The starting point: RAL10KIT e RAL10AP
The "entry level" instruments are represented by RAL10KIT and RAL10AP receiver. The first one, cheaper version, is designed for self-builder who will assemble the parts into a suitable case, completing it with a power supply, as specified in the instructions. After the receiver realization it will be possible to connect the antenna system with a coaxial cable and start the observations by installing and activating the provided software. For all instruments of RAL10 family, you can use any commercial antenna and LNB suitable for 10-12 GHz satellite reception.
For those who want to buy the instrument ready to use, inside a compact anodized aluminum housing, we suggest RAL10AP: it is a radiometer with technical characteristics comparable to those of RAL10KIT, combined with a 12V - 2A common external power supply (available on request). On the front panel there are protection fuses (with interruption led signaled) for the main power and for the LNB power supplied through the coaxial cable. An additional and unique feature of this model is the post-revelation audio output: if connected to an external amplifier or to the audio input of a PC, allows monitoring of detected signals through one of the many free downloaded software for the analysis of spectrograms.
RAL10KIT and RAL10AP are Total-Power radioemters with a bandwidth of 50 MHz, centered on the IF-SAT frequency of 1415 Mhz, if they are combined with a standard TV-SAT LNB with local oscillator at 9.75 GHz, they allow the reception at 11.2 GHz frequency.
For the more experienced: RAL10 e RAL10PL
The two models, RAL10 and RAL10PL, are an evolution of the previous versions: developed with professional performance and equipped with a pair of microprocessors that manage all functions, they are the best instruments for the construction of amateur radio astronomical systems with semi professional features.
RAL10 is a desk instrument. Assembled in a robust anodized aluminum housing, it includes a front panel with backlit LCD display and a keyboard commands for manual setting of the operating parameters and for displaying functions. The parameters can be set either manually or remotely via the serial channel (USB connection to PC acquisition managed by software). If you need to do measurements where there is not available the supply voltage of the electricity network, you can connect RAL10 to an 12V external power source (rechargeable battery or RAL10BT Rechargeable Battery Unit) by a socket on the rear panel. This possibility, combined with the compactness and portability, make RAL10 the ideal product, for convenience and completeness, for radio astronomy measurements "on field".
RAL10PL is the suitable version for fixed installations, is a receiver developed for remote radio telescope (see antenna RAL230ANT), installed near the antenna system in the area not controlled by operatives. The instrument is assembled in a robust polycarbonate box, resistant to rain and moisture, with the electronic circuits of the receiver further protected by a metallic thermo-stabilized case.
RAL10PL is only remotely controllable, it communicates with the outside world via an Ethernet port that connects to the network the system and allow the control through the web. The main feature (and only one) of RAL10PL is the ability to manage an equatorial mount (such as those used for astronomical optical instruments, well known to amateur astronomers) for moving the radio astronomy antenna. The serial port of mount (typically RS232) can be connected to the RAL10PL receiver and sent through a single Ethernet cable the PC station. With the help of the provided software (RadioUniverse) it will be possible to program, control and monitor the functions of the radio telescope.
The RAL10 and RAL10PL radiometers are identical in terms of performance: the main difference, as underlined, is their destination use. During designing and construction we paid attention to optimize, with reasonable cost, the performance of a microwave radiometer, in particular those considered indispensable to a radio astronomy receiver, such as the sensitivity and stability of the measurement. The sensitivity is ensured by a wide bandwidth (the order of 250 MHz) and a high gain of the IF section, while the measurement stability and repeatability are optimized by the control (PID) of the receiver internal temperature which minimizes the variations of the amplification factor and the instrument operating parameters according to the environment temperature changes.
More information about the characteristics and differences of the RAL10 line products are available here.