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That state of metric conversion in the US

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by cameo, Feb 16, 2013.

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  1. cameo

    cameo Guest

    I seem to remember that a few dacades ago (maybe in the '70s) there was
    some kind of federal push to convert the country to the metric system by
    a certain date that is already in the past. As it's painfully obvious by
    now, not much came out of that initial excitement.

    Why do you think it is that the US public so resistant to such a change
    when the metric system is so much simpler? Much of the rest of the
    industrialized world is already on the metric system and not following
    their lead just impedes international commerce.
  2. Gib Bogle

    Gib Bogle Guest

    Think "Freedom Fries"
  3. rickman

    rickman Guest

    I think I discussed this recently in one of the groups. I remember
    distinctly (or as well as I am capable of remembering) that in the 70's
    we agreed to move to metric coordinated with Canada. It was a
    multi-step program with information and education being the first two
    steps. We even required the US auto makers to add metric to the
    speedometers. But when it came to actually changing something (I think
    speed limits was the first thing to change) we told Canada to go on
    without us and we'd catch up... which we *never* did.

    I expect there was too much push back from the average Joe. Heck, I
    worked at a company just a few years ago that made push to talk radios
    for the US military. I was surprised that the mechanical engineers were
    still using inches and converting all the metric stuff rather than doing
    it all in metric!

    Converting is inevitable, but perhaps not until it starts to make an
    economic impact. By then China will be running things and we will just
    be the tail on the dog.
  4. Tim Williams

    Tim Williams Guest

    I use metric frequently in my work, but apparently metric fasteners are
    still a few cents more expensive than standard over here, so there's still
    economic pressure, however slight, to continue using them.

    Metric is kind of nice because you can "make your own" when it comes to
    magic sizes and stuff. Sometimes you want, say, a plate that's 1/4 or
    3/8" thick, but it just doesn't look quite right -- visually appealing.
    Instead, you could specify 5, 7.5, 10, etc. mm thickness, or other odd
    values, assuming it's in stock of course -- and potentially get more
    elegant proportions and whatnot. This is analogous to working in
    conventional vs. Exx series R/L/C component values: some ratios are easy
    to get (factor of 2 = 1k:2k vs. 1k:2.2k off by 10%), others not so much.
    On further analysis, one would probably find it's a wash, in the end.

    Insert usual blurb about the inch technically being metric (i.e., so
    effing what, specify 6.35mm bolts instead).

  5. T

    T Guest

    What most in the U.S. don't realize is that we've already gone mostly
    metric. 500ml bottles, a lot of dry measure in grams now, and bolts on
    cars are all metric, right down the the lug nuts.

    The only thing we haven't made the jump for is distance and temperature.
    The old English measures still hold.
  6. Guest

    It seems that this is just a way to circumvent any WTO free trade
    agreements :-(

    You have to make US specific brochures using some strange units.

    In the worst case, any mechanical specifications _must_ be specified
    as some fraction of an inch (0.025400000000... m).
  7. Tauno Voipio

    Tauno Voipio Guest

    The Americans are just a bit slow to apply the decisions of the
    Congress: in 1866, the metric system was officially mandated.
  8. MrTallyman

    MrTallyman Guest

    Can you really be that stupid?
    Metric conversion DID occur, idiot. Examine ANY CAD package. Look at
    ALL Us CAR makers and ALL US AIRCRAFT makers. You know, that place where
    MOST of the world buys all their passenger planes.
    It isn't the public. It is parents and educators. Learn to point your
    finger ONLY when you are correct, asshole. Then learn WHERE to point it.
    I really can't believe that your blinders are adjusted so tightly that
    you cannot see. Oh wait... they are not blinders, you are simply too
    goddamned retarded to make valid observations about any fucking thing but
    how to wipe your own ass.
    Like you?
    So is the US, you total fucking retard.
    You are only about as retarded as a person claiming to be educated in a
    modern world can get. You are worse than a Windows lover retard trolling
    a Linux group.

    **** off And DIE, US hating TROLL ****!

    Change your nym to retardeo, boy.
  9. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Surprised? Some of my work is in aerospace. There it's all inches,
    pounds, PSI, slugs, knots, feet and so on. To some extent that is even
    so in the medical device industry. The topper:

    Many catheter datasheet have the length in Centimeters, most of the rest
    in imperial units, and the diameter in French (!).

    If the current administration keeps doing what it is doing, then there
    is a high chance of that happening :-(
  10. SoothSayer

    SoothSayer Guest

    That would be the DOT then, eh? Jeez.

    The ONLY place we did not convert that ever mattered was our reluctant
    paper industry. So printers have to be able to take euro paper sizing
    and naming and US. AND the drivers for those printers and the software
    we publish things with.

    Then, at the smaller ma and pa shop of whatever genre, it becomes
    personal choice, which means "what you were raised on". Hence a
    perceived reluctance to change, depending on how one does the analysis.

    But nearly all, if not all major companies in the US are metric, or use
    some form of dual compliance.

    Some folks simply need to wake the **** up, and take the fucking horse
    blinders off.
  11. Guest

    Because it's not necessary.
    It does nothing of the kind. NC tools made that argument moot.
  12. Guest

    No, it just shows that American's contempt for Congress isn't a recent
    phenomenon. ;-)
  13. Guest

    I had one car that had the scales reversed. It really screwed with my
    time estimation, though not speed (never got a ticket).
  14. Syd Rumpo

    Syd Rumpo Guest

    On 16/02/2013 15:40, SoothSayer wrote:

    Fascinating paper facts #273:

    A0 paper is defined as 1m^2 with sqrt(2):1 aspect ratio so you can fold
    it in half to make A1 which is 1/2 m^2 etc.

    So A4 - the usual European printer/copier size - is 1/16 m^2.

    So ordinary 80gsm (grams per square metre) printer/copier paper is 5g
    per sheet.

    Next time you're at a party, you can bring this up to impress the ladies.

    You're welcome.
  15. Tauno Voipio

    Tauno Voipio Guest

    Like the imperial gallon?
  16. SoothSayer

    SoothSayer Guest

    Cool. Thanks.
  17. qrk

    qrk Guest

    When gas hit $1.00 per gallon in Hawaii, they converted to liters.
    This is the days of mechanical displays. Hawaii stuck to liters for
    quite awhile (perhaps in to the 90s) until the Federal gov stepped in
    and forced them to back to gallons. So much for the transition to
  18. SoothSayer

    SoothSayer Guest

    A wine barrel is 32 gallons (probably US), an oil barrel is 42 gallons
    (probably Imperial?).

    What the heck is the 55 gallon drum (barrel) (probably US) for?
  19. SoothSayer

    SoothSayer Guest

    Too many complaining vacationers pissed off at being too stupid to
    perform the conversion(s)?

    Of course they didn't know that the reason they were pissed off is
    because they were too stupid to perform even a relatively simple
    'guesstimated' conversion. Pissed at themselves subconsciously, they
    complain about it, and eventually some asshole in government who gets
    paid way too much for way too little, comes along and makes it appear as
    if he is putting things in order.

    I think all the station owners should boycott the forced return, and go
    back to their metric, liter displayed dispensing pumps.
  20. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    In some engineering fields nearly all of it is done in imperial units.
    Aerospace, for example. This is also accepted by overseas customers.

    Even Europeans use imperial units: XWB_tcm92-5753.pdf

    Quote "The engine will be available with a thrust of up to 97,000lb".

    A challenge is when there is a meeting with university folks as I had
    one this week. Everything is metric there. Metric does have a lot of
    advantages. A disadvantage is the constant changes in the system.
    Pressure was defined in torr, then in atmosphere, then in bars, and then
    in hektopascals which have a 1e5 relationship to everything else. Not
    1e3 or 1e6 but 1e5. In school they really threw us a curve by notorious
    changes. Kilogramm-Force, Kilopond, and when that fell from grace
    Newton. It's nuts. One reason why people here in the US cling to
    imperial is that stuff deson't change all the time.

    So I have a cheat sheet in my desk for European stuff :)
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