The detection of pulsars is viewed as a major achievement by many in Amateur Radio Astronomy circles.  It would not be a stretch too far to say it is something of a minor 'Holy Grail' - accompanied as it is by tales, tall and true, of the achievement of the quest.

As a self-confessed 'pulsar-phile', the administrator of this site (see 'Contact') has endeavoured to collect all known verified amateur attempts and provide an overview of those attempts.


As of October 2018, all three 'backyard observatory' systems continue to take daily observations.

After viewing the work of successful amateurs, be sure to have a look at the challenges they have overcome by reading "Amateur Challenges".

Note: As updates are occurring regularly be sure to refresh all pages to get the latest information.

Successful Amateurs

There are a number amateurs who have provided quality data details to date and have proven that they have been successful by supplying details consistent with good science.

The entries below are marked with # to indicate a current member of the Neutron Star Group, as well as ^ to indicate the use of the relatively inexpensive RTL-SDR USB dongle.  Note that some individuals appear more than once as a result of a change in focus in their observations and/or major changes to system configurations.

Results are in order of antenna aperture - small to large... (see ordered list at the bottom of this page w.r.t. number of pulsars detected)

Other examples will be added as they are found and sufficient detail is presented to be useful. Permission will need to be sought before putting up those details on this site.

Note on Dish Size Equivalency: The equivalent dish size is a theoretical comparison only - dish sizes below approximately 5 m @ 400 MHz will in practice, according to expert opinion, return less than the theoretical gain.  As an example, for a 3 m diameter dish with F/D =0.38 (typical TVRO dish) @ 432 MHz the distance from the feed to the antenna surface is 1.14 m.  The transition distance from near field to far field @ 432 MHz is given as two wavelengths = 1.4 m, therefore the electromagnetic wave hasn't fully transformed to the far field in this example.

Successful Amateurs Listed in Order of Numbers of Pulsars Detected (then by ascending aperture)

The Challenges of Amateur Pulsar Detection

If you are interested in learning about the challenges associated with amateur pulsar detection then you might find this summary useful - Amateur Challenges.