Posts By Damian Rumble

Build Day 8 – Mounting the Dish

01 October 2016

Mounting the dish on to the pillar and top plate has been the longest anticipated and most significant part of the build. It has also proved to be the most technically and logistically difficult and it should not go unnoticed that there have been many delays and much heated discussion about how to approach this…READ MORE

Telescope Stand Redesign

29 June 2016

As discussed in Build day 7, in had become apparent over the storms of the winter months that wind loading might be an issue on the structure. The wind loading of the dish has been well documented by the suppliers, RF Hamdesign, and by our Science officer Sam Morrell in this article. However, Ken raised…READ MORE

Build day 7 – completing the dish

29 June 2016

In Build days 5 and 6 the XRT-C team constructed the bulk of dish. Despite an entire weekend’s worth of hard graft the dish was unable to be completed and therefore it became necessary to send a subsequent team to the site to complete the job before the winter closed in for good. On a…READ MORE

Wiring the Rotor – Part 2

02 March 2016

Providing power to telescope rotor unit has been proving to be a deceptively tricky task. Last time out we discussed the challenges of accessing the rotor terminals. This time we look at the linking the rotor with the control unit. Two power cables supply power separately to the altitude and azimuth motors within the rotor…READ MORE

Build Day 4 – The top plate

19 October 2015

On the 10th October. The XRT-C team returned to the site at Caradon observatory after the summer break. On the agenda for this, the 4th building stage, was to fill the up-righted stand with sand to make it heavier and more stable in the wind, and also to fit the top plate. Using 5 bags…READ MORE

Build Day 3 – Erecting the Stand

29 September 2015

Build stage 3 involved fixing the telescope stand to the hardened concrete base. High power drills were used to drill 6 holes directly into the concrete before the steel stand could be securely bolted in place. The piles used have to be sufficently long and strong enough to endure the 100+kg of telescope equipement on…READ MORE

Build Day 2 – Foundations

15 September 2015

With the location for telescope confirmed and foundations dug in build day 1. The stage stage of the construction process concerned the foundations. There was considerable debate amongst the engineering team as the nature of the foundations. Research of previous systems revealed a varity of methods, from digging a big hole and filling it with…READ MORE

Telescope Electronics

09 June 2015

Purchasing the primary components of Radio Telescope was always going to be the easier part of the project. Connecting them and getting them talking together is an all-together trickier task. Quickly it became apparent that we were dealing with different types of wire connectors. Research each of our various components on the source website –…READ MORE

Unpacking the dish

30 April 2015

On March 7th the Dish arrived at Caradon Observatory from RF Hamdesign (in the Netherlands). The team paid a visit to survey the instrument and catch up with Ken, the owner of Caradon. The dish arrived as series of large boxes. Inside we found the kit and components needed to assemble the 4.5m dish. The…READ MORE

PC and software

30 April 2015

We recently took delivery of the telescope PC. The end result is for this PC to be housed in the telescope control room but for the time being it will be set up at the University of Exeter for installation and testing. This is a relatively simple machine as the Spectracyber and dish positioning software…READ MORE

Telescope components have arrived!

30 April 2015

Following months of hard work by procurement and finance teams, the all important components for the telescope are starting to arrive and stack up on the spare desk in my office. Following the arrival and delivery of the dish to Caradon, we took delivery of the support and motor mechanism. These were bought from RF…READ MORE

Two Project Members Elected to UKSEDS Committee

04 March 2015

We are pleased to announce that two of our project members have been elected onto the UKSEDS committee at the society AGM on 1st March. Hannah Osborne will be taking on the role of Outreach Officer, while Elisabeth Matthews will be the Public Relations Officer.                    …READ MORE