I love stories of first real work experiences. We all start our jobs with book learning and abstract theories only to run slam into the real world. My first concerned a bandsaw with a spring loaded tensioner. Every time I broke a blade, the spring unloaded with a loud bang and was quickly followed by catcalls and ridicule from all of my new coworkers. Finally a veteran tool & die maker told me the problem was the blade welder on that particular saw and that I needed to weld the blades on another machine. But I was not told until I was properly humbled. Sort of an initiation I guess.
In 1985, when Cahners Publishing Company, then the owner of Design News, moved into a new building the staff had a difficult time regulating the temperature. The HVAC people had mixed up the thermostats so the editorial groups regulated the temperature on the executive side of the building and vice versa. The execs got cooler and thus turned up the heat on the editors (literally), who then adjusted their thermostat to further cool the execs. The initial solution was to place locked plastic enclosures around the thermostats, but the editors--many of whom were engineers--quickly subverted the "lock out" and the cycle repeated itself until someone got the HVAC guys in to check out the system. They uncrossed the controls.
Some time back I checked into a motel while on a road trip. The weather was mild, but the room became very warm after a few hours. I went to the air conditioning control and turned on the cooling. The room became warmer. The more I turned down the temperature the warmer the room became.
I called the desk and asked for another room. When the night manager came to help me move rooms he explained that they had been having similar problems since the air conditioning system was upgraded a few weeks earlier. The wiring for some of the room controls had interchanged so that my control was setting the temperature for another room and visa versa. Someone checked into the other room after I arrived and felt that the room was cool, so turned on the heat in my room. I started getting warm, so I turned on the cooling in the other room. One thing led toanother, and I was roasting while the other person was freezing!
Maybe this would be worth a case by itself, but since it is similar in nature, I add it here.
Today I discovered the hard way that you can reverse a split capacitor motor by forcing it to turn bbackwards while the motor is running. If the connected equipment can overpower and stall the motor and cause it to turn backwards it will happily reverse direction and continue running in reverse until the next time the power is turned off and back on. I had seen this before (not knowing exactly what i was seeing) on larger motors of several Hp with failing capacitors driving pumps against back pressure, but this present incident is with nearly a new fractional Hp motor. Thanks to the folks at Brother tech support for educating me on this.
This incident sounds a lot like the one I had contributed where one of three pumps was running without power. There was a bad check valve and the other two were driving it backwards. In the case of the Reversed Power Switches also, the one blower was driving the other backwards. Just because a motor is spinning does not mean there is power on it.
A middle school team from Rochester, Mich., has again nabbed the grand prize in the annual international Future City Competition, which drew students from 37 regions of the United States, as well as from England and China.
The word “smart” is becoming the dumbest word around. It has been applied to almost every device and system in our homes. In addition to smartphones and smart meters, we now hear about smart clothing and smart shoes, smart lights, smart homes, smart buildings, and every trendy city today has its smart city project. Just because it has a computer inside and is connected to the Web, does not mean it is smart.
Are you being paid enough? Do you want a better job? According to a recent survey Manpower released just before Engineers Week, employers and engineers don't see eye-to-eye about the state of US engineers' skills and experience.
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