electro-Physics: 17.3409 volts

From: Tom Jennings <tomj_at_wps.com>
Date: Tue Dec 14 15:52:00 2004

On Tue, 14 Dec 2004 gordonjcp_at_gjcp.net wrote:

> > On Mon, 13 Dec 2004, William Donzelli wrote:
> >> In a few bulbs, if the geometry is right, they will magically turn into
> >> very low power magnetrons.
> >
> > EEK! Cool! electromagnetic whistles!
> >
> > I shudder to think how this effect was discovered... talk about
> > heisenbugs! Imagine some poor microwave receiver person trying
> > to find a loss of sensitivity, birdies, spurious output... and
> > finding out it's some goddamn FRONT PANEL LIGHT BULB!
> ... which would, of course, magically cure itself when you approached the
> unit, because the capacitance from the bulb to your hand would kill the
> oscillations.

The stuff nightmares (and careers) are made of...

One of the worst heisenbugs I can recall was a tape drive
(unknown manu) on the Nova 1200 development system at Ocean
Research Equip., late 1970's. Just an ordinary drive, somewhat
low in the rack. It would "randomly" fail, tape went slack,
but only in the afternoon.

The heisenbug aspect was: it would work fine when you were
standing in front of it. If you walked away, slack tape.

The problem was found when we determined it worked also, in
the afternoon, unattended, with it's smoked plexi door closed,
which was always left open because it was annoying to open and
close all the time. Turns out it was a ray of afternoon sun
beaming in the window directly into the tape-in-place sensor
near the head/capstan area.
Received on Tue Dec 14 2004 - 15:52:00 GMT

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