After the last failure of trying to get python data logging code onto a Raspberry Pi 3B and failing with the latest Raspbian Buster OS (20210111), we decided to try using an older starting point, namely Raspbian Buster OS (20190926).
Spoiler: IT WORKED!

How to:
Download the Raspberry Pi Raspbian Buster OS from 20190926, or any other older one that uses ALSA for the audio server.

We then flashed it to the 16GB microsd card using balena etcher … that took about 10 minutes.
That was installed into the raspberry pi along with an HDMI video cable, an ethernet network cable, a USB mouse and keyboard and the USB audio adapter, and started up.
After configuring a new password, configuring location and language and keyboard, we then went into the builtin apps to the raspberrypi config menu and enabled SSH and VNC.
Note: we did NOT do any operating system upgrades at this time, fearing that perhaps the ALSA sound system would be replaced in the update.
We were able to SSH in remotely using a windows program called putty, and also from another linux server.
Great. Remote access up and running!
Now lets try remote graphical desktop access. We fired up a REALVNC viewer and successfully connected to the graphical remote desktop.
The USB sound card/adapter was plugged in this whole time.
We got it from amazon.ca for approx $18. there is little to no info on the actual chipset inside of it.
“Daffodil US01 USB External 7.1 Channel Sound Card / Audio Adapter / Plug and Play / Microphone (Mic) In and 3.5mm Speaker Out – For Windows XP / VISTA / 7 ”
This was the most complex part of the whole project… getting the audio to work with the python code that we could find… we needed a MIC analog input.

On the audio icon of the pi desktop, we looked and saw the USB sound interface, chose the input “analog”, selected the mic input and ran it up to 100, and checked the the AGC (Auto Gain Control) was off.
This was much more promising than last time.

From the graphical remote desktop we opened a command terminal and issued the following commands

sudo apt-get install software-properties-common
sudo apt-add-repository universe (this failed)
sudo apt-get install python-pip (this was already installed)
python -m pip install -U pip
sudo apt install python3.7 python3.7-dev python3.7-venv (these were already installed)
sudo apt-get install python3-pip (this was already installed)
sudo apt-get install python3-numpy (this was already installed)
sudo apt-get install python3-matplotlib
sudo apt-get install libasound2-dev
sudo apt-get install python3-alsaaudio
sudo apt-get install python3-scipy

this tells us about the sound system
arecord -L

the important bit here with our specific USB adapter was:
plughw:CARD=Device

From the user pi home directory /home/pi we extracted the SIDMON software by Nathan Towne. The sidmon.tar.gz file was downloaded from
https://myplace.frontier.com/~nathan56/ using the pi chromium browser.
tar xf sidmon.tar.gz
then we needed to copy the python scripts from /home/pi/sidmon/src/ to /home/pi/sidmon using the command
cp src/*.py .
We then edited the Header.txt file, thinking it is the main supersid config file.
Ours looks like this now:
We chose to monitor/configure only the strongest station at this time.

pi@raspberrypi:~/sidmon $ cat Header.txt
# Site = SCO
# Contact = xxx xxx@xxx.com
# Longitude = -76.76
# Latitude = 44.37
# monitor_id = ####
# the integration time
# loginterval = 5.0
# orientation is ~70 degrees
# Stations = NAA
# Frequencies = 24000
# groups and transmitters 2021feb22
# transmitter lines consist of a name, count of variables, variable name/value pairs, and then the line shape
# group = naa, 23600, 24400, 1
# transmitter = NAA, 24000.0, 2, f0, 24000.0, sig, 47.0, lambda f: np.exp(-((f – f0)/sig)**2/2)

After that it was time to fire it up and see if it worked. And it did! every 5 seconds it would take a reading, log it to a log file and also generate a graph!
./sidmon.py -d plughw:CARD=Device -lp 1

There is a lot more work to be done, like seeing if it successfully connects to NOAA to annotate flares, sunrise, sunset info onto the graph, if it generates any graphs locally, to set up routines to backup the data to our house server, to set it up as a service, so that it will autostart on raspberry pi powerup, and to see if it survives an operating system update and upgrade (ie sudo apt-get update; sudo apt-get upgrade), and lastly, to see if it autouploads the data to the Stanford Data Repository.

There are many other features and command line parameters in the documentation, which we will have to figure out.