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General => General Chat => Topic started by: olsenn on March 26, 2013, 01:44:35 am

Title: Things We Did In University
Post by: olsenn on March 26, 2013, 01:44:35 am
Let us share our stories of the dumb things we used to do in school. Here's some of mine:

1) Locate resistors (from a giant ass ball) by colour code
2) Trust data sheets
3) Turn the current knobs on my PSU's to max... just to be safe!
4) Assume ideal behavior
5) Use electrolytic caps on low-noise high-frequency signals
6) Assume that 400mA max current sticker is just for show
Title: Re: Things We Did In University
Post by: nuhamind2 on March 26, 2013, 06:33:32 am
Blame the equipment when lab work result do not agree with theory. Still doing it actually   ;D
Title: Re: Things We Did In University
Post by: steve30 on March 26, 2013, 08:26:24 am
Currently,

Blame every op-amp related problem on the offset null pot not being tweaked properly.

(my teacher is a little obsessed with setting the offset null pots on the college's op-amp demo boards :palm:).


At my old college,

Deliberately blowing up electrolytic caps :-+.
Title: Re: Things We Did In University
Post by: JuKu on March 26, 2013, 10:47:50 am
Got an A for writing a couple of paragraphs science fiction about how world would be like if Planck's constant would really be as big as I measured it.

Learning the hard way that bypass caps really are necessary.

Grilled sausage with a variac.
Title: Re: Things We Did In University
Post by: c4757p on March 26, 2013, 11:12:54 am
Blame every op-amp related problem on the offset null pot not being tweaked properly.

(my teacher is a little obsessed with setting the offset null pots on the college's op-amp demo boards :palm:).

Really? Mine tend to agree with me that if you're not making a precision circuit and you need the offset null, you've designed it wrong.
Title: Re: Things We Did In University
Post by: steve30 on March 26, 2013, 03:01:48 pm
Blame every op-amp related problem on the offset null pot not being tweaked properly.

(my teacher is a little obsessed with setting the offset null pots on the college's op-amp demo boards :palm:).

Really? Mine tend to agree with me that if you're not making a precision circuit and you need the offset null, you've designed it wrong.

Yup.

Another one:

Putting up with people who can't tell the difference between Electrical Engineering and Electronic Engineering. |O
Title: Re: Things We Did In University
Post by: olsenn on March 26, 2013, 03:12:48 pm
Quote
Putting up with people who can't tell the difference between Electrical Engineering and Electronic Engineering.

There was no distinction where I went to school (in Canada); it was called electrical engineering, and basic electronics design was covered in it. The only other (related)field was computer science for software development and networking.
Title: Re: Things We Did In University
Post by: c4757p on March 26, 2013, 03:19:23 pm
Putting up with people who can't tell the difference between Electrical Engineering and Electronic Engineering. |O

No difference at my school.
Title: Re: Things We Did In University
Post by: tom66 on March 26, 2013, 03:23:26 pm
I can understand why people might call it "electrical engineering", but I absolutely go mental when I'm told I'm an "electrician" or "sparky". Seriously, stop it.
Title: Re: Things We Did In University
Post by: kfitch42 on March 26, 2013, 03:25:08 pm
Laugh at those silly EE majors torturing themselves ( I was in CS) ... and now I torture myself trying to learn EE just for fun :).

Title: Re: Things We Did In University
Post by: c4757p on March 26, 2013, 03:25:24 pm
I can understand why people might call it "electrical engineering", but I absolutely go mental when I'm told I'm an "electrician" or "sparky". Seriously, stop it.

"Oh, you work in finance? OK, I'd like a #1 with fries and a Coke."
Title: Re: Things We Did In University
Post by: nuhamind2 on March 26, 2013, 04:03:36 pm
Putting up with people who can't tell the difference between Electrical Engineering and Electronic Engineering. |O
How is it over there?
My departement is Electrical Engineering, then at their 4 semester student choose concentration (that's what we call it here). We usually call it "Strong Current" for the Electric Power Concentration and "Weak Current" for Signal and Electronic Concentration. The "Weak Current" the divided into Control, Telecommunication and Electronic. Electronic is always the most underrated. The previous year only 3 student take it, and this year only 1 student take it (that's me).
Title: Re: Things We Did In University
Post by: marshallh on March 26, 2013, 07:30:19 pm
Mistake: assuming that one could graduate with a BA and actually have practical knowledge applicable in that field and be able to start working
Title: Re: Things We Did In University
Post by: krish2487 on March 26, 2013, 07:42:57 pm
Quote
Mistake: assuming that one could graduate with a BA and actually have practical knowledge applicable in that field and be able to start working

+1

Always knew that there was a slip between the cup and the lip..

Never knew until after graduation that the slip was so large, it was really one guys cup and another guys lip.

 :-//
Title: Re: Things We Did In University
Post by: steve30 on March 28, 2013, 02:14:34 pm
Putting up with people who can't tell the difference between Electrical Engineering and Electronic Engineering. |O
How is it over there?
My departement is Electrical Engineering, then at their 4 semester student choose concentration (that's what we call it here). We usually call it "Strong Current" for the Electric Power Concentration and "Weak Current" for Signal and Electronic Concentration. The "Weak Current" the divided into Control, Telecommunication and Electronic. Electronic is always the most underrated. The previous year only 3 student take it, and this year only 1 student take it (that's me).

Thats pretty much it.

Electrical engineering is electricity as a power source (so, big motors, big generators, big transformers, big wires etc etc)
Electronic engineering is electricity used for signals (so, radios, computers, logic, little components etc etc).

I think the problem is that the majority of people at my college are electrical engineers whereas I'm one of few people who is doing an electronics course (but we do share quite a few classes), so people think I'm doing electrical engineering as well.
Title: Re: Things We Did In University
Post by: StevenB on March 28, 2013, 04:09:06 pm
Mistake: assuming that one could graduate with a BA and actually have practical knowledge applicable in that field and be able to start working

A variant of this is expecting your fellow students to have some practical knowledge of electronics.  During our senior design project, we realized two of the students were only good at printing off datasheets.

While I was teaching an intro to EE lab, I was astonished at the students that weren't aware of the concept of a complete circuit.  Why do you go into EE without some small measure of interest in circuits?
Title: Re: Things We Did In University
Post by: c4757p on March 28, 2013, 04:19:53 pm
Why do you go into EE without some small measure of interest in circuits?

That was my biggest shock when I switched to EE. I started in CS, then computational math, and in both of those programs, everyone had a huge fetish for their subject. In EE, I'm one of the few who actually care, the rest are just along for the ride.  :-//
Title: Re: Things We Did In University
Post by: steve30 on March 28, 2013, 04:42:56 pm
Why do you go into EE without some small measure of interest in circuits?

That was my biggest shock when I switched to EE. I started in CS, then computational math, and in both of those programs, everyone had a huge fetish for their subject. In EE, I'm one of the few who actually care, the rest are just along for the ride.  :-//

I'm surprised also at the lack of people who aren't interested in electronics as a hobby, or those that don't have the same knowledge or skill that I have, but there are some people who are just getting into the subject having only studied maths and/or science before. And of course there are part time students who are electrical engineers/electricians who aren't really into the stuff we talk about here. And in higher education, engineering does become a very theoretical subject.

If it hadn't been for my hobby, by now I'd have forgotten what a stripboard is :-DD.
Title: Re: Things We Did In University
Post by: FenderBender on March 29, 2013, 12:09:33 am
Putting up with people who can't tell the difference between Electrical Engineering and Electronic Engineering. |O
How is it over there?
My departement is Electrical Engineering, then at their 4 semester student choose concentration (that's what we call it here). We usually call it "Strong Current" for the Electric Power Concentration and "Weak Current" for Signal and Electronic Concentration. The "Weak Current" the divided into Control, Telecommunication and Electronic. Electronic is always the most underrated. The previous year only 3 student take it, and this year only 1 student take it (that's me).

Thats pretty much it.

Electrical engineering is electricity as a power source (so, big motors, big generators, big transformers, big wires etc etc)
Electronic engineering is electricity used for signals (so, radios, computers, logic, little components etc etc).

I think the problem is that the majority of people at my college are electrical engineers whereas I'm one of few people who is doing an electronics course (but we do share quite a few classes), so people think I'm doing electrical engineering as well.

I think it must be different on the other side of the pond. Here electrical and electronics engineering are the same thing, per say. I'm not even certain that I've ever heard of a college that offers the "electrical engineering" that you speak of.
Title: Re: Things We Did In University
Post by: Six on March 29, 2013, 02:35:37 am
In the UK electricians are really install and maintenance technicians governed by building codes. The time served guys are trained but aren't engineers in the scientific sense. They don't have a degree or any real design theory outside of code.

Then there's domestic installers that are only required to have a very basic understanding to get their ticket and can wire in lighting and plug sockets etc. I've seen guys that wire up kitchens call themselves engineers over here. There really isn't any distinction of what a real engineer is. Plumbers call themselves engineers and I've seen adverts for shelf engineers stacking groceries at the supermarket!  :-/O
Title: Re: Things We Did In University
Post by: steve30 on March 29, 2013, 09:50:35 am
Putting up with people who can't tell the difference between Electrical Engineering and Electronic Engineering. |O
How is it over there?
My departement is Electrical Engineering, then at their 4 semester student choose concentration (that's what we call it here). We usually call it "Strong Current" for the Electric Power Concentration and "Weak Current" for Signal and Electronic Concentration. The "Weak Current" the divided into Control, Telecommunication and Electronic. Electronic is always the most underrated. The previous year only 3 student take it, and this year only 1 student take it (that's me).

Thats pretty much it.

Electrical engineering is electricity as a power source (so, big motors, big generators, big transformers, big wires etc etc)
Electronic engineering is electricity used for signals (so, radios, computers, logic, little components etc etc).

I think the problem is that the majority of people at my college are electrical engineers whereas I'm one of few people who is doing an electronics course (but we do share quite a few classes), so people think I'm doing electrical engineering as well.

I think it must be different on the other side of the pond. Here electrical and electronics engineering are the same thing, per say. I'm not even certain that I've ever heard of a college that offers the "electrical engineering" that you speak of.

Intriguing.

A lot of courses here are 'Electrical and Electronic Engineering' and contain elements of both. Mine does, but there is supposed to be more emphasis on electronics.
Title: Re: Things We Did In University
Post by: The_PCB_Guy on March 29, 2013, 03:19:35 pm
There was a dumpster across the street that belonged to the apartment building that was there. A lot of the time people were throwing away their electronics when they were broken rather than repairing them. My roommates and I always went out and grabbed a couple TVs or whatever out of the dumpster and brought it back to our room, where we'd take it apart and mess with the electronics. We'd plug the speakers directly into 120vac mains, and we'd cut the cords off, plug them in, and short them together. One time we connected mains across a graphite pencil and watched it fry from the inside out, before the fuse in the panel blew. We did some pretty stupid stuff, but looking back, it was totally worth it!  ;D

We did it safely--we never hurt anyone--but we did burn the floors a couple of times....  >:D

Matt
Title: Re: Things We Did In University
Post by: bombledmonk on March 29, 2013, 03:38:01 pm
Quote
Putting up with people who can't tell the difference between Electrical Engineering and Electronic Engineering.

There was no distinction where I went to school (in Canada); it was called electrical engineering, and basic electronics design was covered in it. The only other (related)field was computer science for software development and networking.

There's also no real differentiation at most US universities.  The vast majority have departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering where a person attains a BS in Electrical Engineering (sometimes with specialty listed, much of the time with none).  That's not across the board, just the bulk of the degrees out there.


I can understand why people might call it "electrical engineering", but I absolutely go mental when I'm told I'm an "electrician" or "sparky". Seriously, stop it.
I live in an rural area with a low concentration of technical degrees.  Whenever I talk to someone and mention what I do, they immediately answer back "Oh, You must be good with computers"...
Title: Re: Things We Did In University
Post by: Six on March 29, 2013, 03:46:17 pm

Intriguing.

A lot of courses here are 'Electrical and Electronic Engineering' and contain elements of both. Mine does, but there is supposed to be more emphasis on electronics.

Mine does too... Electrical/ Electronic with a 30/70 split.

My course is BEng in that it's accredited by the IET so you can go on to CEng or IEng status without the need for additional maths modules. I've seen some that are BSc where the content seems the same but mustn't have the maths component. The college route with HNC/ HND and degrees earned in industry work differently I believe.

Not that it really matters. My opinion is that you don't really learn anything at college/ uni. You learn by designing your own kit and getting involved with a good company from day one. I was cheeky and scored a job with a manufacturer and get my experience that way. A lot of the lads on my course spend their spare time down the pub.
Title: Re: Things We Did In University
Post by: Setar2k11 on March 29, 2013, 06:32:20 pm
In the UK electricians are really install and maintenance technicians governed by building codes. The time served guys are trained but aren't engineers in the scientific sense. They don't have a degree or any real design theory outside of code.

Then there's domestic installers that are only required to have a very basic understanding to get their ticket and can wire in lighting and plug sockets etc. I've seen guys that wire up kitchens call themselves engineers over here. There really isn't any distinction of what a real engineer is. Plumbers call themselves engineers and I've seen adverts for shelf engineers stacking groceries at the supermarket!  :-/O

Not totally true, electricians are 'graded' depending on there skill level see here; http://www.jib.org.uk/handbook.aspx?cid=59 (http://www.jib.org.uk/handbook.aspx?cid=59) Notice that none of the grades are engineer. Although i do tend to agree that a lot of employers make fancy names for job titles like, electrical engineer, it makes people feel more important.

On a side note we (UK) have electrical/electronic engineering courses, as well as electronic and electrical engineering courses.
Title: Re: Things We Did In University
Post by: steve30 on March 29, 2013, 09:47:10 pm
I once looked through a University prospectus and found (if memory serves), two "electrical and electronic" courses, an "electronic and electrical" course and an "Electronic" course. They all had different entry requirements but I couldn't tell a great deal of difference between them from the prospectus.