Maker Pro
Maker Pro

when you learnt and become pro, did anything amazing happen?

ratstar

Aug 20, 2018
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I was just wondering, because I feel like im nearly ready to fledge my wings and take off from my parents nest. (if i was a bird, and im not.) What was it like for some of the more knowledgeable guys/gallahs here - any huge life changing experience?
 
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kellys_eye

Jun 25, 2010
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I imagine there would be many and varied responses to this query.....

Personally I was a stay-at-home kinda kid myself but enrolled into college to train as a radio operator (deep sea oil tankers) that first took me away from home to training college (all paid for by my sponsor employers) and then to 6-month trips away at sea, traveling the world.

From 'nothing' to global adventure in two short years of training! The money was great (way in excess of any of my shore-based mates) and gave me the income and experience to be fully independent, purchasing my own car and house before I was 21.
 

ratstar

Aug 20, 2018
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Thanks for kind reply, thats really cool... sounds a bit scary to me to go on an adventure like that, but I guess thats what youthful bravery is for, to dive you into new places.

Of the equipment you worked on, can u draw up a communication radio schematic yourself now?
Im kissing being an invalid programmer goodbye and moving onto hardware... i even had a look at gas hot water system out the back of my house for once in my whole USELESS life!!!

I pretty much can draw up my own little handheld lcd game now, im just playing around with ideas about what im going to do.

But I feel very excited - the hard stuff isnt so hard after all.
 

kellys_eye

Jun 25, 2010
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I went into pro radio comms as an amateur radio enthusiast so wasn't entirely clueless. I could already design (simple) receivers and transmitters before attending college but learned more theory there.

My knowledge of microprocessors was also self taught (I was in at the start i.e. the 8080 and 6502) and missed an opportunity to get a job in that industry as a system designer but ended up self employed (eventually) where I was happiest - doing my own thing, when I wanted and for good money. There are disadvantages to self employment but it's still a route to consider if you have the skills.
 

(*steve*)

¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd
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Unfortunately I never became a pro. I just turn tricks on the weekend for extra cash.

I can't believe I said that.
 

hevans1944

Hop - AC8NS
Jun 21, 2012
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If I ever get bored in retirement, and get a workbench set up again, maybe I will try to "turn a few tricks on weekends for extra cash." Gotta be careful though... I never did get a Professional Engineer license after graduating college in 1978 because none of my (mostly) Department of Defense contractor employers required it. But if I want to hang out a shingle here in Florida to practice electrical engineering I need a PE license. Everything you do in Florida requires some sort of permit and/or license. OTOH... there is no State income tax.

I would suggest that @ratstar stay in school as long as possible, acquire as many credentials and experience as possible, and not be too anxious to leave the safety and comfort of his parents nest. That's what a nest is for: a safe place to nourish and educate fledglings.

My father divorced my mother after he retired from the Air Force and moved to Dayton, Ohio, to partner in a new business with his brother-in-law. I was then a nineteen year-old recent high school graduate, now technically homeless and without any marketable skills as an electronics hobbyist. So, I joined the Air Force and spent four years as an enlisted airman, learning as much electronics as I could on the Government's dime. In 1967 I talked my way into a good job as an electronics technician working for a local university. Eleven years later I had earned my Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree from that same university, on their dime as a full-time employee and part-time student. I did have to pay for my books as an out-of-pocket expense, but tuition was free.

A year after graduating college (1978), I left the "ivory tower" of academia to accept a job as an electrical engineer in a "real" company, staying there another twelve years. Initially I was working with Intel 8080 and 8085 embedded processor designs, but later advanced to embedding complete IBM PCs into my designs. Along the way I perforce had to learn some software, starting with BASIC and FORTRAN in college and moving on to Assembly for the Intel microprocessors. Later I dabbled in C, but by 1990 I was using "professional" programmers to code programs for my embedded PC solutions.

The end of my professional career found me operating and maintaining a small tandem particle accelerator at a private R&D laboratory, which I did from 1996 until forced to retire in 2014 because of lack of work for the ancient particle accelerator. It was fun while it lasted, and almost like being back in academia, except more compartmentalized.

If I had it to do all over, I think one change I would make would be to obtain an Ohio PE license immediately after graduation from college. That would have meant delaying the move into the "real world" from the secure "ivory tower" of academia for at least another year, but I was too anxious to move on to even consider that. Like when I turned down the opportunity to become an electronics instructor for the Air Force, after graduating from advanced electronics school training at Lowry AFB in Denver. With 20-20 hindsight I see I should have taken them up on that offer, but I was anxious to get out in the field, on the flight line, and work on real electronics installed in B-52H heavy bombers armed to the hilt with nuclear weapons. What a thrill! If I couldn't go to Vietnam and shoot people, maybe I could aid and abet World War Three! Ahem... while defending the Free World of course. The 1960s were "interesting times," but somehow we all managed to survive it.
 
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Minder

Apr 24, 2015
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im nearly ready to fledge my wings and take off from my parents nest. What was it like for some of the more knowledgeable guys/gallahs here -

For me I had no choice.
I had an invitation from Her Majesty to join her in the Western Desert for a couple of years, needless to say she didn't show, so it was just me and a few others who also got the invitation!.:rolleyes:
M.
 

Cannonball

May 6, 2017
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For me the excitement started when I got to where you are now. A friend of mine taught me how to talk through my car radio using a bullhorn speaker under the hood of my 1955 dodge sedan. I was hooked from then on.

I wanted to learn more and the more I learned the more I wanted to learn and it was very exciting I took a course in radio and tv. I then took a course in radio communications. I then got my FCC license.

It was all very exciting and I got a job in a Motorola service shop. Electronics became the way I made a living and My hobby.

Stay wit it and have fun.
 

BobK

Jan 5, 2010
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I quit grad school after passing the PhD qualifier because I was tired of being poor, taking an MS degree in computer science. And I did it during a recession. Had to move to Kansas to get a job in my speciality (compilers) at NCR Corp. Yes, they made computers. Two years later I was in New Hampshire, working for Digital Equipment Corp (maker of PDP-11 and VAX) I then went out on my own, creating and selling a Modula 2 compiler, and taking consulting contracts. I ended up my career at Intel, And the pay was very good by that time. Now happily retired.

Bob
 

ratstar

Aug 20, 2018
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Oppsy... I have to first get something out of the way...

Looks ive caused a bit of a hoax. I was only talking about the nest thing metaphorically, im actually 37, im not a kid, but i mean "IN electronics" i am - Thats what I meant, sorry about the miscommunication.
My explanation skills are getting very lazy indeed.

Steve - weekend cash? Im looking for something to do more seriously, cause I have a superfluous amount of motivation I need to apply to something.

Hevans1944-
Nuclear bombers! The only problem with weapons like these is they dont have much use except war so they never see the light of day, and similar to a museum piece, what they end up being used for. I was into my fair share of the young men's violent entertainment. (transformers, g.i.joe. etc...) and now I have to realize inventions in this area are only good for what else they do other than kill ppl, otherwise your just having a childish fantasy - and it stays that way.

But funnily enough - I am thinking about doing something dangerous...

CannonBall-
I feel that ive passed the need for school (sorry about that misunderstanding i put forth...) Id end up stepping on the teachers feet too much during the class (another metaphor waiting to blow up in my face), im actually ready to go off to start my business now!

BobK-
Thats amazing, and scary at the same time, I better watch out when I am this mans presence.
 

hevans1944

Hop - AC8NS
Jun 21, 2012
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The only problem with weapons like these is they dont have much use except war so they never see the light of day
Not sure what you mean by that statement about "never see the light of day."

It is true that the B-52 fleet has never participated in a nuclear war, but the later versions did participate in the Vietnam war, flying from Guam to bomb Hanoi and "other targets" of opportunity, not necessarily in Vietnam. The B-52H fleet, the last model built and currently still in service, was (and is) part of the US nuclear "triad" of bombers, silo-launched ballistic missiles, and submarine-launched ballistic missiles that confronted the Soviet Union with the threat of Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) during the Cold War of the 1950s through the dissolution of the USSR in December 1991.

The B-52H has been extensively updated, modified, and re-engined since I worked on it in the 1960s. The eight turbojet engines were replaced with more efficient turbofan engines. The remote-controlled, radar operated, 20mm Gatling gun that I helped to maintain was removed in 1991, as the aircraft now depends on sophisticated electronics, decoys, and fighter air support to survive its current missions. No B-52s have been lost in combat since the Vietnam War, conducting conventional bombing (high explosives and incendiaries) against targets in 1991. During the Persian Gulf War, B-52Gs were flown from Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean but also from as far away as the mainland United States to strike targets in Iraq. After 1994 the B-52H was the only version remaining in service. It was used during the Bosnian conflict and the Kosovo conflict in the 1990s, during the Afghanistan War (2001–14), and in the air campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Some military analysts predict the B-52H will still be performing an active role through the middle of this century. It is a perfected, precision, high-altitude, bomb delivery platform for both conventional and nuclear weapons, capable of reaching anywhere in the world from any base in the world in less than twenty-four hours with air-to-air refueling and superior air support. The BUFF (Big Ugly Fat Fellow) has a lot of history and a lot of life still left in him. Read more about it here.
 

Braeden Hamson

Feb 18, 2016
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Oppsy... I have to first get something out of the way...

Looks ive caused a bit of a hoax. I was only talking about the nest thing metaphorically, im actually 37, im not a kid, but i mean "IN electronics" i am - Thats what I meant, sorry about the miscommunication.

Haha I'm glad for the "hoax" reading these stories sure helped this kid who's nervous about the future.
 

Hopup

Jul 5, 2015
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Just my personal suggestion, if you want to invent/build something meaningful in its true sense, study the history of electricity and electronics. Don't study only textbooks, but personal notes and research material also. Start from the very beginning and go thought all the major inventors as much as you can. There are a lot of ideas "hidden" in research materials / patents, between the words, which are just ready to be made into reality in the form of new inventions. The patent search engines are excellent way for acquiring knowledge on many instances new and old stuff both.

I think the quotes from Tesla are still quite true in their sense and you can use their meaning for engineering just as well.

“Scientists today think deeply rather than clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane. “

“Today’s scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander thru equation after equation, and eventually build a structure which has no basis in reality.”
 
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