Postings Electrical

Submitted: Thursday, Mar 02, 2006 at 20:50
ThreadID: 31345 Views:3245 Replies:26 FollowUps:19
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Sites such as this are sought by people confused (particular in the electrical area) by the mass of misinformation, campfire mythology, and often seriously misleading advice from sales people. They seek simple solutions that work - not ongoing wrangling.

Electrics is not in fact that complicated but there ARE land mines to avoid, and some advertising claims that needs to be seriously questioned.

The basics of electrics has been known and proven for well over 100 years.
What happens when batteries are parallel charged has been known since 1900. Relationships between current, resistance and voltage were defined by Georg Ohm in 1827. Wire tables were available in 1870 and remain substantially unchanged to this day.

My own postings, magazine articles and published books are based on only too practical experience when very young, followed by three years in the RAF as a ground radar engineer. It was reinforced by theoretical underpinnings years later.

Next to nothing that I write or publish is new - or are personal views. They are hopefully plain English explanations and advice based on stuff that is already well known and has generally been accepted for a very long time.

Time and time again however the very basis of the postings are disputed - leaving one in the necessary absurdity of trying to convince someone that: 'No - the effects of Ohm's law are not 'personal opinions'. Etc. Within a few postings, the thread tends to leave the questioner more confused than previously.

It has also not infrequently caused others to state my advice is flawed or wrong and this is a serious issue for a professional engineer and professional writer/publisher offering advice in the same field. People are thus left wondering about my competence in the very area in which I publish - but with no way of judging it.

I have therefore and reluctantly decided to cease, as from now, to respond to all questions on this site in all areas in which I work, write and/or publish. I will however continue to post on other areas where I feel I may be able to assist.

I truly thank everyone who, over the past few years, has been kind enough to acknowledge assistance provided.
Collyn Rivers

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Reply By: Member No 1- Thursday, Mar 02, 2006 at 21:13

Thursday, Mar 02, 2006 at 21:13
what a cop out!
you probably know more than most and wont share cos you scared of getting shot down?
AnswerID: 158177

Follow Up By: Mainey (WA) - Friday, Mar 03, 2006 at 00:45

Friday, Mar 03, 2006 at 00:45
yeah Nudie that's what he said :-)
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Follow Up By: Leroy - Friday, Mar 03, 2006 at 08:28

Friday, Mar 03, 2006 at 08:28
I think he (and many others) just get's sick of barrow pushers like the bloke in the followup above mine. He's like a little yap yap dog that doesn't give up, even if he's wrong and will harp on a point that he may be correct on, no matter how small that is to try and prove someone else wrong.

We're all big boys (and girls) and as some other posted said we are all old enough to sort the wheat from the chaff.

FollowupID: 412663

Follow Up By: Member No 1- Friday, Mar 03, 2006 at 08:39

Friday, Mar 03, 2006 at 08:39
yes I know that Wally...I repeated what he said to stress i cant believe he is doing such a thing cos he doesnt like being questioned as to the validty of his answers/replies/comments?... Hell if we all refused to comment on what we know is right (or wrong), no one and I mean no one will ever learn one thing a just doesnt ring with me...

cant understand why anyone would not want to share their knowledge with any one do we find if we are wrong?...beleive what you read in a book that some one has written...maybe collyn book...but does that make it right?.... every one must be questioned to determine the truth!...if you dont like it shut up and dont do you learn if you keep your mouth shut

And may be onto something
FollowupID: 412667

Follow Up By: Mainey (WA) - Friday, Mar 03, 2006 at 12:24

Friday, Mar 03, 2006 at 12:24
He's a grown adult and unfortunately has made a decision that I’m sure could be dismissed by some as a ‘tiff’ however I believe he will return and show the man he really is!

Nudie, your statement “what a cop out!” is a bit definite and it appears to me to be insensitive, and also being “scared of being shot down” as you have posted, is not an unrealistic emotional human trait, so please act like a 'big boy' and not post mocking comments about others.

If you have nothing nice to say then why not just say nothing, as I’m sure it should not make you feel good to advise someone “what a cop out!” is a nice comment, after all it’s finished with an exclamation mark (!) and not a question mark (?) which is indicating definitively it’s not a question but a statement!
FollowupID: 412740

Follow Up By: Member No 1- Friday, Mar 03, 2006 at 15:12

Friday, Mar 03, 2006 at 15:12
i can post anything i like (except that which the moderators wipeout)

follow your own own advise..dont make mocking remarks "big boy"...

i am an adult; I have the right to say what i want when i want

it wasnt meant to be nice, nor was it was making a statement!
FollowupID: 412784

Reply By: Member - John - Thursday, Mar 02, 2006 at 21:14

Thursday, Mar 02, 2006 at 21:14
Collyn, that really is a shame, I, for one, have found what you write very very useful, but understand where you are coming from. Pity
John and Jan

Lifetime Member
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AnswerID: 158179

Follow Up By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Friday, Mar 03, 2006 at 23:24

Friday, Mar 03, 2006 at 23:24
I echo those sentiments John. A real shame that our (typical Aussie) renowned "tall poppy syndrome" has bitten us on the backside.
FollowupID: 412871

Reply By: Member - Ed. C.- Thursday, Mar 02, 2006 at 21:29

Thursday, Mar 02, 2006 at 21:29
Please reconsider!
I realise that it must be very frustating for you at times, but I, for one, have learnt much from your postings, and I sincerely hope that this will continue to be so...
For the very reasons you state, I believe we need the "Voice of Reason" in such instances, and IMO you are one person who provides just that....
Most of us here are old enough (and intelligent enough, one would hope!) to be able to "sort the wheat from the chaff"...
Heaven forbid that we should be left at the mercy of certain individuals who appear to "have a barrow to push".....
It is my honest opinion that this site will be very much the poorer without your sage advice on matters electrical....
Again, Please reconsider...

Sincerely, Ed. C.
Confucius say.....
"He who lie underneath automobile with tool in hand,
....Not necessarily mechanic!!"

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AnswerID: 158184

Reply By: Ken - Thursday, Mar 02, 2006 at 21:29

Thursday, Mar 02, 2006 at 21:29
Collyn, I don't know you from Adam, the only knowledge of you is from the material I see you post here. I think you should re-consider this decision as I have found you to be one of the few here that talks sense. I too have an electronics background and despair at times at the stuff people offer here as fact. Some no doubt is honest misinformation given in all probability with the best of intentions [ and before the masses descend I am not suggesting contributers here set out to deliberately misinform ] and often a lack of technical knowledge. But misinform they do, with comments like graphs and tables not meaning much in the bush. Graphs and tables are part of the basis of research and without them results can be variable, misrepresented and misleading. Dimmissing them 'cos you don't understand them seriously reduces the credibility of the post.
Think hard Collyn, if you withdraw there will be one less to counter the ramblings.

AnswerID: 158185

Reply By: Mike Harding - Thursday, Mar 02, 2006 at 21:31

Thursday, Mar 02, 2006 at 21:31
It's the internet Collyn - everyone on here is a brain surgeon or an electronics engineer - don't worry about it :)

Mike Harding
AnswerID: 158186

Follow Up By: Member No 1- Friday, Mar 03, 2006 at 07:52

Friday, Mar 03, 2006 at 07:52
you and me too eh?
FollowupID: 412658

Reply By: roofscooter2 - Thursday, Mar 02, 2006 at 21:36

Thursday, Mar 02, 2006 at 21:36
Hi Collyn,this truely is a sad day!I understand where you are coming from as i & as a lot of others who frequents this Forum , read the posts & when there are a multitude of answers one does become very confused on the advice that is given be it right or wrong. No doubt about your education in the field of Engineering,& the same goes to any of the others who know what they are talking about it is those who think they know it all & know nothing.I am not pointing fiigers at any person in particular as i am not Qualified in any feild other than my own Trades & that is in the Building Industry. It is when a person asks for advice & it is given freely it should not be given to confuse I.E should be acouple of answers for & against not 10 -20 very confusing by the time all is read.sorry you had to take you valuable info off this site Collyn, best wishes Bob.
AnswerID: 158189

Follow Up By: Member - Mike H (VIC) - Friday, Mar 03, 2006 at 01:24

Friday, Mar 03, 2006 at 01:24
Hi roofshooter,
you write:
"should be a couple of answers for & against"

Collyn's Advise I always found to be factual, they are not opinions.
With facts there can't be other answers. You can't have it both ways
( unless you are in politics ).
Collyn, please reconsider.
FollowupID: 412642

Reply By: Member - Jezza (NSW) - Thursday, Mar 02, 2006 at 21:37

Thursday, Mar 02, 2006 at 21:37
Hi Collyn,

I too empathise with your situation - more often than not it seems straightforward questions turn into lengthy debates, and degenerate in to character assassinations. It will be a real shame for the readers of this forum to lose the benefit of your experience and knowledge – it looks like another case of tall poppy syndrome!


BTW – I found your recent book on camper trailers an excellent resource.
AnswerID: 158190

Reply By: Lone Wolf - Thursday, Mar 02, 2006 at 22:11

Thursday, Mar 02, 2006 at 22:11
This is interesting, to say the least.

First of all, I see where you are coming from, and have seen some of the fights that ensue on this site about this stuff.

I know there are medical professionals, as well as legal professionals on this forum, and they too, desist from offering information, and probably for good reason.

I myself, have offered advice on welding - sheet metalwork, and have been shot down, by people who "know better". Good luck to them..... I'm a first class sheetmetal worker, and have run my own business since 1988, go figure....

I guess what happens, as you say, is we are increasingly having to prove our bona-fides against people who only have an opinion. Let 'em go, let 'em bugger it up.....

As you say, you are writing in the professional arena, and probably for a lot less grief, may I add.

Yes, it's good to get different ideas, but to be continually shot down, why bother. I for one, can understand your dilemma, and I'm guessing the forum will be worse off now, but you have tried.

I do hope you'll drop in, from time to time, and give 'em curry, on lift kits, big tyres, Hiclones, and stuff, you know, the stuff we always talk about, and never finding the REAL definitive answer!

Hang in there....


AnswerID: 158203

Follow Up By: rickwagupatrol - Thursday, Mar 02, 2006 at 22:50

Thursday, Mar 02, 2006 at 22:50
yeah but wolfie, you still need a shave.

and you still a bloody good photo person as

don't blush now.

FollowupID: 412592

Reply By: rickwagupatrol - Thursday, Mar 02, 2006 at 22:48

Thursday, Mar 02, 2006 at 22:48
Put simply Collyn, whenever there is a post about electric's i always look to see if you have replied. The sure and concise way that you set out your reply leaves no doubt in my mind that you actually do know what you are talking about. The knockers that you encounter from time to time we can do nothing about, but if you go ahead with your decision, your advice will be sorely missed. Your website is informative and factual, crickey, even my sparky here in Perth knows who you are and has your books in his reference library.
On the other hand i do know where you are coming from, and whichever way it goes i hope that your voice will still be heard here.

AnswerID: 158221

Reply By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Thursday, Mar 02, 2006 at 22:56

Thursday, Mar 02, 2006 at 22:56
So what's new. Galileo, Einstein, Marconi and Evinrude all had knockers, if they didn't get with the plan we'd all be floundering like a fish out of water.
AnswerID: 158224

Follow Up By: Sargent Dan - Friday, Mar 03, 2006 at 10:01

Friday, Mar 03, 2006 at 10:01
Evinrude! the guy who invented the outboard motor.

hahahah, how could you mention him in the same sentence as those other gentlemen...hahahahhaa
FollowupID: 412689

Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Friday, Mar 03, 2006 at 14:04

Friday, Mar 03, 2006 at 14:04
lol, he was the next bloke who to came to mind.
FollowupID: 412766

Reply By: cabbageoz - Thursday, Mar 02, 2006 at 23:47

Thursday, Mar 02, 2006 at 23:47
It's a sad day when the voice of reason & sanity is overtaken by the mad ramblings of some misguided & misinformed person who, for some reason insists that their theory, idea or whatever is the only one that should have any notice taken of it.
I only ever offered some advice once about my speciality, and was very quickly swamped with howls of protest from people who thought they knew but unfortunately didn't have the faintest idea.
Anyway, for those of us that might need to know something there is no doubt that we will still be able to send the odd email.

Leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but memories
AnswerID: 158243

Reply By: Member - Crazy Dog (QLD) - Thursday, Mar 02, 2006 at 23:52

Thursday, Mar 02, 2006 at 23:52

Take no notice of the gherkinheads that adorn the net. As stated you're on the money and your advice is NEEDED by those who know not.

Pleeeeeze reconsider - you are well thought of - don't let them get at you. Like others, myself and MH for instance are qualified in this area and are always seeing the would bees if they could bees - don't worry - this site needs your advice....
AnswerID: 158244

Reply By: Richard Kovac - Thursday, Mar 02, 2006 at 23:55

Thursday, Mar 02, 2006 at 23:55
I don't blame you.

to give advise then, to be shot down is no good

as you say it's not you advise it's FACT......

All the best Collyn

Richard Kovac
AnswerID: 158246

Reply By: Pterosaur - Thursday, Mar 02, 2006 at 23:55

Thursday, Mar 02, 2006 at 23:55

I am another who has valued your contributions, and it saddens me to see that you've become so disillusioned - this is understandable, as I have had similar experiences with respect to my lifetime work and studies, and know where you're coming from.

All I can say is "non illegitimus carborundum", and thank you

AnswerID: 158247

Reply By: Gramps (NSW) - Friday, Mar 03, 2006 at 00:55

Friday, Mar 03, 2006 at 00:55

That's very disappointing. I can understand your reasoning though. Thanks for the advice you have provided up till now.

AnswerID: 158257

Reply By: Member - Bware (Tweed Valley) - Friday, Mar 03, 2006 at 01:48

Friday, Mar 03, 2006 at 01:48
As many above have said, it is a shame you feel that way but completely understand your reasoning. There are many others who feel the same who aren't experts but post questions seeking advice from people like yourself. They get treated like idiots by a certain minority and it really sours the whole purpose of this excellent site. But don't let them win! Let's just ignore them! Perhaps when we notice that a thread has attracted the attention of people offering nothing constructive who want to shoot their mouth off, we just don't respond to their posts or follow-ups and just respond as if they weren't there. Afterall, the best way to deal with attention-seekers is to starve them of attention.
Collyn, please reconsider.......
AnswerID: 158265

Follow Up By: Member - Bware (Tweed Valley) - Friday, Mar 03, 2006 at 02:14

Friday, Mar 03, 2006 at 02:14
Also I hope David from EO reads this and understands that it is a real issue that people like you, Collyn, choose to not offer your wisdom, that new-comers are being deterred and people like myself that are recent members wonder if it's really worth it. I'm sure in the name of free speech David doesn't want to push the moderating too far and it is a fine line to tread, but none of us want it to end up like other forums that EO is always compared to in a favourable far.
FollowupID: 412644

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Friday, Mar 03, 2006 at 08:11

Friday, Mar 03, 2006 at 08:11
I don't think there is anything David can do, he does not have the expertise to adjudicate on a range of technical areas. This sort of thing is simply in the nature of the internet and needs to be understood by those of us who choose to read or post to newsgroups and web forum. As time passes it quickly becomes clear who knows what they're talking about in different areas - who knows a bit - and who knows damn all but thinks they do :) Not much different to real life really.

Mike Harding
FollowupID: 412661

Follow Up By: Mike DiD - Saturday, Mar 04, 2006 at 10:56

Saturday, Mar 04, 2006 at 10:56
I don't expect Moderators to get involved in Technical issues, but the credibility and value of any discussion group plummets when the content changes from debating a technical issue to criticism of the writers.

So I really appreciate Moderators who ban those who make blatant criticisms about a person.

FollowupID: 412951

Reply By: Jimbo - Friday, Mar 03, 2006 at 06:39

Friday, Mar 03, 2006 at 06:39

I have always believed you to be a man of integrity, otherwise why would you offer so much free advice when you may well have referred people to your books.

I also understand your decision and wish you well.


AnswerID: 158271

Reply By: Pajman Pete (SA) - Friday, Mar 03, 2006 at 07:34

Friday, Mar 03, 2006 at 07:34
I too have benefited from your excellent advice in the forum and on your website. I can understand your concerns though. Most of us can sort the rantings from good advice, but it would be unfortunate if someone less experienced chose to follow some of the "guidance" offered here, especially in your area of expertise.

Thanks fo all that you have done for us so far.



AnswerID: 158280

Reply By: flappa - Friday, Mar 03, 2006 at 09:24

Friday, Mar 03, 2006 at 09:24
Who can blame you Collyn.

As an ex moderator on another site . . the mere MENTION of 12v was enough to bring out the big guns to get stuck in.

I dont recall ONE thread , NOT ending in a massive crap fight.
AnswerID: 158296

Follow Up By: Leroy - Friday, Mar 03, 2006 at 09:26

Friday, Mar 03, 2006 at 09:26
and who were these big guns ;-)

FollowupID: 412683

Reply By: Member - mikeyandmary (NSW) - Friday, Mar 03, 2006 at 09:46

Friday, Mar 03, 2006 at 09:46
Hi Collyn,

I have been the beneficiary of your knowledge and wisdom so I am sad to read of your decision.

I do have one question though... I have searched the forum for your username and looked at about 50 of the 270 posts. I have not found one reply or follow-up that has attacked you. The closest was a guy who disputed your info and later apologised for HIS error.

When people have questioned your responses it seems that this has been more for clarification than criticism. (As seen by the thank-yous that soon follow your response to their questions.

I respect your right to post or not to post but don't seem to see justification for your reasoning. BTW.. I am happy to be corrected on this.

Do I want you to reconsider being a great provider of knowledge to this forum? OF COURSE!!! Am I going to unreservedly kiss your butt to get you to stay? Sorry but no.

AnswerID: 158303

Reply By: Willem - Friday, Mar 03, 2006 at 12:14

Friday, Mar 03, 2006 at 12:14
Chill out Collyn

I have just come out of my THIRD retirement from this forum after throwing yet another wobbly. I admit to that. A number of people here press my buttons too often and I get fed up with them. Now I must learn to ignore them.

It is becoming part of the norm, I think. I have no qualified advice to offer here except for years of practical touring around this great country and looking for adventurous things to do. So maybe I am lucky.

My advice can be taken or ignored. I don't care.

Go have a holiday and come back refreshed, ready to numb your mind with some of the inane posts found here on ExplorOz.....LOL

AnswerID: 158327

Reply By: Member - bushfix - Saturday, Mar 04, 2006 at 10:29

Saturday, Mar 04, 2006 at 10:29
Dippin me lid to you Collyn,

a geniune, dignified and polite bloke. Looking forward to your continued contributions where you feel you can assist, albeit in areas outside of those in which you work. I am sure you have plenty to contribute mate.

kind regards,

AnswerID: 158500

Reply By: Mike DiD - Saturday, Mar 04, 2006 at 11:15

Saturday, Mar 04, 2006 at 11:15

When you announced that you would have to "move on", I was sure there would be a few people who would make the effort to thank you for the way you help people, but this response is really overwhelming and great to see.

But I don't think most people realise how different your situation is, compared with the typical anonymous poster on this forum.

As the politicians say - when someone throws mud at you, some always sticks. So even if someone criticises your very accurate posts on a forum, their words often appear superficially to have the same credibility as yours. Some of these critics seem to have an unlimited amount of time to spend here, and the last person to post is sometimes assumed to have "won" the debate.

As profesional writer in this field, your credibility depends very much on reputation. Sometimes to convince others who read these postings what the real facts are, you have to put in more time than uninformed critics - but as a busy professional person, you just don't have that time.

It's unfortunate that you won't have time to contribute your valuable information as much as you have - but hopefully you will still be able to put in the time needed to give the real facts on a much smaller range of topics.


AnswerID: 158512

Reply By: Member - Collyn R (WA) - Saturday, Mar 04, 2006 at 14:51

Saturday, Mar 04, 2006 at 14:51
Thank you everyone - I'm truly overwhelmed!

I appreciate the responses (both on and off this site), not least from those people who new me back in the 1970s when I founded and edited Electronics Today International, and/or later during the ten years when I was Technical Editor of 'The Bulletin'. MikeDid actually expresses my feelings better than I can - thank you Mike.

I apologize to any who felt I was complaining of abusive postings. That was not intended nor has happened on this site - from members.

My genuinely reluctant decision is also partially based on this: I'm closer to 80 than 70 and whilst increasingly happy to offer help, I no longer have any interest whatever in winning arguments.

I will continue to post in areas that I know about, but in which I have no published books - and for time being at least, on Solar matters where (so far!) disputing rarely happens.

Again thank you - your unexpected response is truly appreciated.
Collyn Rivers
AnswerID: 158552

Reply By: Flash - Saturday, Mar 04, 2006 at 17:30

Saturday, Mar 04, 2006 at 17:30
Can I add my thanks to those above.
Please don't leave this site because of the rantings and ravings of a few.
You have so often taken time to offer good advice to people who understand very little about the way electrons behave. I believe 99.9% of people here respect your opinion, and to the few who don't- jst ignore them.
Kindest regards
AnswerID: 158584

Reply By: Member - Collyn R (WA) - Sunday, Mar 05, 2006 at 14:01

Sunday, Mar 05, 2006 at 14:01
Several people have emailed privately to suggest I respond ONLY to the original enquirer.

This could just work for me - I will give it a try from time to time (but not just yet!) to see what happens.

Again thank you all for your understanding.
AnswerID: 158700

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