Engineer’s Holiday

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No PROFIBUS or PROFINET in this post; it’s off those topics, but still engineering related.  A Sightseer’s Guide to Engineering lists six engineering sights to see in Arizona.  With this past weekend’s travels I’ve now seen five.  (I have not been to Kitt Peak National Observatory yet – although I have been to the Lowell Observatory, where Pluto was discovered, a number of times and blogged about one trip.  In fact, I was even there a couple times while Pluto was still a planet.)  This trip included visits to the Titan Missile Museum and the Asarco Mission Mine (and Mill).

Here is the missile from beside the blast doors looking down into the silo:

Titan2 in Silo

And here’s part of the control panel:

Missle Control Panels

I could not get close enough to see who made what on the control panels.  But the guidance system was from Delco and the limit switches and pushbutton stations throughout the facility were from Allis Chalmers.

And finally another relic of the cold war, a radiation survey meter, not a Geiger counter.  Unlike a Geiger counter the survey meter only detects high levels of radiation, so no Uranium prospecting with this meter.  I could have bought a survey meter for $39.95, but resisted.  I also resisted the genuine surplus Fallout Shelter signs like those that used to adorn my elementary school.

Radiation Survey Meter

At the Asarco Mission Mine we got a view of the 2 by 2.5 mile open pit copper mine and of the mill:

Copper Mill

In the visitor center was more electrical equipment including this Hoope’s Bridge for measuring electrical conductivity:

Hoopes Bridge

If you are interested in old instruments, and you haven’t already clicked the Lowell Observatory link above, there are some interesting instruments there, too.

I also toured the not-on-the-list Biosphere 2 where the “control room” was a computer station.  And saw the “natural engineering” of Kartchner Caverns.  And since I was that close to Willcox, AZ (and now we are way, way off topic), I got to visit the Marty Robbins and Rex Allen museums and on the way home, the Tom Mix memorial.

While I was enjoying my tours, my grandson Morgan was watching Boeing build airplanes – cool!  Maybe after the Portland PROFINET class, I can make it up there for a tour.  But today I’m traveling and tomorrow you can “meet me in St. Louis, Louis, meet me at the fair…” er, the PROFINET one-day training class.

–Carl Henning

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