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Digital readings

Have i got this correct

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Nicholas Wheeler 123/10/2020 09:34:30
406 forum posts
22 photos
Posted by Nigel Graham 2 on 23/10/2020 08:53:31:

Another area where French units have stayed discreetly away seems to be in bell-ringing: a bell is quoted by pitch and weight, or "mass" if you must, but in cwt. & qrs. Good!

Most of the towers round here quote them in cwt and kg. Ever tried telling an 11 year old that the bell he was just ringing weighs 5cwt? It's a waste of time, because you also have to say that it's about 250kg. I was fifty this year, learnt to ring 34 years ago, and bells are the only thing I've ever measured in cwt. And then it only makes 'sense' when attached to a rope and wheel. Which is meaningless because a bigger wheel on the same weight 'feels' lighter!

I worked as a barman for several years and nobody ever used the names of barrels, just their quantity in gallons.

The sooner these obsolete measures die out the better.

Martin Cargill23/10/2020 11:04:50
148 forum posts

My Tuppence worth (or should that be 1p worth?)

1) About 15 years ago I was calculating the size of radiators that I required for the house I was renovating. I was using an on line calculator that required room and window sizes in metres. I despatched my son to measure the rooms (he was around 15 at the time), He came back with measurements in inches. Playing devils advocate I explained to him that I needed measurements in metres. He went away and disappeared for about 15 minutes, coming back with his mother. The two of them then proceeded to tell me that it wasn't possible to measure the window in metres, because it measured less than one metre.....

After a lot of explaining I realised that neither of them understood the relationship between millimetres, centimetres and metres, nor did either of them realise that 0.7 meters was a valid measurement. It was further complicated that my sons school taught centimetres and these were not marked on the tape.

2) About 10 years ago I was Installing a German machine. At the commissioning stage I had a German engineer working with me, he asked for the loan of my tape measure. After two minutes of trying to measure a size he handed my tape back and went off and got his own. I asked him what was wrong and he explained that because our tape measures have imperial on one side and metric on the other they are very difficult to use, because no matter how you try 50% of the time the measurement you want is on the wrong side of the tape. Don't believe me? get hold of a metric only tape they are so much clearer and easier to use (provided your working in millimetres).

3) Regarding the centimetres and millimetres problem, around 40 years ago my mother worked as a secretary for a Swedish steel fabrication company. At the gates of the factory there were two large ship sized anchors. They were there as a reminder for the workforce to always check the measurements on drawings. Turns out the drawings for the anchors were in millimetres and they had been manufactured in centimetres.

Martin

Nicholas Farr23/10/2020 11:34:27
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2476 forum posts
1198 photos
Posted by Martin Cargill on 23/10/2020 11:04:50:

My Tuppence worth (or should that be 1p worth?)

snip

2) About 10 years ago I was Installing a German machine. At the commissioning stage I had a German engineer working with me, he asked for the loan of my tape measure. After two minutes of trying to measure a size he handed my tape back and went off and got his own. I asked him what was wrong and he explained that because our tape measures have imperial on one side and metric on the other they are very difficult to use, because no matter how you try 50% of the time the measurement you want is on the wrong side of the tape. Don't believe me? get hold of a metric only tape they are so much clearer and easier to use (provided your working in millimetres).

snip

Martin

Hi, I can relate to the German engineer, a frustration that I often had during my working days and I still get it now at times in my own garage. Biggest problem is, that not many DIY stores seem to sell metric only tape measures, I did have a couple of cheap ones from Tesco's of all places and they lasted a fair while, a much better one I have came from a local tool supplier but are more expensive than the duel ones.

Regards Nick.

SillyOldDuffer23/10/2020 13:22:18
Moderator
6440 forum posts
1419 photos
Posted by Nigel Graham 2 on 23/10/2020 08:53:31:...

At least the UK's system was national ...

Not really. Imperial is as foreign as metric. Avoirdupois pounds, abbreviated lbs from the latin librae, are from le système des poids commerciaux. Doesn't sound British to me!

Is it good to consider Weights and Measures patriotic? They're tools not symbols of national pride. I suggest a technically based country should adopt the best tools for the job and firmly resist any desire to super-glue itself to the glorious past for sentimental reasons. It's what we do next that matters.

Dave

Nigel Graham 223/10/2020 19:16:03
790 forum posts
16 photos

By "national" I meant "nation-wide"; not by history. Other countries had created systems that were regional.

I never considered measurement units as "patriotic" but it is right to credit those who invent them. Nor did I advocate "super-gluing" the country to the past where and when inapplicable to do so.

I don't know the origin of Avoirdupois* but French was the language of much of diplomacy (and commerce?) for a long time after Latin faded into the background.

'

Incidentally, if we are all supposed to use SI units, and use them appropriately, why do or did some car manufacturers specify engine powers in something called "kp" (kilopoules apparently - 1000 Hens?), and do quote vehicles' internal volumes in litres, the liquid measure?

I am not worried much about power and am happy with 1HP = 0.75kW as near as dammit for an ordinary motor- car; but do want to know what size objects the car will carry, whether I choose feet or metres, not turn it into an aquarium.

'

===

*Avoirdupois: "Have some peas".

old mart23/10/2020 20:25:48
2193 forum posts
164 photos

I'm 71, and I cannot remember ever seeing one of the wooden school rules which didn't have imperial and metric divisions on it.

The museum's lathe is imperial, and one mill is and the other mill is metric. Half of my manual measuring instruments are metric, only the digital calipers are bisexual.

Edited By old mart on 23/10/2020 20:26:24

David Caunt23/10/2020 20:39:40
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39 forum posts
15 photos

Peter,

I had always thought that a billion was 10 to the power of 12 not 9?

Dave

old mart23/10/2020 20:42:34
2193 forum posts
164 photos

There was a time when a billion was a million million, but now it is a thousand million.

Nicholas Wheeler 123/10/2020 20:57:54
406 forum posts
22 photos
Posted by old mart on 23/10/2020 20:42:34:

There was a time when a billion was a million million, but now it is a thousand million.

That's so American numbers look bigger than ours.... did

Steviegtr23/10/2020 21:41:11
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1631 forum posts
196 photos
Posted by Chris Evans 6 on 23/10/2020 09:24:43:

Re the ignition points gaps with the engine running better with 12 thou as opposed to 15 thou. Is this not why we started using "Dwell Metre's" ?

Ah but that was not the point i was making. When the advance/retard mechanism in the distributer moved the plate on its axis. The points opened up way too wide, cannot remember exactly, but enough to cut the power. After fitting a brand new scrap yard one it was ok at 15thou. Dwell meters & strobe lights. Brings back memories.

Steve.

Edited By Steviegtr on 23/10/2020 21:41:24

Meunier23/10/2020 21:56:32
370 forum posts
5 photos
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 23/10/2020 13:22:18:
Posted by Nigel Graham 2 on 23/10/2020 08:53:31:...

.......for sentimental reasons. It's what we do next that matters.

Dave

did you intend to write 'for centimental reasons' ?
DaveD

Nicholas Wheeler 123/10/2020 22:02:06
406 forum posts
22 photos
Posted by Meunier on 23/10/2020 21:56:32:
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 23/10/2020 13:22:18:
Posted by Nigel Graham 2 on 23/10/2020 08:53:31:...

.......for sentimental reasons. It's what we do next that matters.

Dave

did you intend to write 'for centimental reasons' ?
DaveD

That would have upset the metre of the sentence....

Mick B123/10/2020 22:08:07
1767 forum posts
91 photos

I once had a reprint copy of Mueller's 'Treatise of Artillery' of 1791. I think he had a very substantial table of conversion factors between English, French, Prussian, Austrian etc. weights and measures. Life in his time when working with multinational equipment must have been of nightmarish complexity by comparison.

Vershoks and arshins, anyone? They're not Klingon, you know... laugh

Brian H23/10/2020 22:15:15
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1856 forum posts
106 photos

Interesting discussion about tape measures, I got sick of trying to use one side of the tape so I bought a couple of tapes from the USA that are only in inches and on a trip to Holland I got another tape that is only in meters (Dutch spelling)

Brian

john halfpenny23/10/2020 22:20:35
72 forum posts
13 photos

Duncan Webster posted earlier about torque and work, but got it the wrong way round. Imperial torque is conventionally expressed in the UK as lb.ft, or more completely lbf.ft. Work is conventionally expressed as ft.lb.

I acknowledge that the Americans sometimes do it the other way round, but they are of course wrong!

duncan webster23/10/2020 22:27:14
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2839 forum posts
43 photos
Posted by john halfpenny on 23/10/2020 22:20:35:

Duncan Webster posted earlier about torque and work, but got it the wrong way round. Imperial torque is conventionally expressed in the UK as lb.ft, or more completely lbf.ft. Work is conventionally expressed as ft.lb.

I acknowledge that the Americans sometimes do it the other way round, but they are of course wrong!

As am I, that will teach me to rely on Wikipedia as a check

IanT24/10/2020 00:05:15
1669 forum posts
161 photos
Posted by old mart on 23/10/2020 20:42:34:

There was a time when a billion was a million million, but now it is a thousand million.

A Billion here, a Billion there, however you count it - there was a time when that was a lot of money.

These days it seems to be small change...(until you need to pay it back of course)

IanT

Meunier24/10/2020 19:15:35
370 forum posts
5 photos
Posted by Mick B1 on 23/10/2020 22:08:07:

.....Vershoks and arshins, anyone?

I seem to recall having worked with some of those guys, didn't have a good opinion of them....
DaveD

Mick B125/10/2020 14:36:29
1767 forum posts
91 photos
Posted by IanT on 24/10/2020 00:05:15:
Posted by old mart on 23/10/2020 20:42:34:

There was a time when a billion was a million million, but now it is a thousand million.

A Billion here, a Billion there, however you count it - there was a time when that was a lot of money.

These days it seems to be small change...(until you need to pay it back of course)

IanT

Yes, back around WW1 dreadnought battleships cost about £1M - better value than armoured cruisers at c. £800k. HMS Hood was hugely extravagant at over £2M.

Today's capital ships are about 1500 times as expensive per aircraft carrier at £3Bn-odd a throw (I dunno if 'they' want to tell us the real figure, or even really know themselves...) - much more for the even bigger American jobs.

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