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Re: [TowerTalk] Digging a 5'x5'x8' tower footing

Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Digging a 5'x5'x8' tower footing
From: Jim Lux <>
Date: Mon, 12 May 2008 17:37:12 -0700
List-post: <">>
> 7.5 feet is the recommended depth for the LM-470 base. I kept that as 
> the constant
> and varied the diameter to get to the same volume.
> But then I am not a PE.
> I remember when the Commonwealth of Massachusetts gave those Certs to anyone
> with a BS degree. Should have picked up one back then.

In general, you also have to have some practical experience (6 years in 
California, although a suitable degree counts for a few of those years) 
and take a couple of fairly rigorous all-day tests.

One could pass the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam (for a 
Engineer-In-Training/EIT) with a BS in engineering or a hard science, 
especially if you did some review (e.g. if you're a EE, you might not 
have encountered a Moody diagram, etc.)

I would venture that it would be pretty difficult to pass the actual PE 
exam without some practical experience.  There's a certain amount of 
"knowing how to solve the problem and where to look things up" (the PE 
exam is open book) that one only gets with having had to do it on a day 
to day basis as a job.  It's not a matter of knowing the material, but 
more speed.  Lots of complex questions have to be answered in a limited 
amount of time (about a minute or two per question), and if you resort 
to first principles on every question, you're doomed.  If you've done 
it, you can zip through pretty quickly. When you take the test, it's 
easy to see who's been doing the work for a while, and who's fresh out 
of school.  The experienced ones bring in a couple or three references 
and finish an hour before time is called.  The fresh-outs bring in a 
pallet load of books and filecabinets of documents (the rules in CA say 
whatever you can carry or drag in one trip), and are sitting there at 
the end with sweat pouring off their brow.

Jim, W6RMK

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