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An OT story.

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Munjibunga, Jul 2, 2004.

  1. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Today on my way to work, I had my usual bottle of Propel (lemon flavor, but I prefer peach or berry ... it's a GatorAde line), which I drink on the road. For some reason, they've turned off those idiotic metering lights where my freeway merges with I-5, so I got to work about 5 minutes faster than usual. As a result, I still had about a half bottle of Propel left. No prob. I just screwed on the cap, threw it in the top of my briefcase, and took it inside to drink in the office.

    Ok, so I sit down at my desk and turn around to grab the Propel, and when I pick it up, I think, "Hmmm ... I thought I had more than this left." Fudge. This is not going to be good. I look in the briefcase and, sure enough, almost the whole half bottle had drained into my briefcase, most of it into the pocket where my HP-48GX calculator resides. Dang! My favorite calculator. Full scientific, 2300 functions (literally) and, best of all, reverse Polish notation. Well, it's saturated, but I figure well, lets see if it works ... huh huh. It was horrible - flickering LCD patterns, dwindling spasmodically like a slow and tortuous death, then ... nothing.

    Well, maybe I just shorted out the batteries. I grabbed three AAA's from the office supply bunker, stuck them in and ... nothing. OK, what now? Well, I've got nothing to lose. These danged things cost $249 new, but they don't make them any more. Now the rat bastards want $300 used at Amazon. Well I had a plan.

    Propel is a so-called "sport drink", loaded with vitamins, minerals, a little sugar, and all kind of conductive crap that'll gum up electronics like a champ. So I went back into the lab, and got a pot full of distilled water, and I stuck the calculator in there and swished it around for about thirty seconds to wash out the sticky stuff. Then I went over to the air compressor and blew out as much water as I could. Finally, I stuck it in the air-dry oven for about an hour and a half (don't worry, the temperature is about 110 degrees F, within the operating range of the calculator).

    After it came out of the oven, I stuck in the batteries, pushed the "on" button and SIGNS OF LIFE! It asked me "Try to restore memory?" But alas, soon everything went awry, and the screen looked like it was on acid ... letters here, symbols there, lines, patterns. So I turned it off and sat it on my desk. A couple hours later, I turned it on and, once again, "Try to restore memory?" This time, I said no, and all of a sudden, the main screen appeared. Whoa!

    However, now the hundreds of equations and programs that I had programmed into it were gone. As it turns out, I just happen to have an older HP48S that has the same programs on it and, wouldn't you know it, they can communicate through an IR port. So I lined them up at each other and had them perform the Vulcan mind-suck. The GX's brain was fully restored, and my life is again perfect in every way.

    Just thought you might like to know.
  2. Moral: Drink water :D

    Sorry to hear that Munji.
  3. You know, that info will probably save your life some day. I thought that once electronic get wet they were done.
  4. Nick Gann

    Nick Gann Talkbass' Tubist in Residence

    Mar 24, 2002
    Silver Spring, MD
    I've had similar things happen to my pocket yahtzee game. I was happy when it dried out and came back to life. It even remembered my high score :D
  5. Sounds like you do a lot at work :p
  6. grovest


    Feb 26, 2002
    Munji, I too love RPN. You might be happy to know that HP has in fact REINSTATED manufacturing and development of calculators! It has a new line of tools that are in some ways superior to previous generations.


    Do you ever visit comp.sys.hp48?
  7. omg good thing it still works!! i would kill myself before letting my pocket yahtzee die. oh, and ur little watchamicallit munji, good for it. :D ;) :D
  8. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    By far one of the most entertaining stories on here in quite some time. However I am anxiously awaiting the Munji "So, there is this girl I like but I think she is insane but I still love her anyway so I hope she gets me something for my 11th birthday (in your case much much older)" thread.

    Freaky Fender - Water is bad for electronics only if it's currently active if I recall correctly. I know big arcade boards (the insides) used to be cleaned by taking them into parking lots and hosing them down. This got all of the dust off that would accumulate after sitting for months. It just had to be fully dry before turning it back on. Looks like thats what our buddy basically did here, although it sounds like he tried it a bit too soon at first. ;)
  9. Gia


    Feb 28, 2001
    for my gcse maths exam i used a calculator that i got free in cereal. boy was i ****** when they asked a question about pi.

    maybe i should drench it in propel.
  10. Excellent news. My HP calc still works like a champ, but prolly haven't touched it in a couple years.

    On a similar note, my gf laundered the big do-it-all TV remote I have. That's right, cleaning the bedspread...stuck it in the washer by mistake.

    I'm horribly sick at the time, gf asks if I've seen the remote. In a scary moment of clairvoyance, I walked over to the washer that was full of water. Stuck my hand inside the tub of soapy water, and pulled out the fully cleaned remote like it was the sword excaliber.

    I took the batteries out, told her not to touch it. Let it dry for a day. Works great now.

    Electronics are tough, and purely clean water isn't conductive. It's the crap/additives in most water that allows things to short out. Most boards are conformal coated/potted that makes them very weather resistant.

    Many more happy computations Munji.
  11. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX


    brad cook
  12. Yay! Wet electric thingies story time!

    I once dove into a swimming pool with my cell phone still in my pocket. It was on.
    I remembered it was in there while I was in mid air, so I ran back up to my room and wiped down what I could with paper towels (er...a paper towel...) and then borrowed one of the girls' hair dryers. I let it sit over night, and in the morning it worked like new. In fact, it was new. I had only had it for about 2 days at the time, I think. :p
  13. danshee

    danshee Banned

    May 28, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    Good story. I love hearing stories of saving the life of electronics after the point of being toast. But, more importantly, you say you're from Groom Lake. Really? See any cool UFO's as of late?
  14. Haha, that's awesome, way not to dispair!!

    And your premise looked exactly right. Water messes up batteries, but usually leaves the rest of electronics alone. However, anything remotely sticky or sugary will screw up electronics big-time, until you get it out!
  15. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    Another RPN fan here. I've been using a HP15C for nearly 20 years.
    I simply cannot use a calculator with an "equals" sign anymore.
  16. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    Ok, the fact that I was a Comparative Literature major with a classics minor is about to come out here: What is reverse polish notation?

    edit: nevermind, I rember talking about this in logic. Here is a link for anyone interested.

  17. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    Cool Munji!!

    I dropped my Panasonic cordless phone in the toilet once while I was relieving myself. I had just bought the phone, so I was ticked. I set it on the counter to dry out. About three hours later, I picked it up and dialed a number. Worked fine. Smells funny, but works fine.

  18. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Here at Groom, we know what they are.
  19. Why exactly where you using a phone while on the can? Ew.

    I've done the same thing though, just with a pair of a headphones. Was just sitting there listening to music when my headphones fell off right into the (Clean) toilet. I just fished them out, dried them off, and they worked good as new.
  20. Humblerumble


    Feb 22, 2004
    I used to work in land surveying and we all had the HP48 calculators. One new guy dropped an expensive walkie talkie into a 10' deep creek. we could hear the other guy talking as the radio was going down. The new guy jumps in after the radio, which was bad because he couldn't swim, with his HP48 on his belt. Anyway the whole thing looked like a three stooges skit, but everything worked fine after the dry out, even the new guy. ;)