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Engineering Investigations
Content posted in September 2010
The transient that wasn’t there
Engineering Investigations  
9/29/2010   81 comments
A manager’s near instant analysis of a problem with an engine electrical replacement part—done with no analysis or data—is wrong, of course
Engineers try to resist finger pointing in debugging radar jammer
Engineering Investigations  
9/29/2010   66 comments
A hardware engineer and a software engineer struggle to maintain composure and objectivity during a prolonged debug effort that ends with irony
Chasing transient errors in a flight-control computer
Engineering Investigations  
9/29/2010   55 comments
Why never to put too much stock in a hardware engineer’s claim that the hardware is functioning correctly
Pesky diagonal lines on a custom CRT challenge designers
Engineering Investigations  
9/28/2010   25 comments
While troubleshooting a persnickety CRT, engineers have to expose and develop color film to test each and every theory
The electronic ghost in the optical network
Engineering Investigations  
9/23/2010   41 comments
Engineer grapples with consequences of vaguely-specified characteristics
The mystery of the illogical logic gate
Engineering Investigations  
9/23/2010   44 comments
It’s midnight, you haven’t found the bug yet, and in the morning the government contractor is visiting to see the prototype, but the logic isn’t acting logically.
Analogue computers to the rescue
Engineering Investigations  
9/23/2010   32 comments
When a power supply explodes, an engineer dredges up his childhood days spent playing with Heathkits to save the day
The case of the loose screws
Engineering Investigations  
9/23/2010   28 comments
Incoming signals are behaving funny on a hardwired control system, much to the chagrin of the controls engineers.
The seemingly broken serial port
Engineering Investigations  
9/17/2010   8 comments
Engineers learn importance of understanding the entire system spec
Engineer investigates his car's engine problems
Engineering Investigations  
9/16/2010   35 comments
With his car dying on the road and the professionals flummoxed, an engineer takes things into his own hands
Pesky PCI-X parity errors
Engineering Investigations  
9/15/2010   8 comments
An engineer hunts down an intermittent parity error with his secret - and only - weapon.
From this we learn: The tale of the really fast power supply
Engineering Investigations  
9/14/2010   2 comments
"This was a solid failure…. My boss immediately announced that I had selected a power supply that did not have an adequate current rating and that I was not very smart. But I was not convinced…"
Engineer investigates strange squiggles in microscope's images
Engineering Investigations  
9/9/2010   14 comments
Looking for the source of the disturbance, an EE learns that sometimes you have to look outside your own discipline to find the answers
The case of the cooked computer video monitor
Engineering Investigations  
9/9/2010   3 comments
Perplexed by a troublesome board, an engineer turns to an unconventional diagnostic tool
Portable test instrument battery life drops precipitously
Engineering Investigations  
9/8/2010   1 comment
It worked on the test bench, what now was draining the instrument's NiCad batteries?
The mysterious case of the microprocessors memory errors
Engineering Investigations  
9/2/2010   12 comments
Something lurking out there among the African Violets was wreaking havoc with the greenhouse control system
Engineer investigates line-powered device synchronization problem
Engineering Investigations  
9/2/2010   6 comments
An EE shows his bosses the project he's been working on for weeks... only to have it fall flat at the moment of truth.
Send us your engineering investigation!
Engineering Investigations  
9/1/2010   3 comments
Have you solved a perplexing engineering problem? Inquiring minds want to know!


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Rishabh N. Mahajani, High School Senior and Future Engineer

Future Engineers: Don’t 'Trip Up' on Your College Road Trip
Rishabh N. Mahajani, High School Senior and Future Engineer
3 comments
A future engineer shares his impressions of a recent tour of top schools and offers advice on making the most of the time-honored tradition of the college road trip.

Max Maxfield

Juggling a Cornucopia of Projects
Max Maxfield
11 comments
I feel like I'm juggling a lot of hobby projects at the moment. The problem is that I can't juggle. Actually, that's not strictly true -- I can juggle ten fine china dinner plates, but ...

Larry Desjardin

Engineers Should Study Finance: 5 Reasons Why
Larry Desjardin
37 comments
I'm a big proponent of engineers learning financial basics. Why? Because engineers are making decisions all the time, in multiple ways. Having a good financial understanding guides these ...

Karen Field

July Cartoon Caption Contest: Let's Talk Some Trash
Karen Field
140 comments
Steve Jobs allegedly got his start by dumpster diving with the Computer Club at Homestead High in the early 1970s.

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