After a long latent period, I found inspiration and managed to nearly complete the assembly of the Radio Jove 20.1 MHz receiver. The kit was missing two Zener diodes. Well, I think. The diodes are tiny and are labeled with microscopic print. My Kenmore home electron microscope isn’t operating, so I can’t read the bloody labels.

We need to get it lit up since Jupiter will soon become an evening object. I have to start thinking about the antenna assembly. I really don’t want to use the dipole antenna that is recommended owing to the excessive real estate it consumes. We have to assemble it in a semi-public space. The thing has guy wires and PVC pipes that beg for vandalism. I’m considering a Moxon or a folding Yagi assembly that can be collapsed into a stowed position when not in use.

Height is the other issue. The antenna needs to be highly pearched for the best gain. Twenty feet would be good. This thing receives decametric radio emissions, so the antenna elements tend to be large and unwieldy. The conductivity of the earth interferes with the gain. 

But first, we’ll put up the dreaded dipole in order to get some signal to test my electronic assembly skills. Once we can pick up some Jovian or solar emissions, we can refine the antenna. The good thing about a dipole, I suppose, is that it’s lobes are so broad that you don’t have to worry too much about pointing it.

 

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