Daves Blog

Daves Blog - I post items about our "Land for Sale by Owner" & "Chantilly Farm" & "Tiny Homes " and my interest Historical Computers. This is a continuation of my Blog about my historical Computer Collection. All 13,000 items in the collection are now located at the "Computer Museum of America" in Roswell, GA.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Mitts Altair 8800 Microcomputer started a wonderful friendship

MITS Altair 8800 Started Friendship

Click on photo to enlarge
L-R John Simkiss, Altair 8800
 SN414 and David Larsen - 2015
This Altair - one of several dozen in my "Bugbook Histroical Microcomputer Collection" has many stories to tell. One is John's visit last Sunday 3/8/20 to fly down from Philadelphia in his private plane and have breakfast with my wife Gaynell and I. one more story is the day he picked up the Altair 8800 in 2015.  Many more however in  this blog I will discuss these two.






John's Aircraft is a
Red "Cirrus"
John told me he would meet at 8:30 AM and he landed at 8:31- great timing into the Blacksburg/Montgomery airport on the Virginia Tech Campus.

That is John and Gaynell in photo to left just after touchdown. We had delightful conversation during breakfast at the Inn at Virginia Tech.

John needed to be back in Philadelphia at 1:00 PM and he sent me a photo showing the Cirrus  tied down at 12:59 P M.



This video really tells the story of John picking up the Altair 8800 in 2015. Interesting "CLICK"




Inside view of Altair 8800
SN 414.

This Altair 8800 SN414 was probably in the first or second production run.  Ed Robert the Founder of the MITS company expected about 500 orders for his computer and was inundated with 5000 orders the first month.  This is a very low serial number and a valuable microcomputer.

The earliest Altair 8800 in my collection was SN 21. I purchased this 8800 from a fellow that was one of the dozens that drove down to Albuquerque, New Mexico and waited in the parking lot of the MITS companty to get there Altair first before shipments began. Altair 8800 SN21 is now located at the "Computer Museum of America"  in Roswell GA along with the other 13,000 items in my historical microcomputer collection.





John looking at
MARK 8 during
2015 visit..



Here is a blog about the Altair 8800 SN414 and John's 1995 visit. 

Video of Altair 8800 SN414 in operation tested by Wen Heagy.






John describes his visit to the  Computer Museum in his own words 1995

Chicago downtown from
John's Cirrus aircraft.


Just received (3/30/20) this photo from John - photo  he made of the Chicago Skyline on flight to pick up one of his family members. Nice to have your own plane at this time with conoronvirus restrictions on  commercial  air travel. Great view.






Collecting historical microcomputers for more than 45 years and teaching about "Computers and Instrumentation " for 33 years at Virginia Tech has been the experience of a lifetime.  Many I have had many great times and met wonderful people during this time. You can see a few of the stories on my Blog Site.


"by David Larsen"  Chantilly Farm ownerComputer Historian, and amateur radio operator -KK4WW   & N4USA .  I work out of one of the Tiny Homes at Chantilly Farm. A great place to work if you like the to be out in nature. I am 81 and ready to sell Chantilly Farm - I have a few more  projects I would like to do - if you have an interest to know more give me a call. 540 392 2392




Saturday, February 29, 2020

Amateur Radio - Volunteer to help Hurricane Ham Radio recovery - Dominica

Amateur Radio in Dominica - Volunteer
provides valuable emergency Communications

There remains a lot of work to be done to 
be ready for the next emergency 
You can help with Recovery and enjoy a visit to the 


The amateur radio operators in Dominica provided critical Emergency Communications after Hurricane Maria destroyed much of the Island in 2017. That seems a long time ago, however, a lot of work is still needed to be ready for the next  major disaster.  The members of the "Dominica Amateur Radio Club Inc" (DARCI) have been working hard to have all the interested amateur radio operators ready.  They have been helping with repairing the club station, radios, antennas, training new hams, and partnering with local & official groups to build a network of ready hams and equipment. 


Click on photo to enlarge
Dominica Amateur
Radio Club site.


David "KK4WW/J79WW" and Gaynell "KK4WWW/J79WWW" visited Dominica in late January 2020 as Directors of the "Foundation for Amateur  International Radio Service" (FAIRS) and worked with DARCI. We provided service and equipment for the Club.  See short report on the visit  "CLICK"


See location on Google Maps "Click DARCI"






Joseph J73JT in
Castle Bruce - Dominica
The Hurricane Maria was a category 5 storm - an extreme storm - reportedly more severe than the very intense hurricane "David" in 1979. Many ham radio operators that were able provided emergency communications.

A photo of Joseph J73JT and his HF/VHF/UHF station in the East Coast Village of Castle Bruce. Joseph was ready when Maria damaged the island. Power/water/internet and telephones were out of commissions for a number of months. Joseph packed up his station along with solar power and made his way to the village medical clinic. He was the only source of critical communication for a number of months from his village.

I mention Joseph because he was the first one who invited FAIRS to visit and help the Dominica Hams 23 years ago.  We have made more than 30 visits during this time.  J73JT  has kept his station operational and ready for emergencies the past 23 years and had many opportunities to provide emergency communications. 



                     What would you be able to do during a week or two visit?

1. First of all, you will be visiting the Nature Island of the Caribbean - it is beautiful and interesting, with friendly people. The island is very small - 375 sq miles - loaded with water falls, rivers, rain forest, hiking trails, tall mountains, hot sulfur springs and it is known as a good dive location and a  population of about 65,000. In other words - an interesting and nice place to visit and practice your ham radio skills.

2. Provide training to new hams,  install/repair antennas, install/repair HF, VHF/VHF radios, 

3. Perhaps you would be able to provide some radio equipment, an HT, HF, Power Supply or Antenna. This would not be required, but just a nice thing to do.  It is possible to carry some equipment with you on the plane. 

4. Provide ham fellowship with ham radio operators. It is always interesting and rewarding to make new ham friends.

5.  Do some interesting DXing - Dominica does not have many ham operators that operate in the HF DX bands and you would easily find yourself in in an exciting pileup.  You can get your Dominica license before you arrive. See Gaynell having fun operating a DX pileup as J79WWW/J79USA.




 Get current direct Dominica Information
 by checking into one of these morning nets. 



Logo for Echo Link
Dominica Repeater via ECHO LINK. (J73Z-R)
The morning net is operational Monday - Friday 7:30 AM EST or 11:30 GMT.
 Here is how to check in - get signed up for Echo Link .

1. Sign into Echo Link.
2. Click on Locations
3. Click on North America
4. Click on Dominica
5. Sign into J73Z-R
6. You should be logged in now.  Clement J73CPL is President.




QR code  for FAIRS Ltd
Zello channel
ZELLO
You do not need to be a licensed amateur to use Zello as it is only an internet VOIP talkie application. 

Net starts at EST net will be at 7:30AM or 1200GMP

1. I run this net and my ID or Zello name is #N4USA
2. Sign into Zello 
3. Search for channel   "FAIRS Ltd"  sign in.
4. Should be ready to go.
    I always have Dominica hams checking in.

5. Alternate - print out QR code to the left and use that to log on.  

Plan a trip to Dominica and enjoy some useful/interesting amateur radio Volunteer work. Contact me and I can help David KK4WW/N4USA

David LarsenKK4WW

"by David Larsen"  Chantilly Farm ownerComputer Historian, and amateur radio operator -KK4WW   & N4USA .  I work out of one of the Tiny Homes at Chantilly Farm. A great place to work if you like the to be out in nature. I am 81 and ready to sell Chantilly Farm - I have a few more  projects I would like to do - if you have an interest to know more give me a call. 540 392 2392



Sunday, February 16, 2020

Emergency Communications Center - Dominica Amateur Radio Club Site

Dominica Amateur Radio Club Inc. DARCI
Restoring the Club Site after Hurricane Maria
January 2020

David and Gaynell Larsen - Directors of the "Foundation for Amateur International Radio Service" (FAIRS) visited Dominica to assist DARCI in late January 2020 and  here are some of our activities. Many have assisted DARCI in recovering from Maria . A lot of amateur radio work is still needed - if you would like to help give me a call 540-392-2392.

click on photo to enlarge
DARCI  club members holding
donated equipment in front
of club house
Club members David J79USA, Tony J73TP, Gilbert J72GPG, Clement J73CPL - holding talkies and other equipment donated by Jay Wilson at Disaster Emergency Response Association (DERA). Photo taken in front of restored club house.
The building is made from two shipping containers with a truss roof  and a nice room between the containers. The roof was also destroyed by hurricane Maria.



Inside club house used for meetings
and teaching ham radio classes.
Gaynell J79WW & Clement J79CPL.
You can see the 2 containers with roof overhead with the room between containers. The room is very useful for meetings and other gatherings.

Solar panels are on the roof for off the grid operation during storms and power outages. The battery backup charged by the solar panels is below ground in a hardened container. The club also just buried the main power connection to the grid for a better chance of main power not failing.




Outdoor shelter at DARCI
 received heavy
damage from Maria .
Wood was salvaged from this shelter and used to repair the roof of main club house. The repair of this shelter will have to wait until the club has funds to do the work


You can see that the outdoor shelter was also damaged along with part of the security fence being blown over.


New  beam antenna
just installed on tower
at club house.
Gilbert J72GPG is the maintenance officer and he and Tony repaired the rotator  and a new triband beam. New coax feed line was installed making the antenna system operational as new.  The tower did withstand the hurricane so it did not have to be replaced.

The 50 foot tower at the home of J73CPL where Gaynell and I stay while in Dominica was totally destroyed by Maria. We need some help to get a new tower and beam up at that location in Wotten Waven.







Adding a dipole
antenna to club
house.


Gilbert with Gaynell J79WW holding the ladder for Gilbert to install a dipole antenna over the club house.











Operating Position  J73Z  at
 the club house in
the container.


Gilbert using his talents to repair the antenna rotator. This is also the operating position for club call J73Z. This is the container on the right side of building. The container on the left side is used for equipment and supply storage.

The club house also has bathrooms and  showers built into the building just to the right side of this container.






Clement J73CPL president of the
DARCI with three club members.

There is a lot interest recently from members of  the Dominica Association of Persons with Disabilities (DAPD) to become members of  DARCI  and assisting with emergency communications.  Several DAPA members have already joined DARCI and are helping to operate as net control for the regular morning mobile net.
The club has been asked to do some amateur radio training for DAPD in Dominica and I am sure this will result with more DARCI members.  These members can make significant contributions to the Radio club.


"by David Larsen"  Chantilly Farm owner, Computer Historian, and amateur radio operator -KK4WW   & N4USA .  I work out of one of the Tiny Homes at Chantilly Farm. A great place to work if you like the to be out in nature. I am 81 and ready to sell Chantilly Farm - I have a few more  projects I would like to do - if you have an interest to know more give me a call. 540 392 2392

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Tiny house as Micro-Cottage rental


Tiny House as Micro-Cottage Rental


Micro-cottage at
Chantilly Farm Campground

The micro-cottage is a very functional weekend camping cabin for two. The cottage is insulated - heated in Winter and Air Conditioned in the Summer.  It has beautiful woodland as backdrop with a great mountain view out the front.

Here is a good view of Chantilly Farm from from an overhead drone. Look close and in the upper left when video is starting you will see where the Micro-cottage is located - it is not much more then a small white dot.



Micro-cottage at
Chantilly Farm Campground
side view


The cottage is Micro - about 10 x 8 feet.  Still it is very functional inside and many features outside - picnic table - Fire pit - water hydrant - outdoor lighting - short walk to bath house - nice flat area for tent and AC power.

Here is a little video of the Micro-Cottage.





Group camping using the
micro-cottage as the
hub of activities

Here is group of about 10 with most sleeping outside or just coming for the day. This was an amateur radio field day event with lots of socializing, grilling and eating.


Here is my Tiny Home Video Blog Channel.






Inside food preparation area
in micro-cottage
Inside the cottage is equipped with small refrigerator - Microwave - cabinets for storing provisions. Small table that can be used inside or outside - two metal chairs and two camp chairs.  A nice view from the windows inside looking toward the mountains.

Location of Chantilly Farm on Google Maps.





Inside bunk beds
Chantilly Farm micro-cottage
Two bunk beds with good lighting for reading. WiFi is also available.  It is not intended that guest would spend the entire day inside as it is beautiful outside. The farm has a good many activities with Disk Golf - Hiking/Bike trials - 100 acres of woods to enjoy the Flora and Fauna. Acres of open grass land for ball games - kite flying and more. More about trails 

Events at Chantilly Farm -2020



Outside view at  Chantilly Farm
Micro-Cottage
Nice long distant view out the front of Micro-Cottage.  Picnic table and fire pit with grill also next to cottage.

Here are my Blog posting about Tiny Homes at Chantilly Farm and more.

Book Micro-Cottage or other camping at Chantilly Farm Campground.

Reuse of products - The micro-cottage was used as a small office at a different location before converting it to the current use.



"by David Larsen"  Chantilly Farm owner, Computer Historian, and amateur radio operator -KK4WW   & N4USA . Now that my large historical collection of  microcomputers has been moved to the "Computer Museum of America"  I work out of one of the Tiny Homes at Chantilly Farm. A great place to work if you like the to be out in nature. I am 81 and ready to sell Chantilly Farm - I have a few more  projects I would like to do - if you have an interest to know more give me a call. 540 392 2392



Sunday, January 19, 2020

Bugbook Microcomputer Computer Museum

The Bugbook Microcomputer Museum

The best 300 artifacts from my collection of
13,000 computer items. 

This is just some reminiscing about old times when I had a small historical microcomputer museum in Floyd, Virginia. I moved the entire collection to the "Computer Museum of America" in 2016. I am proud to still be working with historical computers as a Board Member at the "Computer Museum of America".

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


Audio / Photo Tour of the "Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum" - Floyd Virginia

Please note this is not complete - it is a work in  progress with a total of 19 cases of display material, some wall pieces, and Ham or Amateur radio station. 

Next Step is QR code on each cabinet to click on with smart phone and get the audio of that case.
                                                             
Welcome to the Audio Tour of the "Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum" Floyd Virginia
                                            David Larsen KK4WW Curator

Click on photo's to enlarge
Case #1 bugbook Computer Museum




Display Case #1 Audio Description "Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum'

Case #2 Bugbook Computer Museum
Case #2 Bugbook Computer Museum 










Display Case 2 Bugbook Computer Museum  Audio description

Click on photo's to enlarge


Case #3 Bugbook Computer Museum
Case #3 Bugbook Computer Museum






Display Case #3 Audio Description "Bugbook Computer museum"


Case #4 Bugbook Computer Museum
Case #4 Bugbook Computer Museum






Display Case #4 Audio Description "Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum'


Case #5 Bugbook Computer Museum
Case #5 Bugbook Computer Museum


>




 Display Case #5 Audio Description "Bugbook Computer Museum"




Amateur Radio Station N4USA










   Amateur Radio Station - -Audio description -N4USA in back part of museum




Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum
Case #6 Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum











 Display Case #6 Audio Description "Bugbook Computer Museum"





Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum
Display Case 7 Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum















  Display Case #7 Audio Description "Bugbook Computer Museum"




Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum
Case #8 Bugbook Computer Museum











Display Case #8 Audio Description "Bugbook Computer Museum"

Display Case #9 Audio Description "Bugbook Computer Museum"




Computer Museum
Case #10 Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum










Display Case #10 Audio Description "Bugbook Computer Museum"



computer Museum
Case #11 Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum








 Display Case #11 Audio Description "Bugbook Computer Museum"



Computer museum
Case #12 Bugook Historical Microcomputer Museum











Display Case #12 Audio Description "Bugbook Computer Museum"


david Larsen KK4WW
Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum 









Audio introduction to the "Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum"



Chantilly Farm
Chantilly Farm Office in Village Green 3 & 4










Audio Introduction to our "Chantilly Farm Office" here in the Village Green.
Jason Gallimore is our "Event and Festival Planner and Promotions Manager"




Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum
Display #13 Bugbook Computer Museum











Display Case #13 Audio Description "Bugbook Computer Museum"




Display Case #14 Audio Discription "Bugbook Computer Museum"



 Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum
Display 15 Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum










 Display Case #15 Audio Discription "Bugbook Computer Museum"




 Bugbook Historical Micrcomputer Museum
Display 16 Bugbook Historical Micrcomputer Museum












Display Case #16 Audio Discription "Bugbook Computer Museum"




ASR 33 Teletype
ASR 33 Teletype












ASR 33 Teletype Audio Description "Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum'







"Foundation for Amateur International Radio Service" (FAIRS) in the Bugbook Computer Museum.  The Curators of the museum also are Directors of FAIRS.






"Foundation For Amateur International Radio Service" Audio for banner and radio
Station N4USA in the "Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum"




bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum
Datapoint 2200 terminal 


The Datapoint 2200 terminal - was an 8 bit programmable computer that came to market in 1971 --- way before Apple, IBM or Microsoft.








Datapoint 2200 terminal - audio description of the terminal/ computer in the "Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum'




Apple 1 Computer
Apple 1 computer

We have several original Apple 1 computers in our museum however for security reasons we don't feel comfortable displaying the originals.
This Apple 1 on display is a clone made for our museum by Brandon Cholodenko. It is a beautiful example of the an original Apple 1 and is an operational computer.






Apple 1 computer display in the "Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum'


David Larsen Blog Author
"by David Larsen"  Chantilly Farm owner, Computer Historian, and amateur radio operator -KK4WW   & N4USA . Now that my large historical collection of  microcomputers has been moved to the "Computer Museum of America"  I work out of one of the Tiny Homes at Chantilly Farm. A great place to work if you like the to be out in nature. I am 81 and ready to sell Chantilly Farm - I have a few more  projects I would like to do - if you have an interest to know more give me a call. 540 392 2392