My wife's got an LED alarm clock / radio / cassette player combination by her side of the bed. We replaced our washer and dryer with front loaders. Whenever we run the washer, the clock gains time. I figure that the variable-frequency or DC drive in the new washer must be putting out spikes onto the line, which the clock is counting in addition to the real zero crossings of the power line. I've tried looping the line cord through a ferrite bead salvaged from an old computer cord, but it didn't fix the issue. I haven't tried an external line filter yet. The vulnerability is in the clock, but it took 30 years to become evident.
I strongly agree the "throw-it-away' mentality in the USA is a disgusting Waste Management thrill. Kids in school should not have to learn student council politics. They should learn how to re-use, re-task and recycle. The 'modern family' and reality shows are promoting the idea that the correct response to the failed alarm clock would be to add the functionality of time flies -into the backyard. It is amazing that the production engineering for that clock didn't realize that kapton or some kind of shield for the ribbon cable was required. Maybe it was simply a disposable clock. I try and resist the notion that designers and production simply build for cheap and no thought. But sometimes it appears they are building things that have a programmed death rate. Nothing lasts forever but its a sad economy that builds things on one side of the planet only to have them shipped to the other side, fail and be buried here shortly after arrival. Yes kia, hyundai and the like I'm talking at you. Those things ought to come with a reclamation fee.
Habib, Thanks for the idea. I had not thought about using an old CRT monitor as an audio scope. What a great inspiration. And why would anybody with the knowledge of how to do that be in a position to be in any danger form the high voltage? Some people just live chained to all of their dumb fears.
Oh, and I took my neighbors space heater. In my defense, he's a good friend and he told me it still worked it was just loud. A little DN TLC later and it was quiet as a mouse, been using it for years. But that's it! I swear.
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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