Lunchtime QSOs

Had two QSOs during lunch – the first with 6W8CK – a station in Senagal – my first African continent contact!

The second contact was with W7PAQ (Frank) in Montana.

From his entry:
I was a systems engineer with IBM for 30 yrs. I joined IBM in ’66 and worked on the very early IBM 360s. My first IBM computers were an IBM 7094II and IBM 7074 at the Univ. of Penna. Physics Dept where I was a scientific programmer for 3 years. After retiring from IBM I spent 10 yrs with InfoShare as the CTO (part of AtlantiCare Health System) in Egg Harbor Twp, NJ. Resident of Cherry Hill NJ for 31 years before the xyl and I retired and moved into the Lolo Mtns of western Montana.

I am active in the BSA and serve as Unit Commissioner and Eagle Board Chair for Mullan District.

The house sits up at 4700′ and is 1.5 miles up a forest service road with 7 major switch backs. We usually have our Jeeps in 4×4.

… and
– Year born: 1941
– I am originally from… Philadelphia PA
– Previous calls: N2PAQ
– My marital status is… Married
– XYL/Kids/Grandkids: Jane/2/0
– I got interested in ham radio because… Ham in our Scout Troop taught me Morse code in ’54
– My favorite thing to do in ham radio is… Because? Chase DX..challenge
– My equipment consists of… Kenwood TS570 and 440. Yaesu FT897 Kenwood TH-D700G Yaesu FT5100 Yaesu VX=7R
– I am a member of the following ham radio clubs… Hellgate ARC
– I am most proud of the following accomplishments in ham radio… 313 DXCC, WAS< WAZ Alexander the Great Award Worked All Africa - The funniest thing that ever happened to me on the air was... Contacted XE1/NP2AQ (my old call was N2PAQ) and we both had problems with the calls - The biggest pileup I ever heard or busted was... YA and P5 - I would like to try the following new things in ham radio in the next 10 years... Satellite - When I'm not on the radio, you can normally find me... 4x4 in my Jeep with APRS. Deep space photography with my 11" Celestron telescope Unit Commissioner and Eagle Board Chair Boy Scouts of America

I checked with – and it looks like Frank has a weather station connected to his APRS. You can find his location here and weather readings here.

Frank mentioned he had a group of Scouts that he was working with this weekend to earn “Frost Points” – you earn a Frost Point for every degree below zero the tempature is when you are sleeping outside. I’m curious as to how many Frost Points will be collected this weekend!

I also asked Frank about his weather station – sounds like he has a nice setup:
I have a Peet Bros. wx station with a weather picture (displays 7 measurements plus wind direction). The Peet 2100 unit then feeds via a serial port Weather Display software running on one of my PCs… Every 15 minues (user controlled) Weather Display produces a text file that UI-View is looking for. UI-View32 then sends the wx report via rf and the internet. The internet address is one of 4 Tier 2 servers that I connect to.

Pretty simple setup.

Only issues I have are 80M seems to get into the wx unit (even with the filter) and I get 80mph wind gust readings. My Carolina windom is right above the coax from the outside wx station. Snow got here before I could move the antenna forward and away from the feed line from the wx station.

The Weather Display program crashes if my PC gets too busy and can’t service the serial port. It usually happens when I run a backup program or heavy graphics. I have run 24 days without rebooting or crashing…of course I was also away at the time.

I had the Peet Bros. heated wind speed and direction unit, but it would fail about every year because of the heated they recommended the non-heated version which so far even in all the snow and -5F seems ok.

I also send a wx report to about 5 of my neighbors with a daily summary and then a weekly summary…all from Weather Display.

If you need more info let me know and tnx for the contact

73 Frank