Book 3 and New School Format

Hello everyone,

Recently completed Book 2 and the new school format it in effect. Book 3 Syllabus looks to be very exciting. In the first lesson we learned how to plan out the electrical work for a residential home; and next session we will be learning how estimates are done. Two topics that I am looking forward to are the power quality and structured cabling sessions and labs.

I believe with the new format in which we do more hands on labs. Our skill and knowledge level should increase at a faster rate. Just after the first session of Book three I was able to have a more intelligent conversation with my foreman about, transformers, planning, and how the use of the code book. Hopefully the upcoming sessions will yield similar results.

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My Transfer (So Far So Good)

I have been assigned to a new company for almost 4 weeks now, and I have to say that I really enjoy working with this company. I was nervous about the transfer because the first company that I was with, I really enjoyed the people that I worked with; and I did not know how the people were going to be at my new company. But the jobs that I worked was either hurry up and get the job done last week, or hurry up and wait for someone else to finish their work before we can get started.

With the hurry up and finish last week scenario it is harder to hone in skills that you learn and perfect them, because you have to hit the ground running and keep moving without fully understanding what you are doing and why. I don’t have any issues with that due to my military experience, but it is hard to get questions answered when the journeymen that you are helping are constantly under pressure to get something done a week ago.

Besides being under these conditions the journeymen were very knowledgeable and helpful and pretty decent people. So my overall experience with the company was good.

So far my experience with the new company has been slightly better due to the fact that the journeymen don’t seem to be as stressed out as they did with my previous company. All of the journeymen I met so far are also knowledgeable, helpful and decent people. But they seem to be in accord and on the same page as management.

And as far as the work go. We have been working at a steady pace and I am busy all day which gives me the opportunity to hone in on my skills and have the attention of the journeymen when I need guidance.

The only complaint I have so far is the distance I have to travel, 1 hour and a half. But my overall experience has been good so far.

Rough times!!!!

Well its been some time now since my last blog. I had a lot of trouble come my way. A week or so after my last post I got into another accident. This time it was with my motorcycle. A bunch of friends and myself went out for a nice Sunday cruise so I thought I would be okay with my helmet, shorts and a t-shirt. Really bad decision! The peg that you rest your foot on snapped ( no i was doing anything dumb). Went to up-shift and my foot went right to the asphalt. My body slid back in the seat and fingers slipped off of the clutch. next thing I know I’m rolling on the asphalt at about 65mph. Again I’m fine but my body got alot of road rash that’s gonna take a while to fully heal. I swear my luck has been the worst here lately. Missed almost Two weeks of work and a day of school. Lost out on a lot of overtime and just money in general. Its hard to catch up when you miss that much time. I’m still trying now. Since I’ve been back to work the job has slowed down. Were back to the 6-2 shift and now its a lot of different tasks everyday. From pulling cat5 wire to fishing MC down a wall for a added receptacle. Also the transfer happens again in two weeks. This part is always the part that kinda makes you worry. At least i do! You have no idea where your going to work or for what company. It could be a 15 mile drive a day or a 100 mile drive. The best part i look forward to is its gonna be a new experience, new teachers and new tasks. Ill find out where in going the next day I’m in school but i cant write about it until my next post ( which wont take as long as this one did, sorry ). Until then ladies and gents!

Overtime

Sorry its been so long that ive made a blog but life and work has been crazy. I just recently got into a car accident and totaled my car. Im fine and just some bruises. Its hard to hurt superman lol! Work has been a little crazy. Pulling alot of hours, 6 ten hour days and might have to work all weekend this weekend. The overtime couldnt have came at a better time with my accident. Just a little burnt out, but the good thing is if im working I cant spend money. Im starting to see that my responsibilities are becoming alot greater. Alot of work on my own and when I am paired with someone I become a teacher. Which is no problem but it gives me alot more respect for the teachers at our school. To be able to teach a person that they really dont understand is a complicated. On a ending note I would like to welcome our new blogger Kareem Stromann. Welcome brother and i wish you the best through the apprenticeship. Until next time!

Don’t Chase Ghosts; Know Your System

Hi all,

In school I hear repeatedly that in order to be a good electrician you have to know how to troubleshoot; and that consists of:

Knowing the theory on how your system operates and Knowing how to use your test instruments so that you can tell if your system is operating properly.

A couple of weeks ago my foreman and I were working on a fire alarm system. We had to have the system turned off so that we could relocate a box and re-splice the wire.

Before the system was turned off, the system was all green. But after we performed our work and turned the system back on the panel was showing an error message; and since we performed work on the system everyone was pointing the finger at us.

I can remember the words of my foreman “We aint about to be chasing no ghosts”. Because all we did was move a box and re-spliced the wires.

So we got out the multimeter and by knowing that in a fire alarm system the wires loop back to the panel. We tested our splices and then we went to the panel were our wires looped at and tested for continuity and all six loops were ok.

After testing and proving that our wiring was ok; one of the people in charge of the panel called someone and they told him to reseat a card that was in the panel. After he reseated the card the system was green again.

Now if we did not know the theory behind how the fire alarm system operate and did not know how to test for shorts and continuity we may have been there a long time trying to figure out something that did not have anything to do with the wiring.

So don’t chase ghost, know the theory behind the system you’re working on and know how to use your test instruments.

Jumping Around

      I’ve certainly had a change of pace in the last few months. I had been at a site in Gaithersburg, MD when I was moved to Reston, VA for just two weeks. While in Reston I spent my time troubleshooting lighting circuits and laying out and installing light fixtures. From that brief stay, I was then for a short time moved back to a different site in Gaithersburg. Here a group of four of us spent a week doing preventative maintenance work by preparing all the panels, disconnects, crack units, motor control centers and more in the building to be thermal imaged. This allows potential problems areas to be identified before any issues would arise that would cause an unscheduled disruption in power that would threaten the type of work taking place. During that time we were able to identify four or five hotspots that were in need of maintenance. I was able to gain a better appreciation for the work we were doing because at the same time in school we were reviewing power quality issues with this type of work being one of the topics. This gave me a chance to really relate and understand all aspects of what we were doing and why is was necessary.
       From Gaithersburg I was transferred to my current site in Washington, DC. For the past month and a half I’ve been working in an apartment building trouble shooting, installing lights, and finishing out floors. Despite the traffic and the few hours added to my day, it’s been an okay job site. This is the most jobs I’ve ever been to with a single contractor and with it wrapping up in a few weeks it looks like my jumping around isn’t finished yet.

My Work Experience

Hello everyone. My name is Kareem and I am a first year apprentice for the JATC Local 26. This is my first blogging experience so bear with me. I will try and make my blog short and sweet, and list some of the experience I gained since I have been an apprentice, and why I enjoy the apprenticeship.

I am in my 7th month of my apprenticeship and I can truly say that I have a new found respect for the electrical field and the apprenticeship. I have learned that there is a lot more to the electrical field then just outlets, switches, and lights. So far I have been with one company, but I have had the opportunity to work on multiple projects. On these projects I have meet several knowledgeable journeymen and foremen’s and have been introduced to various aspects of the electrical field.

I came into the apprenticeship with no field experience and within seven months I gained experience in:

Pulling cable, labeling homeruns, running conduit, building racks, running fire alarm wire, testing fire alarm systems, troubleshooting fire alarm systems, creating whips, hanging light fixtures, installing switches and outlets.

And the list can go on.

I enjoy learning new things, so I can truly say that I enjoy the company I am with now because they allow me to work on different assignments such as construction, cell sites, and solar. This keeps me looking forward and excited about my apprenticeship.
My next post will be about my experience with school and book 1.