Tech Net News 02-01-2020

One Puffin coin issued by Martin Coles Harman I, King of Lundy, in 1929.

Our next club meeting presentation—this Tuesday—will be by Jim Eatman, KG5WAW.

What are “standing waves”? What causes them? Why is “high SWR” a problem? How do antennas affect SWR? And, what are the properties of various types of transmission lines (coax and ladder line)? Come find out and see a short standing wave demonstration using a NanoVNA.

Come to the meeting and learn more!

The K5RWK fox hunt may be back on this weekend, on 144.50 MHz…but I haven’t been able to confirm that.

The contest calendar for this weekend mentions several QSO parties, including the a 10-10 phone event,  and state parties for Vermont and Minnesota.

In news from the world of amateur radio:

I mentioned some state QSO parties earlier. If you enjoy participating, there’s now a State QSO Party Challenge that combines your scores from parties all year long. It’s like a ham Tour-de-France, with the QSO parties as stages.

The ARRL reports that they have added several new groups to their online discussion forums, powered by Since I didn’t know they had any discussion groups at all, you might not have known, either. You might want to take a look.

The new amateur radio extra class question pool has been released! The new exams will take effect on July 1st, 2020. If you’re studying for your upgrade, you’d better hurry, or be prepared to study again.

In news from the world of science:

I’d like to stress, as I did on the last Geek Net, that the coronavirus now making the news has nothing to do with beer. If you’d like some general information, a good primer is here, and no…wearing a surgical mask will probably not help you.

The Spitzer Space Telescope has been formally decommissioned after a 16-year mission. The telescope studied a huge array of targets in infrared light, from single stars in the earliest stages of birth, to exoplanets, to clusters of galaxies.

We’ve all heard about Schrodinger’s cat, but quantum uncertainty in the real world applies only to tiny things like single photons. Researchers have been working towards a new goal in quantum studies: getting a tiny, tiny grain of sand to be unsure of itself.

Puffins have made the science news this week; they’ve been observed using tools, a first for a seabird. A backscratcher is not as exciting as, say, a cordless drill, but it’s still a tool.

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