Location

The observatory is located in SE Wales  at an elevation of  ~240m  at the top of a south facing gentle valley.


It is shielded from significant Radio Interference from the North, East and West by low hills but has a clear view down the valley to the South.


However, the City of Bristol lies in this direction and has VHF radio 88-108MHz, UHF TV 450 –800MHz,  long range UHF surveillance Radar 555MHz, Cell phone installations 900& 1800MHz, industrial sites and general city electromagnetic noise. The broadcast UHT TV and the Pulsed Radar are the most troublesome ground based sources requiring careful filtering in the antenna head amplifiers.


Interference from GPS satellites can sometimes be problem when observing at 1420MHz if the filtering and amplifier IP3 characteristics are inadequate.


Running across the site from East to West is an 11kV single phase power transmission line (the pole is located to the right in the picture below).


Fortunately there are no near neighbours operating electrical equipment and the land area available for the location of antennas etc is around 2 Acres.


The weather at this location can be a problem. On the west facing side of the UK rain, mist and general dampness can be a problem in the Winter months and requires all outdoor equipment to be protected. It is not possible to leave antennas and head amplifiers out of doors without gradual decay and potential damage. This means that set-up times for observing sessions can be up to half an hour to set out the equipment.


In the Summer months the temperatures can reach the low  +30s Celsius and head amplifiers can not be run without closed loop active cooling.
Day to night temperatures can fluctuate by as much as 30 degrees Celsius.

 

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