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NAAPO (North American
AstroPhysical Observatory)

Volume 8 Number 3
The NAAPO Newsletter
(September 1992)

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Editor and Publisher:
Earl W. Phillips, Jr.
7893 Thornfield Lane
Columbus, Ohio 43235
NAAPO Coordinator:
Dr. Philip E. Barnhart
Dept. of Physics/Astronomy
Otterbein College
Westerville, Ohio 43081


Much water has flowed under the bridge since the last issue of SIGNALS. Part of the delay in letting all our friends know what is going on is due to a shift in responsibility here at Otterbein College. During the past year I vacated the post of Chair of the Department of Physics/Astronomy and lost in the process the discretionary options for copying and postage for the newsletter.

During the latter months of the school year a department chair less sympathetic to the cause of the RO requested that I stop using department mailing and copy funds to send the newsletter. In light of the large draw down of the NAAPO funds I have hestitated to continue the newsletter on its regular schedule.

As you can see from the rest of this issue, there are important things happening, so I am attempting an alternative method of news dissemination about the RO and the SETI project.

After over six years of subsidized publication of a radio observatory newsletter it looks like we will have to find a funding source (subscription charges would reduce our readership markedly) or someone to volunteer the printing costs. NAAPO can support the mailing cost six times a year, ($300 postage plus $50 packaging and handling). Printing costs have run about $70 an issue ($420 for 6 issues). This can be managed if we keep each issue pared down in size and all 175 subscribers pay an annual subscription of $5. Monitoring of the subscriptions will increase the clerical load at this end considerably, but can be handled by a volunteer.

The major drawback is that we have accepted in the past donations of $25 or more as sufficient reason to get a name on our mailing list, but all of that money was then channelled into the operations of the R0. None was siphoned off for costs of producing the newsletter.

Suggestions and donations will gladly be accepted by your editorial staff.

This issue, to keep the number of pages down and to get out in a timely fashion will not include messages from the electronic bulletin board. I realize this is the best way for many of you to keep abreast of developments at the RO over the months. We will issue before long a thorough summary of some of the most important messages to have crossed the bulletin board over the past half year. THERE HAVE BEEN SOME VERY IMPORTANT DEVELOPMENTS YOU SHOULD ALL KNOW ABOUT!


A flat raising party is scheduled for the next Saturday meeting date. The purpose is to exercise the flat moving mechanism, relocate the beam in the sky and test various aspects of the brake release controls, including the PHurm Mark III heavy duty manual release mechanism for the pneumatic control of the safety brake system.

It is estimated that as many as ten (10) count them (10) able bodied persons capable of pulling ropes on command, running hither and thither, and generally seeing to it that things go well. General overseer of the proposed move will be Steve Brown, ably assisted by Russ Childers and Bob Stephens.

At this printing it is intended to move the flat all the way to the +69 declination position. (It is not known if ESL has objection to this position of the flat.) The purpose is to provide some motion flexibility and get away from the galactic center region. The Flat moves down (South) much easier than it moves North.

Let us know if you plan to be there for the BIG flat move.


*** Call for Volunteers ***

October 18 will be a big day at Big Ear. We plan to celebrate the 20 years of SETI observations logged by this facility. Our celebration will coincide with the MSDC conference being held in Worthington that weekend, and will follow by a week the NASA ceremony intitiating their Microwave Observing Program in their search for evidence of extraterrestrial technology.

We will need a full contingent of helpers to aid in the activities and be on hand to describe what is going on at the R0, lead and direct groups of visitors, handle parking, run the "microwave image of each visitor" project and be on hand to head off all and any emergency events. Bob Dixon will be on hand to model his new engineer's hat and demonstrate the SETI EastWestern Railroad System for the visitors.

P. E. Barnhart
Department of Physics
Otterbein College
Westerville, OH 43081
Steve Janis
Dreese Lab Rm 805
2015 Neil Ave.
Columbus, OH 43210.


The meeting began at roughly 10:05am. Those in attendance were Barnhart, Phillips, Childers, Hanson, Campanella, Brown, Goodall & guests Jennifer & Stanley Wiklinski.

Barnhart reports that a set of posters has been delivered to the RO for display purposes. He also brings 2 new Flags Of Earth; 1 to replace our tattered one, and 1 for special occassions. He also promises to bring out 2 volunteers to help out with some much needed painting.

Childers reports that we were interviewed by Pioneer TV for British production. The air date is tentatively scheduled for late December. They promise to send us a copy of the tape. He further reports that the horn cart rail system is appr. 75% completed. The horn cart now rolls smoothly under computer control. He has also managed to filter out a lot of the noise we receive in the continuum output. Examples of his "before & after" show a marked difference in the readouts generated by the chart recorder. Way to go Russ!

Brown reports that he has built an enclosure for the new brake valves, as well as performed a bit of general painting.

Hanson continues along on his card-to-tape project, reading box after box of the messy things. He is waiting for student volunteers to assist in this project. He would also like to relocate the 11/750 from Otterbein to the RO soon. He brings another revision of Paul Hurm's brake lanyard. It is truly amazing that Paul can produce such quality work with only electronic-ascii drawings in lieu of blueprints! Good job Paul!

A general discussion of signal verification and RFI databases ensued, with many ideas and suggestions bandied about. The meeting broke at roughly 11:25am, with most going off to their respective tasks.

ed. note:

A lot of work has gone on recently on-site. The efforts of all those involved in the many accomplishments is beginning to have a definite impact. Our new horn cart design, complete with its own railway, is truly a sight to behold. The cleaner output in the continuum data makes identifying sources all that much easier. We are scheduling a lot more activities over the next few months (see above). Please, if you can help out, let us know. We need all the manpower we can get. Many thanks to all who have worked so hard over the last few months, your efforts are greatly appreciated!

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