteor hit I wanted to prove out the antenna, dongle and software .....

  :D Well I'm happy thats all working, so back to the meteors....

Eventually I got SpectrumLab working and capturing meteor hits. I started with the script supplied by the Sky at Night mag and that's not designed to do everything I want it to do so it will need some changes.

But I did start seeing some hits:


Where I started having problems was in automatically counting the hits overnight and then uploading/displaying that info.  With a little help from a couple of people I have now managed to get Spectrum Lab to count up the hits then Colorgramme Lab collects that and uploads in to the Radio Meteor Observing Bulletin (RMOB) website which then gives this readout:



It needed some different Conditional Actions from those in the S@N script. 
It's a great way to see the number of hits over a period of time and far more convenient than manually counting screen shots each morning!
I still get a screen grab for each hit but I'm only keeping the better ones.

The results I'm getting seem to be in keeping with those reported by other UK/Northern Europe sites using the Graves Radar (143.050Mhz).
My results should update more frequently once I get some wifi connection issues sorted (hopefully tonight)

I still need to make changes to the scripts and there is a guy on the RMOB website who has very kindly offered to try help (otherwise it would take me forever) and also to help me make sense of some of the more unusual non meteor captures.

So at the moment it's working, I'm getting regular hourly hits on the Graves freq, but my Spectrum Lab setting are still in need of some tweaking in time for the next big meteor shower.



Al

Enthusiasm exceeds experience & aspirations exceed budget!
http://www.ukstargazer.org/

Offline ChrisLX200

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Re: Meteor Radar SDR Receiver (usnig FUNcube dongle)
« Reply #40 on: 17:40:20, 04 September, 2014 »
Well you're having more luck than me Al, apart from a couple of small pings early on which were just enough to convince me it was all working great. However, I'm not seeing much at all now. Everything _seems_ to be still working correctly I'm just not getting the hits I would expect to see (like, completely blank for a couple of hours...). This is with the 4el OWL Yagi which is pointing horizontally SSW, receiver set to 143.049.800 USB, tried narrow (3k) and wide (6k) filter, I've also tried with/without the digital noise suppressor filter circuits activated (that cleans up the spotty background and allows me to crank up the volume to get better definition). So I'm at a bit of a loss where to go next with this.

ChrisH

Edit... Whoa, wait, wait, wait... looking at your trace I see you're getting a response way up at 2000Hz and I'm only looking up to 1300Hz. I've just changed Spectrum lab to monitor the higher frequency and I immediately see the trace of an aircraft - that can only be from Graves. I think. OK, I'll try again with that setting.
Chris Heapy - current: 10-Micron GM2000HPS-II U/P, G11/Gemini, TV NP127is, Altair 8" RC, TV Genesis SDF, TV Pronto, SW Equinox 80ED, 10" LX200, 12" f/5.4 Newt, Vixen 90mm.
Atik 490EX, Atik EFW, Baader LRGB filters, Astrodon 3nM NB filters, Lodestar, QHY5L-II all-sky, Canon 70D and 350D
Whirley Obs., MPC Code Z89

Offline Nomis Elfactem

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Re: Meteor Radar SDR Receiver (usnig FUNcube dongle)
« Reply #41 on: 17:58:20, 04 September, 2014 »
Chris - it says to point the Yagi up at 10deg... not sure if having it horizontal is causing trouble ?

Just a thought...

S.
Simon

Scopes: Astro-Tech AT-111EDT Triplet, TS65ED Quad, Orion ST80, Modded PST-90 Solar Scope, PST Cak (on loan)
Cameras: SXVF H694, Atik 16ic, Canon EOS 600d, DMK41, DMK21, QHY 5L-II (mono & colour)
Accessories: SX USB Filter Wheel, SX OAG, Baader LRGB Ha SI OII Filters, SharpSky Focuser
Mount: EQ6 (EQMOD), SW Star Adventurer, plus a lot (and I mean a lot) of other bits and pieces

Offline ChrisLX200

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Re: Meteor Radar SDR Receiver (usnig FUNcube dongle)
« Reply #42 on: 18:01:51, 04 September, 2014 »
Chris - it says to point the Yagi up at 10deg... not sure if having it horizontal is causing trouble ?

Just a thought...

S.


Ah, good point Simon. I should do that (but see above also...)

ChrisH
Chris Heapy - current: 10-Micron GM2000HPS-II U/P, G11/Gemini, TV NP127is, Altair 8" RC, TV Genesis SDF, TV Pronto, SW Equinox 80ED, 10" LX200, 12" f/5.4 Newt, Vixen 90mm.
Atik 490EX, Atik EFW, Baader LRGB filters, Astrodon 3nM NB filters, Lodestar, QHY5L-II all-sky, Canon 70D and 350D
Whirley Obs., MPC Code Z89

Offline ChrisLX200

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Re: Meteor Radar SDR Receiver (usnig FUNcube dongle)
« Reply #43 on: 20:45:09, 04 September, 2014 »
Well I'm still seeing nothing. I'll try tipping the antenna up 10deg tomorrow (not as simple as it sounds, will need to fabricate a new bracket of some sort). I cannot see that making the difference between seeing or not seeing some pings though.

ChrisH
Chris Heapy - current: 10-Micron GM2000HPS-II U/P, G11/Gemini, TV NP127is, Altair 8" RC, TV Genesis SDF, TV Pronto, SW Equinox 80ED, 10" LX200, 12" f/5.4 Newt, Vixen 90mm.
Atik 490EX, Atik EFW, Baader LRGB filters, Astrodon 3nM NB filters, Lodestar, QHY5L-II all-sky, Canon 70D and 350D
Whirley Obs., MPC Code Z89

Offline Al.Grant

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Re: Meteor Radar SDR Receiver (usnig FUNcube dongle)
« Reply #44 on: 21:18:36, 04 September, 2014 »
Well I'm still seeing nothing. I'll try tipping the antenna up 10deg tomorrow (not as simple as it sounds, will need to fabricate a new bracket of some sort). I cannot see that making the difference between seeing or not seeing some pings though.

ChrisH

Chris,

I have my antenna at a very slight angle, but I don't think it's 10degs.

As for my trace being at 2000hz, well that's down to the setup that S@N advised to use rather than anything I decided upon. 
They say that tuning to 143048, 2khz away from the actual graves freq helps reduce noise. 
Spectum Lab sets everything up automatically when running their script.

This is one of the things I want to look at and tweak in the future.  But it's working, so I'm not complaining!

In fact just as I'm typing this a nice bright one popped up and as I had my speakers on I got a really nice loud ping. 
Think I'll need to look at enabling the audio capture as well now, but that means more digging around in Spectrum Lab.








Al
Enthusiasm exceeds experience & aspirations exceed budget!
http://www.ukstargazer.org/

 

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