Tech Net News 07-13-2019

Ferrari the lovebird during flight training in the bird wind tunnel in David Lentink’s lab. Credit: L.A. Cicero

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 is quiet…everyone must be recovering from the Fourth of July. Don’t forget to send away for your 13 Colonies certificate. You don’t need a clean sweep—and it’s how they support the event.

In news from the world of ham radio:

The hurricane warning net is active for Tropical Storm Barry.

Do you want to participate in the Volunteer Monitor Program? You’re almost out of time–the deadline is on Monday.

Hams love space exploration! There are too many special event stations planned for the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 for me to list here.

Some controversial ham science: approaching earthquakes might affect HF propagation.

In news from the world of science:

Someone has has worked out a formula for eliminating spherical aberration from lenses. To even casual photographers, this is a big deal! The formula is not simple, but that’s why we have computers.

Lovebirds aren’t bats. They aren’t famous for being able to fly in the dark, and in theory they’re not really supposed to be able to do that. But in fact, in time of need…instinct takes over.

The new Psyche mission to an all-metal asteroid has online courses to help us learn more about space exploration.

And finally, you all know I love birds. I love lovebirds especially. But meerkats are great, too: they’re cut, cuddly, and deadly. The piranhas of the desert, they are! And they’re also the namesake of a really neat South African radio astronomy instrument, part of the upcoming Square Kilometer Array. The MEERKAT has been featured on the Astronomy Picture of the Day this week. If you don’t follow that website, you should!