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There's Gold In Them Thar Hills

Dec 30, 2007
Pedro had never expected to make his fortune working in the tractor assembly plant but there weren't that many opportunities for career moves where he lived in Sau Paulo. He had been happily working on the production line for quite some time though, using the electronic test equipment to test the on board computers.

Yes, tractors have on board computers now. It tracks their stability and load bearing capabilities with a digital display to enable the driver to make fine adjustments, thus making it less likely to tip.

So, there he was, ploughing away at his tedious little job, dreaming of what could be when his boss called him in to the office. This is when he was told of a job coming up to supply several tractors to a group of prospectors at the mouth of the Sorocaba River. This information was to be kept within a few members of staff who were to work on the vehicles to avoid mass hysteria.

Later that night, laying on his make shift bed, the days news went over in my mind. Gold prospectors in themselves are not news. They've been searching all over that area since the beginning of time. But he knew something big must be going down for them to need a tractor or two.

There have been heavy rains in recent weeks, which washes gold down from the banks higher up but a tractor is still extreme. He couldn't help thinking that it had to be worth a look but what were the chances of getting anywhere near when there's already an organised party there?

Any way of getting his family out of the financial situation they were in had to be worth a try, according to Pedro. A plan began to formulate in his mind. The old saying that it's not what you know, but who you know certainly came true for him.

The next day, Pedro called his brother in law who worked in the plant that made and designed computer circuit boards and all manner of electronic control equipment. He got Pedro the job in the first place as it's his company that supply all the electronics for the tractor plant.

they knew it was risky but came up with an idea between them. Working some extra twilight shifts Pedro's brother in law composed a small circuit board incorporating a simple tracking and transmitting device. He sent this to Pedro via a courier with a receiving device.

While working on one of the tractors for the prospectors, Pedro installed the secret device. He knew he would get sacked if he got caught but all went without a hitch and the tractors were sent out the following week.

There was no follow up news and nothing reported by the media regarding the prospectors but Pedro found the exact point where they were working. As soon as he heard through work that operations were coming to an end on the river, he disposes of the receiving device and breathed a sigh of relief.

Pedro's brother in law arrived 'on holiday' a week later and they took a 'fishing' trip into the hills, heading a few miles up river from where the tracker was last recorded. There was definite evidence of recent digs.

These big prospecting organisers are only interested in the big gold hauls but small fry like Pedro and his brother in law can make a comfortable living on a find that is relatively small compared to what they retrieve.

Coming to a bend on a particularly deep part of the river, they found heat waves have reduced the water level quite impressively and they dug into crevices and around boulders. This is a find they never dared to hope for. Believing they were rich beyond their wildest dreams they drove home planning a new, comfortable house and all the things they would buy their families.

what they hadn't banked on was the fact that the police were witing for them back home. Their riches gained from illegal means were soon confiscated and the loss of Pedro's job was the least of his worries.
About the Author
Electronics expert Shaun Parker looks at the use of electronic control equipment in a tractor plant. To find out more please visit http://www.applied.uk.com/
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