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 Hamdesign to ensure that they were fully compatible with the dish. The motor bracket (below) is a solid construction of aluminium that is mounted on one side to the main structure of the dish stand, and on the other side to the dish motor itself. Having to support and freely move 70kg of dish and a similar weight of motor, it is encouraging to see such a substantial construction.
Aside from a few photographs, we had a limited expectations regarding the motor. It turns out to a much more massive component than anticipated and we are currently looking for a means of lifting this and safely securing it to the stand when it is built. Surprising the power source and control unit are a much more modest affair, and will subsequently be housed in the dome at Caradon alongside the receiver.
The SpectraCyber 1420 MHz Hydrogen Line Spectrometer Receiver is the most expensive item purchased for the project with the complete order costing almost $3,000! However this is a state of the art piece of equipment that has been built for order for the project and shipped from Radio Astronomy Supplies, Texas, USA. Conveniently, RAS built the receiver with a UK plug and adaptor. For the time being this will be based in Exeter Astrophysics department where the Science team can set this up and get and idea about how every thing works.
The RAS Receiver also came with a number of other components. Notably; 15m of low loss coaxial cable, a feed horn, antenna and amplifier.
Whilst getting these additional components with the receiver ensures they are all compatible, this does not ensure that they are compatible with our pre-existing components. Science team have a limited amount of time to investigate what further components we need to ensure we can build a working telescope, and what we need to purchases in the way of adaptors to link between components.