Serious question for non-entry level Electrical Engineers (reading a schematic!!)

Discussion in 'Electronics Resources' started by Amenably_Amendable, Apr 4, 2008.

  1. Amenably_Amendable

    Thread Starter Member

    Jan 21, 2008
    13
    0
    :confused:Hi,

    I have a complex schematic with subsystems that include more subsystems. I was hired as an Entry Level Engineer and I will be eventually working on testing this (with a pre-existing test equipment)

    My question is: As an entry level EE should I be able to understand what this circuit does? It is so complex I can't just look at a block of circuitry (with transceivers, buffers etc... and "know" what it does)

    How do I decipher this circuit? (its too complex to simulate in PSpice.. waaay too many components). I tried looking up some ICs in the circuit to see what they do (looking at the specs) but it's still difficult to piece everything together (how the components work together)

    Should I be expected to understand this complex circuitry as an entry level EE (in testing). Of, is it normal to not know what is going on in the beginning.

    Thanks!
     
  2. mik3

    Senior Member

    Feb 4, 2008
    4,846
    63
    Look you are not expected to know how every chip in the market works. You should know the basic chips. Now if your job is test this board you have to learn how each chip and subcircuit works. Nobody is able to know how million of chips in the market work.
     
  3. Papabravo

    Expert

    Feb 24, 2006
    10,136
    1,786
    Ask the people in charge if it will be OK with them to conduct destructive tests on some number of units in order to determine how robust the design is. You may find some help forthcoming.
     
  4. Xray

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    58
    1
    Just as mik3 said, you are expected to understand the basics of electrical design. So, when someone says to you (for example) "The signal drives a Schmitt Trigger, and then is shaped by a pulse-forming network before driving a 16-bit DAC", you had better know what they are talking about. But you are not expected to understand the details of a complex circuit that some other Engineer designed that you've never seen before. What you should do in a case like that is to go to the Engineer(s) who designed the circuit and ask them questions. The kind of questions you ask him/her will depend on what your responsibility will be for that circuit. Will you be responsible to improve its performance? or to add to its capability? or to troubleshoot it? or to test it for reliability?, etc.
     
  5. Amenably_Amendable

    Thread Starter Member

    Jan 21, 2008
    13
    0
    Quote: The signal drives a Schmitt Trigger, and then is shaped by a pulse-forming network before driving a 16-bit DAC


    I know what a Schmitt Trigger is, and what a 16 bit DAC is.. but I can't combine them together and see why they're used together. Is this something that comes with experience? :cool:
     
  6. Xray

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    58
    1

    LOL!! I just made up a bunch of tech talk to use as an example that you should understand basic circuits and components. I was not attempting to accurately describe an actual circuit. :)
     
  7. Xray

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    58
    1
    Amenably_Amenable -- Sorry for the misunderstanding!
     
  8. Amenably_Amendable

    Thread Starter Member

    Jan 21, 2008
    13
    0
    lol

    You scared me for a second :D
     
  9. BOBALOOIE

    New Member

    May 6, 2008
    1
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    I have found design engineers to be so proud of their circuits that they gladly fill you with more information than you need, or can digest in one setting. Go to the eng.
     
  10. SgtWookie

    Expert

    Jul 17, 2007
    22,182
    1,728
    I suggest that the good design engineers are like that.

    Then there are those who are simply out to protect their turf, and will jealously attempt to guard such info for themselves. Be very wary of such types, or you may find a figurative knife between your shoulder blades.
     
  11. Papabravo

    Expert

    Feb 24, 2006
    10,136
    1,786
    I've found the following three responses to questions from superiors to be enormously valuable.
    1. Yes, Sir!
    2. No, Sir!
    3. No excuse, Sir!
     
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