Sunday, January 10, 2016

Saying goodbye to a bit of personal history

Ever since I was *very* young, I've been interested in science and technology.  At some point in my teens, maybe 40 years ago, I wanted a better VOM (Volt-Ohm-Milliamp meter) than the junky one I had picked up, so I did some research and spent precious funds on a high-impedance FET meter:

It saw pretty heavy use about 5 years, but as I transitioned from electronics to digital logic, and from that to software, my need for it dropped.  I've probably used it twice in the past 15 years, probably for checking if an electrical outlet is live.

As my previous post indicates, I've just gotten a single-board computer, and I was trying to indirectly measure the value of the pull-up resistor on an open-collector output.  I need a reasonably accurate, high impedance meter, so I got out my old FET.

Alas, the two small selector switches were frozen.  Not sure why or how -- it's a *switch* for goodness sake -- but I can't use it if I can't turn it on.  I'll take it apart, but I don't have high hopes.

It's passing is a sad event for me, but why?  Is it just nostalgia?  Longing for a simpler time?  Missing my childhood?  I think it's more than that.  There are certain things that have come to represent turning points in my life.  The meter may not have *caused* a significant shift in my life path, but it had come to represent it.  And maybe its a mortality thing too, like a piece of me died.

Oh well, I'll probably get a cheap DVM.


John said...

I hope you can fix it. Better a tool you love than a new one that merely "works."

Steve Ford said...

I'm usually not very nostalgic. My sister is holding onto my grade school report cards because I would just throw them away. I don't have a shoe box of photos from when I was young, nor from when my children were young.

And last night, I almost ... *almost* ... threw the meter away. And didn't. Just couldn't do it. Even though I did get a cheap (but serviceable) DVM.

So yeah, I will try to fix it. Some day.