# Electronic conventions I hate

#### carbonzit

##### Active Member
OK, here's where I get to rant just a little about some things that bug me about electronic conventions in use today.

This, of course, is just my opinion, so feel free to disagree with me (but be prepared to make your case!).

In no particular order:

1. "Euro" resistors in schematics:

What genius dreamt this up? A rectangular shape to represent a resistor? Not only are they butt-ugly, they make schematics harder to read, if anything.

Resistors should be represented as [insert name of favorite deity here] intended them to be shown:

You look at the zigzag lines, you know it's a resistor. Not a diode. Not a varactor. Not something else that could be represented by a faceless rectangle.

The guy at my local electronics shop agrees with me here; I was there when a customer asked for a 100 nF cap or some such, and I saw my friend behind the counter make a face.

What genius decided we needed 3 prefixes for capacitance? We've had pico- and micro- for years, and these served us well. No need to add yet another, and confusing, prefix to the mix. Is this another Euro thing? My friend the electronics clerk seemed to think it was because of the Chinese, but I'm not sure. Anyhow, now we've to do all kinds of mental gymnastics: 10 nF, lessee ... 10^-9 ... multiply µF by ... aaargh!

Anyhow, down with the nF! All power to the µF and the pF!

3. The "nXm" nomenclature:

This one particularly chafes my hide. Presumably on account of someone trying to read an old schematic, whereupon a resistance value was badly printed or partly worn off, and the decimal point couldn't be discerned, some other bureaucrat-genius (also in Brussels?) decided that henceforth, all fractional (decimal) values shall have the unit of multiplication (or, confusingly, the unit of measurement itself) firmly embedded in the number. So whereas in the good old days we could just nonchalantly write 4.7K, now we've got to put it into proper Eurocrat form by writing "4K7". 4.7Ω becomes the decidedly clunkier 4R7. And before you think voltages are immune, think again! 2V9 is the approved form. No longer shall you be allowed to put those pesky decimal points anywhere on a schematic!

I say pish-posh to all of these silly conventions, and swear to abrogate them to the end of my days.

#### OlPhart

##### Member
I Totally agree with 1> and 2> Ever use decameter or centiliter?.

However, 3> I'll counter: a dot is pretty fragile. On older schematics, poorly copied etc, I favor the new model. Simply less prone to error, but takes getting used to (geezer speaking). <<<)))

#### squishy36

##### New Member
Well, I happen to agree with you on 1 and 3. Of course, it's what you get used to. But resistors have been sawtooth shapes for a lot of years and it does make it harder to have to interpret new symbols.

Since I'm a scientist, I use the SI prefixes constantly, so nF doesn't bother me -- it's logical and correct. Of course, in the older days you'd never see pF (which everyone pronounces "puff"), but rather µµF.

A number of years ago I came across the 2K4 form and it took me quite a while to figure out what the hell it meant. There's no need for such nomenclature -- people just need to learn to write their decimal points properly (and it doesn't matter what symbol you use for the radix point -- just write it so everyone can see it).

Unfortunately, these habits have become entrenched and are not going to go away. The same thing happens to language when two human populations are separated. Doesn't mean I like it though...

But it's good to rant, even if it changes nothing -- because it makes us feel better.

#### carbonzit

##### Active Member
Of course, in the older days you'd never see pF (which everyone pronounces "puff"), but rather µµF.
Or just as often "mmF". (Micro-micro-farad.)

#### Externet

##### Active Member
¿? I have no problem with any of the above. I learned both ways from day one. Including inductance in mH, µH, nH, pH.

It bothers me the markings on ICs not using white ink.
It bothers me words like WiFi, that someone came up with and lambs followed.
It bothers me wording as blue tooth
It bothers me USB taking over Upper Side Band meaning.
It bothers me someone saying Booting-up instead of initializing and all lambs followed.
It bothers me the abuse of acronyms without previous definition in the text
It bothers me the conventional current being opposed to its real direction
It bothers me the units of time not being decimal
It bothers me someone coming with the word Software instead of program and all lambs followed...
I could continue much, much longer but then I would be bothering you...

#### BrownOut

##### Banned
I agree with squishy36 - post #3.

#### KeepItSimpleStupid

##### Well-Known Member
OK. I'm less bothered by this, bit am bothered by:
1. websites not allowing spaces in credit cards

They don't tell you what the permissible format is and you end up with a declined card. These websites are computers, they can remove spaces.

2. US phone number formats. I like only (555) 555-1212

Not 1-800-555-1212, or 1.800.555.1212 or 800-555-1212. If at all, it should be +1 (555)-1212

The decimal point thing like 1K2 a good thing. I don't like nF's. Conversion is easy, though Never did understand uuF or even MFD. MFD is a really old unit. You didn't typeset the Greek alphabet on components in the 40's or 50's. remember WV? as is 100 WV. Then there is 1002, for instance, for resistors or even the abbreviation kc for say 1450 kc. va is wrong, and VA is right. For some reason, I still like 1 sec. and not 1 s. Few know what 1 S is or a mho for that matter or how about a micro-mho.

#### carbonzit

##### Active Member
2. US phone number formats. I like only (555) 555-1212

Not 1-800-555-1212, or 1.800.555.1212 or 800-555-1212. If at all, it should be +1 (555)-1212
Yes! Yes! Yes!

And what's with that stupid convention of putting a "1" in front of toll-free numbers ("1-800"). And yet nobody puts "1-" in front of their area code when they're giving you their phone #. (And don't even get me started on the ultimate stupidity: using "555-" as the pretend exchange for all phone #s in movies and on TV.)

Few know what 1 S is or a mho for that matter or how about a micro-mho.
Of course, mhos have been superseded by siemens (probably a good idea).

#### KeepItSimpleStupid

##### Well-Known Member
carbonzit said:
Of course, mhos have been superseded by siemens (probably a good idea).
Actually it's Siemens, not siemens. Ruleroper names are capitalized.

yea.

On my cell, I don't dial the 1.
At work, it was a 9 1. Some systems use a 7 1. Some large corps had tie lines.
At home it's the 1, but usually it's *21*8005551212#. and then I call my cell from the home phone and then call #21# on my cell. This is dependent on the time of day and where I'm calling. I may use my cell or Skype.

So, it's all useless.

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#### carbonzit

##### Active Member
Actually it's Siemens, not siemens. Ruleroper names are capitalized.
Maybe. But certainly not volts, amps, nor watts: those have been subsumed into the language to the extent that their proper-noun-ness has all but disappeared. Technically, you're correct, but people generally don't write "10 Volts at 3.5 Amps" (which should actually be written as "3.5 Amperes").

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#### Boncuk

##### New Member
Hi carbonzit,

if this is all you're worried about you must be a very happy man.

It annoys me if people hand draw a schematic (sketch) using zig-zag resistors resembling an inductor.

Just the value of the "inductor" can't be true. I've never seen an inductor with the value of 100KH (with the "H" or "Ω" omitted in the schematic).

Being "EURO" I'm used to DIN symbols and Anglo Saxons are used to ANSI symbols. I don't really care which symbols are used as long as a schematic is clearly readable.

Take a close look at ANSI symbols of logic gates and compare them to DIN symbols. Here I prefer using ANSI symbols since DIN symbols require "formulas" written into the symbols.

I hate acronyms anyway since they are not used to explain one term, e.g. "IMC" was supposed to mean "Instrument Meteorological Conditions" meaning flying in the "dirt" (clouds).

Later I had to learn it means "Image Motion Compensation" (for panoramic cameras mounted at the bottom of the fuselage of aircraft taking pictures from horizon to horizon).

Handling nano-Farad is just simpler than using µF. So 1nF equals 0.001µF if you prefer the latter.

Boncuk

#### Boncuk

##### New Member
(And don't even get me started on the ultimate stupidity: using "555-" as the pretend exchange for all phone #s in movies and on TV.)
I guess you don't like California.

#### MrAl

##### Well-Known Member
Hi,

nF used to bother me a bit, but then it came to be so common that i just started to get used to it, especially when i was going to use it in a formula because all i had to do was for example 10nF type in 10 e -9 and it was in, rather than in the other form 0.01uf i'd have to type in 0.01 e -6 which is a little harder because of the zeros and decimal point.

Phone numbers like 555-1212 on TV shows are just so dang disingenuous that it ruins the whole mood of the program i'm watching. The writers would do much better to use a real area code or exchange and cut the scene before the full number can be revealed, or come up with some other natural way to avoid having to announce the entire full but real sounding number. No one could complain if they hear "The number is 212 875 12...oh wait i got a call on another line..." or ANYTHING else other than that very ridiculous "555 and-you-know-dang-well-this-number-is-a-fake-number-even-though-this-is-one-of-your-favorite-movies-or-shows-so-you-now-are-again-fully-aware-that-this-whole-murder-mystery-plot-is-completely-fake" line. Boo to that 555

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#### clel miller

##### Member
I Totally agree with 1> and 2> Ever use decameter or centiliter?.

However, 3> I'll counter: a dot is pretty fragile. On older schematics, poorly copied etc, I favor the new model. Simply less prone to error, but takes getting used to (geezer speaking). <<<)))
I fall into this camp. Most schems I read are from the 1950's and 1960's. The "k" and "R" have made things easier for me.....
Best

#### ronsimpson

##### Well-Known Member
I do not like "ground" symbols pointing up.
I do not like a polar capacitor with the plus lead pointing down.
I like to have the most positive traces at the top of the page then the most negative at the bottom. Input on the left and output on the right. I don't want to only see how things are hooked up but see flow in the schematic (the function).

#### ericgibbs

##### Well-Known Member
I do not like "ground" symbols pointing up.
I do not like a polar capacitor with the plus lead pointing down.
I like to have the most positive traces at the top of the page then the most negative at the bottom. Input on the left and output on the right. I don't want to only see how things are hooked up but see flow in the schematic (the function).
Thanks Ron, saved me some typing.

I may add, I don't like some schematic backgrounds
eg: black, heavy black Grid dots.

Drawings where the connecting lines are like a spiders web, criss crossing at all angles.

Regarding symbols and values text, I don't mind which convention is used

#### DerStrom8

##### Super Moderator
I have never had problems with any of the items you suggested.
First off, I use both styles of resistor symbols. It depends on how complicated the circuit is. Generally, if the circuit is complex, I don't want a whole bunch of squiggly lines all over the place--they can start blending together and can make a mess. There's also the issue of writing the values. It has to be outside of the symbol, which can also run into other components. On complicated circuits, I generally use the box style simply because I can put the value inside of it and it keeps the schematic looking very neat.

Secondly, I personally like the nanofarad measurement. I would rather say 1nF than .001uF or 1000pf.

Finally, the nXm style does not bother me. I use both of them (though I keep it consistent in each circuit). It all depends on my mood. the nXm style generally uses less space, which I usually prefer. This also brings me back to my answer regarding the resistors--the more space that is saved, the neater the schematic looks.

Der Strom

EDIT: I just read some of the other things that bother people, and I agree with some of them. This comment is directed primarily at the very first post, and nothing after that

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#### JimB

##### Super Moderator
I do not like "ground" symbols pointing up.
I do not like a polar capacitor with the plus lead pointing down.
I like to have the most positive traces at the top of the page then the most negative at the bottom. Input on the left and output on the right.
I don't want to only see how things are hooked up but see flow in the schematic (the function).
I may add, I don't like some schematic backgrounds
eg: black, heavy black Grid dots.
Drawings where the connecting lines are like a spiders web, criss crossing at all angles.
Ditto*.

I don't like the newer ANSI/IEEE/IEC logic symbols, not that you see them used very much. Probably not many others like them either.

I don't like the American capacitor symbol with a bent lower plate.

Not electronic, but I do find it wierd when I see atmospheric pressure expressed in hecto-Pascal rather than milli-Bar.

Another thing which annoys me:
TV adverts where the price is expressed verbally as " Three Ninety Nine".
Are they afraid to say Pounds as well?
For all I know it could be
Euro, Dollars (whos dollars?), Roubles, Yen...
You get the idea, I hate to see the units missed out.

JimB

*(Ditto! Ditto? You provincial putz - Govenor W J Lepetomane, Blazing Saddles 1974)

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#### squishy36

##### New Member
Actually it's Siemens, not siemens. Ruleroper names are capitalized.
SI usage specifies using lower case when writing out the unit in full. Fortunately, English is pretty redundant and we can often figure things out from context. One of my pet peeves is the almost universal ignoring of SI usage in Asian documentation written in English -- they will virtually always use S for seconds. Since I sometimes make measurements in seimens, I then always interpret a timing spec as a conductance and, being an anal retentive, want to strangle the document writer.

#### carbonzit

##### Active Member
I don't like the American capacitor symbol with a bent lower plate.
Regarding that, the capacitor with the curved bottom should only be used for electrolytics:

is for non-electrolytics, and

should be reserved for electrolytic (i.e., polarized) capacitors.