zeeglen

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Glen Chenier has spent most of his engineering career in the communications field with such companies as Fujitsu, Fitel Photomatrix, and Gandalf Data. He has also developed small-motor electronic drive systems for the hobby market. From his new home in Allen, Texas, he now spends time working on EDN projects and reverse-engineering legacy telecom systems to facilitate continuing support, while pondering the nuances of analog circuit test and the many lessons he has learned.


zeeglen

's contributions
  • 01.10.2011
  • Three puzzles to ponder
  • Thanks Max, but not really that clever. Took 3 weeks to figure this out, and even then the solution came to me in the early hours when trying to decide whether or not to get out of bed. This does present that the simplest solutions are not always the most obvious. Some ideas have to bake for a while.
  • 01.10.2011
  • Three puzzles to ponder
  • Re puzzle #2: An practical solution with minimum math is to accept that extreme accuracy to 3 places (see my post #3 above) is probably not overly important for the dipstick markings so most of the more complex circular geometric calculations can be bypassed. The tractor-trailer driver should know the tank capacity from the owner's manual. If not, the example tank volume is pi x 0.25m^2 x 1m = 0.19635 cubic meters = 196.35 liters. Round this to 196 liters to simplify, if desired convert to U.S. or Imperial gallons. The driver places the half-full dipstick mark at 25 cm and drives the truck until the fuel level reads half or less. He drives to the truck stop and adds just enough fuel to measure 1/2 tank on his dipstick. Then he notes the pump reading and adds exactly 49 litres or 1/4 tank more fuel according to the pump reading. The fuel level is now 3/4 tank and can be marked on the dipstick, and the 1/4 tank mark will be the same distance from center towards the bottom end of his dipstick. Sometimes the practical approach gives results good enough for the task at hand. In this case the fuel pump itself is used as the measuring instrument to calibrate the dipstick.
  • 02.02.2011
  • How we can maybe get some engineers as celebrities?
  • "...what is the actual skill or talent of Paris Hilton...?" Paris Hilton. Will be remembered for her unwitting contribution to verbal Morse Code. di-dah-dah-ditz di-dah di-dah-ditz di-dah-ditz di-ditz di-di-ditz
  • 02.02.2011
  • How we can maybe get some engineers as celebrities?
  • Hedy Lamarr. Scientist and inventor, used a piano roll to control frequency hopping spread spectrum for torpedo guidance. But most who recognize her name remember her as a Hollywood actress.
  • 01.26.2011
  • Move over, Monsieur Proust: I just had my own "madeleine" moment!
  • Yes, I remember the 5 level Baudot machines from my ham radio and Arctic DEW Line days, and made "Jingle Bells" paper tapes for the bell on the Model 19 (I think?) teleprinter with the shiftable print carriage. Do you remember that printer joke that started with "Some girls like to hug and kiss..." ? No information is useless. Punched paper tape and punched cards were a very useful storage medium up until magnetic and sand processing technologies matured. Optical paper tape readers were a brilliant innovation that made use of a technology that had never been designed for optical. Every step leads to something better. Today we stand on the shoulders of giants.
  • 01.26.2011
  • Move over, Monsieur Proust: I just had my own "madeleine" moment!
  • Back when I was a young teen a neighbour gave me a breadboarding system consisting of 1 foot square plexiglass plates drilled with holes that would accept press-in rivets to hold Fahnestock clips. I think this was made by DeVry as part of their home learning courses. Cleaning out the garage I stumbled across some old 5.25 inch floppies and a length of 8 level punched paper tape. The floppy drive is long gone, but I have some fond memories of those "tickertape" celebrations on the last day of college terms.
  • 01.25.2011
  • I ain't cut out for this high-falutin' math
  • Possibly this guy was a lab-type engineer whom the techs called for in desperation. The clue is the "white coat". Being one who did not normally visit customers the suit-and-tie policy might not apply.
  • 12.23.2010
  • Poor contacts stop model trains on the track
  • Hint: Start small and encourage your wife to get interested in creating the artistic scenic details. Many of the creative feminine gender who began with building dollhouses have added model rail to their hobby repertoire. My own DW learned the artistic part while I did the trackwork. Like Jack Spratt we managed. She created some very beautiful 3D landscapes out of plaster, styrofoam, and other raw materials. Model rail is a combination of both art and science. And is fun too.
  • 01.17.2011
  • Practical Jokes: How to shut the sales guy up
  • Good memory, Stargzer! Would have been about 1964 or 1965. There were 2 neon relaxation oscillators, one was audio frequency and was modulated by the other at about 1 Hz to produce a siren effect. I was a young teen at the time too, and learned a lot from building this toy.