What is SAM ?
The movements of the earthmagnetic field can give the radio amateur a hint about possible Aurora qso's, the amateur astronamer or hobby photographer can determine his chances to see it.
To measure these variations large, static piece of equipment isn't required, a small sensor, the size of a finger (picture 4) and a small box is all it takes
Presently, there are about 60 SAM's in use. The aim of these activities is an actual forecast of Aurora's in Central-Europe.
Karsten Hansky (DL3HRT) and Dirk Langenbach (DG3DA) devellopped this kit
Trough the AKM-Forum für Polarlichter (german) this Project became also known by the visual aurora chasers.
In the mean time the prototype (Picture 1) has been turned into a more professional kit that can be easily build by others. The measurements are comparable to the professional magnetometers, especially if one takes the simplicity of the equipment in account.
The complete electronics ( Microcontroler, real-time clock, in- and output , two analogue outputs and keyboard-,LCD- and RS-232 Interfaces) are all have their place on the 100x100 mm doublesided printed circuit board (Picture 2).
The key board is on a small separate printed circuit board. No exotic components or smd techniques were used.
Below a picture of the finished magnetometer:
About 30 magnetometers have been build till now. Besides a building manual a number of software utilities (Windows) for logging and data management are freely made available.
FGM3-Sensor by Speake & Co. Ltd., UK www.speakesensors.com