Welcome to lievt.org Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 04:08 pm PST

Tech Training at FRC a success!

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LIEVT News Thanks to FRC (Fire Research Corporation) for hosting a day of technical training at their facility in Nesconset! The event went well, we've had lots of positive feedback from attendees. Everyone I spoke to at FRC thought the exercise was worthwhile and they hope to host another one someday. Several FRC employees participated in the training session including: Toh Meng, Deven Patel, Bob Galazka, Brian Roerich, Tomasz Salazkow, Mike Leek, and Mike (Bart) Bartholomay. Bob G. provided me with the following summary of the day's activities.

(click the image to view the gallery, or 'read more' to view the notes)

  1. Brian Roerich (Sales and Service at FRC) started off with a very interesting presentation on electronics & troubleshooting techniques that is very useful knowledge for EVTs, and that can be applied directly in the field. It covered some very key points such as:
    • Basic principles of electricity including Ohm’s law, and ESD susceptibility; parallel and series circuits;
    • using jumpers and test lights, and using a DVM properly to obtain accurate measurements for resistance, current and voltage in typical circuits;
    • selecting proper batteries, and how to increase reserve capacity;
    • and electrical diagnosis of common problems such as bad grounding, incorrect wire sizing, and faulty connectors.

  2. A presentation was given by Toh Meng, (VP of Electrical Engineering at FRC) that covered different methods of engine speed that are typically implemented by electronic governors found on pumping apparatus. It covered a broad range of general information on foot pedal interfacing, direct ecm interfacing with analog voltages (“digital potentiometer” technology), direct ecm interfacing with pulse-width modulated signals, and datalink control. In each area, general information was presented at a level that could grasped without prior knowledge, while specific engine information, including ECM pinouts and connections, was reviewed for those with a deeper level of experience in these areas. After this presentation, Toh demonstrated how to use a personal computer to access and use FRC's IETMs (Interactive Technical Manuals) that were provided on cdroms to all. [ed note: some of these are available at this link to FRC's website support page] on In particular, he went into some detail on how governors operate dynamically in the field. The floor was then opened for a Q&A session.
  3. Next we broke into six groups and circulated around the hands-on demo-displays. These were designed to cover a broad range of topics, with the intention that something of interest would be ‘discovered’ by everyone independent of their personal areas of expertise. The demo-displays were:
    • A presentation on scene lighting, highlighting various types of bulbs and different types of technology used. Working HID lights were displayed.
    • A wiring discussion with a hands-on demo of Packard and Deutsch connector applications and pin crimping techniques that ensure water-tight seals.
    • A display of basic electronic components and circuitry covering:Parallel and series circuits; Function of resistors, capacitors and inductors and what they look like; A demonstration of the use of fly-back diodes on solenoids; and how to wire-or diodes for use in control circuits.
    • A more detailed discussion of electricity covering: power transformers; AC rectification with diodes; the effects of ripple and filtering DC with a capacitor; how a simple power supply can be used for DC relay switching.
    • A discussion of sensor types and applications covering: active analog water level; passive resistive oil pressure; active digital temperature; mechanical overheat switch; passive resistive temperature; inductive (magnetic) engine RPM; active digital flow; active analog discharge pressure; and very high pressure switch. Handy troubleshooting tips were discussed and demonstrated.
    • A complete pump interlock control circuit, as may be found on a typical apparatus, including switches, relays, and signal indicator lights, was presented. As a troubleshooting demo, faults were intentionally introduced, and EVTs were challenged to think through the problem and use a DVM to isolate and repair the problems.