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So I found these awesome Current Sensors but I don't know how effective they are. Help! here's the link <a href="">rogowski coils</a>


Good closing comment Steve. Thanks Steve and Bruce for joining the chat.


Gotta run guys---I really would love to do this again!

I'm off to a conference call to pick the brain of another expert for an upcoming article---Once we think we know everything and cannot learn anything new----we are lost!

Farhood Moraveji, technical director at TI commented to me, "Kludge boxes were a necessity in that test equipment did not exist that could measure the performance of the IC. These boxes often used some clever measurement tricks, which would also find their way into the data sheet."

They had to create!

Erroll Dietz said this about early IC designers, "Using design rules that they made up as they went along, these designers worked from transistor-kit parts, used copper-clad breadboards with sockets as design tools, and employed discrete resistors and capacitor"

Right---"Figuring things out" shows good engineering thinking---I like that approach from that blog

You might be interested in this blog, back a few months...



Experience and practice under the tutelage of a good mentor is critical

It's difficult to teach an engineer to have an intuitive understanding.


Synthesis ability comes from real experience and practice that they don't get at undergrad level. The genesis, I believe, is an intuitive understanding of how circuits work.


Now we have about 110 years of electronics experience between the three of us!

I really like having "NEWBIE" after my name on this CHAT! It's not that often that I'm called by that name, mostly it's sir or Mr. T

And yes Bruce----it's the circuit synthesis part that is the challenge! You get the analysis part from the textbooks

A challenge:  Finding the candidate that can transition from analysis to circuit synthesis.

Thanks for your kind comments, Steve.


Welcome Bruce! Although you and I are close in age, you still were one of my best mentors at Burr-Brown:)

An example is designing a super-het radio. 40 years ago it was done with discrete transistors, or at best an RF amplifier with lots of surrounding support components. In 2013, I can find a fully integrated super-het radio on a chip.

That's nice because of faster time to market, but what does that do to the designer's understanding of all the intricacies of the super-het architecture?

Bruce made some good points in his commentary regarding mentoring folks still in college - part of a work/study program or an internship. Good way to set it up. And to your point about transistor level IC design, the mentoring work TI is doing should help a lot so the knowledge isn't lost.


Another area that most younger engineers have difficulties in design is a good, in-depth understanding of the transistor down into the physics of the device. Dennis Monticelli, TI Fellow and Erroll Dietz, CTO at TI remember the early days of analog IC design in my article "Analog: Back to the future, Part one"

They designed IC's using discrete transistors and sometimes had to customize the transistor itself to get the best performance---it's that depth of understanding that is, in great part, lost to modern designers.

He should have some good comments.


I see another great mentor of mine---Bruce Trump, who is on another blog of your on "Mentoring" area right now---I will invite him to join us

I was looking over the list of contributing editors - you're right - lots of experience and knowledge. Jim Williams and Bob Pease quality know-how in some cases.


I envision editors like you and me as the mentors of cyberspace. In addition to our 70 years of combined electronics experience, we also have some really great readers that will contribute as mentors by commenting on our articles, blogs, etc----these are all mentoring channels on EDN and Planet Analog

And again, you don'tknow how to deal w/ those issues coming right out of school. I may blog about just that sort of design compromising in a future blog. I think there is a triangle pictogram that speaks to that. An oversimplification, of course. I recal the triangle has "Quality" "Price" and "Design Time" at its 3 corners. The caption beneath says "Pick Two"


It's an ongoing learning process to make these decisions after all the facts are analyzed and the choices that we have are scrutinized to see what the consequences will be to the original design goals

Exactly - I've fond when explaining concepts to s/o else, my understanding is clarified. Maybe for my next job, I'll become a university professor. All I need is my PhD. And my Masters degree. Shouldn't take too long.

Yes your point about what is taught at university is good - they don't always teach the real world aspects of design engineering.


Engineering schools teach design concepts and some have good labs, but the process of encountering a need to compromise in a design happen quite frequently and that thinking process is usually given to us by good mentors during our career.

I think I have done a pretty good job, but I also have learned a great deal in the process

Ah - so your describing the process you go thru when doing a design - what you have to give and take to get the design where you want it; by the time its due; and at or around the right cost. Then, you're refering to teaching s/o else how to do this. And did you have reasonable success in this teaching process?


I feel very strongly about mentoring in the area of the design process thinking and decisions/compromises we need to make as designers. What are the right choices when we are faced with a compromise in a design?


Here too. In my previous job as an FAE, I had to educate customers on devices that I was supposed to promote. And I had to educate a cadre of sales reps an distributor reps on the devices. So a lot of my time was spent as a teacher. They all seemed to learn fairly well, so I guess I was doing it right.


I've always enjoyed mentoring in my career, mostly by doing tech seminars and being an apps engineer---but first I had to be mentored!

Hi Steve, glad you could make it. I thought we might kick around some thoughts on mentoring fellow engineers to help develop new or better analog engineers.



Hi Brad, glad to join you on PA Chat site

That's 1:00PM ET, by the way.


Steve Taranovich, Senior Editor, Analog, Power and Design Ideas for EDN, will join me for a live chat at 1:00PM on Wednesday, 16 Jan 2013. We will be discussing ways to impart our knowledge (or the knowledge of other analog experts) to all levels of EE's from newbies to seasoned veterans. Everyone can learn something every day, so this should be a good interchange of ideas.

Join us at 1:00PM on Wednesday, 16 Jan 2013. Here's the link to get to us:


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