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Old 09-05-2007, 10:45 PM   #1
 
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Default Code book vs. Code book "Handbook"

Actually two questions here. #1. As a newbie would you invest in the handbook over the standard code book? #2. I'm starting school here in a couple of weeks. My school wants me to get the 2005 NEC. I saw that the 2008 NEC should be available somtime early October, '07. I'm thinking of contacting the school to get ahold of the instructor to see if I should get the cheaper paperback 2005 NEC and then get the hardbound 2008 NEC "Handbook" that has a ALOT more information then just the NEC by itself! What would you do??? Thanks.
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Old 09-05-2007, 10:50 PM   #2
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If your school wants you to get the '05, then that's what I'd do. The paperback will be real cheap on eBay in September when the '08 is released.

I would not buy the hardback under any circumstance. No real compelling reason to buy the hardcover, unless you're starting your own public library.

The Handbook contains the entire code text, along with the commentary. I buy the handbook about every 3 code cycles, in soft cover. I like the serendipity of being able to leaf through it at random and reading a passage and learning something.

For learning, you might like to get the handbook on CD. The reason I suggest this for the student is twofold. First, you can search it. This is invaluable for the student. Second, it's much cheaper than the printed version, which is also a big concern for students.

In short, my recommendation to you is to buy the '05 softcover that your school wants you to buy to use in class, then buy the '08 handbook on CD. Schools and local supply houses often have special deals on this sort of thing for students.
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Old 09-06-2007, 12:15 AM   #3
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Also chances are your tests will be based on 2005 code.... if the school wants 2005 get 2005nec
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Old 09-06-2007, 01:53 PM   #4
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Do they still make tabbed ring binder code books? I always liked using them as you can insert reminders and just about anything you want.
If they do still make them that would be my choice. The 2005 soft cover was a nice product as I can actually read the words....lol
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Old 09-06-2007, 07:22 PM   #5
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Do they still make tabbed ring binder code books? I always liked using them as you can insert reminders and just about anything you want.
If they do still make them that would be my choice. The 2005 soft cover was a nice product as I can actually read the words....lol
At Kinko's I always get my soft covered code book binding cut off and have it spiral bound, I imagine they could also have it 3 hole punched just as easily.

The tabs I use were made and designed by one of my teachers, they are by far the best for the most useful references
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Old 09-06-2007, 11:09 PM   #6
 
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Thanks guys. Yes, they make the code book in several formats ie soft cover, hardbound, 3-hole punch/binder... I've found that sometimes softcover books can't handle the abuse of being USED alot. If the book just sat on a shelf that would be one thing but if your book is in your truck, then in class, then at the coffee shop and home plus the occasional slide off the seat during some hard breaking... The soft cover just does'nt work for me...
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Old 09-07-2007, 03:26 PM   #7
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Though I have never bought one ( I have received several over the years as a gift*), the handbooks are nice and as the books grow in size a spiral bound is a good addition. I typically at any one time own 5-6 current NEC's. 2 at work, 1 in the truck, 1 next to the bed, 1 in the living room and 1 in the can. In addition I have NECs in sequential order back to 1956 then with a few missing editions back to 1915.

*You know they could have given me a nice camera or lens BUT NO I GOT AN NEC HANDBOOK.
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Old 09-07-2007, 11:32 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by brian john View Post
Though I have never bought one ( I have received several over the years as a gift*), the handbooks are nice and as the books grow in size a spiral bound is a good addition. I typically at any one time own 5-6 current NEC's. 2 at work, 1 in the truck, 1 next to the bed, 1 in the living room and 1 in the can. In addition I have NECs in sequential order back to 1956 then with a few missing editions back to 1915.

*You know they could have given me a nice camera or lens BUT NO I GOT AN NEC HANDBOOK.

You gotta get a fishing magazine in there some place!!!
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Old 09-08-2007, 02:35 PM   #9
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You should check with your state and find out if handbooks are allowed during your journeyman's test. Some states will only allow you to bring in a redbook. It's better to learn the book you'll test with, IMO.
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Old 09-08-2007, 03:52 PM   #10
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You should check with your state and find out if handbooks are allowed during your journeyman's test. Some states will only allow you to bring in a redbook. It's better to learn the book you'll test with, IMO.
Good point,
They don't allow the handbook here, and I've heard(from un-reliable sources) that you can have your book highlighted, but if you have notes written in it they'll make you use one of theirs.
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Old 09-08-2007, 07:36 PM   #11
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I have always been of the belief you should have the same tools available to you in a test as you do in the field. You either know it or you do not.
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Old 09-08-2007, 07:59 PM   #12
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I agree 100%
Some things you don't size but once a year, so when you have to look it up you want all relevant codes pertaining to that subject written down next to the code article you found.

But in all honesty it does really help you move faster on a test(and in real life for that matter)
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Old 09-08-2007, 08:07 PM   #13
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Same here Joe. The Proctor would pick your book up by the binding and give it a shake and if nothing fell out of the book you were good to go. We could even draw the power wheel & formulas on the blank pages on the back as long as nothing hit the floor during the shake.
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Old 09-08-2007, 08:11 PM   #14
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They let use the Ugly's here which has the power wheel right on the cover
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Old 09-10-2007, 12:39 PM   #15
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Tom Henry use to give you a stick on power wheel for the back of your calculator. He also has a small reminders handbook where you could remove the pages and insert them into the ring binder code book. But best of all he had another hand book called "keyword Index". These pages also could be removed and inserted into the ring binder. This index was the reason I passed my masters on the first try.
I took my test back when it was an eight hour deal. The proctor only asked to see my code book. He never even looked in my back pack that was loaded with information. Even though I knew I had most every answer covered in my back pack I was afraid to look at anything but the code book. There were probably 300 people in that auditorium. They were testing all different trades.
I was sure that I failed the test. Stopped at a quick store on the way home (150 miles), bought a six pack, drank them and got another six and was into them pretty good until I reached home safely.
But I did pass, and I can't remember a day that I was more happy!
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