Tech Net News 01-25-2020

1c7085_9394caeaaf2f4d5292d3f03fb469870amv2Are you having fun yet? Winter Field Day begins today! Participate with a club if you can, or at home if you prefer…but this is a great day to be on the air. The DARC is participating in the K5T special event station at Alford Media Services in Coppell, Texas. This is a one-day only operation; if you get the urge to join up with a club in the small hours of the morning, the Richardson Wireless Klub will be operating for the full 24 hours.

The only other contest I noticed this weekend is the CQ 160-Meter CW Contest. There’s no reason you can’t do both.

UPDATES: Tom, N5HYP, reports that some more technical information about the satellite with the battery problems can be found here. Larry, N5PQO, reports that you can find more information about the web SDR that lets you listen to the Qatari geosynchronous satellite at this site:

In news from the world of amateur radio:

The ARRL plans to continue to try to persuade the FCC to keep the 3-GHz amateur band. If we’re moved to another frequency segment, there probably won’t be any equipment available for it.

Have you seen the crowd of people that compete for any 1×2 call that becomes available? Now, the same thing can take place in Spain. Instead of issuing all amateurs 2×3 calls, the government of Spain is allowing amateurs with at least 15 years experience request a 1×2 call.

Normal communications seem to be working, but radio amateurs have been standing by in Puerto Rico in case of more earthquakes.

In news from the world of science:

Betelgeuse is continuing to get dimmer, but it’s probably just a natural variation, not the prelude to an explosion. But Betelgeuse is the only star besides our own sun whose surface we can see—so there’s plenty to learn.

Believe it or not, some people collect beetles because of their shiny, iridescent shells and unusual shapes. It turns out that the bright, shiny colors might be very effective camouflage from hungry birds.

Early aviation pioneers tried to build airplanes that flapped their wings like birds, and it didn’t work at all. But now, coming to a park near you, there’s pigeon bot, a flying robot that can change the shape of its wings in flight just like a bird. Of course, they stole feathers from an actual pigeon to build their bot. Ouch!