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[TowerTalk] Meters

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Subject: [TowerTalk] Meters
From: (Chris R. Burger)
Date: Tue, 3 Jun 1997 16:08:08 +200
> The metric system is no easier than the English system in common everyday
> use. Sure, you can move the decimal point easily in the metric system, but
> so what? How often do we move decimal points?
You sure haven't used the metric system!

One of the prime advantages of the metric system is that you don't 
need fractions.  You only have to typeset a few documents containing 
the lovely 1-3/64" (or is that 1 minus 3 divided by 64 seconds?) type 
measurements before you realise that the metric system has its 

Some questions:
  How many inches to a mile?
  How many ounces in a ton?
  How many cubic inches in a gallon?  
  And if you're east of the Atlantic?

Lemmesee, the answers are easy:
  5280ft/mile x 12"/ft = 63 360"/mile
  16ounces/lb x 2240lbs/ton = 35 840ounces/ton
  I give up.  But whatever the conversion factor is, it's different
    on the other side of the Atlantic by something like 20%.
Now try the equivalent questions for the metric system:
  mm per km?
  g per ton?
  ml per l?
  What is the mass of a litre of water?
  West of the Atlantic?
  1 000 000 mm/km
  1 000 000 g/ton
  1000 ml/l
  1 kg, of course
  And, gee, west of the Atlantic it's the same!
> Metrites criticize the English system as arbitrary. But at the end of the
> day, I can always find my foot. 
I dare say your foot may not be an exact twelve inches...   

Besides, the base unit of the SI system is derived from the 
circumference of the earth--the circumference over the poles is 
40 000 km.

> I once tried a 25 meter tower, but found that an 82-foot one worked better.
That's only because it sounds higher, thereby lowering your voice by 
at least three full tones when you tell the station you're working!

Now, to relevant stuff:  Tool and hardware sizes are much simpler in 
the metric system.  For example, spanners/wrenches/sockets/nuts/bolts 
are numbered in their mm size, which is an integer.  Instead of 
having to look for a 17/163" tool, you can simply grab a 12.  Bolts 
are similarly numbered by diameter (e.g. an 8 mm bolt).  And, best of 
all, wires are sold by surface area (2 sq. mm) or diameter (1 mm), 
depending on the application.  How much current does a number 22 wire 
carry anyway?

Chris R. Burger

PS  Hey, on the other hand, this imperial system really is easy:
    16 ounces to the pound
    14 pounds to the stone
    2 stones to the quarter
    4 quarters to the hundredweight
    20 hundredweights to the ton
    Gee, this is a real elegant system!

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