July 5, 2009

PE Lab hours

First of all, let me welcome you to my class – it’s actually my Power Electronics lab hours right now. I was thinking of introducing my group mates now, but since I’m quite busy running towards the lab right now, with two of my group mates, ill just skip it. We hadn’t written the rough record and had to complete it after the first hour.
Finally, by 10:07 we (A1, A2 and me) reached the Lab, all panting and sweating. There is one more member to our group, A4. And she is sitting over there, hiding from the teachers behind the power supply box, waiting for us.
Ours is the first batch and it was already been called and now we have to wait till the end to get the usual scolding for being late. If there is one thing that I don’t agree with my parents, it would be for giving a name that starts with A. I wouldn’t have minded if there was a silent K in front of my name. We always have to face everything first whether it is exams or seminars or speeches even the first to report to the lab.
After getting enough scolding for being late and again even more scolding for not learning the design well, we moved towards our table while A4 went to get the components.
One thing about this semester’s PE lab is that we haven’t got a single output all this time. But thanks to A2’s ingenious skill to plot graphs without the values despite A4’s consistent whining, we managed to get our records corrected on time.
This time we were supposed to make a digital trigger circuit. A4 came back with the components and placed it over the power supply box and we started assembling it.
We need a 10k resistor” I said after a while.
I brought it… it might be somewhere here” replied A4.
Well, it not here. Where did you place it?” asked A2 with a bored expression on his face, trying to fit an IC which suddenly decided to resist getting onto the breadboard.
Over there” replied A4 pointing to the top of the power supply box, her face turning grave ”Oh God, it might have fallen in thought the gap.
A few seconds of numb silence.
What should we do? Should we tell ma’am?
No! She will surely throw us out. May be nothing will happen” I said trying to convince myself.
Or may be it will be shorted” said A1 with a smile” and we have to buy a new PS box.
It’s just a resistor. 10k right? I don’t think anything serious would happen. We can turn it ON and check.” replied A2 now seemingly interested.
Failing to produce any counter arguments, we agreed and we all moved back and slowly turned ON the switch.
Nothing happened. Well, it may not be that bad a day after all.
Finished already?” came a comment from A5 from the other group seeing us turning on the supply. He was in our group till last sem, but got separated now. Not waiting to reply for that, we turned to our breadboard.
We somehow completed the wiring after a while and cautiously turned on the supply.
What is that smell?
Panic striking in slowly, we looked everywhere for the source, particularly the power supply box, sniffing each and every corner of it like a dog.
And we finally found the culprit. A resistor fuming on the breadboard, now hard black in color.
A4 brought another one and again turned ON the supply.
Same old smell, but this time we saw the resistor changing its color to dark black as it burned. It was kind of cool to see a resistor meet its end in our hands.
Wrong design” I screeched pulling a pile of hair from my head, looking at the design “the resistor should have a higher value
Whose book is this?” screamed A4, throwing my rough record over the other side of the table. I got the design wrong while copying it down from the senior’s old record.
You put a 10 ohm resistor in place of a 10k resistor.” She said.
Sorry…” I said with a smile on my face” Can you go and change it? I don’t like that lab attendant guy over there. He once scolded me for burning an IC for the umpteenth time.
I really don’t understand why these guys consider the components as their children. The expression they give when we burn an IC or something is what you usually give to a person who has murdered your only child.
And the good thing about having a girl in your group is that they will do anything you ask for even though you get to hear some whining. Moreover the lab attendants are always happy to assist a girl in every matter possible.
After replacing the resistor, we again turned it ON. We all were 99% sure that it wont work. And the probability stood good.
Nothing happened. No change in the DSO (Digital Storage Oscilloscope). It always showed the same boring noise signal no matter what you give to it. I never liked that thing, though it’s pretty useful in wasting time.
Now that we got no output, none of us bothered to check the circuit and went on to do other stuff to kill time. A1 took the DSO and started playing with it, A2 with the multimeter comparing his body resistance with ours. I started to make a plant with the wire we had in front.
With a large thick wire as the stem, I connected each leaves and branches on it. One boy A6 (lots of A-s around here) from the other class, had made a ring with resistors and a 555 IC. But that was his version of the story, but all other versions had a part in which he gifted it to a girl who burned the IC with her piercing stare.
But I had no intention of gifting my plant to anyone. Even if I had any such plans, it wouldn’t have worked. You will soon find out why.
After completing the plant, while admiring my own creation, A4 came out of nowhere with a cutting plier and cut off the top of my plant.
Why did you do that?” I screamed.
I was just removing the waste so that you can make a flower on top.” She said innocently.
THAT WAS THE FLOWER!” I replied, taking the fallen flower from under the table.
By now A1 and A2 peered in.
Why did you do that?” asked A2 “Do you know how hard it is to make such a thing? Push her off the stool, Amal. Push her.” and started pushing me. (She was sitting on my left side and they on the right)
I tried hard to resist the push from A1 and A2, but failing, I somehow jumped off my stool to the back side there by knocking down K who was busy flirting with L. Luckily the teachers didn’t notice this commotion.
I then jumped over my stool, with one leg on it to get back to my position, but while doing so took a moment to admire the beauty of the Lab from a different point of view. It was strange but amusing. But all my feelings suddenly drained away as my eyes fell on the teacher staring in wonder and anger at the student who dared to stand on a stool and enjoy the lab while she was on watch. I promptly fell on the stool and closed my eyes shut wishing it was all a dream. But even before I could wonder why the others were silent, I felt the presence of the teacher beside me.
Another scolding: the third one today.
When the teacher went back, A5 grinned from the other side. After cordially presenting him my middle finger, well hidden from the teachers by the faithful ammeter, I leaned over my record.
Now that we haven’t got the output, we borrowed the working circuit from K’s batch, again with constant whining from A4, showed the waveforms to the teacher who by the way was busy getting ready to leave, nodding at us even before getting enough time to figure out which DSO she was supposed to look at.
And now A2 started his battle with the graphs, and will soon produce an ideal plot.
See you later, I have to copy these graphs to my record now.
Take care :)


Shravan | ശ്രവണ്‍ said...

now thats an electronics lab.. and thats what we do, S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 of the group.. fun it is do burn the resistors and it smells great. :) cheers amal

Think Tank said...

lol amal ..is that what u do in ur electronics lab? burn the house down?

anupama said...

dear amal,
man,this post is not my cup of tea.still................
be thankful to ur parents for having u named 'Amal'...........later in life,you will realise that......when in interviews your name will be called first.hey,that was coooooooooooooool,standing on the stool n enjoying the lab!congrats to that 'madam'.
be soft with girl team mates,don't push them down.
keep blogging........but lighter topics,please..........

Satyu said...

So here comes the other hidden part of Amal...a naughty guy..hmmm ;) hehehe

Seriously...being an electronics student I find it very interesting I mean buring transistors and buring my hand with the soldering iron umpteen number of times...its always fun in the lab unless n until v r not caught :D
DSO's mann..seriously I never used to look at it...one of groupmate used 2 chk it and tell us hehehe

Anyways...luvd ur class n haan..I wish u had taken a pic of ur plant..:P :)
takecare dear
keep smiling
n im still ROFL :D

Deepika Gupta said...

"Moreover the lab attendants are always happy to assist a girl in every matter possible."
Thats ur biasness :P
Interesting read though.. i was recalling my school's physics lab while reading the whole thing.... its always fun to do practicals with friends after those long, boring and monotonous lectures :) :)

Sowmi said...

Oh you engineering guys burn everything down??LOL!!!
Thank God, I am not an engineer :P otherwise I would've burnt the entire college hehehe...
Physics is the one subject which I hate the most :O
Not my cuppa tea :)
So, you naughty naughty??? run and finish your record :)
All the best

Dhanya said...

This was similar to our electrical lab.. Stupid circuits, angry teachers and big machines n our lab group had all girls..We never got anything right there!! But electronics lab was good for us. No sweat :)

Red_Devil said...

sad they dnt give us mized groups is our computer labs...such a cruel branch...cse....nice narration though...just nice though..;)

ANWESA said...

Only if you could see me laughing while reading this post.It was a funny n wonderful(close to my life) read.We have 3 ppl in our group.2 guys(absolute blockheads) n a poor gal(me).Adding to my woes are the two nanny(female) lab assistants :(

Dhanya said...

Hahah... Amal's showing us his mischievous side :)Nice!

Illeen said...

Awesomely hilarious.. :D

Took me back to college..more so to my PE lab.We used to have so much fun in lab..and dread the vivas.. n it somehow always ended with coping the graphs from a group that got..


Amal Bose said...

@ Shravan
yeah, it sure is..
take care buddy :)

Amal Bose said...

@ Farah
hehe.. we sometimes do..
but the matter was more serious during previous sems machines lab, any mistake from our part would blow the entire fuse of the powerstation... ;) we were working on 400V transformers :P

Amal Bose said...

@ anupama
yeah.. thats one thing.. u can get over the trouble soon enough.. no waiting n waiting with all the tension..
thanks for dropping by :)
take care dear

Amal Bose said...

@ Satyu
haha.. the only time ive burned my hand with a soldering iron was during my +2, that to by unknowingly putting my hand over it ;)
n DSO.. ya.. i kinda prefer CRO over it.. dont know y
take care dear :)

Amal Bose said...

@ Deepika
actually.. thats the truth :P
thanks for the comment :)
take care

Amal Bose said...

@ Sowmi
haha.. u r welcome to our college.. n we can together burn it down :P

thanks for the comment..
take care n keep smiling :)

Amal Bose said...

@ Dhanya
lolz.. so true..
take care :)

Amal Bose said...

@ Red Devil
yeah.. thats sad..
thanks for dropping by
take care n have a good day :)

Amal Bose said...

@ Dhanya
thanks for dropping by :)
take care
good day :)

Amal Bose said...

@ Illeen
hehe.. so many electrical here??
ya.. we can never forget the awesome hours spent on the lab.. well.. except the viva part ;)

take care :)

Amal Bose said...

nice to hear that u liked it..
lolz.. labs.. u can never forget those experiences :)
take care

damsel in distress said...

"I really don’t understand why these guys consider the components as their children. The expression they give when we burn an IC or something is what you usually give to a person who has murdered your only child."

hear hear!!!!!

"A2’s ingenious skill to plot graphs without the values despite A4’s consistent whining"

wow amal!! hear hear!!! in my class I am a4 and interestingly, my namesake happens to be a2. wow..i am reminded of my project,where she conjured up the values from thin air!! sigh.

IC which suddenly decided to resist getting onto the breadboard.

been there,done that! sheesh. this could be my own story...!!!!!!!!

It always showed the same boring noise signal no matter what you give to it. I never liked that thing, though it’s pretty useful in wasting time.

i had the EXACT SAME THOUGHT while doing my practicals!

altogether a ROTFL post...cet is indeed an intersting place..:D i have to go back to my college for a function, and this post..well..talk about timing!

Amal Bose said...

@ Roshny
wow.. all engineering students seem have the experiences n thoughts :D

n yeah.. CET IS THE BEST!!!

good day to u :)

Gymnast said...

LOl...Amal,i must say this was your best post yet,atleast amog the ones i have read. Excellent flow,good use of words,and cute narration. it was a fun read.

k.ø.c.h.ü said...

gud gud :) confusin 2 non-engg though :( he he...

k.ø.c.h.ü said...

n one more recommendation da...make stuff less clogged..leave more spaces in between so dat itz easier 2 read...keep rockin

this one reminded me of 5point sumone :) nice

Sowmi said...

oh yeah I'll come, if my parents allow me to study for another 4 yrs lol!!

rahul s said...

ah..those dayz..i was in tkm n mechanical..ure post made me remember those old dayz..
n those lab works...wat all stupid things have we done..full comedy..same like u..we plotted graphs out of no where..!!

swati said...

hey tat was awesome amal :) :)
hehe..naughty..at the same time :P
waiting fr the next part..wat hapnd aftr tat??

Amal Bose said...

@ Gymnast
thanks a lot for those kind words..
take care :)

Amal Bose said...

@ Kochu
ya, i kinda took inspiration from it
cheers :)

Amal Bose said...

@ Sowmi
im surprised at ur willingness to study for another 4 years :D

Amal Bose said...

@ Rahul
we always treasure our college memories.. they have a special place in our heart

Amal Bose said...

@ Swati
but this is not the one i talked abt..
havnt written than yet, but ll come soon :)
take care

Ashwathy said...

hahaha...the joy of college days. nothing like it! the practicals, sessions, experiments (esp the ones that go wrong)...! :D sheer bliss!

Amal Bose said...

thanks for the feedback :)

A New Beginning said...

Thatz quite an interesting post Amal!Keep up!

Chriz said...

power electronics.. my fifth semester memories.. i was pulled back to my engineering days..

used to do the same stuffs in college labs

A S said...


nice post esp. the lab ass. treat instruments like their own children...heheh lol!

nice , what an amzing gp u have got !!


Amal Bose said...

@ A New Beginning
thanks for the comment :)

Amal Bose said...

@ Chriz
yeah.. clg lyf rocks :)

Amal Bose said...

@ aditi
thanks for the feedback..
ours is the best group :P

Priya Joyce said...

somethng very similar to our physics lab in sec. skul...
we nevr ever got any observation correct..lol..the best thng to blame is the circuit connexns..:P

Amal Bose said...

yeah.. we always get it wrong :P

sujata said...

all this is new to me..labs i knew only till class 12, but you did make it easy reading for a layman. great post

AD said...

i'd agree with anupama :D

WarmSunshine said...

Hey Amal, how are you doing? I'm here after so many days. Been busy at work :/

Will come back pretty soon and catch up with your work :)

Keep up the good work... and oh yea, i really like the layout of your blog :)

sherin said...

hey..luvd your class.. the same things happened in our lab too except the part where u climbed up the stool.. i'm also an electronics student and from this sem onwards we need only work with computers and keyboards and programmers.. wont miss the breadboard though

Amal Bose said...

thanks... :)

Amal Bose said...


Amal Bose said...

@ WarmSunshine
im doing great.. thanx :)

thanks for dropping bye :)

Amal Bose said...

@ sherin
im electrical n electronics btw..

Sneha said...

Your post made me nostalgic. We had a female assistant for our electrical lab who we used to call 'simple pendulum' as she rotated between the electrical lab and the instru lab where she had a male counterpart she was hooked to.

Enjoy the time.:)

Sriram said...

Haha great time you must've had.. well I've just had two lab sessions and have got the feel of it already (the people who fathered ICs and making graphs) :)
Good post :)

Amal Bose said...

lol... :)

thnx for the feedback
take care :)

Amal Bose said...

@ Sriram
thanks da..
do drop in often :)