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2009's Sleepy Sun Finally Woke Up in December:

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2009 will go down as the sun's third quietest year on record, under-shone only by 1913 and 2008. Two hundred-sixty of the year's 365 days (71 percent) were sunspotless. Last year saw 266 sunspotless days, while the sun had no spots on 311 of the days in 1913. It was only a very active December that kept 2009 from falling below last year's mark. Sunspot activity waxes and wanes in a roughly 11-year cycle, so hitting solar minima isn't surprising. But what the numbers underscore is that we spent much of the year still in the midst of the deepest, longest solar minimum in a long time.

Read more: eHam.net News

 

Vivitek Announces Plans for CES 2010

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This week is the Consumer Electronics Show and one of the big companies that will be there is Vivitek and they will be displaying their popular H5080 projector.


Read more: New from Electronics Infoline

 

America Tunes In to Andrews Radio:

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Before the days of cell phones, internet and satellite communication, there was high frequency radio communication. While non-radio personnel may not fully appreciate the technology, amateur ‘‘hams" and military radio operators know that when all else fails, amateur radio, and its military counterpart, work." Last weekend, the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard co-sponsored their annual two-day event, The Armed Forces Day Military/Amateur Cross Band Communications Test, marking the event's 59th anniversary. Fifteen military facilities participated in this event, including the Andrews' High Frequency Centralized Network Control Station, which had 16 Team Andrews radio operators from the 89th Communications Squadron on air for 12 hours conducting voice checks with calling stations. ‘‘These tests give amateur radio operators -- and people listening on short-wave radios -- the opportunity to demonstrate their radio skills and receive recognition from the Department of Defense for making contact with one of the participating stations," said Airman 1st Class Robert Stroh, 89 CS radio operator and event organizer. ‘‘This year we received 262 radio checks from coast to coast and as far away as Belgium, Germany and Switzerland," Airman Stroh said.

Read more: eHam.net News

 

Finally back on HF

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Well the basement has been finished off apart from a few small touches.  Last weekend I moved the HF equipment back into the shack and ran cable through the access point.  The map to the right shows I have been making contacts again. The HF setup is not complete, but good enough to get back on PSK.

As for the computer, I have concentrated everything onto one machine, the old Athlon (Thunderbird processor I believe) and using Xubuntu 9.04.  To get three serial ports I have to use a USB to serial cable, but this allows me to use the Icom IC-2200H with D-STAR, my TNC-X and the K3 with the computer.

Contacts so far have been mostly on 80m.  I returned to plotting HF contacts using Platial and was surprised to see a pattern forming with my North American contacts made over four days; take a look.

Nine North American contacts forming a pattern

Nine North American contacts forming a pattern

You can see of the nine contacts, eight fall closely on two lines (one contact was in Ottawa, near to where my station is located).  The one outlier was W4/KL7GLLlocated in Reston, VA and he was a weak signal to me.  My doublet is running approximately North-South, so you could view that this is showing the major lobes of radiation, as well as the density of amateur operators (with few in Northern Ontario and Quebec).  Well, that is a theory, but it is an interesting pattern to see emerge nevertheless and I am sure it will break soon with more contacts.  By the way, most of these contacts were on 80m except for the Oklahoma one which was on 17m.  If you look wider on the Platial map you will see I have made contacts in the Netherlands and Russia, too.

It is good to be back on HF!

Read more: VA3STL's Weblog

 

Barco Becomes Leading Supplier in Latin America

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Barco is proud to announce that they have secured the number one provider of digital theater equipment in Latin America. Thanks to Barcos relationship with Texas Based Cinemark International, Barco has turned several Cinemark Multiplexes throughout Mexico, Central, and South America.


Read more: New from Electronics Infoline

 

The Dark Side of Overdrive

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LCD monitor manufacturers have constantly pushed response times down with overdrive technology, which increases the voltage to force the liquid crystals to change colour states faster. Sadly, there are some side effects associated with this - we explain the cause and detail how to spot the problems yourself.

Read more: bit-tech.net Feed

 

AMSAT-UK presentations available

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PDF's of the presentations given at this year's successful AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium in Guildford are now available

Read more: Southgate Amateur Radio Club RSS Feed

 

T-Mobile Dash 3G unveiled

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T-Mobile USA today announced the upcoming availability of its newest 3G-enabled smartphone, the T-Mobile Dash 3G. The current T-Mobile Dash only supports GPRS.


Read more: New from Electronics Infoline

 

Valve rethinking weapon drops in TF2

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Valve has said that it is considering taking out the idea of weapon drops in Team Fortress 2.

Read more: bit-tech.net Feed

 

Jonathan Blow lowers Braid PC price

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Indie developer Jonathan Blow has lowered the price of the PC version of Braid, saying he doesn't really care.

Read more: bit-tech.net Feed

 

Rumour: Nvidia considering buying stake in VIA

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VIA reportedly plans to issue 300 million new shares, and the rumour mill reports that VIA is in talks with Nvidia.

Read more: bit-tech.net Feed

 

Radio Hobbyist Talks Ham:

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When asked to detail his hobby of amateur radio, more commonly referred to as ham radio, he grinned and delved into a flurry of explanations about electronics, broadcasting and history, all mixed with sentimental stories about the first radio receiver he built as a 14-year-old Arizona boy. "This is what's in my blood," Wood said while seated at a table in Valley Ham Shack, 4321 W. Eisenhower Blvd. The Valley Ham Shack is Wood's new venture, which opened a few weeks ago and sells amateur radio equipment but also will double as a manufacturing warehouse for his other company, DZ Kits. The best-licensed ham radio hobbyists broadcast their voices around the world, hold conversations digitally, by voice and through Morse Code, and are fallback emergency communicators for their municipalities. Broadcasting the signal for others to hear and respond to is much like an Internet chat-room hosting conversations from around the world. But ham operators do it all independent of providers and free of cost - after purchasing the equipment.

Read more: eHam.net News

 

bit-tech vs. the Antec 900

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Here at bit-tech we like to think of ourselves as connoisseurs of cases, the site’s modding heritage only adding to our cultured palette for all that is aluminium and shiny. Even in our busy offices, the excitement of unboxing of a newly arrived chassis is always something that gets people up from their desks to come and have a look.

We make no excuses for our preference for smooth, stylish lines in case design over industrial or military looks, and to us cooling performance isn’t everything – what’s the point of strapping dozens of high RPM cooling fans into a case when the noise it makes infuriates anyone within a twenty foot radius? Good design needs to reach a compromise.

Read more: bit-tech.net Feed

 

Sprint Offers Any Mobile, Anytime Plan

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If you roll with Sprint, theyve just started offering a deal that you might want to look into. According to Boy Genius the Any Mobile, Anytime plan will offer unlimited minutes to any US mobile for just $69.


Read more: New from Electronics Infoline

 

Adobe shuts up shop for a week

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In order to cut costs after seeing profits drop 41 percent year on year, Adobe is shutting its US offices for one week - forcing staff to take holiday leave.

Read more: bit-tech.net Feed

 

Sable Island DXpedition

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Randy, N0TG, reports that 'everything is coming together nicely for the October 2009 DXpedition'

Read more: Southgate Amateur Radio Club RSS Feed

 

Dell Prepares New Studio 15 1555 Laptop

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Dell is going to release the new Studio 15 notebook - the 1555 model with the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570 dedicated GPU, according to a product support page on Dell.

Read more: New from Electronics Infoline

 

Metro 2033 to be published by THQ

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Metro 2033, 4A Games' new game, has been picked up by THQ.

Read more: bit-tech.net Feed

 

Video: BigDog turned into BigBull (with BigHorns)

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BigDog is probably our favorite DARPA-sponsored quadrupedal robot, capable of prancing across the terrain for 24 hours straight while carrying 400 pounds of equipment on its back.

Read more: New from Electronics Infoline

 

ARISS contact with Berlaymont School, Waterloo was a success

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A successful International Space Station school contact was made with participants at Centre scolaire de Berlaymont in Waterloo, Belgium on Monday

Read more: Southgate Amateur Radio Club RSS Feed

 

Funai Electronics Displays Laser Prototype Projector

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This week is the CEATEC conference in Japan and one of the presenters this year is Funai Electronics. The company has recently announced their development of an ultra-small color laser projector.


Read more: New from Electronics Infoline

 
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