Tech Net News 09-29-2018

Credit: Museo scienza e tecnologia Milano

Don’t forget to sign up for Lifewalk! Volunteers must be on the list before October 1st to be eligible for lunch. If you’d like to participate and you haven’t signed up yet, just use the handy on-line contact form, or email Randy, KE5JIT, at his callsign at the club domain,

The next club meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 2nd. David Dennis, N5BOC, will talk about digital hot spot fabrication and construction.

The contest calendar has a few events this weekend. The one that’s most special for us is the Texas QSO Party! It’s operational until 21:00 local time tonight, and then from 09:00 to 15:00 local time tomorrow. There’s also the CQ WW RTTY DX Contest, if you’re a RTTY fan, and the Italian QRP Quarterly Marathon. A strange and enigma-tic event is also taking place…more information follows below.

In ham radio news:

An international group of radio amateur clubs has created the “Enigma Reloaded” event, which will give you a chance to receive—and decode—an authentic Enigma message on the air. Get on the air, and brush up on your CW, too—you’ll need it.

The ARRL’s annual Simulated Emergency Test is coming up on October 6th and 7th. I haven’t been able to find news of any SET events in the North Texas area, and I’ve confirmed that the North Texas Section has no official section events planned. If anyone has any SET activities to share, please let the net know.

The ARRL is also organizing a “Get Your Park ON” operating event from October 14th-October 20th, in celebration of Earth Science Week. The event will be similar to NPOTA, but with a much broader range of parks eligible for activation. More information should be available at the event’s Facebook page…if you haven’t been scared away by the latest data breach.

In news from the world of science:

Some of you might remember Dr. James Carter’s presentation at Moon Day, 2017, on the creation of the famous lunar soil simulant, JSC-1. If you’d like some simulated Martian soil, it’s now available from a reputable academic source for $20.00/kg.

It’s still the Year of the Bird, and it looks like one of the largest known birds, the extinct Elephant Birds of Madagascar, has a new name: Vorombe Titan. The bird has been extinct for only about 1,000 years, and analysis of DNA from specimen bones and eggs has allowed the discovery of a new species, as well as re-classification of the surviving specimens.

Finally, if you’d like to see something very strange, you should look to the world of the very small: the latest winners of Nikon’s annual Small World In Motion contest have been announced, and the videos are “trippy,” to say the least. Each year this contest recognizes the most interesting and beautiful movies made through a microscope, and the winners are always surprising and beautiful.