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Cheap at twice the price


Shhhh…I’m trying not to annoy Uncle B tonight. He’s working. (Hey, one of us has to!)

Today I mailed off my FLR(M) application. It’s the second visa I need. The first one let me enter for the purpose of marriage, and it’s good for six months (I’m legal on that one until the end of May). The second one lets me work and be a sort of semi-person, and it’s good for two years.

It’s taking an average of 14 weeks to process those ones at the moment, so (assuming all is well) I expect to remain blissfully employment-free until July, mayhap.

Mayhap longer. The visa fees go up (again!) on Wednesday, April 1, so I imagine the Home Office will be buried in applications tomorrow. Heh heh heh.

The picture? That there’s a Thermionics Vacuum Products FLRM Series Push-Pull Linear-Rotary Feedthrough. It’s a linear-rotary feedthrough based on the FLM series push-pull linear feedthrough mounted on a standard 2.75″ O.D. flange. Strokes of up to 36″ are feasible, dependent upon payload, orientation and acceptable deflection. All metal construction for bakeability. It costs about three grand. It turned up on a Google Images search of “FLR(M)”.

I have no fucking idea what that sonofabitch does.


Comment from jwpaine
Time: March 30, 2009, 9:18 pm

What it does?! Why, woman! It pushes and pulls things. Linearly, albeit in a rotary fashion, and in such a way that those things appear to “feed through.”


Comment from Jill
Time: March 30, 2009, 9:34 pm

And it’s the model with the stop collar and the rotary lock!



Comment from Mrs. Hill
Time: March 30, 2009, 9:36 pm

Congrats on slogging through the paperwork! Now, does having submitted it cover your tail while it’s pending (the paperwork, that is), or will you have to renew the first type visa in the interim? Assuming they don’t screw you over by expediting the thing, that is!

Oh, and wouldn’t you know it — Wikipedia has a whole section devoted to vacuum engineering, including this page — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vacuum_flange — which has a blurb on vacuum feedthroughs down towards the bottom.

I think engineering schools must be using Wikipedia contributions to satisfy their writing requirements now — heh! (When I was a philosophy student, the engineers always took logic classes with us to fulfill their humanities requirements :P.)

Comment from wendyworn
Time: March 30, 2009, 9:41 pm

Plus, it’s like $950! and the controller is sold separately!

who would buy one? It must be code. That is why engineers make the big bucks, because they not only know what it is but can probably put it to good use.

Comment from jwpaine
Time: March 30, 2009, 10:02 pm

Why, many’s the time I’ve had to go a’huntin for my push-pull linear-rotary feedthrough. Everybody wants to use it, ya see, but nobody knows how to put things back where they got ’em.

Comment from Gnus
Time: March 30, 2009, 10:08 pm

At first glance I thought it was an exploded drawing of a Pentel-type mechanical pencil, a reasonable source of weasel fodder. Silly me.

Comment from Lipstick
Time: March 30, 2009, 10:37 pm

Weasel, what happens after two years when the second visa runs out?

Comment from MCPO Airdale
Time: March 30, 2009, 11:16 pm

English saying: “Anything worth engineering is worth over-engineering.”

Comment from Blast Hardcheese
Time: March 31, 2009, 8:26 am

Oooh, oooh, I know what it is! I’ve even used ’em. It’s used in equipment for coating glass with very thin films of metal or other stuff. The coating has to be done in very high vacuum, and if you want to move the glass piece around without breaking open the chamber you have to use a feedthrough like this to move it around.

Comment from Jill
Time: March 31, 2009, 9:05 am

Again with the plasma vapor-deposited thin films! πŸ™‚

This is like deja vu all over again…

Comment from Mrs. Hill
Time: March 31, 2009, 9:28 am

Exactly! Looked like a Rapidograph to me — peered at it very hard for a minute, trying to make it into one — until I got to the bellows. Bellows???

(Then I just had to know what the thing really was — sorry; raised by reference librarians!)

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: March 31, 2009, 10:13 am

Foolish follow minions!

As every Boy Scout knows, it’s a device for getting weasels out of horses’ hooves!

Or… something like that, anyway.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: March 31, 2009, 10:20 am

I thought it looked like a new-fangled syringe, personally. But I guess that’s just my inner junkie shining through.

No, Mrs Hill, the old visa is good for as long as they are contemplating the new one, even if the old one runs out (as it surely shall) before they get their thumbs out of their collective butt. I just checked with the postoffice tracker thingie, and it got there today. So I’m good.

Why, there’s another visa of course, Lipstick πŸ™‚

Hey, Blast Hardcheese — you win!

Comment from bad cat robot
Time: March 31, 2009, 10:29 am

Ooo, what a nice feedthrough! Blast Hardcheese (what a *splendid* name) is correct, they are used in vacuum systems and not the kind of vacuums that suck up dust. I did all my graduate and postdoc work using ultrahigh vacuum experimental systems. Mostly because electrons, the little beasts, get dazed and confused in any kind of air and I needed to know where they had been and what they were doing. This gizmo is expensive because there is a little bit like a piece of metal accordion in the middle, very delicate and hard to make, that lets it wiggle around without doing that pssSSSSST leaking noise that all vacuum-wranglers hate.

More than anyone possibly wanted to know, I’m sure. I can go on for HOURS.

Comment from Gibby Haynes
Time: March 31, 2009, 10:41 am

So it’s not a working lightsaber design then? Very well, that’s all I needed to know.

Comment from Allen
Time: March 31, 2009, 10:50 am

Just remember, a watched vacuum never sucks.

Comment from dfbaskwill
Time: March 31, 2009, 11:05 am

Being an unemployed semi-Brit sounds like a grand ole time to me. The sign-up paperwork is a deal breaker for me, though. I’d rather stay here and work in the health-care field with our lack of any paperwork! Cough, cough.

Comment from Nicholas the Slide
Time: March 31, 2009, 1:52 pm

Hey, Blast Hardcheese β€” you win!

Sounds like a runoff of Rejected Dick Tracy Villains. πŸ˜†

Comment from scubafreak
Time: March 31, 2009, 2:02 pm

Actually Allen, a vacuum that doesn’t suck REALLY DOES SUCK! πŸ˜‰

Comment from DJMoore
Time: March 31, 2009, 3:51 pm

re: Sucking
“There is no gravity, the Earth sucks!”

Comment from Dawn
Time: March 31, 2009, 4:17 pm

I have no fucking idea what that sonofabitch does.

Did you get to England on a boat?

Comment from jwpaine
Time: March 31, 2009, 5:50 pm

“Just remember, a watched vacuum never sucks.”—Allen

Maybe, but queer electrons blow fuses.

Comment from bad cat robot
Time: March 31, 2009, 10:45 pm

I don’t mind them; it’s the damn positrons and their irritating affirmations that drive me nuts.

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