Adjust One

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Hee Haw made good on her promise to rig me up with a more technical job. I’m a little surprised she followed through with it since most supervisors here are notorious for not doing what they say they’re gonna do.

I’ve moved out of the Signal Generator instrument assembly area into test. The first station in our test process is Adjust One. What happens there is a raw box goes through a series of procedures and programs that set initial tuning ranges on some circuitboards. It’s also supposed to set general frequency ranges and check for basic functionality. Since I don’t have a technical background or any schooling in the field of electronics, there’s only so much I can do if I find a problem. One strength I do have is years of experience working with this stuff. Already I’ve spotted damaged or missing components on a few boards so I can just go ahead and replace or repair that crap on my own. Saves everyone else a bunch of time. So far though most of the time I find a failure I just troubleshoot down to the board or microcircuit level and replace that. Board swapping is easy, but removing and replacing a microcircuit from the RF deck portion of a box is always a total pain in the ass. Takes a bunch of time and an operator has to do almost a complete tear-down of the RF deck assembly. Kind of nasty.

The station I’m working at consists of two identical eight foot tall test racks placed at either end of a long workbench. Two people could run boxes through Adjust One at the same time, one tester at each rack. We’d be rubbing elbows sitting back to back though. For now it’s just me and when I’m feeling ambitious I’ll hook up two boxes and jump back and forth all night long from test rack to test rack. It’s fun. The equipment I’m using to test our Sig Gens with is vintage, most of it 1970s-80s era and all of it our own brand. I can tell what decade each unit is from by the style of front panel keys or CRT screen. 1970s oscilloscopes for example will generally have a rather pretty sky blue colored screen while a 1980s Spectrum Analyzer will have a bright emerald green monochrome display like an old Apple II computer. I prefer working with our vintage equipment. It seems like the old stuff was always better made. More rugged, more reliable.

Working here in test I’m starting all over again like a shit for brains. Thankfully the swing shift tech crew has been really helpful. Wah, TC, and a Crazy Redhead are babysitting me. They are spending alot of their time answering my questions and showing me the ropes. Pretty cool. I’m having a good time with this change. There is an element of screwyness to it though. A guy named Barney works kind of off to the side of our test area as a technician on a smaller Sig Gen product. He doesn’t seem able to keep his mouth shut during the shift and he constantly says absurd shit. Barney doesn’t seem very technically skilled, either. For now I’m just going to keep quiet and observe…

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~ by factorypeasant on January 14, 2006.

One Response to “Adjust One”

  1. kekekekekekeke

    the “original” creme of sum_yung_guy!

    best tech ever!

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