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 01-20-2018

Australian flag_2Don’t forget that Winter Field Day is right around the corner! The DARC Lecture and Lab will be taking place at the same time and location, but keep an eye on the weather: both events are shine-only.

There’s only one big event on the contest calendar right now: the ARRL January VHF contest is in-progress now; it ends at 03:59 UTC on the 22nd.

The FCC reports that it will be open at least for the first part of the current partial government shutdown.

January 26th marks Australia day, which is not a holiday I usually remember…but Australian amateurs will be operating with a special prefix. See who you can work!

Finally, there’s now a WSPR beacon in Antarctica, at the Wegener Institute’s Neumayer Station III. Erin has photographed one of their DC-3s flying over Dallas…that institute gets around.

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Tech Net News 01-06-2018

Credit: NASA

I hope your new year is off to a good start! Contests and operating activities are beginning to appear once again. The Italian QRP Club’s quarterly operating event is drawing to a close at 23:59 UTC tomorrow, and the very popular ARRL RTTY Roundup is going on right now. The roundup involves more than just RTTY—you can use PSK31 and PSK63, too. You’ve got until tomorrow, early evening…get to work at having fun!

It’s been good to see that many club members have been paying their dues on-line. There’s a link in our right-hand menu. Dues are the lifeblood of the club. Please pay yours!

UPDATE: you can read more about Tabby’s Star, mentioned by N5BB…and read the latest scientific paper on the star at

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Tech Net News 12-30-2017

Credit: Yosi I

There are no big contests this weekend, but Straight Key Night (really, it’s all day) is coming up on the New Year’s Day! Maybe I’ll finally make some CW contacts on the air.

Don’t forget to pay your dues on-line or by mail.

Remember, Winter Field Day is right around the corner. I’ll see you at the park on the afternoon and evening of the 27th, if the weather is good.

The first 630-meter amateur radio transatlantic contact since our new band has opened up has been reported.

Tonight’s Afterglow Movie Net is a little bit different: there will be an open discussion on how to make the net better. Please join in tonight on 146.88 MHz at 22:30 local.

And yes, there really will be a club meeting on the 2nd. I hope to see you there!

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Tech Net News 12-16-2017

penguinThere’s not too much going on, outside of our own families or away from our friends. The contest calendar is pretty quiet.

Don’t forget to pay your dues! And don’t worry about keeping the repeater busy on Christmas day. While the NTS Early Net will take place as scheduled, there will be no Geek Net on Monday, Dec. 25th.

In the world of science…

Giant penguins are really neat. Look out!

Science can sometimes be boring; cell phones still don’t cause brain cancer.

It’s pretty neat to learn about EGGS IN SPACE! And don’t forget that the annual Christmas Bird Count is now in progress.

Yeah, not much is going on this week. Did anyone see any cool Geminids?

Tech Net News 12-02-2017

pia21972There’s a lot coming up for the DARC! Your electronic ballots are due tomorrow. Look for an email reminder in your inbox or junk folder, or search your email for “Ballot for 2018 Ballot for DARC Officers – REVISED.” You have only one more day—tomorrow—in which to vote for our 2018 officers and directors.

Our annual pizza party is coming up this Tuesday, and I’m hungry already. Bring your favorite pizza or pizza-related side dish to our next meeting and share it with your fellow members! We’re also in need of videos and slide shows to share; so far, no one has announced that they plan to bring a movie or video to the meeting…we’re going to need your help.

The club’s Annual Dinner is this week, too. Join us at the Spring Creek BBQ in Addison at 7:30 PM this coming Thursday for a night of fun and fellowship and loot. Did I say loot? I did. We’ll be having a raffle for a Yaesu FT-991a and a second drawing for a multi-band antenna. You’d better bring some cash to the December meeting, the raffle tickets are going fast.

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