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Comment: What exactly is "the taste of beer", anyway? (Score 1) 179

by Ellis D. Tripp (#46679193) Attached to: To Reduce the Health Risk of Barbecuing Meat, Just Add Beer

There are a HUGE range of beverages with vastly varying flavors which fall into the category of "beer". How many styles have you tried? There are lots of alternatives to the fizzy yellow stuff sold in 30 packs.

I can imagine that a big imperial stout, doppelbock, or barleywine might make a great marinade for steak.

Comment: Interesting how right-wingers find a conscience (Score 3, Insightful) 289

when it comes to having to pay for things like contraceptives or abortions.

How about this? You can withhold the percentage of your income taxes that provide abortions and contraceptives when you allow people who oppose war to withhold the percentage that gets pissed away on the military budget. Deal?

Comment: Yes, crap meters can and do explode.... (Score 1) 250

by Ellis D. Tripp (#46548405) Attached to: Fluke Donates Multimeters To SparkFun As Goodwill Gesture

Compare what happens to multiple brands of cheap meters vs. a Fluke when intentionally whacked with high energy pulses:

http://www.eevblog.com/2010/05...

Notice that ALL the meters were damaged in this test. But the Fluke simply died gracefully, without exploding, catching fire, etc.

Comment: Re:Fused leads = major safety FAIL. (Score 1) 250

by Ellis D. Tripp (#46548245) Attached to: Fluke Donates Multimeters To SparkFun As Goodwill Gesture

[quote]If you're not double checking your meter reading against a known live source before and after your test reading please stay out of a live panel. That's electrician 101.[/quote]

Yes, as well as being an OSHA and NFPA 70E requirement.

But you know as well as I do that it doesn't always happen. And that fused leads would greatly increase the risk of an accident in the real world.

Comment: Fused leads = major safety FAIL. (Score 1) 250

by Ellis D. Tripp (#46546387) Attached to: Fluke Donates Multimeters To SparkFun As Goodwill Gesture

So if your probe fuse blows without you knowing it, and you go to check if that wire is live, you get a nice zero voltage reading, regardless of whether the circuit is dead or not. The potential consequences of this should be obvious.

Input protection for the voltage/resistance ranges of a properly designed DMM consists of gas discharge tubes, MOVs, PTC thermistors, transorbs, etc. The internal fuses are for the current ranges ONLY, and need to be the HRC type for safety.

Properly designed input protection is the FIRST place that the cheap DMM makers cut corners. The second is properly molded and sealed enclosures, to contain the shrapnel in case of a catastrophic failure. Both are required to achieve proper safety compliance for a Cat III or Cat IV meter, which is what you want for measuring mains voltage.

A good illustration of what happens to cheap meters under high energy fault conditions is here:

http://www.eevblog.com/2010/05...

Comment: What Fluke multimeter costs $3K? (Score 1) 250

by Ellis D. Tripp (#46545685) Attached to: Fluke Donates Multimeters To SparkFun As Goodwill Gesture

Maybe a few high end benchtop ones, but all their handheld DMMs (which is what this whole issue is about) are well under the $3K level. You can buy an entry-level Fluke DMM for less than $150 last I checked. Most of the mainstream models are $300-$400.

And if you actually make your living using instruments like these, they are worth every penny you pay. Even if just for the security that the thing isn't going to blow up in your face when testing mains power...

Comment: That's gotta smell wonderful.... (Score 1) 126

by Ellis D. Tripp (#46498459) Attached to: Solar-Powered Toilet Torches Waste For Public Health

especially if you have a whole bunch of these toilets in one location.

The solar power thing is neat, but an incinerating toilet is nothing new. Have seen them at remote locations like mountaintop transmitter shacks, etc, where there is no water or sewer service available:

http://incinolet.com/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

And yes, they STINK.

Comment: 77% couldn't identify what "SEO" means... (Score 1) 255

Long before it had anything to do with improving your website's Google ranking, "SEO" referred (and still does) to a type of heavy duty rubber electrical cord. S=Severe Service, E=Elastomer (rubber) insulated, O=Oil Resistant.

So does this mean that IT folks who only know the other definition are as "ignorant" as the general population?

Nondeterminism means never having to say you are wrong.

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