HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Comments
View Comments: Oldest First|Newest First|Threaded View
Page 1/2  >  >>
Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Blogger
Power glitch be gone
Beth Stackpole   1/9/2012 6:40:44 AM
Nice detective work. It always amazes me at how something seemingly so unimportant and unrelated could have such a huge impact on a product's performance.

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Hot Foot Causes Power Glitch
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   1/9/2012 10:40:03 AM
NO RATINGS

This takes my thoughts immediately to ESD grounded workstations.  Whenever working with developing prototypes for any electronic computing device, our labs were always monitored by our internal ESD cops – the QA safety team that insured that all benches had that light-blue anti static pad as the work-surface, and that any user at the station had the mandatory wrist-straps and ankle grounds.  Even if a manager wandered down into the lab to check on the daily progress, they were in violation (with the ESD cops) if they reached into the prototype set-up without first grounding themselves with a strap.  While I realize that ESD safety precautions are more prevalent today than they were when the SPARC station was introduced about 20+ years ago, I'm wondering if the author of the article had ESD cops at his facility-?



williamlweaver
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Hot Foot Causes Power Glitch
williamlweaver   1/9/2012 11:19:18 AM
NO RATINGS
Boy does this bring back memories of grad school. We had an ultrafast-spectroscopy instrument that we assembled from $1.2 Million of lasers and fancy electronics equipment. In essence, our system was a very, very fast strobe light that would illuminate a repetitive chemical reaction at precisely the right time. We used a liquid nitrogen-cooled scientific CCD camera that would record the faint output signal viewed through a maze of optics and filters. We would darken the lab and use upwards of 20-min CCD exposures to collect the very faint signal. Every now and again our data would be extremely noisy and we would have to collect data again. After some major sleuthing, we discovered that one of the PCs on the far side of the lab running Windows3.0 had a screen saver consisting of a bouncing ball. All but the top 5% of the computer monitor was obscured by equipment and only when the image of the ball bounced near the top of the screen did the extra photons get entrained into our optics. I've disliked screen savers ever since... 

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Power glitch be gone
Rob Spiegel   1/9/2012 2:36:29 PM
NO RATINGS
You're right, Beth. Time after time, the Sherlock postings show that the problem is simple beyond belief. It's amazing the problem gets solved at all.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Hot Foot Causes Power Glitch
Rob Spiegel   1/9/2012 2:52:25 PM
NO RATINGS
Wow, Jim. Is that type of restriction common these days? I would imagine there are ways to ground equipment that doesn't require personnel to wear such elaborate gear.

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Hot Foot Causes Power Glitch
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   1/9/2012 7:56:52 PM
NO RATINGS

Actually, the grounding precautions were not so much for the equipment, but for the safety of the developing prototypes and new product introductions.  But the equipment is normally sitting right on the same bench as the product, which is the target of the  precautionary measures. And yes, this was a recent practice used on manufacturing floors as late as last year when I was introducing a military computing device at a domestic OEM.

Alexander Wolfe
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Hot Foot Causes Power Glitch
Alexander Wolfe   1/9/2012 8:58:21 PM
NO RATINGS
You're lucky you were able to isolate it. I've seen many intermittent failures in the lab, which were impossible to reliability repeat, and thus diagnose. I suspect this is something that's very widespread, and accounts for a lot of in-the-field glitches.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Power glitch be gone
Charles Murray   1/9/2012 9:55:59 PM
NO RATINGS
I agree, Rob. It's amazing that problems like this one ever get solved. This isn't just a glitch; it's a sub-system glitch, made even tougher to find because firmware was supposed to be the culprit.

Noswad
User Rank
Gold
what?
Noswad   1/10/2012 12:44:17 PM
NO RATINGS
So, you are saying the power supply wasn't properly grounded and the output was float in reference to ground. Sounds like things were not properly installed and grounded. I don't go along with the Vandergraf garbage,

davidwheath
User Rank
Iron
Ridiculous conclusion
davidwheath   1/13/2012 12:15:51 PM
NO RATINGS
The only thing more ridiculous than this story is the amount of technically illiterate people contibuting stories to this sight.

Page 1/2  >  >>


Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
Samsung's Galaxy line of smartphones used to fare quite well in the repairability department, but last year's flagship S5 model took a tumble, scoring a meh-inducing 5/10. Will the newly redesigned S6 lead us back into star-studded territory, or will we sink further into the depths of a repairability black hole?
Fifteen European research centers have launched EuroCPS to help European companies develop innovative products for the Internet of Things.
Get your Allman Brothers albums ready. The iconic Volkswagen Microbus may be poised for a comeback, and this time it could be electric.
In 2003, the world contained just over 500 million Internet-connected devices. By 2010, this figure had risen to 12.5 billion connected objects, almost six devices per individual with access to the Internet. Now, as we move into 2015, the number of connected 'things' is expected to reach 25 billion, ultimately edging toward 50 billion by the end of the decade.
NASA engineer Brian Trease studied abroad in Japan as a high school student and used to fold fast-food wrappers into cranes using origami techniques he learned in library books. Inspired by this, he began to imagine that origami could be applied to building spacecraft components, particularly solar panels that could one day send solar power from space to be used on earth.
More:Blogs|News
Design News Webinar Series
3/31/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
2/25/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
12/11/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
5/7/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Apr 20 - 24, Taking the Internet of Things to the Cloud
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6 |  7


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.
Last Archived Class
Sponsored by Proto Labs
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2015 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service