Thursday, December 8, 2011

How Clever Are You?

There are a lot of really clever inventions out there, mainly due to (and sometimes in spite of) the efforts of a lot of really clever people.  Are you one of them?

Are you clever enough to figure out a way to indicate the level of water in a rainwater tank using nothing other than String and Rocks, two of the four fundamental Blokian Elements?

I'll even give you a hint:  It looks exactly like this:

As the water level inside the tank increases or decreases, the external red pointer (seen on the white pole near the center of the photo) rises or falls to indicate the actual water level to within a couple of millimeters.  How does it work?

I have seen fluid level sensors that use mechanical floats, electromagnetic transducers, ultrasonic sensors, capacitive sensors, induction sensors, thermal sensors, Vessel Resonance Depth Gauges and differential pressure depth gauges.  But this is the first one I've encountered that uses only string and rocks.  Talk about Low Tech, you don't get much lower than that.  Unless it were using just Rocks and nothing more.

The depth of a hole, canyon or gorge can be determined using only a rock.  Drop the rock over the edge and count "One-hippopotamus, Two-hippopotamus, ..." until the rock hits something.  Then square the number of hippopotami.  That is the depth of the canyon in rods.  To get feet, multiply by 16.  To get meters, multiply by 4.905 instead.  What could be simpler than that?

If you can describe to me how this tank level indicator operates using only String and Rocks, I will add your name to the Blokian Honor Roll in a future post that reveals the answer.  A diagram is useful.  Click on the "About Me" link in the left sidebar to send me your entry.

And don't forget to do your Christmas Shopping!


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