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Sherlock Ohms

Don’t Like the Problem? Don’t Believe It

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TJ McDermott
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Do it anyway
TJ McDermott   10/1/2013 10:52:42 AM
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If quitting was in your mind, did you consider unlacing all the wire bundles to make a rat's nest before leaving?  Maybe see if you could make that former sargeant eat some crow?

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Finding Believers
Rob Spiegel   10/1/2013 10:40:38 AM
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Thanks Tekpochip. I would guess there are a lot of stories like this -- communication problems between the engineer and others in the organization. If you have one, please send it along as a comment.

tekochip
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Finding Believers
tekochip   10/1/2013 9:58:37 AM
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I had a similar issue with an instrumentation amplifier in a scale.  This was back in the days when you had to roll your own amplifier and offset drift was a major issue.  This design had a chopper amplifier which seemed to work very well, built then would suddenly become wildly unstable, possibly from solar flares, gravitational storms, or spirit orbs.  Same story; it worked great for six years, now suddenly YOU think there's something wrong with the design.
 
It turned out that the chopper frequency would sometimes drift a little with temperature and if the frequency wound up being an odd harmonic of 60Hz, the hum that is everywhere, the hum would no longer be common mode (maybe 10 ripples on the + input but only 9 on the – input).  When I found the cause, I was able to demonstrate the problem and redesign the scale with a modern, monolithic instrumentation amplifier.


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More Blogs from Sherlock Ohms
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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