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This is a question Winging It

Don Spang says: I once found myself winging it in a job interview and somewhat exaggerated my technical experience in the field of mainframe computer operations. 24 years later, I'm still there. Ever had to improvise to get by? Tell us you tales of MacGyver-type genius.

(, Thu 28 Mar 2013, 12:31)
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School physics lessons.
Dr Q. is teaching us GCSE physics and trying to get on to the subject of AC current and transformers. Youngster-RWH is chatting at the back and obviously not paying attention to the Dr.

Dr Q. observes this and after having produced the tray with the lab equipment in (laminated transformer W-piece and top piece, square bobbins with '1000 turns', '100 turns' and '200 turns' Dymo-labelled, wrapped with copper wire/terminated with 4mm sockets, and an AC-range digital volt meter, calls my attention and the whole class is suddenly concentrating on me.

"So, RWH- I assume you know all about this because you're not listening to me explaining this. So, why don't you come down and do the demonstration instead so we can all learn what you know".

Oh shit.

Oh hang on.

This is AC transformers, I saw this in the encyclopedia at home last week....(I was actually looking up something for geography homework and it was on the next page, the diagram looked intriguing so i read it up).

I didn't know all the terminology but I recognised that you put mains through the primary and the ratio of turns on the primary to the secondary changed the output voltage, so I wired it all up with 4mm leads and showed- look, 240 volts in, 24 volts out (100 turns on the secondary) but then if you change the secondary with 100 windings on for the winding with 200 turns on and remade the top bar and showed the output voltage had gone up to 48 on the scale.

Dr Q. Glared at me for a moment and then realised he created the scenario and I'd somehow navigated through it without giving him the excuse to punish me, so just curtly said "OK. Go back to your seat".

Mind you, the same guy also told me to expect a detention for not handing in my homework one lesson, during the content of that lesson I actually completed it and gave him my book. He relented and said- "Well, why didn't you hand it in if you'd done it? OK, no detention. Go home."

(, Mon 1 Apr 2013, 1:50, 2 replies)
How cool that you found the diagram intriguing enough to remember it!
That's what clever kids do, y'know.
(, Mon 1 Apr 2013, 11:40, closed)
Erg. All science classes
were a disaster for me. I was banned from chemistry for creating synthetic urine (no idea, it was an accident, and it stunk).

But I got regular assessments in biology of E1, being the lowest mark for effort, and in the top 25% for achievement.

I don't know why the teacher gave that kind of assessment, it just encouraged me to be a dickhead. If it was me, I'd have lied and put me in the bottom quarter.
(, Tue 2 Apr 2013, 12:22, closed)

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