Will chips end up being tastier than pi?

The Chip Just launched on Kickstarter, NextThing’s CHIP is a $9 Linux PC with a 1-GHz R8 processor, 512 MB of RAM and 4GB of flash storage. It goes a step beyond the $35 Raspberry Pi with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth built in.

NextThing also touts $49 Pocket CHIP, a handheld device for the CHIP with a470 x 272 pixels 4.3-inch resistive color touch screen a 5-hour. 3,000 mAH battery and integrated keyboard.

CHIP has earned $662,000, more than ten times its initial $50K funding goal.

Earthquake Recovery Continues, with Amateur Radio Assistance

Nepal Earthquake(Via KX9X/ARRL) Hams in Nepal, already in limited supply, continue to turn out to aid in the ongoing recovery from the April 25 earthquake that struck the Himalayan nation. Radio amateurs in neighboring India are also pitching in, and at least two groups of hams from Gujarat, India, are planning to travel to Nepal and set up stations “at critical places,” said Amateur Radio Society of India (ARSI) National Disaster Coordinator Jayu Bhide, VU2JAU. He is planning to set up HF and VHF stations at Gorakhpur, on the India-Nepal border. Joining him will be Ananda Majumdar, VU2AGJ, and Sandip Baruah, VU2MUE. (MORE)

More media coverage of how Amateur Radio is making a difference in Nepal:

Work the Stars

AMSATNews from AMSAT about the next generation Fox satellites. Some cool new opportunities to work the stars. Here’s how you can help AMSAT make this dream a reality.

TBT: Talking HSMM in Albuquerque

From KE5DDZ‘s Flickr Library. Talking about amateur radio high speed multimedia applications with the Upper-Rio FM Society in January of 2008. It’s great to see the New Mexico HSMM network taking shape!

Presenting to the Upper-Rio FM Society

When weather is threatening, radio operators are talking

Some great press from The Grand Island Independent that gives a good feel for how radio amateurs can be lifesavers when the skies turn dark.

Save the Date: MI QSO Party 4/18/15

The Michigan QSO PartyAn early reminder for the Michigan QSO Party coming up April 18th.  The contest starts at Noon local time and runs through Midnight. We recently changed out all of our shack computers, so I’m working on installing  computer logging programs right now.  Hoping to have them all talking to each other and happy by QSO party time. I have purchased some USB to serial cables for the shack and I have both N1MM and Ham Radio Deluxe communicating with both radios. We will have to work a little harder this year, as i have put out the challenge our good friends at W8UM. They will be after “The Ol’ Michigan Log” for sure!

We plan on having 2 stations available for operation the entire 12 hour period. I’ll put out a call for operators next week so we can co-ordinate operating times for maximum scores. I’m hoping that we can again pair-up the more experinced operators with the new ones to provide guidence and training to the next generation of contesters. Plan on joining in on the fun!

73 fer nw, Gregg WB8LZG

Ham Radio 101 – How a Crystal Radio Works

How a Crystal Radio WorksFor many of us older guys, our first experience with home brew was building a crystal radio. Incredibly simple, yet also incredibly magical, some wire a paper tube and a piece of rock suddenly sent Tiger Baseball into our headphones.

From our friends at CrystalRadio.net, some accessible and fun radio theory in practice.

Jean Shepherd on Amateur Radio

ShepBroadcaster and raconteur Jean Shepherd, K2ORS was an avid amateur radio enthusiast. He spoke often of the hobby on his WOR broadcasts. With thanks to Joe Levine, W8JRK, here is a link to an archive. Included in the collection is his 1985 Dayton HamVention speech where a number of MSUARC members were in attendance.  It’s still as funny as it was back in 1985. And anyone who has been in the Armed Forces will surely appreciate “Code School”. Some fun listening.

Echolink Connectivity Returns to W8MSU

EchoLinkIconGood News !  Andrew Temme and I finished installing the new windows 7 computer up in the repeater cabinet this afternoon. After a bit of reconfiguring we were able to bring up Echolink and connect to both W8UM and another repeater in Dayton.  We may not have EVERYTHING configured properly, but it looks as though all of the main tone access functions are working.  So enjoy the use of the Echo Link System folks.  We’re back on line!  If any users out there encounter problems , please e-mail me to discuss it, it may just need a bit of TLC. (and a bit of reconfig)

A special word of thanks to the good people in DECS, who graciously helped us with both computers and software to revive our linked system. 73 Gregg WB8LZG

Minutes of the 3/19/15 MSUARC Meeting

Here are the meeting minutes for 3/19/15:

The meeting came to order at 7:05p.

Present were:  Scott KB8VWM, Forest  KD8NKI, Reece  KD8VNY, Teng (no license yet), Andrew  KE7ESD, Gregg  WB8LZG, Ed W8EO, Bob W8RSJ, Dennis  KB8ZQZ, Steve WB8WSF, John KD8BQX, Dave, K8GVK.

Reece accepted the role of Club President for the following academic year.  Teng and Scott are also willing to be on the Executive Board in other positions as needed.  Forrest said that he might be able to be on the Executive Board.  Nick was not present, but we can also ask him.

Steve recommended checking student directory names against the FCC database to identify licensed amateur radio operators, and to invite them to join the club.  The student leadership can decide if they want to try this, and the benefits and drawbacks of this approach.

We will want to be present at Sparticipation.

If we are able to get an advertisement into the student welcome packets, that could also help promote the club.

The Michigan QSO party is on Saturday 4/18 from noon-midnight.  The club will be participating in that contest.

Reece put together a wish list of computer equipment for the club shack.  Gregg said that he will filter down the list to the most essential items, and talk to his contacts among the university administration and alumni to try to make this happen.  Reece said that he specially chose the hardware for optimal software-designed radio performance.  A discussion ensued over how much computer performance was needed, and whether or not used computers could work.  John and Steve work with computers and suggested that they could obtain used computers relatively inexpensively.  Reece said that some SDR applications on his i7 quad core laptop struggle, so a faster computer may be needed for some possible club projects/applications.  Reece’s cost estimate for the high performance machines is around $3,000, with some variability depending on specific components used.

Setting up a regular meeting time was discussed.  This discussion was adjourned until the next club meeting, scheduled for Thursday 4/16 at 7:00p.

The 6 meter antenna on the mast is currently not being used much.  We discussed the pros and cons of taking down that antenna to free up mast space for another antenna.

Topics to discuss at the next meeting:  Open Shack Night, MSUARC website, Antennas.

The meeting ended at 8:30p.  Gregg had an informal post-meeting presentation about how to operate the Orion 2 radio and the antenna selector/tuner in the shack.

Scott KB8VWM