Wonderful Working Weather

2010-11-13 15:49:41.000 – Mike Finnegan,  IT Observer

Glaze Ice at Sunset

What a last couple of days we have had here on the summit. Clouds have been few, winds have been low, and visibility has been endless. This gave me and Pete the opportunity yesterday to hike down to Lakes of the Clouds and finally fix the instrumentation down there. The hike down required the use of basic traction devices – not full on crampons, but something more akin to Stabilicers. The glaze ice remaining on the mountain from Tuesday’s storm sounded like shattering glass as we tromped on it over the rocks. It was a very sociable hike as we met many folks hiking up. Some wanted us to take pictures of them, one began a conversation about what will happen in 2012, and we even were asked if the building was open at the summit. In case this point hasn’t been driven home in a number of methods, no, the building is not open. Pack it in, pack it out equates to hike up, hike down.

Once at Lakes, Pete and I set to figuring out what was wrong with the data logger. We had everything we could possibly need – a new logger, several straight-through and cross-over cables, a laptop with necessary cords, a radio, lunch, and a beautiful day. The radio had worked fine, so power was no issue. The logger turned on and off at appropriate times, so the program was fine. It just wasn’t sending data. We rewired the power so we could work on it given it was normally off at the time, put in a new crossover cable, and low and behold, it worked! It turns out the crossover cable I had brought down my last shift was bad – it now lives in the trash. Last time I was down, I had set it back up as it initially had been, so that is a bit perplexing as to why it didn’t work. It could be that it didn’t have enough time to establish a connection before the program powered it down. Our second task was to get one of our temperatures and humidity probes figured out. It had been reporting data, but bad data (-90% humidity and equally erroneous temperatures). As it was getting late, our initial plan was to bring the entire unit back to the summit and test it there. That way, if it tested fine, we could narrow it down to the logger connections, otherwise we could deal with the problem on the summit in a heated building. In taking the probe down, I realized the one end had been inserted wrong, thus the male and female pins didn’t line up. Like many electrical outlets, the probe was designed to only be inserted one way and does not fit otherwise. Because of this, it would make sense that the receiving portion functioned in the same way – if it goes in, it is correct and lined up. This, however, was not the case for the receiving side. After a quick 180, everything was matching, we logged in one more time to the logger, and wouldn’t ya know it, the data was good. So, all is well in the IT field of things for the time being, which is a nice feeling, and no new equipment was needed to solve the problems, which is always good! A very pleasant hike back up commenced where we found the sun had softened the snow to not require traction. Arriving at the summit, we worked a bit with Ken to run some wires for the project Erica mentioned in yesterday’s comment and then took time to watch the sunset, which even graced us with a nice sun pillar, the first of those I have seen in many months.

The night was just as magnificent with millions of stars, absolute silence, and a moon that shown a brilliant red color through the few clouds present on the distant horizon. All the while, I walked around the summit in a t-shirt. If you are reading this and live in the northeast, I hope you too are taking advantage of this wonderful weather.


Mike Finnegan,  IT Observer

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