Wednesday, August 05, 2015

0600 And Dizzy

     A later morning, after five days waking up crazy-early (for me) -- split, it is to be admitted by a weekend in which I did nearly noting, or at least reasonably approximated nearly nothing -- I find myself a bit dizzy, which in light of yesterday is not unexpected.

     You see, work started yesterday at 0730 but it didn't finish up until after 2200, which us plain folks know as ten p.m.  Mostly, I have been working on some routine record-keeping, repair and housekeeping tasks at the highly-automated, normally-unoccupied Skunk Works North Campus while drawing a schematic of the the new equipment* and "supervising" electricians who needed little supervision, past the basic outline of the work and a half-dozen or so minor problems that cropped up.  They were working with 120/208V, three phase, installing a new control box about one person wide.  My part of the work necessarily followed theirs, moving various monitoring connections to the new equipment from the old equipment (scarily in a very high current breaker panel where low-voltage telemetry connections ought not be made, or at least not made as my predecessors had made them, on a small budget and without due reference to the National Electrical Code).  I'd pretty well worked out the details, but had to trace out a splice box and move things around at telemetry/control IO panels and add a few jumpers in the new equipment; by the time I was done and had cleaned up after myself, it was well past seven p.m.

     And wouldn't you know it, one part of the project -- most of it -- only operates after dark.  The electricians and I had tested it, blocking the light sensor and seeing it come on, and we'd operated the new, solid-state equipment for fairly long periods of time, but it still had to be verified and one of the mods I'd made replaced a remote meter with a series of status indicators -- for want of a better term, "idiot lights."  Those won't work at the far end until I make some software changes, also at the far end.  The upshot of all this was that I was going to need to return after the end of civil twilight and make sure the system was running.

     Went home, sat down and relaxed, and eventually realized I could bribe Tam into riding along if I offered to get us some drive-by food.  Around 9:45, we departed for the North Campus, checked the system on arrival -- so far, so good! -- grabbed dinner (roast beef sandwiches; I still remember when the first Arby's showed up in my corner of the hinterlands and what a treat it was!) and trundled home.  I went to bed hours later than has been my recent practice, woke up scary-early, and laid there half-awake until the alarm went off.

     Small wonder I'm dizzy.  On the other hand, they pay me by the hour and days like yesterday are why.
* Look, Mr. Device-Builder, I get that we probably don't need to know anything but the I/O connections but really, you sell me something wired point-to-point that I may be working on in the middle of the night, something that has got to be reliable, and you balk about supplying a schematic?  Fine.
(Yep, I "greeked" out the details.  I can draw it, but the design is not mine to share.)
  I own large-format graph paper.  I have my own schematic now, with snarky notes about your use and misuse of wire colors.


Ritchie said...

" use and misuse of wire colors."
This may be a foggy window into the shop floor. A large manufacturer will likely have something approaching steady-state consumption of supplies, while in a small shop, a supervisor could well ask something like, "Does anyone have the red #22 wire? You were supposed to tell me when it was almost gone."

Old NFO said...

Smart lady... You 'know' you're going to need that sooner or later! :-)