Sunday, September 21, 2014

Silent Knight and Honeywell Strike again ! Why I never trust rebuilt boards

What has been billed as the most fantastic Fire Panel on the market By Silent Knight really makes you wonder after going thru what I have with their New  EVS amplifier  panel.

In the above picture is the used rebuilt Amplifier board Honeywell SK sent me after a board went bad at a church in Cabot Pa.after only being in service for 2 months .
I hooked up the rebuilt board and boom it smoked up and shorted out .

So what the hell is going on with Silent Knight this Fire alarm not even 6 months on market and they send me a rebuilt board not a new one  they should have plenty of new ones in stock ready to go which tells me they have a problem and it has not been addressed it has now been 3 weeks and still no replacement board back from them. repairs should never take this long on a brand new product.

The best part I have to drive all the way out to Cabot Pa. in Butler county and do all the back and forth nonsense and not get paid for it. now for a second time.

Like I said  Honeywell is no longer my Partner of Choice I am looking for a new line of products to offer.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Fixing up a temporay seasonal store I get to meet a Fire extinghuisher inspector and watch him pass bad units as good.

One of my customers has gone out of business and decided to rent their store to one of those seasonal Halloween stores.

Spirit Halloween.

I was getting store ready for them as couple minor electrical things needed repaired and new battery's where needed in emergency back up light units.

While I am there working an older man and his wife pull up in a small unmarked Mini Van.
They are there to check and inspect the fire extinguishers OK no big deal needs done the units are well over the 5 year mark and will need to be replaced or Hydro tested.

Well next thing I know the guy starts pushing buttons and working on the  Fire alarm I installed and monitor for store owner.

What the hell you doing I ask him  ? here to switch the alarm monitoring over for the Halloween store
 Well I inform him to stop what he is doing I maintain system and check with the manager. manager comes over and says no he should not be doing this his work order is wrong.
So he stops what he is doing and starts checking the extinguishers. never takes one out of its mount or picks one up to check it or sake and tap the bottom to loosen the powder did not take off or inspect one hose on units just walked over and put new tags on them and never checked date they where built.

OK he has just checked 12 extinguishers in under 15 minutes and says there all OK  No sorry he did not check a thing what he has done is committed fraud  and is now going to bill Spirit for the work.
he then comes over to me and tells me yea he changes over the Vista 128FB all the time he got this special  Honeywell software on his computer from ADI and plugs it into 2 phone ports and can blink the smoke detectors and get the serial numbers.

After hearing that I know the guys a total fraud and bull shiter no such thing exists he then goes on to
tell me the panel which is 8 years old is over 12 years old and no longer UL listed.?
Really  I said can you show me that in a code book there is no such rule. well as soon as he realized I knew what I was talking about he was out the door.
I have contacted Spirit stores about this fraudster and the local AHJ and I hope they bust this clown .
Who has changed his name a couple times and works out of his home in Valencia Pa. and starts with a R  I have started contacting AHJ in my area to be aware of these 2

Why we should be encouraging our young people to embrace S.T.E.M .

You may have heard or seen a commercial for S.T.E.M.

Science ,Technology , Engineering ,Mathmatics

It is a movement in this country to get our young generation to go into these fields and rebuild what is sorely lacking in this country a highly skilled highly educated workforce to compete against the rest of the industrialized world.

Right now we have to import from other country's the Engineers and scientists we are not producing our selves.
I have a customer who is a Physicist who teaches at a local university and he has only 1-3 students who are American Citizens in his classes he teaches  the rest are all visiting students on Visas .
This is pathetic.
Our younger generation is going to college but they are not attaining the higher level degrees leaving those slots to students here on Visas.

The level of education of students in USA is far below other developed and industrialized  country's
when we use to always use to be near the top and we need to stop this decline if we are to compete in the world market.

  You can help as well by encouraging youth you know to go into one of the major goups of stem
movement .

Overqualified was all I ever heard when I applied for work and was denied. Now industry is begging for overqualified individuals like me and our answer is NO

Back in late 70's early 80's when looking for work it was I was always over qualified for a job. Just an excuse company's would give you because they did not want to pay you what you where worth.
They where not interested in skilled workers just workers who did the job some what adequate and shut the customer up.
But there where handful  of individual like me cross trained in Electronics ,Electrical and Refrigeration skills or similar skill sets and we saw our training as a step up in getting complex jobs done as electronics where crossing more and more into industry but industry ignored  this trend for what they needed deciding their maintenance men could handle it instead of hiring individuals like us and trade schools especially for profit schools  totally ignored the coming wave of technology as well and just kept turning out run of the mill employees often with little to no skill sets needed to take on the ever increasing challenges of new technology
The result most of us who cross trained opened up our own business and developed a client base who understood and appreciated our skill sets and we worked together with them to give them a ,major advantage over the competition.
While we where helping our customer's push the envelope when it come to acquiring and using the latest in technologies to the best advantages  and insuring equipment stayed operating and had good clean power with proper back up   the rest of the industry just muddled along.
But then in the late 90's as computers and  remote control and the Internet  started taking over  more and more tasks in industry and business muddled  thru  it and the events of the digital age of electronics took hold  it finally dawned on employers. Hey wait a minute our  maintenance staff  and electricians can no longer handle  what we have in out plants and business. No longer was it good enough just change a card here and there and you only need to know a little bit about wiring as assembly lines and equipment started shutting down and having hiccups and maintenance staff had no answers. Yet industry still failed to embrace the fact we need cross trained individuals who understood both electric and electronics and as more and more electronics came into the work place and more and more problems kept cropping up each year and industry found out its plants where not properly wired and designed to handle this new age of electronically controlled equipment it finally became clear to them we need more than the standard maintenance man and electricians we need  full time technicians in our plants  but when they went looking there where none to find.
Because industry's kept insisting on doing it the old fashioned way will pull some one out of a trade school and teach them in house. The result machinery  and equipment which shut down for no reason and machinery constantly breaking down and not working properly .

Thou some company's did get it and started looking for candidates which where considered over qualified  in years past they found the pool which to draw these individuals was extremely low .
Worse yet with the changing generations of youth and there work habits  coming into the work place and not even wanting to work  it was getting impossible to find employees they needed.
Thats all I ever hear from my customers how they can not find qualified employees not even entry level employees which can be trained.
One industry thou has  taken steps to make sure they will have the work force they need  and that's the natural  gas extraction  industry. They have set up vocational programs in local high schools and for profit schools to make sure they will have workers and so have the electric power company's but other industry's have not and as a result can not find qualified candidates and now the new Digital World is upon us and all those problems myself and other techs dealt with when we went from heavy relay to solid state world is now popping up in the new digital world as we go from analog to digital.
Again company's are struggling to keep up and are pulling their hair out but instead of once again making sure they have trained personnel they just muddle along. Then when they get so desperate they have no choice but to call some one like myself or others who have cross trained and can trouble shoot complex issues the answer they are getting is Sorry No we can not help you we are too busy handling our own customers.
So it goes some company embrace and understand high tech and have properly trained employees and others do not and it shows every day .

This is why you can not find quality Telephone ,Alarm , Cable TV ,   installers  and techs any more
Just try to find an well rounded truck or car mechanic/technician  or machinists  as well  yes its pathetic the lack of trained personnel available most learn on the job from some one who was never trained properly in the first place and it shows.  If the USA is ever going to be the power house manufacturer it once was it needs to get its head out of its ass embrace education and technology and get moving . Thats why I wholly embrace the STEM Movement   Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics.
It is pathetic how far down we rank in the industrialized world compared to other country's when it comes to education and is shows every day when you have fast food workers asking for $15 ann hour because they are not wiling to put forth any effort at all to go from a entry level job and work up to higher pay.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The dirty little secret that some self storage facility's know about the security of their gates.

You have some excess furniture etc you need to store off site so you go down to the local self storage facility  to store your items.
 But just how secure are these places in some cases not very .
You see even thou many of these places have gates to only let those leasing a space in  with a special code many places a simple 4 or 6  digit default code is all that is needed.
The problem it is expensive to maintain gate systems and if a controller card blows out or is not installed many gates simply will take any 4-6 digit code you enter.
you may think its your own code but it is not.

So how do I know this it is because I work on gate controllers at many places including mini storage places. 

Typical entry gate
So how do you know if your number is actually working and gate is not in default ?

Try entering a different 4-6 digit code if gate opens its not secure.  if gate is operating properly gate will not open and if its the fancy type of opener a printed message will appear of keypad code denied try again.
 another trick thieves use on gates is where the gate opens from inside automatically when car runs over the ground loop . All the thief has to do is shove a strip of metal under the gate cover the in  ground sensors ad gate opens thinking a car has come on top of it

Also remember to use a good quality lock as no lock will stop a determined thief but it will slow them down. Also choose a place which has cameras and alarms in use if what you are worried about has any value and get insurance to cover the goods.

remember that thief's will in fact pose as renters also as a way to enter and rip off facility if you see something that does not look right while at your unit report it to management and call 911 if necessary. 

Also as far as those TV shows you see where these guys make all kind of money when they buy units which have not paid there lease.  Very rarely will you ever see those kind of units prepare to get a lot of bad units you will not make your money back on.  Those shows are all hype  only time you will ever make out is a unit where an owner  has died and relatives have not pilfered it yet.
 carefully read the disclaimer when these TV shows start and u=you will see what I mean.

Big National Non Profit Charitys - Where does the money really go? -- Why are there not more cures? --- Why you should not contribute !

Yes its that time of year a well known celebrity would spend an entire weekend hosting celebrity entertainers to part you of your money for a worthy cause to cure children of a dreadful disease. While he no longer does it and the charity has cut back the show to one evening one has to ask after all the millions of dolar's raised .Why has there not been significant advances or even cures?
Well the answer is that most of the money that was donated went directly into running the charity.
Thats why I no longer contribute to any of them the only one I will donate to is  The salvation Army 90% of every dollar they take in goes back into the community while other charity's as little as 10% -30% actually makes it towards research and helping those who need help .

Disgusted or disbelieving unfortunately  yes it is the truth.

So where does the money go?

Well first you have a staff and some charity presidents make well over $350,000.00 a year
yes they get paid as much as the CEO of a big corporation. here is one article critical of the pay

Then  after staff salaries there are all those printing costs for all the donation letters etc.  there are billions of dollars spent by groups like the American Cancer Society who I will not contribute to or help.
I sent them a $100.00 donation and how did they spend it by sending me donation letters and calls for the next year.  Even after I told them thats all I could contribute at the time. How much of my $100.00 made it to cancer research in the end about$10.00  I send the money direct to research institutes now and bypass the cancer charity's.

Where else do they spend it?

Oh yes why of course they have to send expensive   thank you plaques and mementos  to contributors and hold Thank You Dinners etc etc. all with money which was donated.
Sorry I do not want any of this its just a waste of the money I gave you to find a cure.
Spend it on research not on hosting a dinner or a plaque .

They also spend on advocacy and education. Yes some money is spent on education but most of it goes to lobbyists in Washington DC  again money wasted. 

They also spend your money in ways you may not wish it spent. Yes there was a big scandal couple years back where Susan .Komen  breast Cancer  charity was sending money to fund abortions. 

So if you really want to contribute where your money can really help find the names of the institutes doing the research and send it direct to them. and the small Charity who spend the money locally and help local residents in need after of course checking them out as well. ACS gets 2 out of 4 stars very sad

This is one of several sites to check out charity's If you donate to them fine but know where your money goes.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

When a fire Official plays Electrical inspector he gets a complaint filed against him with L&I in Harrisburg

While cleaning up some minor electrical issues at a store in thats being used for 2 months to sell Halloween stuff I encountered a Fire Official who has taken it upon him self to determine what is and what is not a  electrical code violation .
Unfortunately for him there is only one person who can do this and that is a Certified Electrical Inspector recognized by local utility who holds an Electrical Inspectors I card .
This Fire official wants the tabs removed which allow breakers to be locked in place  which supply important loads like phone systems, alarms etc and labeled instead of being locked.
Sorry this is beyond his authority breaker lock tabs are permitted per NEC70# electrical code.

Breaker lock Tab

He then wants locks on breaker panels  lids which where made in 60's and are no longer available.
and  he wants a lock retrofitted to panel.
 This is a direct Violation of NEC70 # you are not permitted to alter panels
These panels are in a locked room not open to public so they do not need locked only authorized employees are allowed back in this room. 

I have filled out and filed a formal complaint with dept of Labor & Industry in Harrisburg  Pa.

So needless to say if he denies or delays this stores opening and insists on this practice he is in direct violations of rules and it will result in disciplinary action from Harrisburg and dept of labor and Industry  which will prohibit him from doing further inspections.

 I have also Notified OSHA local Office as he is violating OSHA rules when it comes to Lock out Tag out rules

Its one thing to worry about fire issues which you have been trained and should enforce it is a whole different issue when it comes to electrical issues this is where only trained professionals should be called and consulted when Fire Officials feel they have a potential problem and are not trained to effect such issues.

I know of one such community in North community's right this moment being sued when apartment owner filed suit against them after a fore official ordered it vacated. 

So this means this official has exceeded his authority ordered non problems corrected which results in electrical code violations and puts him and his township in direct liability  should anything go wrong.
as they say we will be seeing this official in court and I hope he has all his certifications in order

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

New GFCI Rules will just cause more confusion and still result in wrong units being used. Fools at NFPA and UL strike again

I could have told you this 30 years ago GFCI Ground Fault Interrupter receptacles used outside do not hold up for NFPA and UL to finally figure it out and still screw it up nothing unexpected.

I have seen this problem for ever  it seems .Even if the receptacle is used in a wall of a home with weather proof cover sooner or later the GFCI will get penetrated by water and fail.  So now the geniuses at NFPA and UL have come up with a new code and receptacle and the normal $10.00 GFCI now will cost you $25.00 because you are using it outside
New warning label

So we are back to the same old problem. Yes us professional electricians know we have to put in these new  style weather proof GFCI in which can be seen on right side of picture below
Left indoor GFCI , Right outdoor rated GFCI

 But Joe blow walks in hardware store  asks for a GFCI and gets handed a indoor one and  does not know he has to use the weather proof one or just does not care, and the clerk selling it too him is just as uneducated to even ask the question and really do you think hardware stores are even going to carry the more expensive units ? not a chance they will keep selling the indoor type for all uses.  and besides who read labels or follows instructions and Joe blow public is not going to spend $25.00 when $10.00 will do. 
 Instead of compromising and coming out with a universal unit where cost is spread out  no they have to make any one putting one outside pay the price.  I still see how many people putting in 3 wire plugs on electric dryers and stoves with 10/2 romex   with no clue they are doing it wrong .The code  which requires 4 wire plugs and 10/3  romex has been in effect almost 20years. Still not being followed .

 So whats the end result if its a new home or building after 2015  you can pretty much assure GFCI will work properly  if installed by actual electricians if its older structure it may or may not depending who did the work. Now inst that nice to know. Maybe your safe maybe your not. Thanks UL and NFPA
for another bone headed rule with out thinking it fully thru .