I have started my on-job-training at MAS and I can tell you that it’s great. They throw you at the workshop and you’re free to learn as much as you can. Yesterday, I learned all about the Fokker 50′s landing gears. Did you know that their shock absorbers have 3 compartments, 2 for high pressure and 1 for low pressure? The high pressure compartments are used for landings and the low pressure one is used to soak up the potholes on the runway while taxing.

We did a little hands on today. Separating the nuts and washers and screws. And we also managed to remove a washer after countless attempt at using the hammer. I’ve seen tools that I have never seen before in my life. There is this one tool that twists wires. It looks like a plier, but it’s not. They have ingenious ways of making nuts stay tight even under the most vigorous vibrations. All by using a piece of locking wire (ordinary wire will do).

Today I went over to the hydraulic workshop to see someone testing out a hydraulic piston. According to the guy, under normal operating conditions, the hydraulic pressure is around 1500PSI. When they do testing, they put it up to 4500PSI. Your car tyre pressure is around 27PSI.

There are many things to be seen and to study. But it’s very relaxing because you do it at your own pace. As first years, we just watch and learn and read manuals. Unfortunately, I am unable to produce pictures from the workshop because no cameras are allowed.

Following a friend’s advice, I have stopped eating chicken for the time being. This is because bird flu has struck KL at Gombak. Anyways, I miss chicken.

Shah Alam and parts of Subang Jaya was flooded a few days ago. But our area, Subang Perdana was unaffected. In certain areas, water was as high as the car’s roof. I’m sure you all read newspapers. It was the worst flood in years. Luckily we were spared. Even if we weren’t, we live on the 4th floor.

Petrol prices have increased 30 cents. Again, this was on the headline. Before you go boycott the government, let me just tell you that the government did not actually increase the price, they just reduced their subsidy on petrol. Now we just get 25 liters for RM50. Hmm… less going out on weekends. Continue reading

Bottle polishing

I’m now doing my on-job training so I have plenty of time on my hands. We don’t have surprise quizes to worry about, exams to pass or homework to complete (we don’t get homework anyway). So once I get back I have from 5pm till 12am to kill. That’s 7 hours, and it’s long. So for the past two days, I have been working on my secret project and have not been able to come online. Now you’ll see the result.

I was going to make a joke about turning the brightness of your monitor down, but I’ll let it pass. This post will involve very shiny objects. Yes, I have polished my green bottle.

Here you see the original bottle with the tools that I will be using.

Following the success of my valve cover polishing project (dummy tip: search “valve cover polishing” to find the post), I have decided to use sandpaper and metal polish again. This time I managed to get a 1500 grit mirror fine sandpaper. Feel a piece of paper. That’s how smooth the sandpaper feels.

Half the bottle sanded, just to show the difference.

Sanding took a very long time. The green paint didn’t come off as easily as I thought it would. I spend the first day sanding until the sun went down. Then we went Giant. For this project, I used a special sanding technique introduced by my roomate. He says to use water and detergent while sanding. It would make the surface smoother. And it works. 800 grit sandpaper can make the surface perfectly smooth to the touch of the hand. But not to the eye.

The lower half, after polishing.

Polishing is required if you want light to bounce off the bottle’s surface faster than you can crash a Walkera (heli). I used autosol’s metal polish this time because they don’t seem to sell Mag and Mother’s aluminium polish here. And it worked just as good.

The whole bottle after sanding on the second day.

I did the other half of the bottle today. It’s harder because of the grooves. And I sanded it plenty of times to make the surface as smooth as possible. But without the polish, it doesn’t look shiny. So I worked on it using the polish twice to get this effect.

On close inspection, you can still see small scratches. I can’t get rid of them no matter what.

But then no one will look at it so closely. So this is what they’ll probably see.

All done.

Do-it-yourself “mirror finish” bottle. Only for those crazy enough. Like I said, I’m a sucker for shiny things =) Continue reading

Travelling woes

Travelling in KL can be a real pain in the ***. Even if you have a car, you still have to pay expensive tolls and pay for expensive petrol. And taking the KTM and LRT is not cheap either if you travel a lot. Last week I managed to travel to Nilai using 2 buses only. And that cost me RM8. From Subang MAS to KLIA, then from KLIA to INTI. But the bus from Subang is reserved for MAS staff only.

I came all the way to Nilai for this.

Then on Saturday I travelled down to Pudu, going through the Bandar Tasik Selatan KTM. Got some electronic parts and stuff. They don’t sell ultra fast recovery 1000v 20a, so I had to settle with 1000v 3a. I think I will go to Farnell for parts.

Travelling in a KTM can induce boredom, especially if you need to switch off your phone to conserve battery.

Then I met KC at the Bandar Tasik Selatan station and we went to Midvalley. I got some stuff from ACE hardware for my upcoming project. I’m a sucker for shiney things. And we headed over to Subang Jaya to meet my housemates who are going to Asia Cafe for dinner.

This is what I’ll be seeing every morning when I go to work.

I’ve heard of Asia Cafe quite a few times, but I have no idea how it was like. It looks like a normal food court, but it’s bursting with activity and of course girls. Great place to hang out for us MAS guys. But the drinks are expensive. RM4 for a cup of juice.


Someone needs to get their BM right.

I need a car.

Continue reading

Coilgun presentation

I managed to successfully carry out the coilgun demonstration without any casualities at MAS. Although my diodes were extremely under-rated (read the rest of this post for further info), they survived the charging until 400v. But the firing at 400v was disappointing. The nail only managed to make a small hole at the can. Should have done a 960v test fire. But I am sure there will be a spectacular explosion before I manage to charge them up.

The overall coilgun setup.

I started my presentation by letting the class listen to a sound clip of a can being shot by my coilgun a few years ago. You just hear “bang” followed by the rattling of the can. Then I asked them if they wanted to know what made that sound. Who would say no?

My beloved SCR. Handles everything you throw at it.

I gave a short powerpoint presentation on how a coilgun works. After all the main parts of the gun was explained, I proceed to do a live fire.

My canisters of death. Rated at 960volts and 3440uF.

Since I was in class and firing at full power with defective diodes wasn’t logical, I only fired at 400volts. For me, it was very disappointing. For the rest of my coursemates, they were clearly impressed. They were still talking about it today and I’m now known as the class terrorist.

The exploded diode.

Anyways, a diode exploded right in front of me the other day. The sound was so loud that I got ringing in my ears after the explosion. I was saved by the pmr sejarah paper that I put over the diodes. I only went temporary deaf. The same couldn’t be said about the sejarah paper.

Oh well…

So be careful out there. With high powered stuff, you’ll never know when your time is up. So I’m going to Pudu tomorrow to get some 1200v 20amp ultra fast recovery diodes. That will take care of the exploding diode issue.

Silver bullets. Continue reading