As well as all of the technological sensors, we also have human sensors we can rely on. David offers a good example. This reminds me of the factory technicians who can determine the health of the line by wandering around and listening to the machines. They say those technicians are retiring and getting replaced by young technicians who rely more on data than feel. We may lose something in the generational change.
That's funny, I used to do the same thing, and when I was unsure if the part was hot I would sometimes press it to my face because that was more sensitive than my hand. It looks goofy, but I guess you have to love your work.
Back in the third generation computer days it was not uncommon to lose a TTL gate that was shorted to the rail. Since everything was on the 5V bus, it was often hard to find the culprit. I used to current limit the circuit to 100mA or so and let the part bake so that I could find which part was getting warm, and yes, sometimes pressing my lips against the part to be sure.
Agreed, Rob. Touch, hearing and sight come in pretty handy when diagnosing technical problems. On a much lower technological level, how many of us have discovered a malfunctioning wall switch by touching the wall and feeling the heat around it? I live in an old house, and have made that discovery at least twice.
Charles ,you are absolutely correct . Being technical sometimes we just ignore the minor issues in our circuits and go for the obvious ,immediate and large ones considerig if the circuit is not working definitely there might be a large issue . Instead of going throw all the process we shud first sense it with our hands and nose as they are the easiest way of sensing and then proceeding forward. However loving your work is very necessary but loving the work at the cost of your life is also not good so one should keep away his or her face from these electronic components .
Tekochip, that sounds like a wimpy attitude. We had the same problems with x86 cards which could have over 50 100nF dcoupling caps, and sometimes one of them would go short circuit. Which one? We current - limited to 2 amps, the one that caused a blister needed replacing. It didn't take long to find the culprit. 100mA wouldn't do it for us.
One thing that is interesting, Chuck, is the divide between sensing things and using data. I'm hearing that young engineers at plants trust the data, while the older engineers trust their senses. In this divide, those who trust the data may have the advantage.
As a recent high school graduate I decided that university study could wait so I applied for and got a job as a die setter. I really wanted to save up for college. Back in those days student loans were definitely not that available and graduating with debt was frowned upon. My job was basically loading dies onto OBI press equipment, running trials, and then turning that press over to the operator. There was one guy, Richard, who could tell just by hearing the die operate as to whether or not the set was installed properly, had and the correct alignment. All of this was accomplished by hearing the operation. Richard was an amazing example of the fact that our senses are great assets when used for jobs described by David. Excellent post.
A middle school team from Rochester, Mich., has again nabbed the grand prize in the annual international Future City Competition, which drew students from 37 regions of the United States, as well as from England and China.
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Are you being paid enough? Do you want a better job? According to a recent survey Manpower released just before Engineers Week, employers and engineers don't see eye-to-eye about the state of US engineers' skills and experience.
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.