Author Topic: ( Tom's) Fire Emitting Transistor (Magic smoke incident)  (Read 4429 times)

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freejuice

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( Tom's) Fire Emitting Transistor (Magic smoke incident)
« on: January 02, 2011, 06:46:30 PM »
Since Tom has coined the term: Fire Emitting Transistor I thought I would share a humble moment with everyone:


Yes the Fet's exploded and the flyback diodes on the resistors disappered but the abuse I threw at the ghurd controller still survived! It is a testament to his design at being "dummy-proofed" I take the 5th on hooking any cable up backwards accidently on the dump load controller.
 
However my dump load controller is back on line, but with color coded cables for easy reference

Is there an award we can give Glen for his patience with me...some kind of patron saint status?

Ghurd controllers, are like a timex watch, it "Take's a licking and keeps on ticking"

Madscientist267

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Re: ( Tom's) Fire Emitting Transistor (Magic smoke incident)
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2011, 07:03:04 PM »
Ya most definitely got me beat... only lost 1 leg off my 4...  ;D



These were DEFINITELY fire emitting transistors (well, the first and fourth)... Got to see the show up close and personal... and boy was it purrrdy!

Something between 1 and 2" of nice pretty blueish white fire from them... funny thing is, IIRC, the third one actually survived (passed meter tests, didn't try to 'reload' it haha)

You even managed to lose the whole tab on #4! hahaha

Got any stats on the current flowing when they went off? Mine was about 40A or so (based on the fuse just barely melting) @ ~40V (36 nominal)...

Steve

« Last Edit: January 02, 2011, 07:10:33 PM by Madscientist267 »
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How much magic smoke it contains does !

TomW

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Re: ( Tom's) Fire Emitting Transistor (Magic smoke incident)
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2011, 08:43:18 PM »
I didn't coin that I read it someplace in my lifelong electronics career(s).

Always felt it was a good description from many failures I saw. Vigorous disintegrations were a lot of fun when you slap a board on a test jig fire it up and it literally ignites in your face! Interesting odors too boot.

Tom
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bob g

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Re: ( Tom's) Fire Emitting Transistor (Magic smoke incident)
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2011, 10:25:00 PM »
don't ya just love the smell of TNT in the morning?

(TNT = Thermo Nuclear Transistor)

:0)

this topic reminds me of one of my less than stellar ebay purchases

i was looking at a pair of 24volt input vanner 3600 watt puresine wave inverters, and told my biz partner
that i was following the bid

they were described as being taken out of a tour bus that had caught on fire and had light smoke damage on the cases
i was leary of them and decided not to bid, but i didn't tell my well wishing biz partner who bid on them and won them for me
for 400 bucks plus about 150 bucks shipping

yes, you guess it, smoke damage my aching ass, they were the cause of the destruction of a high end motorcoach, and the seller knew it because he had taken the cases apart to peak inside...

lets put it this way, i would have rather been confined inside the motor home with a stick of dynamite than with those two units

there were two driver boards in each unit, each with about 50 mosfets, (at least the faint remains of those mosfets) it looked a lot like the picture of hiroshima after the enola gay had her way, in there!

so for my 550 bucks i got four 50 plus pound final drive transformers, and very soot covered hands.

>:(

bob g
« Last Edit: January 02, 2011, 10:34:48 PM by bob g »
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rossw

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Re: ( Tom's) Fire Emitting Transistor (Magic smoke incident)
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2011, 12:14:43 AM »
There's a story attached to this one - it goes along these lines. Back 20+ years ago, I used to do industrial/commercial work, and had a lot of people asking for IBM clones, so I started carrying them and selling them. This was about the time the market turned all super-price-sensitive. I could sell "cheap", but I wouldn't sell "junk". Unfortunately, the average punter didn't know the difference - and the market started to prostitute itself. Selling with inadequate and/or misleading specifications, by foreign illegal immigrants selling from dingy one-room apartments in Melbourne.... well, you old timers will remember the days.

So this friend of mine comes in, gets a quote for a new system - and then finds what he THINKS is an identical (ha!) system in Melbourne for $12 less.

So... he takes a day off, DRIVES the 300 miles round trip to "save" $12.

Gets home, finds he has the wrong plugs on the power cables. They're american or japanese or something. Still, he runs down to the shop and gets a couple of 3 pin plugs. (There goes his $12, even if you forget the day off work and 300 mile drive, fuel etc).

How hard can it possibly be for a mechanical engineer to cut off one plug and put on another? What could possibly go wrong?







It's not immediately obvious - but there WAS a chip there between the back of the D connector and the header.... it was vaporised!

Active and earth swapped on one (possibly both!) plugs...there was not a single part that survived. He destroyed the new monitor, video card, motherboard, IO cards, keyboard, hard drive, power supply, the lot! Y'all think he was happy?  :)
« Last Edit: January 03, 2011, 12:29:13 AM by rossw »
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freejuice

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Re: ( Tom's) Fire Emitting Transistor (Magic smoke incident)
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2011, 02:58:06 AM »
Wow, this stuff happens more than I like!
Steve, I have no idea what the amp load was, however along with the fets, the flyback diodes simply dissapeared between the wires....those I saw go, at each resistor position there was flash/sparks...lol.
The ohmite resistors survived.
.... This lesson tells me, the prudent thing for me to do is to put a fuse somewhere. ::)

What is attached to the center post of your fet...a diode? connector?....but I see the remains of solder on the other posts?
 The reason I ask is that I'm hoping someone knows of any connectors I can use other than having to solder up all these little pin positions?

 As a side note I 'm pretty sure my solder joints were insulated from each other, I even had shrink wrap tubing over them and I didnt glob the solder on.
On my event it might have been a combination thing, my dump load controller battery terminals "bass-akwards" and something.... a tiny sliver of wire...something creating a dead short.

I had used the dump many times before, but as this "wind-thingy" is a constant project, I often disconnect and move things around while doing this or that and I think thats were I poo-pooed my controller.
 It's all fun...live and learn
 All the best,
 Gavin

DanG

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Re: ( Tom's) Fire Emitting Transistor (Magic smoke incident)
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2011, 08:23:08 AM »
Okay so a little off topic but there is never much excitment here (by design)

WHOMP - "Water Hovering On Motherboard Pyrotechnics"...  About seven seconds of turquoise blue fire levitating a blob of water back and forth among the traces.

1996 Pawn-shop NIB IBM Pentium 150 lying open on desk chair seat - condensation on bottom of cool drink slobbered down directly beside the 5V CPUs 60MHz FSB.

I don't recommend it but is was an awesome display of the power of square wave low voltage - high current signals. Plenty of steam and lots of noise - the desktop PC ran normally until replaced late 1998.



zap

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Re: ( Tom's) Fire Emitting Transistor (Magic smoke incident)
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2011, 09:51:50 AM »
Years ago... in a life far, far away... I took some electronics classes in high school.  Upon entering college I decided to work my way towards an electronics engineering degree.
At college we had a projects lab with a few 15 foot long work benches.
It took all of maybe a week to learn not to catch anything that was tossed to you because chances were close to 100% that what was being tossed to you was a capacitor that had been charged to painful, if not near lethal, levels.
Wires burning, fuses frying, and capacitor casings flying through the air weren't necessarily daily occurrences but they happened enough that most of us weren't too surprised when it did.

I was breadboarding some circuit one day around the middle of one of the work benches when I heard a fairly loud pop to my right.  As I lifted my head and rolled my eyes to the right towards the end of the bench... I caught a glimpse of a small object flying along the bench top at somewhere between 100mph and the speed of sound.  It was sailing along about 3 inches off the deck of the bench and spinning flat as a freesbie.  The very instant I saw the whirling object... time slowed to a crawl.
My eyes followed it and as it passed about 8 inches from my face, I saw it was the top of an IC and I could read the numbers 555 on it.  I remember thinking "Hmmm... why would the top of a 555 timer be flying sideways? I would think that instead of flying sideways it would just shoot straight up to the ceiling."
I didn't have time to turn my head so my eyes followed the projectile for another few feet before it ever even hit the top of the bench then flew on out into space.

My eyes quickly returned from the 555 top sailing off to my left and started to return to my right where the sailing top and the sound of the explosion had originated.  As my field of view passed in front of me I noticed a bright light to my right.  My eyes quickly focused on a glowing ball of plasma bouncing and skirting it's way down the bench towards me.  Not as fast as the 555's top but fast enough to get my attention.
My eyes locked on the orb and tracked it along the bench top.  It bounced a little but soon was just a skidding, rolling ball of burning energy.  As it approached my station it hit the piece of notebook paper that had the circuit and assorted notes for the project I was working on.
The paper's edge was enough of a ridge to make the orb jump up and it passed through all the arches made by the jumper wires on my breadboard and I remember thinking "That was pretty cool".

It plopped back onto the bench top and proceeded off the the left where it struck a yellow #2 pencil, shoving the pencil an inch or so to the left while at the same time jumping up into the air about a half a foot.  I remember noticing a burned and blackened spot on the pencil where the orb had made contact.
At this point... for no apparent reason... the orb made an almost 90 degree... mid-air... turn and headed for the bench's backboard.  It struck the face of an amp panel meter and bounced back to the deck and finally made it's way off the bench and onto the floor.

After the excitement had died down I went to examine the pencil and saw an area of about the size of a pea where the paint had been vaporized.  I looked at the meter's face and there was a tiny ring of yellow paint that had been deposited on the glass.  But not just deposited, it had been fused into the glass.

We contemplated bringing in some of the physics guys to explain what had happened and how the orb was able to change direction in mid-air and how also how it was able to carry some of the pencil's paint over to the meter's glass and deposit it there instead of burning it on the way there...

We decided not to ask them... those guys were 'real nerds'. :D

Some of the above story may be fictional.

bob g

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Re: ( Tom's) Fire Emitting Transistor (Magic smoke incident)
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2011, 12:41:12 PM »

LMAO... Zap you are killing me!

part of the above might have been fictional!

too funny!

bob g
research and development of a S195 changfa based trigenerator, modified
large frame automotive alternators for high output/high efficiency project X alternator for 24, 48 and higher voltages, and related cogen components.
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Madscientist267

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Re: ( Tom's) Fire Emitting Transistor (Magic smoke incident)
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2011, 03:40:51 PM »
LMAO You had me until the point of the whole UFO plasma ball changing direction in midair... there have been studies where during a panic situation, the brain can speed up it's "framerate" to capture what is happening to get more details on how to react...

The 90 degree turn though, I don't think that was covered anywhere in the documentary... hahaha Nice read tho!   :o

Freejuice -

Don't think a fuse will save your silicon... I had a 'master link' in the chain at the time that those went off, but (as mentioned in the post I dragged it from), I don't really consider that to have been a 'fuse'... Might as well had been a screwdriver connecting the batteries instead... Somewhere else someone mentioned this... I remember commenting about 'quantum fuses'... this would be one such case. You're sure they'll go, but what will it take with it when it happens?! LOL

I can't tell you the number of MOSFETs I've popped with (an apparent) much less bit of power than would be in the 'danger' zone for the trannies... when inductance is involved, transients can tear a MOSFET a new one, cause it to short, and THEN is when all the REAL fireworks begin! Play with them enough and you'll find out how fragile the precious "49A TrenchFET" really is... sounds mean as hell, and they are, when you piss them off...  ;D

As far as the center pins on the MOSFETs, they are mini-chokes, essentially just a bead of ferrite that the leg goes through to help suppress EMI... not good for much else. Sometimes you find them, sometimes you don't. Depends on the design.

Steve
The size of the project matters not.
How much magic smoke it contains does !

ghurd

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Re: ( Tom's) Fire Emitting Transistor (Magic smoke incident)
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2011, 10:46:55 PM »
"the brain can speed up it's "framerate" to capture what is happening to get more details on how to react"
I have experienced it.

12V is 12V.
So if a CFL-type camping lantern runs on 8 D cells, should be able to jamb a SLA in it, with some Dremmel tool work.
Job done.
Connect the battery that is sitting on the floor.
Except thats when the smoke started rolling out of everything.
Grab the screwdriver, but it has the wrong bit, fumble around to change the bit (smoke rolling faster), the Chinese screw is stripped from the Chinese bit so the screw refuses to come out(smoke rolling much faster now), panic sets in first, then desperation sets in.
Then I pulled a wire from battery terminal.

The car was going under 100MPH in the police report, in trafic, between guard rails, and spinning in circles.
Time slowed down.
I thought "He's going to clip that guard rail in about 270 degrees more rotation, the car is going to roll, and I should put one hand on the roof for the rollover, the other hand on the door for the impact, and I am going to be late to Dr. Harrison's exam".
I saw pencils floating by, much like Zap's 555, and I had time to think about it as they floated past.  They started in my shirt pocket and ended up impaled in the rear dash.
I got my hands where I wanted them in plenty of time, the car did not roll, and I was late for the exam.

I got a wee bit of windshield glass in my head because I underestimated the forward momentum or angular velocity of my body when the spinning car hit the guard rail, and my shoulder was sore for a while, but other than that it was all good.

I use a lot of hot glue.
No matter what I pay for a hot glue gun, the trigger mechanism wears out at about the same rate.
Without warning, a 99-cent 7W glue gun emmitted a plasma ball the size of a soccer ball from the rear.  Missed my head because my eyes are not-so-great-anymore and I was twisting to see at a better angle.  It blew a 20A breaker.  I saw it all in slow motion.
Took me 12 weeks before I could use a glue gun without sweating.

The strange thing to me is how clear my recollection of things are when they happened in slow motion.
That spinning car was 25 years ago, and I remember those fine details like it happened an hour ago.

"Ghurd controllers, are like a timex" because he already did every bad thing he could think of to do to them.
 ;D
G-
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DamonHD

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Re: ( Tom's) Fire Emitting Transistor (Magic smoke incident)
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2011, 11:58:16 PM »
G,

It seems from a recent set of experiments that we don't respond any faster in such hair-raising situation but we may absorb and remember more of the information that comes our way.

Here's a chunk of text lifted from my dad's book without permission:



Quote
Emergency slow motion
Almost the opposite effect is observed during an emergency; everything seems
to slow down and actions happen in slow motion. The emergency may be trivial
- I remember in a smart French restaurant seeing my wife make an extravagant
gesture and knock over a full glass of red wine; it seemed to take minutes
for the glass to fall and the wine to spread into a crimson lake on the
crisp white linen tablecloth. More often this is reported in serious
life-and-death incidents, often during road accidents.

Even this has been investigated, by Professor David Eagleman, Director of
Baylor College of Medicine's Laboratory for Perception and Action in Texas,
and his intrepid graduate student Chess Stetson, who became the first fall
guy. Eagleman built a 50-metre-high tower from which volunteers could fall
backwards into a net, and so be in free fall for three seconds. During this
terrifying fall they reported feeling that they were moving in slow motion,
and when they were asked afterwards to re-create the fall in their minds
they estimated it had taken between four and six seconds rather than three.
To find out whether they could "see" more quickly during the fall, Dr
Eagleman designed and built a wristwatch (a "perceptual chronometer") on
which was displayed a random number flickering with its negative image just
faster than was normally discernable (about ten times per second). In the
laboratory all the volunteers could see was a blur, but would they be able
to see the separate images if their sense of time was speeded up, so that
they saw the world in slow motion? The answer was no; they could not.

Eagleman reckons that in such an emergency situation a small part of the
brain called the amygdala "kicks into high gear", and memories are laid down
by a secondary memory system, where they seem to stick better. Therefore you
lay down more memories during the emergency, and as a result the event seems
to have taken longer than it really did. This may help to explain why time
seems to speed up for old people; their memories are compressed and
therefore seem to have taken up less time.


Rgds

Damon

ghurd

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Re: ( Tom's) Fire Emitting Transistor (Magic smoke incident)
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2011, 12:27:31 AM »
"in a smart French restaurant seeing my wife make an extravagant
gesture and knock over a full glass of red wine; it seemed to take minutes
for the glass to fall and the wine to spread into a crimson lake on the
crisp white linen tablecloth"
Sometimes a cigar is Not a just cigar?

"explain why time seems to speed up for old people"
I

am

not

that

o
l
d
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Madscientist267

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Re: ( Tom's) Fire Emitting Transistor (Magic smoke incident)
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2011, 12:50:52 AM »
It's not entirely clear what causes it, but it is a real phenomena.

Had it happen myself... Just as with G, it's usually associated with the reveal of the emergency magic smoke release valve event situation, but at least one other time personally with a car as well.

Dunno why, but the "rip the battery cable" routine is almost invariably the third, fourth, or even fifth thing on the list of possible 'resolutions', rather than the first and (experience-taught) obvious solution. Not sure why that is.  ???

The study I referred to was a group of people that were given a small two digit LED display that quickly flashed pseudo-random (random to the people in the study, but known ahead of time to the scientists) numbers.

Over the course of several different situations, using different number seeds each time, most people's accuracy improved dramatically (from <5% recollection to something like 75%) during a panic.

The one that stuck out in my mind the most (and seemed one of the most extreme) was riding a bike down a calm, country road without event.

Versus being tied to a bungee cord on a bridge and knowing they were going to go over the side, but didn't exactly know wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Most of them even recalled additional information that was not even part of the study, such as seeing a particular bird in the sky etc.

Pretty amazing stuff.

Steve
The size of the project matters not.
How much magic smoke it contains does !

zap

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Re: ( Tom's) Fire Emitting Transistor (Magic smoke incident)
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2011, 11:07:16 AM »
Here's my theory:
This relates to how time crawls when we're young and seems to fly by faster and faster the older we get... and also why things seem to slow down in 'panic' situations.

Most have probably seen slow motion film or video.  To get high quality slow motion the rate of exposure is sped up.
A typical camcorder (also TV footage, DVD, etc.) will record footage at 29.97 fps(frames per second).  If you were to shoot the footage at 60 fps then play that back at the normal 29.97 fps, the footage would take twice as long to view and your brain sees everything happening at one half the normal speed.

I think the reason time seems to fly by faster and faster as we age is because our brain doesn't 'work' as fast as when we were younger.  You probably 'know' much, much more than when you were younger but the actual 'speed' the brain works at isn't as fast.
Add in the fact that a young brain is like a sponge and is trying to soak in everything from every sense.  An older brain has been trained to ignore many inputs coming from your senses.  The young brain is operating at full throttle, the older brain is on cruise control.

I think the reason time slows down in panic situations if because of the adrenalin the brain receives during that moment and the brain is able to operate as though it's much younger.

I think trauma has a part to play also but I think that mostly has to do with how easy it is to recall those moments.
I can still perfectly recall an accident when I was a teen and still visualize the fender of a '57 Belair crumpling up in front of my face.  The dust, and particles of rust, etc. bouncing off the windshield.
 
Anyway... that's my theory :-\

hydrosun

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Re: ( Tom's) Fire Emitting Transistor (Magic smoke incident)
« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2011, 04:43:23 PM »
Now if I could just remember what tool I went into the other room to get.


These stories had me laughing harder than I've laughed for several months.

Chris

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Re: ( Tom's) Fire Emitting Transistor (Magic smoke incident)
« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2011, 05:36:11 PM »
Brings to mind one of my most memorable time dilation situations, some friends and I had recently watched Evil Knievel jump something or other, so we built some plywood ramps and commenced to jumping our bikes, these were the old time fat tire big old Schwins, not high priced high tech bikes.
Well, we were getting some pretty good air so we kept raising the ramps to like two feet high and five feet apart, on my last jump I got to the highest point of the flight when the front tire fell off the front forks, form this point on I remember every thought and every look on every face on every bystander, most had eyes wide and mouths in the shape of a big O.
The rest of the flight according to my on board flight computer lasted 6.75 hours, it also computed all the possible permutations of a landing in such a condition and the possible effects on my person, none of them were good, especially the ones that included the cross bar on a boys bike and certain very delicate parts of my anatomy.
In the end there was a trip to the hospital and stitches and a cool scar, to the rest of those guys standing there the jump lasted two or three seconds, but it was a LOT longer than that to me.
I aint skeerd of nuthin.......Holy Crap! What was that!!!!!
11 Miles east of Lake Michigan, Ottawa County, Robinson township, (home of the defacto residential wind ban) Michigan, USA.

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Re: ( Tom's) Fire Emitting Transistor (Magic smoke incident)
« Reply #17 on: January 04, 2011, 07:27:11 PM »
Now if I could just remember what tool I went into the other room to get.
Chris
Be nice if it was just another room.

I find myself walking through the nasty weather 150 feet across the drive to my detached office  only to step in and think "What did I just walk over here for?"
 ???

Just curious.

Tom
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bob g

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Re: ( Tom's) Fire Emitting Transistor (Magic smoke incident)
« Reply #18 on: January 04, 2011, 07:47:08 PM »
Tom

lmao

it would be so damn funny if it weren't true

living out of a vicodin  bottle as i have now for going on 4 years, i can tell you this can be a real problem

... lets see i need a 9/16 wrench and it is in my truck, grunt, slide grunt somemore, get out from under customers
truck,,, go to back of my truck,, hmmmm what did i come here for?...

back under customer truck,,, oh ya, now i remember, back out from under truck... grunt, slide, grunt, panting, grunt, strain
pass gas, (hopefully that was only gas) get up, see stars,  walk to back of truck... what the hell am i here for now...

wash rinse and repeat..

solution?

i found what has to be the worlds largest tote tray, and when i am set to go under a truck i take everything i can think of that i might need, and several things i don't need, just in case...

and yes sometimes that doesn't work, then its ... yup you guessed it,, grunt...


some days i just live with the pain, at least i can get some work done!

actually over time things have gotten better, my tolerance for vicodin has gotten to where it doesn't dull my short term memory like it used to, that is a very good thing.

bob g

ps. i should tell you about the time the doc sent me home with morphine tablets but didn't tell me what they were!
that was really bad, i couldn't spell my name right,,, and its "bob" 

no i didn't take any more morphine!
research and development of a S195 changfa based trigenerator, modified
large frame automotive alternators for high output/high efficiency project X alternator for 24, 48 and higher voltages, and related cogen components.
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fabricator

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Re: ( Tom's) Fire Emitting Transistor (Magic smoke incident)
« Reply #19 on: January 04, 2011, 07:55:53 PM »
ROTFLMAO!!!
I aint skeerd of nuthin.......Holy Crap! What was that!!!!!
11 Miles east of Lake Michigan, Ottawa County, Robinson township, (home of the defacto residential wind ban) Michigan, USA.