Weather Station Fun

This document was updated on Saturday, 2 April 2005.
Internal changes only; no change to content

In 1987-1988, I was working at the Heath Plant in St. Joseph, Michigan and writing a service manual for the ID-5001 Advanced Weather Computer.

The ID-5001 is a Z80-based unit that (along with its accessories), measures and displays a number of weather-related variables: Wind speed and direction, rainfall, indoor/outdoor temperature, barometric pressure, and time/date. The weather station would also issue warnings if there was a hazardous change in climate--such as a sudden temperature change or heavy fog. If you connected the unit to a computer through its serial port, you could record the data and manipulate it with custom programs (written by you or someone else).

Anyway, my job was to analyze the unit, talk to the engineers, and write a service manual for it. I was given access to an ID-5001 and the boom assembly which contained the outdoor sensors. To make the job easier to do, I mounted the boom assembly onto my coat rack.

Coworkers at Heath Company. Our Illustrator, Jennifer Louches, saw it and gave it life by adding a face and hands (the latter of which are hard to see). We added my jacket so his arms wouldn't look so boney.

A fellow tech writer, Mike Walter, saw the commotion and joined us to participate in the fun. I don't remember who took the picture. Someone in Photography that Jennifer knew.

Okay, this is us from left to right: Mike, Jennifer, our weather critter, and me.

Another shot of us mugging the camera. Here's another shot of us mugging the camera.

We added the wind direction indicator to make it look like an arrow had been shot through the head of our weather critter. He didn't seem to mind.

We spent most of that afternoon wasting Heath Company time. When we showed the pictures to my boss, Frank Kendrick, he smiled and asked if he could have copies.

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Copyright © 1998, 2003, 2005, William Albert Wilkinson. All rights reserved.