• TheConfused Father

Why I am Going to Add Dentistry to My Resume Today

I work for a small engineering firm that does maintenance and design for electrical municipalities all over the state of Kansas. My primary job for the company is controls and we will get into all the nitty-gritty of that on this site someday. Today we were working on troubleshooting an inaccurate speed reading on a diesel generator in a power plant. So the speed sensing on a generator is a fairly involved process. There is a huge metal wheel attached to the crankshaft of the generator. On this metal wheel, there is a series of indents at set intervals called teeth. A magnetic pickup is fitted to the bracket outside this wheel in order to hold it as close to the wheel as possible. The magnetic pickup consists of a magnet inside a coil and as the metal of the wheel passes through the magnetic field voltage is induced in the coil. Then when the intentions in the wheel pass the sensor the signal drops out. This creates a pulse that can be counted by a computer and converted into a number to represent the generator speed.

Upon investigating, it seemed that the sensor was seeing twice as many teeth as were actually there. The problem ended up being that some of the teeth on the generator had developed peaks on them during routine maintenance that had been done. These little peaks were maybe 1/16th of an inch tall, but that was enough of a change in the distance to the sensor(which shows how sensitive these sensors are), to resulted in a change in voltage which causes the pickup to count a tooth. The solution, we took a grinder and smoothed the teeth out and everything started working again. (After a little recalibration)

Today I fixed a cavity on a generator. That makes me a dentist right? Did I write this whole post just to make that joke? Probably. Am I sorry? Absolutely not! That is what fathers are supposed to do.

Until next time, I hope this message finds you in good health and with a sound mind. I am just another confused father from Kansas wondering...



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