Whisky and Paracetamol…Epilogue

23rd April 2023


For those who have not read the first part : Whisky and Paracetamol – When the customer assists in a multi-sensor network installation | Dubois (vanwalt.com)

The evidence was there and noted but hindsight suggests that it might have been prudent to have given that evidence better attention.  They say that wisdom comes with age. Perhaps however it is distributed unequally: Some get the full dose, others perhaps less. That notwithstanding one would have thought that forty years experience would count for something.

Not to dwell on that vexing point; and to those that might be reading this: If your device shows you a sudden and unexplained drop in Voltage don’t just dismiss it as an irksome phenomenon but consider that it might be as a result of a short circuit. Those do not play well with electronic equipment and it may even blitz a sensor or two or as in our case, it downed half a station.

It wasn’t a “rapid unscheduled disassembly”* but the consequences did allow us the pleasure of an unscheduled revisit to Vindolanda this Saturday. It’s always a pleasure to see the place but perhaps less so on a rainy day to fix a problem that we might have avoided.

Dr Andrew Birley and David van Walt

Plato suggested that “the beginning is the most important part of the work” and if we’d paid better attention to the obvious signs at the beginning of our work we might have been spared a 700 mile road trip.

On the upside though, I think we might have gained a grain of wisdom and we got to see the Angel of the North.

Our thanks as ever to Dr Andrew Birley and his team for their patience and friendliness.


Vincent van Walt

Haslemere, Sunday 23rd April 2023

  • As quoted by a member of the SpaceX team after the rocket explosion

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