I was a manufacturing Engineer for Zenith and worked with the System 3 television when it was first released. The System 3 was the first product Zenith designed without an isolation transformer. This seemed to terrify Underwriters Laboratories® (UL®).
The R&D lab that I worked for purchased a couple of Rockwell AIM-65 single board computers. The AIM-65 used the 6502 microprocessor, and it had a built-in keyboard and 20 character printer. The printers were super helpful when debugging programs. The 6502 microprocessor powered the Commodore PET, the Apple II, and the Atari 2600 game console.
Titanium dioxide is used to make plastic film brilliant white. For the R&D lab that for, I designed and built a device to measure the concentration of titanium dioxide in plastic film. Coming up with the idea, designing it and building it helped me realize that I really enjoyed building devices. This eventually led me to starting my own company that focused on developing marketable electronic devices.
Who doesn’t like a good explosion? That’s why the Die Hard movie series has been so successful. Well, my story doesn’t match John McCain’s, but it was plenty of excitement for me. I had begun work as an electronics technician for CBS in their tape division. Well, let me tell you what happened.
If you’ve ever seen or heard a cassette tape or an 8-track tape or bought a blank cassette tape, then there’s a high probability that I worked on the machine that made it. Early on in my career, I was an electronics technician, and for five years I worked for Columbia Broadcasting Systems (CBS) in their cassette and 8-track tape factory – wow, do I have some stories!
In my previous podcast I spoke about the time I measured the voltage on a corona bar, a real one, not the beer. For this same company, I was challenged to design a safety device. I did, but it was the catalyst that nearly got me fired!
Today’s story is about when I worked in an R&D lab for a plastics company. I needed to take some measurements across a corona bar. The corona was 80 kV at frequencies between 15-25 kHz. It was fun, but my on-lookers made me a bit nervous.
I flew from Chicago to Milan and was then driven to San Martina Del Rio, a small town with a population of about 8,000. I was there to install a computer-based machine control system I’d built. Wow, was I in for a surprise with I walked into the printing plant!
In this episode, I’m talking about when I was a full-time instructor in advanced industrial electronics for Indiana Vocational Technical College (IVY Tech). For one of my labs, I challenged my students to build an analog amplifier from a 7405 TTL logic chip. It was a blast!
In the beginning of the computer revolution, information about semiconductors (microprocessors, A/D converters, RAM, DRAM, EPROM, etc.) was only available in books that the semiconductor manufacturers printed. The semiconductor representatives were the lifeblood of our revolution!