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#500 02/03/01 05:49 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,392
sparky Offline OP
Some time ago, I came to the conclusion that the NEC alone is not enough for the average sparky.
[Linked Image]

So I started a library, which I occasionally add to. This has been a good resource.

My Q is, what good books, software, periodicals, newsletters, etc should one be collecting. [Linked Image]

Any suggestions out there???
[Linked Image]

#501 02/03/01 06:59 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 4,067
Likes: 3

Interesting that I happened to be the first to see this ... you're not baiting me are you? [Linked Image]

My recommendations are as follows:

There are a number of great magazines thatyou can subscribe to for FREE (no particular order)
CEE News
EC Mag
EBMag - (Canadian)

IAEI has an informative monthly mag, but you have to join - reasonable dues $35/yr I think and you get a Free Code Book.

I think the NEC Handbook is great to give you some intentions not always clear.

An "Illustrated Changes Book" describing code changes clearly makes things easier.

I used to have some of the UL Books Green, White and found some interesting info there.

National Electrical Safety Code

Just some suggestions.. [Linked Image]


#502 02/04/01 03:13 AM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,722
Broom Pusher and

This is a great idea to have a tread like this running, getting multiple replies from different people of the trade. Newcomers that are in need of these books, which are either unsure of how to ask, or shy to ask, will benefit. So will the seasoned Installer.

My input might be somewhat too far off-topic in some places, but who knows?? [Linked Image] I have no ideas to any Periodicals / Magazines, only books.

To begin with, anyone that wishes to excel beyond the NEC should check into the local codes for that State, County and/or City. This will help in an understanding of the infamous term: "AHJ"!! Also demonstrates the fact that the NEC is the Minimum requirements and all that jazz...

Moving into theory, a few good books on AC and DC theories - complete with circuit concepts - are a must! These books should only cover the basic stuff, so they are not too overwhelming.

In conjunction with this, some Mathematics refresher books would be next. These to include basic math, Algebra [both areas], Trigonometry, Geometry, Logarithms, plus Differential and Integral Calculus. These topics are needed for not only the advanced theories, but for designing / Engineering and will be a great help for estimations and stuff.

Next would be advanced AC theories, including Transformers, AC Motors and advanced circuit elements plus calcs.

After this, a few good Electrical Systems Designing books would be an excellent choice. At least two that follow the current NEC version, and at least two that go under an Engineers' view [only the very basics here!].

Now for the advanced separate subjects:

1: Transformers design and operations,
2: Motors, Motor controllers,
3: Short Circuit Calcs - Overcurrent Devices,
4: Lighting devices and systems,
5: Power systems interconnections,
6: Solid State / Electronic control devices and theories,
7: PCs and LAN / WANs - setups and equipment,
8: TVSS - Power Quality,
9: Energy Conservation,
10: Power transmission and generation,
11: Communications equipment [Telephones, Radio, TV, etc.],
12: Engineering - Electrical, Mechanical and Civil,
13: Electricity in transportation,
14: Fuzzy Sets and Fuzzy Logic.

To add to these subjects, in future times these related topics are of great benefits:

1: Physics [physical sciences],
2: Life [earth] sciences,
3: A little of Quantum Mechanics [Quantum Theory of fields, Mechanics Introductions, Etc.],
4: Nuclear and Particle Physics,
5: Acoustic [sound] Physics,
6: In-Depth studies of Lightning discharges,
7: Any other relative sciences.

As to the PC / Software side:

1: Fully understanding the way your PC works is a very valuable tool. For me, I would have difficulty not understanding the tool I am using.
This would be the Hardware angle along with the Operating System too.
2: A strong, current spreadsheet program that is easily shared,
3: A nice database program, for quick databases,
4: A good circuit schematic program, or "Flowchart" program - such as Visio,
5: A "Rock Solid", non buggy, easily sharable and definitely POWERFUL program for Computer Assisted Drafting [CAD],
6: A strong Word processor,
7: A scanner, plus digital camera, along with good software for them,
8: A reliable Internet Connection [Hardware, Software and ISP],
9: - The most important - A "Rock Solid" PC, plus operating system to run this stuff on,
10: A laser printer [preferred], or Color Ink-Jet printer [both would be better],
11: A good Plotter [wide format printer], which would be used for CAD drawings,
12: Ergonomic workstation and equipment [mouse, keyboard, chair, lighting and large monitor],
13: All tech books located right there at the workstation at a hand's reach.
14: A really easy, plus powerful estimating program.

With these things in hand, plus participating in on-line forums such as this one, a person can increase their trade knowledge 200 fold in a little as 5 years, just as long as they continue to work in the trade while studying. This way the book stuff makes sense, as there is a real world thing to apply to. This is covered briefly in another thread on this forum.

So, I hope that I covered the areas OK. It's one where I feel confident throwing out ideas to anyone, as it is the stuff I have used personally. Of course my message is a long 'old novel - practically a Mini-Series [Linked Image] so I hope it captured some attention from people which hopefully read the complete article.

If anyone needs some specific names or details for any mentioned items above [such as books or software], feel free to post a message in this thread or contact me directly via E-Mail at:

and I'll be happy to assist.

Sparky: Let me know your feelings on this list.

Bill: Let me know how you feel too. I hope to expand to your previous message's content with this one.
I'll return the answer key for the code quiz to you later on, as I am selling copies of it for $250.00 a pop [Linked Image] [Linked Image] and [Linked Image]
[just a little joke regarding another thread]

Scott. "S.E.T."

Scott " 35 " Thompson
Just Say NO To Green Eggs And Ham!
#503 02/04/01 08:29 AM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,392
sparky Offline OP
All good suggestions here, [Linked Image]

As Bill mentioned;
( now that we've got you on the line Bill [Linked Image])
The mag's always have the trade leaders sometimes doing an in depth study of a particular application or code. This really can get one's nose in the book....The IAEI mag is one serious mag, and yes, you get a code book!
The illustrated changes, well hey!, the're illustrated !
The handbook follows suit, the expert commentary is priceless!

Scott, a good PC is very helpful, i'm still workin' up mine. Is there a site for this "Visio"? obviously it would also help if i learn to type with more than two fingers [Linked Image]

I suppose we could mention some books out there by name, as this is a plug for them;

-The American Electricians handbook
-Stallcup's Electrical Calculations Simplified

and then , as you mentioned Scott, those books that specialize;
-Soares, good one for grounding...

any more ??? [Linked Image]

P.S.---Scott..."fuzzy sets & fuzzy logic" ? did someone write a book on me??

[This message has been edited by sparky (edited 02-04-2001).]

[This message has been edited by sparky (edited 02-04-2001).]

#504 02/05/01 01:16 AM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 246
Things change, and so does the IAEI. Membership is now $60 a year, and they have done away with the free codebook offer. They offer other items for sale, but not like the good old days. You still get the great magazine, and some of the reference books mentioned here are published by them, such as the "Analysis of the Code", "Soares book on grounding", and others.

I keep a copy of "Ferm's Fast finder" on my desk. It has lots of short cut formulas and a index to the NEC. It is somewhat easier to find everyday items than the NEC's index.

For inspectors, I would suggest getting ahold of old ROP or ROC on the code changes. It takes some work, but a person can find the reasons for a change in the code, or a reason for not changing the code, in these books. Submit a code change and you receive the latest copies free.

For electricians, any reference book is valuable, if it covers an area that interest the electrician. Look for old how to wire books, and read and compare them with the current code.

PS. If anybode has old (Pre-1953) NEC codebooks that they want to get rid off, please e-mail me.


Rick Miell <>

#505 02/05/01 02:36 AM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 4,067
Likes: 3

When did they change the Membership fees?
It must have been recent. Do they give "points" towards Books? I just got a Code Book recent months ago, but I had credits from '99 when I forgot to send in the card.


#506 02/07/01 08:43 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,392
sparky Offline OP
Any suggestions on an electrical calculations book out there?

#507 02/08/01 12:52 AM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 4,067
Likes: 3

As long as you asked, here's a bunch [Linked Image]

#508 02/08/01 07:38 AM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,722
Broom Pusher and

Fuzzy Logic is an AI Technology [Artificial Intelligence] that was supposed to be more popular than it is now [Linked Image]

It uses "Feedback" from the environment around it and builds a Database according to what it sees and what it should do.

It's undergoing extensive testing in Japan for their high speed passenger trains.

It appears to be getting a few applications here in the states. Have you noticed some newer Camera applications on traffic signals [ones that are not "Big Brother"]. These would use Fuzzy Logic Technology for traffic control.
My Brother-in-law works at a firm that is developing [actually has developed] these types of traffic control systems here in So. Calif.
The program learns what constitutes traffic by "watching" the intersections with four [4] separate cameras. As it learns, it will identify a car, truck or pedestrian by enclosing a "pick box" around the subject. All this goes into it's database. from there, it "learns" the types of traffic which it will need to control at that intersection.
Benefits are signal synchronization and traffic controlled per situation, rather than "guesstamation".

It is a really neat technology, one that might soon pick up in the Machine Tool Industry and possibly on Lighting applications.

As far as any Calcs books, I use "Standard Handbook For Electrical Engineers" by Fink and Carrol, published by McGraw - Hill. Also use many theory books [I can list if needed].

Next, check out the ECN bookstore, as you may find exactly what you are looking for. This would be more structured to the EC, as opposed to the EE.

I get a lot of books from an on-line tech bookstore, but there material may be way off topic for what you are looking for.

Lastly, I use the SPD design book from Bussman, plus other older documents. These are available on-line from bussman [the fuse company]. Be sure you have either the Adobe Acrobat reader [cheapest and easiest], or a full version of Acrobat [I have the full version 4.0xx] in order to view these files, as they are .pdf files [Portable Document Format, the common acrobat file].

Also check into, as they offer a lot of tech stuff.

Good luck!

Scott "S.E.T."

Scott " 35 " Thompson
Just Say NO To Green Eggs And Ham!
#509 02/08/01 07:57 AM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,722
Broom Pusher and

Forgot to add a few last things [Linked Image]

I do not know if Visio has a demo version that you could download, but it's worth a try! Have no idea of a URL, so best bet would be to type VISIO into your browser's search engine and see what comes up.

Good luck with your PC !! Keep up with it and all the headaches that go along with hardware / software configs! That's when you get some kind-of free lessons [Linked Image]

Best if you do not try to work with any machines that are older than the Intel P5 CPU [the original Pentium] and limit it to nothing older than P5 166 [166 MHz]. If you go older, like into the 80486's [AKA 486], you might have trouble getting hardware that fits these busses [ISA] that would be worth using [Linked Image] Software also has finiky limits, most have Pentium 166 minimums, but others have basic requirements, that place the minimums at a 486 DX2 [66 MHz] minimum.

If this junk is over your head [looks like a bunch of Techno-Nerd Greek jibberish to me [Linked Image] ], please feel free to ignore it all. If not, great!

I'll add some book titles later in a new message in this thread. Give me some hints to what subjects.

Scott "S.E.T."

Scott " 35 " Thompson
Just Say NO To Green Eggs And Ham!
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