The Secret Second Life of Hams

Just when you think you know a fellow ham, after hanging out together for a couple years over radios, nets, propagation and antenna chatter, lunches and breakfasts at Denny’s, or Village Inn, you find out that they have a second secret life as a weatherman. (You know who you are, NWF! =)

This is particularly shocking since this is the same ham who routinely razzes me about being a budding meteorologist over my investigations of how the weather conditions, storms, and droughts affect propagation, or the lack of it. Yet never a peep about his own weather tracking project did I hear!

In fact it took a total teardown and rebuild of his home base amateur radio shack to bring this secret life out of the shadows!

After he finally got himself back on the air, I guess he had a little creative fix-it juice remaining, so he got himself a new piece of “kit” to replace his old one.

The Speed of Creativity Accelerated

Modern life can be so interesting, with new things being invented, and springing up around us at hypersonic speed while we aren’t looking. I have this experience over and over again with my programming adventures, and technology generally.

I’ll be busy just working, creating, maintaining projects of my own, and turn around to find the system equivalent of New Rome built while my back was turned.

“When did all this happen??!” I’ll exclaim as I put on my running shoes to try to catch up.

In my friend’s case, I’ve been ambushed with the sudden revelation that there is a whole network of ordinary people generating “ambient” weather data all over the world using “PWS” or Personal Weather Stations on porches and patios all over the place.

I had just assumed most of that data came from airports, courthouses, bus stations, and other public facilities, but it seems that a significant portion of that data is crowd sourced!

Tracking Santa =)

A few links to track the local conditions of the “secret weatherman”… just think of this as Santa’s Sleigh Radar 😉