An epiphany.

There are a lot of projects going on in my facility up here, complicated by a bumper crop of technical surprises.

Today I had this old QEI 675 exciter on the bench for a capacitor replacement, and it accepted that with no smoke release, but it still has issues. If the control voltage that sets the oscillator frequency goes to the high end, it kind of gets stuck there. I found it would sometimes go back on after cycling the power, and probing below these op amps in the PLL feedback circuit always brings it back into lock, but that suggests something is marginal in there to the point I can’t just put it back up the mountain.

I pulled up the manual and looked at the list of equipment it said you’d need for alignment– a good frequency counter, oscilloscope, among other things…

I don’t have a scope up here so I started getting really annoyed with not being able to figure out what’s going on with the thing. Then there was a moment of nervous tension when someone said one of the stations went really crackly…. but that turned out to just be the exciter popping to life and using my multimeter lead as an antenna and killing his air monitor. I started to think maybe this should just get aligned on my bench at home, but what an awkward slippery slope that can be if there aren’t good policies in place regarding making sure that doesn’t just fall off the clock… it was just making me worried and annoyed in about ten different ways.

I decided to take a little walk down the hill out back, which ultimately proved to be hilariously soft and slippery, but leads to a beautiful little valley with a creek going through it.

I thought to myself, “of course, I’m not in Florida anymore”.

Then I realized, I’m not in Florida anymore.

Up the hill, in my office, my own equipment was everywhere because that’s what I was used to. In Florida I was just expected to provide everything for my work, with the expectation that if I didn’t, I could just be replaced with some desperate contract worker who would, and would work for half the compensation I would.

That’s Florida though, land of the pissboy job that pays 30% of the national average for any given field. I’m not there anymore.

I guess I need to inquire about getting a scope up here.

Also, I need to brush some serious mud off my boots. I sank a little.

Now I realize what those weird holes are– it’s where the deer hooves sink through!!

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