Saturday, May 23, 2020

Computer Collector and Historians Resource Hub

Computer History Resource Sites 

one the Apple-1 computers
as a part of my collection.
See Video about my 4 Apple-1 computers.
I have listed "Computer Collector and Historical Information"  collected and used during the past 12 years used in producing Videos and Writing Blog post. I have been involved with digital computers for the past 63 years. It all started with my attending a training class at Remington Rand Computer Corporation in St. Paul Minnesota in 1957.  Teaching "Electronic Instrumentation and Automation" for 33 years at Virginia Tech and collecting computers for more than 45 years . You will find more than 200 web sites in the links below.  I hope you find this information useful - have fun.

Pioneers - Microcomputer & PC Revolution          Computer History - Web sites & Blog's

Computer Books for Collectors                             Dave's 200 Computer Blog Postings 

My entire computer collection is now located at "The Computer Museum of America" in Roswell, Georgia. 

Bug Logo for my
 Bugbooks and Museum

David Larsen
 Blog Author

"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, May 2, 2020

Geocaching - Outdoor sport you can do alone.


A Sport you do outdoors.
You can be a team of one.

Chantilly Farm Floyd Virginia  - has a Geo-Cache ready for your hunt. 

This is a sport just made for a time  like this when we can not gather in large crowds and need to keep a social distance.  Our Cache is named "Tilly's Trace" after a wild Bob White Quail who became a friend of our venue and for several years would follow our staff outside like a good buddy.

There are about 500,000 locations in the US - one will be near you - some in exotic places.

There are 11  within 10 miles of Chantilly Farm. This is a sport that may be available  in your neighborhood.

What is Geocaching:
Wikipedia: Geocaching is an outdoor recreational activity, in which participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or mobile device and other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers, called "geocaches" or "caches", at specific locations marked by coordinates all over the world.[2]
A typical cache is a small waterproof container containing a logbook and sometimes a pen or pencil. The geocacher signs the log with their established code name and dates it, in order to prove that they found the cache. After signing the log, the cache must be placed back exactly where the person found it.

How to get started:

1. Go to and sign up by loading the official geocaching app.There you will find all you need to get started and be a GeoCache-hunter.

2. You need a GPS to find your Cache.  Most of you will want to use your smart phone.The geocaching app has a GPS app built in and it should do just fine. I tried groundspeak and it seemed to be easy to use. 
3. To find our Geocahe just search cache location Chantilly Farm Floyd Virginia

A brand new Southwest VA geocaching adventure at Chantilly Farm you can embark on! Find the cache located on the farm and write your name in the log book! We hope you have fun and good luck searching! This cache is in the heart of Southwest VA, surrounded by the stunning nature that makes this region so beautiful. Walk down this beautiful bird-watching trail and enjoy the sights and sounds of the outdoors! This trail is the home of Tilly, a beautiful and rare grouse that can be seen and heard while enjoying this short nature walk. This is a fairly easy cache to find with lots of great views, so have fun and enjoy! Note: This cache IS on private property, but geocachers have permission to be present. Have fun and good luck

                                        Video of the Geocache at Chantilly Farm
TIlly's Trace

David Larsen
 Blog Author

"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, April 18, 2020

Tiny house - Shipping Container Office and Commerce building

Shipping Container tiny Office Building
Roseau, Dominica the "Nature Island of the Caribbean"

Click on photo to enlarge
Gaynell Larsen ham radio
operator J79WWW
with good coffee.
During our "Ham Radio Mission" to Dominica we visited a very interesting application of using Shipping Containers to make a small commercial building  in the capital Roseau. The design and construction was really excellent. It looked a little out of place along the old buildings on main street. It has a great little coffee shop in one corner. The coffee was good and the price very reasonable.

The  coffee shop is tucked into about 1/3 of a 20 foot container at ground level. The building is constructed from 3 containers.

The interior of the small coffee
shop in the right side of  lower
side of shipping container
Coffee shop menu

The interior of the shop is small but well equipped.  The shop also is a wine shop so you have lots of choices.

The menu is in Caribbean $.  About  40 cents in US currency. You can get in town delivery for about 80 cents US.

Small office and retail space building
made from 3 Shipping Containers
in Roseau, Dominica.

You can see here a clever idea - the top container extends over the coffee shop and provides the roof area. A small garden and seating area is built in front of the coffee shop.

The other sections of the are small rental office spaces and a small conference room. It looked like about 6  offices were available and all done very nicely with A/C.  You do not need heat on this beautiful Caribbean Island.

Small office and retail space building
made from 3 Shipping Containers
in Roseau, Dominica.

Looking back at the coffee shop where you can see the top container being used as roof for front of the shop.

The railing you see over the container is where a small outdoor seating area was made with a roof overhead to be used by the tenants and their guests.

Small office and retail space building
made from 3 Shipping Containers
in Roseau, Dominica.

The deck and seating area described with the photo above.  It is nice with room for a dozen or so people. This  also provides the access for the 3 offices on this level.

Small office and retail space building
made from 3 Shipping Containers
in Roseau, Dominica.

Looking off the back side of the deck we can see the other offices in level one and two.

Small office and retail space building
made from 3 Shipping Containers
in Roseau, Dominica.

I could not actually get in the offices but took this photo through the window of the door  and you can see it is very attractive.

One of the main streets in
downtown Roseau ,
Dominica - The Container
building is just to the RT of
this photo.
The whole country of Dominica is small 15x30 miles in size with a population of about 65,000.  The capital Roseau has 15,000 people.

Look carefully and you will see a typical Dominica tiny house just over the roof of the while auto. The streets are very narrow and with autos parked on both sides there is barely room for one car to drive down the street. Look closely and you will see the ocean at the end of the street.

The island is still recovering from hurricane Maria in 2017.

We have visited the island 32 times in the past 23 years.  Our purpose has been to help with Disaster preparedness communications.
See Blog "CLICK"

Video of Downtown Roseau "CLICK"

Cobblestone  walkway
in place for  hundreds
of years in Dominica.

The island is a mix of old and new buildings. The island historically over the past 300 or so years was dominated back and forth by the French and  British.  Most recently it was a a British Colony and the dominate language is English.

In this photo you can see some of the cobblestone sidewalk that has been in place for hundreds of years.

Port Roseau in Dominica.
Dominica is the nature island of the Caribbean and has many beautiful water falls, hiking trails, hot sulfur spring bath pools & great Caribbean food - my favorite food!

You can see in the photo a cruse ship in port at Roseau. The ships  make a 9 hour day stop, however, they are an important source of income for the island folks.

David Larsen
 Blog Author

"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

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Amateur Radio SOTA - Frontier-women YO6EVA conquers Summits

Amateur Radio YL Acitivties 
YO6EVA - Eva Kelemen Gajdo 
YL SOTA operations

Summits On The Air
Heather Holland ZS6YE sent me a very interesting a copy of the "yl.beam #81 April 2020" a few days ago.It had a very fascinating  story about a  YL doing SOTA "Summits on the Air" activity.  It was interesting to me because I have had an  interest in SOTA and my wife is an active YL ham  - Gaynell Larsen KK4WWW. This is just a part of the full newletter - Thank you Heather ZS6YE

I think you will agree with me the Story of YO6EVA and her SOTA work is facinating.  DAVID KK4WW - ENJOY THE READ 
If you are not familiar with "Summits on the Air" SOTO you may find a new part of the ham hobby you will want join.


Frontier-women conquers Summits
Women usually go to the hairdresser, go shopping, and usually do "feminine" things when they have time off. Éva Gajdó, a teacher of computer science at Tivadar Puskás Vocational High School, who teaches programming on CNC (computer-controlled) machines, does not like this. She climbs mountains. And up there on the summit, she transmits radio signals. It may seem a strange combination  at first, but it is recognised as a sport.  Established for less than a decade and a half, it is already gaining in popularity and Éva Gajdó has accomplished something very big in this sport in a short time. Her success is the envy of her fellow men, which as she is a Szekler, does not often happen. (The Székelys derive their name from a Hungarian expression meaning "frontier guards".)

 Éva Gajdó has been roaming the mountains since she was a child. She became a true lover of climbing when one of her teachers took her on an expedition. Then life sank into the ordinary course of events: she got married, the children came and there was little opportunity to conquer the peaks.
 Several years ago however, talking about childhood dreams with a group of friends, Eve recalled that when she was sixteen, she was determined to climb Mont Blanc. But it seemed it would  remain just a dream.  Then, a few days later, a friend told her that the Szeklers were hiring amateur climbers and heading to Mont Blanc.
"I didn't think, I called Tulit Sombor, and  applied," says Eve.
Two months of tough training was unsurpringingly not enough to qualify for the team. She also found her gear was unsuitable. She  hiked in velvet pants and her ancient boots caused problems; the two months were agonizing. But Sombor reassured her that she  had all the skills and with a little training, could climb Mont Blanc.  It became a passion and she has not missed a weekend in five years and  even celebrated New Year's Eve on top of a mountain.
She  applied for another expedition, but unfortunately before her departure she sprained an ankle. She was able to climb this year, but couldn't use the  radio.
In order to understand why Eve should have been broadcasting radio signals from the highest peak in the Alps and what activation means we need to introduce the sport called SOTA.
The acronym comes from 'Summits on the Air', this radio competition was launched in 2002 by radio amateurs who combined there passion with mountaineering.
The competition consists of climbing the designated peaks - at least 150 meters above its surroundings - by hiking, and from the 'summit' the hiker must establish at least four radio links with other radio amateurs around the world (meaning activation).
The peaks  score between 1 and 10 according to their height and can be activated once per year. The map provided by NASA to radio-operators in Romania has about two hundred SOTA peaks, of which 250-300 can be climbed under normal conditions, ie on a more or less well-marked path. A walkie-talkie can achieve the necessary score if it is successfully activated, that is, it has been climbed and  a minimum of four mandatory contacts made. After earning a thousand points, the title 'Mountain Goat'  and trophy will be awarded to the competitor. Achieving a thousand points usually takes several years to complete. Eva did a special job here too.
Eve met a man in Jezer (Bosnia and Herzegovina)  on a hike,  while trying to establish a radio connection at the summit. He was interested in the subject, because there is a radio club at Puskás Tivadar Vocational School, Budapest, and he was wondering how to create something new and interesting for the students.  At that time, he had no plans to start radioing himself, or that hiking would become a competitive climb. He asked a teacher at Transilvania University in Brasov, Csaba-Zoltán Kertész, if he  would come and  introduce SOTA to the children.
Since January last year, Csaba has gone to St. George every Tuesday, trying to infect students with the radio virus. Because amateur-radio amateur is well-suited to the younger generation, SOTA is becoming more and more popular, including foxhunting, but knowing the basics of radio is essential.
Eve had no childhood dream of becoming a radio amateur but her dedication to teaching led her there. Csaba Kertész enthusiastic for  the Tuesday afternoon classes included taking the students on several trips, where they could experience "live" what  walking radio was about.
 Eva thought that if Csaba couldn't come for some reason, it would be a good idea if someone could take care of the children. But to do that she needed a radio license.
- You have to take a very tough exam: electronics, knowledge of frequencies, first aid. You have to learn the phonetic alphabet that is used in radio,  to know what phrases can be heard and what are not, so there are ethical rules as well. She passed and received her radio callsign: YO6EVA.
(YO = Romania ID, 6 represents the area, and EVA unique, individual)
I'll do it in a year
- As I had passed my exam, I went with Csaba to a SOTA marathon. It was staged in the Bihari Mountains, Romania, and was worth exactly one thousand (1000) points for someone who had done it for six or seven years. I told Csaba, as I go to the mountains, I could earn a thousand points in a year.
In the beginning it was really hard because I didn't know anything about radio, I didn't have any equipment, I borrowed a walkie-talkie, which had only 300 meters range I went up the mountain and couldn't activate it.  I persuaded Csaba to come with me to collect points,  but the points accumulated very slowly. Finally, I bought a serious radio, and then the "party" started.
- Has a thousand points been reached in one year?
- Not easily, but it was.  I went to Nagykő (Transylvania, Romania) alone and for the first time spoke on the radio and I was so scared I switched it off. There was bad weather at Nagyhagymás, I went up four times, but never activated it; in minus ten (-10) degrees activating radio was not a lot of fun. Disappointed I told Csaba it wouldn't work for me, but with the support of friends, somehow I hung on and continued. The biggest challenge was to get to the summits that I would not have gone to otherwise, I had to cut through a sign or path like in the jungle. Finally a thousand points were reached, 131 different peaks in a year.
- 131 peaks in a year, one average every three days.
- Most were the four eight-point peaks in a single day, 40 kilometers of walking at 3500 meters.
What's next?
With her unique performance, Eve has earned the envy of many of  the male walkie-talkie operators,  She reached a thousand points in May - since then, the number of activations in Romania has increased, with another SOTA marathon being organized by December 1,  interest in the sport has revived..
Although Eve has achieved what she set herself to do, she does not intend to stop walking but not as intense as before. Also  because all of the closest peaks have been  activated and  new ones are usually a two-day hike away - She would like to climb the highest peaks in Europe, but she would need to take another license before she could broadcast abroad.
Eve talks enthusiastically about everything, but when it comes to the mountains, her eyes shine the most.  What does mountain climbing, mean to her?
- Its an  obsession with me, an addiction. The mountain has given me so much, I try to pass that on to the students. Everything revolves around the mountain, I don't go to the beautician or to the shops, and my daughter says you have seven pairs of hiking pants, but you just don't have anything to go to school. SOTA has exposed a whole new side of climbing and fox hunting.
Author: Péter Váry O.    Publication date: 2018-12-29
Háromszék (Romanian publication in Hungarian)  Saturday, December 29, 2018, Report
Szekler at the summit 

                                               * * * * * * * *
The YO SOTA Marathon is a mountain hiking and amateur radio event that takes place every year in the beautiful Carpathian mountains of Romania, being supported by the “Romania’s Radioclub” Association (ARR). The purpose is to operate radio equipment from mountain tops in the Summits On The Air award scheme, and is open to anyone interested in amateur radio. It lasts about a week (during August) and presents the chance to gather a large number of points in the award scheme.

 1st  YL Mountain Goat in Romania.
YO6EVA Eva Kelemen Gajdo reached a thousand points in May 2018 becoming the first YL Mountain Goat in Romania. An admirable achievement, showing great dedication and a nice example to follow. What is truly amazing, that she achieved this goal in just under a year after obtaining her HAM license, learning all about  what it takes to operate a radio while hiking  around the summits of Romania, whatever the conditions or difficulties.  Hail, the rain, bad propagation could not deter her in achieving her target.      May '18

Aconcagua (LUM/PH-001)
Summits on the Air (SOTA) Background Information:
It is a fun and challenging activity for Radio Amateurs and shortwave listeners that encourages portable operation in mountainous areas. SOTA has been designed to make participation possible for everyone – you don’t have to be a mountaineer! There are awards for activators (those who hike to the summits) and chasers (those who operate from home, a local hilltop, or another summit). There are no fees and you can participate on your own schedule.  More info: 

Romanian yl  Éva YO6EVA active on Argentina Mountain
yl from Romania - YO6EVA Éva Gajdo and Csaba YO6PIB with colleagues from Sota Mendoza, Argentina, activated SOTA (LUM/PC-004) Jan. 2020
Éva Gajdó  YO6EVA and  Csaba-Zoltán Kertész YO6PIB  came to climb and activate Aconcagua during the first two weeks of January 2020.  Aconcagua (LUM/PH-001) is the highest summit in the SOTA programme, altitude.6960m.  However they could not reach the summit due to very high winds. They began  their descent as per schedule feeling very disappointed, especially regarding the Mendoza radioclub friends who had supported the expedition, prepared to 'chase' (on air) and even to make 'summit-to-summit' contacts. They made 2 attemps and spent 3 nights at over 6000m.
On their arrival back in Mendoza,  Eva and Csabone had one day left before catching their plane home to Romania. Tthe  Argentina SOTA group was also disappointed and it was decided to activate another summit where they could communicate in VHF and HF as originally planned.
 The route was chosen so that  Eva and Csaba could enjoy seeing animals from the local Villavicencio reserve, mostly guanacos.Tthe group was also lucky enough to see several condors flying over the activated peak in the Paramillos area.
The group were surprised by the number of active  stations that made contact. Many operators were keen to communicate their enthusiasm at contacting the visitors and to wish them a safe journey back to Romania. Unfortunately propagation conditions for HF were not good, although some contacts were achieved.
The Argentinas were happy that Eva and Csaba had managed to activate an Argentine summit and although it was not Aconcagua, that they had enjoyed the local hositality of Mendoza.
  LUM/PC-004, Paramillos  3356m This peak  is not well known and does not have a name,  near Termas Villavicencio, Mendoza (Argentina)      Value 8 SOTA  points,YouTube by LU1MAW Alejandro Ciro Weber
See Éva Gajdó Facebook: Album Acongaua 6700 méteren

"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, 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
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

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