Research Paper: JPhil EPs 14 (1995) 131
Authors: Keli & JaRoBa,
	 University of Cambridge Department of Hangers-On, England.

Subject: An Alternative Guide To The Radio Spares Catalogue

You know the expression "the quietest ones are always the worst". Well,
it's true. Take that guy with the geeky sweaters who's always going around
with a half-assembled circuit board clutched in his grubby mitts. (Well,
I don't mean _take_ him - hell, that would be awful - just consider him as
an example.) He seems the most unlikely sort, doesn't he? But you can bet
that when he's tucked away in his own little electronic boudoir, he's at
it like a rabbit. 

The scientific world had puzzled for years, searching for conclusive
evidence of this behavior. But finally, after all hope had been put
aside, two unknown Materials Science students, condemned to a life of
polishing and etching tiny metal components, chanced upon the solution to
our age-old problem. 

For particularly poor efforts and insufficiently skilful etching 
technique, these individuals had been sent to the University Department 
of Dweebs, from where they were to borrow and decipher some unknown (to 
them) journal. Having successfully acquired the great 3-volume tome, they 
tentatively turned the front cover. And insodoing, they were unknowingly 
about to make one of the greatest psychological discoveries of the 
twentieth century.

The tome in question was the RS catalogue (10/94 - 2/95), a favorite
reference point and much-thumbed bible of Geeks, Dweebs and Nerds alike.
And the list of items contained within its covers rocked the world. So no
more should we see our wire-headed colleagues as boring or sad - as the
following document shows. 

When you open the RS catalogue, here's what you find. (And for those of 
you brave enough to have a go, the page numbers are in parentheses.)
Here goes...


Let's start with some fashion accessories. For the dedicated RS-er, there's
	leather tool holders (2417)
	knob skirts (316)
	jack chains (105)
	stainless steel sheaths (869)
	knob caps (316)
	nut covers (317)
	pointer knobs (318)
	equipment tags (1233)
	instrument label kits (1235)
    and	dust caps (204)

And so to cater for lean to left or right, you can get "three position 
trolleys" (2227). Hmm.
But sometimes they take fashion too far. I don't like to think what some 
of these are for. 
	tool rotation plates (2250)
	corner notching tools (2251)
	vice jaw tools (162)
	banana plugs (210)
	10-bar DIL arrays (452)

Presumably for multiple orgasms.

	pillars (531)
	flexible drive shafts (2360)
	mounting brackets (907)
	light duty rod hangers (1988)
	caged nut insertion tools (1979)
	ratchet flared nut wrenches (2027)
	finger operated jackscrews (180)
	precision ball slides (1840)

According to the catalogue, precision ball slides "eliminate the noise 
that occurs when balls contact each other". Scary.

Guess which activity involves these...
	nibbling tools (2251)
	centrifugal blowers (1307)
	deep throated g-cramps (2243)

It gets even worse. These border on the illegal.
	jack connectors (131)	
	flange clamps (1842)
	grommets (70)
	brass studding (1964)
	L-shaped ball driver sets (2055)
	perforators (1236)
	rod thermistors (882)
	wireman's tape (113)
	clinchnut riveters (2023)
	oblique tip cutting nippers (1999)
    and	fire-resistant sheaths (28)

Evidently for the safety-conscious.

All these are fine (just about, amongst consenting adults), but they do 
require a bit of gymnastics. Any book which lists "male to swivel female 
- 90 degree swept elbow" (2127) can only be for the elite.

RS does cater though, for those who can't perhaps match some of the
heights that others reach. And if you're unsure as to whether you've got a
"small body" (129), there's an extensive range of "length and distance
measuring devices" on page 327, and a "depth gage" on page 2163. These
items, therefore, are for those experiencing those "little" problems.
	hydraulic puller kits (2446)
	thermal tweezers (983)
	extender modules (1709)
	gland adaptors (73)
	fixing tools (317)
	development tools (534)
	development systems (832)
	vacuum pick-ups (978)
    and	expansion boxes (1150)

and inevitably,

	extensions (2038)

which come "in three lengths: 75mm, 125mm and 250mm". Oh, and apparently,
"the flexible extension is 203mm overall and is ideal for reaching
difficult positions and can be used for right or left handed drive". Quite.

And if the length is there but the elevation isn't, then once more it's 
RS to the rescue with 
	horizontal headers (189)
	40 degree entry (189)
    and	suction lifters (2231)

But these aren't the only troubles experienced by RS-ers. Get a 
load of these:
	stiff nuts (1949)	
	dome nuts (1947)
	cheese head screws (1945)
	crab clamps (2242)
	mushroom head (308)
On second thoughts, it's probably best not to have to get a load of those. 
You'll only end up at the clinic again.

Then, for those into watersports who are missing their aim, there's
	p-clips (62)
	precision liquid dispensers (978)
    and	low leakage semi-conductors (600)

Wow. It's amazing what they can do with solid state materials nowadays.

And if you're suffering from that all too common problem which affects 
most men at least once, then RS come to your rescue with:
	soft starters (1430)
	semi-delay fuses (361)
    and	anti-surge fuses (361)

These have a "clear visual function indication". Then there's
	high intensity discharge ballasts (429)
	surge protectors (1128)
    and	support hardware (1152)

Yes. It can most definitely be a messy business. And even that's catered
for too. We may well have
	jizer (2486)
    and	gunk (2486)

but for the hygiene-conscious, there's
	tip cleaners (2388)
	cap wipers (1842)
	bush kits (1858)
	cleaning sponges (2389)
	soft carry cases (1199)
	hand wipes (2489)
	easing fluid (2499)

"...highly penetrating action allows rapid release of seized parts."

	drip trays (2443)
	soft polishing pads (1214)
	body fluids spill kits (2105)
    and parts washers (2437)

To be absolutely safe you can get "parts washer brushes" too (2437).

But nothing's safer than fun-for-one, even if you do have "self-lube 
protectors" (1852). And those types are well catered for. Get this:
	strain relief hoods (1181)
	manuals (1152)
	finger guards (1309)
	thumbwheels (987)
	gripping gloves (2085)	
	hand probes (870)
    and	self-clinching nuts (1979)

"Self-clinching nuts" save a lot of effort, I'm told. As do
	handsavers (2231)
	grippers (416)
	manual motor starters (281)
	wrist support gloves (2088)
    and	two hand relay units (291)

But you'll never be a record-breaking bishop-basher unless you have the RS
	stroke counter (321)

Good grief. Wonder what the world record is, anyway?

RS is an equal opportunities catalogue...
	standard rear mounting (987)
	butt splices (223)
	male stud coupling (2271)

Evidently some sort of dating service.

	male-to-male adaptors (227)

For those not sure about coming out.

	male headers (164)
	nylon butt hinges (2203)
	stainless steel butt hinges (2203)
    and clevis assemblies (2205)

And for the TVs,

	gender changers (1127)

You don't get that on the National Health Service.

Now time for some spare parts, just in case:
	impact resistant knobs (2187)
	thumbscrew knobs (2187)
	lockable knobs (316)
	knock-on ball knobs (2185)

Yep, knobs everywhere. And
	bantam jack sockets (122)
	DIL sockets (847)		
	smartwands (1106)
	ball transfer units (2217)
    and	hand-held trackballs (1109)

For those to whom grooming is of utmost importance:
	special end brushes (1927)
	cup brushes (1926)
	crimping tools (26)
    and	shaft repair kits (1860)

and for hygienic "hands-free" operation, there's
	snap-n-seal "F" connectors (150)
	tool positioners (261)
	readyflex (146)
	push-pull connectors (124)
    and	equipment mounting floats (10)

RS has a special range of products for the ladies. There's
	high performance oscillators (1615)
	5-segment bar arrays (451)
	industrial joysticks (311)

which boast "a high wearing rubber shroud".

	test cocks (2261)
	3-pole plugs (115)
	flexible probes (1684)
	chromed bars (2191)

Prevents rust.

	single-piece inserts (201)
	two-piece inserts (201)

and of course,

	insert extractor tools (201)

But for the lady who wants the ultimate, it can only be
	power pole (111)

Looks like the men will have to make do with the
	bulk head sockets (148)

More dubious devices now
	2 in/2 out terminal (231)
	AMP Mate-n-Lok (187)

Good grief.

	mounting kits (845)

Airfix would have made a bomb if they'd hit upon that one.

	insertion probes (874)
	wiggler sets (2174)
	shaft encoders (322)
	integral sensing heads (2265)
	mounted sweet spot devices (1217)
	right-angle connectors (117)
    and	ring and bush mounts (2215)

Don't even think about double entry.

There are always some exhibitionists...
	7-in-1 strippers (2061)
	precision linear shafting (1838)
	heavy duty twins (39)

Make sure you use the safety equipment
	ball attachment (2165)
	binocular headband (2181)
	shaft support blocks (1838)
	tungsten halogen helmet/head (415)
	cavity plugs (1975)

or you could end up with

	solid bends (100)

or even worse

	locknuts (106)

Finally, spare a thought for the dyslexics among us. They've only got one 
entry in the whole catalogue. And it's hardly very exciting at all. But 
it's the thought that counts, so let's end with
	PNOZ (289)

We thank you.

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		Keli Richards	

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**/end of document/**