Posted on September 23, 2009 at 5:42 pm

Educated like it’s 1984

The folks over at Screaming Circuits keep a blog, or at least one of them does.  I tend to read it occasionally.  Recently Duane Benson made the point that colleges tend to educate EEs like it’s 1984.  I think it’s important that students get exposed to thru-hole because they’relikely to be able to unerstand that better, but they do definitely need to learn SMT in this day and age.  Thru-hole lets you see whats going on, and is much more clear to diagnose and troubleshoot.  You can actually clip onto the leads of chips in thru-hole.  In SMT you may have to bring the wire out to a test point that you can use.  Also the equipment for making finer pitch board is more expensive because it’s ore precise, as are the boards.  College is already a very expensive proposition.

Thats not to say that every college doesn’t do this, but many don’t.  I’m sure that students wold benefit from courses in Advanced design that covered modern SMT practices. I’ve personally had a hard time finding dummy kits and things like that in order to practice SMT skills.  There’s at least one company that makes them, but they apparently don’t sell them here in the US.