Delayed Trigger — an Allegory for Electronicists

January 20, 2017 | 09:00
Delayed Trigger — an Allegory for Electronicists
Delayed Trigger — an Allegory for Electronicists
I was amused recently to reflect for a moment on the ease of likening the business of publishing on electronics projects to the operation of my favorite lab instrument: the CRO (cathode ray oscilloscope).

Let’s consider the simile: we have a frantic editor (electron gun) writing under high tension (2  kV) and from a fairly random knowledge base (cathode), with a fine-tipped pen (min. spot size) on paper (CRT face). Along the long road from knowledge-base to printed paper, the writing (electron beam) gets biased (deflected) under control of certain readers (control grid) and publishers (screen grid) to hit an exact target (phosphorous spot). All using enormous concentration (focus) and within an ivory-tower office environment (strong vacuum). In some cases the editor rides his hobby horse and provides extra crisp texts and images on paper (10 kV post deflection acceleration switched on). He is very touchy then (anode-cap jolt). Problems also occur. The general level drops (cathode poisoning and depletion), vagueness abounds (astigmatism loss) and commercial forces and CxO’s have to be warded off (mu metal screen).

Inside Elektor a.k.a. “the ‘scope” we can see common elements ruling: amplifiers, attenuators, oscillation, feedback and triggering. Only the latter two are recognizable words to non-electronics folks. For Retronics, my regular section in Elektor Magazine, feedback and triggering have a particular non-electronic significance too, like this: the articles seem to trigger you, our readers, to respond not just with emails of the “I remember/got/desired/wrecked/repaired one too“ type, but also with the ‘real thing’ i.e. vintage equipment hauled down (or up) the stairs for undusting and photographing.

Some readers respond instantly after my publications, others take 23 or more years or more to do so. That’s why I am opening a new column in Retronics called DLY’D TRIG and I do not care about the length of the Delay you choose. The upcoming 2/2017 edition of Elektor has the kickoff of DLY’D TRIG within the article ‘Made in Belgium’ so look out for that, and do participate!

What is your personal trigger level or condition to join a project? How long is your trigger delay? Use the Add a comment button below to start the sweep and write the trace for everyone to see!
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