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Testers, Beware of this April 1st Prankster

April 5, 2021
Be wary of technicians bearing squeeze bottles.

From April 1st, 2021 @Electronic Design

This April 1st article was contributed by Electronic Design reader Benjamin Ford.

Years ago, when I was a technician, I worked in a large engineering lab of a defense avionics plant.  The engineering techs were known for being very clever and creative, and they were very thorough in every aspect of their jobs.

One day a fellow technician wired a small-value resistor to two 30-gauge wires, placed it inside a crook-neck squeeze bottle, and screwed the top on. He then hooked up the leads to a power supply and smoked the resistor inside. He trimmed off the leads, folded his arms with the bottle concealed underneath, and set off on his adventures.

He approached a tech who was busy probing live circuits and taking measurements, standing near them to "confer."  One squeeze of the bottle in the right direction, and it was great fun to watch the poor victim madly scramble to turn off all circuit power, thinking there was a serious fault. 

Needless to say, I was one of his several victims, but I appreciated that it was a test of our abilities to use all of our senses to diagnose problems and react to them. No one who has ever burned a circuit can forget that smell, nor should they!

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