I hope to have all problems solved and the system working no later then January 2009 to correlate this project with the "International Year of Astronomy". Ideally I'd like to start collecting data and sending to the site well before then so that there is data from 2008 to compare to 2009 but this is not a necessity to keep the original concept of the STEP project paper in mind. This page will list problems as I encounter them and their solutions.

08-01-08;
Still unable to find the axis of the dish making it hard to know where I am pointing it. Add to that the regular adjustments and the narrow field of view of the scope makes the whole system too much work. So until I have an automatic tracking system installed this project has been set on the back burner!

06-28-08;
Discovery??
During the process of re-aligning the dish it started to rain so I ducked inside the observatory to wait it out. While inside I watched the skypipe live display as the trace climbed up as the rain was just a sprinkle and then dramatically climb as it began to pour down. Every time the rain got heavy and then light the trace would follow by climbing and falling. I am currently in discussion with other radio astronomy enthusiasts to find the cause of this phenomena.

05-31-08;
Problem to solve: Sending data to this website on a regular basis so that visitors will be able to see the data as it's being generated. The biggest problem is figuring out the code on the page, there is the Help files and a usable example page but I need to understand what I am doing first.

05-18-08;
Problem to solve:
Regularly adjusting the declination setting of the dish as the Sun "moves" up and down through the year. Each movement of the dish must be made in one degree increments, anywhere from once a day to once a week. Current configuration will work but needs an easier way.


05-13-08;
Problem to solve: Regularly updating the observatory computer clock to keep accurate time every day. Best way to do this is through the Internet but to hook that computer up to the internet without laying network cable and not having experience with wireless networking is a problem. The home computer and cable modem is in the front room of the house, The observatory computer is 175 feet behind the house inside the observatory. This comes to roughly 275 feet.


05-10-08;
Problem to solve: Interference spikes appear through the analog to digital converter or by the computer it self while collecting data points every 100ms. I have since found that by collecting one data point every 100ms and averaging 50 of these to make one data point (five seconds per data point) I can effectively "hide" the interference but at a cost of loosing the moment of local solar noon accuracy on a daily basis. I.E. the moment of local solar noon becomes more random and less accurate. 5-18-08; attempting to average every 20 data points (2 seconds per data point).

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