Ted Barrett                                                   - Training, Consultancy and Technical Services

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Blog for August

Okay, that's August done and dusted. I already told you that I was at the best part of my working life, so that is why I’m off on holiday again for a couple of weeks in good old Espania. As luck would have it I had a fairly light month in terms of engagements but enough to pay the rent. For the record, I’ve done 1 x PAT course, 1 x Minor Works course, 1 day of a Inspect & Test course, 2 x Electrical Safety courses and 2 x AM2 Preparation courses. I’ve also had one visit to ENT to have my deaf ears cleaned and TV surveyed plus one visit to the dentist to have a holed filling removed, re-drilled (nice) and re-filled.

While doing a spot of maintenance on my test rigs with my old mate Mr Griffiths we discovered that the resistors in a certain assessment rig had gone out of spec in part of the circuit. This was a bit of a stinker to determine with any accuracy as the values of resistance are so low that surface resistance of a conductor can make a difference. Not only that, when a resistor is failing it becomes non-consistent, so the bloody values keep changing. Anyway when Mr Griffiths took his Burkini off (ah-ha, put that in there to see if you were paying attention). We eventually sussed that we had a batch of cooked resistors and the smell plus further testing confirmed this.

At the time of writing I have now upgraded these resistors to 10 and 25 Watt versions that I have mounted in a 300mm x 300mm adaptable box (for rear mounting on the assessment board as a retro-fit) and have just ordered 2 x 80mm fans for top and bottom fixing to the adaptable box – so let’s see if the candidates can bugger up these!

Oh, and only just found out that BS EN RCDS/RCBOs are allowed up to 300mS on testing (x1) but I remain unclear on the reasoning behind this so would be grateful for any enlightenment. I think we need to make a BIG thing of this as it could form the basis of a sneaky exam question. Particularly as the BS EN numbers quoted are our common types. I would like to know why the IET didn’t advise its members as to this change, so may well be stomping round to Savoy Place and rattle a few cages. The good news is of course, that these devices normally operate within tens of milliseconds so are normally well within limits. However, I will research this a bit more and publish my findings next month.

Meanwhile, if you happen to be in Spain and see a guy laid on the beach reading a copy of BS7671, you can quite happily kick him in the knackers cos that won’t be me (I will be the beach-bum chuckling under the shade of a palm tree!).

So in the style of the late and great Kenny Everett, stay safe my little chums, and I will give you another update at the end of next month.

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