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'[OT] [Way-OT] Technicians versus Engineers'
1999\07\15@002847 by Sean H. Breheny

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Hi all,

At the risk of starting a flame war (I hope not), I would like to ask a
question which I have been pondering for a while.

What would most of you say the difference between a Technician and an
Engineer is, in the areas of training, skills/knowledge, job function, and
any other relevant areas? I would also be interested in answers which tell
the difference,if any,between what is "supposed to be" to the
difference,and what really is,etc.

I bring this up for several reasons. One is that my advisor at university
once said to me that these days, if you only have a BSEE, you run the risk
of being a "super-tech",rather than an engineer. (His words, not
mine,please don't read anything into that,I'm not saying one is
intellectually superior to the other,etc. He probably wasn't either,mainly
talking about pay scale, I would guess).

Another reason is that while I try to be an active electronics hobbist, I
am still a student and have yet to plan my career (many of the long time
piclist members probably know this all too well,from my previous questions
about choice of major,etc.) In my hobby work (which I love and which has
driven me to choose to pursue an electronics-centered university
education), I find that I really like a good mix of hands-on field work AND
the very theoretical and abstract. I really don't care what job title I
ultimately assume, but I DO care what I will be doing. For that reason, I
would like to know how the titles usually relate to actual job activities
and responsibilities.

Thanks very much and sorry for being long-winded,

Sean



|
| Sean Breheny
| Amateur Radio Callsign: KA3YXM
| Electrical Engineering Student
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1999\07\15@004422 by Tony Nixon

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"Sean H. Breheny" wrote:
> What would most of you say the difference between a Technician and an
> Engineer is

The engineer does the trig, the technician does the rig :-)


--
Best regards

Tony

'The Engine' - Design your own programmer.

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1999\07\15@012046 by Antonio L Benci

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Well, here in OZ...

"Sean H. Breheny" wrote:
>
> Hi all,
>
> At the risk of starting a flame war (I hope not), I would like to ask a
> question which I have been pondering for a while.
>

Typically an engineer is usually refered to as someone who has completed
the appropriate 3/4 year degree course with subject modules in
management. A technician (certified) has to complete the appropriate 2/3
year course with a much larger emphasis on practical experience prior to
certification. Subject modules, aside from the management subjects, are
almost identical. 1st, 2nd year are very similar. It is in the 3rd year
that the subjects begin to differ.

Personel experience is somewhat different, (Associate Diploma
(Electronics), Graduate Diploma (Digital Communications), Master of
Applied Science (Physics)). I am trained and certified as a Technical
Officer BUT have functioned in an engineers capacity for about 13 years.
By this I mean design, development and management of projects and
people. Everything that an engineer would do but without the appropriate
title and acknowledgement.

> What would most of you say the difference between a Technician and an
> Engineer is, in the areas of training, skills/knowledge, job function, and
> any other relevant areas? I would also be interested in answers which tell
> the difference,if any,between what is "supposed to be" to the
> difference,and what really is,etc.
>

This seems to be a common thread. A BSEE (BE here in OZ) graduate
usually begins working life as a super-tech, migrating to engineering
status with experince and further qualifications (ie: ME or MSEE).

{Quote hidden}

If the title Engineer and pay scale is what you are after then aim for
more of a management style position and hope that hands on is included
in the package...

>
> Thanks very much and sorry for being long-winded,
>
> Sean

Nino

PS: These are my personal views, love em or hate em...
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1999\07\15@014414 by Anne Ogborn

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Another way to control how much of your time is "hands on"
is how big a company you work for.
Say you decide to become an engineer -
12 years from now you're a fairly senior engineer -
you might be a manager at a big firm and rarely see
much solder and resistors.
On the other hand, at a startup you might be chief
technical officer.
I'm 1/3 of a company, and the entire technical staff.
The other people are nontechnical. That gives me "power" -
I make my own decisions & only occasionally have to
check with others.
On the other hand, finding bad connections in a
breadboard does eventually lose it's charm after
a number of years. One seeks larger challenges.

--
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Need loco motors?
http://www.idiom.com/~anniepoo/depot/motors.html

1999\07\15@081412 by Eisermann, Phil [Ridg/CO]

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> What would most of you say the difference between a Technician and an
> Engineer is, in the areas of training, skills/knowledge, job function, and
> any other relevant areas?
>
A large part of that answer, i think, lies in the type and size of
company you end up working for.

For example:
A lot of the senior engineers here (I work for a pipe-tool manufacturer;
We make mainly pipe wrenches and power tools related to the
pumbing/construction industry) started out as "technician",
technical service personnel, factory repair, manufacturing,
or in the design group (who basically do the CAD and FAE work).
Some ME's get hired from other companies, where they have had
previous experience. No ME really gets thrown right into
"engineering" right away.

If you work for a company that designs circuits for a living, you
can reasonably expect to spend some time as either a
'super-tech' or in some sort of engineering-support function
before you actually get to do any engineering.

On the other hand:
There is one EE here, and he has never designed a circuit in his
career here. He is strictly a marketing person. Personally (CompE),
I do a lot of (internal) programming and prototype circuits (only a
handful of which have ever gone past the "conceptual" stage. It's
hard to overcome the bias of these die-hard gear heads that have been
designing tools before the transistor radio was ever heard of), from
design to breadboard to PCB. Which is a great position to be in, if
you don't mind having to do it all yourself. All the time. As Anne
pointed out, checking breadboard connections does lose its charm
after a few years (which is why I now wire-wrap all my prototypes)

Phil Eisermann
EraseMEpeisermaspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTridgid.com

1999\07\15@093348 by Matt Bennett

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At 11:04 PM 7/14/99 , you wrote:
>Hi all,
>
>At the risk of starting a flame war (I hope not), I would like to ask a
>question which I have been pondering for a while.
>
>What would most of you say the difference between a Technician and an
>Engineer is, in the areas of training, skills/knowledge, job function, and
>any other relevant areas? I would also be interested in answers which tell
>the difference,if any,between what is "supposed to be" to the
>difference,and what really is,etc.

Currently the difference to me appears to be the difference between an
Associate's Degree and a Bachelor's degree.  I think the Technician is
"supposed" to be the master of the mechanics of electronics... hook this
wire here, solder this, understand what a basic circuit does.  The
engineer's responsibility is not to know as much of the mechanics, but to
be a master of the theory.  With experience, there is some overlap both
ways.  Ideally, each engineer would be the supervisor to a few technicians.
But reality is a totally different story.

I've worked in research my entire career, and because of that I've had to
become a jack of all trades.  Other industries are different, but in
research (engineering) you can't afford to become higly specialized- you'll
likely be useless on the next very different project. I have a BSEE and an
MSEE, I have done DSP theory, field testing, operated heavy equipment, Unix
sysadmin, programmed PICs and CPLDs.  On the other hand, this broad
experience did not help me much in looking for a new job in a new market
(Austin, TX) where research was not so widespread.

We never seem to have enough technicians. The institutions I've worked in
have tried to appear academic, and therefore they want to have many more
people with advanced degrees.  The technicians are not someone that the
management can put up on their pie charts of BS, MS, and PhDs.  The career
ladder of a tech is much more limited.


>I bring this up for several reasons. One is that my advisor at university
>once said to me that these days, if you only have a BSEE, you run the risk
>of being a "super-tech",rather than an engineer. (His words, not
>mine,please don't read anything into that,I'm not saying one is
>intellectually superior to the other,etc. He probably wasn't either,mainly
>talking about pay scale, I would guess).

Once you enter the workforce, that does not mean you can never re-enter
school.  After a few years at work, you might decide you want to go back.
A BS is pretty general, but the higher you go, the more specialized you
get, and the more you will pidgeonhole yourself for later on.  The worst
thing you can do is resist change- that will get you nowhere.

{Quote hidden}

Seriously, consider research.  The pay isn't as good, but in general, the
education benefits are, and you get to do a wide variety of stuff.  In the
past 8 months, I have done DSP theory, hydrodynamics, RF, sonar, multiple
PIC projects, GPS, travelled nationally and internationally.  Being an
engineer is good for the long term, but don't be suprised to be doing some
technician work, especially at the beginning of your career.

And one last thing, if you do decide to go with the "engineer" title, take
care of your techs and *LISTEN* to them.  They can (and will) save your
a**, especially the ones that have been around for years.  (I said listen,
not "do everything they say".)

Matt

1999\07\15@100928 by Francisco Armenta

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"Sean H. Breheny" wrote:

> Hi all, at firts view the difference betwen a Technician and an Enginner is
> any a background of knowledge and a university title, but i think that the
> difference is the actitude to take and solution a trouble, i.e.the technician
> learn a formule for solve a trouble and stay in your little world. A Engineer
> learn based in understand the cause and efect of the fenomena under study and
> he belive that your learning never finalize.

I know many Engineer that think as Technician and Technician that think as
enginner

Regards
Francisco Armenta

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1999\07\15@101348 by Dave VanHorn

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> On the other hand, finding bad connections in a
> breadboard does eventually lose it's charm after
> a number of years. One seeks larger challenges.


I cure this by reading "Dilbert" every day, and reminding myself what I'd be
going back to..

I'm in a similar situation, I really prefer the small company environment.
It only sucks when I get stuck for an approach or in debugging, and there's
nobody to talk to. Fortunately, we have the web. :)

I was hired in a truck-stop in Michigan. My company has an office in
Minnesota, but I've never seen it. I work at home in Indiana, 10 - 2  (AM)
Telecommute rules!

1999\07\15@103041 by Harrison Cooper

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Sean,

There was a point made...depends on the size of the company.  I work several
jobs, my primary one here, a secondary one at my previous employer (they
didn't have the workload at the time to support a full time engineer), and
whatever consulting/contract stuff lands in my lap.

Electrical Engineering and/or electronic engineering (power engineering vs.
digital/analog engineering?) can vary in many ways as well.  I've been at
this job for a little over 10 years, and in those 10 years, I've done
software development (microcode/firmware), small improvements to existing
designs, and full fledge start-at-the-beginning designs mainly working with
video boards.  I've progressed from designing at SSI (individual gate level
stuff) to the world of PLD's (remember the 16L8 everyone?), and now to
complex CPLD's and FPGA's using verilog.

We just hired a new grad, and he jumped in doing.....microcode for a DSP,
using assembly (not C).  They might never see any real hardware designs.
One guy has done both and prefers software, but when it comes to debugging
the code on the hardware, he can run an analyzer just as well as anyone can.

Tech's here are tasked with making the assemblies work after they get to
production, often with the help of engineers for the real tough problems.
So prior to getting to production, we are tasked to get the hardware to work
right.  So, for some of us here, its a good mix of design and down to the
nitty gritty of working on everything from BGA's to PQ and TQ packages.
Speeds from the slow of 40MHz up to and past 100 MHz clocks (ever looked at
a 130MHz clock on a scope?). 1GHz analyzers are not uncommon.  You have to
know when to use a good old 450MHz analog scope, and when the analyzer will
suffice.  Techs often can isolate a part, get it replaced and go on.  If
they can't get it to work after that, then we get involved.  Sometimes, its
a date code problem on a particular chip.  I've seen that more often than
not.  Someone mentioned....listen to the techs.  I agree.  They might
mention its tough to probe something, so design it so it might be easier for
them to do their job, and less calls to you.

Then, at my other job.....it ranges from designing a control system to
writing the software for the PLC's, and now I am dealing with 460 volts 3
phase stuff.  The couple of techs...well, more of just assembly guys, are
totally clueless on most of the stuff.  When it doesn't work, I get a call
to look at what went wrong.

Tech work is getting more complex in the industry.  They are starting to be
required to understand more and more of how things work, so they can fix
them.  Several of our techs are going back to school, on their own time, in
order to keep up with technology.

My point of view for you.  Choose the right company to work for that allows
you to explore engineering how you see fit.  Big companies might not allow
you the latitude, and too small of places might not let you keep up on
technology because the bleeding edge is too expensive at times.  Learn
verilog or VHDL.  Understand test gear, and know how to solder and
breadboard or deadbug parts (we've had some that wouldn't know the right end
of a soldering iron till it burned them).  Do an internship at places, to
get a feel of how the real world works.  We do summer internships, mostly in
software, but some in hardware.

And who knows...after a few years, maybe being a ranger at Yellowstone is
really what you want to do...

1999\07\15@104043 by Robert M. McClure

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At 12:04 AM 7/15/99 -0400, you wrote:
>
>What would most of you say the difference between a Technician and an
>Engineer is, in the areas of training, skills/knowledge, job function, and
>any other relevant areas? I would also be interested in answers which tell
>the difference,if any,between what is "supposed to be" to the
>difference,and what really is,etc.
>
> <stuff cut>
The major difference is the focus, which in the case of technicians is the
practicalities of building, testing, etc rather than in the case of the
engineer of the theory of that which is to be built.  Most four and five
year colleges and universities offering an engineering degree concentrate
very heavily of the underlying theoretical principles.  They provide a
great deal of knowledge in physics, chemistry, mathematics, electronics
(including Maxwell's equations, for example) and provide the basis wherein
one can analyze that which one has not seen before.

Most technician training on the other hand teaches a great deal about,
for example, resistor color codes, soldering techniques, electronic
instruments and their proper use.

It an ideal world, technicians would get more theory and engineers would
get more practice, but alas, there is simply too much to learn.

If you get satisfaction out of actually building things and making them
work, you might be happier as a technician (but would probably not make
as much money).  If you get satisfaction out of analyzing why things
work and designing new things that have never been designed before, then
the proper course is the traditional engineering route.

The most fantastic individual who ever worked for me had spent several
years as a technician (after receiving his training in the Navy) before
deciding to go back to engineering school.  Regrettably, he was killed
by lightning while hiking at the age of 34.

Does this answer your question?

Bob McClure
(engineer and amateur technician)

1999\07\15@113720 by Vic Lopez

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Doctor VS. Nurse
-----Original Message-----
From: Eisermann, Phil [Ridg/CO] <@spam@peisermaKILLspamspamRIDGID.COM>
To: KILLspamPICLISTKILLspamspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU <RemoveMEPICLISTTakeThisOuTspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Date: Thursday, July 15, 1999 6:26 AM
Subject: Re: [OT] [Way-OT] Technicians versus Engineers


>> What would most of you say the difference between a Technician and an
>> Engineer is, in the areas of training, skills/knowledge, job function,
and
{Quote hidden}

1999\07\15@131519 by Donald Kihenja

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1999\07\15@132946 by Dave VanHorn

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I am just writing to let you know that yours is the most comprehensive
answer I have heard ever. I am curious about this same issue because I am in
my BSEE senior year. I have looked into the question before and in a
nutshell I knew that the Engineer is trained to design while the technician
is trained to put things together that have already been designed. Please
feel free to give me any advice regarding careers as I am at the point where
I need to decide my next course of action after graduation i.e whether to go
on to graduate school for EE or for an MBA or whether to go into the job
market for some time etc. A also trying to decide if I should do an
internship before my graduation. Nice meeting you and thanks.
>

That's a fair summary.  Unfortunately, they don't seem to train engineers in
the art of debugging, or "what to to when the thing you designed dosen't
work when built".
Take some time and work in some sort of repair facility. It will give you a
whole new perspective :)

(technician turned engineer, and glad for both hats!)

1999\07\15@133607 by Sean H. Breheny

face picon face
Thanks for all of the responses,public and private,on this question.

Your answers were somewhat different than what I expected. They were closer
to the traditional roles than I thought. I was under the impression that in
many cases, technicians were becomming more like lower-eschelon engineers
(designing parts of circuits/writing some firmware, in addition to building
protos/testing them out) and that engineers were becoming more like
managers/researchers (would come up with the overall theory of how it
should work, a block diagram of the device, choose what major parts to use,
the look and feel of it,etc.) and would then send the techs off to fill in
the rest. I realize that this is a vast generalization and
over-simplification,but I was starting to get that impression. I guess it
was mainly coming from the way I see the engineering program structured at
my school (Cornell),which is a BIG research school. In fact, they don't
even have good prototyping facilities (no PCB fab),they outsource it when
needed!

I'm glad to hear what I heard. I especially am glad to hear that in areas
such as research,you can get to do lots of different stuff,jump all over
the board,and get to do hands-on work,too. That's the path that I have
followed on an amateur basis (I have done work in robotics,RF coms,wired
coms,coms protocols,internet hardware/software, computer simulation, test
equipment, power electronics, fire detection, colorimetry,the list goes on)
and I love the variety.

Also, whatever answer I received,it wasn't going to affect my education
much. I just am trying to learn as much as I can about as many topics as I
can. I never expect to know for sure what I want to do with the rest of my
entire life. As one poster pointed out, I could ultimately want to be a
ranger at Yellowstone <G>

I was just curious to get a sense for how much my concept of the two terms
(tech and engineer) fit the reality.

I also find it interesting how things are different around the world. At
least at my school, they don't even offer MSEE as an option by itself, only
as a stepping stone to a PhD. They do offer a 1-year MEng degree,which I am
seriously considering.

I also am very puzzled about the "certification" mentioned. AFAIK, there is
no certification for EEs in the US,unless they are going to work for the
government or for a public utility or on public projects, then there may
be, I'm not sure.

Also, I am officially working towards a BS in _Electrical_ Engineering,
not_Electronic_ Engineering, but it is not oriented towards power systems.
It also has no requirements whatsoever as far as management courses
go,although they are recommended.

Thanks and I welcome further comments,

Sean

|
| Sean Breheny
| Amateur Radio Callsign: KA3YXM
| Electrical Engineering Student
\--------------=----------------
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1999\07\15@140451 by Max Toole

picon face
In a message dated 7/15/99 12:40:48 PM Central Daylight Time,
RemoveMEdvanhornspamTakeThisOuTCEDAR.NET writes:

> That's a fair summary.  Unfortunately, they don't seem to train engineers in
>  the art of debugging, or "what to to when the thing you designed dosen't
>  work when built".
>  Take some time and work in some sort of repair facility. It will give you a
>  whole new perspective :)
>
>  (technician turned engineer, and glad for both hats!)
>
This reminds me of when, in 1959, I was a senior EE student and I got my ham
license that year.  I met another ham who was a fire control technician in
the Navy.  When he learned that I didn't know how to strip wire with my teeth
and had not been taught how to draw an arc from the plate of a transmitter
final to see if there was B+ voltage present, he said I should ask for my
tuition back  :-)

1999\07\15@141320 by Craig Lee

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face
Most jobs are in the practical and direct application of electronic
principles.
I believe this fact is undisputed.

So why does our society, at least Canada's, promote university education as
the
ONLY education.

To this day, I have NEVER seen an engineer straight out of school do
anything
useful.  In all the companies I've worked for, the only reason a fresh
graduate
gets hired, is because the engineering manager doesn't look past education.
Every
one has been a drain on the companies coffers without any significant
contribution
until they have been with the company at least 2 years.

I know many small company who have learned that lesson the hard way.

I've found that engineers imported from other parts of the globe like
Malaysia,
Germany, Russia, U.K, Australia, New Zealand, etc., seem to have the proper
theoretical background, and can also compete on the practical level.

So what is our educational system doing wrong, and what are non-North
American
educators doing right?

When will our society realize that the arrogance and esteem of the
engineering
profession is really nothing to aspire to unless your true career focus is
Ivory tower research.

One solution would be to have tech. school as a pre-requisite to the
underlying
theoretical principles.  Also, hire teachers on limited term who have
enjoyed
successful engineering careers.  There's an old saying, those who cannot
do --
teach!

Craig

1999\07\15@162418 by Mark A. Samuels

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>>  (technician turned engineer, and glad for both hats!)
>>
>This reminds me of when, in 1959, I was a senior EE student and I got my
ham
>license that year.  I met another ham who was a fire control technician in
>the Navy.  When he learned that I didn't know how to strip wire with my
teeth
>and had not been taught how to draw an arc from the plate of a transmitter
>final to see if there was B+ voltage present, he said I should ask for my
>tuition back  :-)

I like this answer the best!  I was a Fire Controlman in the Navy until a
year and a half ago, when I decided to pick up on my education again, and am
now 10 months away from getting my B.S.E.E..  I really think that this
situation is the best of both worlds, since as a technician in the Navy, I
got LOTS of hands-on experience, sometimes using very unorthadox methods
like stated above!  This technician experience also made it easier to
understand a lot of the advanced theory once I got into some serious
engineering classes, since I had a basic familiarity with what was going on
in a circuit, if not the depth of detail that an engineer requires.  But,
because of this career path, I think that I'm able to design something from
scratch, AND troubleshoot and debug it when it doesn't work, which of
course, it won't!

1999\07\15@211014 by Tracey DeChambeau

picon face
In a nut shell,
An engineer designs a product, from apple peelers to Xerox machines, and the
technician takes the abstract idea, and makes it a functional product with
real world available parts. I.E. an Eng. designs something with a
2.46537885967 ohm resistor and the tech. modifies the design and associated
peripheral components to work with a 2.5 or 3 ohm resistor of appropriate
tolerance, and cost effectiveness for the manufacture of said product.
Hope I didn't make any engineers angry with that  :o)
Tracey

By the way, know what an Eng. does when he gets constipated?
Works it out with a pencil....   :o)

1999\07\15@214615 by l.allen

picon face
I once read an article that said " an Engineer is someone who can
design something for 54cents that any damned fool can build for
$2.40"

Not that Im saying techs are damned fools

my 54 cents worth
Lance Allen
Uni of Auckland
New Zealand

1999\07\15@235505 by Mark Willis

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Max Toole wrote:
>
> In a message dated 7/15/99 12:40:48 PM Central Daylight Time,
> dvanhornEraseMEspam.....CEDAR.NET writes:
> <snipped>
> the Navy.  When he learned that I didn't know how to strip wire with my teeth
> and had not been taught how to draw an arc from the plate of a transmitter
> final to see if there was B+ voltage present, he said I should ask for my
> tuition back  :-)

 Oh, come ON, now!

 Real tech's use a thumbnail for wire stripping - any dentist will tell
you, teeth shouldn't be used for wire stripping.  LOL!

 Mark

1999\07\16@002600 by Richard Prosser

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{Quote hidden}

Especially if you haven't checked for B+ beforehand!

1999\07\16@002617 by Dave VanHorn

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> > In a message dated 7/15/99 12:40:48 PM Central Daylight Time,
> > RemoveMEdvanhornTakeThisOuTspamspamCEDAR.NET writes:
> > <snipped>
> > the Navy.  When he learned that I didn't know how to strip wire with my
teeth
> > and had not been taught how to draw an arc from the plate of a
transmitter
> > final to see if there was B+ voltage present, he said I should ask for
my
> > tuition back  :-)


I didn't write that bit!

1999\07\16@004002 by Mark Willis

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Dave VanHorn wrote:
>
> > > In a message dated 7/15/99 12:40:48 PM Central Daylight Time,
> > > EraseMEdvanhornspamspamspamBeGoneCEDAR.NET writes:
> > > <snipped>
> > > the Navy.  When he learned that I didn't know how to strip wire with my
> teeth
> > > and had not been taught how to draw an arc from the plate of a
> transmitter
> > > final to see if there was B+ voltage present, he said I should ask for
> my
> > > tuition back  :-)
>
> I didn't write that bit!

 Oops.  Well, shoot me, put me outta my PICList slavery here <G>

 Mark

1999\07\16@004014 by Wagner Lipnharski

picon face
Mark Willis wrote:
>   Real tech's use a thumbnail for wire stripping - any dentist will tell
> you, teeth shouldn't be used for wire stripping.  LOL!

... using teeth, and after half hour stripping a 500 pair phone cable,
the real tech would be chewing a huge ball of wire insulation,
multi-color, all that nice plastic taste, like a real pro that never
spits it out. :)

... after few months of that work, the real tech would not have a 6-pack
for the saturday afternoon games on TV, instead a nice 4 feet of the
same 500 pair cable... what a rush!  stripping one inch per second. :)

... he develops a inauspicious ability to test 9V batteries in the
tongue, and his Fluke multimeter has a nice piece of AWG#14 wire in
place of the 100mA fuse.

... transformer temperature measurement with a thermocouple? nahhh, it
goes by sound, by the humming.

... transistor pinout in a pocket book drawing? nahhh, plug it one way,
than another, until it works.

... scotch tape never hurts when insulating 400Vac connectors.

... lacking soldering iron? no problem, heating a nail with a lighter
solved several problems.

... carbonized resistor? can't read the value? no problem, nothing that
a 10k resistor can't solve.

... a real tech is a master, a real magician in the field, his mind and
fingers are slick as a fast snake in the jungle, he sees a solution much
before the customer sees the problem, he saves the world every 10
minutes, and he sleeps like a baby at night.  His workstation is full of
electronic components here and there, mixed with lots of diskettes and
paper, nobody knows how can he find anything there, but he does.  He has
a little tinny empty space on the table, 4 x 3 inches, right in front
the keyboard, where he uses to do hand writing. The company's president
knows him by his first name, and he addresses the president as "buddy".
His world is a jungle, and he likes it that way, a place where a poor
engineer can not survive.

... but he will never be able to buy Armani.

Wagner

1999\07\16@004929 by Dave VanHorn

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>The company's president
> knows him by his first name, and he addresses the president as "buddy".
> His world is a jungle, and he likes it that way, a place where a poor
> engineer can not survive.
>
> ... but he will never be able to buy Armani.


Very nice!

1999\07\16@013312 by Bob Blick

face
flavicon
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>> any dentist will tell
>> you, teeth shouldn't be used for wire stripping.
>
>Especially if you haven't checked for B+ beforehand!

oooh, that's bad! ROTFL...

1999\07\16@013737 by Sean H. Breheny

face picon face
LOL!

I had a friend who was stripping live phone wire with his teeth,when the
phone suddenly rang! Not quite B+ level voltage,but I think it taught him a
lesson.

Sean

At 03:57 PM 7/16/99 +1200, you wrote:
>>   Real tech's use a thumbnail for wire stripping - any
>> dentist will tell
>> you, teeth shouldn't be used for wire stripping.  LOL!
>>
>>   Mark
>>
>
>Especially if you haven't checked for B+ beforehand!
>
|
| Sean Breheny
| Amateur Radio Callsign: KA3YXM
| Electrical Engineering Student
\--------------=----------------
Save lives, please look at http://www.all.org
Personal page: http://www.people.cornell.edu/pages/shb7
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________________________________________________________
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Get your FREE Internet Access and Email at
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1999\07\16@015450 by Mark Willis

flavicon
face
Well, after today's impromptu phone system work ("Backhoe Fade" occured
here, only from a regular shovel, apparently;  Telco, when called, said
they'd deign to show up Sunday, perhaps) - I can attest that if you're
wearing shorts & in Lotus on the ground, the 48V phone line CAN and WILL
decently tingle you when you grab onto it firmly enough (like when you
try to twist wires together to add a 3' jumper cable in, so you have
SOME sort of phone usage on your house wires for the next 3+ days.)  The
telco installers put their wiring RIGHT up against the power company's
box, so the locators couldn't find it - the power co. just put in a new
conduit this AM from box to street, cutting our cable in the process
(They didn't bother to knock & tell US, though, they were nice enough to
tell the telco to fix it at least.)  Ringer voltage tingles you
thoroughly, though <G>  (The power co's replacing all old cables around
here, as they're decaying prematurely - giving us the power outages I've
been unhappy about - So I'm glad they're doing this, just not happy
about the telco wires being cut.)

So, of course, when I'd twisted up 9 of the 12 wires (6 pairs in our
14-month-old phone cable here), the Telco guy drove up - so I let him do
it "right", and we now have a polyurethane-potted splice in there,
routed far enough away from the power co's box that they'll (probably)
not cut our phone cable again.  Needed the Cat 5 wire for another
project, anyways <G>  And his cable has that nice hard metal shield,
which is good in case the power co's wiring should have a ground fault
(240VAC connected to my ear via phone parts, is NOT a fun idea to me.
Pass.)

 Mark

Sean H. Breheny wrote:
{Quote hidden}

1999\07\16@041258 by Stefan Sczekalla-Waldschmidt

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Wagner Lipnharski wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Hmmm...

>
> ... a real tech is a master, a real magician in the field, his mind and
> fingers are slick as a fast snake in the jungle, he sees a solution much
> before the customer sees the problem, he saves the world every 10
> minutes, and he sleeps like a baby at night.  His workstation is full of
> electronic components here and there, mixed with lots of diskettes and
> paper, nobody knows how can he find anything there, but he does.

Hmmm...

> He has
> a little tinny empty space on the table, 4 x 3 inches, right in front
> the keyboard, where he uses to do hand writing.

Looks like you know one of my friends ... :)

>  The company's president
> knows him by his first name, and he addresses the president as "buddy".
> His world is a jungle, and he likes it that way, a place where a poor
> engineer can not survive.
>
> ... but he will never be able to buy Armani.
>
> Wagner

Having a friend who is geting the majority of components he use for his
private lab-bench-work from old tv-sets, computers, etc.

He did work for serveral years at HAMEG ( major german supplier for scopes etc.
)
designing analog electronics.

It's the kind of guy who can build a 2.4 GHz osc. just by guessing the component
s.

on the other hand - he's still having problems in finding girl-friends :-(

Kind regards ...

       Stefan

1999\07\16@044432 by Donald Riedinger

picon face
I have heard there are engineers who can solder.  Are they at the top of
the heap or the bottom?

1999\07\16@071606 by Russell McMahon

picon face
I'm in New Zealand.
Is practical work a requirement for the US EE degree?

I gained a BE (Electrical) in 1973 (+ACE-) (and an ME on a second pass
some years later) and a requirement for the BE was I think 400 hours
(maybe more) in +ACI-electrical practical work in an approved
establishment+ACI-. There was also a lesser requirement for a small
mechanical component. I was a +ACI-bursar+ACI- for the New Zealand Post
Office who provided a wide range of practical experience. In my case
I learned to strip wire with my teeth at an early age and decided to
stop doing it sometime during my BE degree :-)) - teeth cost far more
than wire strippers. I also started playing with electrical stuff of
sorts at about age 10  AFAIR. Having a practical electrically based
childhood is probably a good way to combine the practical aspects
with the theoretical material picked up in an EE degree. University
taught me some practical stuff but having a food grounding already
was a major gain.

>From childhood/teenage years I recall with various fondness such
things as hand cranked telephone generators, old valve radio sets
scavenged for parts, OC640 transistors (my 1st one cost 1 pound
second hand - about +ACQ-2US now and probably about +ACQ-US20 plus then+ACE-)
(pre OC70/71 AFAIR), 1 transistor broadcast band transmitters (using
an AC126 +ACI-audio+ACI- transistor as I recall) discovering amateur radio
and more.


From: Craig Lee +ADw-clee+AEA-ATTCANADA.NET+AD4-
+AD4-I've found that engineers imported from other parts of the globe
like
+AD4-Malaysia,
+AD4-Germany, Russia, U.K, Australia, New Zealand, etc., seem to have the
proper
+AD4-theoretical background, and can also compete on the practical level.
+AD4-
+AD4-So what is our educational system doing wrong, and what are
non-North
+AD4-American
+AD4-educators doing right?


It MAY be that there is a correlation between those who decide to
travel and those who are most practically orientated.

Now, flame suit on. No insult intended here -

In another but related area. My wife has a BSc in zoology and at one
stage ran a small agricultural agronomy lab team as a technician. She
noted that fairly consistently the people with technician training
(NZ certificate in Science here) were less flexible at performing new
work and took much longer to do useful work when a new job was
assigned than those with BSc training).

I realise that that is a large generalization and I'm not trying to
propose on this basis that a university degree is superior per se. It
may be that in our (NZ) case it at that stage reflected the abilities
of the people who undertake the particular types of study. Tech
institutes were very practically orientated and often this path
allowed you to get income sooner than with a university degree.






regards

       Russell McMahon

1999\07\16@112244 by Matthew Fries

flavicon
face
> >The company's president
> > knows him by his first name, and he addresses the president as "buddy".
> > His world is a jungle, and he likes it that way, a place where a poor
> > engineer can not survive.
> >
> > ... but he will never be able to buy Armani.

He would never need to.... Jeans and a Def Leppard t-shirt.

1999\07\16@114152 by Harrison Cooper

flavicon
face
Depends if you are talking surface mount or thru hole.  Ever lifted a leg on
a TQ144, and soldered a wire to it?  Our rework gals here do *pure* magic.

-----Original Message-----
From: Donald Riedinger [spamBeGonedrr9STOPspamspamEraseMEHOME.COM]
Sent: Friday, July 16, 1999 2:41 AM
To: KILLspamPICLISTspamBeGonespamMITVMA.MIT.EDU
Subject: Re: [OT] [Way-OT] Technicians versus Engineers


I have heard there are engineers who can solder.  Are they at the top of
the heap or the bottom?

1999\07\16@114200 by Harrison Cooper

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Tracey.....I don't know where you have worked, but here, we *design* with
real world parts because its our job not only to design it, but debug the
first prototypes as well.  And I am not talking simple circuits with a few
chips and interconnects.  I've got 27 FPGA's, a dozen CPLD's, ASIC's, SRAM,
SDRAM, 3 clock domains, 5V logic, 3.3V logic, and analog to boot. If I call
out a 27.7555 ohm resistor, I damn well better figure out how to make it
with series/parallel or settle for 27 ohm, 1% in a package no bigger than
the end of a pencil.

Oh...and no of course I am not angry.  I suppose I am defending the engineer
in that alot of us are painfully aware of the real world and that it does
take a certain number of nanoseconds for data to move from one end of the
board to the other, and sometimes, even that is too much.  I've yet to see a
tech solve that problem, not saying they cannot, but its just not part of
the job description.

{Original Message removed}

1999\07\16@122739 by Wagner Lipnharski

picon face
[snip]
> Oh...and no of course I am not angry.  I suppose I am defending the engineer
> in that alot of us are painfully aware of the real world and that it does
> take a certain number of nanoseconds for data to move from one end of the
> board to the other, and sometimes, even that is too much.  I've yet to see a
> tech solve that problem, not saying they cannot, but its just not part of
> the job description.

As a customer engineer of IBM for 19 years, I was a plain mainframe and
all technician, fixing problems created by the plant real engineers, by
the customers, and also by the environment.  During all those years, I
submitted (to this IBM specific department) several suggestions of
circuit changes, via the regular IBM "Suggestion Plan"... some of those
suggestions were already implemented (by me) for months or years and
solved those problems definitively.  Some of them were approved and
implemented, some don't (mostly because the machine was old and do not
compensate to produce "Engineering Change paperwork").  The IBM
technical support groups, a high skilled technicians, called product
specialists, have also a job responsibility to be the interface between
the plant engineers and the field (technicians).  I never saw an IBM
machine that never suffered "Engineering Changes" in the field, just
like a software, all of them needs post production corrections.  Those
corrections could be developed by the plant engineering, or suggested by
the support group technicians or the field technicians. Here what counts
is just experience, not title or position.  Even that is not difficult
to see a plant engineer climbing his heels when receiving a simple field
technician suggestion... :)

Wagner

1999\07\16@184259 by Anne Ogborn

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> I was hired in a truck-stop in Michigan. My company has an office in
> Minnesota, but I've never seen it. I work at home in Indiana, 10 - 2  (AM)
> Telecommute rules!

yep - doesn't feel like I'm working if I can stop for a bit and clean the
bathroom when I feel like it.  8o)

The internet is changing everything - I'm in business with a guy, have been for
3 months. Just met him last week. Before that I couldn't have told you what he
looked like.


--
Anniepoo
Need loco motors?
http://www.idiom.com/~anniepoo/depot/motors.html

1999\07\17@013954 by g.daniel.invent.design

flavicon
face
long live the real tech..
>
> ... a real tech is a master, a real magician in the field, his mind and
> fingers are slick as a fast snake in the jungle, he sees a solution much
> before the customer sees the problem, he saves the world every 10
> minutes, and he sleeps like a baby at night.  His workstation is full of
> electronic components here and there, mixed with lots of diskettes and
> paper, nobody knows how can he find anything there, but he does.  He has
> a little tinny empty space on the table, 4 x 3 inches, right in front
> the keyboard, where he uses to do hand writing. The company's president
> knows him by his first name, and he addresses the president as "buddy".
> His world is a jungle, and he likes it that way, a place where a poor
> engineer can not survive.
>
> ... but he will never be able to buy Armani.
If it doesn't relate to H/W, S/W or wind surfing then the real tech will
not particularly care for Armani... (but he might buy it anyway & wear
it inside out)
G.D

1999\07\19@011634 by Joseph Rutsky

picon face
I take it you are a tech???


>
>
> By the way, know what an Eng. does when he gets constipated?
> Works it out with a pencil....   :o)

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