Power AMc-96 - History

Power AMc-96 - History


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Power

Power (AMc-96) was renamed Reaper (q.u.) 10 September

II

(DD-839: dp. 3,479 (f.); 1. 390'6"; b. 40'0"; dr. 14'4"; s. 35 k.; cpl. 345; a. 6 5", 16 40mm., 20 20mm., 5 21" tt., 2 det., 6 dcp.; cl. Geariny)

Power (DD-839) was laid down 26 February 1945 by the Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine: launched 30 June 1945; sponsored by Mrs. George F. Power, mother of Lt. John Vincent Power; and commissioned 13 September 1945 at Boston, Comdr. John M. Steinbeek in command.

After shakedown out of Guantanamo Bay, Power sailed 9 January 1946 on the first of many Mediterranean deployments. Returning to the east coast 6 months later, she remained in the western Atlantic and Caribbean until late in 1948 when she again sailed for Mediterranean waters, to patrol the coast of Palestine under the direction of the U.N. Mediation Board.

During early 1950, Power operated with units of the British Royal Navy and visited ports in Northern Europe, whence she steamed to the Mediterranean for nnother tour with the 6th Fleet. In the summer of 1952 Power completed a South Ameriean Cruise, then returned to the east coast to resume her schedule of reservist and Midshipman training cruises fleet and type exercises, and Mediterranean deployments

In 1958 Power faced the Lebanon crisis with the 6th Fleet; and, after her return to the east coast, participated in the first Projeet Mereury launches. From November 1960 to January 1962 Power received a FRAM I overhaul, giving her the ASROC system and DASH capability. By September 1962 she was back in the Mediterranean.

During her 1963 overseas deployment Power served with the Middle East Force and at the end of the year, into 1964 operated off eastern Florida in eonneetion with the Polaris program. Following another Mediterranean cruise and further east coast exercises in late 1965, she steamed in mid-Atlantic as a member of the recovery teams for Gemini 6 and 7.

During 1966 and 1967, she again served with the 6th Fleet and the Middle East Force, but in August 1968 she transited the Panama Canal for a tour in the western Pacific. With the 7th Fleet from 26 September 1968, she served in the Yankee Station Surveillance Area and provided gunfire support and SAR off South Vietnam. She arrived Mayport, Fla. 9 July 1969 and remains with the Atlantic Fleet into 1970.


Terrible Cars That Weren’t Terrible: The AMC Gremlin

The AMC Gremlin seems to pop up on a lot of lists of terrible cars—but was the Gremlin really as terrible as some might have us believe? We say no. Look back at the car's history, and you'll see that the Gremlin was a winner.

To be fair, it's easy to see why the Gremlin has attracted history's ire. The Gremlin was a response to the imported cars that were invading America's shores—small cars that were light, efficient, easy to park and of notably better quality than the domestics. Though American Motors had always specialized in compact cars, the sudden need for a subcompact could not have come at a worse time for AMC. It was the smallest of what was then called the Big Four, and cash was in short supply, as it was developing the all-new Hornet and had just spent $70 million to buy Jeep from Kaiser-Fraiser.

AMC Gremlin Design & Production

In retrospect, AMC's design for an import fighter seems an unlikely recipe for success. The Gremlin was derived from the Hornet, which was itself a fairly conventional car. The Gremlin's design details included existing cam-in-block straight-six engines and a live rear axle suspended by leaf springs. By comparison, General Motors was pouring money into the new Chevrolet Vega, developing not only a new four-cylinder engine and coil-spring rear suspension, but new technologies for rustproofing and transportation. Even Ford's new Pinto, a somewhat conventional design, had a four-cylinder overhead-camshaft engine, albeit a hand-me-down from Ford's European division. In order to keep the price down, AMC fitted the Gremlin with four-wheel drum brakes and a three-speed transmission that lacked a synchronizer for first gear. Even the back seat was optional.

AMC was aware that build quality was an issue for the domestics, so in order to keep the body shell stiff, it decided not to fit a hatchback or a trunk lid. Instead, what little cargo space the Gremlin had was accessed by lifting the rear window—on four-seat Gremlins, that is. On two-seat "commuter" Gremlins, the rear window was fixed in place.

And then there was the styling. The Gremlin was meant to be a subcompact car, but it was made from mechanical bits intended for larger vehicles. There was little opportunity to shrink the front end, as GM had done with the Chevy Vega and Ford with the Pinto—so AMC simply lopped off the back end.

So, yes, when you look at the Gremlin's design and gestation, it would appear to be a pretty terrible car.

AMC Gremlin Sales Success: Buyer Preferences, Price

But the Gremlin wasn't terrible—at least buyers of the time didn't think so. Introduced on April Fool's Day, 1970, AMC sold 25,300 Gremlins in that abbreviated first year. The Gremlin's first full year of sales was 1971, but by then it was facing competition from the Vega and Pinto—and yet still sales doubled. GM might well scoff at that number after all, it sold 278,000 Vegas in 1971 and nearly 400,000 in 1972. But by AMC's standards, the Gremlin was a strong seller. By 1979—the year it morphed into the Spirit—AMC had sold 671,475 Gremlins, making it the second-best-selling car in AMC's history behind the Hornet.

So why did buyers like the Gremlin, when in hindsight it looks like such a heap?

For one thing, the mindset of car buyers was different in the early 1970s. Domestic cars ruled the market, and while Volkswagens were selling strongly—albeit with its aficionados often derided as long-haired weirdos—Japanese cars were still a novelty, and "Made in Japan" had the same cachet as "Made in China" does today. Weight and gravity-induced stability were held in high regard, and the Gremlin had the same familiar heavy-on-the-road feel as a traditional Detroit land yacht.

And yet this was also a time when buyer attitudes were shifting. Car magazines of the time lamented the ballooning dimensions of "standard-sized" American cars, and the idea of protecting our ecology was just starting to go mainstream. To that end, the Gremlin's short length—nearly as small as the Volkswagen Beetle—came as a welcome relief. And while the base engine, a 3.3-liter cam-in-block cast-iron straight-six, would hardly strike the modern driver as an economy engine, it was a lot more frugal than the big-block V-8s of the era. It also made the Gremlin significantly quicker than the Beetle and the Pinto, even with an automatic transmission. It also offered an optional 3.8-liter six, and drivers found the extra power comforting. Even the dorky shape was seen as a positive, a welcome departure from traditional cars, and recognition that society was changing rapidly.

But the Gremlin's best attribute may have been its price. AMC put the bare-bones two-seat Gremlin on the market for $1,879 (about $12,500 in 2020 dollars), while the four-seat model listed for $1,959 ($12,950). For comparison, a 1970 Volkswagen Beetle listed for $1,839 ($12,150), while the Pinto listed for $1,919 ($12,680) and the Vega started at $2,090 ($13,800).

AMC Gremlin and the OPEC Oil Embargo

Though the Gremlin got a strong start, its best days were still ahead. On October 19, 1973, the 12 OPEC countries stopped exporting oil to the United States. Fuel prices soared, gasoline was rationed, and long lines formed at gas stations. By this time, it had become obvious that Chevy's Vega was plagued by quality and design problems. Ford's Pinto was faring better, though complaints about its tendency to burst into flames when rear-ended were just starting to trickle in. The Gremlin, built with proven, low-tech machinery, was about as close to bulletproof as an American-built subcompact was going to get. Sales exploded, totaling 122,844 for 1973 and 171,128 for 1974—monster numbers for little AMC.

Sales cooled as a recession hit the economy in 1975, but remained steady through the late 1970s, buoyed by some nifty special editions and the addition of a Volkswagen-sourced four-cylinder base engine in 1977. In 1979, AMC revamped the Gremlin and renamed it Spirit, adding a longer two-door body option with a conventional hatchback. The Spirit looked modern, and its old-tech mechanical bits were seen as "proven"—a positive attribute as America plunged head-first into the computer age. AMC would go so far as to add four-wheel-drive to create the AMC Eagle Kammback. You could say that the Gremlin lived on in Spirit (heh), serving AMC well until it was replaced with the Renault-designed Encore.

AMC Gremlin: Not a Terrible Car

While it's easy to dismiss the Gremlin as a bad car, history tells us otherwise. Cheap and simple as its design may have been, the Gremlin was the right car for a changing market, and it served both American Motors Corporation and its buyers very, very well.


AMC shares soar nearly 23% after fund buys and flips $230 million stake

(Reuters) -A hedge fund that helped AMC Entertainment Holdings raise $230 million quickly sold its stake in the world's largest cinema chain at a profit, according to a source on Tuesday, when the "meme stock" soared more than 20%.

The move by Mudrick Capital Management to flip 8.5 million shares of the movie theater chain immediately after buying them in a private placement from the company shows how Wall Street is getting bolder about making a quick buck off a trading frenzy that has helped fuel big rallies in several stocks favored by retail investors.

Easy money from the Federal Reserve has "created an almost video game-like atmosphere in the stock market and investing," said Michael O'Rourke, chief market strategist at Jones Trading. "There's money flowing everywhere and this is a great illustration of that."

AMC said earlier Tuesday it issued https://sec.report/Document/0001104659-21-074526 8.5 million shares to Mudrick, the chain's latest share sale this year as it cashes in on a big jump in its stock in 2021.

Mudrick has sold its AMC stake at a profit, believing the company's shares are overvalued, the source familiar with the matter said on Tuesday. Additional details could not be immediately determined.

AMC did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Mudrick's divestiture reported earlier by Bloomberg News.

AMC said it would invest the proceeds in its existing theaters, which are set to benefit from a recovery in demand as more states lift COVID-19 restrictions on social gatherings.

"This can be a real way for AMC to grow again, creating immediate value for AMC shareholders," Chief Executive Adam Aron wrote in a Twitter thread https://twitter.com/CEOAdam/status/1399683077660721152. "This is not mindless dilution, but rather this is very smart raising of cash so that we can grow this company."

AMC's stock closed up nearly 23% at $32.04, leading a rally in other meme stocks.

The muted response in AMC shares to news of Mudrick's flip "shows you that this isn't a stock that moves on fundamentals," said Kim Caughey Forrest, Chief Investment Officer at Bokeh Capital Partners LLC. "It's a lottery ticket to the buyers of the stock."

AMC's stock is up more than 1,400% so far this year in a meme stock rally that has picked up in recent weeks, including video game retailer GameStop and other favorites frequently discussed on Reddit's popular WallStreetBets forum.

GameStop shares, which rallied more than 1,600% in January, closed up more than 12%.

AMC has so far raised about $1.35 billion through share sales since December 2020.

Jason Mudrick founded London and New York-based Mudrick Capital in 2009 after leaving investment firm Contrarian Capital Management, where he had focused on distressed investing for eight years, according to the hedge fund's website.

Mudrick's firm, which managed $3.8 billion in assets as of last month, specializes in long and short investments in distressed credit, its website said.

Hedge funds like Mudrick will sometimes take down a share sale and quickly flip it as long as no lockup provision bars that for a specified period, said one U.S. based hedge fund.

"I don't know if it happens every day, but it's certainly a common practice."

Sentiment around AMC was also supported by strong weekend box office collections in North America, led by John Krasinski's post-apocalyptic thriller "A Quiet Place Part II," one of the first major theatrical releases since last year.

The Memorial Day holiday is also expected to have boosted ticket sales as widespread vaccinations bring in more Americans to theaters.

The share sale shows that AMC is "obviously forward-leaning here and trying to be opportunistic," said Mike Hickey, an analyst at The Benchmark Company. "There's concern on dilution and there's concern on leverage but if you can raise money . you'd be a fool not to."

(Reporting by Aaron Saldanha, Ambar Warrick, Devik Jain and Medha Singh in Bengaluru and Mike Spector, Maiya Keidan, Sinead Carew and Ira Iosebashvili in New York Editing by Shounak Dasgupta, Saumyadeb Chakrabarty, Jonathan Oatis and Richard Chang)


Jeeps Kick Ass Engine - The History Of The 4.0L

There are very few things Jeep enthusiasts can agree upon. Very few. But one thing is for sure -- the 4.0L, six-cylinder engine was a flat-out kick-ass engine. When the all-new '07 Wrangler debuts later this year, it will be minus that beloved ingredient and replaced by a 3.8L V-6, a minivan engine (for more details on the next-gen Wrangler, check out Dispatch on page 16 ).

To pay the engine its proper respects, Jeep let us dig through its archives, chat up its engineers, and send a lot of hate mail (signed with Pete's name, of course) regarding the end of an era. The finale comes mostly out of a need to produce a cleaner, more-efficient engine (send your hate mail to tree-huggers), but there's no denying the inline-six has led a charmed life. Some of you will be able to relate to its early days, like Hesco's Bennie Fulps, who says while in high school he ran around in a Rambler with the 199ci. Others will have experience with no other engine except the current 4.0L because it has a reputation of cracking 200,000 miles without as much as a hiccup. So flip on Green Day's "Time of Your Life" (isn't that the token farewell song?) and take a crawl down a rock-strewn memory lane as we look at the inline-six's beginnings, changes, and what went wrong.

1964The Rambler Classic "Typhoon" in yellow (with a black top) is the first AMC with the 232ci engine. It makes 145hp and 215lb-ft of torque with the one-barrel, and 155hp and 222lb-ft of torque for the two-barrel. Bore-and-stroke is 3.75x3.50-inch. The '64.5 Rambler American in red (with black top) gets a 199ci version with a shorter stroke (3.00 inch) that makes 128hp and 180lb-ft of torque.

The 199ci and 232ci combustion chamber switches from "quench" to "open" on account of emissions issues.Late '60s International Harvester starts buying up 232ci engines. Also during these years, Barney Navarro puts a destroked, turbocharged 199ci engine in his IndyCar. It supposedly makes more than 750hp. Overpowering the chassis, it crashes . a lot.

This year brings a raised block height, and the 199/232 gets bumped to 232/258 (the latter making 150hp, 220lb-ft of torque). The 258-stroke becomes longer (3.90 inch) there's now a small port head with a higher flow than the large port head. The 258ci (4.2L) has a 12-counterweight crankshaft. Rocker arms are switched to an individual stud-mounted design rather than shaft-mounted. Additionally, Tocco-hardening starts for six-cylinder exhaust seats to make the engine compatible with unleaded fuel.1972

The 1972 model year brings molestation of the rear face of the block to "commonize" it with AMC V-8s. Early '70s The rotating parts are individually balanced and engine assembly balancing is discontinued.Also in the '70s Vehiculos Automores Mexico builds 252ci and 282ci versions of the 232ci and 258ci for cars in Mexico. The blocks have special castings with larger bores (31516-inch compared to 3 34-inch). They end up in racing engines (Don Adams' desert Jeep in 1985 and stadium Comanches in the late '80s and early '90s).

The Carter BBD two-barrel carb is optional on the 258ci. It's also the return of the "quench" chamber.

The 232ci ends production in the 1978 calendar year.

This model year brings with it a lighter-weight version of the 4.2L, with a plastic rocker cover, four-counterweight 258 crankshaft, 716-inch head bolts, thinner castings, and an aluminum intake manifold, oil pump, and water pump.

A prototype 4.0L makes an appearance in Don Adams' Class 3 SCORE HDRA desert Jeep (and is the only non-V-8 to win a Class 3 race). The happiness flows freely -- until Renault kills the racing budget. Hesco builds the race engines (for everyone sponsored by Jeep). At this time, fuel injection isn't allowed in desert racing.

Cherokee engineers don't want the GM V-6 anymore, they want an inline-six. Ta-da, a 242ci 4.0L six-cylinder arrives in the Cherokee and Comanche. The 177hp and 224lb-ft of torque inline-six has a multiport fuel injection and a high-flow cylinder head, plus a larger bore and shorter stroke than the 4.2L (3.88x3.19 inch). The 3.88-inch bore design borrowed from the 2.5L means the 4.0L can share rods and pistons a new lighter weight crankshaft is added. Enthusiasts complain about the Renix fuel injection and the lack of low-end torque compared to the 232ci and 258ci. While people are whining, a 4.0L Comanche sets a speed record at Bonneville (stock pickup truck class).

This model year reveals a better-flowing Power-Tech Six High Output version of the 4.0L. Changes are made to the cylinder-head design, the camshaft profile, and the block castings. The YJ makes 180hp and 220lb-ft of torque while the Cherokee's mill has 190hp and 232lb-ft of torque (variation in numbers is due to differences in design of the exhaust and air cleaner).

The 4.0L gets some upgrades, including lighter pistons, new cylinder-head casting (to improve the exhaust flow), a new two-piece thin-wall cast exhaust manifold (that replaced the one-piece, tubular style), and steel valve covers (again).

The block is tweaked so that the oil-filter mounting can be relocated, meaning the Grand Cherokee no longer needs an adapter.

This is the last model year for improvements to the 4.0L, which include new direct-mount accessory drive bosses, a thrust washer added to the camshaft, a new chain oiling system, and larger-diameter casting between lobes (to stiffen the camshaft in "bending" mode). Also, ribs are added to the rocker pedestals and holes are tapped for the new coil rail system in the cylinder head.

The 4.0L ends production. The TJ is the last application.

* '87 Cherokees and Comanches were the first to get the 4.0L.
* '91 YJ was next.
* '93 is when the Grand Cherokee got it.
* '97 was the first for the TJ.

*AMC Advanced Engineering out of Detroit came up with the AMC/Jeep six-cylinder's design concept, but it was AMC Kenosha Engineering that handled final design and development.
*The Nash 196ci flathead engine was the inline-six in the AMC family prior to the 232ci. It continued to be in the Rambler American until 1965 because it was shorter and had A/C. The 199ci was too long to mount the A/C drive -- that is, until the 1966 model year, when the Rambler American gained 3.8 inches under the hood to accommodate the 199ci.
*The 232ci featured seven main bearings (solid as a rock, compared to the OHV 196's four) and hydraulic tappets, was sub-assembly balanced (crank, vibration damper, and flexplate/flywheel), and had shaft-mounted rocker arms.
*The 232ci engine was painted red, the 199ci in blue. In 1983, all engines became black (long live the French).
*Think the 4.0L was based off the 4.2L? Wrong. Its design actually stemmed from the 2.5L four-cylinder introduced in 1984, the first four-cylinder built and designed by AMC/Jeep (GM was responsible for the 2.8L V-6). Sure, it had the same valvetrain as the 258 (minus cylinders two and five), but it was then modified for performance (the design team took advantage of the new block, head, and crank).
*Speaking of making the switch from 2.8L V-6 to 4.0L six-cylinder, no one wanted to change the Cherokee's looks, so they had to make the new engine shorter. They eliminated the normal fan mounted to the water pump, which allowed the water pump to be shortened. A single electric fan was attached to the radiator along with a smaller mechanical fan for a total of two cooling fans.
*When the 4.0L Cherokee was being finalized, management had planned for the volume split to be 60 percent 2.5L and 40 percent 4.0L, but after dealers got behind the wheel of the peppy Cherokee it was switched to 20 percent and 80 percent, respectively.

Flip through the pages of Jp and you'll find plenty of companies offering upgrades for the inline-six. Just because they are not mentioned here doesn't mean they aren't worth checking out. We've simply included some of the most-talked-about upgrades over the years.
* 258ci cranks from the 1972 to 1980 model years are often considered the best to use in 4.0L stroker motors because they are stronger and smoother.
* The 4.2L launched with a reputation of being torquey and for also having a weak cylinder head that didn't flow with an unlikable carburetor. Extensive porting has been a solution for some, but a more common modification is to convert the 4.0L cylinder head onto the 4.2L block. Hesco has used the 4.0L cylinder head and Mopar fuel injection (which it invented) combo to get 200 horses. Another way to get more power is to run a Hesco aluminum head, which can help the engine crank out up to 300hp. Additionally, Clifford's Performance makes a carbureted intake manifold. A popular fix for the leaky, stock carb has been to switch to a two-barrel Holley or Weber.
* Chad Golen of Golen Engine Service says the 4.0L's computer is pretty flexible. You can add a larger camshaft and modify the cylinder heads without having to do much to the base computer. Also, Golen makes a 4.6L stroker long-block from the 4.0L (covered in Jp's August '05 story "The Insane Inline, Part 1").


Saving to SharePoint

Workbooks that you modify with Power Pivot can be shared with others in all of the ways that you share other files. You get more benefits, though, by publishing your workbook to a SharePoint environment that has Excel Services enabled. On the SharePoint server, Excel Services processes and renders the data in a browser window where others can analyze the data.

On SharePoint, you can add Power Pivot for SharePoint to get additional collaboration and document management support, including Power Pivot Gallery, Power Pivot management dashboard in Central Administration, scheduled data refresh, and the ability to use a published workbook as an external data source from its location in SharePoint.


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Power AMc-96 - History

Jiangsu Acrel Electrical manufacturing co., LTD.

AMC series intelligent power collection and monitoring device is a smart meter designed for power monitoring needs of power systems, industrial and mining enterprises, utilities, and intelligent buildings. it integrates measurement of power parameters(such as sigle phase or three phase current, voltage, and active power). Power, reactive power, apparent power, frequency, power factor and power monitoring and assessment management. At the same time, it has a variety of peripheral interface functions for users to choose: with RS485 communication interface, MODBUS-RTU protocol can meet the needs of communication network management4-20mA analog output can correspond to measured electrical parameters, meet DCS such interface requirements with switch input and relay output can realize the function of "remote signal" and "remote control" of circuit breaker switch.High-brightness LED/LCD display interface,parameter setting and control through buttons, ideal for real-time power monitoring systems. Can directly replace conventional power transmitters and measuring instruments. As an intelligent, digital front-end asquisition component, the instrument has been widely used in various control system, SCADA systems and energy management systems.

*Measuring parameters:current,voltage,active power,reactive power,acitve energy,

reactive energy,frequency,power factor,four quadrants energy(I,U,kW,kvar,kwh,kvarh,Hz,cosφ)


Transfer Case Adaptability

The Turbo 400 as adapted to a Jeep or IH Dana 20 transfer case.

This transmission makes an excellent conversion transmission due to its adaptability into most Jeeps longer than CJ5s. Both 2wd and 4wd versions of the Turbo 400 can be used equally well, and there are no inherent advantages to either one once you have installed our adapter assembly.

It is of interest that the 1976-1979 AMC case, while more or less similar from the collar of the case, back, is tilted about four degrees. This was presumably for transfer case clearance purposes. Novak's #134 & #141 adapter designs compensate for this clocking to re-level the adapter and mount assembly.

2wd transmissions feature conical shaped tailhousings and an output yoke, which are replaced with a typically shorter 4wd style output shaft (included with our adapter assemblies) of varying lengths and spline counts, depending on the application. The HydraMatic can be adapted to the popular Jeep (and many IH) transfer cases, including the:

A factory Jeep design of the TH400 adapter to the Dana 20 transfer case. OEM adapters are highly prone to breakage. Novak offers a strengthened reproduction of this adapter (#8624113) to replace these broken units, in addition to our superior dual-bearing design #124 adapter kit.

Essentially all factory GM 4wd applications available with an OEM configured TH400 have adapters and transfer cases that are prohibitively long for a Jeep, and transfer cases whose sizes and gearing fall short of desirable for most Jeep applications.


Why is Texas the only state with its own power grid?

As winter storm blackouts roil Texas, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the nonprofit that operates Texas' electrical grid, has gained sudden notoriety &mdash as well as the simple fact that Texas has its own electrical grid.

The country is divided into three grids: one covers the eastern U.S., another the western states and then there is the Texas grid, which covers nearly the entire state.

The reasons Texas controls its own grid, the journalist Kate Galbraith observed in a Texplainer piece for the Texas Tribune in 2011 have to do with the same theme that colors so much of Texas' history and public policy: a distrust of federal interference.

The predecessor for ERCOT was formed in the 1930s, after President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Federal Power Act, which charged the Federal Power Commission with regulating interstate electricity sales.

"Utilities in Texas were smart and made an agreement that no one was going to extend power outside of Texas," Donna Nelson, who served as chair of the state Public Utility Commission, which oversees ERCOT, from 2008 to 2017, said in an ERCOT promotional video about the history of the grid.

"By eschewing transmission across state lines, the Texas utilities retained freedom," Richard D. Cudahy wrote in a 1995 article, "The Second Battle of the Alamo: The Midnight Connection.&rdquo "This policy of isolation avoided regulation by the newly created Federal Power Commission, whose jurisdiction was limited to utilities operating in interstate commerce."

The result was "an electrical island in the United States," Bill Magness, CEO of ERCOT, said. "That independence has been jealously guarded, I think both by policy makers and the industry."

Even today ERCOT, which was formed in 1970, remains beyond the reach of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which regulates interstate electric transmission.

The operator has four primary responsibilities:

&bull Maintain system reliability.

&bull Facilitate a competitive wholesale market.

&bull Facilitate a competitive retail market.

&bull Ensure open access to transmission.

The grid operator manages the flow of electric power to more than 26 million Texas customers &mdash representing about 90 percent of the state&rsquos electric load, according to its website. (El Paso is on another grid, as well as parts of East Texas and the upper Panhandle.) ERCOT schedules power on an electric grid that connects more than 46,500 miles of transmission lines and more than 680 generation units.

At least some members of the 24-member board live outside of Texas, a fact met with outrage in some quarters this week.

"I&rsquom filing legislation this session requiring all @ERCOT_ISO officers and directors to be Texas residents," state Rep. Jeff Leach, R-Plano, wrote on Twitter on Tuesday. "Completely ridiculous and unacceptable that current ERCOT Board Chair lives in Michigan!"


The Cutting

With the big one at Bathurst done and dusted, for Australians the motor racing year was all but over, with a month-long lull before the final dance with the F1 machinery on the streets of Adelaide. For the actual teams, however, the pace remained frenetic, with several top-tier endurance events still on the horizon to keep their sleep schedules chaotic. That of the four remaining events only one was a home race in Australia just added the cherry on top of the stress sundae, ensuring the deadlines were always close and the logistics remained punishing. And yet they did it, because these were just very special people.

Nissan Mobil 500
It soon emerged the Wellington 500 was another casualty of the World Touring Car Championship, as moving it to so late in the year had rather sucked the soul out of it. As the Tasman curtain-raiser it had stood alone, a blue-ribbon event featuring the best of Australia, New Zealand and Europe in an all-out no-holds-barred brawl. By contrast, in October it was just another enduro competing with Bathurst, and in that context it was always going to suffer. No team was going to sacrifice Bathurst prep to focus on Wellington, not even the ones based in New Zealand. It was another domino knocked over by the WTCC, made worse by the same FISA interference that had dogged Bathurst earlier in the month.

The race doesn't seem to be on YouTube, not even a cut-down highlights reel. Weirdly however, we do have Saturday's pre-race build-up and support events. I haven't watched the full thing because it's nearly three hours long and my internet plan isn't that generous, but if you have the time and megabytes you'll see a dry-to-wet Group A practice session, a gloriously wet Sports Sedan race, a Porsche New Zealand Championship race (think oldschool Carrera Cup, with 911s, 944s, and even a single 356 Speedster!), and a celebrity race in production-spec Nissan Sentra ZXE hatchbacks.

The pretty silver Swedish Sierra that had managed to keep off the walls at Bathurst "had a conversation" with the Armco in Wellington, but it was repaired in time for the race. Dick Johnson took pole with a time of 1:29.75, which was a third of a second slower than Klaus Ludwig's pole here last year (which was probably down to tyres), but only nine-hundredths quicker than Win Percy's FAI Commodore, showing how far the Holdens had come in only twelve months.

It was another FISA rolling start, which inexperience rather took the shine off: the Pace Car was so slow most cars had to drop back to first gear to make a decent getaway. Johnson nailed the start in his Shell Sierra, beginning his first lap with a huge gap back to Win Percy's #2 FAI Commodore and Jeff Allam in the #11 HSV Commodore. Around the twisting Wellington streets however a turbo car was no match for the instant squirt of a big V8, and Percy took the lead on lap 2. Steve Soper in Andrew Miedecke's #6 Blast Dynamics Sierra got by too, but was unable to keep up with Percy. Johnson's brilliant start soon came to nought when he pitted on lap 8 with a misfire, putting himself and Bowe out of contention for the day.

The first actual retirement however was Peter Brock in the #56 Mobil BMW, who stopped with a drivetrain failure – Peter had already done his deal for a different car next year, so the ex-JPS team machinery was probably well past its warranty and not worth maintaining any more. (Intriguingly, the Adelaide broadcast would also point out that although Brocky had year left on his contract with BMW, he was already working on a special, limited-edition vehicle for Ford Australia, fuelling the rumours that he'd be driving a Sierra in 1989).

The next retirement was one of the privateer Commodores, and then it started raining Sierras: the #45 Whittaker's Peanut Slab car of Armin Hahne & Robbie Francevic blew an engine the #8 Miedecke Sierra of Pierre Dieudonné and Miedecke himself crashed out the #21 Swedish Bagnall/Simonsen car pitted for an extended service and Steve Soper retired with a rear hub failure.

Then the pace car stuck its nose in, costing Paul Radisich in the #55 Bill Bryce Racing BMW half a lap. The restart, when it came, was as slow as the first one: Emanuele Pirro in the #52 Schnitzer M3 lost 2nd place to Jeff Allam, but the Italian fought hard, as with his frugal flyweight M3 he could contemplate a one-stop strategy, while Percy would need at least two: as long as he did nothing silly, the lead would almost certainly come to him eventually. This duly happened on lap 46 when Percy pitted, leaving Pirro leading by 40 seconds over Bowkett (who took over from Percy), followed by Hulme (who'd taken over from Perkins) and Andy Wallace (replacing Allam).

Peter McLeod's Yellow Pages Walky remained too pretty not to photograph, even if it barely featured in the results.

Halfway through the race, Pirro finally pitted and handed the car over to Roberto Ravaglia, without even losing the lead. Ravaglia pulled still further away from Bowkett and Hulme, and the M3 was a whole lap ahead after the second round of stops. Percy came in on lap 122 with zero oil pressure – he was out, while Radisich's co-driver Ludwig Finauer crashed into the barriers after running as high as 3rd. Tony Noske, guesting with Neil Crompton in the #57 Mobil BMW, came in to hand over to Brock, only for an official to inform him that he was not cross-entered in this second car and could not drive! Noske carried on with his stint, but half a lap later the car retired anyway with a "computer" failure.

In the closing laps it was Ravaglia leading with Larry Perkins 2nd in the HSV Commodore, Colin Bond 3rd in the Caltex Sierra, and Mark Thatcher – co-driving Trevor Crowe's #53 John Sax Racing BMW – in 4th. At the last moment he was bumped up to 3rd when Bondy was forced to make a splash-and-dash, the turbocharged Sierra's appetite for Caltex go-juice putting him slightly in the red over 500km!

So in the end it was victory for Pirro and Ravaglia, the Italians putting in an aggressive yet contained drive in the factory M3 Evo to dominate the race. It was the start of a phenomenal five-year winning streak for the M3, just one more accolade in an endless march that would cement its reputation as a performance car legend.

The M3 and the streets of Wellington, a forbidden love.

Promo Touring Car 500
The second part of the Nissan Mobil double-header was held, as was the custom, at Pukekohe the following weekend. Despite which, this year the second race was not actually sponsored by Nissan and Mobil, having taken up a deal with someone called Promo (or ProMo, accounts differ – no idea who they were).

It was a rather anemic 21-car grid at Pukekohe, with only single-car entries from HSV (Perkins/Hulme), the Mobil BMW outfit (Brock/Crompton) and Schnitzer (Ravaglia/van de Poele). Granberg and Simonsen were back in the Team Sweden Sierra, as were Colin Bond & Alan Jones in the Caltex Sierra. The BMW lineup was padded out by Bill Bryce Racing (Radisich/Finauer) and a new entry from New Zealanders Kayne Scott and John Sorensen. The rest of the grid was made up of New Zealand regulars in outdated or small-class cars Dick Johnson Racing was a complete no-show, as was Fred Gibson's Nissan team.

But in stark contrast to the one-car dominated Wellington, Puke was a real nail-biter that saw Andrew Miedecke and Steve Soper make an incredible comeback to steal victory right at the finish. Miedecke had started from pole after setting a time of 1:02.71, and led the opening laps comfortably before he was forced to pit to repair a damaged oil cooler (no word on what caused the damage, but I'd wager he tripped over backmarker – Puke is a fast track, so closing speeds with the lower-class cars can catch you out). This unscheduled visit to the pits cost them three laps, handing the lead to Win Percy in the FAI Commodore. Percy looked set to take the victory in turn, until he broke a rear wheel hub on lap 94 and passed the lead to Schnitzer BMW of Ravaglia and new co-driver Eric van de Poele. But behind them the Blast Dynamics Sierra came zooming back through the field, making up the lost three laps to surge through to victory by just over 4 seconds! It was an impressive comeback from a car that seemed completely out of the running, and it showed how the Asia-Pacific Championship might've gone had Miedecke only had a bit more luck on his side.

Radisich M3 leads Brock M3: the fast, sweeping Pukekohe favoured the Sierras over the Bavarian pocket rockets.

InterTEC 500
The final round of both the Japanese domestic series and the Asia-Pacific championship was held at the Fuji Raceway in Japan. To his credit, Andrew Miedecke chose to chase Asia-Pacific points despite the cost of racing in far-off Japan (as a former open-wheel racer he had contacts in this part of the world – Teddy Yip of Theodore Racing, Macau F3, that sort of thing). Steve Soper had returned to Blighty, so he wrangled New Zealand biker Graeme Crosby to be his co-driver instead, and their chances were actually pretty good in a race so thin of foreign entries. Sadly however they failed to finish, DNFing for reasons unknown with just 11 of the 112 laps completed. After 12 months on the front line, with successive Bathurst, Sandowns and Wellingtons on the clock, the Rouse-sourced car was probably just worn out. Polesitters Anders Olofsson and Aguri Suzuki retired in their HR31 Skyline as well, leaving the race to another Euro-Japanese double act, Klaus Niedzwiedz and Hisashi Yokoshima winning in what was probably a customer Eggenberger Sierra.

A for effort to Miedecke, but ultimately he couldn't clinch the series in a car that was apparently running off his own wallet (this and several other photos from the race available at TouringCarRacing.net).

As for the championship, Emanuele Pirro seemed certain to clinch it for BMW until the Schnitzer car retired with a holed radiator. But as we know, the title ended up going to New Zealand's Trevor Crowe, which has fans scratching their heads to this day.

South Australia Cup
So that just left the grand finale on the streets of Adelaide. The Australian GP support race was, compared to previous years, absolutely huge: a full 35 cars fronted up, featuring absolutely everyone of any consequence in the ATCC scene, even Sydney-based drivers who normally restricted themselves to Oran and Amaroo and didn't usually show up for interstate races like this. It seems it had finally dawned on everyone that, bugger me, that race will get our sponsors on the telly not just in Australia, but worldwide! That combined with looser purse strings thanks to the success of the event, and the chance to go all fanboy over the F1 superstars and their machines, meant we had everyone: Tony Longhurst in his Bathurst-winning B&H Sierra Dick Johnson and John Bowe in their Shell Sierras George Fury and Mark Skaife in a pair of Gibson Motorsport Skylines Brocky and Gentleman Jim in their Mobil BMW M3s Larry Perkins and Denny Hulme in the works HSV Walkinshaw Commodores, together with Allan Grice in the rival Roadways FAI Walky, just three of a swathe of V8 Holden Commodores Phil Ward in his Mercedes 190E Lawrie Nelson in his Capri Components Mustang even Darrel Belsky was there to drive Joe Sommariva's BMW 635 CSi. It was stacks-on on the streets of Adelaide, and everyone was back in their individual cars with their ATCC numbers on the doors. The only real no-shows were Allan Moffat's ANZ Sierra, Mark Petch's similar Peanut Slab car, and Andrew Miedecke, who was busy contesting the Fuji round in Japan. Even without them, we still had a full 35-car grid, a huge number for such a "minor" event.

Indeed, it would've been 36, but troubles with the Caltex Sierra earmarked for Alan Jones meant he had to sit this one out. Although he doubtless would've preferred to race, he ended up spending the race locked in the commentary box with Channel Seven sports voice Darrell Eastlake.

Darrell Eastlake: I believe your teammate Colin Bond in the Caltex Sierra had a little trouble throughout the week?

Alan Jones: Yes, he built up an engine which he thought was going to give him well over 500 horsepower, and unfortunately that only lasted about half of Thursday! So then they went back to a lesser horsepower engine, which they thought if nothing else would give them reliability, [but] that’s playing up [as well]. I spoke to Colin last night and he’s having to run very low boost and very low revs, and that’s not the way to go motor racing and I really don’t know if he's going to finish this race. He's way back, but they're having a go anyway.

Bondy's confidence probably wasn't boosted when race day – Saturday, 12 November – dawned with the kind of burning, lung-searing heat people assume Australia puts on all the time. That was going to place firm limits on what you could get out of a turbo car, which tended to run searing temperatures on the best of days and saw a sharp reduction in power once the intercooler got too hot. Turbo runners had the unenviable choice of whether to turn the boost down and hope it all held together to the finish, or turning it up and trying to build a gap so they could turn it back down if they needed to, and then hope it all held together to the finish.

Starting from pole, Dick Johnson elected to take the second option. At the green he was beaten off the line by Longhurst, who'd actually started slightly ahead of his starting box, and down to the first chicane they stormed, the two Sierra rivals side-by-side. Thanks to pole Johnson had the inside line, and he took the lead into the first turn. The first few through the chicane were surprisingly neat and tidy, Gricey clattering over the kerbs in his FAI Walkinshaw, followed by Larry Kogge in the Hella Skyline DR30. Through the turns Johnson worked his Sierra for all it was worth, squirming for traction, with Longhurst chasing hard right behind. Onto the short Jones Straight Longhurst got right out over the kerb looking for a way through, but nothing was going to beat a Johnson Sierra in a straight line: down Brabham Straight the red car flew, peaked somewhere around 270km/h, then applied the brakes and nipped through the Dequetteville Hairpin. By the time Johnson was completing lap 1, he had already pulled out a gap of about fifteen car lengths over 2nd place – and that was now John Bowe, who'd moved past Longhurst in the meantime to take the place. End of lap 1, and the DJR teammates were 1st and 2nd.

Behind the casualties were already piling up: Ray Ellis had already retired his yellow VL, while Lusty's black-and-orange Walkinshaw suffered a non-fatal spin and rejoined, dusty but uncreased. Early on lap 2 the Oliver Corolla also pulled off with oil pouring out the side. One who seemed like he'd be joining them on the DNF list was Larry Perkins in 4th, who was driving with controlled yet overt aggression, throwing his HSV Walky at the corners and seemingly daring the Armco to stop him. He was actually keeping up with Longhurst as a result, but time would tell whether his car could stand up to this kind of treatment on such a hot day and survive the full 32 laps – that epic bodykit had cut down on cooling, after all.

By lap 5 the DJR cars were clearly taking it slightly easy, making some effort to preserve their cars, and with a solid gap back to Longhurst that was possible – but Longhurst was still fanging it through the turns, little puffs of smoke under braking, and that also made it necessary. The commentary team then took a moment to gush over their new toy, real-time telemetry streaming live from Peter Brock's BMW. This innovation from Netcomm was fairly rudimentary compared to today, showing only the speed, revs and gear changes, but it was cutting-edge for 1988 – and unlike its first outing at Bathurst '87, this one was actually working. "The only problem with that of course Darrell," joked Alan Jones, "is if you miss a gear or over-rev it, they know about it straight away."

Prophetic words, as about 20 seconds later Perkins started closing up on Tony Longhurst, even though they were on the fastest part of the Brabham Straight. Poor Tony swung it through the Dequetteville Hairpin, but didn’t have the grunt to accelerate away again: as Perkins stormed by, the yellow Sierra's engine let out a sizeable belch of white smoke and puttered pitifully around the rest of the circuit, his engine having busted a head gasket. The car had lasted 161 laps at Mount Panorama, but wouldn't see number 8 in Adelaide. "The ol' Sierras," mused Jonesy, "while they go like rockets they can also prove to be hand grenades. "

Something that was doubtless on the minds of Johnson and Bowe as well. They both had oil and water temps in front of them, and neither probably liked what they saw: by lap 9 Larry Perkins was starting to close up on Bowe, meaning he either had a problem, or was having to back off to avoid a problem. By lap 10, Perkins was past and up to 2nd place.

On lap 12 we heard rather than saw that Allan Grice was in the pits, the commentary team telling us that it looked, "fairly terminal, they're not rushing around the car too much." Roadways cars always did run hot, and it seemed combined with the searing heat in Adelaide that day, it was more than the FAI car could take. Eventually Gricey fronted up and told the cameras:

So that was Gricey over and out, and it seemed like he was about to be in good company. By lap 15 reports started coming through that Johnson's car was backfiring and sounding different than it had earlier on. With his experience of turbocharged Ford engines from 1986, Alan Jones saw good to weigh in, saying: "Well, with a turbo car it might be an exhaust, or something like that. It looks to be going approximately the same sort of speed. But with a turbo car, you can never really tell. He might've just – dare I say it? – turned the boost down."

But this wasn't Johnson turning the boost down: this was something more serious. All through lap 16, Larry Perkins was reeling the Shell Sierra in, hunting him down like a shark following a trail of blood. Finally, as they rounded the final hairpin and re-emerged onto the pit straight, Johnson abruptly slowed and Perkins powered soundly by, leaving the Shell car in a cloud of Holden dust. "No way should that happen normally," gasped Jonesy. "I'd reckon that he's got some fuel pickup problem, because he seems to be going reasonably well on the straight, but then it coughs and splutters coming out of the corners. So I think he's in some sort of trouble."

He was right, as although both Shell team cars would continue on, trying to make the finish in limp-home mode, ultimately neither would make the chequered flag. As Johnson told us many moons later:

My car was slowing because it was vaporising fuel and the pumps wouldn't pump air so the thing stopped.

And wouldn't you believe it, Bowe and I both stopped within a lap of each other and in exactly the same spot on the track. – Dick Johnson, Dick Johnson Racing: 30-Year Anniversary

So that was the Shell team cars done, char-broiled on both sides and now the walking dead. The first half of this race had belonged to the DJR Sierras, but the pendulum had swung and the second half now belonged to the HSV Commodores. By lap 17 Denny Hulme was into 2nd place, putting the factory Holdens into a 1-2 formation they'd never lose. But the race wasn't yet over.

At the start of lap 18 the HSV team hung out the boards, showing their drivers their lap times and a 9-second gap back to Johnson, and Jonesy noticed something: "Hulme just did a lap time point-two of a second quicker than Perkins, a 47.4 as opposed to a 47.6. So Denny's really going for it. It'll be interesting to see if there's any team orders when it gets down to the wire." It quickly emerged that there weren't: on lap 23, approaching the Dequetteville Hairpin, Hulme was visibly pulling out of his boss's slipstream to have a look at a pass, but on this lap he didn't quite have the edge to get it done and fell back into line. As they stormed down Brabham Straight for the twenty-fourth time, however, Denny found that edge: out of the slipstream he came, stood on the brake pedal and had the ghost of a wobble, so late had he left his braking. But not too late: Denny rotated the car smartly into the hairpin, took the advantage of the inside line, and passed Larry Perkins for the lead.

Larry didn't take that lying down. Through the following series of chicanes and 90-degree switchbacks, anybody would be forgiven for thinking the boys were racing each other, the body language of the cars aggressive, looking for a fight. "So there's no team orders," commented Jones, sounding surprised. Thinking about it though, he went on to add: "Thank God for the Holdens, they’re making a race of it."

By lap 25 the HSV pair were coming up to lap Dick Johnson, who'd been sitting pretty less than ten laps earlier. Bowe meanwhile found himself under threat from – of all people – Colin Bond, who hadn't expected to even see the finish with the engine under the bonnet today. Here he was in with a shout of a podium!

Perkins re-passed Hulme during a commercial break, and that was it for the lead changes. Perkins completed the final six laps smoothly and cleanly, pulling a nice little gap on his teammate, suggesting either Hulme had a problem of his own or Perkins had been sandbagging earlier on, putting on a show for the crowd. If so he rather overdid it, as the final lap saw Perkins slow right down to try and back into Hulme for a formation finish. But he'd left it too late, and the former World Champ was too far back. Instead, Colin Bond cleverly slowed to allow Perkins to pass him before the line, reducing his race distance to 31 laps and ensuring he wouldn't have to complete one final lap that might have broken his car once and for all. Through guile as much as skill, Bondy chalked up a solid 3rd place, sending bookies across the city broke in an instant. Nobody saw that coming. It was a final flourish for a year that was okay but could've been better for Colin Bond – he'd failed to bring home Bathurst or the ATCC, but he had won the AMSCAR series at Amaroo Park, which was always prominent on the agenda for a Sydney-based driver.

But the works Holden team had rounded out the year with a slam-dunk 1-2 finish, in front of an international audience, on a day that was an absolute gift to the marketing team – they're nice, these European cars, but if you've got a distance to cover on a forty-degree day, you've just gotta have a Holden. The crew at Perkins Engineering had broken the duck in the middle of a very lean patch for Holden, but the suits at Fishermans Bend could be forgiven for entering the Christmas shut down with a spring in their step. They'd ended the year on a high, the new-model VN Commodore was on sale, and the company was beginning to claw its way out of the financial black hole in which it had spent the bulk of the 1980s.

The future seemed bright, but no-one could've predicted what Japan did next.


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