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Victor Lorenzo

Lessons from the trash can: Wrong power supply polarity.

Victor Lorenzo
Victor Lorenzo
Victor Lorenzo
9/17/2017 12:35:06 PM
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Re: Don't check your own. Try to find someone else
Yes Aubrey, I agree with you. I think that during the first checks round we are very conscious of what we are doing and pay as much attention as we can. But as we look at the circuit for one second time, third time, and so on, we somehow start missing more and more details. This is the time at which we start needing some "fresh eyes". Things going the wrong way during demonstrations and visits are also one of the classics. We used to call it "The visit effect"/"The visitors effect" at the CEETI, while I was working at the UCLV University. I've been in a couple embarrassing situations during visits to customers and one was my fault. We arrived late and in the hurry I forgot that I changed the board before leaving the office. I didn't upgrade the FPGA in which we had implemented the soft core processor. I spotted the situation almost inmediately at first system boot, but also the customer did, during this first boot the system was not doing what it was expected to do.

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antedeluvian
antedeluvian
9/15/2017 4:33:32 PM
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Don't check your own. Try to find someone else
Victor Sometimes checking is not enough- as you mention you need someone else to check. Looking at your own work, you are often blind to your mistakes. I have connected the mains to the output of a power supply on two separate occasions, once right before a demo at a customer.And I checked in both cases!

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antedeluvian
antedeluvian
9/15/2017 4:21:41 PM
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Check 7 times
Victor, Back in the day the intel 8008 cost ~$400, when a dollar was worth a whole lot more. I remeber the lab assistant at university used to check every pin on the socket before inserting the micro. Later the Intel 8051 bondout chip would also set you back several hundred dollars if you powered the circuit up wrong, let alone applying the wrong voltage. Get burned once and you paid attention forever after. I still wish there were reasonably priced sockets to test voltages before inserting the micro.

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