The iNARTE Informer – December 2011

The iNARTE office has switched to a wintertime schedule. With the shorter daylight hours and the local school schedules, we will be open at the usual 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday to Thursday, but only from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm on Fridays.

Of course you can call outside these hours and leave us messages. We will get back to you with detailed answers as soon as we can. Answers to most questions, together with the forms for exam registration and certification applications and renewals, are all available on our web site www.narte.org.


IEEE PSES Symposium 2011

As reported last month, we were fortunate to be able to attend the IEEE PSES event in San Diego. The venue was the Hilton Mission Valley Hotel, whose staff did a great job of accommodating the attendees and catering the event. If you have not visited San Diego for many years, as we had not, you will be amazed at how the city has grown. The best new experience for us was the short walk from the hotel to the San Diego Trolley, with direct service to Old Town and then convenient connections to all parts of the city and surrounding areas.

The PSE Society is still a relatively small but very enthusiastic group. This year about 150 of the approximate 875 society members attended the symposium, but iNARTE was not able to persuade anyone to register for the certification examination. We could not understand why anyone would turn down an eight hour examination, when the only real alternative would be to wander around San Diego (Figure 1).

 

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Figure 1: The PSES needed to alert the city to the “unsafe sail condition” on the Star of India.

Annual Meeting With KEC in Japan

iNARTE travelled directly to Kyoto, Japan from the PSES event in San Diego. Kyoto is the headquarters for KEC, our Japanese Regional Partner. Once again KEC was the winner of our Best Regional Partner award for 2011 (Figure 2), having registered more than 250 candidates for certification examinations this year.

 

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Figure 2: Brian Lawrence presents the Regional Partner award for 2011 to KEC’s new Senior Managing Director, Mr. Yuichi Fujii, here with members of KEC’s iNARTE support team.

KEC offers iNARTE certification programs in Product Safety Engineering and EMC, together with the new jointly developed EMC Design Engineer program. Almost half of iNARTE’s PSE certificate holders are in Japan and the other half are in the USA. We have been unsuccessful in developing interest in this certification discipline outside these two countries. Having the ability to discuss the future strategic direction for this program with KEC immediately following the PSE symposium was most opportune.

A careful analysis of the industry sector affiliations of our certificate holders shows that the vast majority are involved with the Audio/Video and IT communities. The only other two sectors well represented are Consumer Electrics/Electronics and Medical/Measurement/Calibration/Laboratory Equipment. With this demographic in mind, we have decided to modify the format of our PSE examinations for 2012.

With just a couple of months to go before we close the Master EMC Design Engineer certification under our grandfatherd scheme, participation and interest has been high, both here and in Japan. KEC held their first conventional examination for the basic EMC Design Engineers on October 24th. We had thought that about 20 candidates would register for this first time event, but twice that number signed up. We look forward to tabulating the results of that first examination with great interest.

A New PSE Exam Format For 2012

Our practice in the past has been to offer the PSE Exam in two Parts, similar to many of our other programs. Part 1, a four hour session, was mainly populated with general knowledge questions common to most industries. Part 2, another four hour session, had a lot of industry specific standards and practices questions for different industries.

In coordination with KEC, as discussed above, we feel that applicants with specific knowledge from one industry sector may not want to take an examination where a high percentage of questions relate to specifications and standards peculiar to another sector. Accordingly we plan to change the exam format for 2012 to allow applicants to certify their knowledge and expertise in specific sectors, while still demonstrating a high level of general knowledge in the discipline.

The new Part 1 exam will be divided into two sections, Part 1(a) will be a 4 hour session and Part 1(b) will be a two hour session. Questions in both sections will be general in nature. The only reason for having two sections is to allow candidates a reasonable break period. Part 1(a) will be 48 questions, from which 40 should be answered. Part 1(b) will be 24 questions, from which 20 should be answered.

The new Part 2 will be a 2 hour session with 24 questions, from which 20 should be attempted. Candidates can select from three Part 2 paper choices according to their industry sector experience: A/V and IT, Consumer Electrics/Electronics, and Medical/Measurement/Calibration/Laboratory Equipment. Candidates will receive both Part 1(b) and Part 2 papers together, and will be able to allocate the four hour session between the two papers according to their own desire.

A passing grade will be an average of 70% correct answers between the Part 1(a), Part 1(b) and Part 2 papers, but must include a minimum of 14 correct answers from Part 2. Successful candidates will receive their certificates with an endorsement showing their specific field of expertise. Candidates may attempt different Part 2 papers at any time and add further endorsements to their certificate.

Register for Certification Exams

There are no more symposiums or workshop events planned for 2011 where iNARTE will proctor certification examination. However, all examination candidates should visit our web site at http://www.narte.org/h/testcenters.asp to find an Authorized Test Center that is convenient for travel. Then in the registration page at http://www.narte.org/h/examregform.asp, just enter that selected test center and we will make the arrangements from that point.

If none of our centers are conveniently located for you, please email or call our office. We probably can arrange one of the following alternatives:

  • Find a local Community College that is willing to proctor an exam.
  • Ask a responsible person from another department in your own company who is willing to proctor the exam.
  • A local public library may provide a quite room and a proctor.

Question of the Month

Last month we asked:

What is the minimum acceptable insulation thickness for primary windings of a limited power supply transformer of an IT product operated at 120VAC?

A. 1.0 mm
B. 0.4 mm
C. 0.1 mm
D. 0.8 mm

The correct answer is B. 0.4 mm

The question this month is:

Which of the spectrum analyzer CRT displays of the same signal (below) shows the narrowest resolution bandwidth?

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A. a
B. b
C. c

 

author_lawrence-brian Brian Lawrence
began his career in electro-magnetics at Plessey Research Labs, designing “Stealth” materials for the British armed services. In 1973 he moved to the USA and established a new manufacturing plant for Plessey to provide these materials to the US Navy. In 1980 he joined the “Rayproof” organization to develop an RF Anechoic Test Chamber product line. As a result of acquisitions, Rayproof merged into Lindgren RF Enclosures, and later into ETS-Lindgren. Following a career spanning more than 40 years in the electromagnetic compatibility field, Brian Lawrence retired as Managing Director of ETS-Lindgren UK in 2006. Later that year he assumed the position of Executive Director for the National Association of Radio and Telecommunications Engineers, NARTE. Now renamed iNARTE, the Association has expanded its operations and is today an affiliate of RABQSA under the overall banner of the American Society for Quality, ASQ.

 

 

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