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 Post subject: Re: Practical jokes related to electronics
PostPosted: Mar Thu 14, 2019 4:02 pm 

Joined: Sep Tue 30, 2014 6:08 am
Posts: 3996
Location: Norfolk, VA
Jthorusen wrote:
Greetings to the Forum:

I think I may have posted this before a long time ago, so stop me if you've heard this one....


Back when I was still gainfully employed at the KCBS transmitter, we scheduled a tower climb to replace some bad de-icer heating elements in the main TV antenna. The heating elements were 120 volt units but we ran 3 wires for 3-phase 208 volt power up the tower and connected the heating elements together in a configuration to create an "artificial neutral" so that the elements would be fed 120 volts.

It was near the end of the day and the poor tower guy had climbed down nearly a thousand feet of tower after doing the work and was taking a break in the transmitter control room. He asked sort of off-handedly if it made any difference which phase of the 208 3-phase went where.

The devil sitting on my shoulder whispered in my ear and I said to him, "Russ, you know that if you interchange any two leads on a 3-phase motor that it will turn in the opposite direction, right?" Upon getting his guarded reply of yes, I then told him sadly that if he had reversed two of the phases that the heaters wouldn't be heaters anymore, they would be refrigerators. You could see his face fall for a moment as he contemplated climbing back up that tower... but then he caught on with a "Wait a minute...." I couldn't keep a straight face any longer and he was spared the climb. :lol:


Ah, Contra-polar energy...... :mrgreen: ... e-0027.pdf ... e-0028.pdf

"Capacitor Cosmetologist since 1979"
USN Retired 1984-2006 (Avionics/Cal)

 Post subject: Re: Practical jokes related to electronics
PostPosted: Mar Thu 14, 2019 7:39 pm 

Joined: Jul Sun 09, 2006 3:11 am
Posts: 6127
Location: Aurora, CO
My 2nd job at the old Mountain Bell was Frame Attendant. I wired jumpers on punch down blocks on the huge Main Frame. My Foreman wasn't very sharp because I repeatedly pranked him. When he was on the frame, I'd take the handset from a desk phone and disconnect the cord. Then I'd take the handset to him and say "phone call for you" then he'd start talking.

ex nihilo nihil fit

 Post subject: Re: Practical jokes related to electronics
PostPosted: Mar Fri 15, 2019 1:58 pm 

Joined: Nov Fri 14, 2014 12:22 am
Posts: 260
Location: Howell Michigan
Remember the AG1B flashbulbs? They were a direct replacement for 194 light bulbs.

I know of a car that had all the dash light bulbs replaced with flashbulbs when he went to lunch mid-job one day. Pretty spectacular flash and smell when he turned on the lights while doing his used car inspection.

 Post subject: Re: Practical jokes related to electronics
PostPosted: Mar Fri 15, 2019 3:22 pm 

Joined: Mar Wed 16, 2011 10:44 pm
Posts: 915
Location: Peekskill, NY
Flash bulbs, yep.

Worked for an electronics tech years ago, he was an ex-ww2 radar man.

His story, you wire one of the large photo flash bulbs across the line power inside
of an instrument (best if they had lots of louvers) so when it's turned on there's
a brilliant pop/flash.

Other trick was to wind up a 2 watt 100 ohm resistor full of rubber bands. And wire
it in the same way. Smoke/smell for the end user.

 Post subject: Re: Practical jokes related to electronics
PostPosted: Mar Sat 16, 2019 12:21 am 

Joined: Feb Wed 25, 2009 4:06 pm
Posts: 1382
Location: Morristown, N.J.
A particularly unpopular tech at HP had in reality no knowledge of electricity; he fixed instruments by shotgunning replacement boards. The back of his bench faced mine so one day he was working on a brand new power meter. He couldn't get it to work especially after I had switched the line voltage selector to 230v. After a week I switched it back but not until he had replaced virtually every board and assembly in the meter.

In production at Boonton Radio I would sometimes carefully replace the last foot of a solder spool with buss wire (tricky to do). No one was targeted more than once and even then, not more than once. "Why won't this solder melt..............."

Placing low voltage electrolytics across power supply ternimals was always fun but you had to make sure that the terminals were tight on the cap otherwise one or the other end would fly like a bullet after that very loud bang.

Pete AI2V

"It's always darkest before it's pitch black"

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