Observations about the universe, life, Lausanne and me

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Circuit model

Right. Here you can see the fruit of my labours in February. I was trying to measure the Impedance of my reactor, to better modify my new automatic matchbox which refused to work as it was.

First week: Measure the Impedance with the Vector Impedance Meter. Try to come up with a model that fits the data. The model stubbornly refuses to yield anything but 100% reflected power.

Second week: Notice that I have spent part of last week proving that 1=1. Happy with my result, which nonetheless leaves a strange, empty feeling. Produce howls of despair. Notice that the settings on the 'scope used to read out the vector impedance meter were wrong and might have made the signal unnecessarily noisy. Repeat measurements and make a new model. Try to get down to 1% of reflected power - in vain.

Third week: A guy from electronics rocks up and tells me that the vector impedance meter was broken. Startled by my reaction, he kindly asks if I was measuring something important, or if gnawing on table-legs is normal behaviour on a Monday morning. Later: Break out in hysterical giggling while measuring the stupid reactor, again. Notice that it is no wonder the matchbox didn't work, since it is meant match an inductive load, and my reactor is capacitive. Sob quietly for a while, before hatching an insane plan to use inductive gerbils in series with PADEX. YES!

Yes, matching is a recurring problem. Also see here, and here. And here. Argh!

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