HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Blogs
Sherlock Ohms

When All Else Fails, Read the Instructions

Rod Hine
3/25/2014  
18 comments
NO RATINGS
< Previous Page 2 / 2
View Comments: Newest First|Oldest First|Threaded View
Page 1/2  >  >>
a2
User Rank
Gold
Re: No one likes a gloater!
a2   5/28/2014 10:55:03 PM
NO RATINGS
@warren: Well that has to be accepted isn't it ? It's the nature of the job and sometimes it's the nature of the job role itself. 

warren@fourward.com
User Rank
Platinum
No one likes a gloater!
warren@fourward.com   5/28/2014 10:34:19 PM
NO RATINGS
That's my job!

But you have to give credit where credit is due.  It is embarrassing when the boss, who usually has been out of the service loop for a long time, actually solves the problem!  Bummer!

 

bobjengr
User Rank
Platinum
WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS
bobjengr   5/7/2014 5:56:38 PM
NO RATINGS
Excellent post Rod.  I suppose I'm the timid type but I always read the documentation first.  I got in trouble very early in my engineering career when trying to diagnose a ladder diagram driving a PLC.  Since I'm a mechanical type and not an EE, I had plenty of help from my friends in trying to affect a "fix".  We were all wrong and quickly found ourselves in trouble.  Our engineering supervisor suggested we read the manual.  The equipment was older than dirt, still working and functional and rarely failed so we had little experience with troubleshooting.    His suggestion was a wakeup call for most of us.  Again, excellent post.

bobjengr
User Rank
Platinum
READ THE INSTRUCTIONS
bobjengr   5/7/2014 5:49:05 PM
NO RATINGS
Nancy, I could not agree with you more.  At GE, the engineers on specific projects wrote Use and Care Manuals for products they were assigned to.    With that in mind, we had to have translations in Spanish for Latin American countries and French for export to Canada, and of course, English. We were instructed to write the U & Cs in language equivalent to fifth (5th) grade students.  (I always thought this was sad but those were the ground rules.)  Plenty of pictures adorned the manuals with accompanying text.  Some of the translations we got back were absolutely laughable.  Some words just don't seem to translate.  To compound matters, we started exporting product to the Pacific Rim.  The documentation going with the product was a nightmare soon corrected by the distributors providing their own translations and manuals.   

Cabe Atwell
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Who reads manuals?
Cabe Atwell   4/29/2014 11:30:55 PM
NO RATINGS
I must admit, I am also one of those who only read the manual when I run into problems and even then, they are hard to 'decode', especially when there aren't any pictures.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Who reads manuals?
Charles Murray   4/24/2014 6:37:54 PM
NO RATINGS
Truth be told, I don't read manuals as often as I should, whether it has to do with my car or with some product I'm assembling. Part of that is a holdover from the old days, when many manuals were incomprehensible and often written by people who'd rather be doing something else. Manuals have gotten better in the past decade, however, and I no longer have an excuse for my laziness.

Mr. Wirtel
User Rank
Gold
Re: Truer words have never been spoken
Mr. Wirtel   4/24/2014 10:22:49 AM
NO RATINGS
@ Nancy & William: It is not only instruction manuals where improper translations can be problematic. When reading the notes on a part drawing, I have come across many tranlations that just leave one to scratch his/her head. One that comes to mind read: Note, Part not to be Bred. After a lengthy discussion we decided that it was not only a poor translation, but a misspelled word as well. The note should have read, Parts not be Burred, and we were being told that the parts could not have burrs from manufacturing. That we could do, but think how much easier it would be for production if you could just breed the parts and let nature take its course.

akili
User Rank
Iron
Re: Truer words have never been spoken
akili   4/1/2014 9:27:21 AM
NO RATINGS
My notes and memory don't have the answer to your very sensible question - but this was in the lull between Christmas and New Year so I suspect I wasn't on site when the replacement was fitted and the original problem finally solved.  To be fair, in those days the paramps were part high tech and part magic and odd things did happen.  Temperamental was the best word to describe them.

In any case I soon had other things on my mind - the next afternoon after the incident I went for an aerobatic session with a friend at the local aero club and afterwards was introduced to the girl I later married!

Nancy Golden
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Truer words have never been spoken
Nancy Golden   3/27/2014 3:27:35 PM
NO RATINGS
I agree William - and a picture is worth 1000 words when dealing with folks who speak different languages. I was investigating an RMA and could not understand why some Asian engineers were continually blowing up our NV Rams - so I asked for a schematic of their test board which they faxed over and it turned out they had power and ground reversed!

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Truer words have never been spoken
William K.   3/27/2014 3:04:46 PM
NO RATINGS
Nancy, you are certainly correct about that. But in my case the person was a native of the USA and claimed to have done technical writing for a number of larger companies. Actually, the really poor translations do provide clues that they are not to be trusted by virtue of their poor translations being so obvious. And sometimes they are good for a few laughs.

Page 1/2  >  >>
Partner Zone
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.
Design News Webinar Series
7/23/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/17/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
6/25/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
5/13/2014 10:00 a.m. California / 1:00 p.m. New York / 6:00 p.m. London
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Sep 8 - 12, Get Ready for the New Internet: IPv6
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: September 30 - October 2
Sponsored by Altera
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service