Tech Net News 05-19-2018

wx4nhc qsl front web_2Don’t forget, our next Lecture and Lab will be one week from today. We’ll be learning more about the awesome, fun, and cheap USB radio receivers we set up last month. Don’t worry: it’s not too late for you to order one and join in the fun. We’ve got more details here.

In amateur radio news, there’s some great new information about the work done by ham radio citizen scientists during the 2017 total solar eclipse. You can read the original paper here or a less-geeky summary here.

The use of the FT8 digital mode is increasing very rapidly. I know that it’s gotten me back on the air despite lousy conditions; with FT8, a short opening is all you need.

And the WX4NCH National Hurricane Center amateur radio station will be on the air next Saturday, May 26th, from 8am-4pm Dallas time.

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Tech Net News 05-12-2018

Credit: SpaceX

Don’t forget that our next Lecture and Lab, on Saturday, May 28th, will focus on the low cost software-defined receivers we introduced in April. These things are fun! I’m not sure if we’ll have any more for sale, but they’re easy to get on-line and and they’re addictive to play with.

On the air, you can check out some of the operating activities going on now, including the Arkansas QSO party and the CQ-M International DX contest.

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Tech Net News 05-05-2018

Credit: NASA

Calling all hams! The next DARC Radio in the Park event is tomorrow at Custer Park in Richardson!

On the air, we have a few operating opportunities going on: the 10-10 International CW Spring Contest is in progress, as are QSO parties for the 7th call district, Indiana, Delaware, and New England. There’s also a group of special event stations on the air to celebrate Europe Day.

In ham radio news:

Have you tried FT8, the digital mode that was discussed at the last club meeting? The new DXpedition mode was tested again today.

A digital interoperability test between hams and the military went very well last month in Iowa. It took advantage of the fact that the antiquated 300-baud speed limit on HF digital communications doesn’t apply on the 60-meter band. If you’d like to join in a more traditional cross-band communications test, the annual Armed Forces Day exercise is next weekend!

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Tech Net News 04-28-2018

Armed Forces Day 2018On the air, we have a few operating activities in progress this weekend. The 10-10 International Spring Digital Contest is probably the biggest, but there’s the Florida QSO Party, too.

If you like an interesting communications challenge, don’t forget that the annual Armed Forces Day cross-band communications test is coming up on May 12th.

Because it will take place on the first day of the month, our next club meeting would be easy to miss by accident. Don’t do that! Our next meeting will be this coming Tuesday, May 1st. Tim, K5TCJ, is going to give us a high-level overview of what the new FT8 digital mode is—and what it isn’t. We’ll see a video of an actual FT8 QSO, too.

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Tech Net News 04-21-2018

imd_tx_awdWe’ve got some fun coming up! The next Lecture and Lab, a week from today, should be a blast; I really want a cheap little software defined receiver to play with. The North Texas Mentorfest is coming up next weekend, too.

Our next club meeting on Tuesday, May 1st, is going to focus on the new FT8 digital mode. President Bill tells me that Tim, K5TCJ, will give us a high-level overview of what FT8 is—and what it isn’t—and we’ll see a video of an actual FT8 QSO.

On the air, it’s another active Spring weekend. The QRP in the Field and International Marconi Day events will be wrapping up before the net begins, and the Worked All Provinces of China should provide a challenge to amateurs with well-equipped HF stations and low noise floors. There are also QSO parties in Nebraska, Michigan, and Ontario.

If you’re looking for a really unique listening experience, the historic SAQ station in Sweden will try broadcasting on May 1st…at 17.2 kHz. You’re going to need a long, long wire—but you can receive the station with a computer sound card.

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Tech Net News 04-14-2018

Map projection of Charon
Credit: NASA/New Horizons/IAU

It’s a busy weekend in the world of Ham Radio. The ARRL Rookie roundup will be taking place from 13:00 to 18:59 local time tomorrow, and the Yuri Gagarin International Contest runs until 16:00 local on Sunday. There are also QSO parties taking place for Georgia, North Dakota, and New Mexico.

Our next Lecture and Lab will be about a really fun software-defined receiver. To participate, just bring $20.00 and any computer—even a Raspberry Pi—to the 3rd-floor community room of the Dallas Medical Center at 10:00 am on April 28th. You’ll leave with a  wealth of knowledge and a neat, metal-cased USB receiver with an adapter to connect it to a PL-259. If a USB-powered receiver isn’t your thing, the North Texas Mentorfest will be taking place in Rowlett on the same day; I hope you’ll visit one or both!

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Tech Net News 04-07-2018

10_Rouble_2001-2Our Vice-President, David, KG5EIU, has won the Whit and Anne Griffith Community Service Award!

Our next Lecture and Lab will be all about using a cool, inexpensive software-defined receiver based on the RTL2832. Bring $20.00 and any computer—even a Raspberry Pi—to the 3rd-floor community room of the Dallas Medical Center at 10:00 am on April 28th, and be prepared to learn. We’ll be in the main hospital building. And, if you don’t like having fun on the cheap, the North Texas Mentorfest will be taking place in Rowlett on the same day.

In contesting, there are several operating events going on right now. The NA SSB Sprint runs from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm tonight; a band change rule will keep everyone moving and active. Texas State Parks on the Air runs tonight until 9:00 pm, and from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm tomorrow. There’s a Florida State Parks on the Air event this weekend, too. DXers can enjoy the Italian QRP Club’s Quarterly Marathon, which ends tomorrow afternoon.

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