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??
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
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: adst@SoCA.com
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
[just a little joke regarding another thread]