Mo' better

Thread Starter

KL7AJ

Joined Nov 4, 2008
2,208
Yeah, I know I'm an old geezer. My floor-length white beard sometimes stands in the way of progress.
But sometimes progress ain't progress.

Anyone here remember when the unit of conductivity, the Siemens, was called the "mho" (backwards ohm)?

Now, Mr. Siemens was a fine feller, I'm sure. I just got back from Taiwan, and had the delight of riding the high-speed rail all over the island....built by Siemens. (The railroad, that is...not the island. I think the island was there first.) Siemens is actually the largest hardware manufacturer in the world right now, and probably deservedly so.

But I'm not sure what Mr. Siemens did that was worthy of stealing that perfectly good term, the mho....after a hundred years of mho-ing

Why is the mho mo' better? It's simple. With mo' mho, you have mo' electricity! Easy to remember!

Anyone old enough to remember the corner drug store tube tester will remember the mho. The "goodness" of a tube (transconductance) was measured in micromhos.....said it right there on the meter. Never saw a tube tester with "microSiemens" on it.

So....I will continue to mho....cuz it's mo' better.


Now you know.

Eric
 

t06afre

Joined May 11, 2009
5,936
Just use mho, if you want. But siemens (symbol: S) is the SI derived unit. And the only correct unit to use in scientific work.
 

SgtWookie

Joined Jul 17, 2007
22,201
There's "bettah", "mo' bettah", and "mos' bestus" :D

Yep, I remember mho's - my vintage '70 RCA Receiving Tube Manual is full of 'em. ;)
I remember when I was a kid taking a shoebox full of tubes/valves I'd pulled from our old Dumont B&W TV and carefully wrapped in rags for padding, down to the Rexall drug store, and consulting a flip-chart to find the correct settings and sockets - turning/flipping what seemed a dizzying array of knobs and switches, and then carefully observing the mho meter ... I actually did fix the thing - for a while.

Those were the days when you'd turn the TV off, and the screen would shrink to a bright white dot that would linger for several minutes. As a kid, I'd watch that dot in fascination, wondering how it did that. Little did I know that I was getting a good bit of X-ray radiation... I don't know how we survived those days. ;)
 

Ron H

Joined Apr 14, 2005
7,012
There's "bettah", "mo' bettah", and "mos' bestus" :D

Yep, I remember mho's - my vintage '70 RCA Receiving Tube Manual is full of 'em. ;)
I remember when I was a kid taking a shoebox full of tubes/valves I'd pulled from our old Dumont B&W TV and carefully wrapped in rags for padding, down to the Rexall drug store, and consulting a flip-chart to find the correct settings and sockets - turning/flipping what seemed a dizzying array of knobs and switches, and then carefully observing the mho meter ... I actually did fix the thing - for a while.

Those were the days when you'd turn the TV off, and the screen would shrink to a bright white dot that would linger for several minutes. As a kid, I'd watch that dot in fascination, wondering how it did that. Little did I know that I was getting a good bit of X-ray radiation... I don't know how we survived those days. ;)
Apparently, what you don't know won't hurt you.:p
 

Wendy

Joined Mar 24, 2008
21,840
This from Wikipedia:

Mho

Not to be confused with Mohs scale of mineral hardness.
Siemens is also referred to by the term mho, which was derived from spelling ohm backwards and written with an upside-down capital Greek letter Omega:
, Unicode symbol U+2127 (℧). According to Maver[1] the term mho was suggested by Sir William Thomson.
The term siemens, as it is an SI unit, is used universally in science and often in electrical applications, while mho is still used primarily in electronic applications. Two reasons are usually given for using mho instead of siemens in electronic applications:

  • The inverted Omega and the mho, while not an official SI abbreviation, has the advantage of being less likely to be confused with a variable than the letter S when doing algebraic calculations by hand, where the usual typographical distinctions (such as italic for variables and Roman for unit names) are difficult to maintain. Likewise, it is difficult to distinguish the symbol S from the lower case s where second is meant, potentially causing confusion.
  • The term siemens could be confused with the large multinational electronics company Siemens.
 
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