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Engineer Design

San Marcos, CA
April 15, 2020

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*** ******** **.

San Marcos, California 92069

home: 760-***-****

cell/voice mail: 858-***-****


James F. McKnight


A challenging position as an electrical engineer in embedded systems and analog/digital design.

Over 26 years experience in the engineering industry as a design engineer and electronics technician.


Sept 2019 - Present Legrand, The Watt Stopper Division

Senior Electronics Engineer R&D Group

LCM(Life Cycle Management)

Discovered and fixed firmware bugs in LMDM-10x and LMSW-10x product lines.

Fixed reported firmware bugs in LMDM-10x and LMSW-10x product lines.

Fixed reported firmware bugs in LMBC-650 and LMRC-611 wired to wireless bridge product lines.

NPD(New Product Development)

Took over LMLM-201 design as primary engineer.

Fixed firmware bugs and added 24V bus overload handler and UL924 Contact closure handler.

Performed hardware/firmware testing of board designed by previous engineer to verify circuit function. Added jumpers, removed parts, and updated parts to get board functioning. Updated hardware design of 24B bus overload detection circuit to correctly detect overload condition. Updated BOM due to incorrectly specified capacitors, TVS devices, and DNIs. Created test report to present engineering team with results and suggested changes. Updated schematic design to fix board issues (components and broken nets that required jumpers). Worked with in-house layout person to update/correct design issues. Created report for presentation to Manufacturing, Quality, and Marketing for release of new PCB/PCBA.

Helping correct process used for new product development as R&D group typically misses planned delivery date. Introduced method/tool for development planning as well as working on SOP for translating Marketing requirements into Engineering requirements document. Currently marketing creates a Marketing Product Specification (MPS) that Engineering turns into a Engineering Product Specification (EPS). The EPS document does not have detailed requirements which causes issues to be discovered during development causing delays.

2013 – Sept 2019 Hexagon Metrology, Romer Division

Senior Electronics Engineer R&D Group

LCM (Life Cycle Management)

Added Analog Soft start on USB and Scanner systems due to power spike causing system disconnects.

Buck supply on motherboard was shutting down due to thermal overload.

Discovered Buck supply had unfilled vias in the heat sink pad that were filling with solder causing buck supply thermal pad to only have 60% coverage.

Failing buttons on event board due to lack of do not wash instruction for button/switch in assembly document

Cable loop testing for reliability. Developed tester using Hayden Kerk motor paired with a Parker motor controller.

Reliability testing for design of plastic housing button used to press tactile switch on PCBA and suggest changes so that plastic button bottoms out on switch housing to prevent over pressing.

Wrist event board PCBA was dying without explanation. Upon analyzing the design I found no Flyback diode on haptic motor. Adding this component resolved the issue.

Resolved USB dropout issue related to PCBA ground and chassis ground being tied together along with chassis not providing a contiguous electrical connection. This also caused external power supply to need a big ferrite to reduce conducted emissions.

First week on job found company to have many PCBAs in MRB. This was due to internal manufacturing not following ESD rules and PCBA document missing proper Fab and Assembly documents. No board stackup or impedance callouts

Designed a Motherboard & Feature Pack tester used by external manufacturer.

Found issue with solid state switch used on scanner lines clamping signals to rail. Signals were being used for a motor drive.

Solved Hexagon designed encoder glass sensor cracking with addition of underfill.

NPD(New Product Development)

Ultrasound project:

Developed A2D board and sensors used in Ultrasound sensor angle measurement. Received patent for this design. This was an analog design amplifying millivolt level signals from a Hall effect transistor or photo diode for conversion using an A2D.

Next Gen Electronics:

Took system to NTS labs and developed scheme to analyze system using test mode of USB hubs discovered switch on motherboard used to switch USB signals was degrading signal to non compliant levels. This was removed when developing next version of product. Temporary fix was to add a USB hub to Feature Pack PCBA.

Developed and tested new Moog slip ring design to support GigE in Romer Arm. Cat5e testing and slip ring development using Fluke DTX-1800 meter. Update/created schematics for PCB involved with signal carrying GigE communications. Worked with signal integrity engineer to develop cable layout and connector pinning.

Developed CP architecture and mixed signal hardware. created supporting documents. Designed in a Marvell GigE Ethernet switch. Designed 2 lithium Ion battery charger boards for Smart batteries. Used SOM module. Designed Power Daughter card (incorporates 2 buck and one buck boost supply) with analog current limiting accessory supply. Used SMBus, I2C, RGMII, and 1-wire to communicate with various systems within module.

Currently working on NXP based 802.11AC WiFi solution to replace the SOM module. Current design will not support Scanner Data Rates.

Zeus project:

Area Scanner Architectural drawing

Analog current source for projector and ring lights utilizing one shots, op amp, and transitors. Company is looking at patent for this design. This design is capable of 100Amp pulses 1mS to 20mS.

Took products designed to Lab for UL, FCC, and CE compliance/safety testing.

2010 – 2013 Cymer

Senior Electronics Engineer

Principal in the design of Constant Fractional Discriminator. This PCBA utilized Light sensor, Op Amps, FPGA, A2D, and D2A running at 1M Hz. to determine the peak of a Gaussian voltage pulse, producing a TTL pulse rising edge coinciding with its peak. This Xilinx FPGA based circuit was laid out and non-functioning when it was handed off to me. I found analog and digital design flaws in the design. Created instructions that allowed a technician to rework PCB to correct these issues. Corrected VHDL code so that FPGA could acquire and process signals. Corrected schematic and created BOM.

Principal in the design of Droplet discriminator. This PCBA used a combination of analog and digital logic to produce a TTL pulse coinciding with the peak of a Gaussian pulse. Created schematic and BOM, managed PCB layout, wrote tune up instructions.

PFAT custom LED for system alignment tool. This required selecting the correct bin from a wafer based on wave length of light, designing a PCB to mount it on, finding a vendor to mount and wire bond the LED chip onto the PCB and deliver it undamaged.

PFAT LED Analog driver circuit to drive custom LED on system alignment tool. This required creating a schematic and BOM, selecting an enclosure, managing PCB layout, working with cad group to create drawing to modify enclosure to fit PCB.

Electro Optic Modulator Driver circuit. I worked with the CTO on this high voltage driver. On this project I created the schematic and BOM, managed the layout of 3 PCBs that made up the mixed signal circuit, worked with cad to create drawing for the enclosure.

Seed Laser Stabilization circuit to stabilize the optical length of a laser cavity to insure desired wave length of light resided in the center of the gain curve. I worked with the CTO on to gain knowledge of laser theory in order to design this analog circuit. I created the schematic and BOM, managed layout of the PCB, created bring up document, and worked with cad on enclosure design.

Visual light sensor is an analog integrator that is used to integrate energy from a photo diode with different light filters in its path. This circuit was designed to accept milli-amp current delivered by this photo diode. PCBA utilized FPGA and analog circuitry.

Timing Breakout box interfaced to an NI PCI chassis for conditioning of input and output signals. Added circuitry that would allow for missing cable detection on the differential inputs. I managed the layout of this previously bread board circuit. This also required me to select and enclosure, create board size and component constrains drawing, as well as work with the cad group to modify enclosure for PCBA.

Rear Transition card Energy Card added circuitry that would allow for missing cable detection on the differential inputs. I managed the layout update of this circuit. PCB fit rear slot in a PCI chassis.

EUV Photo Diode integrator used on light source to locate position of plasma event. Designed analog design that delivered differential voltage signal to TEM2 unit for conversion. TEM2 controlled resetting of this integrator.

PEM analog integrator used on light source to detect intensity of laser power. Designed analog op amp circuit to integrate millivolt voltage pulse output from PEM sensor to be passed to TEM2 A2D. TEM2 controlled resetting of this integrator.

LVDT Ground Loops. LVDTs in system were experiencing noise in their signals. I evaluated system located two ground loops. One was due to a previously undetected failure mode of the LVDTs. Updated analog design to harden system against this failure mode using a differential amplifier.

Created Specification for a Sensor Pre-amp Module for EUV and CO2 sensors. This specification was used to outsource the design of this design. I also managed technical aspects of this outsourced job.

Created Specification for a Energy Sensor Module for digital integration circuit. This specification was used to outsource the design of this design. I also managed technical aspects of this outsource job.

Created Specification for a Timing and Energy Module (TEM2). This specification was used to outsource the design of this design. I also managed some technical aspects of this outsource job.

2008 – 2010 CrossFiber

Senior Hardware Engineer

Principal in the design of the MEMSMSTR communications/control PCB for the CrossFiber Light Switch. This RoHS compliant PCB uses a PicPIC24FJ256GA108 and FTDI Vinculum (VNC1L-1A). Designed hardware (BOM) using Orcad, managed PCB layout, and wrote firmware using MPLab C. This PCBA adjusts/monitors voltage and current from 250VDC-300VDC power supply using op amps and A2D. PCBA also handles all incoming communication via 2 RS232 ports and one Ethernet port and builds commands that are sent out two USB ports to control switch connections.

Worked with American Power Design to develop a custom High Voltage Power Supply. This supply offers a 250VDC to 300VDC variable output at 100mA.

Principal in the design of the RoHS compliant Relay Matrix leakage current measuring system for MEMS device leakage current measurement. Designed hardware (BOM) using Orcad and managed PCB layout. System mounts in a U6 rack and uses digital logic to control 536 relays. Digital logic is driven by National Instruments NI-DAQ 6008 OEM and the leakage current is measured using an Keithley 6487 Pico-ammeter/Voltage Source.

Sustained/Modified the design of the RoHS compliant High Voltage Driver Card ASIC and PCB.

2002 – 2008 Hunter Industries Inc.

Design Engineer

Principal in the design of irrigation flow monitoring system utilizing the PIC12CE673 & PIC12F629 processors. Designed hardware (BOM) using Orcad and wrote firmware using MPLab assembly code. Also designed automated production test equipment and wrote test procedures. Consulted with mechanical engineering on the mechanical design.

Integral part of team designing an advanced irrigation controller (ACC). Designed mixed signal hardware (BOM) using Orcad for facepack of this modular irrigation controller utilizing the PIC18F8680 processor. Designed hardware (BOM) using Orcad, designed the tester mechanicals, supervised PCB layout, and wrote C code firmware for automated testers used in production to test the modules of the controller. Also wrote test procedures for uses in production. These testers used the PIC18F8680 processor. Module and tester communications used CAN protocol. Wrote C code firmware module used to read the ET sensor input of the Master module use in the controller system. Analyzed and corrected design issues (BOM/PCB changes) in order to make sensor inputs to the Master module function correctly. Master module used the PIC18F4480 processor. Wrote assembly code firmware module used for over-current detection in the ADM99 (decoder output ) module used in the controller system. Also made BOM changes to improve current detect circuit. This module used the PIC18F8680 processor.

Designed the SRC controller line automated bed of nails tester hardware (BOM), supervised the PCB layout, and wrote C code firmware. Also wrote test procedure for this product line. This tester used the PIC18F8680 processor.

Designed Hardware (BOM), performed PCB layout, wrote C code firmware, and designed mechanical interface for the Pro-C controller line incoming inspection automated tester. Also wrote test procedures for its use. This tester used the PIC18F2423 processor.

Designed hardware (BOM), performed PCB layout, wrote C code firmware and designed mechanical interface for DC latching solenoid exerciser used by quality assurance. This devise used the PIC18F1330 processor.

Received patent for mechanical latching system used in the modular irrigation controller lines.

Preformed cost reduction re-design on the ICR remote RF package.

Preformed fault analysis and made corrective design changes to the SVC controller line.

Set up manufacturing in China for the WVC WVP controller line.

Managed EMC, UL, SAA (Australian Safety), and CE testing for multiple product lines.

2000 – 2002 Xybion Electronic Systems Corporation

Design Engineer

Principal in the design of a complex control panel for the new AC-130U gunship Target ID camera that incorporated a Motorola Power PC controller. I was responsible for the design and implementation of FPGA firmware (VHDL), vacuum fluorescent displays, A/D and D/A converters, and collaboration in the design of two optical encoders with the manufacturer.

Principal in the design of a multi-purpose test system that emulated the aircraft MIL-STD-1553 bus and other systems. Test system utilized for testing the camera and control panel prior to integration in the aircraft turret.

Updated standard products by designing an interface that enabled previous analog controllers to control new digitally controlled cameras.

1989 – 1995 SPAWARSYSCEN

Electronics Technician

Created and updated electronic schematics for the Advanced Unmanned Submersible Searcher (AUSS) vehicle and support systems using Tango and AutoCAD. Performed mechanical design, designed and built pressure compensated cables, performed wiring modifications to the system chassis, assembled and packaged circuits for use in support systems, and performed at-sea testing of the vehicle.

Updated and organized CASE files for a systolic array processor and hard wired segments of a prototype systolic array system.

Assembled and tested circuits (PCB and wire wrap), tested GaAs memory chips, worked on the Wide Dynamic Range A/D Converter project, and transferred wire schematics from old drawings to CASE.


BS, Electrical Engineering, San Diego State University – 1999

AS, Electrical Engineering, Mesa College San Diego, CA – 1990

Microchip Masters (4 day Microchip training) 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2014.

DxDesigner training 2015

Pads training 2014

Orcad Training 2014


Programming languages:

C, VHDL, Forth, assembly


Orcad & Orcad PCB, DxDesigner (PADS PCB), Altium, Circuit maker 2000 PCB layout tools, Xilinx, ASIC tools, Mathematica, Mathcad, AutoCAD, PSpice, Matlab, CASE, Tango, MPLab, MS Visual SourceSafe (version control software), Mecurial version control software, Subversion version control software, Bit Bucket version control software, Git version control software, MS Office suite, Visio, and Relex reliability prediction tools, Agile, Team Center, and Arena document control software (PLM).

Communication Standards familiar with:

RS485 & 422, RS232, CAN, I2C, SPI, Ethernet, USB, PCIe, MIL-STD-1553 bus, RGMII, SMBUS.


Articulating CMM probe. Patent number: 9759540

Articulating CMM probe. Patent number: 10317186

Positive station module locking mechanism for expandable irrigation controller. Patent number: 6842667

Modular irrigation controller. Patent number: 7243005

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