Tech Net News 07-06-2019

Palaeocarcharias stromeri (Credit: Jürgen Kriwet)

Our next Lectue and Lab will focus on a DIY Mini UPS suitable for use with a Raspberry Pi or charging your phone. It has 5v and 12v outputs and uses only 1 18650 Battery.  The kit from the link above will be $10.  Bring your Soldering iron, hot glue gun, clippers and screwdriver.  If you don’t have any of the above, we will have extra on site. And don’t forget that Moon Day is this month. This is the big one: the 50th anniversary…and we’ll be celebrating it on the actual day of the anniversary! Moon Day is a great opportunity to get young people interested in amateur radio and science, so please save the date. More details about how to volunteer for the DARC and AMSAT will be coming soon.

The contest calendar has two 4th-of-July themed events; both of them are going on for just a little bit longer. 10-10 International is sponsoring the Spirit of ’76 QSO Party, and the famous 13 Colonies Special Event is still on the air, too. If you hear K2E, let me know!

In news from the world of ham radio

Speaking of Moon Day, the ARRL reports that a new kind of amateur radio satellite contact has been made: on July 1st, 2019, an amateur in Germany contacted an amateur in China using a digital repeater on the LO-94 satellite in lunar orbit.

And the ARRL asks that we please don’t panic, or start an on-line petition drive. No one is yet planning to take away the 2-meter band, despite rumors to the contrary.

In news from the world of science:

LightSail 2 is officially operational! Mission status information is available on-line, and you can listen for its CW and AX.25 beacon on 437.025 MHz, and details of its telemetry format are available for your space exploration pleasure.

Five SpaceX Starlink satellites are about to burn up in Earth’s atmosphere: two of them intentionally, three because they’re out-of-order.

I didn’t know this was even a word, but our Texas beaches are apparently being polluted by nurdles.

Careful analysis of fossil teeth shows that even the greatest sharks of all time started out small, flat, and humble.

Ornithology is my second-favorite science, and it’s worth remembering that birds are smart, especially when you don’t want them to be. How much trouble can a flying two-year-old cause? Well, a cockatoo in Australia has learned how to strip anti-bird spikes from shopping centers, and it just tosses them to the ground for humans to clean up. This sort of thing is not new; birds here at White Rock Lake in Dallas learned to rip the wires out of loudspeakers that were playing recorded hawk calls to scare them away, and even the humble pigeon quickly looses its fear of those plastic owls that people put up.

And if you’ve read this far, you’ve earned a laugh. A birdwatcher has created corrected versions of several sports team logos. Ravens are black, people!