Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Accelerometers - Part 2

So, here I was in my abandoned spooky 1920's transformer house with real brass, and my 80's technology.  What was the greater horror?  The Technology!   The accelerometers were huge clockwork things that drifted like an old cheap watch, with connecting cables as huge as your arm.  The recorders were 8 bit tape cassette things, which were a total bitch.  The minimum trigger was as insensitive as Ricky G.!

I had a horrible time with this stuff, it had false triggers all the time, the tape recorders fouled, it was horribly sensitive to power fluctuations.  We did have a big regional earthquake, and it crapped out.  While this was going on, I installed another identical system on a remote dam.  In that case, the borehole accelerometer fizzed like a seltzer with the caustic grout water, but a few weeks later lighting put the whole thing out of its misery.  I did have this neato propane thermal generator.  I also put something in an active dam, but it got fried by the extreme power surges that one would expect near the active generators.

After a while, I got a headache thinking on how I would clean up this mess, when the old-old company decided to split up.  In the confusion, I ripped my name off the equipment and hid.  Ooops, Sorry!  My bad!

Later, I was involved in a huge plant system, using crap technology, but it was over my almost literally dead body, since I nearly buzzed out permanently over that.  They never listened to me, and it never worked.  I finally designed and installed another big plant system which still works as good as these things ever do.  I was convinced that all the building accelerometers around the world were just put in for show, since they all had a fatal flaw....

(At the same time, I was having equal disasters with seismometers, but that's another story.)


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