Gurudev Observatory

Questions - Radio Jove,Super SID, Radio Telescopes


(1)Please, if you have specifications on the type of system to use, and other materials based on your experience,kindly avail us the information.We want to start getting the components gradually and we want the best that will serve our purpose maximallyand will be cost effective.

(2)Thank you for your prompt response. I have checked up the response and it is quite helpful.I have visited the link pages. One of the challenge I envisaged is the unstable power supply in Nigeria. We intend to build a solar panel to generate a measure of e.m.f. to support the National Electricity Grid which fluctuates. My next line of thought is we may need an automated magnetic interphase to switch from the National Grid to our solar powered. If our system unit is a desktop, we may need a UPS to avoid shutdown.From your experience, if the system unit is left switched on for over 1 month, wont there be overheating? Will any of the component not fail? I know you will not be tired of providing us the needed technical assistance.- Adesunloro Gbenga Mic., Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria

(1) Dear Adesunloro, 

The Radio Jove receiver is powered by a 12 V Direct Current power supply that comes with the kit.  I believe this power supply should be reasonably stable despite fluctuations in the power supply in Nigeria.  If needed, you can run the receiver using a 12 Volt battery, but it is much safer to use a 12 V Lantern Battery or something like that rather than something like a 12 V car battery.  If you use a computer with the radio telescope to record the signals then you probably know better than I do what is needed to provide stable power for the computer.  
If the system unit is left switched on for long periods of time there should be no problem as long as the power input remains around 12 V DC.  They have been left on for much more than a month without problem.  
Gathering the individual parts of the radio telescope to build it is much harder than just ordering the kit for making it.  Some of the electronic parts are difficult to find and the parts that are in the kit have been tested with each other and we know they work well with each other.  If you have trouble with the money necessary to purchase the kit then you should consider applying for a grant from the Society of Amateur Radio Astronomers (SARA - see  See the link to the SARA Grant Program on the right side of that home page.  
Best wishes -Dr. Jim Thieman, Radio Jove, NASA-GSFC
(2) I am somewhat aware that there are many electrical issues in Nigeria - intermittent service and fluctuating voltage.
If you could describe in more detail what is the range of AC voltages seen on the power mains - and what range of DC voltages you experience from the power supply feeding the Jove receiver.
One solution which we can suggest is to feed a constant 12 volts DC to the receiver from a battery.  A car battery is probably the most common.  There is danger using a car battery because of the possibility to draw large amounts of current if there is by accident a short circuit.  Using a 1/2 ampere fuse in the circuit would be a good idea to reduce the risk of a fire in case of a short.
Do you have a voltmeter to monitor the battery voltage?  A well charged battery should last for a very long time as the receiver itself only draws about 0.1 amperes.  A 12 volt lantern battery (or two 6 volt lantern batteries in series) will last for many days.
The receiver operates best with a voltage above 11.5 volts.  The best range is between 12 and 13 volts.
Hope this helps.- Richard Flagg, Hawaii


We are a team of young teachers of physics with electronics with special interest in space science in a the Federal Polytechnic, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria. We have been educating our students on radio astronomy and wishes to set up an observatory where multidisciplinary research, exhibition on radio communication, astronomy and earth science can be showcased.
We need your support to making dream a reality. We need a detailed requirements and the materials needed. Hope to hear from you soon.- Adesunloro Gbenga Mic., Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria

Dear Adesunloro, 

I commend your effort to set up the multidisciplinary program.  I hope that the Radio Jove project can help you to accomplish that.  
I don’t know if you are familiar with the Radio Jove project but it is an education and outreach project to build a radio telescope from a kit and use the telescope to observe radio emissions from Jupiter, the Sun, the Galaxy, etc. and communicate your observations with other observers through the internet.  It is a starting point for students to learn about radio astronomy.  Information about Radio Jove can be found at the website (  From that site you can order the Radio Jove kit from the link labeled “kit ordering”.  The site should also provide some information on the requirements and materials for the radio telescope.  If you are concerned about the cost of the project there is always the possibility of requesting a grant from the Society of Amateur Radio Astronomers to help with the purchase.  (see the link to the SARA Grant Program on the right side of their home page - .I hope that helps. - - Dr. Jim Thieman, Radio Jove, NASA-GSFC

I am student of electronic engineering & want to make a radio telescope but having very low budget. Could you please suggest some small radio telescope with help of which we students can learn radio astronomy. Akhilesh Pandit, Bhopal, Madhy Pradesh.

The IBT would be very doable They can modify a sat finder to connect to the computer sound card and use free SkyPipe software. - Bill & Melinda Lord, SARA, USA

How i make a small radio telescope at home? give me information. Harshil Patel, Student, 12th Science, Bharuch

(1) Dear Harshil,

This is Dr. James Thieman, coordinator of the Radio Jove program. Radio Jove is a program to learn about radio astronomy through building or purchasing a small radio telescope. Information about the program can be found at If you connect to that website you will find information about the Radio Jove program in general. On the home page there is a link to “kit ordering” and if you click on that link it will take you to the page where you can order a kit or other things from the Radio Jove program. If you think that the cost of the Radio Jove kit might be too much to pay consider applying for a grant from the Society of Amateur Radio Astronomers (SARA). They accept requests for help in paying for Radio Jove materials. You can find information about their program at

I hope that is of help to you and allows you to follow your interest in radio astronomy.

Best wishes, - Dr. Jim Thieman, Radio Jove, NASA-GSFC

(2) You can refer to Getting Started in Radio Astronomy | Society of Amateur Radio Astronomers. There is good information here on good starter projects. - William & Mellinda Lord, SARA, USA

I am a journalist and an amateur astronomer based in kalyani nagar, pune. I have a six-inch dobsonian astronomical telescope. I would love to build a basic radio telescope, with a Affordable Small Radio Telescope kit perhaps, although I have no academic grounding in physics. I would request you for advice/help in this regard. - Peter Noronha, Journalist, Amaterur astronomer, Pune, India

I would recommend he look at our "Getting Started" page Getting Started in Radio Astronomy | Society of Amateur Radio Astronomers It has a lot of good information and links to useful resources.- William & Melinda Lord, SARA, USA.

I want to start Radio Jove observations and to buy a receiver from NASA. What is the procedure and how do I get guidance? - Anil Datir

Information about Radio Jove can be found on the website ( and if you wish to build the standard Radio Jove radio telescope you can order it by going to the “kit ordering” link on the Radio Jove home page. We welcome your participation. Guidance can be given if you wish to send us questions. - Dr. Jim Thieman, Radio Jove, NASA-GSFC

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