Tech Net News 07-11-2020

Venus had a much neater ion tail back in the 1970s.

Would you like me to talk about impedance transformers (instead of baluns) at the next virtual Lecture and Lab? Would you like to build a simple, but high-performance balun? I’ll be planning out my lesson this Sunday, so tonight’s your last chance to give me your suggestions.

Field Day was exhausting, but great. But no job is over until the paperwork is complete. Please don’t forget: if you made even one contact, submit your entry to the ARRL and to the Dallas Amateur Radio Club. If you participated in the 13 Colonies special event, you’ll have to resort to postal mail…don’t forget to include some sort of address label; it can be a scrap of paper, and should not be an SASE.

The contest calendar for this week looks pretty quiet, but if Field Day got you in the mood to get back on the air—like it did for me—you should give in to the urge.

In news from the world of ham radio:

“Almost every day, we heard the massive spiteful and provocative broadcasts. In June, they used more frequencies than before, affecting our bands very hard. It is a great annoyance and a big shame!” Was Peter Jost, HB9CET, talking about 14.313? No, he was talking about the weird war of insults on the 40-meter band between Russia and the Ukraine. You’d think everyone would have something more important to do, but no.

It’s great to hear that the famous Maritime Mobile Service Net is still helping sailors in distress! The ARRL reports that the famous net on 14.300 helped keep a troubled sailor in touch with his family and passed on directions on how he could meet up with a tow.

In news from the world of science:

Sometimes science looks just like art! The Audubon Society has announced the 2020 winners of their world-famous photography contest.

Planet 9 might not exist. It might be a gas giant, or it might be a just a random clump of proto-comets out in the Kuiper Belt. Or, if the universe is really strange, it might be a black hole the size of a grapefruit. Astronomers now have a plan to find the tiny black hole, if it exists.

Basalt is, basically, the most worthless rock on Earth. It’s all over and has no real use. But it might be used to improve soil fertility and remove excess CO2 from the atmosphere at the same time. Note: you don’t have to lime your soil here in east Dallas. The soil is, basically, lime. Pun intended.

The Parker Solar Probe keeps busy! It’s just completed a scientifically important flyby not of the sun, but of Venus.

And in the smelliest, most drool-filled, but still most-loving science news this week, biologists have come up with a much more complicated way to convert dog years into human years. Don’t forget to play some fetch this weekend!


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