General & Electronic Instrument Building Quiz

The purpose of this quiz is not to produce a score or grade, but to promote discussion, find your areas of expertise, and explore your approach to problem solving. The questions are purposely difficult, open ended, and cover a wide range of test bench related topics.
  1. You have a fine new 300 MHz oscilloscope and are looking for fast pulses on a digital line. You see that the pulses are present, but the amplitude is below legal logic limits for the chips you are using and the rise and fall times are slow. You check your X1 probe on the internal calibrator, and the amplitude appears correct. What do you do next?
  2. What do the SMT component numbers like 1206, 0803, 0602, 0402 and 0201 signify?
  3. If a microprocessor isn't working, what are the first things to check for?
  4. What is the voltage difference between the two inputs of a correctly operating op-amp in a typical non-inverting X10 configuration?
  5. Describe an SOT23 part.
  6. List five types of resistors and explain the differences.
  7. List five types of capacitors and explain the differences.
  8. What types of solder and flux systems are in common use, how do they differ, and what's RoHS?
  9. You just got a great deal on a used stereo amplifier. It has several button head cap screws with stripped-out sockets. How do you remove them without scratching up the amp?
  10. As an engineering technician, you have a variety of "customers". Who are they?
  11. List three good ways to find an intermittent circuit fault.
  12. What's the most common problem area with electronic devices?
  13. What do you need to put on your head before any fabrication or assembly work takes place?
  14. You have written a computer program for testing a component used by manufacturing. How do you insure that the program can be understood and maintained in the future?
  15. What's an ESD event, who are the "walking wounded" and why are they so expensive?
  16. Explain the "diode" function of a DVM and how to check a PNP and NPN transistor.
  17. What is usually signified by a warm or hot tantalum capacitor?
  18. When a voltage regulator output is noisy, what should you check for? Hint- there is nothing wrong with the regulator itself.
  19. What's the most effective way to remove a defective thru-hole IC without board damage if you don't have a fancy desoldering station?
  20. Extra credit- How might you measure the height of a building using a barometer?