Tech Net News 09-28-2019

The galactic spiral arms as viewed by an SDR dongle. Credit: David Schneider 

Lifewalk is coming up on Sunday, Oct. 6th, 2019. Bring your friends! This is an especially good event if you know a new ham who hasn’t yet gotten active on the air—it’s an easy way to get started.

Our next club meeting is coming up on Tuesday, October 1st, 2019. Jeff Steinman, N5TJ, will present on antennas for small spaces and HOA restricted yards.

The contest calendar has only a couple of notable events, the CQ WW DX contest RTTY event, and the Maine QSO party. To my mind, though, the biggest on-air event this weekend isn’t on the contest calendar: it’s the WWV 100th Anniversary special event.

In news from the world of ham radio:

You’d better get ready! In tandem with the WWV 100th anniversary event, the Festival of Frequency Measurement is about to take place on October 1st. About the only way to be more of a radio geek than this would be to build your own radio telescope.

Speaking of building your own radio telescope with an SDR dongle, it turns out that’s actually possible! Interesting radio astronomy typically happens at frequencies way above our traditional HF bands, and it’s been hard for hams to acquire good receivers, or any receivers at all, for the bands involved. Thanks to the modern SDR revolution, that’s just not true any more. You can detect the motion of our galaxy’s spiral arms for less than the cost of a good HT, if you’re interested…and I’m pretty sure you’re interested.

In news from the world of science:

Studies of ants could lead to better antibiotic therapies. Not just new drugs, but better ways of using the ones we already have.

A giant scientific instrument has set an upper limit on how much mass neutrinos have. It’s shocking that they have any, after all…but they sure don’t have much.

Some imaginative astronomers are urging creativity in the ongoing search for a new solar system planet. “What if, ” they ask, “Planet Nine were a primordial black hole the size of a bowling ball?

The internet can be a swamp of political invective and boring celebrity gossip. But, it can also give you the chance to role play as a goose. And geese, after all, are jerks. But they’re fun jerks. I don’t usually discuss game reviews on Tech Net, but here you go: the Untitled Goose Game.

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