Lawrence Macionski <am_fm_radio@...>
40 years as a senior field engineer on big main frames and such.. Self diagnostic hardware and software is wonderful provided the machine is actually working when you run the diagnostics. most engineers who rely on diagnostics puke when they can't run them for various reasons.
I have a few thousand airline miles "fixing" for instance a VAX 11/785 mainframe down for 3 days.. Can't boot, can't run diagnostics. The 11/ 785 CPU was 29 24x24 inch boards, all were changed. Even changed the microvax computer -boot loader. (a 8-12 board mini-computer w/ 8"floppy that loaded the mainframe microcode). My Solution/findings: Every 8" floppy on site was bad, the ones I brought worked just fine. Perhaps a disgruntled employee demagnetized all floppies but the one that was loaded in the loader. then it eventually went bad..(The perfect crime)
Drove all night- Detroit to Indianapolis once for a 1amp 5 volt fuse..System down 3-4 days. (SUN Microsystems 3/xxx series computers, had the 5 volt line to the optical mouse fused.) in order to log in you had to move the mouse to the login window even to log in as root. The local engineer even changed the MOBO- and the new MOBO had no fuse in the fuse holder.. National Tech support told him to keep checking the configuration berg jumpers never even knew there was a fuse on the board.. The old MOBO had a blown fuse.. BTW- Sun Microsystems never had a part number for that fuse or even mentioned it in engineering documentation.. a 3rd MOBO arrived by air courier as I was leaving. It did have a new good fuse
If you've read this far. I have to ask this question:
uBITX are not $3000 radio's.. DXpeditions don't depend on 1 radio but pack extra's. For the $120-180 we have invested in a working rig, Isn't it realistic to invest in a second? I have multiple rigs as perhaps I'm blessed. but there are times (close lightening strike) that can render a uBITX or anyother rig perhaps unfixable. Still they are fun aren't they?