Telescope Status
The feed support ropes broke, causing the feed to fall onto the dish. The ropes were replaced and the feed hoisted into position. The telescope is currently capturing test data to verify operation.

Survey Completed after 5 years

After five years, the 408MHz All Sky Survey has been completed. This is a time that has seen many ups and downs, both technically and personally.

Ken Tapping has completed the writing up of the paper with the assitance of other team members. It can be downloaded from here [size = 1.2MB]. See below for an extract.

The John R Smith Sky Survey at 408 MHz

John Smith, Phil Beastall, Brian Shorter, Sally Smith, Ken Tapping, Dave Vincent, Chip Wiest, James Wilhelm

Dedication: The survey described here is dedicated to John R. Smith, who played the leading role in the decision to do this survey, and in the design and construction of the 30ft dish intended to make it. He provided leadership, developed hardware, electronics and software and started the observing programme. John played a key role in the success of amateur radio astronomy in the UK and helped it spread to Canada and other countries. Unfortunately, his untimely death meant he was not to see the results of what he started. This survey is also dedicated to the memory of Sally, John’s daughter, who worked very hard to see the survey completed, and lived just long enough to see it achieved.

February 2006: Feed damage
During the winter, the feed support ropes broke, causing the feed to fall onto the dish. Inspection of the feed showed no serious damage. A quick check of the output level indicated that the feed is still operational. Phil, Brian and James spent one Sunday afternoon attaching new ropes and hoisting the feed into position again (see photos below). The system was left running to collect test data.

Special thanks to Brian who went out to the telescope a few times to asses the damage and attempt to fix the problem by himself. Without this work it would have been a struggle!

Click photo for larger version.

3 August 2005
Phil and James collected data left over from May and June. Marina and Elsje (friends of James) voluntarily cleared the growth below and around the dish (see photo). They will happily clear your garden if you pay their tickets from South Africa!

Click photo for larger version.

Friday 24 December 2004 - First run using Logger 3!

First data captured with PC - Sunday, 3 October.

Some photos of work on Sunday, 3 October.

Checking focus box

Data PC

Spare IF strip.


Ken fixing focus box.

First survey data.

Testing electronics.

Ken & Phil working.

Start of first observation run of the 408MHz All Sky Survey

The project

The 408 MHz All Sky Survey is conducted near Cranleigh in Surrey, England. A 30ft dish at 408MHz is used to conduct an all sky survey.

What will this site be used for?

This site will be used to publish information and results of the survey. Have a look at photos of the telescope here.

There are also some links to other radio astronomy sites of interest.

Over time, the following will be added to the site: