Showing posts from November, 2016

Milky Way over Shipwreck

What happened to this ship? It was carried aground by a giant storm that struck the coast of Argentina in 2002. The pictured abandoned boat, dubbed Naufragio del Chubasco, wrecked near the nearly abandoned town of Cabo Raso (population: 1). The rusting ship provides a picturesque but perhaps creepy foreground for the beautiful sky above. This sky is crowned by the grand arch of our Milky Way and features galaxies including the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, stars including Canopus and Altair, planets including Mars and Neptune, and nebulas including the Lagoon, Carina, and the Coal Sack. The mosaic was composed from over 80 images taken in early September. A 360-degree interactive panoramic version of this image is also available. The adventurous astrophotographer reports that the creepiest part of taking this picture was not the abandoned ship, but the unusual prevalence of black and hairy caterpillars. via NASA

W5: The Soul of Star Formation

Where do stars form? Many times, stars form in energetic regions where gas and dark dust are pushed around in chaotic mayhem. Pictured, bright massive stars near the center of W5, the Soul Nebula, are exploding and emitting ionizing light and energetic winds. The outward-moving light and gas push away and evaporate much surrounding gas and dust, but leave pillars of gas behind dense protective knots. Inside these knots, though, stars also form. The featured image highlights the inner sanctum of W5, an arena spanning about 1,000 light years that is rich in star forming pillars. The Soul Nebula, also cataloged as IC 1848, lies about 6,500 light years away toward the constellation of the Queen of Aethopia (Cassiopeia). Likely, in few hundred million years, only a cluster of the resulting stars will remain. Then, these stars will drift apart. via NASA

Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #8 - Frequency Step

This is an article in a series regarding the vintage Azden AZ-61 6m FM Transceiver.

The AZ-61's initialized frequency step is 5kHz.  The frequency step can be set to either 5kHZ, 10kHz, or 12.5kHZ.  The various functions on the vintage AZ-61 are a challenge to operate without instructions.  Hope the information below helps AZ-61 owners get the most from their their AZ-61.
Frequency Step To change the frequency step value press: FUN + STEPNote: A double beep will be heard.  The display will not change.Use the UP or DOWN keys to confirm that the frequency step has changed.

Good DX and 73, NJ2X

Other related articles on NJ2X.COM:
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #1 - How to program the radio
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #2 - disabling "the beep"
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #3 - 1993 review article
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #4 - rebuilding the battery pack
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #5 - how to reset the radio
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #6 - Automatic Power-Off
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #7 …

Arp 240: A Bridge between Spiral Galaxies from Hubble

Why is there a bridge between these two spiral galaxies? Made of gas and stars, the bridge provides strong evidence that these two immense star systems have passed close to each other and experienced violent tides induced by mutual gravity. Known together as Arp 240 but individually as NGC 5257 and NGC 5258, computer modelling and the ages of star clusters indicate that the two galaxies completed a first passage near each other only about 250 million years ago. Gravitational tides not only pulled away matter, they compress gas and so caused star formation in both galaxies and the unusual bridge. Galactic mergers are thought to be common, with Arp 240 representing a snapshot of a brief stage in this inevitable process. The Arp 240 pair are about 300 million light-years distant and can be seen with a small telescope toward the constellation of Virgo. Repeated close passages should ultimately result in a merger and with the emergence of a single combined galaxy. via NASA…

Apollo 17 VIP Site Anaglyph

Get out your red/blue glasses and check out this stereo scene from Taurus-Littrow valley on the Moon! The color anaglyph features a detailed 3D view of Apollo 17's Lunar Rover in the foreground -- behind it lies the Lunar Module and distant lunar hills. Because the world was going to be able to watch the Lunar Module's ascent stage liftoff via the rover's TV camera, this parking place was also known as the VIP Site. In December of 1972, Apollo 17 astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt spent about 75 hours on the Moon, while colleague Ronald Evans orbited overhead. The crew returned with 110 kilograms of rock and soil samples, more than from any of the other lunar landing sites. Cernan and Schmitt are still the last to walk (or drive) on the Moon. via NASA

The Origins of Silicon Valley: Roots in Ham Radio” Video

“The Origins of Silicon Valley: Roots in Ham Radio” Video11/22/2016
The ARRL Centennial National Convention presentation, “The Origins of Silicon Valley: Roots in Ham Radio,” by Paul Wesling, KM6LH, has been edited into a video and is now available on YouTube. “It tells of the interesting events in the maritime port of San Francisco at the turn of the 20th century, as early radio was being developed, and follows the hams who designed new devices and equipment to address steamship traffic plying the Pacific Ocean,” Wesling said. “Their efforts to break the east coast monopoly on tubes and to extend radio into the microwaves as the country approached World War II form the basis for what became Silicon Valley.” Wesling said the presentation traces early vacuum tube development and other contributions by Bay Area amateurs, “and the continuing spirit of hobbyists and collaborators that fuel today’s high-tech mecca.” The presentation runs about 1 hour. A graduate of Stanford University, We…

Pontificating about high-concept things...

I don't spend my time pontificating about high-concept things;  I spend my time solving engineering and manufacturing problems -- Elon Musk

What we will learn...

Projects we have completed demonstrate what we know.  Future projects decide what we will learn. -- Dr. Mohsin Tiwana.

Anderson PowerPole Tip #1 - Correct configuration "Red Right Up"

Anderson PowerPoles black and red connectors can be connected together in two different ways.  One is the defacto standard the other will potentially ruin your day.  Remember the mantra, "Red Right Up" and your Anderson PowerPole contacts will be oriented correctly.

Good DX and 73, NJ2X

Plutos Sputnik Planum

Is there an ocean below Sputnik Planum on Pluto? The unusually smooth 1000-km wide golden expanse, visible in the featured image from New Horizons, appears segmented into convection cells. But how was this region created? One hypothesis now holds the answer to be a great impact that stirred up an underground ocean of salt water roughly 100-kilometers thick. The featured image of Sputnik Planum, part of the larger heart-shaped Tombaugh Regio, was taken last July and shows true details in exaggerated colors. Although the robotic New Horizons spacecraft is off on a new adventure, continued computer-modeling of this surprising surface feature on Pluto is likely to lead to more refined speculations about what lies beneath. via NASA

Nova over Thailand

A nova in Sagittarius is bright enough to see with binoculars. Detected last month, the stellar explosion even approached the limit of naked-eye visibility last week. A classical nova results from a thermonuclear explosion on the surface of a white dwarf star -- a dense star having the size of our Earth but the mass of our Sun. In the featured image, the nova was captured last week above ancient Wat Mahathat in Sukhothai, Thailand. To see Nova Sagittarius 2016 yourself, just go out just after sunset and locate near the western horizon the constellation of the Archer (Sagittarius), popularly identified with an iconic teapot. Also visible near the nova is the very bright planet Venus. Don’t delay, though, because not only is the nova fading, but that part of the sky is setting continually closer to sunset. via NASA

Social Media for Radio Amateurs: Tip #1 - IFTTT

This post is part of a series about social media for amateur radio.

Overwhelming Success
The Internet (including social media) is a powerful resource for radio amateurs.  It is a great way to both share and access information about amateur radio via the Internet.  The Internet's overwhelming success has created a new challenges with the overwhelming number of websites and apps available.  It is becoming increasingly difficult to manage the the Internet resources we regularly utilize.

IFTTT (If This Then That)
IFTTT is a way to "put the Internet to work for you".  IFTTT stands for If This Then That.  IFTTT is pronounced by enthusiasts as a word rhyming with "gift".  IFTTT is a web service tool that that can be used to automate web resources.  It is fairly easy to use and supports automation with over 110 different services called "channels" including social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, WordPress, YouTube, and etc.

What can you do with IFTTT…

The fewer moving parts, the better...

The fewer moving parts, the better.  Exactly.  No truer words were ever spoken in the context of engineering. -- Christian Cantrell

Field Test: Nomad 7 Solar Panel Performance

This article is part of a series about using the Nomad 7 Solar Panel for amateur radio use on backpacking trips.  Be sure to review our prior article, "Project: Regulating the 12v Output of the Nomad 7 Solar Panel".  In this article we bring the project together with a field test during a high adventure backpacking trip in the Californian Sierras.

The Adventure Our hiking group decided to take a 5-day / 52-mile (83.7 km) hike through the Golden Trout Wilderness located in the Sierras Nevadas in California.  The Golden Trout Wilderness is 474 mi² (1227.65 km²) (303,511 acres) of rugged mountainous beauty.  The wilderness is named for and protects the habitat of golden trout which is California's state freshwater fish.
Elevations range from about 680 feet (210 m) to 12,900 feet (3,900 m).  An abundance of wildlife inhabit the Golden Trout Wilderness including Monache deer, Sierra Nevada red fox, pine marten, cougar, black bear, rattlesnake, and scorpions.  We would be off t…

Engineering stimulates the mind...

Engineering stimulates the mind.  Kids get bored easily.  The have got to get out and get their hands dirty: make things, dismantle things, fix things.  When the schools can offer that, you'll have an engineer for life.  -- Bruce Dickinson

Learn things as you go along...

I am an engineer, but what I find important and necessary is that you just learn things as you go along. -- Terrence Howard