ISC   Information Support Concepts, Inc
A Certified Woman Owned Business Enterprise (WBE)

Issue 22

Publisher:  Jack Burlin                                Editor:  Patti Hammonds

April 5, 2007

Your success story            Monthly product special            Kevinisms            Trivia         

Articles of Interest:  Rackmount Ranger goes public!            How I Missed the Rose Bowl

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Your Success Story

Here is some interesting feedback from a client who recently purchased one of the LC-15 keyboard/monitor drawers we had on special.  I guess you never know what clients are going to do with your products:
Not the kind of app you think.  We pulled the monitor off, threw the cable arm out, pulled the cover, cut 14 inches off the back, screwed the cut piece upside down on the top, re-mounted the monitor on the cut piece so it would fold forward over the keyboard, cut, bent and drilled the slides in the back to form a rear set of rack ears, mounted it in an 18 inch deep SKB music case, hooked it to a computer in the case running a 16 channel Aardvark digital audio interface, stood back, admired our work, smiled and said, "Perfect!".
We have a 16 track recording studio we can take anywhere.  Love your gear! ;)

Monthly Product Special


Information Support Concepts offers a broad range of rack mount utility drawers. These drawers have three new features for 2007.
Our utility drawers come in a variety of styles:
     UD series with a face mounted drawer pull
     D  or TD series with spring-loaded latches and optional keylocks
     DC series with spring-loaded latches

Each 19" rack mount drawer is fully enclosed with a laser knock-out in the rear, full extension ball bearing slides, and can host a variety of media partitions.  Interior dimensions are 15.825"W x 14.5"D, with 2, 3, 4, 5, and 8U versions.  Finishes include black anodized, silver brushed, and textured black powder coat.  New features include a No-Slip drawer mat in all D, TD, or DC series drawers (optional in UD series) except the 5U height drawers, Rear Cable Gland Grommets (see photo) in the rear of all D, TD, and DC drawers, and customizable foam inserts for any 2U, 3U, or 4U drawers.

Store your extra rack screws, tools, documentation, testers, logbooks, and other important objects, right where you can easily find them.

Call 800-458-6255 for more information.  Mention the April newsletter article for 5% off*!

*The 5% discount  will be applied to retail customers only, and cannot be combined with other offers. 
 Valid through April 30, 2007. 

Rackmount Ranger 
goes public!

The Rackmount Ranger, ISC's trademarked and copyrighted cartoon figure has become a real live (although some might dispute this) superhero!  The Rackmount Ranger grew out of the red ISC man in our logo.  Besides having his own website where he answers questions related to rackmount applications (, the Rackmount Ranger has been seen at special functions.  The first was the 20th anniversary celebration for ISC employees on March 2, 2007.  The Rackmount Ranger caused quite a "stir" in the Trail Dust Restaurant in Arlington, TX.  Here is a photos of his many admirers. 

The Rackmount Ranger was also the Emcee of the ISC 20th Anniversary dinner on March 3. He told jokes, called Bingo, gave demonstrations of proper techniques for rackmounting equipment, and generally dazzled all who attended.  There were numerous requests for autographs.

If you would like the Rackmount Ranger to appear at your special function, please contact ISC at 800-458-6255.  Don't put your hardware in danger, call the Rackmount Ranger!

Since the Rackmount Ranger's primary goal is helping people with their rackmount applications, here is another recent question from the blog:

Question:  How do I choose the correct power strip?

The two most important parameters to understand when trying to choose a power strip are:

• What are you plugging it into?
• What are you plugging into it?

The “source" you are plugging the power strip into determines what voltage and amperage you need the power strip to be compatible with. There are many options, but most are combinations of these amperages and voltages:

• 15Amp
• 20Amp
• 30Amp

• 110-125Volts
• 208 Volts
• 220-250Volts

Knowing the source will determine the amperage and voltage you need to match.

Then you need to look at the components you are going to plug into the power strip. Do they match the amperage and voltage of the power strip? If so, then what kind of plugs do the components have? The receptacle(s) on the power strip must be the mate of the plug(s) on the components.

Everything else is simply a “feature." Available features include:

• Current monitoring
• Auto-switching
• Dual source
• Surge protection
• Rackmountable configuration
• Vertical configuration
• Dual voltage
• IEC or NEMA receptacles
• Receptacle orientation on the strip
• Location of receptacles on the strip
• Remote control of receptacles

Obviously the features are important in getting the strip to do exactly what you want, but the basics of understanding the source and what you are plugging into it are key.

Call us at 800-458-6255 for more information on what ISC can do to meet your needs for surge suppression, power strips, PDUs, UPSs, and remote power.

Trivia Question

     Q:  What is the name for the longest side of a right triangle?  A right triangle has one 90 degree angle.

All correct answers will be placed into a pool for a random drawing at the end of the month.  The winner will receive a free 25 foot reel of reusable velcro cable ties (part number MD88-25RLBK), plus free ground shipping.  Send your answers to:    Jack Burlin

See next month's newsletter for the winner and the correct answer.

Answer from March's Newsletter.
     Q: Babieca and Rosinante are famous horses.  Who were the famous characters who rode them?

     A:  Babieca was the horse ridden by El Cid.  It was known for its speed and strength.  In contrast, Rosinante was the name of the horse ridden by Don Quixote.  It was an old swayback nag, with neither speed nor strength.

The winner was John Bojorquez.  Congratulations!


A Kevinism is a funny or intriguing statement or idea from our Vice President of Sales, Kevin Hunt.  Kevin is a big fan of Sandra Bullock, Pizza Inn black olive pizza, and Dr. Pepper (not necessarily in that
order). He is not a big fan of Chinese food, seafood, or other types of "dead" stuff.

Kevin's fondness for making up words has been covered in many previous articles.  Even with all the publicity, he still continues to do it.  I guess he has been doing it for so long, it has become impossible to stop.  I think his fame in this area is approaching that of the famous Mrs. Malaprop (from the 1775 comedy, The Rivals, by Richard Sheridan).  Even when confronted with an embarrassment like "salacious" (see the February newsletter),  he continues to come up with "interesting" words and phrases.

I have been saving this one for a while.  Since it is getting to be bike riding season again, I thought it was appropriate (not mal ΰ propos) to offer it at this time.  As regular readers of this column know, Kevin likes to ask me about opportunities for riding my bike.  Since the bicycle I ride is a recumbent bike (see the November newsletter), the phrase he likes to use is, "Did you recumbesize this weekend?"  I usually respond with how many miles I rode, or comment on anything special or unusual that happened while riding.

Last summer I made the mistake of riding on the running track at the local middle school.  This in itself would not have been too bad, but on this particular day the track was wet and had a big muddy puddle at one end.  Not wanting to ride through the mud, I would avoid this area by going off the track and into the grass.  As I continued around the track each time it got more and more difficult to keep my speed up.  I thought I might just be getting tired.  When it got to be excessive even for this possibility, I noticed both of my tires had gone flat.  I ended up having to walk the bike home, and when investigating why the tires had gone flat, I found they were full of numerous little thorns.  These were evidently from the plants growing beside the track.

After relating this story to Kevin, he remarked that I clearly suffered from GTD.  With GTD, there was a very good explanation for my flat tires.  Being a combination straight man and masochist, I asked what was GTD?

Kevin relied, "GTD is short for Granulated Tread Depletion."

I could not have said it better myself.


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How I Missed the Rose Bowl
or, the confessions of a manual bomber


     In the Summer of 1978 I was on temporary assignment (TDY) at Holloman Air Force Base in Alamogordo, NM.  I had just left my assignment in Arizona where I was an instructor pilot in the T-38 aircraft, and was enroute to England Air Force Base in Alexandria, LA where I would be flying A-7D aircraft.  In between I had to attend what was then called the Fighter Lead-in School.

     Fighter Lead-in School is the location where pilots without any fighter aircraft training were given a short series flights to practice techniques that are common to all fighter aircraft.  This encompasses air-to-air combat and air-to-ground combat.  The aircraft in use at this school were called the T-38B.  The T-38B was different from the T-38A (in which I had almost 1000 flight hours experience) in that it had gun/bomb sight (with camera), and was capable of carrying different launchers for external stores.  "Stores" is the generic term for different weapons like bombs, rockets, guns, etc.  The launcher we used most of the time was mounted to the belly of the T-38B, and could carry six practice bombs (known as BDU-33s) and four rockets.  A separate launcher was used when we went to practice firing a gun.

     After a series of introductory flights to get accustomed to the aircraft, we started learning about bombing.  For people with no experience, you might think bombing is fairly simple.  We have all seen the World War II movies where the formation of bombers fly over the target at a fixed altitude and airspeed and at a given signal they all drop their bombs.  Well even in this scenario the likelihood of actually hitting the target is low.  Flying at a fixed height and speed eliminates some of the variables from the bombing equation, but there are still quite a few problems.  The Norton bomb sight was developed during the war to give bomber crews a better probability of hitting the target.  Even with this advanced feature, bombers had problems.  Also, the loss rate for bomber aircraft was very high in the war.  The British abandoned daylight bombing in favor of night bombing because their losses were so high.  Flying along at a fixed altitude and airspeed might help your accuracy, but it does not do much for your survivability.

    In contrast, fighter aircraft are highly maneuverable and need to fly themselves into proper position in order to accurately deliver bombs.  The type of bomb sight used in these aircraft is the "depression" bomb sight.  This is a piece of glass (called the combining glass) on which a circle (or reticule) is projected by a very bright source.  At the center of the reticule is a dot, or "pipper" which is your aiming device.  The location of the pipper on the combining glass can be adjusted or "depressed" with a knob.  Since the glass is at a fixed position right in front of the pilot, this effectively moves the aiming device up or down.  The unit of measure in which the pipper moves is the miliradian (or "mil").  Each mil is about .06 degrees.  Calculating where to put the pipper is a major feat in mathematics.  Here are most of the variables that go into the calculation. 

  • wind speed

  • wind direction

  • aim point

  • altitude

  • airspeed

  • pitch angle

  • dive angle

  • bomb ballistic characteristics

  • bomb blast characteristics

     Based on the bomb blast and ballistic characteristics, the proper type of delivery is chosen.  In this case, we will talk about high angle low drag (HALD).  In HALD, the bombs are "slick" meaning they are not fitted with fins to retard their speed, and the dive angle is greater that 30 degrees.  One interesting characteristic of low drag bombing is that if you don't fly directly over the target, you are not going to hit it.  Also, when the bomb impacts the target it is directly below the aircraft.  When the aircraft releases the bomb, the pilot must immediately pull out of the dive in order to be above a certain altitude when the bomb explodes.  Failing to do so means you can be caught in your own "frag" (for fragmentation) pattern.   This can result in your being shot down by your own bomb!

     Most of the parameters listed above are self explanatory.  Also, if we consider the "no wind" situation, it eases the calculation.  The pilot can line the airplane up on the target and simply fly directly over it.  You don't have to deal with crosswind, sideslip, or other factors that affect where the bomb will land left or right.  Now your only problem is being short or long.  In a no wind situation (for most aircraft) pitch angle and dive angle become the same.  So your task is to arrive at a particular place in the sky above the target, with the airplane aimed at a spot on the ground directly behind the target, at the right airspeed and altitude, and with the correct dive angle.  If you do all these things, the mil setting you have calculated and set into the bomb sight will place the pipper directly over the target.  Then if you push the "pickle" button and release the bomb at exactly this instant, the bomb should hit the target.  Good luck with that!

    Here is what can go wrong.  Being too fast, too high, at too low a dive angle, with a longer than proper aim point, pushing the pickle button too early, or the aircraft system taking too long to release the bomb, all end up with a long bomb.  Reverse any of these parameters and the bomb ends up short.  This applies to minor errors.  Obviously if you push the pickle button well before you reach the target, the bomb will land short no matter what the other parameters are.

    In learning to bomb, we use the "controlled" bomb range in the White Sands Missile Range.  A controlled range has people on the ground who are in radio contact with the pilots.  Only specified aircraft are allowed on the range at a time, and the aircraft fly rectangular patterns so they can be monitored at all times.  There are usually two towers which are offset well away from the target area.  The towers have observers who note the location of the bomb impact (made more visible by the white smoke they emit) and can determine the distance from the target by triangulation.  After the pilot makes a bomb pass, he gets a score over the radio such as "20 meters, 7 o'clock."  This tells the pilot the bomb impacted 20 meters short of the target and slightly left.

    Each aircraft normally makes six bomb passes and then goes back to base to assess the performance.  The range at White Sands has three concentric circles on the ground.  In the center is a target (usually an old surplus tank or armored vehicle) and the three circles are marked at 100, 200, and 300 meter increments.  In class, the instructors tell you the 300 meter circle is the size of the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA.

The Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California

    Preparing for my first mission was pretty straight forward.  We calculated the mil setting for the type of delivery we wanted to make.  We took off with another aircraft in formation and entered the range.  We flew over the target area to get a feel for how it looked, then took spacing so we were half way around the rectangular pattern from the other aircraft in our formation.  We made the required radio calls to alert the range controller (and other aircraft) where we were.  When we were on the downwind (facing 90 degrees from the run in line (which was painted on the ground)) we armed the system.  Then we turned on to final approach to the target and began the bombing run.  At what I thought was the right point, I nosed the aircraft over into a 45 degree dive, selecting a point beyond the target at which I aimed the aircraft.  I adjusted the throttle as we accelerated, and started to watch the pipper tracking towards the target over the ground.  I made some adjustments to line up on the target, and when the pipper reached the target I pressed the pickle button and pulled out of the dive.  "350 meters, 6 o'clock."  The bomb was very short.  I was evidently too low, which meant my aim point and airspeed were probably off as well.  After making six passes and never getting closer than the results of the first bomb, we re-grouped the formation and flew home.  Then we sent the gun camera film off for processing.  When it came back, we took a look at what was wrong.  Suffice it to say there were many things wrong with my bombing delivery.  The only saving grace is that no one else in my class was able to do any better.  Manual bombing is difficult!

     That's the story of how I failed to hit the "Rose Bowl" and was feeling lucky to have actually hit the ground.  It was a humbling experience.  Fortunately, I got better, and modern fighter aircraft have technology to help pilots be much more accurate.   Much later on (admittedly in the A-7D), it was not uncommon to get a "shack" which meant you had actually hit the target.

     Please feel free to email me your comments, and thanks for reading!

     Jack Burlin




© 1998-2006 All Rights Reserved  -  But feel free to forward this or email it to all of your friends. 
For reprint permission, please call 800-458-6255

Copyright, 1998-2006
Information Support Concepts, Inc.
Mansfield, Texas

ISC, Information Support Concepts, Inc. offers an Extensive Selection of Quality 19

ISC, Information Support Concepts, Inc. offers an Extensive Selection of Quality 19" and 23" Rackmount Enclosure Computer Racks, Server Cabinets, Server Racks, 2-Post and 4-Post Racks, LAN Racks, Portable Racks, Power, Rackmount LCD TFT Monitor Keyboards, Accessories and Much More for IT-Network-Telecom Professionals.