Radio JOVE Data Analysis Set Up
Hands-On Tutorial
August, 2003

Once you have recorded your data on audiocassette tape and/or by direct recording using your computer and the Radio-Skypipe software, the next step is to review and analyze the data. The basic tool for data analysis is the Radio-Skypipe software program. Proper set up for data analysis will enable you to make measurements and calculations based on your collected data and compare your results with those of other observers. This tutorial will help you manipulate your data files in order to perform some data analysis and to prepare your data to be archived at the Radio JOVE Archive website.

What do I need?

  1. Radio-Skypipe software on a PC or Macintosh computer system with a soundcard
  2. Your observation record (either cassette recording or a Radio-Skypipe .spd log file)
  3. Cassette tape player (for tape playback)
  4. Audio patch cable to connect the tape player to your soundcard’s input jack (usually on the back of your PC.)

Getting Started

Start the Radio-Skypipe software program. Select the "Mode" menu and make certain that the mode is set to Stand Alone before completing the following steps. An excellent Help page for Radio-Skypipe is located here:



Prepare your system as follows:

  1. If you have a cassette recording, rewind your tape to the beginning of the observation
  2. Plug in one end of the audio cable to the external speaker, headphone, or output jack from the cassette recorder and the other end of the cable into the mic or line input on your computer (note: different cassette players may have different names for their jacks, you can play around with different jacks in order to get a reading out of Radio-Skypipe and speakers if you have them)
  3. Click "Start Chart" on Radio-Skypipe
  4. Adjust the vertical scale with the UP and DOWN arrows at the left side of the window to position the trace on the window (see Red tracing above; ignore the blue trace).
  5. Hit the play button on your cassette player (you should begin to see a plot of your data, if not, adjust the volume on your cassette player or re-check your audio cable output on the cassette player and input on your computer)
  6. Set the volume on your cassette player till the level meter averages between to of the maximum reading. If your cassette player does not have a level meter, set the vertical position on Radio-Skypipe so you see the red strip marker average near 1 division on the vertical scale (see red tracing above).
  7. Continue to let your recorder play.


Saving Your Recorded Data into Radio-Skypipe

  1. Continue to play your cassette tape until the end, or to the point you wish to stop. At the end of the recording press the “Stop Chart” button.
  2. The Save Data File box will open automatically and allow you to save your data. Click “Save” to save your digitized data file onto your computer hard drive.

Radio-Skypipe Save File window

  1. The data are saved as an .spd data file in the directory indicated. The default file name is something like UT030801210153.spd. This filename is the Universal Time (UT) for the year, month, day, hour, minute, and seconds indicated. For this file it is year = 03, month = 08, day = 01, hour = 21, minute = 01, seconds = 53.


Loading Your Recorded Data into Radio-Skypipe

1.      At the menu at the top of the screen select File / Load.

2.      Depending on your version of Radio-SkyPipe, you may see the following panel:

3.      This panel gives you the option to apply offsets that are hidden within the header of the file (those used on the machine which saved it), your own locally defined offsets, and/or to load selected channels of a multi-channel file. If the panel annoys you, you can elect to not have it show at all. You can get the panel back by clicking the File Loading Options button at the bottom of the Options/ Stripchart panel.

4.      Long stripcharts can take some time to load, so be patient.  A Data File Info screen will appear showing the relevant header information for the stripchart.

Radio-Skypipe Control Settings

You may select specific portions of stripcharts to be saved.  Editing must be done in Stand Alone Mode. Any loaded stripchart may be edited. Positioning and sizing buttons can be found below the Start button.


Using these buttons turns off your Auto-Scaling feature, but pushing the rightmost button with two curved arrows can reactivate it. Left and right Arrow buttons turn off automatic scrolling when data is being collected. The data will still be received in the background but in order to start scrolling again you must click the Plot/Autoscroll button . Note, the buttons with the single arrows move the view of the imaginary chart paper up and down so pressing up will actually make the chart data appear lower in the chart.  

The four leftmost buttons shown above expand or contract the chart width or height. Expanding the chart width actually makes the data appear smaller, just as if you were now using a larger piece of chart paper. Experiment with this and you will get the hang of it quickly.

After right clicking one of these buttons you can drag you mouse on the chart to smoothly continue the process of scrolling or resizing. It’s hard to explain, just try it! If you use the right click method any chart that is active, that is, having new data added, will cease to scroll automatically. Remember to use the Plot/Autoscroll button to re-enable scrolling.


Manual Entry
You may manually enter the area of the chart you wish to view using this button. The panel shown below will appear:

Press the apply button to jump to the area you want to see as described in the appropriate date/time and width boxes. You may initiate multiple Manual Entry panels. This is useful for jumping between several set views of the chart.


 Important: Re-enable scrolling! 

Buttons may be used while data is being collected, however you will have to press the Plot-Enable Scrolling button to have the chart again scroll with the newly arriving data. 

  Zoom Box

 The on-chart Toolbar also has a Zoom-Box feature shown highlighted above. This allows you to drag a rectangular region on the chart and zoom in on it. Resume plotting using the Plot button  

 Cursor Button

A cursor may be selected by clicking on that option. The cursor is a vertical line that appears on the chart. The values for the data point where the cursor is positioned appear below the chart in the status bar. If more than one channel is on the chart the cursor can be applied to any channel you wish. To switch to another channel simply click the right mouse button on the chart.  The cursor will appear in the color of the channel it applies to.

 Full View

The Full View button forces the entire observation onto a single chart window. The need for this will become apparent when dealing with long charts as it make the selection of a single portion of the chart much easier using the Toolbar's Zoom Box feature.

 Save View

The Save View button selects the time chunk of the chart data that appears on the screen at the time the button is pushed. You are then prompted for a file name (though a suggested name is automatically generated). This is your primary editing function and you should experiment with using it.

A separate window appears which shows and allows editing of most of the header information that is associated with the observation.  Use the Edit button on this window to allow modification and press Keep after the changes have been made. This window may also be summoned in Stand Alone mode by selecting View/Data File Info after a file is loaded.

You are not allowed to edit the start and end times in this box, however, Pro Edition users can modify all of the timestamps of a given observation using the Process/Modify Time Stamps options which appears on their screens. This is handy for recording and observation on tape, playing it back and charting through the sound card, and then correcting the times to reflect when the observation was actually made.


Submitting your Data to the Radio JOVE Archive

The home page for the archive is located at:

To Submit Data:

From the home page select "Submit New Data to the Archive (Password Protected)". You will be asked for your username and password at this time.

If this is the first time you have been to this page you will see three options:

1.      "Create User Profile" - Before submitting any data you will need to create a user profile. This button will take you to a User Profile page, which will ask you for questions about your receiver, antenna, location, etc. This information is important for the interpretation of your submitted data and is appended to each data record. You will only have to submit this user information one time. The next time you submit data to the archive it will have this information on file and you can go directly to the data submission pages.

2.      "View Current Data Archive" - shows you a table of all data files currently submitted and allows you to download these files. You may also select which fields you wish to have displayed.

3.      "View Calendar" - shows the same data but displays those currently available in the form of a calendar.

The next time you visit the JOVE archive you will see the following options:

1.      "Submit New Data to the Archive" - which will take you to pages asking for a short description of the data and then an upload page where you can upload images, text files, sound files, and Radio-SkyPipe files.

2.      "View Current Data Archive" - shows you a table of all data files currently submitted and allows you to download these files. You may also select which fields you wish to have displayed.

3.      "View Calendar" - shows the same data but displays those currently available in the form of a calendar.

4.      "View/Edit User Profile" - before anyone can submit data they need to have submitted a user profile. This page allows you to see what profile is currently on record and allows you to change it if necessary.

Your data will be archived on our online database and you can use it to compare to similar data from other locations. Thank you for submitting your data to the JOVE archive. We can use these data for long-term studies of the radio emission characteristics of the Sun and of Jupiter.  

If you have any questions please send an email to: