The AAVSO SID section provides a number of options for data logging, data reduction and report generation. You may or may not use one or all of these methods. How you monitor SIDs and how you generate a report is up to you and left open to personal preference. The only constraint imposed by the SID Program as a requirement for submitting data is the format of that data. Two requirements must be met. One is the internal format and the second is the file name convention of the formatted report.
Two software packages are typically used by SID observers. One is the data taking or logging software, and the other is the data reduction software. The AAVSO provides some options but you may wish to create your own custom software. If you submit your data to the AAVSO SID program the report format must match a pre-defined format, therefore any custom software must generate an appropriate data file.
The section below lists the software made available by the AAVSO SID program. These are available by writing the SID Analyst, and will include instructions for use.
Note: Some of the following articles written by Cap Hossfield include references to Radio Shack part numbers. These were commonly available at the time of his writing but may no longer be so today. Cap also includes offers to sell some of the circuits he describes to interested parties and to supply tuning services to those that do not have the proper equipment to do so. Sadly Cap is no longer with us and therefore these offers are no longer valid.
The sunspot reporting form below has been created with a variation of the SUNKEY.exe program
and embodies the information and column/character alignments required by the AAVSO Solar
Division data processing software. It can be used by any observer who has previously sent an
email report to the Division using SUNKEY.exe or the regular-mail paper report. OBSERVERS WHO
The software listed here may be downloaded for free. These programs will help you to prepare and analyze solar observations. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us: email@example.com.
Solar observing is unique among the objects that AAVSO observers pursue because it is so bright. The most important guideline for solar observing is observe safely. This cannot be stressed enough, and if you are uncertain about any of the following equipment and safety recommendations, please request assistance before making any observations of the Sun with your equipment.