Tech Net News 02-15-2020

Do your part—count me in! Credit: Peter Hart

I hope you’re at, or that you just attended, today’s Dallas County SKYWARN class. If you didn’t, you still have more chances…though they may be farther away.


The biggest club news this week is that our popular Lecture and Lab activity is starting back up after taking a break for the holidays. One week from today, on Feburary 22nd, 2020, we’ll be building an internet connected LED Marquee Scroller Clock based on a WeMos D1 Min and a LED matrix panel. It can be configured via WiFi to display/scroll news, local weather, and a lot more. The kit cost will be $10.00, and you should bring your soldering iron and tools, if you can. Don’t have a soldering iron? Don’t have experience? Don’t worry. Almost everyone who attends brings extra tools. Come on out to the Dallas Medical Center at about 10:00 am on the 22nd and have fun!

In news from the world of ham radio:

The ARRL reports that HuskySat-1 is already attracting a following of amateurs who decode its telemetry, although there’s no amateur radio transponder available on this satellite, yet.

And the ARRL also reports that a 47 GHz moonbounce contact was recently completed.

In news from the world of science:

If you like birds, you like science, and you can look out your window, than birds need your help. The Great Backyard Bird Count is now in progress, and both birds and those who protect and study them would appreciate your participation. We can’t protect birds if we don’t know they need protection…or if they’re doing well on their own, scientists can’t be sure of that if you don’t see them and count them.

The super-giant red star Betelgeuse has been in the news lately due to the risk that it might violently explode. But, it turns out that it’s not just getting dimmer, it’s getting less spherical as well. It could be that Betelgeuse isn’t dimming…but that our view of it is being blocked by a dense cloud of dust.

You have most likely heard of Neanderthals, and of Denisovans. But new genetic studies show that we probably have still other kinds of ancestors who left their traces behind in our DNA, but whose remains have not yet been found.

Not all tumors are cancerous. Some abnormal growths don’t spread, but they still cause very severe pain. In a strange discovery, paleontologists have found that juvenile dinosaurs were susceptible to a type of painful bone tumor,Langerhans cell histiocytosis, that still strikes young humans today.