Ok people, I’ve been keeping on top of this blog business so I can make my post for November fairly early in December. And talking of bangs (that was a bit of a dodgy link wasn’t it!) I’m a bit disappointed to see that the 5th of November AKA “Firework Night” here in the UK is becoming more and more of a non-event and “Halloween” is taking precedence. Of course the reason for this is saleability – Shops and stores can dress up their staff and sell masks, capes and pumpkins by the ton. Compared to selling fireworks this is a much better proposal.
But let’s get back to those bangs. When I started my apprenticeship green sleeving was just coming in, rewirable fuses not circuit breakers were in the majority and, I am ashamed to say, the common idea of circuit testing was if you turned it on and it didn’t go bang, it must be alright. I’m pleased to say we have made great advances since then and things rarely go bang these days.
So where have I been this month? Well, Horsham, High Wycombe, Dagenham, Datchett and Southampton to name but a few. Several laps round the M25 (not including wrong turns). I only hope that if you could trace all the routes I took on to a sheet of paper it would spell out a rude word.
A few months back I reported that certain RCDs were permitted a disconnection time of within 300ms and promised to get back to on the whys and wherefores of this. Well it appears that this has been rumbling on for a number of years and you can see on a variety of IET forums that the answer is not exactly all that clear. I think the best that we can say is that the increased time limit is to accommodate the EN part of the standard that is after all a european standard (EN = European Norm = approved by CEN, CENELEC or ETSI). At the end of the day though, this becomes academic as these devices usually operate at much lower levels than 300mS anyway.
So, what does December hold for me and Sparkyhood in general? Well for me, at least one viewing of the Griswolds “Christmas Vacation” and a nice series of multimeter courses in High Wycombe. A couple of electrical safety and Maintenance courses in Southend and Westminster. and there’s me hoping for a quiet month! We also enter the season of Christmas dinners with my first one being a charity event on December the 2nd. I have many more to follow after that, catching up with old chums etc and shall undoubtedly still be spitting feathers well into the New Year.
For all sparkies it will be the season of checking/repairing Christmas tree lights and running temporary supplies whether it be at work or home. And spare a thought for all of those on shift or on call over the festive season no matter what trade they are in. I remember going to church one Christmas day morning with the call-out phone in my pocket set to “Vibrate only” – it does take away a little bit of the Christmas spirit to say the least.
And to leave you all in the Christmas spirit, what's your favourite carol? Mine is "In the bleak midwinter", it may sound a bit of a dirge but to me it makes me think of what Christmas must have been like in this country not so long ago - bloody hard. Have a good one folks, put your tools away over the holiday and spend time with your family.