|I am in the US NAVY and I have troubleshot and taught electronic systems
for 17 years. I have an illustration of the mental process that must occur
while troubleshooting. My students found this example helpful in achieving
the correct mental reference point. I use the illustration of a deck of
cards. I select a card from the deck. I alone know what the
card is. I then ask a student to guess what card I am holding. He
of course says that he can't. I tell them you can simply by asking
the right questions. For instance:
Q. Is the card a red suit or a black suit?
Q. Is it a heart or a diamond?
Q. Is it a face card or a number card?
Q. Is the number 5 or below (the ace is the number 1)?
Q. Is the number odd or even?
* It is now clear that only two possibilities still exist; the 7 or
9 of diamonds.
The moral of the story is to be an effective troubleshooter you have to be able to ask the right questions. Each question should lead you closer to the problem area by eliminating possibilities. The key to the whole process is knowing your equipment. In the case of the deck of cards the student would not have been able to ask meaningful questions if he/she wasn't completely familiar with the deck of cards. This implies mental preparation beforehand. This is why I always stress getting your nose into the technical publications and always keep your ears open to the voice of experience. It has and always will be the greatest teacher.
S.M Hesley Electronic Warfare Technician / First Class PS. Great Web Site!
Mr. Hesley -- thanks so much for your wonderful contribution.
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