Richard Meyer's profile
I received my BSEE from The Ohio State University in 1979. I hold 10 U.S. Patents and over 40 International Patents in the fields of Television and Optical design. I retired from Texas Instruments as a Member of the Technical Staff. I am a Registered Professional Engineer in the State of Texas.
Model A's contributions
- What happened to my scope?
- The new super bright LED screen is now using Laser LED's that are hot enough to cook breakfast.
- Time-tested technical tools and techniques
- The Simpson 260 Volt-Ohm-Meter (VOM) is still used today in our Lab. It works wonders as a troubleshooting aid for diodes, transistors, capacitors, and various voltage adjustments. Modern digital meters do not deliver enough current through the probes to forward bias a diode. The same goes for checking out transistors. Also, the analog meter is great to troubleshoot a capacitor since you can see the meter move when you charge or discharge the device. Try adjusting the zero point on a plus and minus voltage circuit. Nothing works better than an old fashioned analog meter. The Simpson 260 meter was introduced back in the 1950's and is still available brand new today with only minor modifications from it's original design. Truely, a piece of common test equipment that has spanned over 60 years and counting.
- 5 Engineers: What's your favorite geek book?
- Flatland was made into an educational movie just a few years ago. Do a search on "Flatland" and you will find it. Last year the same folks created the movie Sphereland. Both movies are very good and have won several academic awards. I am biased as the movie's animator, Dano Johnson, is my nephew.
- Did a teacher help you along the path to engineering?
- I want to thank my 10th grade Plane Geometry teacher, Mrs. Carey. As a prank I took the front of the text book that read in large letters "Plane Geometry" and added a few more words to the title. It now read as "I'm Just Plane Stupid When it Comes to Geometry". This little prank actually started a very good learning relationship with the teacher that continued throughout my high school years. I met her again many years later to tell her that I was now an Electrical Engineer. She still remembered my book title.
- What’s your advice to this year’s engineering grads?
- Amen, Amen about getting your PE License. There are not that many Electrical Engineers that have their PE compared to Mechanical Engineers. I am the only PE at the place where I work and Government contracts require the stamp on all final test data. Hmmm, talk about job security! I also graduated about 40 years ago and have never regretted getting that PE license. I started mine in Ohio, then transferred it to Arkansas, and then transferred it again to Texas. It's a gift that keeps on giving no matter where your career takes you.
- 5 Engineers: What's the most impressive, interesting, or intriguing DIY project you’ve ever done?
- Check out the picture to the left. My money pit on wheels is a 1931 Ford Model A Deluxe Roadster complete with a rumble seat. I rebuilt everything back to original condition but the painting was professionally done. The key to a successful project like this is to save up all your receipts for parts, then burn them at the end of the year. Henry Ford sold it for $475 back in 1931. It's valued between $20K and $25K today.
- What are the best practical jokes ever engineered?
- Everyone on our lab used the same password "factory" to log into the computer system. This was back in the days of Windows 3.11. One of the Engineers took my co-workers computer and installed the optional German keyboard that was part of Windows. The actual keyboard was not changed. The German keyboard option swaps the keys "Y" and "Z". Therefore, the password would no longer work since the letter "Y" was used. The Engineer could never figure that one out. We could log in on his computer for him, since we knew the secret, but he could not. This computer geek never figured it out on his own. Even the computer support folks were puzzled.