ARRL East Bay Section

Alan Weisman (W5ALW) – Silent Key

Posted by k6jeb on March 12th, 2008

Alan Weisman (W5ALW)

“The inventor of the ‘T’ – top”

Alan Weisman, W5ALW, died on March 1, at age 70. He was a creative, accomplished inventor and the community servant. Among his inventions, Weisman was known for patenting the ‘T’- top found on American sports cars such as the Corvette. After college, Weisman was employed by the automobile manufacturer Saab before experiencing a work related accident. The following years of physical therapy, Weisman and his wife made their home in Richmond California where he undertook entrepreneurial ventures before establishing a second home in Tularosa, New Mexico near the White Sands Missile Range. At various times, he worked on projects for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), designed and built one of the earliest flight simulators for the Bushnell Corporation, constructed working robots for use in Hollywood films, developed self-assembly methods for ‘growing’ tools, designed devices for preventing carpal tunnel syndrome, and most recently, worked on building a new type of hybrid engine. Weisman was involved in various community activities including serving on the Marin Amateur Radio Society board, acting as a Volunteer Examiner for amateur radio, and serving as a City of Richmond Commissioner as part of the sister city program with Shimada, Japan.

Weisman was an avid automotive hobbyist, whose accomplishments included building an electric motorcycle that eventually set a world land speed record for that type of vehicle. Al also enjoyed restoring classic cars. Weisman is survived by his wife, Sherry Hines, his brothers Howard Weisman and Bruce Weisman, three nephews and niece, and for grand nieces and grandnephews. An outgrowth of his work with NASA, Weisman’s dream was to have his ashes flown into space.

Randy Jenkins, KA6BQF

Vice President, VE Liason & Public Service Coordinator
Marin Amateur Radio Society