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NAAPO (North American
AstroPhysical Observatory)

Volume 8 Number 6
The NAAPO Newsletter
(December 17, 1992)

Signals Logo
Earl W. Phillips, Jr.
7893 Thornfield Lane
Columbus, Ohio 43235
Layout & Design:
John Ayotte
528 Whitson Drive
Gahanna, OH 43230
NAAPO Coordinator:
Dr. Philip E. Barnhart
Dept. of Physics/Astronomy
Otterbein College
Westerville, Ohio 43081

Earl Phillips

The meeting began at roughly 10am. Those in attendance were Barnhart, Phillips, Stephens, Hanson, Dixon, and Brown.

A general discussion re: the recent decision by congress to cut the NASA-SETI funding ensued.

Stephens reports that he has removed a few trees from the site. He & Barnhart will be putting up display posters in the office building and focus room, for a scheduled tour.

Some plans for the scheduled Open House were made.

Childers & Brown have gotten the LNA's running uncooled, and picked up a few radio sources, which they recorded on a strip recorder. He has compiled a list of projects that require volunteers to accomplish. He wants to remove the trucks from the garage by the parking lot. He plans to tarp them, to protect them from the elements. He will then begin renovating the garage as a workshop.

Phillips reports that a tour of the site is scheduled for 10/18 for the MSDC; Barnhart will lead a field day & contact them.

Hanson reports that he is assembling the lanyards for the brake valves of the flat reflector. His card project continues; he now needs a crew and crew leader to continue. He is trying to get a microvax computer donated from his place of work.

Dixon is offering to donate a tractor to the observatory. It comes with many attachments, & will be quite helpful on site. The alarm company is slipping in its duties and need to be retrained.

Dr. Kraus has been following the saga of SETI funding in congress; the House is refusing to vote on it, so it goes to the Senate now.

Brown reports that the 11/23 refuses to boot up, and he cannot determine why. It died during one of our recent storms, which caused a power outage.

Barnhart reports that he can get an 11/750 donated from Otterbein. We will arrange to acquire it in a few weeks.

The meeting broke at roughly 11am, with most going off to their respective tasks.

Earl Phillips

The meeting began at roughly 10:10am. Those in attendance were Childers, Brown, Campanella, Stephens, Phillips, Dixon, Janis, Ayotte & son, Huck, Hanson, and Peter Bassett (from England).

Dixon reports that a British television crew will be here next Wednesday for a recon mission. They plan to do some filming of the site sometime in the future. He has repaired his lawn tractor, and is intending to donate to the observatory.

Ayotte has made new road signs to be placed on the Highway 23 interface, and they are ready to be bolted into place.

Childers reports that he has gotten his software program "Lobes" running again.

Stephens reports that he continues to work on the rail project for the feed horns. It should be completed by 9/1/92. About 75% of the track & ties are now in place.

Janis reports that he is working on the inventory list, and is looking for missing items.

Brown reports that he has repaired the 11/23, but has not tested it yet. He plans to install new pneumatic valves on bay 3 of the flat reflector.

Phillips donated a 1200 baud modem for the new Magnus connection in the office building, as well as a copy of a satellite tracking program to help Childers determine some of the sources he picks up.

Earl Phillips

The meeting began at roughly 10:12am. Those in attendance were Hanson, Childers, Phillips, Brown, Campanella, Barnhart, Wilson, Janis, Dixon, VanHorne, and members of Susan Snyder's class: Shively, She, Shinn, May, Reed, Lindner, & Reed.

Barnhart reports that he received a call from Carol Abbott, a past volunteer, who is interested in getting involved again. Jim VanProoyen is to deliver us another PDP.

Brown reports that he has been connecting new brake valves to bay 3 of the flat reflector. The flat has been moved from -13 degrees dec. to about +10; more movement is planned for today.

Stephens reports that he is still trying to bring his electronics in from Canada. Customs hang-ups prevail.

Dixon reports that he is going to Arecibo to attend their SETI startup ceremony. A general discussion of our own planned Open House ensued.

The meeting broke, with most going off to their respective tasks.

Earl Phillips

The meeting began at roughly 10am. Those in attendance were Barnhart, Ayotte & son, Phillips, Schumacher, Brown, Janis, Childers, Hanson, Campanella, and Stephens.

Barnhart reports that Dixon is off to Wisconsin due to a death in the family. Our Open House netted us $100.00. His slime-ball turkey is nearer to being prosecuted; Articles in the Dispatch give the gory details. He also requests that those of you that receive Signals send us an update of your address; a percentage of our mailing is being returned, and this is costing resources we could use otherwise.

Stephens reports that he has been cleaning up the yard, and a dumpster has been delivered for this purpose. He has also done some painting & general maintenance. J. Kraus has donated funds to side the garage; he will collect bids for materials & labor for the job. We have been offered a donation of waveguides from Socorro.

Brown reports that he performed a tour of the site recently which was arranged by the ESL department of OSU; Dr. Kraus was the speaker. We received a donation from Jim VanProoyen which included an RL02 drive, which Brown tested and is functional.

Childers reports that he has been moving the flat reflector south slowly; it started out at about 43 degrees, and is now at 42. He has a pattern matching algorithm that is plucking sources out of the continuum data, down to about .5 Jansky strength. He has been picking up interesting sources, some in areas the scope did not cover in it's all-sky survey, as well as some previously covered.

Janis reports that he received a donation of 2 new 2400 baud external modems from Steve Willard, in Mass. Thanks Steve! He also reports that Dixon is moving offices at OSU, and has found many journals he is donating to MUCIA, an organization drumming support for 3rd world scientists.

Hanson reports that his card-to-tape project is in a curious state, in that no-one is working on it currently.

Phillips reports that Stephen Hawkings book, "A Brief History Of Time" has been made into a movie. He attended it, and says that it is well worth attending. He also brings a donation of period-recognizing software, donated by Dr. Francis Graham from the University of Pittsburgh.

Ayotte reports that he is making progress on the real-time signal display, but needs data in electronic format to feed to it now. The meeting broke at roughly 11:45am, with most going off to their respective tasks.

Phil Barnhart

Standing at the gate representing the first station on the tour I had opportunity to meet and greet the whole crowd at Open House at Big Ear. Not surprisingly I found my frozen vocal cords relieved for a few minutes when John Kraus moved into the leeward side of the control house where he took over the explanation of some of the optics and mechanics of the telescope. I always get a kick out of hearing John tell it like it is.

The very first visitor I greeted at the open house was a proud looking gentleman eager to examine the whole affair. He introduced himself as a retired construction worker, Harold Lemming. He then informed me that he was the crane operator responsible for erecting the flat reflector of Big Ear! This was his first visit back to the site since he had been here operating his crane.

An hour or so into the tours a gentleman — also looking proudly upon the telescope — introduced himself to me as a manufacturing engineer with Westinghouse Electric Corp. in Orlando, FL. He is Jim Bradley, a graduate of OSU, AND he welded the steel structure of the radio telescope. (I have a picture of him to send to him — yet to be processed.)

It has been a great experience to be contacted by these contributors to the early days of the RO.

Phil Barnhart

A brilliant team of site volunteers carried off an outstanding Observatory Open House on 18 October. There have been crowds in the past at such events for Big Ear, but not quite the numbers and enthusiasm shown this time. Much credit for this must go to BILL MILLER of IRCC for his publicity campaign.

Special thanks also to TOM HANSON, PHIL BARNHART, STEVE JANIS, RUSS CHILDERS, TOM van HORNE, ANG CAMPANELLA, STEVE BROWN, BOB STEPHENS, EARL PHILLIPS AND BOB DIXON. They all stood their ground at the tour stations talking non-stop to the 250+ visitors circulating about the facility.

BOB DIXON was held captive by eager crowds long after the open house officially closed. This was a grand educational opportunity. BOB and the staff accomplish a great raising of awareness for Central Ohio.

Thanks to the Jones Middle School team who saw to the massive parking problem and guided visitors to the starting gate for the tour. Team members included CHRIS AND KEN ELLIOTT, BRIAN MAY, EZRA SHIVELY, JOSH HINES and J. V. CAPPELLA.

Holding down the sales desk was JAMIE WARD, Otterbein student volunteer.

Many thanks to you all! ! ! !

Phil Barnhart

Two open house visitors returned for further indoctrination following the open house October 18. DON JAMES and BOB PEARSALL attended the 5 December working session to see what life at the RO is really like.

DON is a retired engineer from Bell Labs (AT&T) where he worked on switching for a number of years. BOB is into electrical engineering and computer programming. We look for them to return as they see places where they might contribute to our effort.

Phil Barnhart

NAAPO wishes to acknowledge with gratitude donations of very fine monetary nature from some of our long-standing supporters as well as a few close friends of SETI and our efforts. I specifically want to thank publicly JILL TARTER and PAUL HOROWITZ for their continued support and financial contribution. Because of their interest and donations we will continue to reach our friends with SIGNALS and have opportunity to begin some pioneering work in receiver and system technology. Watch future issues for reports on some new and exciting experiments now getting under way at Big Ear.

As an aging coordinator, I have finally found reason to pump up my optimism. I am beginning to see 1992 as a very fruitful year for the RO, NAAPO and the group involved in doing the grunge work. I don't know where I have seen a volunteer group generate such a high level of accomplishment per person as this bunch. My New Year's prediction is that 1993 will nearly blow the imaginations of the SETI community, AND that Big Ear, NAAPO and CANDU-SETI will beat the forefront of this work.



NAAPO Meetings
1st and 3rd Saturdays of each Month
10:00am at the "Big Ear" office building (unless announced otherwise)

Next Meetings
January 2
January 16
February 6
February 20
March 8
March 20

OSURO Meetings
Each Tuesday 5:00 pm
Dreese 805 (unless announced otherwise)

Next Meetings
January 5
January 12
January 19

Spiral Galaxy

Spiral Galaxy

Sample Big Ear Contour Map
[Click on the image for a larger version.]

Sample Big Ear Contour Map

Aerial View of the Big Ear Radio Telescope
[Click on the image for a larger version.]

Aerial View of the Big Ear Radio Telescope

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