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 DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum Metric. Yes or no? Explain your answer.
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03-31-2008, 02:43 AM   #16
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For those who are interested in knowing more detail about the Metric system, I've attached a PDF doc for your use. Please note that numbers with 4 digits or more either side of the decimal point, a comma is not used to separate the "thousands" or "thousandths". A space is the least problematic way in which to separate these digits.
In 2000 when I was living in Argentina, I was constantly confused about how they arranged their digits. For example, their number "12,345" was not twelve thousand three hundred and forty five...it was twelve point three four five. They used to use a "dot" to signify thousands or thousandths.

From 30 years ago when I was taught about the Metric system, I was encouraged to use spaces when separating these digits, for obvious reasons.
Attached Files
 metric system.pdf (16.5 KB, 94 views)

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03-31-2008, 10:29 AM   #17

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Quote:
 Originally Posted by Chris Johnson My metric temperature meter <0 - Put on a wool hat, jacket and some gloves 0 - Put on a jacket and some gloves 10 - spring jacket, bring a sweatshirt if it's breezy 16 - Down to a t-shirt by 10:00am if it's sunny 20 - Down to a t-shirt by 8:00am if it's sunny 26 - Walk out the door in a t-shirt >30 - Bring many liters of water to work that day
That is not nearly enough spread for me. Here we go from 30 below to 100 above. Long johns and mittens to naked in the shade. With all kinds of things happening in between.

 03-31-2008, 11:25 AM #18 Member   Join Date: Jul 2007 Posts: 2,045 Rewards Points: 1,910 Either system is easy to use as long as you don't have to convert from one to the other. It's the coversion that usually complicates things. Stick with one or the other and everything's fine.
03-31-2008, 11:56 AM   #19
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Personal preferences mean little on this question.

Eventually everything will be metric (or a soft conversion), it just depends on how stubborn you are. The soft conversions just lead to more difficullty and harder learning.

It is better, easier and less prone to mistakes.

03-31-2008, 12:11 PM   #20
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by concretemasonry Personal preferences mean little on this question. Eventually everything will be metric (or a soft conversion), it just depends on how stubborn you are.

Well, I think you're right but that's what they told me in 1970 and we still use miles on our roadsigns, cups and quarts in our recipes, houses are built in feet and inches and we order yards of concrete. So I may well be gone from this earth before eventually arrives. In the meanwhile I don't think I'll be laying out my next foundation in metric and then converting to order the concrete.

 03-31-2008, 02:19 PM #21 Learning by Doing     Join Date: Jan 2008 Location: Easton, Maryland Posts: 3,156 Rewards Points: 2,000 Blog Entries: 7 - I hate buying at the deli in metric - for the life of me, I can't buy cheese in grams. Contrarily, - I love driving places in metric - it seems so fast! __________________ If I could only remember to THINK about what I was doing before I did it.
 03-31-2008, 03:14 PM #22 UAW SKILLED TRADES     Join Date: Jan 2007 Location: Kansas Posts: 5,341 Rewards Points: 2,652 All I care about is when I get up in the morning that I brew a pot of coffee. We have adopted the metric system!!....where it is known to be a better and more accurate method. We just don't use it in every nook and cranny of our everyday lives. What improvement would it really have in the building trades? If we moved to the metric then everything becomes an issue.. 1 foot is not equal to 1 anything in metric so what we know as 1 foot in length now becomes a whole new metric length. I am curious..does anyone know what dimensional lumber lengths are referred to in metric? By this I mean what are the lengths for lumber in the metric system when you go to the store to buy lumber? It will gripe me if when I ask for stud 'prices' and I get someone looking at me like I'm from a foreign country. The American Standard System has served this country pretty well IMO. I think this whole push for across the board conversion to metric is really a over reaction. I wonder how things would be if America had the metric system and the rest of the world had inches and feet. It's all about politics people and the "NEW WORLD ORDER" to bring the same money units and measurement units so on and so forth to an end result of a unified word economy. I for one will resist playing follow the guys with the metric system to my dying breath, we got it.. right.. folks. Lets keep a little independence that we can still call American.
 03-31-2008, 03:17 PM #23 Member     Join Date: Oct 2006 Location: Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota - Latitude 45.057 Longitude -93.074 Posts: 4,038 Rewards Points: 2,566 jogr - The world is just passing the U.S. by. We really have no choice on cars. Most contractors admit that many errors in layouts come from feet, inches and fractions. At least the highway engineers and surveyors dumped the inches and fractions years ago.
03-31-2008, 03:36 PM   #24
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by Stubbie I am curious..does anyone know what dimensional lumber lengths are referred to in metric? By this I mean what are the lengths for lumber in the metric system when you go to the store to buy lumber? It will gripe me if when I ask for stud 'prices' and I get someone looking at me like I'm from a foreign country.

common 2X4X8' lumber demison is 35mm X 85mm X 2400mm [ i did verifed with my metric tape mesure ]

Merci,Marc

 03-31-2008, 05:25 PM #25 deuce of all trades   Join Date: Mar 2008 Location: rural, coastal SC Posts: 12 Rewards Points: 10 Personally, having grown up with the U.S. standard, i find it more convenient for common measurements. The Celsius/Fahrenheit comparison is a great example. 0 degrees is freezing- that's great. But for it to be sweltering hot only 35 degrees later? That just doesn't work. Liters are okay for stuff in quantity- water, gasoline, vodka. But measuring out 14.7 ml of baking soda for cookies? i'll keep my tablespoon. True story #1- when i went to England for our honeymoon, we rented a car. i just assumed that the speed limit signs were in kilometers. They're not. The locals were not impressed. True story #2- in 1982, a Chevrolet pickup with the "6.2 Litre" Diesel engine had standard body fasteners (platform dated back to '73), but the newly developed engine was all metric. The rest of the engine compartment seemed to be pretty much pot luck. They also used a different fuel filter assembly every year that the engine was produced, but that's a whole 'nother story...
03-31-2008, 05:25 PM   #26

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Quote:
 Originally Posted by concretemasonry The world is just passing the U.S. by.
There's a bit of an overstatement. I agree with jgr, we have been told about this impending change for almost 30 years. And we aren't seeing it affect us much at all. Maybe someday.

03-31-2008, 05:31 PM   #27

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Quote:
 The world is just passing the U.S. by
Really.....and where might they be headed?

Quote:
 . We really have no choice on cars.
I'm sorry that makes no sense to me at all. Could you clarify that we have no choice?

Hi Marc

What I'm asking is....when I go to the lumber yard... I'll say I need 10 2x6's 12 feet long.

Now when I go to the Australian or French lumber yard what is the standard length of a board?

Do I say I want 10 ..35 x 200's.. 3 meters long or something like that?

 03-31-2008, 06:25 PM #28 Res Ipsa Loquitur   Join Date: Dec 2007 Location: Southeastern PA Posts: 363 Rewards Points: 250 As I said before, it is the attempt at conversion that causes problems- not the units. It has been this way since I learned metric in the 70's. It was our parents who were they resistant ones- "now we are them!" For those with science backgrounds it is easy to interpret and use these metric units. I'm sure those in Europe and on other continents have had no problem building structures, vehicles or buying fuel using the metric system for all these years. __________________ Did you ever stop to think, then forget to start again?
03-31-2008, 07:04 PM   #29
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Stub -

"Where might they be headed?" - QUOTE
They are just getting better while we dilly-dally around and waste time, just like our education system. At one time we were one of the best, now we are about #13 and going down. - Maybe too much time on adding, subtracting or dividing fractions instead of real numbers (much faster). they also go to school more days studying real subjects instead of music appreciation.

"We really have no choice on cars?" - QUOTE
Do you actually think you have a choice whether to buy a car with no metric on it? If it wasn't for the foreign car builders kicking the big 3's butts not much in the U.S. car would really be improved. Two years ago, a U.S. car manufacturing company said at a car show they would have automatic traction control in 3 to 5 years, while there was a foreign car there that had it as standard. The foreign car manufacturers spend more time and money on improvements instead of the old hat promoton of a "new" redesigned old idea. The foreign car manufacturers just use metric because it is the most logical, economical, universal system in the world for measurement and stadardization of high quality.

If you go to a foreign lumber yard (which is relatively rare since most residential construction in the developed world is not wood), you just have to know what is available. If you don't understand the dimensions, just ask some kids - even U.S. kids can look at something and give a better size description in meteric than in feet, inches and fractions. - Or just use a metric tape since it is much easier with fewer errors.

03-31-2008, 09:08 PM   #30

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Quote:
 They are just getting better while we dilly-dally around and waste time, just like our education system. At one time we were one of the best, now we are about #13 and going down. - Maybe too much time on adding, subtracting or dividing fractions instead of real numbers (much faster). They also go to school more days studying real subjects instead of music appreciation.
To coin your phrase ..do you really think that the problems with our education system are because we don't teach metric and we allow studying of the arts?

As for metric on cars.. that is a given.. my response was not that simplistic. You have to look at the whole picture.....we are being turned into a consumer society as a result of a lack of leadership in protecting the well being of America. This is being done at the expense of the working man and woman. The metric system is not our savior.

Like I said we have for all practical circumstances already adopted it.

Do you really think that across the board adoption of the metric system saves America? And we magically correct our education system and catch up to the rest of the world who have left the United States of America in their dust due to metrics????

I don't liken to having a ring put in my nose and someone lead me to water.

I like the American standard units. They have served me just fine. I do believe if you built your house and poured your concrete in American Standard units and built one right next to it with metric equivalents they would both stand just fine....one being no better than the other. As for errors in measurement whos fault is that? The system or the person making the error? Or the calculator he/she is using?

I never liked metrics..... never had a problem with using them either. Give me a choice and I'll be just peachy with inches and feet. The rest of the world will just have to pass me by.

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