Tech Net News 10-20-2018

2018JOTA-Patch-Design-300x297Don’t forget that Tech Net on the Hill is coming up. The details have been posted! Also, Turkey Trot is approaching fast, and you should sign up to help. It’s a really unique way to spend a holiday morning!

The contest and special event calendar has some fun events for this weekend. Jamboree on the Air is going on right now. Have you heard any Scouts on the air?

We also have the 10-10 International Fall CW QSO Party and State QSO parties in New York and Illinois. The biggest contest this weekend, though, is the Pre-Stew: the fall edition of the Stew Perry Distance Challenge, a famously friendly 160-meter contest.

UPDATE: Larry, N5PQO, brought this article to the net on AI speech recognition and amateur radio. “Make amateur radio cool again!”

UPDATE: Bill, KF5ZBL, provided a link with more information about the dish slot antenna that Gus, W5GUS, mentioned during the net.

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Tech Net News 10-13-2018

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Credit: Murdo McLeod, The Guardian

Tech Net on the Hill is coming up in just two weeks. We’ll be at the Flag Pole Hill pavilion from 2 pm to 9 pm on Saturday, October 27th.

Winter Dinner is coming up! Remember that you can buy tickets for our Winter Dinner Raffle at all club functions.

And finally, we have a surprise net coming up on October 29th. Do you have a spooky or surprising idea for a net? Let the club know.

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Tech Net News 09-15-2018


Don’t forget to sign up for the October 7th Lifewalk by using the contact us form or by reaching out to Randy Patterson, KE5JIT, directly. The club needs your participation!

And if you need a public service event right now—you just can’t wait until October 7th—the Plano Balloon Festival could use your help. You can sign up and find out more at their website. The festival is coming up next weekend, so you’ll need to get moving.

Next weekend—Saturday the 22nd, to be exact—also marks our next Lecture and Lab. Come out to the Dallas Medical Center from 10 am to 3 pm and you can join in the DARC RTL-SDR Roundup: a chance to get technical help, show off your skills, share your discoveries, and indulge in all things SDR.

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Tech Net News 09-08-2018

csm_waedc_2b3afa5c0dOur next Lecture and Lab will be an RTL-SDR Roundup. Club experts will help you solve software problems and guide you to get the most from your RTL-SDR dongle.

The club still needs volunteers for the 2018 Prism Health Lifewalk on Sunday, October 7th, 2018. Please contact the club and sign up!

We could always use a few more presenters for Tech Net on the Hill on October 27th. Let us know if you could share your skills!

There are a couple of very cool things on the contest calendar this weekend: the ARRL September VHF Contest is going on now, and the “other DARC” is sponsoring a major event, the Worked All Europe DX Contest. European stations get points for working non-European stations, and you can get extra points for sending message traffic—excerpts from your own station log. Please check out the rules for full details.

UPDATE: Bill Brady, KF5ZBL, would like to remind us that the W9IMS Indianapolis Motor Speedway Special Event is almost done for 2018! Because of poor propagation conditions, they’re also on FT-8.

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Tech Net News 09-01-2018

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Meerkats are cute, cuddly, and lethal.  The piranhas of the desert! Credit: Dominic Cram

Don’t forget that the next club meeting is this Tuesday, and we’re looking for folks who can contribute to the show-and-tell. It’s easy to miss a meeting by accident when it’s on the first day of the work week. I’ve done it…don’t let it happen to you.

The Meeting on the Air and RACES Net will be tomorrow night, too; it might not feel like a Sunday, but it really is.

There’s nothing too surprising on the contest calendar this weekend, but we’ve got two state QSO parties. Alabama’s party ends tonight, and the Tennessee QSO Party is Sunday-only.

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Tech Net News 08-25-2018

Helianthus_whorl credit l shyamal
Kansas is awesome! “Helianthus Whorl” by L. Shyamal,

Hey, you. Pssst! Please sign up! Our club show-and-tell is coming soon. It won’t be a fun meeting this September 4th if you just wait and watch…plan to participate instead!

The contest calendar offers some great QSO parties for your enjoyment this weekend. The Hawaii QSO Party ends tomorrow evening; the islands are divided into 14 multiplier zones. There are lots of stations and locations to work. The Ohio QSO Party ends at 11 pm Dallas time today, so get moving.

And last but not at all least: the Kansas QSO Party is one of the most elaborate special events I’ve ever seen: it’s their 10th anniversary, and so there are special rules and tons of prizes, including t-shirts, sweaters, and antique radio postage stamps. Some of these prizes are not hard to earn at all, and they encourage “stamp collecting.” They have put 61 1×1 special event stations on the air this weekend, leaving me just a little bit amazed. Check them out and get working! Your time will be up at 3:00 pm tomorrow.

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Tech Net News 08-18-2018

This HF dipole array has transmitted conspiracy theories for thousands of miles. Credit:

Don’t forget: the DARC needs volunteers for the show-and-tell at our September 4th, 2018, meeting and for our October 27th, 2018 Tech Net on the Hill event. Please sign up! Show and tell presentations only need to be a few minutes long.

Our next Lecture and Lab is coming up in a week: join us on Saturday the 25th to build an antenna analyzer using your RTL-SDR dongle. You’ll need $45.00, a Windows or Linux laptop computer, a 12V power supply, and your dongle. You might also want to bring a VHF or UHF antenna to analyze! I’ll make a special post with more details in the next couple of days.

I’ve also been reminded that the Plano Balloon Festival, Sept. 21-23, is still looking for volunteers. Most of those who’ve signed up already are folks who have to be there: volunteer coordinators, and the like. More hams are definitely needed for this big and beautiful event.

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