Archives

Updated December 30, 2020

10 Meters is a Hotspot

  Rumor has it that the HF bands have gradually been coming back to life. The reasons for the resurgence may be more situational than environmental physics. Researchers have hypothesized the resurgence perhaps may be due to the large number of small but potent Covid-19 parties known as “The Family Thanksgiving Dinner.”

  Since Thanksgiving, some researchers report hams being told by their spouses to go to their room, take their Covid-19 with them, and not come out for 14 days. After giving some thought to their spouse’s demand, some of these hams interpreted “their room” to refer to the ham shack and have eagerly complied. Some researchers hypothesize these spouses, their related hams, and indirectly Covid-19, are responsible for the increase in HF propagation activity. Never before have non-ham spouses been blamed (er, responsible) for increased RF activity.

  Other researchers disagree with the so-called “Go to your room” hypothesis saying the increase in HF propagation activity is due to extraterrestrials bathing the Earth in HF energy searching for the new operating frequency of the Arecibo station.

ARRL_FD_LOGO_2020_SMALL.jpg
2020 Field Day Results

  Despite COVID-19 restrictions, nearly 19,000 participants submitted entries in this year’s event. Many hams chose not to join their club or group in person but credited their individual scores to their clubs.

  MARS racked up an aggregate score of 3,752 with 10 entries:

  You can find all the results on the ARRL Field Day page,

http://field-day.arrl.org. Click on “Results.”

Arecibo Damage

Credit: University of Central Florida | Click to enlarge

UPDATE: Arecibo Telescope Collapses

December 3, 2020

  The University of Central Florida (UCF) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) reported that the iconic radio telescope collapsed Tuesday morning, December 1. No one was injured, but the dish and learning center was damaged.

Video from the NSF shows collapse from two angles.

https://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/arecibo/index.jsp.

  Managed by the University of Central Florida, the 57-year-old facility has endured several hurricanes and earthquakes. On August 10, 2020, an auxiliary cable slipped from its socket leaving a 100-foot gash in the dish below, More recently, a main cable unexpectedly failed on November 6. Plans for a controlled demolition were in progress.

  The NSF intends to restore operations at its LIDAR facility as well as the visitor center. For more information, please visit the links below.

President’s Corner

November 2020

  It’s hard to believe it’s November already. We’ve been dealing with COVID-19 for a while now, and yes, it’s becoming exhausting. But we’ve got to somehow plow through this next wave over the winter. We’ll get through it eventually. Please keep doing what everyone says: wash your hands, use hand sanitizer, socially distance yourselves, and use a mask when you should. MARS will continue to meet virtually until we can safely meet face to face again.

  Despite all of the unpleasantries that this dumpster fire of a year has presented, November is the month to be thankful. It’s a great time to stop and ponder all the GOOD things you have!

  We still live in the greatest country on this planet. It’s wonderful to live in the United States of America and especially to reside here in North Texas!

  While it’s fun to bask in the glow of a tube-based Ham rig, technology gives us access to fantastic transceivers and operating modes our Elmers only dreamed of.

  Through the “magic” of Amateur Radio we can, from the safety and comfort of our QTH, contact folks in North Texas or the world! We are incredibly lucky to live in this era of technology. We have access to supercomputers, libraries, museums, books, and reference materials IN OUR POCKETS!

  Since we may not be traveling as much this season you may have some extra time during Thanksgiving week. To get out of a rut, try something different! Virtually visit your Public Library! You can access digital books, reference information, movies or magazines. Our city libraries are a great resource of digital resources—eBooks, eAudiobooks and digital Magazines. You’ll need a library card from your hometown library. If you don’t have a library card these sites have more information how to get one:

  Carrollton Public Library Digital Branch— https://innovative.cityofcarrollton.com/screens/cpl24-7.html

  Farmers Branch Manske Library— https://www.farmersbranchtx.gov/455/About-Us

  MARS is still doing our Health & Welfare Nets Saturday mornings at 10:00 AM CST. For more information see the EVENTS page on our Website.

  73 David K5GIL

  Make a plan to fire up one of your radios and excite some airwaves. As Charles Osgood used to say, “See you on the radio.”

WiFi or The Wild Wild West

October 25, 2020

  MARS member Scott Taylor, N5NL, has worked with computers since the 70s and currently works in forensic computing, business continuity, and disaster recovery. Scott’s watched the industry evolve from typewriters and word processors with floppy disks to cloud-based computing, and has worked with just about every kind of computer on the market.

W5RPS Plants an Aluminum Garden

October 22, 2020

Ken Wendell W5RPS

   In early October, Ken Wendel, W5RPS, spent some time doing a little RF landscaping that would improve his signals while meeting the demands of his neighbors. The result was a beautiful aluminum alloy sculpture pleasing to the eyes and to his rig. Please go here to read all about his Backyard Stealth Project.