Hello and welcome to my Blog, my name is Chris, a bus driver for First Mendip based in Wells, Somerset. Married to Fiona, we live in Midsomer Norton near Bath, with Harvey the dog and Boots the cat. My main hobby is Amateur Radio and I hold the call sign G4KVI. I am the repeater keeper for GB3UB and MB7UB. I have a fascination for the weather and all things to do with nature and science. I am a biker and currently ride a Honda CBfF600. As a Christian I worship, when shifts allow at St. Nicholas Church in Radstock. These are my observations on my life, both at work and at home.

26 Jan 2014

Twitter to Facebook problems

I have for a while sent my Weather data to Twitter which then is sent to Facebook. I have recently figured out how to improve that data including solar radiation and length of day calculations. However since then the data will not show on Facebook. If you want a twice daily snapshot of local conditions you can view them
at https://twitter.com/chrisandfiona.

20 Jan 2014

System restored

Slight problem last week in that the hard drive on the Dell Latitude 620 that runs the weather and radio software, failed. I think this is only the second hard drive I have had fail.I took the opportunity to upgrade from the 80G that was fitted to a 320G. I did look at 500 and 1TB ones but on reading the reviews and talking to people it appears they have two platters and therefore are slightly less reliable and plus the fact 320G is far big enough for me. Replacing the hard drive was VERY easy taking about 5 mins (3 screws) However, I now had the task of reloading the software. Fortunately the Dell came with a complete version of WinXP SP2 so that saved a lot of problems. Loading this took about 3 hours. I then had a major problem getting the internal Wi-Fi to work.I had a Wi-Fi dongle which I used to get Internet access and after a lot of reading turns out that SP2 is not compatible with WPA2 which my router was set to. Setting it back to WPA solved the problem temporarily and enabled me to upgrade to SP3. The Wi-Fi then burst into life! I then had to load all the radio and weather software back on such as Cumulus, Uiview. This was easy but took some time to get the settings back fortunately I had taken screen shots which made things a little easier. I am still getting updates from both Dell and Microsoft but as the last one had 151 items hopefully things will slow down. Most things should be back working such as the weather data and Uiview, just a couple of location issues which are causing some problems. However, I am very pleased with my efforts, although I don't think I will be applying for any IT jobs!

10 Jan 2014

2m SSB

After an absence of about 20 years I now have an aerial up for 2m ssb. The last entry for SSB (J3E) was in 1993!! The location here is not that good for VHF being fairly low down and surrounded by hills. Any way the 9el Tonna is up and pointing slightly north of east so we will see what we can hear.

1 Jan 2014

And we think we have it bad.

This was on one of my user groups.

The WA8LMF VHF-HF-ISS Satgate APRS igate, UI-webserver and EchoLink node was
off-line, after an electric power outage caused by the massive ice storm that
hit the US Midwest on the night of Saturday 21 December. Tens of thousands of
trees in the area collapsed under the weight of up to a half-inch of ice on
every branch. For the first 4 or 5 days, one would randomly heard a sound like
a gunshot and then a small explosion, as another large branch would break off a
tall tree and crash to the ground. Even though I had massive battery backup for
the hamshack, the collapsing trees took out the Comcast cable line cutting off
my Internet connection, along with the AC power. The power was out for 9 days
here in the East Lansing, Michigan area with nighttime temperatures going as
low as 0 F (-17 C).

Consumers Energy, the utility that serves most of the lower peninsula of
Michigan, had 200,000 accounts without power in the days immediately after the
storm. They brought in over 1,000 workers from neighboring states and as far
away as Missouri on a mutual-aid response for the recovery effort. My power
was finally restored yesterday (Monday 30 December).

The WA8LMF APRS igate and webserver is now back on line and fully functional at

<http://wa8lmf.net/map> .

My weather data