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Author Topic: The Hazard of Knowledge  (Read 4978 times)
AF6LJ
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Posts: 372




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« Reply #15 on: November 16, 2017, 06:04:40 PM »

I can think of a couple of sayings..

Paralysis by Analysis
Perfection is the enemy of Good Enough

Mike N2MG
Both are very true.
I have been guilty of the latter on a few occasions, thankfully I have almost broken myself of that bad habit. Smiley
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Sue,
AF6LJ
AF6LJ
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« Reply #16 on: November 16, 2017, 06:09:20 PM »

That's funny!
But is true more often than many of us would comfortable with. Smiley
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Sue,
AF6LJ
N2MG
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« Reply #17 on: November 17, 2017, 11:19:01 AM »

As an engineer I can identify with the "Shoot the engineer" saying.

"Put a fork in it, it's done" also comes to mind.
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K9MHZ
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« Reply #18 on: November 17, 2017, 01:36:47 PM »

"Put a fork in it, it's done" also comes to mind.
Got the engineering degree, but never worked as one, even for 5 minutes.  That said (written), I love these quips and anecdotes from the engineers in our Friday ham lunch group.  Most are retired, so they have lots of stories.  One guy told me that while working for Motorola, he was tasked with designing an PCB antenna for a UHF/microwave(?) device of some kind.  He got busy designing away, and his boss came by and tore into him for working so hard on the project.  He said to look in a dusty old manual form the 1940s or something for a shape and copy it.  He told his boss that it wouldn't be optimized for their current application, and the boss said "just do it!!"
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N2MG
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« Reply #19 on: November 17, 2017, 04:06:16 PM »

>> He said to look in a dusty old manual form the 1940s or something for a shape and copy it

That's the NIH syndrome!
(Not invented here)
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ONAIR
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Posts: 3536




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« Reply #20 on: November 17, 2017, 06:18:58 PM »

Engineering?  How about "CQ, can you hear me?"  All ya really need is to hear "Loud and clear"!!  Roll Eyes
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KM1H
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Posts: 2609




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« Reply #21 on: November 18, 2017, 02:18:38 PM »

Quote
A corollary to that is "There comes a time in the life of every product where it becomes necessary to shoot the engineers and start production."


Aint that the truth and probably was even before Henry Ford Roll Eyes Reading the history of the Ryan aircraft it was mentioned a few times during the WW1 years and into the 20's before the perfect team was assembled.

As an engineering manager for commercial and military products I saw it often and a few times I had to let the project lead go or transfer to a more suitable position.
PhD's with no practical experience were totally useless, Ive worked for a few as a Sr Tech and as lead engineer. Strange that none of those companies are still around Shocked Roll Eyes

Carl
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K8AXW
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« Reply #22 on: November 18, 2017, 08:58:00 PM »

I've come to the conclusion that design engineers NEVER use what they design!

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KOP
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Posts: 245




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« Reply #23 on: November 18, 2017, 09:17:20 PM »

R390A , A wonderful piece of equipment until you have to work on it :-)
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October 02, 2017, 07:53:41 PM
VK6HP
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Posts: 184




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« Reply #24 on: November 19, 2017, 02:43:10 AM »

I don't know why anyone would want to see high-level engineering education, and a dedication to getting the job done and a project successfully signed off, as mutually exclusive. Everyone who's been involved in translating innovation to real-world applications knows it's a team effort, with different skills coming to the fore at different times. There are hundreds of horror stories about head-in-the-cloud PhDs, perfectionist design engineers, ham-fisted senior technicians, ignorant project managers, etc, etc.  But in the end, with projects of any scale, it has to be a team effort.  If all the key elements of the process are not at least passable, the project is likely to fail.  

I'll come clean and admit to a PhD in radio physics/engineering and it amuses me a bit to see the innovators deprecated, while their innovations are so widely used.  The trickle-down effect is not linear or predictable but it's nonetheless real.  Hams have benefited greatly, for example, from developments in radio astronomy and military research, and from the intellectual spin-offs of people (including a good number of hams) working in those areas.  There are too many examples to list but two that immediately come to mind include the JT communications modes and, at a much bigger level, 802.11 wi-fi technology.

One of the great things about ham radio is that you can be your own innovator, developer, commissioner, and end user, and that's a satisfying thing in a world full of consumers, a good many of whom have never opened anything up and looked inside - never mind constructed anything. Personally, I've always found Neil Armstrong's pithy summation of the engineering outlook to be a good one:

"I am, and ever will be, a white-socks, pocket-protector, nerdy engineer — born under the second law of thermodynamics, steeped in the steam tables, in love with free-body diagrams, transformed by Laplace, and propelled by compressible flow. As an engineer, I take a substantial amount of pride in the accomplishments of my profession."

I'll have no truck with studied ignorance, and I take my hat off to everyone - ham or other - who pushes forward in science and engineering.  Life is too short for petty point scoring.


« Last Edit: November 19, 2017, 02:46:51 AM by VK6HP » Logged
AC7CW
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« Reply #25 on: November 19, 2017, 08:59:40 AM »

If your first iteration of a project works fine you are overthinking it
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Novice 1958, 20WPM Extra now... (and get off my lawn)
K8AXW
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« Reply #26 on: November 19, 2017, 11:05:57 AM »

Quote
Everyone who's been involved in translating innovation to real-world applications knows it's a team effort, with different skills coming to the fore at different times.

The first example of this immediately came to me was, "A camel is a horse designed by a committee!"

I recently had to buy a new microwave.  I opted for the very same brand, same model with the idea of not having to read the instruction manual again.  The first one lasted 8 years.

Now 8 years later, one would think that you slide the old one out and slide the new one in, right?  Oh hell no!  Same brand, same model but the design engineers had to use a different mounting bracket requiring an installer.  (Too old and weak to lift a microwave over my head) THAT cost me almost as much as what I paid for the microwave!

The first microwave had such a weak stove illumination light that it was worthless.

The new one has a very good stove top illumination light but the light inside the microwave is so weak it's impossible to see the food while being cooked.

This summer I bought a new leaf blower.  If I use it with my right hand, the air intake sucks my pant leg in against the intake and shuts off the air.  If I use the left hand the engine exhaust burns my left leg.

How can such stupidity be explained?

 
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WW7KE
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Posts: 603




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« Reply #27 on: November 19, 2017, 12:01:26 PM »

Quote
Everyone who's been involved in translating innovation to real-world applications knows it's a team effort, with different skills coming to the fore at different times.

The first example of this immediately came to me was, "A camel is a horse designed by a committee!"

I recently had to buy a new microwave.  I opted for the very same brand, same model with the idea of not having to read the instruction manual again.  The first one lasted 8 years.

Now 8 years later, one would think that you slide the old one out and slide the new one in, right?  Oh hell no!  Same brand, same model but the design engineers had to use a different mounting bracket requiring an installer.  (Too old and weak to lift a microwave over my head) THAT cost me almost as much as what I paid for the microwave!

Maybe the engineers were told by people above them that the mounting bracket had to be made cheaper.

Quote
How can such stupidity be explained?

I've worked for companies where the engineering department wasn't included in determining the design criteria for their products.  The directions for engineering came from marketing, some middle-management muckey-muck such as a brand manager, from the Board of Directors, or even directly by the CEO himself.  In other words, the definition of the product was determined by those not qualified to make those decisions.
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He speaks fluent PSK31...  One QSO with him earns you 5BDXCC...  His Wouff Hong has two Wouffs... Hiram Percy Maxim called HIM "The Old Man..."  He is... The Most Interesting Ham In The World!
KM1H
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Posts: 2609




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« Reply #28 on: November 19, 2017, 03:04:49 PM »

I still remember the days when an auto engine swap was often only a few hours and the same basic configuration was used for decades.
Even going from say a small V8 to a big one, such as a Chevy 283 to a 454 was a matter of going to the junkyard for all of it or a dealer for the needed bolt on parts.

Putting a later model big V8 into something from any make in the 30-50's took a little more time but the parts needed for the popular swaps were soon available from speed shops.

I have nothing against PhD's as a class, just the ones that cant cut it in the real world.

Carl
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WA4NJY
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Posts: 132




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« Reply #29 on: November 19, 2017, 03:13:38 PM »


 Kinda along with this discussion.  This question was asked.  Why do the auto manufacturers supply a $1 jack with a $20,000 car?

 Because the ran out of 50 cent jacks.

 Ed
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