Tech Net News 06-16-2018

field day 2018 small mapField day is next weekend! Where will you be? How will you participate? Get ready now. Please bring announcements about area field day activities to the net.

The contest calendar has only one well-known event for this weekend, but it’s big contest for big amateurs with big antennas: the Stew Perry Topband Challenge.

Remember that we’re also looking for Tech Net net controls. If you’d like to try it—no long-term commitment required—please email w9ve, that’s whiskey nine voice of excellence, at netzero dot net.

In news from the world of science:


Larry N5PQO mentioned that geology could be increasing the risk of the northeastern US—especially the I-95 corridor—to blackouts caused by solar flares.

Korky KG5NNA told us about new discoveries about how pandoraviruses generate new genes all on their own…like “evolution is taking a vacation.”

Gus W5GUS brought us an interesting link to information about numbers stations. He also mentioned that a recent ARRL propagation bulletin contained some interesting information from VK5EEE, and in particular, some tantalizing hints about an interesting 10-meter “robot” beacon:

A very fun beacon is IY4M that is licensed just below the 10m exclusive beacon band (28200 to 28300) on 28195, and also on 12m. It is extremely hard to find information about this beacon, which is sad, as it is an amazing work.

You can QSO with the beacon in CW and it is very friendly and upbeat, you give it various commands, such as to speed up, slow down, send this or that info, etc. I used to love having regular QSOs with it from Europe especially during Sporadic E seasons.

The robot beacon web pages, both in English and Italian, seem to be out of order, unfortunately.

The original science news for the net—not as interesting as the above, but it’s what I had at the time:

In Africa, Baobab trees, vital to birds and bats and useful to humans, are dying in large numbers—and no one is quite sure why.

On the floor of the ocean, it’s cold, dark, wet,and inhospitable. It’s not very pratical to detect earthquakes there with regular seismometers, but researchers have unveiled a new earthquake detection technique using underwater fiber optic cables.

Spiders can fly; you might even have had one land on you. They “parachute” through the air using long silk strands, but no one has understood how they take off. Now, high-speed video shows spider liftoffs in action. Look out below!

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