Tech Net News 11-30-2019

Please don’t electrocute this bird!

If you’d like to try something really different, you could get on the air using FT-8 on 2 meters! The North Texas Microwave Society is holding informal FT-8 nets on 144.174 USB each Monday at 19:30 local. Any antenna you have will be better than nothing, but a horizontal antenna is preferred. If you have a coat hanger to spare, you can make a 2-meter dipole suitable for this net. I’m going to give it a try.

The Dallas Marathon is coming up on Sunday, December 15th, and the event needs help. If you haven’t signed up, please head over to and register. The Marathon is a great event to participate in if you’ve just gained some experience at the Turkey Trot.

UPDATE from N5BB: if you’re hunting RFI like I am, you might want to follow Bill’s suggestion and listen to the sample collection provided by the ARRL.

ANOTHER UPDATE: recordings of my interference can be found here: 30 Hz, and here: 120 Hz. Careful listening and lining up the audio files in Audacity suggests to me that the interference is really always at 120 Hz, but that I was fooled by every fourth pulse being stronger than than others during some conditions. Of the ARRL samples, the light dimmer sounds most like what I’ve got.

In news from the world of amateur radio:

Yes, this is a repeat, but you should still have a look: a self-paced version of the ARRL’s EC-01 emergency communications course is now available.

We could loose access to our current 3.3 GHz band, according to a new FCC proposal.

WSJT-X has been updated twice this month. Be sure to update your copy!

And AM radio stations might be going fully digital. As long as we can all listen, that could be pretty cool.

In news from the world of science:

You should think about counting the birds you see this Christmas. It’s hard to know which ones need protection if we don’t even know how many there are!

Some industries have high standards for safety, but there are always exceptions. If you live in China and a rocket falls on you and explodes…well, you aren’t even allowed to complain very much, as far as I can tell.

I really hope you didn’t cook your Thanksgiving turkey the way Benjamin Franklin did: electrocuting it with big capacitors. Well, he tried—and zapped himself instead.

And sadly, Louisiana has been celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday with a state-wide ransomware attack. Keep your backups current!

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