Ever get a spec from a system engineer that doesn't know anything about ....

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by fishgutzy, Jul 9, 2018.

  1. fishgutzy

    fishgutzy Senior Member Supporting Member

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    Component design?
    Every once in a while we get a spec from a customer that is written by a systems engineer who failed EM or has little understanding of it.
    Luckily, we have physics and reality on our side.
    But it is funny to think about how they came up with the specs.
     
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  2. Stick

    Stick Senior Member

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    Well, we were given a set of plans for a house once where the architect's room measurements added up to 7' more than the foundation, if that counts. :confused:
     
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  3. fishgutzy

    fishgutzy Senior Member Supporting Member

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    :eek::D:confused::(;)
     
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  4. Matt.Cross

    Matt.Cross Well-Known Member Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    Worked for an engineer once who was tasked with shooting the elevation of the edge of a pond with a GPS transit, prior to a draining and dredging operation. He queried the project manager over the sitewide common radio channel about why he wasn't averaging the elevation of the four corners of the pond.

    The next six weeks had daily occurrences of radio calls to the project manager by random coworkers whenever the engineer was on site to the effect of "Hey Sam, better get out here, the pond is tilted again and we're going to have to level it back up!".

    The regional manager for the company finally took pity on the engineer and told everyone on the project to leave him alone about leveling the pond.
     
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  5. georgel

    georgel Behind Every Blade of Grass Charter Member

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    Once, while working for a major local financial institution, my team was tasked with implementing a nationwide scope network project, that was not designed by us (me).
    The design was by a high level software programmer/project manager and he claimed exceptional performance due to inovative hardware implimentation. Even before we started, we warned upper management that the concept was flawed and would not work as planned. But, project was very high profile, had come too far and deadlines were looming. Dates were hard and effected every aspect of the institution.
    A few weeks into the implementation they finally come to the realization that "Umm... It doesn't work that way."
    They disbanded the original implementation team and created a new emergency recovery team to attempt to salvage the project. They flew a full high ranking, "connected" VP in from Dallas to lead the team and I was pulled over as the network tech lead for the project. Prior to this my primary role was lead network design engineer. I was the only remaining member of the original team. Not even my manager or any other members of the management team we're involved anymore. The VP out of TX reported directly to the CEO, I reported to him and we were given Carte Blanche. Fix it!
    We now had to redesign the network side of the project and implement it in half the time. The gotcha, he had come up with the high throughput design because he needed it for the software to work. Over the next several weeks the VP and I put in 14hr days and consumed vast amounts of manpower and resouces. We joked about writing postcards home so our kids would know we were alive. We called in and met with some of the top network designers in the country.
    To cut to the Chase (inside joke). We met our timeline (mostly). But, it cost the institution $2.2 million (yes million) over the original budget.
    So, yes I'm familiar with the idea of engineers not understanding the real world.
    ;)
     
  6. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Get over it, snowflake. Charter Life Member

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    Well, to be honest, in my field this isn't very much of a problem. However, I don't deal with the actual designing of components, more along the lines of installations, modification, and repairs.

    (I work as a nuclear engineer in a shipyard.)

    In my line of work, many specifications are "non-deviational" without proper authorization. Can't imagine why...

    ;)
     
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  7. noway2

    noway2 Senior Member Charter Life Member

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    In one job, I worked on designing fire pump controllers. I used to refer to the specs, such as the relevant portions of the NFPA as an electrical specification written by a bunch of plumbers.
     
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  8. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Get over it, snowflake. Charter Life Member

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    You know the stupid spec I'm waiting to come out?

    The change to the electrical code which will say electrical outlets must be installed with the ground plug UP...or the ground plug DOWN.

    There's absolutely NO effin' reason NOT to install it either way you want...but since there are people out there who will argue about this, SOMEBODY who is involved in setting the code will just HAVE to add that in there.
     
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  9. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Get over it, snowflake. Charter Life Member

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  10. MacEntyre

    MacEntyre Shoot on Sight! Charter Member

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    I worked with a bunch of instrument engineers once... an old timer was famous for "forgetting" one small item on a panel, and "remembering" it on the way to the installation. He would stop by Radio Shack and pick up a toggle switch, a push button, or something simple like that. There was always one little thing in the panel that came from Radio Shack.
     
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  11. noway2

    noway2 Senior Member Charter Life Member

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    Speaking of Radio Shack, a lot of my college professors worked at Goodyear Aerospace / Loral Defense Systems back in the Saint Ray Gun years. One time they were dog and pony showing a missile prototype that failed spectacularly. The military brass was pissed and demanded an investigation. It was determined that a component failure was at fault. They continued to investigate and realized the part was not up to spec and was from Radio Shack. They wrong out behind the building and discovered a whole bag full of Radio Shack blister packs from parts that were used on the prototype.
     
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  12. Catfish

    Catfish E Pluribus Mendacium Charter Member Supporting Member

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    How about this one from the other perspective:

    On a recent project I specced concrete with dark charcoal grey tint for contrast. I called the concrete plant to find out what they used for tint. They knew exactly what I wanted and told me X product from Y manufacturer at Z rate per yard, which I put in the spec. This resulted in a 45 minute conference call with a PM, regional manager, architect, engineer (me), GC and subcontractor because nobody could figure out WTF I wanted them to do.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018
  13. Goofyfoot2001

    Goofyfoot2001 Member

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    Whoa, wait just a minute, I swear there is somethin that say s you gotta mount the ground plug up if it's somethin, and down if it's another.

    I like this one but it is far easier in the dark to plug in if you are only shooting for the ground plug up and then you just ratchet your wrist downward to insert the other two leads.

    "In a dwelling unit it is easy to identify the switched receptacle by installing it opposite of the rest in the room.

    example: all normal receptacles with ground down and the switched with it up"
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018
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  14. georgel

    georgel Behind Every Blade of Grass Charter Member

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    I thought it was ground down, so it looked like a little face. :p Devices I've had that consume both outlets seem to orient ground down. Also, doesn't ground down naturally orient the connection screws to the right? So, if you have ground up, they were installed by a lefty?


    How many software engineers does it take to screw in a light bulb?





    None. It's a hardware problem. ;)
     
  15. Button Pusher

    Button Pusher Well-Known Member Benefactor

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    Fellow forum member would get drawings for large projects using non standard scale,
    would require all the drawings to be done all over again.

    This individual did not get his diploma from a Cracker Jack box, he printed it at home.
     
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  16. rotorhead

    rotorhead Active Member

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    I work on Airbus 319/320s. The maint company is owned by the Chinese. The plane is a whizkid conglomeration of all the finest idiot engineers from France, Germany, Italy, England and a few other places.

    The differences in design specs, interpretations, various units of measure and miscommunications across the board is astronomical, really. Design and maint spec changes are an hourly occurance.

    Add to this mix a constant FAA presence, wandering around auditing virtually everything.

    The ONLY reason I'm able to smile every day is because I practiced the same kind of constant chaos for 20 years in the Army. I know just where they're coming from ;)
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018
  17. concepthomes1

    concepthomes1 Your Neighbor Staff Member Charter Member Benefactor

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    I took [2] cross country flights a couple weeks ago in the A320....not impressed personally
     
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  18. Oneofsix

    Oneofsix Part-time alcoholic Charter Member

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    Lol, @rotorhead must be doing it right since you're still here...personally I don't like them either. I'd like them less if it were falling.

    Sent from notthedroidyourelookingfor
     
  19. 12151791

    12151791 [This Space is Available for Rent] Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    No, I did not get specs from an engineer that didn't know anything about.... but I did write couple of specs that way to find out who is paying attention :confused:
     
  20. jimmyjames8

    jimmyjames8 Active Member Supporting Member

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    Most specs in the world I came from were cut and paste from the previous project, etc, so on and so forth back to the dawn of time...OR...they are stock boiler plate spec from the design firm and have no real world value as the consulting engineer will roll over and allow anything if the customer who pays his bills only wants low bid anyway.
     
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  21. concepthomes1

    concepthomes1 Your Neighbor Staff Member Charter Member Benefactor

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    I've seen architects draw some crazy, cool stuff that if physics didn't matter, it'd work every time.

    But alas, I cannot install a steel beam with no bearing points.....and make it float.
     
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  22. ronn47

    ronn47 Where's the Scotch? Charter Member Benefactor Life Member

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    Your just missing the sky hook spec, ask for it and they'll supply you one.
     
  23. Button Pusher

    Button Pusher Well-Known Member Benefactor

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    If it's not a Boeing then I'm not going.
     
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  24. Burt Gummer

    Burt Gummer Comfortably Numb Staff Member Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    I regularly get plans drawn by an engineer for storm sewer installment projects. Since I’ve been the one running the crew, I think I’ve done 12 of these type jobs. 11 of them I’ve thrown the plans in the trash and ad libbed. That count?
     
  25. Jp8819

    Jp8819 Member Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    See this daily looking at electrical bids and its really funny when two lines totally contradict what the other states right above it for a product and the engineer is mad when you question it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018
  26. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Get over it, snowflake. Charter Life Member

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    No, this is BS.

    The NEC does not specify an orientation, period. The ground prong can be up, down, or the receptacle can be installed horizontally with the ground plug left or right.

    This isn't code, it's someone's "good idea"...and personally, I think that's an awesome idea IF SOMEONE WANTS TO DO THIS.

    Me? I don't find it difficult to either:

    - Know which receptacle is the switched one

    - Mark the switched receptacle ('cause Brother P-Touch labels are so neat this way)

    - Figure it out if I don't know ('cause I'm smart that way)


    And what about people who do split-receptacles, with one socket switched and the other not? AHHHH! PANIC!

    (Me, I wire the bottom one to the switch, leaving the top on easier to reach to plug other things into it. But that's me.)
     
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  27. Pack72

    Pack72 Member

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    Oh, crap. At this moment my son and his wife are on the way to the Dominican Republic on an Airbus 320. I wish I had waited until tomorrow to read this thread.
     
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  28. Stick

    Stick Senior Member

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    So, they had this argument back in the 1960s when requirements for equipment grounding on branch circuits first came out. There were some good arguments for putting the ground on top, mainly that when the outlet got old and loose, and plugs started to sag, it would only leave the (hopefully) non energized ground exposed. Around here in Durham where I work Northern Electric did them all like that for about 10 years before everyone, for no apparent good reason, standardized on putting the ground on the bottom.

    Today since electricians have started "coding" switched outlets by putting the grounds on top it is probably too late for code to specify where the ground has to be. And apparently it never mattered anyway, since I was told - 3 times in one afternoon - by the state's chief electrical inspector - that "they don't get around to changing code until there's a body count".
     
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  29. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Get over it, snowflake. Charter Life Member

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    And then there's the argument that the ground on the bottom keeps the ground prong connected to ground longer as the plug loosens from the socket.

    Whatever. The ground plug is longer than the others for a reason.

    If they're that effin' concerned, then make all the damn plugs/receptacles something like EIC 320 plugs.
     
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  30. MacEntyre

    MacEntyre Shoot on Sight! Charter Member

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    I used to include the acronym "RFPM" in my engineering reports to management. That way, I would know for sure that they did not read 'em, 'cause nobody ever asked me what "RFPM" meant. It was sad, but funny.
     
  31. MacEntyre

    MacEntyre Shoot on Sight! Charter Member

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    It means "Rusty Effen' Piece o' Metal", as in: "I placed the monitoring computer on an RFPM and connected to the control panel."
     
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  32. Carolinatlc

    Carolinatlc Member Charter Member Supporting Member

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    I’m a mechanical engineer but work in a technical sales roll. I understand.
    03D55FD6-A72D-4BF6-85E4-3A78CF5576A9.jpeg
     
  33. Oneofsix

    Oneofsix Part-time alcoholic Charter Member

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    I recently called out a Director of Product Management in a conference call when he tried to play off a question regarding implementation by saying the answer could be found in the manual with "So you're saying RTFM ?"
    He stuttered and I just laughed it off.

    Sent from notthedroidyourelookingfor
     
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  34. georgel

    georgel Behind Every Blade of Grass Charter Member

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    That reminds me of watching Tony Blair fielding questions in Parliment, when he would say something like, "In addressing that question, I kindly refer my honorable collegue to the answer I gave, just moments before."
     
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  35. MacEntyre

    MacEntyre Shoot on Sight! Charter Member

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    In differential calculus, it's RTDQ... Read The Dang Question!
     
  36. Traceround

    Traceround turtles all the way down

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    Not with that attitude you can’t..
    :D
     
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  37. concepthomes1

    concepthomes1 Your Neighbor Staff Member Charter Member Benefactor

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    I'm going to use that next time an inspector says he's going to fail me
     
  38. Traceround

    Traceround turtles all the way down

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    I use it with my inspectors all the time...
    they love it
     

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