DXing Contest March 6-8

W3HAC club stationOn Friday, March  6 at 7pm, the public is invited to join us as the HacDC Amateur Radio Club (HARC) participates with other amateur radio clubs from the 48 contiguous United States and provinces in a DXing* contest where they attempt to contact as many distant stations as possible over 48 hours. 700+ radio contacts were made in the cw (Morse code) contest February 20-22.

The contest’s objective is to expand knowledge of DX propagation on the high frequency (HF) and mid frequency (MF) bands, improve operating skills, and improve station capability by creating a competition in which DX stations may only contact U.S. & Canadian stations. Read more on HARC’s site or at contest sponsor the Amateur Radio Relay League’s (ARRL) website.

* DXing [from DX, the telegraphic shorthand for “distance”] is the hobby of receiving and identifying distant radio or television signals, or making two way radio contact with distant stations in amateur radio, citizens’ band radio or other two way radio communications. — (Wikipedia)

“Raspberry Jam” February 28th 1 to 5 pm

Raspberry Jam event logo from the Raspberry Pi Foundation

A Raspberry Jam is an event centered around the Raspberry Pi, a very cheap Linux computer designed for education and popular among hobbyists.  The weekend of February 28, the Raspberry Pi will be 3 years old.

This event is about the Raspberry Pi hardware specifically, and Linux in general, preferably the versions of Linux that run on the Pi.  We’ll try to have something for beginners as well as those with a bit of experience.

There will be at least 3 talks.

Powering your Pi: The Raspberry Pi foundation kept the cost of the Pi down by leaving the power supply to you.  They think it will run on an old cell phone charger you have lying around, and it might if you are careful about a few things.  This talk will address why stable power is the most common cause when the Raspberry Pi appears to be broken, and some solutions

Making Your Pi into a Web Server:  This talk will explore one way of getting your Pi to serve web pages on your home network, and on the world wide web.

Making Your Pi into a Mail Server:  There’s more to making the Pi into a mail server than just apt-get install, but it starts there.  Making a mail server is more complex than a web server, and this talk will explore the issues.

Come to learn, come to share what you’ve learned: Several Raspberry Pi computers will be networked together and available for those attending to explore. There will be extra Ethernet and WiFi connections for those who bring their own.  HacDC just upgraded, so high-speed internet will be available.  We’ll also be able to initialize SD cards for the Pi and offer assistance if you’re having trouble getting your Pi to go.

We’d welcome presenters for a few more talks, some simpler, some more advanced.  Maybe a talk on configuration management or prudent precautions to take when your computer is exposed to the web.  Well try to adjust the topics and emphasis to accommodate whoever shows up.  Kids are often introduced to computing with Scratch, Mine Craft, or Sonic Pi; programs created for that purpose.  We’d welcome people who can talk about these kid-friendly subjects.

Free Event.  Please RSVP if possible, but it’s OK to just show up.

HacDC is a 501(c)(3) educational non-profit.

Speaking at HacDC: Gerhard Straub (K6XH) from Voice of America

When: Wednesday, February 11, 2015 at 7:30PM

Where: HacDC, 1525 Newton St NW, Washington, DC

RSVP (optional): on our Meetup.com group page

The HacDC Amateur Radio Club (HARC) presents Gerhard Straub, K6XH. This talk will be an overview of the International Broadcasting Bureau (the transmission side of Voice of America) transmission network. We’ll discuss the magnitude of the broadcasting operations and take a look at some of the facilities around the world that are utilized for Voice of America and other U.S. Government broadcasters. We’ll also discuss in more detail some of the antenna systems that are utilized.

This meeting is open to all!

Attendees who are licensed ham radio operators can participate in a door prize drawing for a Baofeng UV-5R Transceiver

About the presenter

Gerhard Straub, K6XH, is the Director of the IBB Broadcast Technologies Division. The Division has responsibility for the conceptualization, design, and implementation of all terrestrial AM, FM, TV, and SW broadcasting systems utilized by the IBB. The division also provides all propagation analysis, frequency scheduling, and off air monitoring of the broadcast network.

Julia Longtin to present at @31c3

Cast aluminum part fabbed via lost PLA with aluminum melted using kiln made from consumer microwave oven magnetron.HacDC member Julia Longtin will give a talk at the upcoming 31st annual Chaos Computer Club Congress in Hamburg, Germany, Earth, Milky Way. She will lecture about a process she has been perfecting over the past year for 3D casting aluminum parts via the lost PLA method using repurposed consumer microwave ovens to liquify the metal.

We use microwaves to cast aluminum from 3D printed [PLA] objects. This gives us the ability to cast high quality 6040 aluminum pieces using a 3D printer and commercially available consumer microwaves.

We manufacture microwave safe kilns for melting aluminum. We create microwave transparent molds that allow us to burn out plastic without heating the mold itself there[by] creating a quicker method of accomplishing the lost PLA process.

Julia‘s process is being developed as a contribution to the larger FOSSCar initiative, which aims to use an open source production and development model and recycled materials including refurbished and repurposed off-the-shelf technology to fabricate a road-worthy car.