Category: Offbeat

via HACKADAY: Justin McAllister’s Simple, Post-Apocalypse-Friendly Antennas

Watch Justin McAllister’s presentation on simple antennas suitable for a zombie apocalypse and two things will happen: you’ll be reminded that everything antennas do is amazing, and their reputation for being a black magic art will fade dramatically. Justin really knows his stuff; there is no dangle-a-wire-and-hope-for-the-best in his examples. He demonstrates that it’s possible to communicate […]

via HACKADAY: Does WiFi Kill Houseplants?

Spoiler alert: No. To come to that conclusion, which runs counter to the combined wisdom of several recent YouTube videos, [Andrew McNeil] ran a pretty neat little experiment. [Andrew] has a not inconsiderable amount of expertise in this area, as an RF engineer and prolific maker of many homebrew WiFi antennas, some of which we’ve featured on these […]

via the ARRL: VE7DXW’s “RF Seismograph” May Be Real Seismograph

Alex Schwarz, VE7DXW, in British Columbia, Canada, is exploring the possibility that “RF signatures” detected by the RF Seismograph propagation tool could also be indicating earthquakes, and may even be able to predict them shortly before they occur. A real-time HF propagation-monitoring tool developed by Schwarz and the MDSR team, the RF Seismograph shows both band noise and activity or […]

via HACKADAY: Be Vewy Vewy Quiet, We’re Hunting Baofengs

In the world of ham radio, a “Fox Hunt” is a game where participants are tasked with finding a hidden transmitter through direction finding. Naturally, the game is more challenging when you’re on the hunt for something small and obscure, so the ideal candidate is a small automated beacon that can be tucked away someplace […]

Police bust their own radio shop manager for dodgy software updates (Manitoba)

The manager in charge of Winnipeg’s police radios was arrested last Thursday for allegedly using fraudulent licenses to update the encrypted Motorola radios that police use to keep their conversations private, CBC News reports. According to court documents, an employee tipped authorities off about the alleged actions of Ed Richardson, who was the manager of the radio […]

via the ARRL: Fake News: Belgian News Magazine Misrepresents Amateur Radio Numbers

The Belgian Dutch-language weekly The Sunday (de Zondag) recently reported incorrectly that just 153 Amateur Radio licensees existed in the country, dramatically proclaiming, “Amateur Radio permits have dropped drastically in 5 years,” and asking, “Where have the radio hobbyists gone?” The error was based on a misunderstood parliamentary exchange. The facts are that 153 new licenses were issued in […]

New details reveals man arrested for impersonating officer has history of similar activity (Arkansas)

A Jacksonville man arrested for posing as a member of law enforcement in Lonoke County one week ago, is out on bond. But the investigation into the suspect’s past continues. Deputies with the Lonoke County Sheriff’s Office arrested 37-year-old Jeremy Kurck [WA5JK according to QRZ.com] after observing a Dodge pickup with flashing green, amber and […]

via HACKADAY: Automated Radiosonde Tracking Via Open Source

Meteorological organisations across the world launch weather balloons on a regular basis as a part of their work in predicting whether or not it will rain on the weekend. Their payloads are called radiosondes, and these balloons deliver both telemetry and location data throughout their flightpath. Hobbyists around the globe have devoted time and effort […]

via the ARRL: New Campaign Exploiting Linux Servers to Insert Backdoor “SpeakUp” Trojan

A new backdoor Linux-based operating system trojan dubbed “SpeakUp” is on the loose, although so far it does not appear to have propagated to North America or Europe. Research team Check Point Research recently reported the discovery and said SpeakUp exploits known vulnerabilities in six separate Linux distributions and is able to evade all security vendors. A […]

via the ARRL: Earth’s Magnetic North Pole Shifts toward Siberia

National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) scientists have updated the world magnetic model (WMM) mid-cycle, as Earth’s northern magnetic pole has begun shifting quickly away from the Canadian Arctic and toward Siberia, an NCEI report said this week. The new WMM more accurately represents the change of the magnetic field since 2015. The alteration could have an […]

Plate pirates target ham radio operators in Corner Brook (Labrador)

There’s a different kind of pirate radio situation unfolding in Corner Brook. Someone is stealing the licence plates of amateur radio operators there, right off their vehicles. “It’s sort of uneasy because it’s something we enjoy doing,” said Kody Gardner, who lost his plate over the weekend. In Newfoundland and Labrador, amateur radio operators can […]

via HACKADAY: Brushless R/C Rocket Tests Different Flight Regimes

Quadcopters are familiar, and remote control planes are old hat at this point. However, compact lightweight power systems and electronic flight controllers continue to make new flying vehicles possible. In that vein, [rctestflight] has been experimenting with a brushless electric rocket craft, with interesting results. The build uses a single large brushless motor in the tail […]

An Astronaut Accidentally Dialed 911 From the International Space Station

To place an outside call from space, please first dial 9. As it turns out, the International Space Station is not immune to pesky phone protocols, and Dutch astronaut André Kuipers confessed to accidentally dialing 911 from orbit. Kuipers revealed on Wednesday that in trying to make a call—by pressing 9 and then 011 for […]

via HACKADAY: Google Assistant, Now Available On Ham Radio

Depending on who you talk to, Google Assistant is either a tool capable of quickly and clearly answering audio queries in natural langauge, or a noisier and less useful version of Wolfram Alpha. [William Franzin] decided it would be particularly cool to make the service available over ham radio – and that’s exactly what he did. […]