We recently received a SID receiver that will detect solar storms impacting the Earth’s Ionosphere.

It consists of a coiled loop antenna, in our case oriented east-west, connected to the RF receiver, which is basically an RF preamplifier and amplifier.
The output of the receiver is a approx 1/2 volt dc output. This is fed into a radioshack data logging multimeter.
From there, the radioshack multimeter sends data out a serial port which is converted via a serial-usb adapter and plugged into a computer.
The computer in question is our radioroom computer, running windows 2000, and the radioshack program MeterView 1.0
Every day at approx 00:00 UT we save the data file out to a .txt file.

Updated 2012 July 29: Our first attempt at automating the data collection daily goes live tonight. We are using an MS Windows Scheduled task to call a batch file which runs ghostmouse, replaying a mouse macro previously recorded to stop the data, file save as today.txt and then restart the data collection at 00:00 UT (20:00EDT).

On the linux server, another script runs a couple of hours later to take the today.txt file and rename it to include the datetimestamp right in the filename (in ET time for now). Attempts to generate an image graph of the data using the programmign language ‘R’ have failed so farm but we continue to work at it.

Updated 2012 July 30 – well that failed pretty good. Turns out the ghostmouse macro recorder does not record keystrokes when typing in the filename. OK.. will rerecord the macro tonight at 20:00EDT only using the mouse and no keyboard.

Updated 2012 August 06 – finally got the macro up and running. Windows NT2000 has some issues with the task scheduler. Not we find that the data buffer continues to accumulate even after a stop, save,start command sequence. Tonight we will rerecord the mouse macro to include emptying the data buffer.
Also were told that the directionality of the antenna is not obvious, ie perpendicular to the flat plane, but rather parallel to the flat plane.
This means we moved the antenna mounted on the western wall to the southern wall, and now it should be more sensitive in the east-west direction. Also lowered the gain around sunrise to take the receiver voltage down from 750-800mv to about 500mv