"However, as with any software, it can also be misused by those with less legitimate intentions."
As can authority.
297 posts • joined 6 Jan 2016
We were installing a new three meter dish on the roof and had several outages that week. Chatting over a few pints of ‘brain lube’ and including a cohort that was familiar with aviation electronics got me on the trail. Then asked the boss to make inquiries at the local general aviation airfield.
Reposted due to relevance...
I tried for several weeks to diagnose an intermittent interruption in a Scientific Atlanta digital satellite receiver. Usually only on Fridays before lunch, but occasionally randomly throughout the week. Worked out to be two causes. First was the guy with a spark transmitter cleverly disguised as a Weedeater brand string trimmer. It generated every frequency from DC to Light and would swamp the LNA on the dish antenna. Had the disk jockey on duty flag the guy down just before the top of the hour to give him a ten minute break, so we could get through the top-of-hour newscast. The second cause (random throughout the week) was a private plane at the local airport that just had a radar altimeter installed. When he would fly over, his radar's outgoing pulse would overload the LNA and knock a three second hole in the received audio.
First year Electrical Engineering lab class. Somebody (not me) discovered that charging a Sprague Orangedrop 0.01 µF capacitor to 200-300v and tossing it to a classmate would elicit a satisfying howl.
Forty years later, and I still avoid catching stuff tossed to me by surprise.
I recently ordered some new QSL cards (a postcard used to verify a Ham radio conversation) from a company about 300 miles from my home. The company shipped via FedEx SmartPost, a service that ships via FedEx to the local post office for delivery. FedEx sent them on a 3000+ mile odyssey that included six states, and took almost two weeks.
"Why do people cite mythbusters as if it's science rather than tv entertainment?"
Particularly bad in their later seasons. I like explosions as much as the next guy, but the careful experiment to boom ratio went way down.
As far as gaining access to a "secure" area, I just got the skinny intern to drop through the drop ceiling panel after shimmying over the wall. Justified use of an intern, since he'd somehow changed the code on the lock in the first place.
Being from the southern US, I never really gave this phrase much thought until a few weeks ago. That's when I saw my neighbor's three-legged Malinois (missing left front leg) run down a 30-35 mph bicyclist in front of our house.
Yes, I'm that guy that counts seconds while speeders traverse two utility poles. If I lived in town, I'd be yelling "Get off my lawn!"
Most contemporary safes have a 3/8 inch hole drilled into the lower right rear to pass a power cord through. My Heritage safe (6' x 3' x 2' interior) uses a 3 watt heater, and I've never had any condensation problems, even with a damp basement. The hole equalizes air pressure so you can open the door after barometric changes, too.
New owners operations manager essentially told me I wouldn't have a job in a couple of weeks, and that he'd make my life hell until then. His best buddy was taking my position, and I needed to go push-mow the six acre tower field in the meantime. I'd already been looking, and had a couple of possibilities, so I said goodbye with the anticipation of a short vacation while interviewing.
FNG (the New Guy, you guess what the F stands for) decided he was so happy with his new job that he hadn't shown up for yet, and that he'd celebrate with a bottle. Then hurricane Hugo hit. Old oak tree came down on the outer guy point, and snapped the 400 foot tower like a twig. FNG gets bagged for drunk driving before he got out of his home state. Never did make it to his new job.
I didn't quite see it, but I felt and heard the explosion of a flour mill (actually the grain elevator, but the mill disappeared when the elevator did) around three miles away. I hope no one allows that much dust build-up in their data center, but I've seen one that had to be close.
I love the smell of Latakia in the morning! I cleaved to the pipe as well in my early twenties as a backpacker (trail name - Freight Train. Guess why.) Works wonders repelling black flies and mosquitoes. Add more Latakia, and it'll repel most people, too.
I wonder if vape liquid scents attract black bears?
I was jangled awake dark and early one spring morning by my bedside telephone. The main transmitter was off the air, the backup was on, and oh yeah, the smoke alarm at the transmitter site is alarming. Hour drive to the site, but the backup stayed on-air for the whole trip, so the building's probably not burning down. No flash fire when I opened the building door, so that's good.
When I entered the transmitter building, my first thought was "bar-b-que!" That was the weirdest smelling melted transformer or vented capacitor I'd ever encountered. Smelled a hell of a lot better than a fried selenium rectifier stack.
Start diagnosis with the power amplifier (4CX15000A tube) power supply, so I drop to my knees (aah, those were the days) in front of the PA rack, and begin unscrewing the panel screws. I moved the panel off to the side, and there he was; a two foot long copperhead! I stood up like a ninja!
I didn't really need to worry. Cool night, warm 22 kilovolt transformer. He crawled on top of the transformer and bridged the output terminals. He wasn't going to move again without help. So I helped. Cleaned up the mess, ran fans to ventilate the building, and got the main back on-air. But I never did figure out where he got into the building.
I'd love to play like that, even unpaid. Unfortunately, due to the 1986 Electronic Communication Privacy Act, hobbyists aren't allowed to receive cellular frequencies. In the mid eighties, cellular companies lobbied Congress so they wouldn't have to scramble or digitize their, at that time, narrow FM signals. We're still stuck with it, as well as the Satellite Home Viewers Act, which did the same thing for satellite companies.
Personally, I think if their RF energy is striking me, I should be able to do anything I want with it.
In the late seventies, my southern US hometown installed a new traffic light system that featured a 1"x2"x3" box hanging with each set of lights. Way too small for an industrial camera at the time, but if you flashed a particular speed strobe at it, the traffic lights would cycle. I was in high school. Had a lot of fun with that.
I've noticed similar boxes and tubes on many traffic lights and assumed they performed a similar function.
Or you could drive a firetruck.
"Emitting a loud "crack!" they actually exploded into several plastic artefacts while sitting on my face as I was reading. I dunno, maybe I was looking through them too hard."
I had a freshly ground prescription lens do something similar. New wire-rimmed spectacles, just a couple of hours after picking them up, and I noticed a curved line emanating from a corner of the right lens. Just as I was removing them, POP!, and the right lens was in several pieces on my desk. LensCrafters technician told me the grinding lab probably forgot to stress relieve the lens, and pressure from being mounted in the rim drove the stresses past the point of self-disassembly.
"Of all tyrannies a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
- C.S. Lewis
We'd like to keep you around, regardless of On-Call.
And if you hear somebody dismiss Y2K as nothing, remind them it turned out that way because of the how the tech community prepared for it. Hell, I even kissed my wife on the New Year standing next to a running 300kw genset.
Merry Christmas to all, and have a happy and prosperous New Year!
"which storyline do you prefer for said joyride? the recent one from newish show The Orville or the classic Trek story which seemingly inspired it, For The World Is Hollow and I Have Touched The Sky?"
Or, looking from an external perspective, Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke.
Back in the late eighties, an associate gave me a device that looked like a large firecracker (TP or bog roll core sized) with a short tube and string taped to it. The official looking label stated "Ground Burst Simulator", but heck, it was only a firecracker.
After carrying it around in my briefcase for about two weeks, I finally got out to a firing range. "Hell yes, I wanna see it go off" the range master said. So I jerked the string as the instructions stated, and threw it about 50 feet. We ducked down behind a couple of concrete shooting benches until it started making a whistling noise. As we peeked over the concrete, the descending whistle stopped. Then it went off! We saw the shock wave! We also found a piece of gravel partly embedded in a railroad tie a dozen feet from the explosion.
I've seen flash-bangs set off, and they are dazzling, but I've never heard an explosion like the "Ground Burst Simulator." I later learned, from the aforementioned associate under threat of bodily harm, that it was supposed to simulate an artillery ground burst.
"a lovely spiral "rope" pattern embossed"
A guy I knew years ago had a similar mark diagonally across his chest from trying to use a retired "Gold Line" climbing rope to pull his dad's car out of an exceptionally large pothole formed from a minor flash flood. Warning: If water is running over the road, it also might be running under the road.
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