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Things fucked up again at work.

Not surprising, in and of itself, except that it is well and truly not my fault, which is kind of a nice change.

Waiting for the stupid sales rep to come in and explain to me how a piece of equipment we bought from them is so sensitive to power surges that it has fucked up three of my experiments thus far. He's loaning us a $3000 cable 'conditioner', which helps protect the hardware from power spikes as well as logging them (note - they only "think" that the problem is due to power spikes). My question is, why was it not included in the first place? Or at least a surge protector or something?


Nothing better than having to clean up bacterial culture which has spewed out across bench-tops and all over electrical cables and such. I managed to avoid having the pressurised culture explode all over me this time, which was nice.

Oh, and I finally have to have that meeting with both my supervisors tomorrow - you know, the one I've been avoiding for a few weeks?



( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 23rd, 2005 12:21 am (UTC)
The most important question is therefore: Which beer should I bring tonight?

Depending on just how sensitive the equipment is to power spikes, it may be that your lab just has lower-quality wiring than they designed the unit for. $3k for a line conditioner and datalogger seems pretty extravagant though, even for scientific equipment.

Most of the equipment is limited-run or custom-built, and they improvise and change things as they go... (but so do the operators, so it's all fair I guess). Generally, the people who build the things will have a fair understanding of the property you're trying to measure/control, and a very basic understanding of electronics... it's quite possible that they built it with a serious flaw that's only corrected in later models...
Feb. 23rd, 2005 12:37 am (UTC)
The problem is that our building is really old and the wiring is atrocious. But even so, 3 grand? Pshaw. They originally suggested that I go out and buy the biggest, beefiest surge protector I could from an electronics store... but I was dubious. I was, and still am of the opinion that they should *really* be the ones taking responcibility for it.
Feb. 23rd, 2005 05:22 am (UTC)
Any chance the spikes/brown-outs are caused by another piece of high current-load equipment getting turned on or off or going into/out of a low/high load part of it's cycle? I'm thinking like an XRD or XRF powering on or off it's tube or something like that...cryo unit coming on or going dormant or something...However that won't help much except you might be able to get the devices on separate circuits.

IMHO - installation should have been a part of their customer service in the first place, which should have included checking the power conditioning prior to installation.

Pressurised bacterial culture? Ewwwww. Demonstrating 2nd year microbiology was bad enough. I hate work where you have to wash your hands before going to the bathroom :P

All the best.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )