About TFox & Associates..
A Service Company
Terry Fox graduated from Montana State University with a BSEE in 1969. After his tour in the US Navy , he joined Hewlett Packard as an electronic instrument field engineer. In the mid 80's he was on the Daisy team in the Daisy Mentor Valid CAE wars. In 1993 Terry became seriously involved with SI EMC consulting as a result of trying to sell SI EMC prediction tools. At that time very few engineers were interested in Signal Integrity tools. Engineers are eternal optimists and they thought everything would work out just fine. When the problems arose and they were into their third or fourth board redesign, they did not have time to learn a tool. Hence, if you were a tool salesman, you were either too early or too late in the cycle.
Terry’s key contribution to the industry is his ability to explain complex subjects in a simple easily understood fashion that can be grasped by both engineers and layout designers.
Terry's view of the problem changed after a long conversation with the Director of PCB Quality at a major telecom company. The Director was also the "god father" of the tool Terry was trying to sell. A tool is like a car engine. Cars need an engine, but an engine without the rest of the car is useless. In that critical business changing conversation, Terry learned the importance of a proper high speed design process. It was the process that allowed that company to move their "right the first time" hit rate from 6% to over 99%. Tools supported the process, but tools without a rational process were as useless as a car engine without the rest of the car. In essence Terry was in the wrong business. He was in the tool selling business when he should be in the solution providing business.
With factory agreement, Terry began offering a service that was "one week, one board, $5,000, guaranteed to pass FCC tests." That approach got traction. The factory experts backed Terry up on the tough stuff and they split the consulting fee. Once design teams understood how the system worked, they had the data necessary to justify the purchase of tools. Every body was happy, except the consultant. Companies generally did not look for SI EMC consulting until the project was in deep trouble. Hence, the experience was much like a trip to the emergency room. The patient has chest pains and the basic question is whether the first doctor he sees is the cardiologist or the pathologist. It was high anxiety environment and the answer was always a board redesign.
In 1999 Terry began giving SI EMC training classes as a way to minimize the cost and emotional agony of delivering project consulting. The agony was caused because every design engineer has their own set of pet beliefs. Some are right, others are wrong, but all beliefs are held passionately with religious fervor. All of the erroneous ideas worked within some context. The fundamental issue that must precede cost effective consulting is to get everyone into common paradigm that works across a fairly wide and predictable problem space. Today, SIEMC Pro Tune Up 4 represents the culmination of years of work teaching high speed design classes to hundreds of design teams throughout the US and Canada. Those who have implemented the methods are regularly producing designs that work right and pass FCC and CISPR tests on the first try.
The single day Pro Tune Up 4 class explains the critical steps necessary for high speed design success.
The three day Process Implementation class is the Pro tune Up 4 class plus added methodology exercises and project specific exercises designed to launch the customers project within the context of a solid high speed design process. This can also be supplemented with project consulting to follow through to manufacturing release.
Terry is an avid pilot, mountain biker, skier, sea kayaker,
HAM radio operator..KE7ZT, and a moderately frustrated
golfer. Issaquah Washington (next to Redmond near Seattle)
has been home since 1976. He has been married to the
same wonderful woman since 1971 and has been in independent
business since 1988.
SI EMC Philosophy
Ok..but who are the Associates?
The associates are 30+ years of contacts in
almost every field of expertise. These include a world
class IBIS model builders, a UNIX guru who is an expert
in tool integration and configuration management, numerous
high speed digital and RF layout designers, and engineers
in almost any area of electronic and embedded software
design. Sometimes solving a problem is not what you
know, but who you know.
Terry in his Mariner
II sea kayak
Picture compliments of Bob Burnett...a sea kayaker for all seasons.