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 Service Technician Competencies List


You are welcomed to comment on the following competencies.  Do they correctly describe the major areas of knowledge and skill needed by Bench-Level Mobile Electronic Service Technicians?


  Send comments to: [email protected]

Mike Fabery, Project Manager



Mobile Electronics Service Technician

Competencies  (Approved by NCEE June 17, 2004)


1.0     Safety

1.1     Characterize First Aid, its proper usage and precautions

1.2     Detail electrical safety practices

1.3     Enumerate Machinery and tools dangers and list proper safety precautions for each

1.4     Explain OSHA rules

1.5     List chemicals commonly used in mobile electronics service work and be able to read and understand MSDS sheets

1.6     Explain handling and disposal procedures of materials classified as hazardous to the environment


2.0     Hand tools-supplies


2.1     Demonstrate skills and safety practices in handling basic tools (pliers, wrenches, screwdrivers, and side cutters)

2.2     Demonstrate proper and safe use of power tools (including air drivers)

2.3     Demonstrate proficiency in soldering and desoldering, including use of basic equipment, heat shunts, solder, and specialty equipment such as IC extractors

2.4     Describe protective gear and the protections it offers while using tools


3.0     Test Equipment

3.1     Compare the specification of DC power supplies and explain proper usage

3.2     Properly connect and operate and Audio and RF signal generator

3.3     Measure frequencies with a frequency counter

3.4     Explain the functions and proper usage of video display color temperature measurement/analyzers

3.5     Explain the uses of each control button of an oscilloscope and explain how oscilloscopes are used

3.6     Describe how magnifiers can aid board-level electronic technicians

3.7     Demonstrate use of an IC extractor

3.8     Demonstrate the use of a Digital Volt Meter (DVM) and Analog Volt Meter

3.9     Demonstrate the use of a Signal Tracer


4.0     Automobile environment

4.1     Explain how temperature can effect a unit

4.2     Be able to identify liquid damage in a unit and be able to clean it thoroughly

4.3     Be able to identify contamination, and what caused it (water, liquid, or air-conditioning) and contact customer to solve problem to prevent unit being a repeat repair

4.4     Identify problems affected by improper mounting, such as mounting bracket screws being to long in side of unit damaging side boards, or improper mounting of CD changer (vertical/horizontal)

4.5     Explain what effects excessive vibration has on a unit


5.0     Disassembly and Reassembly

5.1     Demonstrate the ability to disassemble and reassemble a unit

5.2     Be able to properly disassemble a unit and correctly position a unit for servicing

5.3     Properly remove any shielding from circuits while maintaining proper grounding points

5.4     Be able to follow all ESD procedures while disassembling , repairing, and reassembling unit


6.0     System Control 

6.1     Identify the main pins needed on a microprocessor for it to operate and the correct signal or value (example: power supply, ground, clock, data, etc�)

6.2     Be able to identify the operation of the control (key) matrix and values associated with it to control the microprocessor

6.3     Identify how microprocessors communicate with other IC�s (data buses) and what type of a signal should be present (waveform)

6.4     Explain how memory is stored in a unit (E-prom), and how those features are communicated with the system


7.0     Protection Circuits

7.1     List types of circuit overload and thermal protection

7.2     Be able to identify shutdown circuits

7.3     Explain how circuits communicate errors to the system control


8.0     AM/FM Circuits

8.1     Be able to identify the parts of an AM or FM block diagram

8.2     Identify the correct signal flow through an AM or FM section

8.3     Demonstrate how the system controller switches between AM and FM

8.4     If applicable, be able to determine which part of the circuit is RF, IF, or Stereo decoders (most tuner packs come as one complete module at this time)


9.0     CD/DVD principles (Electrical and Mechanical)

9.1     Explain the theory of operation for a CD

9.2     Explain the theory of operation for a DVD

9.3     Explain the differences between CD and DVD pickup circuits

9.4     Demonstrate the ability of  disassembling and reassembling a single disc CD or DVD mechanism

9.5     Demonstrate the ability of disassembling and reassembling a multi disc CD or DVD mechanism

9.6     Be able to follow signals through the decoding process, including RF, digital, and analog

9.7     Explain the differences between home units and car units

9.8     List different types of CD formats (ex. MP3, AAC, WMA, etc�)

9.9     Demonstrate the ability to determine which part of the circuit is defective by following block diagrams and schematics


10.0  Tape Mechanism principles

10.1   Demonstrate the ability to disassemble and reassemble a tape transport mechanism

10.2   Be able to check tape speed and wow and flutter and adjust or repair as necessary

10.3   Explain how the system controller controls the mechanism

10.4   Follow the signal flow from the tape head to the output

10.5   Demonstrate the ability to understand and troubleshoot mechanism problems (electrical and   mechanical)


11.0   Satellite Radio

11.1    Explain the theory of how satellite radios operate

11.2    Explain how terrestrial repeaters are used

11.3    Explain the different types of service being offered

11.4    Explain how electronic serial numbers are used


12.0   Audio Circuits

12.1    Explain the theory of how a digital signal is converted to an analog signal and how it is       controlled by the system controller

12.2    Explain the difference between digital control circuits and analog control circuits (ex-equalizers, fader controls, volume controls)

12.3    Be able to determine if an audio output IC is shorted or defective, and understand the IC�s protection circuit


13.0   Video

13.1    Be able to follow a video signal flow block diagram

13.2    Digital video and display resolution

13.3    Display panels and drive circuits

13.4    Video display panel mechanism


14.0   Navigation (GPS)

14.1    Explain how satellites are positioned

14.2    Explain the theory of operation for GPS

14.3    Describe what types of maps are used for navigation (CD, DVD, etc�)


15.0   Networking/Vehicle Components

15.1   Explain why networking is used in vehicles

15.2   Understand the different types of communication (ex. J1850, CAN, etc.)

15.3   Explain what information can be sent over a network


16.0   Troubleshooting and Repairing Circuits

16.1    Demonstrate troubleshooting techniques using schematics and factory repair information

16.2    Be able to use block diagrams to isolate the problem circuit

16.3    Demonstrate the ability to use test equipment for circuit measurement

16.4    Demonstrate the ability to remove and re-solder multi pin flat pack IC�s

16.5    Demonstrate the ability to use �common sense� troubleshooting when locating problems

16.6    Use built in diagnosis systems and software diagnostics to aid in troubleshooting

16.7    Demonstrate the ability to align a circuit properly following factory specifications

End of approved Mobile Electronics Service Technician Competencies listing.


MEST Relates to the Mobile Electronics Bench Technician.


MEI is the proposed Mobile Electronics Installer that will be described by NCEE in the coming months.


Mike Fabery is the NCEE SME Chairman for MEST. His e-mail for responses to the above approved MEST Course Content is: [email protected].