Topics and links for the broadcast of 11-10-2020 11:00 am (CEST)

MEMs oscillator sensitivity to helium (helium kills iPhones)

In the Applied Science YouTube channel, Ben takes us to a surprising and in-depth explanation of MEMS oscillators and the influence of Helium gas on these remarkable devices. Because MEMS devices are also used in mobile technology such as an I-phone, Ben shows us how the influence of the Helium gas makes these devices inoperative with small quantities of this gas. More information in the following link.

Solar Physicist Predicts a Slightly Better Solar Cycle 25

Taken from the ARRL website, Solar physicist Leif Svalgaard of the W.W. Hansen Experimental Physics Laboratory at Stanford University has predicted a maximum sunspot number of 128 ±10, slightly better than Solar Cycle 24.

“The overall average is 132 ±47 (median 124),” he said. “None of these numbers are substantially different, so one could perhaps just go with the ‘wisdom of the crowd.’ All predictions that we consider have the underlying assumption that the sun has not changed its behavior (its ‘spots,’ so to speak) on a time scale of a few centuries (the Maunder Minimum may be a possible violation of that assumption), and that there will be no such changes in the near future, in spite of speculative suggestions.” Those included one of his own in 2013.

The extensive report can be found here.

Svalgaard characterized the science of solar cycle prediction to be still in its infancy, “borne out by the extreme range of predictions of Cycle 25.” — Thanks to Frank Donovan, W3LPL

QRQ Point, the meeting place for high speed telegraphy enthusiasts in Europe.

This website was established in March 2020 to serve as a hub to concentrate QRQ activities on 3567 kHz and 7024 kHz. It's meant to:

  • Encourage everyone to join us on 3567 kHz or 7024 kHz and practice high speed telegraphy
  • Offer a simple way to communicate with other users via a shout box
  • Provide links and further information about high speed telegraphy. is not:

  • A shortcut to achieve easy sponsoring for the V/S/EHSC clubs
  • A place to chat instead of doing so on the band

See you on 3567/7024 kHz - look for our special callsign DA0EQP (European QRQ Point)! The link to QRQ point.

Are liquid air batteries the future for electrical energy storage?

Matt Farrel's video channel explains in a popular way how this works. Matt also paid attention through an interview on how the efficiency can be increased by reusing the heat generated during the liquification process. This technique promises us an efficiency of 60 - 70%, which can be achieved with long-established techniques.

Before we look at nuclear energy as the third solution for clean energy, we should first look at ways to optimize wind, water and solar energy for cost-technical reasons.

Moreover, this technique can be realized in a much shorter period of time than small nuclear power plants. This technique is particularly suitable for upscaling in contrast to lithium-ion techniques.

I therefore warmly recommend this video in which this technology is explained. He may be forgiven for showing commercial interests in the form of advertisements.

NanoVNA message send in by PC5D

The following message was previously posted to the user group for the NanoVNA -F. It is being reposted here as a courtesy to the owners of any of the other versions of the NanoVNA.

If you recently purchased a NanoVNA -F, or any of the NanoVNA's for that matter, and you're waiting for it to arrive or you're trying to figure out how it works, what you can do with it or what all the features really mean; here is an excellent free webinar that is available on-line and on-demand from Keysight Technologies. The name of the webinar is "Network Analyzer Fundamentals" and it's presented by Keysight Product Marketer Mr. Matt Campbell. The running time is 45 minutes. To gain access to this webinar simply visit this website and search for the "Network Analyzer Fundamentals" webinar. There is a Search box. When the webinar comes up, simply click in the "Watch Now" box and the webinar will start.

I have been in contact with both the Marketing and Legal Departments at Keysight Technologies and have been assured that this webinar is available to the general public and to anyone who is interested in watching it. I found it to be an excellent source of information with pictures, graphics and movies that presents the fundamentals of Network Analysis is five parts: (1) What is a Network Analyzer, (2) Transmission Lines and S-Parameters, (3) Network Analyzer Block Diagram, (4) Network Analysis Measurements and (5) Calibration and Error Correction. Even though these topics are presented for the Keysight line of Network Analyzers, these are the basics and fundamentals and they apply to ANY Network Analyzer.

After the webinar, don't forget to visit the "resources" listed in the Resource Box. There you can download the webinar slides, visit a marvelous webpage on "Keysight Network Analysis" and obtain a download of an application note (16 page PDF) that covers all the topics in this webinar and then some. It is an excellent document to start your Network Analysis Reference Library. Thank you everyone and enjoy your NanoVNA, no matter which kind or where it came from.

From RSGB news bulletin

The AMSAT-UK Colloquium 2020 is online today. There will be a series of lectures from 12 noon to 5 pm Dutch time. More information can be found at
October 24 is United Nations Day. That day the SAQ Very Low Frequency transmitter in Grimeton, Sweden, will broadcast another message. The start-up and adjustment of the Alexanderson Alternator is done from 1430UTC. The message will be sent from SAQ on 17.2kHz CW at 1500UTC. Live streaming can be viewed at

According to an Oct. 6 report by, Canadian amateur Scott Tilley, VE7TIL, received a signal from the NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter when it flew just 274 km above the surface of the Red Planet. The signal was an X-band carrier, containing no data or telemetry. Such detection is possible because Mars is unusually close to Earth at this time. Visit and check the archive for October 6 for more information.


Last week was without sunspots but with a calm ionosphere. The solar flux index was stuck at 71 or 72. There were numerous warnings to space operators this week about high levels of the 2MeV electron flux. This can result in the charging of satellite solar panels and other electronics. It can also have a detrimental effect on HF radio in the polar regions, while the North-South paths remain relatively unaffected.
The Kp index is later in the week, which means that QSOs could also be reported at 15 and even 10 meters. An F2 layer opening also brought Carlos, CX7CO in Uruguay at 28MHz CW.
At the opening of the Sporadic-E on Tuesday, Spain and Italy were able to work at 6 meters. The Es was helped by the meteor rains. NOAA predicts a solar flux index to remain around 70 next week and geomagnetic conditions are expected to remain at two or three with the Kp index. The Maximum Useful Frequency will vary from 9 MHz at night to 18 MHz during the day. On paths to the South, 15m meters can sometimes still open.

Incoming message. Due to the uncertain situation regarding the Covid virus, we unfortunately had to decide not to organize Heelweg 2021.

We would like to draw your attention to a nice project to become active at 122 GHz. Information about this can be found at
If you are interested, you can register in this group and place your order there. If multiple orders are placed from PAo, Andries PE1BMC may want to take over the distribution.
Note: Be quick because the registration will probably close at the end of this week!

PS. Have you started any interesting Ghz projects in recent months, share your experiences on the forum of

Best regards