Upcoming Events

Tue 27

Deep Sky Imaging Workshop

November 27 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Dec 07

Romney Observing Evening: 7 or 9 December 2018

December 7 @ 8:30 pm - 11:00 pm

Subscribe to Flamsteed via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this website and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,665 other subscribers

Home Forums Useful Stuff Setting up a SID detection station


This topic contains 5 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  John Williams 2 years, 9 months ago.

Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • Author
  • #10480

    Clive Inglis
    Topics: 17
    Replies: 41

    Attached are some notes I made while setting up the Flamsteed  Astronomy Society’s Sudden Ionospheric Disturbance (SID) detection station using a Very Low Frequency (VLF) receiver purchased from the UKRAA.  SIDs occur when bursts of  X ray and ultra violet radiation produced by solar flares interact with the Earth’s ionosphere and change the way in which it reflects very low frequency radio waves to a receiving antenna.  The rate at which SIDs are detected give an indication of solar activity.


    • This topic was modified 3 years, 9 months ago by  Clive Inglis. Reason: corrupted file
    • This topic was modified 3 years, 9 months ago by  Clive Inglis.
    You must be logged in to view attached files.

    Mike Meynell
    Topics: 119
    Replies: 756

    Thanks Clive. I’ve converted this file to a PDF so it’s more accessible.

    You must be logged in to view attached files.

    Topics: 38
    Replies: 595

    Thanks Clive, I am going to do this! I had a check to see if I had enough room in my loft cupboard to mount the equipment and I think I got just more than enough.

    Also, thanks for the demonstration on the radio astronomy tracking of asteroids on Monday at the Smashfest event. That was quite illuminating…and I love the machine that goes “ping” too 🙂

    I will no doubt have more questions when I embark on the SID project.


    Malcolm Thompson
    Topics: 0
    Replies: 4

    Keith Oliver and myself have tried to set up a SID detector, but are finding that the signal level is very low when we use the USB sound card direct. We have tried to find the correct capacitor to tune the aerial but are not sure we have the correct value, would it be possible to bring a signal generator to the next meeting please. I will bring a few capacitors so we can choose the best one. Have produced some screen shots of what we have done so far.
    Malcolm Thompson

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 9 months ago by  Mike Meynell. Reason: fixed formatting

    Mike Meynell
    Topics: 119
    Replies: 756

    Hi Malcolm,

    I’m sure we can arrange for the aerial tuning unit to be brought to the meeting on Thursday. I’ll let you know.

    Please bring along any equipment and screen shots of what you’ve done so far.



    John Williams
    Topics: 2
    Replies: 10

    Hello Clive

    I have now got a fully working SID system comprising :-
    Home made loop aerial.
    Home made Gyrator receiver.
    Maplin Pro High Definition 7.1 USB sound card.
    Picoscope DrDaq A to D converter.
    Windows 8.1 laptop.
    PLEASE NOTE DrDaq does NOT run on Windows XP.
    I have put the Raspberry PI on the back burner for now.

    The loop aerial is about 18 meters from any house, and I get little or no interference. Aerial to house is on a screened cable.
    At maximum received signal from DH038 on 23.4 KHz I have about 60dB Signal to Noise Ratio.

    I wonder if some of the problems we had at the last meeting were due to the fluorescent lights?

    John Williams

Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.