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Old 11-02-2019, 08:22 PM   #1
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Default Apprenticeship Instructors - Need Some Ideas

This is my second term teaching apprenticeship and this go around I have Level III installations. This consists of (according to the ministry outline) basic PLC, Motors and Transformers.

The facilities / equipment I have access to are going through some transition right now and there does not seem to be a ready resource for practical labs for Motors and Transformers.

Unfortunately we do not have any cut-aways or even any samples to get the students to have some hands-on experience. I was hoping that there would have been some "lab-volt" trainers even, but unfortunately not; it is supposed to be a practical class on this stuff.

We have some Allen-Bradley (Micrologix 1000) PLC trainers (made in-house) and are building some new ones with VFD on them, so I think I can keep them busy for awhile with that.

Looking for any suggestions from anyone that has taught Motors and Transformers, (while I am asking I take your PLC stuff too!). All I really have access to is some small control transformers and some three phase gearmotors.

Thanks in advance for your assistance.

Cheers
John
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Old 11-02-2019, 08:37 PM   #2
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When you say transformers, do you mean theory or the practical usage and common connections used in industries? As far as access to transformers, the contractors that hire the graduates surely have some old units that they have demoed out and saved that they could donate for access to the better grads from school.
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Old 11-02-2019, 09:04 PM   #3
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Use the small single phase transformers and get them to build a 3 phase bank with them. Stepping up, down,wye/delta wye/wye etc.
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Old 11-02-2019, 09:07 PM   #4
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Do you have starters and stop/start stations? Can make a bunch of labs with different controls, HOA, timers. Get them to build a forward reversing starter with interlocks...
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Old 11-02-2019, 09:14 PM   #5
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And on a side note, I don’t think it’s fair for those apprentices going to school when it doesn’t have the proper set up. The school should do their renovations or whatever in the summer.

Curious, what college is it?
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Old 11-02-2019, 09:41 PM   #6
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PLC, Motors, Transformers..

Sounds like you have the PLC stuff covered. When in doubt get the students to do some extra legwork building equipment for you. Best way to learn.

As far as supplies and fundraising I don't know how you'd get your hands on stuff but a standard low VA 120/240 to 240/480V transformers should be $60.. Get a couple and wire them differently and have the students tell you what they are looking at, then get them to change a voltage.

Or you can build simple transformer boards out of banana plugs and jumpers. Maybe get some guys to do soldering for a day building that. You can drill out some plywood and mount plugs etc to it. And it makes it easy to test outputs etc. You can also build HOA boards. Or 10x10 metal boxes with some DIN rail and a back pan offers opportunities to learn as well.

Or get some contactors like cheap 24V heating ones and a multitap control transformer and have them wire up a heating system with a switch.

Motors might be a little harder to mess with but any standard motor 120/240 is always good practice to learn how to rewire or reinstall... an old drill is fun to take apart and show brushes, commutator and stator. That would be DC though. Make sure they see what happens when the starting capacitor is disabled that's always a good lesson.

If I think of more I will check back. Good luck!

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Old 11-02-2019, 10:08 PM   #7
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We had a teacher that built this setup. He had a Kindorf frame with a motor on the bottom and an angled plywood top. He brought the windings of the motor up to the top in a big circle with banana plugs. The student could change the amount of poles by how the banana jacks were plugged in. There was a lot of jacks. I just remember skipping so many and then putting in a plug, then counting so many and putting in the other end.

On the motor was a big metal disc. There was mixed letters around the perimeter. To check the speed of the motor we used a stroboscope. When you dialed in the strobe, and the letters stood still (so you could tell the speed), it spelled “Electrical Trades”.

I don’t know how much I learned by it, but will always remember it. And I have a lot of respect for the teacher. I wouldn’t know how to build what he did. He was a smart guy, and I don’t think I ever heard him talk about his time in the trade. He’s the only guy to ever show me the math and process of using a rigid hickey to bend segment 90’s and offsets. You can’t find stuff like that in books or online today. He obviously spent a lot of time in the trade.
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Old 11-02-2019, 10:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 460 Delta View Post
When you say transformers, do you mean theory or the practical usage and common connections used in industries? As far as access to transformers, the contractors that hire the graduates surely have some old units that they have demoed out and saved that they could donate for access to the better grads from school.
It is supposed to be a practical class, the theory is done by another instructor.

I think there is a plan to try to get some material, but likely not in time for when I need it in the the next few weeks. One thing I am going to try to do is get a "field trip" to a local rewind shop, that might be interesting for them.

Cheers
John
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Old 11-02-2019, 10:23 PM   #9
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Use the small single phase transformers and get them to build a 3 phase bank with them. Stepping up, down,wye/delta wye/wye etc.
Yeah I was going to do that actually, but I can't see that lasting 12 hours or so.

Cheers
John
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Old 11-02-2019, 10:25 PM   #10
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Do you have starters and stop/start stations? Can make a bunch of labs with different controls, HOA, timers. Get them to build a forward reversing starter with interlocks...
Yeah, we have lots of that stuff. That was taught in Level 2, although they all seem "rusty" on that. I am planning on spending a bit more time on Motor Control (relay logic) then I had planned; that will take away from some of the transformer or motor time I think.

Cheers
John
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Old 11-02-2019, 10:34 PM   #11
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And on a side note, I don’t think it’s fair for those apprentices going to school when it doesn’t have the proper set up. The school should do their renovations or whatever in the summer.
I agree but it is not really anyone's fault either (although there is lots of finger pointing). Essentially they are setting up this course and really did not have anyone with the complete knowledge (or likely the money) to have the setup for success. It will come in time, with a few serials under their belt.

The students will not suffer either, because I am gearing the material to what they need in the field; vice the theoretical aspects. All of them would benefit from more motor control / PLC. Once you basically connect a transformer or motor, the skill set does not change as long as you can read a nameplate.

What I wanted (had envisioned) to do is get the some motors and transformers without diagrams and have them figure out connections, ratios, etc. I think that would be more useful then following a voltlab that says plug pin 1 to pin 5 to pin 3, etc; but at this point I am willing to take what I can get.

Cheers
John
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Old 11-03-2019, 12:44 AM   #12
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Call some of the bigger EC in your area and ask them to donate some of their surplus material.
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Old 11-03-2019, 05:00 PM   #13
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The LAB-VOLT equipment is good for showing theory but the best way to teach wiring and troubleshooting is with old junk equipment that contractors and industry have thrown out.
When I was going through apprenticeship in Texas I did not understand that. Now that I have been in the field more years than I care to talk about I really appreciate the fact that I learned on junk.
It is more real world.

LC
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Old 11-03-2019, 05:10 PM   #14
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Call some of the bigger EC in your area and ask them to donate some of their surplus material.
with in 2 weeks might be a problem but im sure you can call local industrial company's and ask for new/used parts that are ready for disposal.
Most industrial bosses would love a reason to go raiding the electricians hidden stock that they told them to throw away years ago.
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Old 11-03-2019, 05:16 PM   #15
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Truer words were never spoken.
The bosses do not realize that saving that old junk is what keeps the plant running.

LC
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Old 11-03-2019, 07:24 PM   #16
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I'm going to go way over in the weeds here, but having the kids build a RPC out of odd items many of us industrial guys have squirreled away is an all in one project. A used 3 phase motor to teach voltage change connections, a couple starters/contactors with aux contacts for interlocking, momentary start-stop buttons, a TDR or two, some run caps to shift the phase and teach also about leading and lagging current and voltage, and some indicator lights because lights make everything better.
I built one with my son and he learned a lot doing this with me and it was with stuff I had laying around the barn, he has a nifty item to boot also now.
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Old 11-03-2019, 07:33 PM   #17
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The FREE version- what I trained on years ago. For the PLC stuff. I see that they have a version 2 now- I may download sometime- but as the wife says- it's worse than a video game addiction for a teenager for me, lol.

I will see what I can find for you.
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