About Terry Fox & Associates.
My mission is to train everyone in the industry how to build High Speed (Digital-Analog-RF) Systems that work "right the first time."
Terry Fox graduated from Montana State University with a BSEE in 1969. After serving in the US Navy as a pilot and aircraft maintenance officer, Terry started his professional career in 1972 as a Hewlett Packard electronic instrument Field Engineer selling and supporting products ranging from DC to Microwave.
During the Gate Array revolution of the mid 80’s Terry joined the Daisy team selling circuit simulation and physical design layout tools.
1988 was the founding of Terry Fox & Associates as a independent business focused on supplying tools and training for the embedded systems market. In 1995 Terry began selling Signal Integrity and EMI prediction tools on a commission only basis. After six months of no sales, Terry was ready to quit. UNICAD, the company he represented, sent Terry to PCB West where he met Stan Xavier, the Director of PCB Quality for Bell Northern Research -Northern Telecom. After a long conversation with Stan, Terry's understanding of the problem changed radically. In that critical business changing conversation, Terry learned the importance of a proper high speed design process. It was the process that allowed BNR-NT to move their "right the first time" hit rate from 6% to over 99%. Tools supported the process, but tools without a rational process surrounding their use were of marginal value. In short, Terry was in the wrong business. Terry was in the "tool selling business" when he needed to be in the "solution providing business."
With UNICAD's agreement, Terry began offering a consulting service, ie... "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 process worked, they had the data necessary to justify the purchase of tools. Every body was happy. Since that time Terry has consulted on a great many projects. Over the years, the prices have changed and it generally takes longer than a week to work through the problem and arrive at a solution. However, the results have been that same. The product works at full speed and it passes regulatory tests on the first pass.
Every body was happy...except Terry. Consulting is a high anxiety environment and the answer is always a board redesign. The redesign entailed Terry changing design details that were often some one's pet practice. Terry needed a better approach to the problem. Hence, starting in 1999 Terry began offering high speed system design classes as a way to minimize the cost and emotional agony of delivering project consulting in the Pacific Northwest. 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. Cost effective consulting requires everyone to be on the same page. Everyone needs to agree on a common paradigm that works across a fairly wide problem space. Without that common paradigm the engagement devolves into a plethora of personal opinions which may or may not be based in real science.
Beginning in February of 2004 Terry started offering public Signal Integrity and EMC classes throughout North America. Currently Terry teaches about 40 public classes and roughly 5-10 private classes each year in addition to his consulting practice. To date, Terry has taught over 400 SI-EMC classes to thousands of students and scores of companies. The message is always the same. "Build it right the first time." It is the best investment you can make.
Today, SIEMC Pro Tune Up 5 represents the culmination of many years teaching high speed design classes throughout the US, Canada, Mexico, and Far East. Those who have implemented the methods are regularly producing designs that work reliably at full speed and pass FCC / CISPR tests on the first try.
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.
The three day Process Implementation class is the Pro Tune Up 5 class delivered at a more reasonable pace. This includes labs incorporating technology specific to the customer's needs, organization process implementation, and the ever popular a "Stump the Professor" session. The "Stump the Professor" session is specifically aimed at validating or de-bunking whatever design structure the student chooses to bring up. The methodology and project specific exercises are generally focused around a project of the customers choice. The purpose is to launch the customer's 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 instrument pilot, mountain biker, skier, sea kayaker, white water kayaker, HAM radio operator, 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.
Terry Fox & Associates
1420 NW Gilman Blvd. Ste 2-2128
Issaquah WA, 98027
Office 425 391-8696
Terry in his Mariner II kayak on Puget Sound near Seattle
Picture compliments of Bob Burnett...a sea kayaker for all seasons.
Team returning to James Town Bay, Sitka, AK after 10 days on the water.
Terry's empty Tiderace Xplore in James Town Bay, after another amazing trip to Alaska