FunCube Dongle Pro Plus

Barton All Sky & Meteor Observatory (BASMO)

The Barton All Sky & Meteor Observatory (BASMO) is now operational with the addition of the All Sky camera and realignment of aerial which has started to work loose in mount. The radio section detects the reflections of the Graves Radar signal (near |Dijon) 143.05 MHz detected using the Yagi aerial( az 140 deg , inclination 20 deg) connected to a Fundongle pro+  and signal processed using SpectrumLab on laptop. The Allsky camera runs using Ispy and is set to record video if motion detected in the selected sectors. Unfortunately the All sky camera will not show the meteors detected by the radar ( usually over southern England/ channel/ France)

Images below as follows:

  1. BASMO aerial and Allsky camera
  2. BASMO attachment of camera using wickes bracket suggested by Ed
  3. BASMO Meteor detection top, allsky camera feed bottom.
  4. Radar meteor detection, long duration trace as meteor “burns” up leaving ionised trail
  5. Radar meteor detection showing Doppler shift of approx. 100Hz as meteor approaching Graves signal slows in atmosphere.
  6. BASMO  All Sky camera pointers.
  7. All sky camera and rain drops, design fault ,Ed forgot to include wiper blades!

Click on the links to show videos .

  1. Video clip showing effect of raindrops, giving false movement as security light comes on. falsemove
  2. Video clip showing Plane overhead. Plane
  3. Video clip showing Meteor trace, probably a Draconid. Meteor

September meteors


below are the daily and hourly rates for meteors this month, average daily count of 48 and av hourly count of 2. No major showers,

Next month the Orionids peaking on 21st, the activity is already at 80+ counts with the Sextantids (daylight shower) and the Eta Cetids and October Cetids all active at the start of October.


Pete Hill































September Meteors: Minor Activity

Radiant Duration Maximum
Gamma Aquarids September 1-14 Sept. 7/8
Aries-Triangulids September 12 (?) Sept. 12
Alpha Aurigids (AUR) August 25-September 6 Sept. 1/2
Eta Draconids August 28-September 23 Sept. 12/13
Gamma Piscids August 26-October 22 Sept. 23/24
Southern Piscids (SPI) August 12-October 7 Sept. 11-20

Testing radio astronomy equipment to determine whether it is capable of detecting meteors

I have been experiencing difficulty detecting meteors at LRO.

Today, I obtained the following advice from my radio amateur friend, Bill Watson. As the advice is particularly useful, I felt I needed to pass it on:

If I can detect the GB3VHF Kent Beacon 144.430KHz at LRO then I will be able to pick up meteors from Graves’ radar. Simply put, if this signal can be detected by my meteor radio scatter detection equipment then I should be able to detect meteors adequately for meteor rate recording. The signal will not be large but it will be detectable. If I can not detect the Kent Beacon then I will not be able to detect meteors.

To detect the Kent beacon set receiver to 144.430KHz and CW mode. The beacon is always on (unlike meteor showers!) so if I can’t detect it then there is a problem with my set-up.

(Note Graves is on 143.049MHz and side band).

There is also something else that this test will do which is important – many radio receiver dongles are not accurate on their frequency and the user needs to determine an offset frequency. Once determined this can usually be entered into the software settings to correct the dongle’s frequency. If this has not been done then the frequency on the computer will be inaccurate and meteors will not be detected because the dongle is not correctly set to Grave’s frequency.

To determine the offset simply find the Kent beacon around 144.430KHz – any difference in frequency shown on PC from 144.430KHz is the offset frequency needed.

At LRO (Lichfield Radio Observatory) we are using Moxon aerial (homemade by Bill), FunCube Dongle Pro Plus, Spectrum Lab software, for radio meteor scatter detection from Graves in France.