SCGO Radio Jove System
Welcome to Starlight Cascade Observatory Radio Jove Project !
Near Yarker, Ontario, Canada.
(44.22.39 N 76.45.47 W 155M Elevation)
Page Created: 2010 June 29
Page Last Updated: 2021 December 01
SCGO Home *
Radio JOVE students and amateur scientists observe and analyze natural radio emissions of Jupiter, the Sun, and our galaxy.
The Radio JOVE project is a hands-on inquiry-based educational project that allows students, teachers and the general public to learn about radio astronomy by building their own radio telescope from an inexpensive kit and/or using remote radio telescopes through the internet. Participants also collaborate with each other through interactions and sharing of data on the network.
The Radio JOVE project began in 1998. Since then, more than 1100 teams of students and interested individuals have purchased our non-profit radio telescope kits and are learning radio astronomy by building and operating a radio telescope. This self-supporting program continues to thrive and inspire new groups of students as well as individuals.
These are our almost live, most recent Radio SkyPipe data strip charts (updates hourly). The image charts are in UT time.
X1. solarflare 2021 October 28
Region 2887 Start Time UT 15:17; Max 15:35; End 15:48
X 1.6 solar flare 2014 Sept 10 Max 17:48 UT
X 1.1 solar flare 2012 March 05 Region 1429
Where is Jupiter now? from http://www.physics.sfasu.edu/astro/Planets/planetchart.html
Russian XRay Emissions near realtime
US National Weather Service Space Weather Prediction Center realtime data
RadioJove System Log
2021november18 - antenna coax had come loose for the last 48 hours. repaired. still getting very low baseline? But we are picking up ionospheric probe sounds.
2021october17 - rerouted audio cable from receiver into observatory and into the external usb sound adapter. audio levels look a little low.
2021july20 - offline for renovations... backup up within a few days
2021April19 - fixed last 144 1/2 hours code
2021April15 - fixed last30 days...
2020Sept26 - recoded a lot of the data processing, hourly updates of 30 minute image and cumulative day image now working again.
2020April16 - reverted from radioskypipe 2.7.40 to 2.7.33 as images were not being generated or uploaded. fixed now!
2020Feb19 - updated archives to 2020
2019November25 - southern dipole wire came loose from pole.
2019March21 - data archiving here has failed... checking code and will upload from the source later tonight.
2018 August 20 - OPERATIONAL again. Installed and configured a new laptop computer to act as data logger for the RadioJove System. Seems to be stable as of this morning after a few coding tweaks.
2018 August 12 - assembled radiojove dual dipole antenna. dipole masts are 25' apart, south and north dipoles are 20' apart.
phasing cable goes on south dipole.
radiojove operational again
THe antenna is now 50'+ more to the east then previous, further away from the house and electronics and other observatories. The receiver moved from the Faraday caged SCG Observatory and into the newly built
imaging platform, a 4x4 wood structure. The coax was buried to the antenna and two junction boxes house the splitter and the phase cable connection.
Each antenna is tied down with guy rope, masts sitting in a deck block with a rock on top as well. Each guy wired is attached to a 7" stake in the ground topped by a rock.
2018 August 08 -
* SHUTDOWN radiojove netbook data logger running Radio Skypipe. Took down radiojove dipole antennas, 20' apart from each dipole and 25' long for each dipole. pulled up buried coax cable from scgo, under Tardis to 1st junction box containing a 2 way splitter.
2018 April 06 - no damage to the setup and it continues to operate while we plan to rebuild a new roof on the SCG Observatory.
2018April04 - the roof of the SCG Observatory blew off in a windstorm with gusts reaching 66kph locally. The RadioJove receiver and data logging computer was exposed to a few inches of snow after that, so it may or may not be online until the situation is resolved.
2018Feb06 - still more tweaking to configurations. No saved data for last 3 days.. should be fixed!
2018Feb01 - still tweaking configuration to get data saved to the right place, uploaded to the right place, etc. We are using a USB audio dongle mic input for the radiojove receiver audio output. Will have to test to ensure the right audio input is being data logged.
2018Jan27 - MS Windows 10 updates killed the Toshiba Netbook NB305 computer that was data logging. It turned unresponsive, radio skypipe would not start up, remote desktop into the computer failed and more. So the drive was wiped and windows 7 pro was installed, then radioskypipe 3.7.6 It worked so then the update 3.7.33 went in and it worked!
2017Nov08 - The southern dipole coax connection had broken free sometime in the last week or so. Today it was repaired/reconnected. In addition, because of the low declination of Jupiter the last year and going forward for a few years, the dual dipole antenna was raised from 10' to 15'.
This in effect, steers the peak sensitivity of the receiving beam to more closely match that of Jupiter.
From the radiojove 1.2 antenna kit manual from 2012, Jupiters declination has gone from a peak of 23 degrees in 2014, to -10 degrees today and will be dropping to -22 degrees in early 2019 through to 2021.
Jupiters max elevation is currently around 40 degrees and will drop down to 25 degrees in early 2019.
WIth the antenna at 10' and using a 90 degree phasing cable the beam centre was approximately 60 deg elevation. With the antenna at 15' and the same phasing cablem the beam centre is now 49 degrees elevation. IDeally, if we could, we would remov the 90 degree and add a 135 degree phasing cable to lower the beam centre to 42 segress.
2017July26 - the system has been misbehaving for 10 days now with the new windows 10 creators update... am still attempting to get operational again.
2017Mar28 - system rebooted and radioskypipe did not restart until today. Dual Dipoles still at 10' should be at 15', need to wait for ground to thaw and snow to melt before changing.
2017Feb20 - repaired one antenna mast... dipole now parallel again.
2016Dec02 - upgraded to v4.7.13, run as administrator, ad 12:40 EST or 17:40 UTC
2016 Aug 12- new power supply arrives and fits and works! Radiojove skypipe 2.7.10 now operational.
2016 July 29 - new power supply received, should be installed within days. Note to self: enable radio skypipe to stream realtime data; calculate new dipole height required and raise poles; possibly also need new length phasing cable.
configure skypipe to stream live data; update: wrong power supply :(
2016 June 17 - the toshiba netbook currently running skypipe on the radiojove system has failed (2016 May 28), more specifically the external power supply has failed.
This was the second failure, with the power supply purchased in 2015 October.
The system will be offline until we can find another.
2016 Feb 28 - installed usb soundcard into old netbook system (with bad audio) and presto, radiojove is back up again.
Now running skypipe v2.7.10
2016Feb 20 - The Acer laptop (circa 2003) failed over the weekend and could not be repaired. Radiojove will be down until a replacement can be acquired and configured.
2015October 29 - upgraded radio skypipe to 2.7.5
2015August20 - upgraded radio skypipe to 2.7.4, increased microphone input levels to approx 50% from approx 20%, installed ms updates, rebooted around 14:00
2015June08 - UPS failure around 09:00edt, rerouted around 20:30 edt. Upgraded Radio Skypipe data logger to v2.7.3
2014Dec12 - Radio skypipe software configuration complete, data now uploading to website correctly.
Of course the Space Weather Prediction Centre has changed its website amd now our Xray comparator images habe moved someplace.
2014Dec08 - moved radiojove radioskypipe software to its own new laptop computer and off the RFI noisy allsky1 computer system.
2014 Sept 10 - massive X1.6 solar flare captured but discovered that audio recording archive is not working.
2014 June 11 - discovered configuration bug that resulted in no data being saved since 2014 May 07 or so. fixed. Still not restarting audio levels after 00:00UT changeover. Using USB audio since 2014 May 07
2014 May 30 - changed from 60 minutes to 30 minutes and changed from last 12 to last48
2013 March 29 - change last48 code to last12
2014 February 20 - auto archive system broken.. just repaired today.
2014 January 26 - decommission radiojove netbook and install software on the allsky desktop system. Install audio drivers, skypipe, confiugre skypipe from scratch and see how it runs.
2013 December 29 - installed new 60GB SSD drive, reinstall Windows 7, skypipe. Audio subsystem not working correctly.
2013 December 05 - Radiojove netbook computer (toshiba) hard drive dies; endless reboots. Tested and failed. Offline until further notice.
2013 October 29 - updated to Radio Skypipe v2.6.4; discovered that image archiving since 2013 January 23 not working. Added rawdata skypipe data files to accessible archives.
2013 September 16 - updated radio skypipe to v2.6.0
2013 April 22 - changed upload of audio MP3 files from hourly to once daily at 01:01
Typically these are of transient events like ionospheric probe transmissions.
2013 Feb - replaced allsky baddesktop with another desktop that does not cause RFI. Working well again.
2013 Jan 24 - bad RFI noise for last few months coming from allsky1 desktop computer, which replaced dead laptop previous. No audio being uploaded since 2012 dec 31
2012 july 07 - fixed bad archive code when switching from last24 to last48 images back in april.
2012 june 29 - bad uploads fixed about 3 weeks back.. turned out to be bad Internet Service Provider messing things up.
2012may07 - autouploads have broken since about april 29th. We are working on alternatives.
2012april03 - change options timing from windows to sound card, enabled 10 second prebuffer for any audio recordings. Works! Moved upper threshold limit from 800 to 900 in an attempt to lessen the amount of audio captured and processed.
Planning to lower antenna height from 15' to 10' this long weekend.
2012march29 - change hourly strips to 30 minutes for better resolution on the web images
2012march16 - network switch port dead/burnt out, moved to another port, all ok
2012march15 - very close lightning storm strikes, lost network to observatory
2012march10 - skypipe updated to v2.3.26
2012March07 - no data uploaded for last 24 hours or so from 07:30 local due to changing IP addresses and too much security :)
2012March05 - captured something large from 15:01 to 15:37 UT. Waiting for confirmation from other stations
2012March03 - large windstorm strikes area for most of day. RJ mast/antennas survive without damage. Gusts recorded up to 61kph on our Weather Station.
2012Mar02 - lowered skypipe .wav recorded threshold from 900 to 800 as we have not had a lot of recordings lately.
2012Jan09 - added a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) to power the data collecting netbook and broke the netbook power adapter! Later inside it tested out fine. Reinstalled and all is running well.
2012Jan07 - all processing scripts up and running again. Should now be updating images hourly, processing any audio files hourly and adding to the 24 hour page hourly.
2012Jan04 - installed new netbook computer as the data recorder for Radiojove. Still needs a lot of custom configuration to work correctly and input testing as well.
2010Dec16 - data laptop hard drive dies, no replacement available.
2011Dec15 - Radio Skypipe upgraded to v2.3.22
2011Nov11 - Skypipe is now configured to record audio .WAV files whenever the signal goes above a threshold of 3000 and record for 10 seconds after it falls below that level.
These .WAV files are huge, so now they are automatically converted to .MP3 at a sample rate of 192 kbps and the original .WAV are deleted. The MP3's are archived and uploaded to this website and are available here
2011Oct14 - microsoft windows updates caused the laptop to restart thursday morning and skypipe does not normally autostart. Skypipe was also upgraded from 2.1.17 to 2.3.11 with no new features activated yet.
Microsoft automatic updates turned off to prevent future problems.
2011Sep16 - Operational again after moving data collection to a new laptop. Some tweaking of processes were ironed out this morning and everything should be working well.
2011Sep11 - Since roughly a week back, since a great zinger of a lightning storm, the radio jove system has been out of service/broken/non-functional. It turns out the most likely culprit is the laptop audio port.
2011Aug11 - with advice from the radio jove email list, we reduced the recording volumelevel of the microphone input of the laptop, giving the skypipe software
a new base level of about 400 instead of its previous level of 7000. This is supposed to give us a better dynamic range for capturing events.
2011Aug10 - fixing naming system from yy to yyyy as file prefix for complete year number.
Added in daily archiving of last24 images for historical searching.
2011Aug06 - created a web page displaying the last 24 hourly images to aid in looking up specific events in a one hour graph.
2011Aug02 - Radio Jove is operational again. The power supply was a red herring as two different multimeters showed differing results from the power supply and the same ones from a new power supply. Then we found a disconnected audio feed from the receiver to the computer. All fixed! Using the original power supply and everything.
Good thing to as the Sun is very active of late.
Checking the Radio Telescope Supplies website, RadioJove kits are not available at this time as they are upgrading them real soon now.
2011Jul31 - after removing the unit for testing, we have come across a power supply issue. Sometimes it shows 12vdc on a voltmeter, sometimes it shows 26vac. We tried another wall adapter 12vdc 1a and got a very loud hum from the system. Then we put a 12vdc 7ah battery on it and it seemed to be working again. So it is totally battery powered at the moment and we are looking for a new external power source without noise.
The data still looks pretty flat.
2011Jul22 - we had a two hour unscheduled power outage on the morning of July 20 and radiojove was offline during that time. Ever since then however it has been giving some strange results. We'll have to go and take a look
at it with the audio speakers turned on as well.
2011Jun19 - the allsky2 laptop running this radiojove project and the allsky camera had to be restarted after 66 days of continuous and error free operation... not too bad for an old circa2003 laptop running windows XP!
20110429 - cut the feed RG-6 coax to 1.5 wavelengths and installed the receiver inside the observatory and powered everything up! It works!
More time will be spent tweaking and testing the skypipe data logger, the receiver and antenna system, etc.
System has gone LIVE
20110416 - 4 hours to assemble the receiver and another two hours to put it into the enclosure and calibrate it.
20110301 - installed the radio skypipe II software v2.1.7 on the allsky laptop in preparation for the radio jove electronics assembly.
20100801 - assembled the southern dipole mast and antenna, attached the phase cable
and the signal combiner.
20100725 - assembled north dipole mast and antenna.
We did not have enough PVC pipe to complete the 2nd dipole mast but did complete the southern dipole antenna.
The dual dipole antennas set to 15' above ground aligned to geographic east/west.
Our Antenna Setup
All of the setup was derived from the instruction manuals. These three images/figures show the critical information needed:
Our calculations (2010 July) led us to assemble the mast at a 15' level for the dipoles.
The dipoles are aligned to true east-west (not magnetic).
We plan to build the receiver assembly in the next week, find some RG6 coax to run from the combiner to the receiver and then finding some spare computer to take the audio output from the receiver and run it through a data recorder such as skypipe.
We need approx 70' of coax to run from the antenna to the observatory building where the computer will be.
Using RG6 coax (we could not find any RG59) we determined that the nearest 0.5 wavelength that is at least that long is 2.5 wavelengths
of 38.18' (11.64m) or 95.45' (29.1m) in total. Luckily our local Rona hardware store sells a 30m roll of RG6 for only $40 or so.
Jupiters declination in mid 2010 is approx 0 degrees and is increasing.
It's elevation based on our latitude of approx 45 degrees will be approx 45 degrees and increasing.
The antenna height above ground for 40-55 degrees is 15', so we assembled the mast for that height.
2010 Jul1 JEA=45deg AH=15'
manuals/2011 Jan1 JEA=43deg AH=15'
2011 Jul1 JEA=56deg AH=10'
2012 Jan1 JEA=55deg AH=15'
2012 Jul1 JEA=65deg AH=10'
2013 Jan1 JEA=65deg AH=10'
We assembled and tested the 20.1 MHz receiver over 6 hours on a rainy Saturday afternoon.
There were over 100 components to solder in and now I can see why the price tag for an assembled receiver is so much more than the kit!
Some of the harder parts of assembly were the identification of some of the smaller parts, with very tiny markings on them, like the picofarad capacitors, the inductors and some of the germanium diodes.
Radio Jove Homepage
radiojove-ant_manual.pdf v1.2 (2004 december) 1mb
radiojove-rcvr_manual.pdf v1.1 (2006 July) 3mb
radiojove-retrofit_antenna_manual.pdf 2005 April (200kb)
radiojove-single_dipole_suppl_man_rev_1-1.pdf (2006 January) (1mb)
radiojove FTP's up imagery every hour to this server.
This server has the following scripts/batch files:
#runs hourly at 1 minute after the hour
1 * * * * /radiojove/moveimages
#runs hourly at 2 minutes after the hour
2 * * * * /radiojove/process
#runs once daily at 23:59 UT *needs to change when we move from EDT to EST
59 19 * * * /radiojove/archivedailyut
echo moving any images from radiojove to radiojove/archive/2011daily and 2011hourly
for i in *skypipepicFV.jpg
mv $i archive/2011daily/$i
for i in *skypipepic.jpg
mv $i archive/2011hourly/$i
This script includes many redirections that do not display correctly within this html page.
echo at 23:59 UT copy last24 and rename to date and copy to archive
datetimestamp=`$LS last24.htm -lgo --time-style=+%Y%m%d_%H%M_%S | cut -c 19-34`
cp last24.htm "archive/scorj-$datetimestamp.htm"