A reader inquired about Mike Sokol’s qualifications as an electrical expert, before he took his advice. Here’s Mike’s response:
Well, I graduated with a mechanical engineering degree back in 1974, then studied electrical engineering at Cornell University while I began working as an electrical engineer at Corning Glass. At Corning I was a robotics control designer as well as industrial power engineer doing a lot of 3-phase power distribution for the plant, including troubleshooting electrical problems in a 1-million-square-foot building, as well as training the electricians there.
I got my Master Electricians license in 1978, then built and calibrated nuclear guidance systems for a military contractor in the early ’80s. I had my own computer integration business for the next 10 years doing board-level diagnostics and repair including connecting numerous banks to the federal reserve computers before the Internet took over. I then began teaching audio production techniques all around the country including private classes for Apple’s Core Audio group and Microsoft’s audio engineering group.
Oh, yes. I’ve been a musician since I could talk (my mom says I could play piano by the age of 2) and have presented over 1,000 seminars on large sound system design and operation all around the country, as well as written thousands of technology articles in dozens of pro-sound magazines over the last 30 years.
I taught myself electricity starting when I was 10 years old, and by the age of 14 I had taken the U.S. Navy’s course on tube theory that my uncle gave me. If you Google – Mike Sokol Surround – you’ll see that I’ve been a guest professor teaching advanced audio production techniques at Peabody, Yale, Berkley, Tempe Conservatory and a hundred other colleges and universities around the country.
I currently design large power distribution systems for big concert sound and lighting, and have done this for shows up to and including the presidential elections in D.C. Basically, everything I do professionally involves designing, building, troubleshooting, teaching about and operating high power electrical gear. I’m also the moderator of the AC Power & Grounding forum and participate on dozens of forums in both the RV and pro-sound industry. There’s also much more to my electrical background than I wrote about here, but this gives you an idea of my qualifications on this topic.
Please be assured that I also have my articles vetted by my electrical engineering colleagues, one of whom is a power substation designer, while another one was an electrical engineer on a nuclear submarine.
Don’t worry, I take my job as a tech writer very seriously and double-check everything before it’s posted.