Observations about the universe, life, Lausanne and me

Friday, November 23, 2007

New electrodes

Here are my new electrodes. Aren't they sweet? And no, you can't play with them, they are mine. I, unfortunately, cannot play with them neither, and the reason for this is magic smoke. You see, there is a new (and computer controlled!) matchbox that goes with the new electrodes. Or maybe I should say there was. Because yesterday I wanted to try it out. Since it isn't new-new, but rather one of those things inherited from the industry (who like to use affiliated groups like ours as a dumping ground for old equipment), it doesn't come with much in the way of documentation. I had to hunt up a cable for it's weird four-pole plug. I finally found one, plugged it into the mains and hey presto! Instant arcs, flashes and magic smoke goodness. It turns out that those particular kind of cables exist in two different versions: 24V DC and 220V AC. Guess which one I should have picked.

I would like to meet the imbecile who thought it would be a good idea of having one and the same form-factor for two completely different voltages. I am sure it made sense to him at that time, but I still want to punch him in the face.

All is not yet lost - I have a second of those matchboxes, only designed for 27.02 MHz and not 40.68 MHz. But when have I ever let design stop me? I am sure I can adapt it somehow...

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