Category: Offbeat

UF researchers design low-cost DIY ventilator (Florida)

With parts available at Lowes and Home Depot, using open-source software, skilled volunteers may be able to help bridge the gap in life-saving technology against the coronavirus. As a University of Florida mechanical engineering student decades ago, Samsun Lampotang helped respiratory therapist colleagues build a minimal-transport ventilator that became a commercial success. So, when the […]

Preppers, once mocked, say they were ready for coronavirus crisis

Throughout the U.S., “preppers” have been planning for an occasion just like the coronavirus pandemic for years. Now, as a run on rest room paper and vital provides have created huge strains and panic in our nation’s supermarkets and shops, some are in a position to sit again and calm down — whereas being humble sufficient to keep […]

Via HACKADAY: Farewell SETI@Home

It was about 21 years ago that Berkley started one of the first projects that would allow you to donate idle computing time to scientific research. In particular, your computer could help crunch data from radio telescopes looking for extraterrestrial life. Want to help? You may be too late. The project is going into hibernation […]

Via HACKADAY: Closed Ham Radio Peripheral Reveals Its Windows Secrets

The student radio society in Trondhjem owns a Flex 6500-radio, with its associated Maestro panel peripheral. This is a software defined radio, and the Maestro is a computer containing just enough of an embedded version of Windows to run its front-end software. Unfortunately for our Norwegian radio amateur friends it runs very little else, even […]

Via HACKADAY: How Does Starlink Work Anyway?

No matter what you think of Elon Musk, it’s hard to deny that he takes the dictum “There’s no such thing as bad publicity” to heart. From hurling sports cars into orbit to solar-powered roof destroyers, there’s little that Mr. Musk can’t turn into a net positive for at least one of his many ventures, […]

Via the ARRL: Undersea Expedition Planned to Retrieve Titanic’s Radio Gear

The company with sole rights to salvage artifacts from the RMS Titanic has gone to court to gain permission to carry out a “surgical removal and retrieval” of the Marconi radio equipment on the ship, a Washington Post article reports. The Titanic sank in 1912 on its maiden voyage after striking an iceberg in the […]

SpaceX’s license to launch hundreds of internet satellites may have violated the law, experts say.

Astronomers could sue the FCC. A federal agency may have violated the law when it licensed SpaceX to launch thousands of satellites, according to a forthcoming paper. That raises the possibility that disgruntled astronomers could sue. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved SpaceX’s request to launch thousands of satellites in March 2018 — part of […]

Via HACKADAY: Hiking Pole Turned Lightweight Yagi Antenna

Among amateur radio enthusiasts, there’s a subset of users who climb mountainous areas to use their gear from elevated positions. Anyone looking to take part in what’s known as Summits on the Air (SOTA) will obviously want to keep their equipment as light and small as possible. For [Stuart Thomas], that meant a collapsible yagi […]

Via HACKADAY: A Nixie Radio Clock Fit For a Victorian Mad Scientist

[Ioszelos] built a nixie clock with a dizzying array of features. Do you ever wish that you could log in to your clock from your phone and turn off your TV? We assume that [Ioszelos] did. The clock can also play MP3s and stream radio stations. It can record the indoor temperature, humidity, and barometric […]

Via the ARRL: Report Causes Concern and Confusion in California’s Amateur Radio Ranks

By all credible and reliable accounts, the State of California has not turned its back on Amateur Radio as an emergency communication resource nor have established repeater owners been asked to remove their equipment from state-owned sites unless they pay sizeable fees. The California controversy, inflamed by a viral YouTube video, stemmed from a California […]

Via HACKADAY: The Final Days of the Fire Lookouts

For more than a century, the United States Forest Service has employed men and women to monitor vast swaths of wilderness from isolated lookout towers. Armed with little more than a pair of binoculars and a map, these lookouts served as an early warning system for combating wildfires. Eventually the towers would be equipped with […]

Via the ARRL: Nevada ARES/RACES Members Deploy for “Storm Area 51” Event

A social media joke early this summer setting up a “Storm Area 51, they Can’t Stop Us All” group now has spiraled into emergency declarations in two Nevada counties and spurred an Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES®)/Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) deployment of personnel and equipment. Some predictions say the “Storm Area 51” event […]

via HACKADAY: Retrotechtacular: Predictions that Just Missed It

Few occupations are more fraught with peril than predicting the future. If you are a science fiction author, it might not matter, but if you are trying to design the next game-changing piece of hardware, the stakes are higher. It seems like, for the most part, even if you manage to get some of the […]