Author Topic: Working alongside an electrician.  (Read 9260 times)

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Offline Mint.

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Working alongside an electrician.
« on: February 29, 2012, 06:05:32 am »
Is it possible to learn about electronics if you work alongside as a helper with an electrician? I've heard a few people have done so, how is the experience?
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Offline joelby

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Re: Working alongside an electrician.
« Reply #1 on: February 29, 2012, 06:08:02 am »
Probably not! Electricians don't tend to deal with electronics very much. Which one of the two are you interested in?
 

Offline Mint.

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Re: Working alongside an electrician.
« Reply #2 on: February 29, 2012, 06:12:51 am »
I was maybe thinking of getting a part time job so maybe I could get something that has to do with electronics so I could enjoy my job and maybe gain some experience and knowledge.
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Offline 8086

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Re: Working alongside an electrician.
« Reply #3 on: February 29, 2012, 06:14:07 am »
You would probably enjoy it, but it wouldn't do very much for you in terms of electronics.
 

Uncle Vernon

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Re: Working alongside an electrician.
« Reply #4 on: February 29, 2012, 07:01:33 am »
Probably not! Electricians don't tend to deal with electronics very much.

That would depend entirely upon the electrician and their scope of business. While most will primarily be installation based, the don't all just run light & power.
Electrical TA isn't the greatest career path into electronics, but it's a long way ahead of doing nothing, if that is the alternative. Any workplace experience is good experience and all helps on the CV when trying for that first tech job.
 

Offline Joy at MCS

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Re: Working alongside an electrician.
« Reply #5 on: February 29, 2012, 09:40:52 am »
What about working at a Calibraton house in the repair department?

Most Electricians I know  use  Pat testers,  Fluke DTX 1800's and maybe the occassional  Power Quality Analyzers, but not the general purpose   test equipment like oscilloscopes , network analyzers and spectrum analyzers etc.

 

Offline siliconmix

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Re: Working alongside an electrician.
« Reply #6 on: February 29, 2012, 09:51:36 pm »
Is it possible to learn about electronics if you work alongside as a helper with an electrician? I've heard a few people have done so, how is the experience?
most of them i know  are crazy.they take too many risks in my book.one i knew claimed "shocks are ok
if your expecting one"  oh yes and " i've goton used to the shocks over the years ".it doesn't enter theyre heads they could trip or fall when working live stuff.go to college or something dont pick up bad habits from sparkey's.
 

Offline Jimmy

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Re: Working alongside an electrician.
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2012, 01:38:53 am »
I am an electrician and work on electronics stuff at work and as a hobby. Boss loves me because if there is something wrong with a $4000 light curtain I get the soldering Iron out not the phone book.

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Offline McPete

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Re: Working alongside an electrician.
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2012, 09:21:40 am »
I did an apprenticeship where I worked in an in-house calibration facility, servicing test gear for an electricity company. I got to see all sorts of stuff, from simple capacitively coupled HV line detectors, run of the mill DMMs, some really strange industry specific test gear for control and protection systems, up to Fluke Scopemeters and some really nice Australian-made power quality loggers (PowerMonic).

I worked with electricians, engineers, linesmen, cable joiners, truck drivers.... and I qualified as something completely different; an instrument fitter!

After that, I picked up a traineeship as an associate-level engineer. And all of it was valuable experience. Now I work with trades as diverse as carpenters, HVAC techs, plus post-grad chemists and biologists.

All swings and roundabouts my friend :) Give it a try!
 

Uncle Vernon

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Re: Working alongside an electrician.
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2012, 10:41:21 pm »
go to college or something dont pick up bad habits from sparkey's.

Potentially learning an entirely different set of bad habits? The bad habits of acne'd students and tutors with beards.

I worked with electricians, engineers, linesmen, cable joiners, truck drivers.... and I qualified as something completely different; an instrument fitter!

After that, I picked up a traineeship as an associate-level engineer. And all of it was valuable experience. Now I work with trades as diverse as carpenters, HVAC techs, plus post-grad chemists and biologists.

All swings and roundabouts my friend :) Give it a try!
A far more realistic evaluation. It's surprising what you can learn from (at times) the most unlikely sources. As McPete has stated he picked up his qualifications at both college and TAFE. But there was a hell of a lot of invaluable stuff/skills learned along the way that no college will ever provide. Much better equipped than some naive graduate competing for the same spots in the workplace.
 

Offline Adrien

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Re: Working alongside an electrician.
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2012, 11:15:26 pm »
You would certainly learn a thing or two if the electrician was an industrial / maintenance electrician. Not if you are wiring houses indeed
"I can't blow my 400mA DMM fuse I am only using 10V from the bench top power supply" says the electronics lecturer
 

Offline vk6zgo

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Re: Working alongside an electrician.
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2012, 02:47:52 pm »
If you are going to work on big stuff ,like radio or TV  transmitters,working with a "Sparky" could give you very useful background on
Circuit Breakers,Mains Contactors,power boards & power control circuitry,all stuff you will run up against in High Power Radio Sites.

Quite a few Electricians do a lot of stuff that Electronics Techs traditionally did,such as phone wiring,CAT5/6 cabling,TV antennas, etc.
If you are going to be an EE,having an idea of what real world stuff looks like,may give you some "Street Cred" with the Techs & Electricians.
It would also be nice if you could learn a bit about Diesel Standby power plant,while you are at it! ;D
 

Offline FreeThinker

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Re: Working alongside an electrician.
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2012, 03:45:59 pm »
Is it possible to learn about electronics if you work alongside as a helper with an electrician? I've heard a few people have done so, how is the experience?
most of them i know  are crazy.they take too many risks in my book.one i knew claimed "shocks are ok
if your expecting one"  oh yes and " i've goton used to the shocks over the years ".it doesn't enter theyre heads they could trip or fall when working live stuff.go to college or something dont pick up bad habits from sparkey's.
I'm a 'Sparky' by trade and work as a maintenance tech. I do not consider getting an electric shock as an occupational hazard, and any one who does is really a fool in my book. Having said that I have had one or two 'belts' in my time through faulty equipment (mainly damaged mains cables) and have suffered no ill effects, Earth leakage and Mcb's make death by electrocution much less likely and reduce the risks to 'Phasors set to tickle mode' in the vast majority of cases. The difference between you and a sparky is he (she) has the upmost respect for electricity AND a confidence/knowledge to do things mere mortals baulk at so please, don't confuse being good at your job with being crazy......we know where you live ;D
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Offline FreeThinker

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Re: Working alongside an electrician.
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2012, 04:25:38 pm »
There are many support company's that repair industrial control boards as a third party as most company's do not have the facility's to repair complex control units in house. These tend to cover a wide range of manufacturers ie Seimens, Allen Bradley, Mitsubishi etc and a wide range of controls ie Inverters, PLC's , Stepper drives and so on. This can give you a great grounding in fault finding and how systems work, repair techniques and manual skills. This is the closest you will get to an 'apprenticeship' and may point you in the direction of a more specialised area.
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Offline david77

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Re: Working alongside an electrician.
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2012, 05:03:57 pm »
Working with an electrician for some time will certainly be interesting and you will learn a thing or two. Even if you're going to work in electronics rather than in the electrical trade. Working on a building site with all the tradesmen around is also good fun and you'll walk away with some great war stories.
I've done it a couple of times and have certainly learned a lot about mains wiring, safety procedures, house installations etc.
There are some mad sparkys out there, don't copy their bad habits. Though it certainly is impressive to wittness an electrician ripping an old consumer unit (3 phase 230V) out of a brick wall while it's still live and then wiring in a new one still with the power on. You either have to be mental or very stupid do pull a stunt like that  :o. He wasn't stupid, I can assure you.

I've met electricians who only know how to pull wires and mount switches and sockets, some are totally incompetent even in their own field and some are very bright sparks who also do electronics repairs. These days it is a very diverse and interesting field to work in.
 

Offline FreeThinker

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Re: Working alongside an electrician.
« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2012, 05:55:04 pm »
Working with an electrician for some time will certainly be interesting and you will learn a thing or two. Even if you're going to work in electronics rather than in the electrical trade. Working on a building site with all the tradesmen around is also good fun and you'll walk away with some great war stories.
I've done it a couple of times and have certainly learned a lot about mains wiring, safety procedures, house installations etc.
There are some mad sparkys out there, don't copy their bad habits. Though it certainly is impressive to wittness an electrician ripping an old consumer unit (3 phase 230V) out of a brick wall while it's still live and then wiring in a new one still with the power on. You either have to be mental or very stupid do pull a stunt like that  :o. He wasn't stupid, I can assure you.

I've met electricians who only know how to pull wires and mount switches and sockets, some are totally incompetent even in their own field and some are very bright sparks who also do electronics repairs. These days it is a very diverse and interesting field to work in.
Please remember that 3ph 240v is only 110v to earth , not considered a lethal voltage in normal circumstances (though not recommended). 3ph 415v on the other hand is 240v to earth and is a whole other ball game, but I cannot envisage any circumstances that would justify such an act apart from laziness or greed.
Machines were mice and Men were lions once upon a time, but now that it's the opposite it's twice upon a time.
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Offline david77

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Re: Working alongside an electrician.
« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2012, 06:12:23 pm »
I meant 3ph 230V to ground, 400V phase to phase, standard domestic service here.
I suspect it was laziness that made him do it. The main fuses after the meter were just too far away and he couldn't be bothered ::).
« Last Edit: March 02, 2012, 06:14:22 pm by david77 »
 

Offline G7PSK

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Re: Working alongside an electrician.
« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2012, 06:25:28 pm »
Sometime you have to work hot, I once knew an electrician who would grab hold of a live wire and hold it as long as you liked him to, the secret rubber shoes and one hand mind you when I tried it I got one hell of a buzz at first then it stopped, twenty minuets later I went to wash my hands and when I turned the tap got one hell of a belt as I discharged, not something I recommend but linesmen work hot all the time with far higher voltages, I have seen them standing in a water filled trench working on 11KV lines but they were standing on a rubber mat wearing rubber boots and wearing rubber gloves.
 

Online IanB

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Re: Working alongside an electrician.
« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2012, 07:56:19 pm »
Please remember that 3ph 240v is only 110v to earth , not considered a lethal voltage in normal circumstances (though not recommended). 3ph 415v on the other hand is 240v to earth and is a whole other ball game, but I cannot envisage any circumstances that would justify such an act apart from laziness or greed.

You have a few misunderstandings here. Firstly 240 V or even 110 V are most definitely lethal voltages, even though 415 V may be considered more lethal from some viewpoints.

In the UK, standard low voltage distribution to homes and small businesses is from a three phase transformer 415 V phase to phase and 240 V phase to neutral. A normal house gets one phase and neutral as a single phase 240 V supply. So anyone who says "240 V three phase" in the UK and other parts of Europe is implying a 415 V (or 400 V) line voltage. There is no instance of a 240 V phase to phase supply in the UK (which would imply a 139 V phase to neutral voltage). There is also no instance of a 110 V or 120 V supply in the UK (other than special low power isolated electric shaver outlets). The domestic mains voltage is 240 V.

Any three phase switch or cabinet in the UK will have "Danger: 415 V" written on it in big red letters. I don't believe it is normally permitted by regulations to work hot on such a supply.
I'm not an EE--what am I doing here?
 

Offline david77

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Re: Working alongside an electrician.
« Reply #19 on: March 02, 2012, 08:11:09 pm »
There used to be - and maybe still are - 3ph 220V phase to phase networks in some areas of Germany. If I'm not mistaken they have 127V ph to neutral.

As far as I can tell working live under certain circumstances is quite normal for electricians. VDE0105 regulates that here and up to 1kV there are no big hurdles. But talking about VDE you have to realise that it's only really a code of practice that has no law like character. So if the electrician (master tradesman) decides to swap a live fuse box it is his own decision and his responsibility to complete the work safely. If he gets zapped it's his own problem.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2012, 08:37:12 pm by david77 »
 

Offline Zero999

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Re: Working alongside an electrician.
« Reply #20 on: March 02, 2012, 09:19:57 pm »
There used to be - and maybe still are - 3ph 220V phase to phase networks in some areas of Germany. If I'm not mistaken they have 127V ph to neutral.
No, 220V phase to phase would be 152.5V to neutral.
 

Online IanB

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Re: Working alongside an electrician.
« Reply #21 on: March 02, 2012, 09:25:54 pm »
There used to be - and maybe still are - 3ph 220V phase to phase networks in some areas of Germany. If I'm not mistaken they have 127V ph to neutral.
No, 220V phase to phase would be 152.5V to neutral.

No, it would be 127 V phase to neutral ( 220 / sqrt(3) = 127).
I'm not an EE--what am I doing here?
 

Uncle Vernon

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Re: Working alongside an electrician.
« Reply #22 on: March 02, 2012, 10:28:34 pm »
when I tried it I got one hell of a buzz at first then it stopped, twenty minuets later
It should have taken fewer minutes to realise it was a good idea to let go. (not that you always have the option of letting go.)

Quote
I went to wash my hands and when I turned the tap got one hell of a belt as I discharged,
When you what? On planet earth it doesn't work like that! Flesh & gizzard is not a good storage medium for direct or alternating current.

Quote
not something I recommend but linesmen work hot all the time with far higher voltages, I have seen them standing in a water filled trench working on 11KV lines but they were standing on a rubber mat wearing rubber boots and wearing rubber gloves.
Rubber mat isn't going to do a thing with HV in a damp environment, (That shit will jump to get you.)
As for working live there are numerous reasons for doing so, though more for LV than HV applications (That shit will jump to get you.). Live work can be undertaken in relative safety with appropriate respect and understanding of the forces involved, despite what any bunch of clueless OH&S knobs and armchair experts may wish to suggest.

Vernons Rules for Live Works!
  • Electricity does not care about insulation colour
  • Have a clue!
  • Ohms law applies everywhere and at all times
  • RCDs are not an absolute in terms of avoiding electrocution
  • Never trust a switch position as isolation measure first, measure again
  • Dont mess with shit you do not understand
  • Never set fire to the apprentice, no matter how funny it may appear to your peers
  • Don't work alone. Someone has to call triple-O
  • Have a clue!
  • Dont work live! Or more importantly, don't let clueless nancy state interferers know you are/have/ever intended to
  • Have a clue!
« Last Edit: March 02, 2012, 10:31:20 pm by Uncle Vernon »
 

Offline FreeThinker

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Re: Working alongside an electrician.
« Reply #23 on: March 03, 2012, 08:03:09 am »
Just as an aside Did you know 12v can kill a cow? At least that was what a large poster proclaimed on the wall of my night school when I was a lad. Apparently it is because it has four parallel routes to earth an a highly sensitive nervous system (not sure about bulls they don't seem to have a sensitive anything). Go figure!
Machines were mice and Men were lions once upon a time, but now that it's the opposite it's twice upon a time.
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Offline Rerouter

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Re: Working alongside an electrician.
« Reply #24 on: March 03, 2012, 08:09:28 am »
dc or ac freethinker?, if you picked the right frequency i am almost certain similar voltages could have quite bad effects on us, be it heart, brain, muscles or nervous system,
 


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