How did you get into electronics/ engineering and when did you start?I started electronics when I was around 14. At that time, there was a plethora of hobbyist magazines describing how to build light-show stuff (so-called psychedelic modulators), power amplifiers, radio emitters etc. Friends were also bringing me things to repair and that’s how I started to learn electronics. I was also collecting antic radios from which I remember the glowing magic eye tube UM34. Trying to fix them was a funny exercise and I was tripping the breaker several times a week as these radios were poorly isolated. My first soldering iron was an Engel-Loeter, a quick heating type, having a pistol shape. I still have it but could no longer use it to solder SMD types! I bought my single-trace oscilloscope at 15, it was a Hameg HM307 that is still working.
What are your favorite hardware tools that you use?The are several instruments that I use. The first one is an isolated high-voltage dc supply from Xantrex, a XHR600-1.7. This is really a simple and efficient tool if you are in the offline power conversion business. To test my converters, I team this power source with an electronic load from Agilent, an HP6063B. Unlike other instruments that we have, you don’t need to open the manual every time you need them. I also run a LeCroy Waverunner oscilloscope but I confess that I sometimes miss CRT-based devices for their speed and ease of use .
What are your favorite software tools that you use?
I extensively use simulation tools such as Intusoft ICAPS but also mathematical tools such as Mathcad. Mathcad may not be the best of the available solvers, but it is easy to use and well spread among the engineers world-wide. At ON Semiconductor, where I work in France, we write a lot of design sheets with this software.