Get rid of potholes in your area by reporting them (Click on the animation below)

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Mains & Marks

Last week slipped by very quickly as usual.  I must add that we finally got our exam results the previous Friday.  I got 92% which put me at 5th in the year, so happy with that.  This exam only counted towards 40% of the module though so the next one is more influential on final marks.  The next one is coming a week or two after Easter, and counts for 60% of the module.  

We've been studying differentiation and integration in Maths, however the level we are going to cover for now is fairly simple.  It will get more complex when we do further Maths in a future module.  In Marine Engineering Principles we finished off studying the basic parts of the biggest two stroke diesels and concentrated a bit more on the cams and timing gear.  As you might expect, these big engines are too large for timing belts, so they tend to go with big chains, or use timing gears.  The valves are operated hydraulically by cams, so no push rods and rocker gear etc (it would be too heavy, thus losing efficiency in the engine).   

The week before I finally finished off my general fitting plate and begun the male and female interlocking plates.  (see photo below of my marked up plate ready for cutting).  As usual we were given two edges that you assume to be perfect and two that we needed to make flat and square.  Once I'd made them flat and square, I marked them out for cutting.  These have to be made very well so they fit together securely.  It will be very obvious if bodged in any way.

Everything changed in workshop last week, and we are spending the next four weeks learning how to fault find in electrical circuits.  Day one and two was last week, and what we covered was very basic.  We learned how to use multimeters (properly for those who didn't already know how) and proved Ohms and Kirchoff's Laws in a circuit.  We also had to show we could wire terminal blocks up neatly, safely and securely (See photo below).  It was all simple and hopefully we'll get onto some more complex bits tomorrow.  I'll let you know on that one...

Monday, 8 March 2010

First Week In March - The tank gets a new hub bearing.

Not a lot happened last week and the week trickled by very quickly as usual.  We have now been here 7 weeks and the time is passing rapidly.  

My workshop sessions were good, although I took it very slowly, so I finally finished my general fitting plate and handed it in for marking.  See it in all it's glory here! (click on photos to view larger)

The square cut out aperture was originally a 12mm hole, which I had to file to a 16mm square.  A lot of filing!

Friday went quickly with nothing much to report.  The only thing worth mentioning is just how quickly we are covering subjects.  I think we'll have covered about two years worth of A level in a matter of weeks.  
Then came the weekend.  Much of Saturday was spent painfully labouring on the car removing the front hub so I could have the wheel bearing pressed out by a garage, then refitting the hub with the new bearing in.  This took ages, was painful and frustrating, and Emily and I had to walk all around town to find someone who would actually be able to replace the bearing in the hub.  The only casualty in the end was the abs sensor which had to be forced out, wrecking it.  All of this would have been impossible without my assistant Engineer, Emily.  Thanks darling.  So, the tank is back on the road and the noise on left hand corners has been replaced by silence.  It's great when repairs work.  Lets hope the hub stays on and all is well. 

Monday, 1 March 2010

Amazing Views

Today I spent some time at the beach doing some work for our spiral induction assignment.  I know I've mentioned this a lot, but the scenery is really great here.  Check out these two photos I took while heading back to the room.  Sorry about quality, the phone is not up to the job - I was a bit devastated I'd left all my camera equipment in the room.  A mistake that won't be repeated again.



Aah.  Beautiful isn't it? (try and ignore the oil refinery chimneys)

General Fitting Pace & The Matharon.

On Wednesday I finally finished my drill drift.  I say finally as it took me longer than everybody else.  Two reasons I think.  Firstly, I'm slow as I try to be such a perfectionist, and secondly most people seemed to cut corners near the end to get it finished.  I probably could have spent about another hour on it getting it more perfect (there were still bits that I wasn't quite happy with), but I was told it was ok to hand it in for marking as it was.  Photo here.

We were also given our portfolio folders and MNTB work books for the workshop.  The MNTB work book shows all the projects we will have to work on while at college and at sea throughout all 5 phases.  The drill drift we just finished is not something which will go towards our course, but the next project which we have begun will do.

So, after being given these new portfolios and finishing the drift, I began the new project: A general fitting plate.  We were all given a piece of 5mm thick mild steel of size 80 x 80mm.  Two edges were already flat and smooth, but two were rough.  First job was to file one edge down to be square and smooth.  Then I marked it with engineers red for cutting down to 75 x 80mm.  I made the cut with the hack saw, cutting very close to the line to save me a lot of time in filing.  This worked well and caught me up with most people, which was satisfying.  I filed this edge down until square so now I had a 75 x 80mm piece accurate to 0.2mm.  Mr Laker inspected it and ran it through the DTI to see the accuracy.  He was happy, so I could move on to marking it out with all the lines necessary for drilling and cutting to it's final shape.  See photo attached - lots of lines.

Once I had marked all this out (took a long time), I could centre punch the bits for drilling, use the centre drill, then drill the 5mm holes and the single 12mm hole.  I then cut off the marked corners and began the painstaking part of making the inner hack saw cuts towards the holes (see photos below).  After seeing some other people's  cuts, I decided to take mine very slowly to avoid having to start my piece again.  I've almost finished the final cut to the centre hole - this is the longest one.  I'm pretty happy with how they've come out, although they're not perfect.  All I have to do next time is finish off that last cut, then lots of filing to get it accurate to the diagram.  One of my cuts is perilously close to the line....if I have gone too far, or take off too much when filing I will have to start again.  I hope I will have good news for you next time...

Oh, and our Thursday workshop was ended earlier so our year could have another explanation about plaigiarism and the "turnitin" system (electronic anti-plagiarism tool) here.  This was a repeat of a previous lecture we'd had - not sure if they were trying to be ironic or not.

Finally, I come to Friday and long the awaited Maths test.  I think my main word to describe it was "short".  Short on time that is.  A lot of people agree that we should have had more time to do the paper.  I left one of the parts until last and didn't have time to finish this.  Annoying, but nothing we can do I guess.  The test was also harder than any of the three test papers I had done.  It included a question where you had to prove the formula method of solving quadratics by completing the square - this is the question I didn't have time to go back and finish properly.  I was a bit annoyed to see this question on the paper, as although it had been covered at one point, it is not even necessary to know this to be able to solve quadratics.  I can use all of the methods successfully without this!  

Following our exam, we had Marine Engineering Principles, where we continued our study of the two stroke diesel, noting why the cross head two stroke diesel engine is more favoured than the trunk piston two stroke diesel engine.  In the afternoon we had another session of Spiral Induction.  Bizarrely we covered plaigirism again, and now we have an assignment where we can learn more about "turnitin".  We all understand the importance of the program and plagiarism, but we're feeling a little overwhelmed by how much it's been covered.