After vacation I went to Chicago's O'Hare Airport, boarded a DC 10, and said a sort of goodbye to my mom, dad, two sisters, and countless other relatives and friends. I landed in Los Angeles and several days later was working as a systems engineer at Hughes Aircraft in Fullerton, CA, USA.
Here I am, a 22 year old that wants to conquer the world, and wants to do it NOW! My first boss, Jim Brennan, probably about 62, was a great guy! I learn that he had worked for Collins Radio in Santa Ana, CA and was the project engineer on the UHF radio system used to communicate from Earth to the Command Module and Lunar Module. I understand that as my dad and I are laying on our stomachs in front of the TV listening to Neil Armstrong say "This is one small step for a man..." that it was my boss that was responsible for us hearing and seeing that. I was 10 years old that day and decided i wanted to be en engineer. To me, Jim was a god, and he was my first boss.
Why did I tell you all of this, @CAP-33? In almost 40 years of engineering, I've let the magic smoke out a few times. Nahhhh......let's be honest.....a few dozen times! Or is it a couple hundred times?
Jim taught me something spectacularly important. He taught me I couldn't solve every problem simultaneously. He taught me professional engineering is methodical...it is deliberate. He taught me you can only go so fast. If you try to go faster, you actually slow down (e.g. all of the recoveries from letting the magic smoke escape). He taught me, sure we hack at things, but to do things "right" we might need to order parts and wait for them to arrive. He taught me to SLOW DOWN!!!
When we let the magic smoke out, we made some sort of mistake. Bottom line is engineering is a lot of hacking and the loss of material must be anticipated. We always need to have a backup plan. Do design well, simulate, breadboard and test, commit to silicon or board and test, and test and test and test. Doing it well is rigorous. For me, after almost 40 years, it's still fun!
Datasheets are your friend! Use a regulator and keep the magic smoke where it belongs....where it can continue to do magic for you!
The folks on this forum are great! Best of fortune to you!