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Sherlock Ohms

Beware of the Borrowed Design

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gsmith120
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Platinum
Re: Complex Systems Fail in Complex Ways
gsmith120   4/28/2012 7:35:02 PM
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Nancy, I agree some people will never see the obvious.  As a senior engineer once told me "always remember pay me now or pay me later and if you pay me later it will cost you more".  That was one of things I hated about some decision makers they just wanted to get it done and worry about fixing it later.

Rob Spiegel
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Blogger
Re: Complex Systems Fail in Complex Ways
Rob Spiegel   5/2/2012 2:07:08 PM
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Gsmith120, I would think that the practice of getting it done now and fixing it later is an expensive path. How long can a manager get away with that behavior before it comes to the attention of upper management and bean counters?

ab3a
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Platinum
Power Supplies: The Weakest Link
ab3a   5/4/2012 10:54:22 AM
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It has been my experience as an end-user that the primary failure mode of most embedded microprocessors has been the power supply.

Back in the early 1990s it was fashionable to include calculations for MTBF with such gear. The numbers we were given were clearly ridiculous. I would routinely point out that these numbers were based upon heat, not component aging. Sure enough, about 12 years later we began seeing a very high high failure rate of our field devices. The cause was traced to... the power supplies.The electrolytic capacitors were failing.

Naturally, the were no longer in warranty, though the MTBF numbers would have suggested that they should have continued to be useful for many more years.

It's not just the issue of ripping designs from someone eles's homework. Power supplies are  one of the weakest links in keeping a system working. Remember that electrolytic capacitor scandal from around 2003? The lowly power supply deserves a great deal more attention than most engineers are willing to admit.

Jake Brodsky

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