[Table of Contents]People old and young enjoy waxing nostalgic about
and learning some of the history of early electronics. Popular Electronics was published from October 1954 through April
1985. As time permits, I will be glad to scan articles for you. All copyrights (if any) are hereby acknowledged.
Preparing for a technician
career in electronics today is not so different than it was in 1970, when this article on resume preparation appeared in Popular
Electronics. Sure, particular job descriptions have changed, but the basics are pretty much the same. In 1970,
being able to list television and radio repair on your resume was a valuable indication of your schematic reading
and troubleshooting prowess. The keywords Sams Photofacts would jump right off the page at a knowledgeable
interviewer (you can still buy documentation packages from
Sams Technical Publishing
). Then, as now, having a two-year college electronics degree or a stint in the armed
forces as an electronics technician - or both, preferably - is almost a requirement for landing a job at a defense
or aerospace electronics company.
See all articles
Opportunity Mirror Thoughtful Reflections on Your Future
Third in a
Monthly Series, By David L. Heiserman Preparing a Resume
notice that most "help wanted" ads request a resume from the applicant. I
have never prepared one. What information should I include in a resume?
Your resume should be as brief and factual as possible, but do not
leave out any important or interesting information about yourself that might
help you get the job. The following items must be included in your resume:
1. Full legal name.
2. Home address
and telephone number.
3. Personal information. (Date of
birth, marital status, and number of dependents.)
4. Educational background.
(Name and location of your high school and any college, technical school or
military school you have attended and the amount of time spent at each. Describe
the major courses you studied and indicate any certificates, diplomas, degrees,
or honors you have received. Detail any home study courses you have completed
and name the schools and describe the courses.)
5. Work experience.
(List your last employer first and then the names and addresses of all previous
employers showing the date you started working and the date you left each
employer. Also include the name of the immediate supervisor at your last place
of employment. Describe the kinds of work you performed for each employer
and the titles of the positions held. Name any special equipment you have
worked on - military or civilian. Lastly, give an honest reason for your leaving
6. Military and draft status, including any military experience.
(Show dates, duties and rank.)
7. Special interests. (Detail your
hobbies and favorite pastimes.)
Don't be afraid to prepare one master
resume and to send copies (Xerox or other) of your resume to different prospective
employers. However, be sure to attach a personal note to each prospective
employer telling who you are and why you are submitting the resume.
I work in a TV service shop
and we have a complete file of Sams Photofacts. I use at least three different
folders of schematics and maintenance data every day. In the years that I've
worked at the service shop I've never discovered how Sams develops these valuable
folders. Is it true that errors are occasionally put in the schematics to
circumvent the equipment manufacturers' copyrights?
Since 1948, Howard
W. Sams & Company has been publishing complete circuit schematics, parts
lists, troubleshooting hints, and maintenance tips on just about every TV,
radio, and phonograph made in the United States. These folder packets of information
are available at a modest price from most of the large electronics retailers
and are considered the bibles of the TV and radio service industry.
It is not true that errors are intentionally introduced. In fact, Sams
is very careful to avoid errors of any kind. According to Les Nelson, Director
of the Photofact division of Howard W. Sams, all of the schematics are original
and not copies of the circuits distributed by the manufacturer.
seems hard to believe, but Sams develops the schematics the hard way-by tracing
the circuit on working models of the equipment. Sams has a staff of about
60 technicians who trace out the schematics, take voltage readings, photograph
oscilloscope waveforms, and develop maintenance and alignment techniques.
Sams also has an expensive staff of draftsmen, photographers, and artists
to put together the Photofact folders.
Most manufacturers are so pleased
with the services provided by Sams that new working models of home entertainment
electronic equipment are loaned to the Sams laboratory as soon as the first
models are off the production line.
Electronics technicians and draftsmen
interested in more information about job opportunities with Howard W. Sams
should write to: Mr. Frank Wallace, Personnel Department, Howard W. Sams &
Company Inc., 4300 West 62nd Street, Indianapolis, IN 46206.
Wallace tells us that he is especially interested in hearing from people who
have completed training at a two-year technical school, and have had several
years experience in home entertainment manufacturing or servicing.
I am a senior in high school
and have always bad a great interest in electronics. I also have a ham radio
license. I would like to teach electronics, but my school counselor hasn't
been able to find any material on how to prepare for a career in this particular
field. He has information about science and the industrial arts, but nothing
on electronics. Is there anything different about the kind of training an
electronics teacher must have?
I assume that you do not want, or intend,
to teach electronics in high school. Very few high schools offer any courses
in electronics. Those few schools that do use their regular science teachers,
or hire a part-time electronics teacher. Generally speaking, electronics in
high school is usually at a hobby level.
In order to teach electronics
full time, you should be shooting for a teaching job in a vocational school
or a two-year technical college.
Teachers at accredited vocational
schools and technical colleges must have college degrees in the subjects they
teach. Since you want to teach electronics, your counselor should find you
a good university where you can study electrical/electronic engineering.
If you don't want to teach at the vocational level, you must get a
college degree in education and according to the rules of the various educational
colleges, a prospective teacher must "minor" in a secondary subject that he
can also teach. Unfortunately, electronics is not one of the minors offered
by any of the usual education colleges. If you want to teach electronics in
high school, you will probably find it necessary to have a minor in science.
Even with a degree in education and a minor in science, you should
have formal electronics training. Let your counselor help you select a home
study course in electronics technology. Electronic Organ Repair
Here is a case where the tail may be wagging the dog! I have been working
as a digital circuit design technician for six years. Last Christmas I bought
my family the large Heathkit electronic organ. I became so entranced by organ
circuits that I am seriously considering getting into the electronic organ
repair business. However, is there such a thing?
The electronic organ
manufacturers that we have talked to all tell us that they hire organ repairmen
and technicians who can meet two principal qualifications: a good solid background
in electronics, and at least a one-finger ability to play the instrument.
However, the electronic organ repair business is very specialized
and it is doubtful that you can make it a going business just by yourself.
Each organ is a different design and it would appear to us that your best
bet would be to try part-time electronic organ servicing in behalf of a large
music store or organ dealer's service shop.
If the shop thinks you
are qualified, they may have you tag along with an experienced technician.
Then, they'll probably ask you to go to a full-time factory school for a week
or so - with pay, of course.
At these factory schools the instructors
will tell you about the circuits used in their organs and how to cure the
most common bugs and defects.
From that point on, you will be a specialist
in that particular brand of electronic organ. And, you can expect to spend
at least a week each year back at the factory brushing up on new circuits
and maintenance tricks. If you happen to get a job with one of the larger
companies you'll also be spending several days a year at regional seminars.
The career opportunities in electronic organ repair appear to be very
good at the present time. Organ sales are rising steadily and there is a demand
for top-notch repair technicians. At the same time we cannot disguise the
fact that the complexity of organ electronics is increasing at an alarming
rate. Organ dealers are paying top wages to attract and keep electronics technicians
who feel at home with modern solid-state computer-type circuits.
you don't want to get too involved, you might contact the Niles Bryant School,
3631 Stockton Boulevard, Sacramento, California 95820 concerning a home study
course on electronic organ repair.