I need to find the power consumption of the screen and signal amplifier in a sat nav. It can be any sat nav.

It is for course work, but I'm not expected to "test" this myself, i.e. using a multi-meter. I just need the data to be able to back up the claim that the screen and signal amplifier are components which use up a high percentage of the total power usage of a sat nav.

Would this be suitable to ask on this site please?

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    \$\begingroup\$ (1) This academic assignment was given so that you would do the research yourself. (2) You are making a claim (based on something?) and then look for data to support it. Instead, find data an analyze it. Before making claims, that is. \$\endgroup\$ – Nick Alexeev Jun 26 '15 at 17:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NickAlexeev "So that you would do the research yourself." So trailing the internet finding info "already there" is acceptable, but it's not acceptable to spend time finding a good site and ask there? This is a cold welcome to the site, for a new user to the entire Stack network, and someone who already had to edit some posts just to be able to post here on Meta to ask if the question is on topic. And they've been honest. They could have just posted the question on main site without even bothering with any of this. \$\endgroup\$ – James Jun 26 '15 at 18:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ They just want to know if they can ask the question here. Dam... \$\endgroup\$ – James Jun 26 '15 at 18:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ "So trailing the internet finding info "already there" is acceptable, but it's not acceptable to spend time finding a good site and ask there?" -- actually, that's pretty close to EXACTLY the instructions I put on my take-home exams. \$\endgroup\$ – Scott Seidman Jun 26 '15 at 18:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ScottSeidman I appreciate your feedback :) but is this question familiar to you? Or, are you generalising? The data required here is quite specifically not an important part of the essay, it is just required to back up the conclusions made from what the essay is actually about. Having searched for hours first and come up with no results, why is it wrong for a studying engineer to use any resource method to obtain data they need? Would an employer say "Oh no, don't use the handbook/manual, that's too easy"? \$\endgroup\$ – James Jun 26 '15 at 18:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ It's the ground rules for my exam. No more, no less. I am testing my students on their ability to find information, and assimilate it into a meaningful answer. I am not asking my students to find someone who can assimilate information into a meaningful answer and write down what they say on a piece of paper. That would be no different from your roomie asking YOU for the answer. I consider that plagiarism. My students sign a pledge to abide by the instructions provided, and acknowledge in writing with a signature that they understand such action is academic dishonesty. \$\endgroup\$ – Scott Seidman Jun 26 '15 at 18:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm just lost for words. All the OP asked was if their question was on topic or not. No-one has answered that yet. And the downvote is for what? The OP has edited questions (helped the site) before even coming here. Not much of a welcome to Stack is it? No-one knows if the OP is violating their college rules or not. Does it even matter? The site is about answering questions, not policing college policies! \$\endgroup\$ – James Jun 26 '15 at 19:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ @OlinLathrop We can choose to presume whatever we want, but given I have accounts and rep on "many" Stack sites with my "James" username, a logical assumption would have been it was "likely" a different user. "same IP" just means in the same house, university friends, school, businesses, internet cafe, etc. Nick publicly stating such a comment, especially "Oh James" does not help his suspicions or investigations. "Is this your account James" would have been the logical and moderator thing to do. Or silently investigate if he had suspicions. Our having the same first letter is meaningless. \$\endgroup\$ – James Jun 27 '15 at 15:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ As a seasoned user I knew stating this was a homework question could end up being a problem. But it annoys me because honesty was given, and rules followed (I didn't even upvote OP). Including editing to get rep to ask on Meta first to check if on topic. OP could have just posted their question on the main site without any "decency" and playing by the book. That is why I was annoyed by the response. I can assure you, the OP is working very hard and has tried for hours to source this info. The data required is trivial to the assignment, and not itself a test of ability of research :) \$\endgroup\$ – James Jun 27 '15 at 15:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ @James: Let the OP speak for himself. You are not doing him any favors with your attitude and as a third party advocating for him. If you want to help him, butt out and let him have a dialog with us. I've already written my view, and at this time two others have agreed by upvoting and nobody has disagreed by downvoting. If JHawk has any further questions or has a problem with any of this, I want to hear it from him, not thru you as a third party. You're not his mommy, and are doing him a disservice by acting like his mommy here. \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop Jun 27 '15 at 23:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @James Powers that be have suggested to remove our exchange about sock puppet hunting. No hard feelings. \$\endgroup\$ – Nick Alexeev Jun 27 '15 at 23:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @OlinLathrop One of your upvotes was from me. \$\endgroup\$ – James Jun 27 '15 at 23:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NickAlexeev No hard feelings, but I still believe OP was badly welcomed. OP just asked if a question was on topic, but your first comment was a bit presumptuous, and didn't help: "This academic assignment was given so that you would do the research yourself" But you cannot know what is and what isn't required within the assignment, or even if asking on a Q&A site is acceptable or not. To be fair, you presumed OP was not fulfilling requirements. All OP wanted from you was confirmation if the question was on topic or not. \$\endgroup\$ – James Jun 28 '15 at 0:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NickAlexeev "You are making a claim (based on something?) and then look for data to support it. Instead, find data an analyze it" OP cannot find data, so a logical thing to do is ask on a Q&A site for "electrical engineering". And again, you presume that OP is making some mistake in their approach to the assignment, but you have no info to conclude that, or can even fairly suspect it really. I get why you were "suspicious" but this is not helping the OP or new users to your site. See OlinLathrop's answer for how to help people and confirm if on topic or not :) \$\endgroup\$ – James Jun 28 '15 at 0:05

You need to be careful with homework questions. They can be acceptable, but are held to a higher standard. You must:

  1. State that it is a homework (or other assigned or contrived) problem. The important point for us is that you have been given this problem to help you learn electronics, not because you actually faced this problem in the real world. People will rightly answer this type of problem differently, helping you learn instead of blurting out the answer. If you don't see why that is actually in your own best interest, then we don't want you here.

  2. Show that you have put in some effort trying to solve the problem.

  3. Explain exactly what you are stuck on.

  4. Never ever expect us to just solve the whole problem for you.

If you do all this right, the answers you get should be useful in leading you along the path of figuring out the problem on your own. Remember that most of the people answering this kind of problem will have already been thru the same process you are going thru now. We've done our homework, passed our tests, gotten out degrees, and are now doing this professionally. We all remember doing homework, and what homework problems look like. Don't try to pretend you have a real problem when it's actually homework.

On the flip side, we want to help anyone truly trying to learn. We've all had misconceptions and got stumped on some homework problems too. If you come here with the right attitude and are not looking for a free ride, you will get people stumbling over each other to help and explain concepts to you. Think of asking us like asking the TA for help. He's not just going to give you the answer either, but will try to help you understand concepts if you're genuinely trying to learn.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the detailed response :) OP is simply completely stuck. I'm not bad at searching Google etc, and I tried for some time with no avail. This doesn't mean someone else couldn't find something though, and so even a point in the direction of engineering manuals would be fine. There is no attempt at cheating or even laziness going on :) \$\endgroup\$ – James Jun 27 '15 at 15:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @James If the OP is completely stuck, and can't even get a start on the question, the appropriate place to go is to the instructor of the course. \$\endgroup\$ – Scott Seidman Jun 29 '15 at 16:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ScottSeidman He did, and was told he still needs to find the data himself, but as the data itself is not a test of resource finding, he can obtain it any way necessary. Which includes just asking for it, or of course asking to be pointed in the right direction. \$\endgroup\$ – James Jun 29 '15 at 17:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @James I think I just did that in my comment under his actual question. \$\endgroup\$ – Scott Seidman Jun 29 '15 at 17:11

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