After completing my engineering in 2005 I started applying for a job and got an opportunity to work with Statcon Power Controls Ltd, Noida. It was not that difficult to crack the interview as I already had quite some knowledge and experience of the kind of work I was expected to do like testing, R&D Support, PCB Design, etc.
I started with testing battery chargers, integrated power supply, etc. My daily work for 1st 9 months was to assemble parts of battery chargers & integrated power supply, like, assemble boards, connect the wiring harness properly, follow test procedure, test the equipment step-by-step and make it ready for final RDSO inspection before delivery.
During this time I learned a lot of things which are still helping me like nothing is small, have the patience in order to get the right kind of work. Other things which I learned were like the test procedures, how to read wiring diagrams, how to interact which people at a different level in a company. After working for a few months and gaining some experience, I started giving in-depth training to people on how to use and test equipment. Started contributing to making improvements to test procedures, making them foolproof.
After 9 months of hard work, my day came, one lady who was working as a PCB design engineer resigned and there was an opportunity to enter into R&D. My manager was aware of my past work in PCB design, he asked me if I can help in doing some modification in the existing PCB designs, this was the opportunity to get entry to the R&D, I started doing improvements to existing PCBs then did a lot of designs from scratch as well.
When I was working on PCB design I was doing most of the designs around MCUs (PIC microcontrollers), so I got interested to learn microcontroller programming. Also, one of my other friend (we met during seminars) told me that if you can learn embedded programming your future will be very bright as he saw me having quite a good understanding and experience on the hardware.
I picked up his advice and started working on c programming in my spare time in the office ( after working hours). I used to read books, try to learn from other’s code (in office, also on the internet) to understand how to write code, how to write the logic for any problem. It was a struggle initially as my C language skill was not good at all but slowly I started writing small codes for small functions.
One day, the Managing director of the company saw me working late in the office and asked what I was doing and came to know that I was trying to learn embedded c programming, he gave me a test and an opportunity. He asked me if I can show him (in 4 weeks time) a small project which will sense DC voltage, display on the char LCD and also show it on PC using some software via RS232 connectivity, he can offer me a real project to work on.
I could do that in weeks time and shown him working prototype. He got impressed and gave me a project which was a 40 channel data logger for Integrated Power Supply (used for railway signaling) which will monitor the health of all DC-DC, AC-DC data-converters, inverter, CT, etc. & store timestamp when a fault occurs and when fault gets rectified. There was a VB6 based PC based software developed to monitor power supply locally and then the same was able to monitor remotely. This was one of my first large industrial project I was doing without much supervision and guidance.
I also did various other projects (both hardware & firmware) like DC/AC voltage current measurement cards, Fault Logger for a battery charger with RS232 connectivity. At one point in time, I was actually leading a team of 4 people.
During my tenure, I also helped in the onsite testing of the Ground Power Units used for fighter aircraft like MIG21 Bison, transport aircraft and helicopters at HAL, Nasik & Chandigarh Airport.
I worked there until Nov 2006 and thoroughly enjoyed my work and learned big time in the company.
NEXT (my work at Barco)