Tech Net News 04-28-2018

Armed Forces Day 2018On the air, we have a few operating activities in progress this weekend. The 10-10 International Spring Digital Contest is probably the biggest, but there’s the Florida QSO Party, too.

If you like an interesting communications challenge, don’t forget that the annual Armed Forces Day cross-band communications test is coming up on May 12th.

Because it will take place on the first day of the month, our next club meeting would be easy to miss by accident. Don’t do that! Our next meeting will be this coming Tuesday, May 1st. Tim, K5TCJ, is going to give us a high-level overview of what the new FT8 digital mode is—and what it isn’t. We’ll see a video of an actual FT8 QSO, too.

In news from the world of ham radio:

The ARRL North Texas Mentorfest and the DARC Lecture and Lab both took place today. If you have any questions or comments about something you learned today, why not share them during the net?

Hams report that our new 630 meter band is becoming busy! If you’d like to learn more about getting on this new band, we have a really great expert in the local area: John Langridge, KB5NJD. His website is a great resource for getting started.

The FCC is planning to tighten up and re-organize the rules that govern small satellites…including defining for the first time what they mean when they say, “small satellite.”

In news from the world of science:

Scientists trying to study how embryos developed used to spend days staring thorough microscopes, trying to keep track of each individual cell with the help of a notebook, hand-drawn sketches, and a large supply of coffee. But new DNA sequencing technology has made the job a lot easier; researches at the Harvard Medical School have outlined the fate and ancestry of every cell in the embryos of a zebrafish and of a frog. It will take a long time for this discovery to “gestate,” but it will prove very important as time goes on.

I’m not sure if this is good news or not; it depends on how much you like spiders. But the worlds oldest spider has died at the apparent age of 43. Scientists at Curtin university in Perth, Australia, have confirmed that it was not squashed with a shoe.

And if you’ve been following true crime news this week, you know that DNA testing was instrumental in catching the Golden State Killer after a multi-decade hunt; but this wasn’t work done in a CSI-style lab; it was carried out using a public genealogy website. Now, more than ever, science is becoming something that we’re all involved with.