What's the deal with Charlie?

I have a brother who is an avid model railroader since the early Jurassic era. His layout has been on the cover of Model Railroader several times, and on the cover of other prestigious magazines as well.

He also has several books and documentary DVD’s to his credit.

Suffice it to say that his modelling skills are among the best in the U. S. and his opinion is eagerly sought-after.

I co-opted him as an advisor for the power supply project, as he is an acknowledged expert in making things as realistic as possible.

While showing some views of the cabinet, he noticed Charlie in the background and wanted to know about the 'bot. I mentioned that the 'bot’s name is Charlie.

!!? A “named” robot??

He asked: “What’s the deal with ‘Charlie’?”

This is my reply, which I think you might find interesting:

What say ye?

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Great reply. And I love the backstory for the name Charlie.

In terms of being good enough, I’m reminded of this story I saw recently on Twitter

I love the point Gaiman makes at the end.



Absolutely true.

However it’s hard to shake the feeling of being a wannabe punter.

I look at what you and @cyclicalobsessive do on a daily basis, and I feel like an Egyptologist looking at hieroglyphics for the first time.

Guess it goes.


Well, you’re building a fancy power supply from scratch, whereas I clearly don’t even understand the concept of “ground” properly. :slight_smile:


I love that story from Neil Gaiman. Yes we all suffer from imposter syndrome. I still wonder why I’m now the mother of GoPiGos.


It’s actually quite simple, but requires a bit of history to explain.

Back in the stone ages of electricity and radio, (“wireless” back then), it was discovered that a big antenna wasn’t enough, you needed to connect your radio to to the “ground” outside with a long metal pole driven as far in as possible to complete the radio “circuit”.

Because the connection to the grounding rod provided the electrical return path for the signal, it became a convention to call any electrical return, especially if connected to the chassis, the electrical “ground” for that circuit.

Technically, it is no more than the common return path for all the circuitry.

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That’s the part I do understand - I was referencing your comment that the two grounds were connected but not equal.


One of the dirty little secrets about grounds is that, like voltage, it is always with reference to something else.

I have seen television circuits where the “ground” for that circuit was +500v above chassis ground.

Big RF transmitters do the same thing to help achieve the tremendous output power they need.

In the case of my power modules, the output ground is with reference to the output voltage lead, and includes the output filtering.


Who is that?

It reminds me of a character from Dragonriders of Pern - the one Wierwoman who was a complete [censored!], always wanted to start trouble, and ended up being “banished” to the Southlands where she accumulated a small group of miniature dragons.

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Because YOU have a clue and know where to sign a reality check.

You have a passion for what you do and truly want to make things better.

In addition, you are also a decent person, worthy of everyone’s respect and gratitude.

For which we are all forever grateful.


Daenerys Targaryen, the Mother of Dragons (among other titles), from Game of Thrones.

I enjoyed the reference. Although I’m hoping @cleoqc didn’t have to go through as great a conflagration to bring the GoPiGo to life :slight_smile: