I'll bet the other 10 or so they made worked fine, but they were deigned to point down!
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I wrote a few gateway (protocol conversion) applications in assembly, and they were full of fun names and labels.
cp BeenWaiting, aWhile
cp BeenWaiting, FuckingForever
It's incredibly precise, I used to test ECU software to 12,000 RPM. That's 200 Revolutions per Second, or 72,000 Degrees per Second.
At 33Mhz, you have about 458 clock cycles per degree, so if you have a 60 tooth crank sensor with 6 degrees per tooth, you have a real time position update you need to task switch to, synchronize with, and schedule events on coming every 2750 clock cycles. In between them, you have to read filter and diagnose all of the sensors so you can look up, interpolate, and calculate all of the fuel and spark info, convert it back to binary time counts, then load or reload all of the different hardware timers safely at the proper time so they don't skip or wrap around.
You have to have over 7200 events (start and end of: fuel, air, spark on a 6 cyl, low emissions 2 stroke) happen at the exact time every second or the engine will misfire.
Starting with the Motorola MPC555 there was also a TPU (Time Processing Unit) that had multiple "self-synchronizing" counters and timers you can daisy chain, that took care of most of the heavy lifting (besides scheduling it!!!)
The TPU, along with a PowerPC core or two now allows modern ECUs to calculate everything based on a Simulink model of the engine while all of this is going on.
Microsoft Trackball Optical
Or... They worked so well some(TLA)body got them all, while Intel tweaked it into knights corner / knights landing / xeon phi, where they now use it to dominate the top 500.
I did a starter on a Chrysler 300M, and if you didn't want to take the exhaust and the motor mount off, you can take the solenoid off, then take off the starter motor from the snout, then take the snout off the block, and get it out in like 20 pieces.
After all that bull I really didn't want to put it all back together (paper clips in the brushes, shims on the shaft where I can't see) even though all I found was just a corroded steel on copper washer in the solenoid. I cleaned it up, and greased it up and put it back together, it seemed to work fine and it is still working 5 years later.
A new starter was outrageous, and the labor was even worse.
Funniest part was my friend watching me come out with piece after piece, I know she was wondering how it was ever going to go back together again, or if it was going to just crap out on her again (really a rusty washer??? All those pieces??? Should I just have it towed???)
There's this glue called goop (not that goop from the hardware store) that they have at hobby stores that will hold aluminum tubing to nitro-methanol and oil soaked fiberglass. We used to use it for model boats and it would hold anything, to anything. It took a long time to set but it held on forever after that.
1. Hook Up oscilloscope
2. Start Engine
3. Look at oscilloscope
4. Replace Or Rebuild correct part
If you have to make #1 from an Arduino and a couple of resistors, bonus points for you.
If you release the resulting #1 as Autoduino or Alternatoduino on github it's a double bonus.
Triple bonus for a YouTube vid.
Have you priced a Kirby lately?
I used to do the fuel injection on these:
With all the instrumentation (EGT AFR Knock etc) we had to have to monitor and calibrate three of these, changing out 24 knock transducer spark plugs with piezo cables on them while worrying about scratching a $200,000 paint job on someone's boat, with everything hot after running wide open for an hour, has my vote for biggest PITA.
Hint: The easy way is pulling the front two motors out, but it's hard to do that floating somewhere.
FWIW my Lasik came with lifetime free adjustments so I can have them touched up if I ever need to, but after 15 years I still have perfect vision.
I was very hesitant because of all of the corrections they were doing. I really really wanted to have one eye done, and wait a few months for the other one, but they told me they only do that in rare cases, and not to worry.
The average time the laser is on for a normal person is about 6 - 8 seconds, and I needed almost 60 seconds per eye. I was terrified that something was going to go wrong, and once they open your eye and you go blind, sitting there for a minute wondering if I will ever see again, while the laser takes pot shots at my quivering eyeballs is nerve wracking to say the least.
I also had a nine eleven (sneaky code word so you don't know something is wrong) incident where an eye booger or skin flake blew into my eye while it was opened, and they just flushed out out, and kept on going.
I still have the VHS tape of the surgery and it is the most terrifying thing I have ever watched. It has the strangest effect on me because of the alternate viewpoint (looking into my eyes) and the stress and fear I can see and recall. The seconds seem to take hours, and every time I watch it, I remember every instant, every thought, even the smell of my own eyes being vaporized right inside my head.
Do I regret it? NO
Would I do it again? YES
Would I recommend you give it a second thought? YES
When I told my doctor how scared I was in the follow-up, he said he was sorry, he should have given me a Valium.
He showed me the before and after plot of my lenses focal abilities, as well as the correction plot that showed what it wanted to do VS what it actually did, and it was spot on. Even with how much I moved during the surgery. It tracks your eye, and stops if you move. You can hear the laser zzzzzzzzzzt, then tk tk tk tk zzzzzzzzzzzzzt tk tk zzzzzz tk as it tracks your eye and takes every chance to zap it till it moves again.
I could see faint speckled greenish dots flickering through the blindness where the laser was doing the correction, and I could see the pattern it was trying to achieve, and it was very reassuring that I never saw a misplaced dot. The amount of technology making sure it only does what it is supposed to is pretty impressive. Seeing it do exactly what I thought it should do, while I was so incapable of holding still, made me know deep down everything was going to be alright. I was even impressed how well it managed to sneak in little zaps here and there whenever it could. Without that to keep my mind occupied and reassured, I would have went batshit insane.
Best thing I ever spent money on!
My mom just had her lenses replaced at 70, and said that she wishes she would've done it a long time ago. Might also be an option.
Hopefully not for long...