Tech Net News 10-19-2019

flag pole hill pavillion addressAre you with us up on the hill? Our annual Tech Net on the Hill event is going on today—if you’re hearing this on the air, it’s going on now. We’re at the Flag Pole Hill pavilion, 8100 Doran Cir, Dallas, TX 75201. We’ll have great presentations and first-rate amateur radio fun and fellowship. Show off your projects, take a class, and enjoy the hot dogs (first-come, first-served of course). Experts will be on hand to test your radio or antenna and let you know what’s wrong.

Don’t forget: your ballot for our West Gulf Division director, our representative on the ARRL’s board, should have already arrived in your mailbox. Don’t forget to vote! Ballots must be received not later than November 15th, 2019.

If you have to miss the TNOH event, there are still some operating events you can take part in from home. The 50 MHz through L-band part of the ARRL’s EME contest is going on now. I think EME is probably the most difficult of our amateur modes…but I still hope to try it some day. We’ve also got the New York QSO party,  the Illinois QSO party, one of the “small” Stew Perry Topband Challenge weekends, and the oddly-named Telephone Pioneers QSO party. The most popular DX event this weekend is the Worked All Germany contest…but it’s not the biggest radio event this weekend.

And our next club Lecture and Lab will be next Saturday morning, October 26th at 10:00 AM. Bring $25.00 and your soldering tools to the 3rd-floor community room of the Dallas Medical Center and you can build an Arduino-controlled, solar-powered remote weather station. You DO NOT need to have attended last month’s lab. You do need to bring the laptop of your choice.

In news from the world of amateur radio:

The biggest radio event this weekend is also the largest event in Scouting: the Jamboree on the Air, going on right now! If you enjoyed being a Scout, try to get on the air and say, “hi!” If you hear that a local Scout group needs a hand, help out!

New software will allow the reception of PACTOR 2 and 3 transmissions, without the purchase of an expensive appliance.

And it looks like the controversy about amateur radio repeaters in California is serious…but not new. New property management policies in that state have been impacting repeater owners for at least five years.

In news from the world of science:

If you haven’t watched a race, NASCAR is more fun than you might think. Unfortunately, it wasn’t fun for the more than 300 birds who flew head-first into the NASCAR Hall of Fame this week. No one’s quite sure why that happened, but rescuers will do their best to help the birds and the Hall of Fame is willing to help with prevention…as soon as it’s understood what needs to be done.

The U.S. Air Force confirmed this week that it has finally retired its last 8-inch floppy drives, but not the 1960s mainframes they were connected to. Spare parts for the mainframes have long-since vanished, forcing elaborate repairs to be made under microscopes.

A famous study showing that gene editing to make humans immune to HIV infection caused higher death rates from all causes has been retracted due to a hidden technical flaw in the data that supported the work. If you follow science news, it’s fun to also follow to see how much of it was flawed. It’s not that much…but what’s bad can be really bad indeed.

And if you couldn’t join us on the hill, and you’ve had to eat canned soup for dinner, you’ll be happy to know that canned food was pioneered by our distant ancestors in Isreal…400,000 years ago.


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