CHOOSING THE RIGHT ANTENNA SETUP (Jupiter or the Sun)
The easiest way to get started is to listen for solar radio noise bursts. Since the Sun is generally stronger than Jupiter you only need to put up a single dipole antenna at a height of 10 ft. Another reason to start with solar observations is that you can listen for a couple of hours either side of local noon, rather than late at night. This can be a real advantage for school groups. A downside of monitoring the sun is that solar radio noise bursts are not predictable, so you may have to listen for several days or even a few weeks before succeeding. Solar bursts often occur when there are visible sunspots. You can check solar conditions at http://www.spaceweather.com/
Listening for Jupiter is a bit more ambitious, and you should put up and hook-up both dipoles for maximum sensitivity. The best height for the dipoles is a function of your latitude, as explained in the antenna assembly manual. Jupiter noise storms are generally predictable, although sometimes the predicted noise storms don't materialize. To observe Jupiter effectively you should refer to Jupiter radio storm prediction information, which can also be found using the Radio Jupiter Pro application. This program predicts when Jupiter storms are most likely to occur and provides guidance regarding the optimum antenna configuration. Jupiter noise storms are best heard from a few hours after sunset till sunrise, when the Earth's ionosphere is most transparent. It may be more difficult to organize nighttime Jupiter monitoring sessions for students, than daytime solar sessions.
Regardless if you choose the Sun or Jupiter for your studies, you need to consider where to erect the antenna.
WHERE TO SETUP?
Your success in hearing Jupiter or the Sun will depend in part on picking a good, radio-quiet location to set up your radio telescope. There are many sources of interference that can completely mask the signals that you are trying to hear. Arcing insulators on power lines are one of the worst. There are many others including light dimmers, electric fences, automobile ignition systems, electrical machinery, computers, arc welding equipment, bad fluorescent light starters, etc, etc. The Homeplug devices that are used in some local area networks to transfer data over the power lines can be a source of strong interference.
Keep these potential radio noise sources in mind when you choose an observing site. As a general rule i is a good idea to get as far away as possible from power lines, busy highways, buildings full of computers, or industrial sites with electrical machinery. The middle of an athletic field may be a good choice, or a residential area with underground power, or perhaps a rural setting.
The radio Jove antenna was designed to make it easy to go to a "remote" radio quiet observing site. However, we have had some good successes with Radio JOVE antennas near buildings; local conditions are extremely variable and trial-and-error may give you good results.
Part of the challenge when setting up the radio telescope is finding a location where your receiver and other equipment can be reasonably close to the antenna. The Jove antenna kit comes with a 32 foot long section of coax to connect the receiver to the dual dipole antenna. If you decide on the single dipole antenna for the Sun, then approximately 60 ft of coax is available in the antenna kit for the run from the antenna to the receiver. If you need to space the antenna and receiver even further apart, then you can extend the cable running to the receiver up to a total length of about 200 feet (61 meters). Longer runs of cable should be avoided to minimize signal attenuation in the antenna feedline.
There are many different manufacturers and qualities of coaxial cable. The 75-ohm impedance cable supplied with the kit is RG-59 coax. Lowes, and Home Depot, among other retailers, carry RG-6 and the higher grade RG-6QS (quad shield), which is also 75-ohm cable. You can use any of these cables to extend the run to your receiver. Just be sure to obtain the proper F-connectors to mate with your cable. RG-59 requires a slightly different connector than RG-6 or RG-6 QS. The better cables have a higher percentage of shielding (over 90% is desirable) and lower signal loss (attenuation).