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Phoenix9
Topic Author
Posts: 2024
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2007 8:25 pm

Homemade Radar

Sun Feb 03, 2008 2:48 pm

Hi all!

Wondering if any of knew the possiblity of making a low power radar so that you can detect air traffick around your home

Has it been done before? Is it legal?


Your input will be appreciated.
Life only makes sense when you look at it backwards.
 
sv2008
Posts: 591
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2006 11:05 pm

RE: Homemade Radar

Sun Feb 03, 2008 2:50 pm

Probably illegal in most places and not a good idea!
 
mhodgson
Posts: 4673
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2002 8:47 pm

RE: Homemade Radar

Sun Feb 03, 2008 2:57 pm

It's probably easier to buy one of these:

http://www.kinetic-avionics.co.uk/sbs-1.php
No trees were harmed by this message. However, several million electrons were terribly inconvenienced
 
Queso
Posts: 3109
Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2006 12:28 pm

RE: Homemade Radar

Sun Feb 03, 2008 3:31 pm

Your first challenge is that you'll have to be able to transmit on microwave frequencies with enough power to detect a reflected signal. In the US, the best way to do that legally is to become a licensed amateur radio operator, but I don't know Canadian law so I am not sure if you can do it there. And yes, it is legal to bounce signals off of aircraft, ham radio operators have been doing it for many years.

Look here for information on becoming a ham: http://www.hello-radio.org/whatis.html Morse code knowledge is no longer required in the US and I'm sure there are some Canadian resources available similar to the ARRL.

Even the entry-level license in the US allows you to run up to 1,500 watts on frequencies above 10GHz. There is a lot of homebrew equipment available to help you do what you are wanting to do. Even automatic door openers can be modified to be radars, but you'd need more power, something like a magnetron from a microwave oven and a good parabolic antenna to focus it.

Check out this article for some basics: http://www.ewh.ieee.org/reg/7/millennium/radar/radar_technical.html]

Edit:

Quoting Mhodgson (Reply 2):
It's probably easier to buy one of these:

http://www.kinetic-avionics.co.uk/sb...1.php

Very true, but that won't help you with planes flying VFR.

Good luck!

[Edited 2008-02-03 07:37:23]
 
Dougloid
Posts: 7248
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 2:44 am

RE: Homemade Radar

Sun Feb 03, 2008 3:42 pm



Quoting Queso (Reply 3):
Even automatic door openers can be modified to be radars, but you'd need more power, something like a magnetron from a microwave oven and a good parabolic antenna to focus it.

Absolutely correct, m'dear Queso.

Didja ever see that commercial with the guy throwing the switch and the garage door going up and down next door?

It actually happened to me here when the Des Moines traffic cops set up a speed trap a couple blocks away on a busy street. Our garage door opener is an old Stanley. The garage door would open and close at random intervals, all by itself. It was an amazing thing to watch, and I ended up unplugging it.

I would not recommend that anyone experiment with such a project without consultng a radar engineer and the relevant aviation regulating authority. That would be in the unlikely event that the communication authorities would consider licensing a homemade transmitting station aimed at the local airport. The aviation authorities probably would not look kindly on a device opeating that would or could interfere with their systems or airborne radars on aircraft.
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
Queso
Posts: 3109
Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2006 12:28 pm

RE: Homemade Radar

Sun Feb 03, 2008 3:47 pm



Quoting Dougloid (Reply 4):
I would not recommend that anyone experiment with such a project without consultng a radar engineer and the relevant aviation regulating authority. That would be in the unlikely event that the communication authorities would consider licensing a homemade transmitting station aimed at the local airport. The aviation authorities probably would not look kindly on a device opeating that would or could interfere with their systems or airborne radars on aircraft.

That's why I mentioned becoming an amateur radio operator. We have our own set of frequencies to use to minimize the possibility of interference and a part of the training required to pass the test includes information on RF energy safety.
 
Phoenix9
Topic Author
Posts: 2024
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2007 8:25 pm

RE: Homemade Radar

Sun Feb 03, 2008 3:48 pm

I am more concerned about the authorities showin up on my doorstep thinking that I was "painting" the aircraft for some more sinister purpose.
Life only makes sense when you look at it backwards.
 
Dougloid
Posts: 7248
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 2:44 am

RE: Homemade Radar

Sun Feb 03, 2008 3:53 pm



Quoting Queso (Reply 5):
That's why I mentioned becoming an amateur radio operator. We have our own set of frequencies to use to minimize the possibility of interference and a part of the training required to pass the test includes information on RF energy safety

Absolutely correct again. I have an FCC general that I obtained for the purpose of changing black boxes, never ever did get that license to run the CB in my 1965 Ford Falcon.
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
Queso
Posts: 3109
Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2006 12:28 pm

RE: Homemade Radar

Sun Feb 03, 2008 3:56 pm



Quoting Phoenix9 (Reply 6):
I am more concerned about the authorities showin up on my doorstep thinking that I was "painting" the aircraft for some more sinister purpose.

Educate yourself, get some good advice, learn the laws and you won't have to worry about that. The internet is a good place to learn the basics.

Quoting Dougloid (Reply 7):
never ever did get that license to run the CB in my 1965 Ford Falcon.

WOW, you're as much of an OM as I am! What was it, about 1977 that they dropped the licensing requirement for CB? It was just about the same time they expanded from 23 to 40 channels.
 
MD11Engineer
Posts: 13899
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2003 5:25 am

RE: Homemade Radar

Sun Feb 03, 2008 4:21 pm



Quoting Queso (Reply 5):
Quoting Dougloid (Reply 4):
I would not recommend that anyone experiment with such a project without consultng a radar engineer and the relevant aviation regulating authority. That would be in the unlikely event that the communication authorities would consider licensing a homemade transmitting station aimed at the local airport. The aviation authorities probably would not look kindly on a device opeating that would or could interfere with their systems or airborne radars on aircraft.

That's why I mentioned becoming an amateur radio operator. We have our own set of frequencies to use to minimize the possibility of interference and a part of the training required to pass the test includes information on RF energy safety.

Not to mention that a magnetron is also a strong source of x-rays. If the magnetron is installed inside e.g. a microwave oven, the x-rays are shielded, but if it is removed for experimentation, the operator can receive high doses of ionising radiation.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
Dougloid
Posts: 7248
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 2:44 am

RE: Homemade Radar

Mon Feb 04, 2008 8:19 pm

Quoting Queso (Reply 8):
Quoting Dougloid (Reply 7):
never ever did get that license to run the CB in my 1965 Ford Falcon.

WOW, you're as much of an OM as I am! What was it, about 1977 that they dropped the licensing requirement for CB? It was just about the same time they expanded from 23 to 40 channels.

Yes, I'm an old GIT-stands for Geezer In Training.

Here's a story for you, my good fellow.

Back in the middle sixties when I was playing in garage bands, one guy I knew had a father who was a tool and die maker. He worked for American Can Company in a special division that produced small springs that were used in radio frequency controlling crystals. About 1200 could fit in a small coin envelope. So ACC decided the division was going nowhere and fired him. So he worked for a funeral home driving a limo and such....then he sprung for the machine tools necessary to build the machines to make the springs and went into production right about the time that the CB craze hit. Each radio had 23 channels, or 46 springs. That was before they developed new models with phase lock loop tuning that required only one crystal.

He made a lot of money. A LOT of money.

[Edited 2008-02-04 12:19:34]
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn

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