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Being fairy-stories told to the author as a young engineer
© Ray Cooper, 2005 (2nd revised edition, Jan 2006)

Marmite to the Rescue

This time, by way of a change, it was the sound transmitter that was the offender. Programme start time was fast approaching, and the thing simply wouldn't power up. The run-up sequence got to a certain point and then just stalled. There was no apparent reason for this; no overloads, nothing.

A logical approach to the problem led to the power supply cubicle. A certain contactor was not coming in. There didn't seem to be any reason for this: there may have been a dodgy connection somewhere, or a burnt relay contact perhaps. It needed time to sort it out, and time was what they didn't have, since there was no reserve transmitter.

Suddenly, the S.M.E. (it was our old friend C. again) remarked,

"Somebody go and get me a broom with a wooden handle."

When this arrived, he insisted on being locked inside the supply cubicle.

"You go and power the transmitter, quick. I'll work this ruddy contactor."

Which he did: he spent the entire evening in there, holding the contactor in with the end of the broom handle and with the broom head against his chest. At intervals, glasses of water and Marmite sandwiches were passed in to him via a hole in the roof. They didn't want him fainting in there.

At the end of the evening, with the pressure off, the fault was found in a matter of moments, of course.


Something in reserve >

mb21 by Mike Brown
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