Saturday 8th April 2017:Stage 1 is now complete! - After delivery of three cement trucks worth of concrete the pour is complete. Some work was needed to level out the concrete and some was removed to provide a more level surface. Over the next few weeks the block will cure and give us a great support for the tower section once it is built. In the center our four 150mm orange conduits rise up to allow routing of power and signal cables. We need to dig trenches at the start of the conduit and fit the rest of the conduit back to the building.
The majority of the preparation of the foundation was done by Clint and Phil, with Stephen Bentley and Robert putting together the cable conduits and some digging in the rock hard soil. Once the Dish is complete we should be able to make some great discoveries!
March 2017: Messier Star Party
On the weekend of the 4th March 2017 a very successful Messier Star Party was held with over 150 attendees. We had several big groups of visitors drop in at LMRO to find out what we are about. Although a nasty little storm came through around 5pm on Saturday night the sky was mostly clear by midnight and many members had some reasonable viewing sessions.
February 2017: 8 meter dish foundations
Work was started in February 2017 on the foundations for the 8 meter dish at LMRO. Thanks to a friendly local fellow with a back hoe we managed to get the 4 meter square and 1 meter deep hole excavated ready for setting up the bolt cage and the concrete pour. Parts for the bolt cage have arrived on site and a build process has been produced for assembly of the foundations.
Over the next few weeks the footings for the bolt cage frame, support rings and L shaped bolts will be assembled, formwork around the edge installed and cabling conduits laid ready for inspection.
October 2016: Skymuster at LMRO
On Thursday the 20th October 2016 the Installers arrived to put in our new NBN Skymuster modem and dish. Michael hails from South Australia and has been working out of Bendigo installing NBN services to remote users. After a quick inspection we settled on the location of the modem and dish. They were a little unsure whether the roof would be stable enough (it wobbles a bit) but after adjusting the antenna it worked great with about a 17dB signal level.
Originally we'd asked to keep our old satellite service running in conjunction with the new Skymuster (and after installation the site was left running on the old service until we do a changeover) but late Thursday the old system turned off so we lost access to the site. We're working on getting the new NBN modem set up but its proving to be an interesting task. We have a working bee coming up on the 13th November where we'll be sorting out a lot of problems and probably create a few new ones.
A Forum for the Radio Astronomy Section
We've needed an on-line discussion area for a while now, considering all the different aspects to the RAS. To that end I've created a Forum just for RAS in the ASV Web Forum page. You must be logged in as an ASV member to reach this. Click the 'Chat' icon in the members area to access it.
On Thursday 21st July we had a trench digger at LMRO to run pipes for cabling of the Magnetometer and the Low Frequency Array across the access road. A 30 meter trench was successfully dug, pipes laid and filled in. A similar trench was attempted for cabling to the 8 meter Dish but the ground was too soft and the trencher kept getting bogged. We'll give it another try when the weather improves.
The Astronomical Society of Victoria, Radio Astronomy Section was created in the late 1980s by a small group of dedicated amateur astronomers with an interest in Radio Astronomy. The members worked on projects at a country property in Officer, outer eastern Melbourne. The group then transitioned to their new home at the Leon Mow Dark Sky Site (LMDSS) near Heathcote, central Victoria.
The last ten years has seen a great amount of activity at the LMDSS.
Delivery of a shipping container and subsequent conversion to a Science Laboratory and Radio Shielded Room.
Radio Jove Dipole Antenna installation.
Purchase and assembly of an 8.5 meter aluminium dish antenna with plans in the works for the mounting and control of the dish
At LMRO a number of different experiment systems are active