Sunday, March 6, 2016

Train Wreck

Welcome to Train Wreck Week here at OPOD. We will be looking at pictures of things that have gone wrong. We start with this picture from Paris. One can not help but wonder what the train was doing on the second floor of a building, but I am assuming ground level is higher on the other side of the building. The accident occurred because the train was brought into the station too fast, and then the brakes failed. In any event, this certainly qualifies as "Something Went Wrong"


Most of you know that I teach High School and have some really incredible students. If you have kept up with them, they design and build sophisticated instrument packages, and send them to space on carefully designed High Altitude Balloon flights. They are dubbed the Space Cowboys and have done some incredible things. It started out as a joke one day, that they wanted an ambulance to reconfigure into their chase vehicle. They wanted to instrument the ambulance with every imaginable piece of high tech gear. Well, what started out as a childish dream became a reality last week as the kids were presented with their own Ambulance. They have dubbed the vehicle the HAMbulance as it will have every imaginable piece of HAM equipment inside. Below is the picture where the students are being given the keys to the new Chase Vehicle.

It is great to work with kids who not just dream big, but then make it happen!


  1. That's awesome. And THEY are awesome. But they have terrific leadership, so it's no surprise.

  2. There you go sir, touching the future! Wishing blue skies and tailwinds to the Space Cowboys!

  3. Great update on your class PJM! About the train wreck, near home we have this museum for all things steam, they have all sort of steam machines, original and replicas, quite a few actually working.

    The facade of the building, which you cannot miss from the road, is a recreation of the picture you show here, including steam coming out of the engine and the sound of the horn every now and then. You can see what it looks like here:

    As you get into town there are some billboards warning "careful, train accident ahead, slow down" :)

  4. Congratulations to your students. That is a nice addition to your inventory. As a long time ham radio operator, you are giving them a wonderful start into the hobby, and hopefully good technical career.

    In addition, in case you aren't aware, ARRL has a number of scholarships available for ham radio operators going off to university. If they haven't done so, they should be looking at these opportunities.

    Best regards from the Middle East.

  5. Double delights, here. The train wreck photo is fascinating, and the kids are a sign of hope for the future. Best wishes to them, and bravo to you, for inspiring them to such accomplishment.