Tuesday, June 21, 2011

For Geeks, Proto-Geeks And Those Who Like Explosions

Logwell.com offers up a nice webpage introduction to choosing a Volt-Ohm Meter/Digital Multimeter...and another set of pages, The Tallini Tales of Destruction, all about the historical use of nitroglycerin to "shoot" oil wells. Um, what could possibly go wrong...?

"The Company deserves great credit for the energy displayed by them in the erection of their extensive Factory, so soon after it had been demonstrated that nitroglycerine could not be shipped with safety by rail."

Oh.

In case you were wondering, there are exactly two companies left in that line of work. Sometimes, it seems, you've still got to lower a torpedo.

7 comments:

North said...

Here is a blog with some tips on soldering.

Solder skills

Drang said...

And who doesn't love a good explosion?

The operative word being "good"...

Nathan said...

Back in the '50's, when Dad was at Union Carbide, they were trying to figure out how to ship acetylene via bulk railcar. As you may know, acetylene is extremely unstable.

They shot specially-designed tanks with a high-powered rifle and took super-slow-motion film of the results, which generally were pretty spectacular (from what he said; I never saw any of the film).

They finally got to the point where they thought they had the technology ready for the real world, and decided they'd test it one more time. They loaded their test tank car and rolled it off down a hill, at the bottom of which was a concrete block barrier.

You know where this is going.

Dad said that even during the war, he'd never seen anything blow up like that tank car did (and he was in mortars). I guess there wasn't one block left on top of another.

Needless to say, the project was quietly shelved.

og said...

I still have a Simpson somewhere. I used to have an old VTVM somewhere too, I think it was actually a Heathkit.

The guy Red Adair went to work for got in the business by shooting well.

jed said...

Well, I certainly miss my Beckman DMM. Making do with an el-cheapo, but it's good enough for my current purposes (and voltage and resistance purposes too). Just for fun, EEVblog has some DMM comparisons, reviews, and guides. They're all video, but Dave is a fun guy to watch and listen to.

Roberta X said...

The ol' Beckman Tech 330 (I think) was my first personally-owned DMM. A fine meter. I'd worked with little Fluke portables before that -- nice but fragile and battery-hungry compared to the Beckma. (Mine i still around and, with a good battery, usually works, too).

Rabbit said...

My little brother worked for a wireline/ well perforating company after high school. It was a rare thing for an 'old hand' with 10 years' experience to have all 10 fingers.

On one trip out to a rig to shoot the pipe, they had a partial case of dynamite on a trailer behind the log truck. The driver hit a popped expansion joint, bounced the trailer, and they spent the rest of the afternoon picking up explosives on the right-of-way. At least my brother wasn't driving. Just another roadside distraction in the ETX oilpatch.