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Who has the Knack?

03/28/2016 3:45 PM

Does this sound a familiar story to anyone?

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#1

Re: Who has the knack?

03/28/2016 4:10 PM

That's me!

Except I never put things back together. Then.

I do now.

Growing up on a farm teaches you a lot.

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#2

Re: Who has the knack?

03/28/2016 5:22 PM

Here too.

I wish I had the Frankenstein machines I made in my youth.. Very little was ever kept or photographed back then. Now every turd on the planet is saved on line.

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#3

Re: Who has the knack?

03/28/2016 5:54 PM

I can barely remember the look on my old man's face when he came home to find his high priced Ampex reel to reel in a million pieces on the floor....I assured him that I could fix it, but he would have none of it....He bagged it up and rushed it to the repair service like it was an emergency patient....boy was he pissed....luckily he got over it quickly...I was about 16....I can fix anything...

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#4

Re: Who has the knack?

03/28/2016 6:03 PM

Yep. And it has saved me untold amounts of money over the years. Along with providing me entertainment, fascination, and a career.

One of my earliest memories is sitting on the basement step, and hopping down to the next step to get to my fathers workshop. I'm not sure, but I may have still been in diapers at the time.

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#5

Re: Who has the knack?

03/28/2016 6:41 PM

Sometimes I wonder if the value of the knowledge I gained outweighs the current value of the toys I would still have if I hadn't taken them all apart. Now, at least, most of the time I can get the stuff I dismantle back together.

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#6

Re: Who has the Knack?

03/28/2016 7:02 PM

Does a designing and building a single tube (Dual triode) FM transmitter with a ~200 -300 foot range out of junk TV parts by the time you're age 14 count as having the knack?

(As if I didn't know.)

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#14
In reply to #6

Re: Who has the Knack?

03/29/2016 5:39 AM

I built my first RC plane at 9 (1955), including the Tx and Rx, both tubed, but they were from kits.

My first plane, with a Jetex motor, I had already built and flown to destruction, a Keil Craft "attacker"....here is a picture of one from the IoT.

For the later RC plane I have no pictures or even a name, but I bought the balsa etc., and cut everything out by hand, though my father kindly made the hardwood engine mounts (beautifully, I can still see them in my head!) for me, as he did not want me using/abusing his planes and chisels.....

He also showed me how to cover the wings with tissue (he did the attacker for me previously!) and dope it...In fact, I had to remake one side as I pulled the tissue too tight on the RH wing and when the dope "set", it warped that wing!! I had never ever done it before.....is my excuse!

My father guided me initially with the soldering (no pcb by the way!), but I mostly built Rx and Tx myself after being shown how to solder.

The soldering iron was HUGE by today's standards.....

I used a rubber driven escapement for rudder control, no elevator or any other control.

A small ED diesel motor for power that had a hard time lugging the aircraft up.......I made my own fuel from Ether, Castor oil and paraffin if I remember correctly.....

See here:-

ED Model Engines

The following link is a smaller version of what I built, remember mine had to carry a big 90 volt battery pack and a 1.5 volt!! It had to be much larger, but the escapement appears to be similar.....

Rubber Escapement Model Aircraft

Later, at grammar school, using a lathe, I built my first single channel electric servo. It worked in a similar way to the rubber driven one, with a tiny DC motor instead of the long rubber band!! I was maybe 13 or 14.....

The same valve transmitter, I later modified first for "galloping Ghost" control and again MUCH later for a full proportional system, from an American design published in RCM&E around 1962-3, when everyone else was still using tuned reeds.....still no PCB, just mounting components in holes in a piece of plastic sheet.....It was the original design for flight link if I remember correctly....

Which was not digital, it was analog!

A really great system, with some features that only expensive ones have today....

Here is a copy of the manual for I believe a later version:-

Flightlink/ manual

It actually used transistors instead of tubes in the receiver, REALLY modern!!

MAT100 and MAT101 (not my first transistors, they were Green Spots), but I could never ever forget the names.... By the way, both of which had to be "selected" to make sure that they could work properly at 27MHZ!! Not all did!!

For that I built a "Veron Robot" eventually, a plane from a kit!! Getting lazy! In 2013 a kit was sold on ebay, it might have been a 70's kit, but the were sold in the 60's as well....

Veron Robot on Ebay 2013

Then at 17 I gave everything away and joined the RN.....

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#7

Re: Who has the Knack?

03/28/2016 11:52 PM

Ya, I have always had it, in the beginning it was fun, then it became profitable, then it became a job getter, then I started trying to find others with the Knack to work for me, (it just doesn't happen), then you get so tired of having to jump every time someone yells help (because they are too lazy) that you don't want to have the KNACK any longer.

Where is the out, how do you pass it on or get out of having it? are we domed for life having to hear others yell help and expecting to hear you say I'll be right there, on the way, coming. You end up being the only person without a backup to turn too, you are domed to stay with the problem until it is fixed, day and night because if he who has the KNACK cant do it, it cant be done. But you, the one with the KNACK, you know that there is nothing that cant be done.

How do I get rid of this burden?

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#8
In reply to #7

Re: Who has the Knack?

03/29/2016 12:41 AM

In your case, it's a curse. We all have our demons.

You are doomed to want to fix things.

You have, "The Knack".

You'll get your reward in Heaven.

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#20
In reply to #8

Re: Who has the Knack?

03/29/2016 9:52 AM

"You'll get your reward in Heaven."

St. Peter "Says here ya got 'the Knack'. Good! See that hinge on the Pearly Gate's been sqeekin' a bit lately. Can ya fix it?"

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#21
In reply to #20

Re: Who has the Knack?

03/29/2016 10:11 AM

To which he replies, "Are you kiddin'? That'll take a miracle".

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#9
In reply to #7

Re: Who has the Knack?

03/29/2016 1:07 AM

That'd be like Christ saying " I don't wanna be Love anymore" !

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#11
In reply to #7

Re: Who has the Knack?

03/29/2016 2:15 AM

The only way out is to get lucky and make a lot of money......but remember you're always better off then those that have to depend on others to relieve their electro-mechanical woes....You can always go drive a truck and make good money....

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#17
In reply to #7

Re: Who has the Knack?

03/29/2016 8:16 AM

Well if it is electronic, you can use the phrase, "that's a custom chip set in there, and it will cost more to buy a new one from the manufacturer than buying a whole new device." Works for me. If it is mechanical, well, we all still have that problem.

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#10

Re: Who has the Knack?

03/29/2016 2:07 AM

Sometimes you have to be willing to risk breaking things to fix them. Seems like more often than not.

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#12

Re: Who has the Knack?

03/29/2016 4:34 AM

The main problem is you get all the jobs others can't do.

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#13
In reply to #12

Re: Who has the Knack?

03/29/2016 5:06 AM

This is true at work as well as at home. I regularly get brought products with broken screws etc. & these are usually worth several thousands of £s with the message 'we need to ship this today'.

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#18
In reply to #12

Re: Who has the Knack?

03/29/2016 8:16 AM

Or don't want to do as well.

While still available, I usually reserve my "talent" for repairing things that "cannot be repaired", at least according to the manufacturer(s).

As for getting things done, the old adage still applies - if you want something done in a hurry,,, give it to the busiest person you know.

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#25
In reply to #12

Re: Who has the Knack?

03/30/2016 8:44 AM

Didn't watch the Video.....

after graduating from college, my first company, when everyone wanted the higher profile work at. I always took the behind the scenes low profile somewhat crap work.... I was good at it, and people would dump (how fitting) more of it on me.....

I actually so the importance of it and was able to develop it to run more efficient ....

Yep.... give it to phoenix.... he's a sap. They did realize that with the bonuses I was making drove my salary to 1.5 times of what the brown noses were doing..... I was fortunate to fall in a situation where it was failing and no one wanted to touch it.

People got worried, when I was offered the promotion that would have put me in charge of the people who were the dumpers.... but fortunately for them... I turned it down and accepted a position at another company.

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#15

Re: Who has the Knack?

03/29/2016 6:28 AM

I didn't get past the pussy cats.

But I've seen that 'toon before.. v good
Del

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#16

Re: Who has the Knack?

03/29/2016 7:00 AM

Er...........Er..............Er.............

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#19

Re: Who has the Knack?

03/29/2016 8:24 AM

I still have a problem at work with this. We have a maintenance crew at two of the three sites, and an engineering staff as well at two. But, if they get stumped on a repair, doesn't matter how busy I am with controls engineering, I am the one expected to go tell them what to do. Most often it amounts to reading the manual and ordering the part/parts required. I wonder if our maintenance staff are all illiterate.

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#24
In reply to #19

Re: Who has the Knack?

03/30/2016 4:00 AM

Nope, they just miss mommy's presence and loving touch

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#22

Re: Who has the Knack?

03/29/2016 7:15 PM

What do you mean "put it back together"???

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#23

Re: Who has the Knack?

03/30/2016 2:01 AM

After seeing this i feel knackered ;)

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#26

Re: Who has the Knack?

03/30/2016 8:47 AM

Problem is, while there are a few that have "The knack"..... some are just posers.

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#27

Re: Who has the Knack?

03/30/2016 8:56 AM

I had the "Knack"

Before I retired I was the "go to guy" at work whenever something broke and others could not figure how to repair or put something back together. I was respected for it there since it was not of my management/engineering responsibilities but I did it to help others out. More of a personal contribution than company responsibility.

Now that I am retired my family thinks I don't know how to fix/install/repair anything and they must do it. Today I am repairing the sheet rock where the daughter hung some "child gates". The ribbed plastic anchors she used pulled out from the weight of the gates. Not only was it the wrong type of anchor, a stud was located about 1" from where she located the plastic anchor so a screw could have been used. Not only that, my knuckle tapping on the wall longer works good enough to locate studs in walls. A "stud finder" is now the only thing that locates studs.

Ego says go back to working. Body says stay home.

Good Luck, Old Salt

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#28
In reply to #27

Re: Who has the Knack?

03/30/2016 9:07 AM

That imo is 'the essence' of having the knack.

It's a drive more than just proving something.

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#29

Re: Who has the Knack?

03/30/2016 2:13 PM

https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=dilbert+the+knack

The full episode is available somewhere. It's worth a look.

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#30
In reply to #29

Re: Who has the Knack?

03/30/2016 2:54 PM

It has already been posted on here some days ago, but thanx anyway....

I think it was the very first post!!

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#35
In reply to #30

Re: Who has the Knack?

03/31/2016 8:55 PM

So sorry. I seem to miss a lot more things than I used to. I think. Maybe, but I might be wrong again.

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#36
In reply to #35

Re: Who has the Knack?

04/01/2016 3:14 AM

LOL!!

We here have all been guilty of missing something "topical", and its part of the fun to be able to point it out!!

Have a great day!!

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#37
In reply to #35

Re: Who has the Knack?

04/01/2016 4:05 AM

I get the Dilbert daily cartoon every day, one of my highlights. It's great fun trying to identify folk at work who match the strange characters in the cartoon strip.

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#31

Re: Who has the Knack?

03/30/2016 10:09 PM

Right, but are you an... expert?

https://youtu.be/BKorP55Aqvg

Alas, this pain I have felt many times over.

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#32

Re: Who has the Knack?

03/30/2016 11:39 PM

Who has the Knack? A lot depends upon who is being judged and who is judging that person for having the knack. Sometimes many of the evaluators are members of the subjects family or family of families.

Years ago while driving to work just prior to Father's Day I heard these words of wisdom by, I believe, Charles Kuralt on "Father's Day". Paraphrased it goes something like this:

When a child is young the father is the smartest person in their lives.

During their years of youth and later, father is the dumbest person in their lives.

In their older years those former children, perhaps with children of their own, maybe father wasn't so dumb after all. Maybe now they realize he was/is a lot smarter than they thought.

Personally, my father, RIP, fit into this statement. For me and my siblings, we learned he really had the KNACK, Fortunately he felt he passed it on to some of his children, me included.

Good Luck, Old Salt

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#33
In reply to #32

Re: Who has the Knack?

03/31/2016 1:01 AM

Amen Brother!

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#34

Re: Who has the Knack?

03/31/2016 2:02 AM

I was reading all of the replies, trying to determine what the fuss was about (I can't get any video links at work).

Now I know having seen the video! And yes, I have the knack too. It was more destructive when I was much younger, but now in these later years, I have the desire to make the cheapest appliance work, no matter the cost, in time, to me.

Two years ago, I was using my mom's upholstry/carpet spot cleaner and accidentally spilled some of the cleaning solution over the top of the cleaner including the display. After that, it would not work. I knew what the problem was - moisture and the chemical nature of the solution was shorting out the circuit boards inside the machine. Was it easy to get to the affected parts? No. It took about 4 hrs to break it down, clean the PCBs and reassemble.

Does it work now? Yes! Do I feel that I wasted my time? Not really!!!! (I was out of work at the time though)

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#38

Re: Who has the Knack?

04/01/2016 7:22 AM

I was going to refrain from posting at first, because there are people who do have a knack... I just could help myself because I enjoy reading some of these....

Unfortunately, people that do this, also are self absorb that proclaim that they also have "The Knack", and it's something that one wants to be unassociated with.

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#39

Re: Who has the Knack?

04/03/2016 11:43 AM

The next video is crazier when you have the knack

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Az0rWc2W28I&ebc=ANyPxKrK-3yeioi6frOw979xz6l9zGoZX-nEkXb5tCfjOkSGWcbK4modQPoBcbXIohRI7KvLiilOVlYrPcxBuq58MqNEAuiLkw

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