Tech Net News 06-29-2019

2019mgrOur next meeting program will be “Tips and Tricks for Frugal Ham Radio,” presented by me—Tony Mendina, NT5TM. I’ll share my favorite techniques for ham radio on a budget, but there’s only so much that I know, and you probably know lots that I don’t. Please bring your stories, tips, and even show-and-tell items to the meeting.

The contest calendar has some fun events this weekend! We’ve go the Spirit of ’76 QSO Party coming up on 10 meters, while the famous—and fun—13 Colonies Special Event is about to begin.

In news from the world of amateur radio:

There’s a new petition to create an 8-meter amateur band. What do you think?

The latest Falcon 9 carried the Lightsail 2 satellite into orbit, and it apparently has a CW beacon in the amateur UHF band.

There is a wide diversity of opinion regarding the next solar cycle. Let’s all hope these folks, who are predicting a giant solar minimum, are wrong.

And if you want to try some low-frequency listening this weekend, remember that Alexanderson Day is coming right up. By “coming right up,” I mean it’s happening now. Set your alarm, get up early, and try to copy some VLF!

In news from the world of science:

We’ve got two great ornithological stories this weekend. First, if you were a prehistoric European, you might have had to contend with a giant, flightless bird. Also, if you think bluebirds are pretty, you’ll be glad to know that the age of the oldest blue -colored bird has been pushed back to 48 million years ago.

TESS, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, has found its smallest Earth-like world yet. This is actually very good news: we live on  a small planet!

And finally: Crocodiles are scary! Alligators are scary! There’s just something about the giant jaws and sharp, pointy teeth that makes me uncomfortable. But it looks like not all crocodiles were as scary as I think. New fossils show that some crocodiles preferred a good salad instead of a tasty ham radio operator.