Monday, September 20, 2004

Update on the "Home Computer" picture: The photograph is apparently a Photoshopped hoax. Reader Mike Jaeger pointed out,
That is the control panel from an old naval nuclear reactor. On the far right is the EPCP (electric plant control panel) where the electrical operator on watch ("EO") controls power flows and breaker positions (notice the schematic laid out with switches for breakers). In the middle section is where the reactor operator ("RO") sits. He shims the control rods up and down in the reactor core with the lever (the L shaped lever just in front of the horizontal bar) and on the left is the throttleman station (usually manned by electricians). The large wheel is used to open/close ahead steam valves to the propusion shaft, while the smaller wheel is used to open/close back steam (astern throttles). The two wheels would be used in conjunction with each other to get the shaft to stop from a forward rotation, and then go in reverse (ahead steam is removed and astern steam applied to stop the shaft). The different gauges are specific to each station, with the throttleman concerned about power to steam flow ratios, steam pressures, etc. The RO cares about primary water avg. (coolant) temp, pressures, etc. The EO is watching vital bus voltages, and charging the battery with a trickle charge.

Thought you may like to know that (I used to sit on the far right, but on a newer version of that same panel).
Thanks for the correction, Mike!