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Evans Electric

How wrong can you be ?

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Evans Electric

(1)    Top executive talent scout person at Decca Records   once said "    Not interested , just another four kids with guitars  "   ( The Beatles)

(2)    Head of IBM  "  I see no future for computers ...perhaps ten of them around the world "    

(3)   Earl Haig ,army commander during WW1    "  These tanks will never replace the cavalry "   

(4)   Most main book publishers   except Bloomsbury , said there was no future in Children's literature  ( When turning down J K Rowling ) 

(5)   The Japanese guy who survived the bomb on Hiroshima  , thought sod this and fled to Nagasaki .  

Edited by Evans Electric

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phil d

Imagine how sick the guy felt turning down the Beatles when they hit the big time,  There was something a while ago on TV, one of those documentaries and it was on about inventions I can't remember what it was now, something we all use every day, but a guy looked at it and said it was a waste of time and would never come to anything.I seem to remember something similar happening with Marconi, over the radio, and Edison when he was trying to invent television, iirc, they were both classed as a gimmick that would never amount to anything, yet look how popular and useful they turned out to be, well, radio was useful anyway.lol

 

On a lighter note, I remember in my late teens and I was a bit of a handful, I'd fight for fun, a real loose cannon, "you'll end up behind bars one of these days" my mum was always yelling at me.I moved  away and  didn't see my family for a number of years, then one day I ran into my mother outside a pub, "what have you been up to?" she asked. "well, you were right mum, I've been spending quite a lot of time behind bars recently"  pointed to a van on the car parked marked "brewery tech services" then added, "yeah, made a career  change, I work for them now". Honestly, her face was a picture. lol

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Evans Electric

Some things puzzle me  ....  I think I've got this correct ....    in the 1950's  for reasons not clear , Britain decided  to give away or sell the engineering  our jet fighters were based on , to Russia  , our enemy in the "Cold War" .  

Apparently they re-developed the engine , created the Mig Fighter , &  flew them against us in the Korean north /south war.        Apparently it was the best fighter of it's day .  

I also believe a Brit invented the the jet engine  , the government wouldn't put any cash up so he took it to Canada. 

 

Two of my own inventions which were entirely in my head  were , as an apprentice , the sparks I was with had a screwdriver with a hollow , amber coloured handle that had a Phillips blade in it , interchanged with usual flat one .   

I'd be 15 then , I imagined a motor , batteries in there and driving screws home by pressing a button . 

About 10 yrs later , Stanley brought out their battery driver ,not pistol shaped but like a screwdriver. 

 

Another one,  more recently  was to redesign the JB  from the grubscrew terminal type.   Elongate a 3 plate ceiling rose  to a straight row of terminals , incorporate a clamp  and a snap on cover .    I did nothing , now they're on the market .   

That was  brought on when the timer fans appeared and we had to start wiring them in .  

Edited by Evans Electric

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binky

the Russinas probably stole the design, but our World Wide expertise in jets was scuppered after the government of the day decided it didn't want to support the R&D anymore, and so we sold / lost it all to the USA and others...

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Onoff

In flight refuelling know how sold to the Yanks. 

 

When it came to the Falklands we had to quickly relearn the skills, scavenge RAF bases for key components by then being used as doorstops etc. As well as knocking concrete out of the Vulcans where we'd sealed up the fuel intakes.

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Geoff1946

I despair of UK governments' , (of all shades), support for technology.

We have the best and most innovative engineers in the world, but time and again abandon and give away our discoveries.

I think perhaps the worst example is nuclear engineering, which we pioneered, but where is seems we now have to go grovelling abroad if we want to build a power station.

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Sharpend

It’s not the building we need it’s the money. 

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ProDave

When I was a lad, I used to play about with anything electrical.  I don't recall now but I ended up with a small motor, mounted onto a base plate, driving an out of balance load. I noted how that thing wobbling would be good for smoothing cement.  I had invented the wacker plate.

 

My HND project was a low resolution low bandwidth handheld battery powered oscilloscope using a matrix of LED's as the display.  Who would want such a thing with such a low resolution display?  They were on sale 5 years later, and morphed of course into high resolution 'scopes with LCD displays (remember this was firmly in the days of mains powered CRT screen oscilloscopes, hell they had only just stopped using valves)

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kerching

Prof Eric Laithwaite was developing the Mag Lev train. UK gov said 💩.......W️S

 

 

as an apprentice we were shown how to make envelopes for catching dust when drilling, they are now available in the Big orange shed!!

 To,us itbwas normal and now someone is making money out of it!

 

then there is stuff that didn't need inventing e.g. the Magnamole!    Dragons Den investors creamed their pants when they saw it....my wholesalers ending up giving them away!

 

then there is Super Rod....absolutely brilliant and constantly saves me hours of time

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Evans Electric
1 hour ago, kerching said:

Prof Eric Laithwaite was developing the Mag Lev train. UK gov said 💩.......W️S

Oh  Yessss!!   I remember him doing one of the Christmas Lectures on that subject ,  brilliant .    He had a scale model set up ,  never forgot it ...and then  zilch !!  

 

We had the first Maglev  in the world  at Birmingham Airport  in the 1980's  but I think its gone now . 

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Evans Electric

I remember when the first Mini's  were launched  by Austin /Morris ..BMC ... whatever they were called then .     A strange phenomena spread through the country  that  everything was "Mini "     from skirts  to Mini Marts  etc etc   but the first  " Mini"  was launched as  the Austin 7  I think it was .   

Massive interest in them ,  BMC latched on eventually and changed the name .  

 

The car was basically a bag of shytte  ,    a small version of the Morris Minor , the transverse engine being revolutionary ....totally spartan inside , Issigonis  decided the public didn't need  stuff like a heater , a radio etc  ...great long gear stick flopping about from under the bulkhead ,    the distributor exposed to rain ... front floor shell plate overlapping facing forward , was rusting away , a piece of string  to open the door.  

They sold despite themselves because , I think , they were so cheap ...a box with an 850cc engine  in it .  

 

Almost impossible to overturn and front wheel drive was a revelation , especially in those big snows we had then.    It was basically not much than an army jeep. 

 

Ford purchased one to see what the fuss was , stripped it down , costed it up and wondered why BMC were selling so cheap . 

Another cock up was having four different marques , Austin , Morris, Wolseley, Riley .      All with their own front end ,all badged up differently , trimmed differently . 

 

The Mini you see now is so far ahead of the first ones .   Makes them look like Fred Flintstone's car . 

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kerching

The Riley Elf variant had a slightly larger sticky out boot with a couple of 'fins' on the top edge

 

i was a confirmed mini man.....I used to eat sleep breathe them

 

ultimate was the Cooper S that I 'tweaked' 😱

 

 

MKI mini the only vehicle ever designed where you had to take the engine out to empty the ashtray!........almost

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Evans Electric
2 hours ago, kerching said:

The Riley Elf variant had a slightly larger sticky out boot with a couple of 'fins' on the top edge

Ah  yes  I remember that now .    DIdn't the Riley & Wolesley have  their own front grilles too ?          Business & production  wise it was economic suicide  having different sets of  badged  hubcaps , Steering wheel centres , front grille badges  etc .       

Issigonis decreed the public didn't want radios heaters , soundproofing , comfortable seats .        If I remember correctly he drove a Roller .  Did some work at his house , he had a great model steam engine that set off in the garage ,  through an archway  and off round the grounds .  

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Tony S

Mini’s are embarrassing when you arrive home in the rain with the drivers door tied on the roof with flex.

 

You can still drive a Hillman Imp with 13 drunken people in it. OK, so the suspension collapsed.

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ProDave
15 minutes ago, Tony S said:

Mini’s are embarrassing when you arrive home in the rain with the drivers door tied on the roof with flex.

 

You can still drive a Hillman Imp with 13 drunken people in it. OK, so the suspension collapsed.

That reminds me of some friends that put a load of scuba diving gear in the boot of a Mk1 Escort that had the suspension down on the stops.  At the end of the journey when they emptied the boot, it stayed down on the stops, it had killed the springs.

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phil d
22 hours ago, kerching said:

The Riley Elf variant had a slightly larger sticky out boot with a couple of 'fins' on the top edge

 

i was a confirmed mini man.....I used to eat sleep breathe them

 

ultimate was the Cooper S that I 'tweaked' 😱

 

 

MKI mini the only vehicle ever designed where you had to take the engine out to empty the ashtray!........almost

 I used to do a lot with mini's back in the day, which was odd because I didn't drive, there was however a reason for this. I worked in a steel works and we had a lot of fabrication kit, the boss used to turn a blind eye to us making things out of the scrap steel. I used to make battery boxes for mini's as well as subframe patches and floor pans, a lot of the lads ussed to drive them but couldn't do major repairs, I made a fortune doing bodywork and welding, then I started making those brackets that held the 4 spotlights on the front, I think they were about £50 from minisports, I made a fortune on them.Then I started de-seaming them, then one day I really started, a lad I knew from school came to see me, he's dad was hillclimbing champion in the 60's, in a mini cooper 1340s, and he wanted one, well he found a load of bits and we built one.

Then a lad wanted a mk1 Ford Fiesta, XR2, but they were a fortune, so he bought a stolen recovered, basically a shell, and there was a young lad down the road who'd bought one, he could afford the car but not the insurance! Anyway he'd insured it 3rd party only and stuffed it into a ditch, total rightoff, we bought that, had the shell resprayed and using a mates barn I swapped all the bits over, perfect.Then a lad crashed his TR7, repair bill was £5k, ouch! Well I rang British Leyland, they had a place at Chester and told them I was building one as a project, they were great. They invited me down one Saturday morning and sorted out all the parts I needed, which was basically everything from the front bumper to the windscreen, not only that but they even gave me a set of drawings so I could get the dimensions right. The whole lot cost about £500 and when it was done it was good as new, The old guy at BL was brilliant, gave me loads of advice, I think being young at the time helped, he saw his self as a kind of mentor.

Then there was the Ford Escort, to replace the cam you had to remove the head, it was quicker and easier to take the dashboard out, so thats what we did. then using a holesaw you drilled a 2" hole in the bulkhead and slid the camshaft backwards into the car, when you'd done it was a simple matter of putting a rubber bung in the hole. 

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phil d
20 hours ago, Evans Electric said:

Ah  yes  I remember that now .    DIdn't the Riley & Wolesley have  their own front grilles too ?          Business & production  wise it was economic suicide  having different sets of  badged  hubcaps , Steering wheel centres , front grille badges  etc .       

Issigonis decreed the public didn't want radios heaters , soundproofing , comfortable seats .        If I remember correctly he drove a Roller .  Did some work at his house , he had a great model steam engine that set off in the garage ,  through an archway  and off round the grounds .  

We had a Riley Elf, while I was working away my mam decided to get a new car, the local garage had a deal on £1000 for your old car in part ex, regardless of age or condition. I rang home one night and she told me she had some exciting news, she'd just picked up her new car, the best bit was, "they actually gave me a grand for the old Riley", she laughed, like she'd got one over on the dealer!

I bet they were delighted to give her a grand for it, mint condition, low mileage and only 3 owners from new! If I could have strangled her down the phone, I would have. Then we got an Austin Healey, van den plas, talk about mad, set into the rear of the front passenger seat was a small cupboard with a walnut front to match the dash, inside this were 2 crystal whiskey tumblers and a space for a bottle! It was one of those fancy extra's on the van den plas, a bit like in later years with the Fords, if you bought the 1100, escort it had nothing, the 1100L had a radio, the LS had a radio cassette, imagine that today, "here's the latest Audi, comes with aircon, bluetooth, 4 wheel drive, flappy paddle gearbox, full leather interior, and a handy cocktail cabinet so you and the lady of your choice can have a drink after you've been bonking in the back seat! lol

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Evans Electric

I think Halfords cornered the market back then , in selling radio & heater kits  to fit cars sold without them .

And a fortune to be made selling parking lights .      For younger readers ....you couldn't park at night without leaving the lights on ....  local police loved it ..just walk round the side roads slapping tickets on .     Trouble was , in winter ...very cold in the '60s ...battery went flat .   So you could buy , from Halfords ,    a little  5W light that clipped onto the side window , showing red to the rear & white to the front . 

 

I think it was the "Dipped Headlights" campaign  (that started in Brum)   that  finally got rid of that outdated law.      The headlights would react with the reflectors on parked cars .....but again park the wrong way round  and  its another ticket . !! 

 

The dipped headlight campaign was fine as long you were in the Birmingham area ...as you got into Wales everyone coming the other way  ( on sidelights!!:C)   would  purposely blind you with full heads ..as they thought you some sort of mad person to be driving on dipped ..in pitch darkness  on twisty Welsh roads.    

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Geoff1946
3 hours ago, Evans Electric said:

a little  5W light that clipped onto the side window , showing red to the rear & white to the front . 

I made a few bob in the early sixties by adding a photo-switch to those and selling them to friends. You could then park up at any time knowing your car would light up at dusk with no unnecessary waste of battery power.

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Evans Electric

I learned from TonyS's   Tour of Bletchley Park  that Churchill  didn't destroy Colossus  , the world's  first computer after all  .    He did have them destroyed  but  Mk 1  and Mk2  went  to GCHQ   until the early 60's  apparently.   

 

Today a modern computer could do the calcs that took Colossus 4 hrs    in 45secs  .         But it was still a mighty achievement by Mr  Tommy Flowers  of the GPO .

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Tony S
1 hour ago, Evans Electric said:

I learned from TonyS's   Tour of Bletchley Park  that Churchill  didn't destroy Colossus  , the world's  first computer after all  .    He did have them destroyed  but  Mk 1  and Mk2  went  to GCHQ   until the early 60's  apparently.   

 

Today a modern computer could do the calcs that took Colossus 4 hrs    in 45secs  .         But it was still a mighty achievement by Mr  Tommy Flowers  of the GPO .

 

One computer I’d like to see is the Babbage's Difference Engine No. 2

 

Calculating Ada

 

 

 

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Evans Electric

Thats some kind of brain that can devise a mechanical machine to produce calculus  like that .  

 

I saw a Babbage engine on TV years ago but remember it  similar to a snooker table layout with rotary handles all down the sides .     The operator works his way down , turning each in turn . 

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Tony S

I had enough trouble getting my head around logarithmic tables and a slide rule.

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kerching
57 minutes ago, Tony S said:

I had enough trouble getting my head around logarithmic tables and a slide rule.

I struggle  with Sangamo RPTS solar mechanical time clocks!

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Evans Electric
6 minutes ago, kerching said:

I struggle  with Sangamo RPTS solar mechanical time clocks!

They always fascinated me too .    Like a circular cam  behind the dial  , all mechanical,    it follows the changing  seasons ...switching on & off at dusk & dawn .  

I think they're really expensive  these days  .   In this area they're  manufactured  to 52 deg. Lat    .  If you flogged one to Prodave,  who,s up in the Arctic Circle,  it would be no good at all.     ( Probably why they're expensive) 

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