Mark Wagner

Sr. Electronics Engineer

Biography has not been added


's contributions
    • "So you have had 2 cars that did this and you are still buying what you call \"American\"...why? You do know that many Toyotas are built in the US right? I'm ok with people buying Cars because they like the style and features, but question buying on characteristics that can't be easily verified (American content?). Only recently are the domestic car vendors focusing more on reliability. The Japanese vendors have been selling on that for some time which is partly why the uproar of Toyota having such a problem."

    • "Aubrey, good to know about the chips you mentioned. When it comes to making an elastomeric keyboard, what people forget in the pursuit of is I see some try a HASL coated surface for making the switch contact with the carbon pill attached to the key. Works for a little while then fails because of the oxidation. There are selective coatings for such areas if you need to stay with HASL for cost, otherwise go ENIG (gold) and the product will work for years."

    • "So at Carnegie Mellon, students are not taught to design to the \"best commercial practice\" standards? Sounds like doublespeak. You can't have it both ways (displaying the code on the University website as an \"example\"). And as far as scaling metrics, it is done all the time in the commercial world when no other methods are available. Yes, the scaling may not be linear, but it is a reasonable approximation in many cases of system design."

    • "The concept of \"High Visibility\" is a great tool. It applies to more than just the documents we write. It is all about effectively communicating a concept to a target audience(s). A document well crafted is useful a a thing of beauty :-). Thanks for the templates and concepts, definitely a new tool in my tool box. Yes, I'm one of the strange engineers that doesn't mind creating documents explaining my work for others effectively and creatively."

    • "Layout is progressing to a \"weird phase\" right now, by that I mean seeing amazing products (like the I-phone), yet when I try to find a contract layout firm in the Northeast US (where I live and work), the overall skill level except for digital only designs is very poor. Discussions with managers at these firms indicate work coming at them by low-skill EE's with almost no experience, with unrealistic expectations. Checking artwork is art and science. The tools are very good at verifying connectivity (can't live without PADS DRC!), but checking proximity of devices\/traces to other features is the \"art\" or recognition of what physics may be at play and knowing what to do about it. Layout is a bit Like Integration in Calculus, you start with an assumption, and progress from there. You can't take everything into account simultaneously, you must start with a basic assumption (part placement) and solve the puzzle from there..."

    • "Job well Done Jack...thank you.\nYour articles helped this EE know enough about the programming world to be dangerous :-).."

    • "While I welcome others exploring coding through trial-and-error, it is a path that does not assure success. An EE by trade, and having experimented with the Arduino platform, I find the general level of code quality available for \"free\" is pretty poor, so the old saying \"you get what you pay for\". By earning a BS or MS degree, you are forced to take some classes that are not necessarily fun, but some of those build your critical thinking skills - short cuts are not what will launch a sustainable career in engineering. I would encourage people to try out the maker space, and if it appeals to you, then pursue a more formalized education. The quality of what results will generally be much better than without."

    • "Tip of the iceberg Jack. Show something on a digital display and people will believe it and not question it. I work in the life sciences sector and it is not unusual to come across a scientist checking a temperature reading that is expected to be within 0.1C with a meter only capable of +\/-1-DegC. So much for precision :-) I do laugh at forecasts with 0.1% resolution!"

    • "Jack that gets the \"KISS\" award! From a reliability standpoint (comparing commercial marine electronics with mechanical), I would think that the mechanical approach as you mentioned might be slightly more reliable only because it could be inspected before launch. Then as Bob Synder has suggested, use the electronics in a SCADA mode. Nice combo with excellent reliability."

    • "Thanks Jack, some good rules not only for coding, but for NET NAMING in circuit board design. The only item I would disagree with is use of abbreviations. Some industries rely upon them heavily and are well known. I don't see a problem with using them if you provide the user with a common list somewhere in the comments section. As a EE reading someone elses code, I have a hard time following code written with 30character variable names. It separates the operators too much with long names - not as easy to scan quickly."