December 31, 2016

Auld Lang Syne

Auld Lang Syne
by Robert Burns, 1788

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
... ... And auld lang syne!


Chorus
For auld lang syne, my dear, 
For auld lang syne.
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.


And surely ye’ll be your pint stowp!
And surely I’ll be mine!
And we’ll tak a cup o’kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

We twa hae run about the braes,
And pou’d the gowans fine;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit,
Sin’ auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl’d in the burn,
Frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
Sin’ auld lang syne.

And there’s a hand, my trusty fere!
And gie’s a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll tak a right gude-willie waught,
For auld lang syne.



NJ2X.COM Kindle edition is now available.





December 30, 2016

Study of celestial phenomena...

The study of celestial phenomena at radio wavelengths, radio astronomy came into being after the accidental discovery of cosmic radiation by radio engineer Karl Jansky in 1933. -- Honor Harger

December 27, 2016

M31: The Andromeda Galaxy


What is the nearest major galaxy to our own Milky Way Galaxy? Andromeda. In fact, our Galaxy is thought to look much like Andromeda. Together these two galaxies dominate the Local Group of galaxies. The diffuse light from Andromeda is caused by the hundreds of billions of stars that compose it. The several distinct stars that surround Andromeda's image are actually stars in our Galaxy that are well in front of the background object. Andromeda is frequently referred to as M31 since it is the 31st object on Messier's list of diffuse sky objects. M31 is so distant it takes about two million years for light to reach us from there. Although visible without aid, the featured image of M31 is a digital mosaic of several frames taken with a small telescope. Much about M31 remains unknown, including exactly how many billions of years it will before it collides with our home galaxy. via NASA http://ift.tt/2htoT8X

Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #10 - Dual Watch

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

The AZ-61 has dual watch capability which is also called priority operation.  Priority operation can be used with either the VFO model or memory mode.  Dual watch is of the frequency being received and the MA0 channel.  The MA0 channel is scanned approximately every four seconds.  Receiving a signal on the MA0 channel produces a beep sounds and "S" is displayed.

While using the dual watch mode, pressing PTT allows immediate transmission of the channel set in the VFO mode or memory mode.

The various functions on the vintage AZ-61 are a challenge to operate without instructions.  Hope the information below helps AZ-61 owners master priority operation (dual watch) on their AZ-61.

Priority Operation (Dual Watch)

  • To enable or disable priority operation press the "PRI" key.
  • Note: "PRI" lights up on the display when the priority operation is enabled.

Photo of the Azden AZ-61 hand held transceiver
Azden AZ-61 HT


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 - VFO Mode
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #8 - Frequency Step
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #9 - Scanning
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #10 - Dual Watch
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #12 - Optional Accessories


© Michael W. Maher and NJ2X.COM, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Michael W. Maher and NJ2X.COM with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

December 23, 2016

Once Upon a Solstice Eve


Once upon a solstice eve a little prince gazed across a frozen little planet at the edge of a large galaxy. The little planet was planet Earth of course, seen in this horizon to horizon, nadir to zenith projection, a digitally stitched mosaic from the shores of the Sec reservoir in the Czech Republic. So the large galaxy must be the Milky Way, and the brightest beacon on the planet's horizon Venus, visible around the globe as this season's brilliant evening star. Celestial treasures in surrounding dark skies include the Pleiades star cluster, and the North America nebula found along a dusty galactic rift. Embracing Venus, Zodiacal light traces a faint band across the night, but the more colorful pillars of light shine above streets a little closer to home. via NASA http://ift.tt/2ik6RWz

Dream about doing great things...

Scientists dream about doing great things. Engineers do them. -- James A. Michener

The Dreamer

December 21, 2016

Sharpless 308: Star Bubble


Blown by fast winds from a hot, massive star, this cosmic bubble is huge. Cataloged as Sharpless 2-308 it lies some 5,200 light-years away toward the constellation of the Big Dog (Canis Major) and covers slightly more of the sky than a full moon. That corresponds to a diameter of 60 light-years at its estimated distance. The massive star that created the bubble, a Wolf-Rayet star, is the bright one near the center of the nebula. Wolf-Rayet stars have over 20 times the mass of the Sun and are thought to be in a brief, pre-supernova phase of massive star evolution. Fast winds from this Wolf-Rayet star create the bubble-shaped nebula as they sweep up slower moving material from an earlier phase of evolution. The windblown nebula has an age of about 70,000 years. Relatively faint emission captured in the expansive image is dominated by the glow of ionized oxygen atoms mapped to a blue hue. via NASA http://ift.tt/2gXLXYn

December 20, 2016

Sharpless 308: Star Bubble


Blown by fast winds from a hot, massive star, this cosmic bubble is huge. Cataloged as Sharpless 2-308 it lies some 5,200 light-years away toward the constellation of the Big Dog (Canis Major) and covers slightly more of the sky than a full moon. That corresponds to a diameter of 60 light-years at its estimated distance. The massive star that created the bubble, a Wolf-Rayet star, is the bright one near the center of the nebula. Wolf-Rayet stars have over 20 times the mass of the Sun and are thought to be in a brief, pre-supernova phase of massive star evolution. Fast winds from this Wolf-Rayet star create the bubble-shaped nebula as they sweep up slower moving material from an earlier phase of evolution. The windblown nebula has an age of about 70,000 years. Relatively faint emission captured in the expansive image is dominated by the glow of ionized oxygen atoms mapped to a blue hue. via NASA http://ift.tt/2gXLXYn

December 18, 2016

The Cartwheel Galaxy from Hubble


To some, it looks like the wheel of a cart. In fact, because of its outward oval appearance, the presence of a central galaxy, and their connection with what looks like the spokes of a wheel, the galaxy on the right is known as the Cartwheel Galaxy. To others, however, it looks like a complicated interaction between galaxies awaiting explanation. Along with the two galaxies on the left, the Cartwheel is part of a group of galaxies about 400 million light years away in the constellation Sculptor. The large galaxy's rim spans over 100,000 light years and is composed of star forming regions filled with extremely bright and massive stars. Pictured, the Cartwheel's ring-like shape is the result of gravitational disruption caused by a smaller galaxy passing through a large one, compressing the interstellar gas and dust and causing a star formation wave to move out like a ripple across the surface of a pond. via NASA http://ift.tt/2heYLKP

December 17, 2016

Southern Jupiter from Perijove 3


Southern Jupiter looms some 37,000 kilometers away in this JunoCam image from December 11. The image data was captured near Juno's third perijove or closest approach to Jupiter, the spacecraft still in its 53 day long looping orbit. With the south polar region on the left, the large whitish oval toward the right is massive, counterclockwise rotating storm system. Smaller than the more famous Great Red Spot, the oval storm is only about half the diameter of planet Earth, one of a string of white ovals currently in the southern hemisphere of the Solar System's, ruling gas giant. via NASA http://ift.tt/2hZSClv

December 16, 2016

How things really work...

When you want to know how things really work, study them when they're coming apart. -- William Gibson

Broken light bulb base

December 13, 2016

Meteors over Four Girl Mountains


On some nights it rains meteors. Peaking over the next two nights, asteroid dust is expected to rain down on Earth during the annual Geminids meteor shower. This year, unfortunately, fainter Geminids will be harder to see because of the brightness of the Long Nights Full Moon, which occurs Wednesday. Pictured, an image from this year's Perseids meteor shower in August captured multiple streaks over Four Girls Mountain in central China. The bright Pleaides open star cluster appears toward the upper right, while numerous emission nebulas are visible in red, many superposed on the diagonal band of the Milky Way. via NASA http://ift.tt/2gHbmsn

Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #9 - Scanning

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

The AZ-61 has two scanning modes: VFO mode scanning and memory mode scanning.  The various functions on the vintage AZ-61 are a challenge to operate without instructions.  Hope the information below helps AZ-61 owners master scanning on their AZ-61.

Scanning Overview

  • VFO mode scanning is between two frequencies and is programmable
    • A-bank scanning - scanning is conducted between the receiving frequencies stored in memory channels A19 and A20 using the configured frequency step.
    • B-bank scanning - scanning is conducted between the receiving frequencies stored in memory channels B19 and B20 using the configured frequency step.
  • Note: VFO mode scanning is from low frequency to high frequency.  Be sure to program the lower frequency in A19 when setting up A-bank scanning.  Be sure to program the lower frequency in B19 when setting up B-bank scanning.
  • Memory mode scanning allows scanning of memory channels and is programmable
    • A-bank scanning - scans the memory channels A01 to A20.
    • B-bank scanning - scans the memory channels B01 to B20.
    • A-B bank scanning - alternates scanning of the memory channels, A01 - A20 and B01 - B20.
    • Memory channel skill (lock-out) is possible on all memory channels.

VFO Mode Scanning

  • Make sure the radio is in VFO mode.  If the radio is not in memory mode, press the VFO key.
  • To start scanning, press the SCAN key.
  • When a signal is received, scanning stops.

Memory Mode Scanning

  • Make sure the radio is in memory mode.  M.MODE will blink on the display when in memory mode.  If the radio is not in memory mode, press the MEM key.
  • To start scanning, press the SCAN key.
  • When a signal is received, scanning stops.
Photo of the Azden AZ-61 hand held transceiver
Azden AZ-61 HT


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 - VFO Mode
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #8 - Frequency Step
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #9 - Scanning
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #10 - Dual Watch
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #11 - Battery Saver
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #12 - Optional Accessories

© Michael W. Maher and NJ2X.COM, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Michael W. Maher and NJ2X.COM with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

December 12, 2016

Over Saturns Turbulent North Pole


The Cassini spacecraft's Grand Finale at Saturn has begun. The Grand Finale will allow Cassini to explore Saturn and some of Saturn's moons and rings in unprecedented detail. The first phase started two weeks ago when a close flyby of Titan changed Cassini's orbit into one that passes near Saturn's poles and just outside of Saturn's outermost F-ring. Featured here is an image taken during the first of Cassini's 20 week-long F-ring orbits around Saturn. Visible are the central polar vortex on the upper left, a hexagonal cloud boundary through the image center, and numerous light-colored turbulent storm systems. In 2017 April, Cassini will again use the gravity of Titan to begin a new series of 22 Proximal orbits -- trajectories that will take Cassini inside of Saturn's rings for the first time. Cassini's new science adventure is scheduled to end on 2017 September 17, though, when the robotic spacecraft will be directed into a dramatic mission-ending dive into Saturn's atmosphere. via NASA http://ift.tt/2hlvVLX

December 10, 2016

The Lunar X


The striking X appearing in this lunarscape is easily visible in binoculars or a small telescope. Yet, not too many have seen it. The catch is this lunar X is fleeting, only apparent in the hours before the Moon's first quarter phase. At the terminator, or shadow line between lunar day and night, the X illusion is produced by a configuration of the craters Blanchinus, La Caille and Purbach. Near the Moon's first quarter phase, an astronaut standing close to the craters' position would see the slowly rising Sun very near the horizon. Temporarily, the crater walls would be in sunlight while the crater floors were still in darkness. Seen from planet Earth, contrasting sections of bright walls against the dark floors by chance look remarkably like an X. This sharp image of the Lunar X was captured at approximately 16:45 UT on December 6, 2016. For extra credit, sweep your gaze along the lunar terminator and you can also spot the Lunar V. via NASA http://ift.tt/2hg43Ja

December 9, 2016

Create their own problems...

Engineers like to solve problems.  If there are no problems handily available, they will create their own problems. -- Scott Adams





December 8, 2016

Whirlpool with Comets


Not a comet, bright spiral galaxy Messier 51 is popularly known as the Whirlpool Galaxy. Just off the handle of the Big Dipper in northern skies, you can spot it at the upper left in this image from December 1st. The pretty 4 by 2.5 degree wide field of view does contain two comets though. Different in appearance, both comets are new visitors to the inner Solar System and are currently faint telescopic objects, highest above northern horizons in morning twilight. At lower left newly discovered comet NEOWISE (C/2016 U1) shows off a round fuzzy coma in the greenish light of diatomic carbon gas fluorescing in sunlight. Sunlight reflects from dust in the coma and stubby tail of comet Johnson (C/2015 V2) at upper right. via NASA http://ift.tt/2gZNLDA

December 6, 2016

Aurora over Jupiters South Pole from Juno


Why is there a glowing oval over Jupiter's South Pole? Aurora. Near the closest part of its first pass near Jupiter in August, NASA's robotic spacecraft Juno captured this dramatic infrared image of a bright auroral ring. Auroras are caused by high energy particles from the Sun interacting with a planet's magnetic field, and ovals around magnetic poles are common. Data from Juno are giving preliminary indications that Jupiter's magnetic field and aurorae are unexpectedly powerful and complex. Unfortunately, a computer glitch caused Juno to go into safe mode during its last pass near the Jovian giant in September. That glitch has now been resolved, making Juno ready for its next pass over Jupiter's cloud tops this coming Sunday. via NASA http://ift.tt/2h2oM3h

December 5, 2016

Lightning over Colorado


Have you ever watched a lightning storm in awe? Join the crowd. Oddly, nobody knows exactly how lightning is produced. What is known is that charges slowly separate in some clouds causing rapid electrical discharges (lightning), but how electrical charges get separated in clouds remains a topic of much research. Lightning usually takes a jagged course, rapidly heating a thin column of air to about three times the surface temperature of the Sun. The resulting shock wave starts supersonically and decays into the loud sound known as thunder. Lightning bolts are common in clouds during rainstorms, and on average 44 lightning bolts occur on the Earth every second. Pictured, over 60 images were stacked to capture the flow of lightning-producing storm clouds in July over Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA. via NASA http://ift.tt/2ha4WUe

December 2, 2016

A Triple Star is Born


A triple star system is forming, enshrouded within this dusty natal disk some 750 light-years away in the Perseus molecular cloud. Imaged at millimeter wavelengths by the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile, the extreme close-up shows two protostars separated by a mere 61 AU (1 AU is the Earth-Sun distance) with a third 183 AU from the central protostar. The ALMA image also reveals a clear spiral structure indicating instability and fragmentation led to the multiple protostellar objects within the disk. Astronomers estimate that the system, cataloged as L1448 IRS3B, is less than 150,000 years old. Captured at an early phase, the starforming scenario is likely not at all uncommon, since almost half of all sun-like stars have at least one companion. via NASA http://ift.tt/2fOoNI1

The glass is half...

To the optimist, the glass is half full.  To the pessimist, the glass is half empty.  To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.  -- Unknown

Twice as big as it needs to be!



December 1, 2016

Flaming Star Nebula


A runaway star lights the Flaming Star Nebula in this cosmic scene. Otherwise known as IC 405, the Flaming Star Nebula's billowing interstellar clouds of gas and dust lie about 1,500 light-years away toward the constellation of Auriga. AE Aurigae, the bright star at upper left in the frame, is a massive and intensely hot O-type star moving rapidly through space, likely ejected from a collision of multiple star-systems in the vicinity of the Orion Nebula millions of years ago. Now close to IC 405, the high-speed star's ionizing ultraviolet radiation powers the visible reddish glow as the nebula's hydrogen atoms are stripped of their electrons and recombine. Its intense blue starlight is reflected by the nebula's dusty filaments. Like all massive stars AE Aurigae will be short-lived though, furiously burning through its supply of fuel for nuclear fusion and exploding as a supernova. The colorful telescopic snapshot spans about 5 light-years at the estimated distance of the Flaming Star Nebula. via NASA http://ift.tt/2gP8k2y