Binary numbering and how to teach a moron

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Hi folks,
I am trying to teach a young lad how to set up binary addressable fire alarm systems and no matter how I explain it, or how much I write it down or draw it for him, he just can't seem to grasp the concept. Now I know it is the way I'm trying teach him and not the way he learns (?) so I'm looking for any suggestions on ways to get this principle over to him.
He's bright when it comes to learning everything else, so it must be the way I'm doing it that has him confused. What it the simplest way to describe this numbering system. I've even given him homework to do, using the binary system to count to one hundred, but he still gets it wrong time and time again.
He needs to know how the DIP switches are configured in each detector to give them a unique number on the control panel. But I'm now tearing my hair out trying to get it through to him. HELP !!!
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In uk.d-i-y, BigWallop wrote:

I don't know how many bits you're talking about, but consider supplying him with a simple look-up table rather than trying to teach him the system.
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Mike Barnes

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Mike Barnes wrote:

I use a binary/hex/decimal calculator myself, whilst I know how to do the conversions I just can't be bothered with it ;)
Lee
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I've given him a calculator to use when he needs to, and he knows how to convert the decimal number into binary on it. But then he tells me it gets him even more confused because the number that comes up on the screen is just 1's and 0's and he doesn't know how to make the DIP switches look the same as them.
I've even explained that when it shows a 1 it means it's ON, and similarly when O it is OFF, but then he'll either turn it upside down or make a balustrade of swapping it over to the switches themselves.
I'm now down to only a couple of hairs in my head, so to stop me going bald, I think I'll leave him in the workshop. :-))
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"BigWallop" wrote | > > I don't know how many bits you're talking about, but consider | > > supplying him with a simple look-up table rather than trying | > > to teach him the system. | I've given him a calculator to use when he needs to, and he knows how to | convert the decimal number into binary on it. But then he tells me it gets | him even more confused because the number that comes up on the screen is | just 1's and 0's and he doesn't know how to make the DIP switches look the | same as them. | I've even explained that when it shows a 1 it means it's ON, and similarly | when O it is OFF, but then he'll either turn it upside down or make a | balustrade of swapping it over to the switches themselves.
Then you either give him a lookup table with ONs and OFFs in the same layout as the DIPs on the detectors like (assuming ON is UP):
1 ON OFF OFF
----------------------------- 2 ON OFF OFF
----------------------------- 3 ON ON
----------------------------- 4 ON OFF OFF -----------------------------
OR you spend half-an-hour one evening setting all the dip switches on the detectors to different, then writing in magic-marker the number in 'normal' inside the cover, so Laddo just has to copy the 'normal' number off the detector onto the plan or location list as he installs each one.
OR you spend an hour one evening, setting all the dip switches in the detectors, writing the number in magic-marker inside the cover, making the list of locations or marked up plan, so all Laddo has to do is put detector 318 in location 318 on the plan.
Owain
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On Tue, 14 Oct 2003 13:39:09 GMT, "BigWallop"

Can you try him that it's "the limit" for base rather than a descriptive of the top value (which is how I am guessing he sees it)
I wonder if this "effect" is caused by that weird system they teach for adding up by subtracting - or whatever it is they teach them of that sort. (I have to say I can't grasp that one at all, but then I learned the old way, and I'm not that good with mental math either) I can program though, and algebra was always fun I felt. However I have been forced to conclude I wasn't "wired up" right anyway for that alone! ;O)
Take Care, Gnube {too thick for linux}
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As I say Mike, I've given him tables to take home and work out how to make the switch number 100 say, and he still gets it wrong most of the time. I'm getting tired following him around or sending another guy out. He's making the numbers up as he goes along I think. :-))
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...

I think that what Mike is suggesting is a table with numbers 1 to 128 (assuming 8 switches) and a picture or diagram of the DIP switches in the correct places for each number. It might take a bit of work to create it, but, once done, you wouldn't need to teach anybody binary for them to be able to set the switches properly.
Colin Bignell
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Thanks Colin. I've already started this, but I'm running out of paper already. :-))
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Ahem :-)
0     00000000 1     00000001 2     00000010 3     00000011 4     00000100 5     00000101 6     00000110 7     00000111 8     00001000 9     00001001 10     00001010 11     00001011 12     00001100 13     00001101 14     00001110 15     00001111 16     00010000 17     00010001 18     00010010 19     00010011 20     00010100 21     00010101 22     00010110 23     00010111 24     00011000 25     00011001 26     00011010 27     00011011 28     00011100 29     00011101 30     00011110 31     00011111 32     00100000 33     00100001 34     00100010 35     00100011 36     00100100 37     00100101 38     00100110 39     00100111 40     00101000 41     00101001 42     00101010 43     00101011 44     00101100 45     00101101 46     00101110 47     00101111 48     00110000 49     00110001 50     00110010 51     00110011 52     00110100 53     00110101 54     00110110 55     00110111 56     00111000 57     00111001 58     00111010 59     00111011 60     00111100 61     00111101 62     00111110 63     00111111 64     01000000 65     01000001 66     01000010 67     01000011 68     01000100 69     01000101 70     01000110 71     01000111 72     01001000 73     01001001 74     01001010 75     01001011 76     01001100 77     01001101 78     01001110 79     01001111 80     01010000 81     01010001 82     01010010 83     01010011 84     01010100 85     01010101 86     01010110 87     01010111 88     01011000 89     01011001 90     01011010 91     01011011 92     01011100 93     01011101 94     01011110 95     01011111 96     01100000 97     01100001 98     01100010 99     01100011 100     01100100 101     01100101 102     01100110 103     01100111 104     01101000 105     01101001 106     01101010 107     01101011 108     01101100 109     01101101 110     01101110 111     01101111 112     01110000 113     01110001 114     01110010 115     01110011 116     01110100 117     01110101 118     01110110 119     01110111 120     01111000 121     01111001 122     01111010 123     01111011 124     01111100 125     01111101 126     01111110 127     01111111
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wrote:

Been there. Done all this for him. But he still doesn't grasp the concept.
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Ah well, it was worth a go :-)
Maybe he's just getting confused by the terminology, which is why he's wondering why it's base 2 when there are no 2s, just ones and zeros? Are there any software learning tools which might help him I wonder?
G.
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wrote:

Thanks for this suggestion G. Now on my list for things to look out for while surfing the web.
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On Tue, 14 Oct 2003 14:02:22 GMT, "BigWallop"

I think, then, that you can conclude that he doesn't have the intellectual capability to do this task ...
What "concept" are you trying to convey, BTW? That code 124 is represented as binary 01111100, or that it should be set up as OFF ON ON ON ON ON OFF OFF?
Julian
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Julian Fowler
julian (at) bellevue-barn (dot) org (dot) uk
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LOL !!!
Exactly ! But with other calculus he's brilliant and this has only been brought to my attention with the amount of complaints from other engineers that are following him up to do the commissioning. Back to the drawing board. :-))
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if he objects there is no 2 in binary then point out we have no digit for base ten either. We make one out of combining a 1 to say we have 1 lot of ten and a 0 to say we have no lots of ones. Whereas Eleven is made up of a 1 in the tens column and a 1 in the ones column. Then extend to hundreds and thousands. Once he has the concept that we use column keepers in base ten it might be easier for him to get the concept in binary.
Peter
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wrote:

But he has the concept of decimal numbering and the column systems used to denominate the multiple ten system, but I can't make him understand the same sort of principle for binary. For a youngster, he even has whole number fractions off to a tea, and he can work out minus relationships on temperature gauges with no particular problems. It just seems to be the concept of using only 1's and 0's to translate a decimal number to binary. It's a weird one. :-)) But I'm sticking with it.
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spamguard@_spam_guard.com says...

or octel numbers.
Paul
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On Tue, 14 Oct 2003 18:14:50 GMT, "BigWallop"

AH! Maybe he does not see zero as a digit or valid number!? That could explain it in part. There ARE 2 digits (1 & 0), but maybe he's blind on that bit? If he can see 01234567890 as base ten (ten possible digits), then there's no reason he can see 01 as base 2 (2 possible digits), and if put to him in those terms, I'd say that (assuming he is truly & demonstrably rational), then it proves he's quite possibly pulling your leg about not seeing it!
I know it's cliche, but I really do feel your pain! ;O)
Take Care, Gnube {too thick for linux}
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That's eleven, you've got two 0's. :-)
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