My stupid question of the day

Zerex71 wrote:


The *best* idea is from Tim. You did not ask for "best" - but it can turn out to be simpler than the other ideas, too, because it will allow your artist friend to control the thing at very low speeds, something that may elude the other ideas. You wanted simple, but it ain't simple if your friend keeps calling you because the "thing was working yesterday but it's not today" which can happen at low speed, or "I adjusted it and now it doesn't work" (again a low speed kind of problem) or whatever.
Personally, I would go with Jasen's idea and keep Tim's in my back pocket in case your friend runs into trouble.
Ed
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ehsjr wrote:

Now that's wierd! Posted to the wrong thread somehow. Ed
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If you really don't know what a grounding prong (or earth pin, depending on which side of the Pond you're situated) is for, you must have been asleep - or on something pretty potent - for a substantial part of your EE training.
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On Mar 3, 6:00 pm, "John Nice" <johnDOTniceATbtinternetDOTcom> wrote:

That is not taught in EE school - and it should have been obvious. That is learned from safety codes. Safety codes are like a programming language - you are expected to learn it on your own. EE school is too busy teaching things quite more advanced and far more important. Like a Doctor right out of med school, then the EE learns these other things like an intern learns how to suture. They don't teach suturing in med school and they don't teach electrical safety in engineering school. Both are expected to be learned out here - as Zerex71 is doing. Amazing how many responders don't even understand that - instead jump to criticize.
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EXACTLY.
I, thank you very much, got my EE degree but there are many many things that are not even covered during that schooling, on the theory that, like you have said, you pick up later on in the game. For example, just because EE's have that degree, does not necessarily mean that they know everything about it, of course (and thank you for coming to my defense). For example, I still have questions about lots of things, including television and radio. The principles were taught, but like in all of engineering, each problem and situation requires you to understand *that particular problem*. This particular question came to me one day because I said, "You know, I'm not sure anyone ever told me that." Obviously I know three prongs are for safety, and obviously I know that polarized two-prong plugs are for safety reasons as well. But I also know that I have both kinds of plugs plugged into the same outlet at work, coming from the building power, which is most likely a single phase of a three-phase power line/ transmission.
And anyway, I feel no shame in asking these questions because I am not ashamed to acknowledge when I don't know something. I have found that this is a minority viewpoint, because most people will cover up their ignorance by bluster, meanness, or prideful ignorance.
Mike
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The other thing is, I've been doing software engineering for sixteen years. Have I ever once had to know these things? No. Do I want to be able to explain the basics for all of the study I've done? You bet. I'd feel pretty stupid if I couldn't answer...my stupid questions.
Also, I'm glad I went the EE route first, because most people probably could not go the 'vocational/trade school' route and then get into EE, but having gone through EE, the reverse direction should be a snap should I decide to pursue the more 'practical' side of EE.
As my power systems professor once quipped, "When you stick your finger in an electrical outlet, it's not the imaginary part you feel." :)
Mike
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Mike, Obviously you are aware that Double Insulated appliances do not generally require an earth & therefore generally will use a two pin plug. Many however use three pins regardless & I believe generally this is merely because suitably rated "cord with 3 pin plug leads" of suitable current rating, are available readily at no greater cost than two conductor two pin leads. In the more modern competitive "Manufactured in China" environment this is not the case & you should find appliances such as electric hand drills to 500 watts will employ 2 pin plugs. Now I am not an expert in these matters & there may well be Industry Standards about such matters & Use & Power may be factors that command the pin type. If you do obtain a definitive answer please let me know.
Pete

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