General Description of Equipment

The best benchmark for describing the level of equipment required is an EME (Earth-Moon-Earth) station. Individuals who have an EME station for 70 cm or 23 cm have about 75% of the work already done for pulsar detection. Some upgrading of frequency stability of data sampling may have to be done - but all the problems of low noise front ends, antenna construction and pointing have already been solved. So a successful pulsar detection station could be described as an EME station plus - where the 'plus' comes from the extra knowledge required about the nature of the pulsar signal, coupled with the need for high data sampling accuracy. From an amateur radio operator's point of view, pulsar detection is extreme DX.

To date, all the successful amateurs listed on the home page of this site have observatories that are either derived from EME station experience/operation, or associated with former professional installations.

However, do not be discouraged as there are a number of amateurs working on establishing how small an observatory station can be and still detect at least a few of the strongest pulsars. Early verified results indicate that a 3 metre to 6 metre fixed dish may be sufficient.