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Sherlock Ohms
Latest Content
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It Takes a Good Vendor to Get a Good Outcome
Sherlock Ohms 
10/8/2013  23 comments
Reaching out for additional expertise without delay can make the difference between good outcomes and slow, costly ones.
The Lightning Came With a Crash
Sherlock Ohms 
10/4/2013  25 comments
Sherlock Ohms highlights stories told by engineers who have used their deductive reasoning and technical prowess to troubleshoot and solve the most perplexing engineering mysteries.
Don’t Like the Problem? Don’t Believe It
Sherlock Ohms 
10/1/2013  33 comments
If you bring your problem to the boss and he doesn't believe you, start looking for a new job.
Bad Address Baffles the Software
Sherlock Ohms 
9/26/2013  15 comments
I had to fix a software glitch, and I found the answer to the problem in an offhand story told by my boss.
Heating & AC Units Run Hot & Cold
Sherlock Ohms 
9/25/2013  16 comments
Hooking up the AC on top of the heating wiring proved to be a mess.
No Pressure on the Pressure Gauge
Sherlock Ohms 
9/23/2013  13 comments
The finishing machine had oscillation errors.
Looking for Common Ground
Sherlock Ohms 
9/19/2013  15 comments
It's critical to make sure the ground is doing its job and not destroying equipment.
Sneak Path Snafus Circuit Board
Sherlock Ohms 
9/13/2013  19 comments
A change to the circuit board causes unintended results.
Capacitor Problem? Replace the Contactor
Sherlock Ohms 
9/11/2013  13 comments
When someone tells you what's wrong with your system, it pays to double check to see the real cause of the problem.
The Fuse Holders Wouldn’t Hold
Sherlock Ohms 
9/9/2013  28 comments
The cooling fans on the Lotus suffered when the fuse holders wouldn't hold.
It’s Not Us, Said the Hardware Hacks
Sherlock Ohms 
9/5/2013  15 comments
The hardware team said the problem was not theirs. But they were wrong.
Good Robot Gets All the Blame
Sherlock Ohms 
8/30/2013  30 comments
You can't blame the robot if the parts it receives are misfed.
Fuse Holder Follies
Sherlock Ohms 
8/29/2013  17 comments
Sometimes it's the least important component that messes up the device.
Ground Is Not Ground the World Around
Sherlock Ohms 
8/27/2013  15 comments
Not all grounds are the same. That can be a problem if they're supposed to be connected but they're not.
The Case of the Confused Customer
Sherlock Ohms 
8/23/2013  49 comments
In this case, the customer was very confused about the product's problems.
Earth Station Stopped by Lightning
Sherlock Ohms 
8/21/2013  15 comments
A lightning strike took out the Earth Station in Africa. Fixing it took brainpower and ingenuity.
Naming Rights to the Factory Solution
Sherlock Ohms 
8/19/2013  17 comments
Sometimes figuring out what vendor's product is failing is half the solution.
A Case of Rotordynamics Satisfaction
Sherlock Ohms 
8/16/2013  5 comments
Getting the rotordynamics right makes all the difference in high-speed rotor design.
Flickering Lights Lighten at Load Time
Sherlock Ohms 
8/15/2013  9 comments
Sometimes the electrical problem takes care of itself, even after you call in the fix.
Bad Timing Made a Bad Robot
Sherlock Ohms 
8/12/2013  19 comments
The robot can't deliver its expertise if it's scheduled to miss its weld.
The Failed Fuse Fooled Me
Sherlock Ohms 
8/7/2013  22 comments
When checking the truck's wiring system for a faulty brake light, the first guess turned out to be correct -- after trying everything else.
Out-Thinking the Plant’s HMI Alarms & Personnel
Sherlock Ohms 
8/6/2013  10 comments
Sometimes you have to program-in fake alarms in order to keep control engineers from changing settings.
Pythagoras Smiled From Above
Sherlock Ohms 
7/23/2013  13 comments
The energy measured from the wind turbines was way off. The solution came from something learned in high school.
Preflight Inspection Averted Crash
Sherlock Ohms 
7/17/2013  63 comments
The vacuum in the plane's gas tank was suspicious. Sure enough, there was a potentially devastating fuel line blockage.
Running the Robot to Ruin
Sherlock Ohms 
7/9/2013  22 comments
When the robot's speed was increased to improve production, it was set on a collision course for disaster.
Clothespin Pulls Double Duty as Alligator Clip
Sherlock Ohms 
6/25/2013  18 comments
When it comes to sophisticated test equipment, sometimes a clothespin can take you to a new level of accuracy and usefulness.
Bulging Capacitors & Thoughtless Design
Sherlock Ohms 
6/13/2013  23 comments
A failed capacitor is one thing, but finding out it failed because of thoughtless design requires the investigative powers of Sherlock Ohms.
Rebooting the Van
Sherlock Ohms 
5/27/2013  28 comments
Now that automotive electronics are as complex as a personal computer, sometimes they need a reboot like a computer.
Fuse Holder Mismatched to Fuse
Sherlock Ohms 
5/20/2013  17 comments
If the fuse and fuse holder don't match up right, hefty repair bills might follow.
The Power of Secret Energy
Sherlock Ohms 
5/14/2013  21 comments
The light amid darkness increased suspicions. A secret power source was the answer.
The Case of the Cantankerous Battery Cells
Sherlock Ohms 
5/10/2013  7 comments
At the battery factory, a number of things can go wrong, from lousy suppliers to oddball crimping.
A Perfect Storm of Device Stress
Sherlock Ohms 
5/9/2013  11 comments
The recording device failed when it heard a loud, screeching voice.
What's the Time?
Sherlock Ohms 
5/8/2013  52 comments
The radio station couldn't keep its clock synchronized. Apparently, the power company was goofing up the time.
Altered Design Hampers Transmitters
Sherlock Ohms 
5/7/2013  10 comments
The cooling system on the space transmitters ran into problems from metallic goo. Someone improvised a mess.
The Power of Human Touch
Sherlock Ohms 
5/3/2013  15 comments
When all of the testing via instruments leave a problem unsolved, it may be time to deploy human senses.
Charting the Failure History of a Bolt
Sherlock Ohms 
4/30/2013  11 comments
When a bolt fails, it might be best to look at the failure history of the bolt in its setting.
Bad Parts Plague Oscilloscope
Sherlock Ohms 
4/29/2013  27 comments
The part used to replace a bad part was also bad.
The Case of the Failed Leading Edges
Sherlock Ohms 
4/26/2013  6 comments
Be careful how materials are accepted and rejected. It may not make any sense.
What's the Frequency, Kenneth?
Sherlock Ohms 
4/22/2013  10 comments
It was OK when a radio station ran a tad above frequency limits. But when other radio operators in the area used the station's frequency as a base, things could get crazy.
Can a Robot Bend a Part?
Sherlock Ohms 
4/19/2013  14 comments
Can a robot bend parts? It depends on how dirty the die gets.
Screws Mess With Filter Design
Sherlock Ohms 
4/18/2013  3 comments
The filter had more rejection at the low end than at the high end since the equivalent capacitance coupling did not provide a transmission at high frequencies.
The Power Factor
Sherlock Ohms 
4/16/2013  9 comments
Post-lunch power surges caused a world of problems at a high-tech defense firm.
The Least-Obvious Signals Sometimes Bite You
Sherlock Ohms 
4/15/2013  4 comments
When is a digital circuit not a digital circuit? When somebody forgot that ultimately everything is an analog circuit, and things like L, R, and C combine in the most insidious ways to derail a design.
Car Radio Fires Up Check Engine Light
Sherlock Ohms 
4/12/2013  19 comments
Apparently the 2003 Saturn Vue has some interconnections between sensors that depend upon the integrity of the radio ground strap for proper operation of the engine and transmission control computers.
If It's Not the Undervoltage, It’s the Overvoltage
Sherlock Ohms 
4/3/2013  11 comments
In setting up automated test equipment, it seemed there was an undervoltage -- then it became an overvoltage problem.
Antenna Tower 4 Has No Base Current
Sherlock Ohms 
3/22/2013  19 comments
Engineering problems in the broadcast field can range from defective components, operator errors, snakes, or a combination of factors. Sometimes you need to call Sherlock in to solve the case.
Castigated Engineer Sees the Light
Sherlock Ohms 
3/14/2013  12 comments
A machine-tool builder sacrifices part quality in order to save a few bucks.
Running Robots off the Cuff
Sherlock Ohms 
2/22/2013  16 comments
When they order the wrong robot and you have to keep the line running, it's time to find a hack solution.
The Subcontractor Zapped the Network
Sherlock Ohms 
2/20/2013  25 comments
While we were off on holiday, a subcontractor completely discombobulated the electrical network.
Unusual Warp Switches Looming in Textile Factory
Sherlock Ohms 
2/1/2013  7 comments
Water-jet weaving looms were requiring a control box reboot each time a thread snapped, leading to a lot of factory downtime.
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