Tech Net News 07-06-2018

parrot Benjamint444 800px-Blue-and-Yellow-Macaw
Credit: Benjamint444

Our next club meeting is this coming Tuesday. I’ll talk about a very simple portable antenna for 2 meters and 70 cm, and I hope that you’ll bring and share your favorites, too. There’s more to portable antennas than just J-poles.

Don’t forget that Moon Day is coming up. The club will be active at the Frontiers of Flight Museum from 8:30 am until 5:00 pm on Saturday, July 21st. More details will be announced at the next club meeting, and I’ll update this post as needed. Moon Day is an exciting educational event! Thousands of children and young adults who are interested in science come out to the museum, and dozens of local groups—including us—spend the day teaching them more about what they love. There’s no hard outdoor work or getting up at 5:00 am; just share your enthusiasm and the kids will be happy.

UPDATE: Randy, KE5JIT, would like you to save the date. We’ll have a Tech Net on the Hill event at Flag Pole Hill in Dallas on Saturday, October 27th, from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Hot dogs, fun, and education will abound!

In the world of contesting, you still have a little time left to participate in the Spirit of 76 QSO Party on 10 meters, and in the 13 Colonies Special Event. Get on the air, if you can!

In news from the world of ham radio:

The FCC and the US Attorney’s Office have worked out a settlement with one of the more egregious inhabitants of 14.313 MHz. If you’ve never understood what the term “lid” means, that was the frequency where you could learn.

And I didn’t believe this was possible, but an amateur who’s both more dedicated and more competent than most of us has achieved Worked All States on 6 meters. Tac Hirama, JA7QVI, has been working on this goal from 1977; and you read that right, he’s been making all his contacts from Japan. This is his 10th WAS band.

In news from the world of science:

Look out! Electric spiders! Well, it turns out that they’ve always been with us. New research shows that it’s not mainly the wind that makes it possible for spiders to fly, but the natural electric fields of the Earth and the atmosphere.

Dog domestication is a complicated story, and it happened so long ago that no records and few archaeological remains exist to help us figure it out. But it looks like part of the story is sad: the dogs that the first Americans brought with them from Asia might have been wiped out by dogs from Europe.

Do you find that contesting keeps you up at night? You’re not alone. It looks like humans are driving all sorts of animals to become more nocturnal, even when we don’t interact with them directly or damage their habitats.

And you know it’s the Year of the Bird, so no news post is complete without my sharing something interesting about the flying dinosaurs who share the Earth with us. This week, it looks like a new anatomical study is helping to explain why parrots are so smart, even though their brains are tiny. This doesn’t help us understand crows…but it’s always fascinating to learn about how birds do more with less.


Bill, N5BB, mentioned some news:

Optical Interferometers Sharpen Views of the Sky” from Science. This will allow sharp pictures of exoplanets…and spying on satellites in orbit.

The James Webb Space Telescope has been delayed again, again.

Hayabusa 2 has arrived at Ryugu! This JAXA probe will send multiple landers to an asteroid and return samples to us on Earth.