Tech Net News 05-02-2020

Andrey Atuchin 230544_web
Look out dinosaurs, I will eat your eggs! Credit: Denver Museum of Nature and Science/Andrey Atuchin

Sadly, my first two announcements tonight are negative: Ham-Com 2020 has become Ham-Com 2021, and the DARC club VE session at the Business Jet center continues to be canceled until the public health situation improves. However, JJ, N5IMS, has sent me word of at least one examiner conducting on-line exams.

If we can’t meet up in person, there still are plenty of chances to get on the air. The Hope QSO Party is continuing, and serious VHF contesters will probably already have heard about the Araucaria World Wide VHF Contest, just as the CWers among us know about the 10-10 International Spring CW weekend. For more casual operators like me, there are QSO parties for the 7th call area, Indiana, Delaware, New England, and even Mie Prefecture, Japan.

In news from the world of amateur radio:

In what is probably the least exciting news of the week, the FCC has adopted a new seal. Sadly, it replaces the rather pigeon-like bird on the old seal—one of the more interesting features in official government art—on the old seal with a generic eagle.

The amateur radio transponder on a new, Russian amateur radio satellite is now active. Russian DOSAAF-85 (RS-44) has a transmitter power of 5 W, and the beacon is on 435.605 MHz (identifying as RS44). The transponder is inverting, with its uplink centered at 145.965 MHz ±30 kHz, and the downlink centered at 435.64 MHz ±30 kHz.

ARISS will be experimenting with techniques for helping stuck-at-home students participate in ISS contacts, a “point-to-multipoint” internet conference relay.

And a sophisticated ICU ventilator, which hams have helped design and build, is heading to the FDA for emergency approval.

In news from the world of science:

A fascinating tail discovered in the Sahara shows that dinosaurs didn’t just wade in the water—they were powerful swimmers, as well. (The famous plesiosaurs were not dinosaurs, but separate type of reptile.)

Trees aren’t just for birds and squirrels! New pollen studies show that tree pollen is vital to bee health in the early spring, when most flowers aren’t blooming. Plus, oak trees are much, much bigger than rose bushes.

Mammals have been around for a long time, but beyond the fact that they were generally small and had to keep out of the way of dinosaurs, we don’t know much about our distant ancestors. A newly-described fossil, dubbed Adalatherium hui or “Hu’s crazy beast” is helping to shed a little light on a dark era.

And finally, please consider turning your outside lights off this week. It’s peak migration season for birds, and artificial lights confuse them and can cause building collisions.

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