International Door & Operator Industry

JAN-FEB 2018

Garage door industry magazine for garage door dealers, garage door manufacturers, garage door distributors, garage door installers, loading docks, garage door operators and openers, gates, and tools for the door industry.

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outlet. It should read 110-120 volts and this is a good step to understanding voltage readings. Next set the meter on the DC volts setting, and place the red lead on the positive terminal and the black on the negative terminal of a battery and read the voltage. Try it on your car battery with the engine off and you should read 12-14 volts DC. If you read under 12 volts DC, your battery is on borrowed time and you may want to consider replacing it before getting stranded. Most stores that sell batteries offer free battery testing, but you can monitor your battery simply by following the above instructions. With the engine on, you may read 13-15 volts DC; this is because the voltage is coming from the alternator which is turning when the engine is running. To charge a 12 volt battery you need to inject 13.7 DC volts into it and this is why you will read a higher voltage from the alternator. Use your meter on every job just to get used to it. Eventually you will become self-reliant with your meter and expand the use of this valuable tool. Every operator has a set of 2 or 3 terminals where the main building power is connected to the operator. Many times the reason for an operator not working correctly is due to a power interruption or insufficient power. In North America the most popular electrical voltage is generated in 120, 208, and 230 volt/ single phase power, and it is smart to know how to verify the incoming voltage. You will also find 208, 230, and 460 volts in three phase power where three power lines are connected to an operator terminal strip (usually labeled L1, L2, and L3). You should read uniform voltage on all three voltage combinations; basically L1&L2, L2&L3, and L1&L3 should read nearly the same. It is normal to read a slight variance and this is nothing to be overly concerned about. You may wish to ask your coworkers if they have experience with testers and seek their assistance in the beginning. Placing your hands close to live wires can be intimidating, and it is normal to be afraid of electricity. At first when testing high voltage, it is better to have supervision. Most fear of electricity will dissipate after a few successful readings, but PLEASE always be safe around and respect electricity. A big safety factor is to ensure you are dry and not near water. Learning about operators is not as easy as learning during your school years. School curriculum was planned and you just went along with it. If you were smart, you took notes at every class. Understanding the A-Z's of operators requires focus and can be as difficult and time consuming as learning how to play a musical instrument or learning to speak another language. That stated, don't be discouraged. Much time and patience is required before you can finally say "I am now an expert operator troubleshooter and serviceman." Develop a passion for operators. Make it a competition where you want to be better than the other fellow techs. Study door mechanics and functions and gain a complete understanding of door dynamics and mechanics before trying to understand the A-Z's of door operators. Definitely go along on service calls with a seasoned pro and take notes for review. The best way to learn something is by doing it. When you are first starting out, this stuff can be a bit confusing, but it will get easier as you go. Repetition is the best way to achieve perfection, but it will take some time before achieving complete total confidence. I encourage you to establish one of your goals to become an IDEA Certified Master Technician. Regarding education, and credentialing, our industry stepped up many years ago with the creation of the Institute of Door Dealer Education and Accreditation (IDEA) to address the void in education. IDEA offers certification and accreditation in virtually every facet of our industry and testing is available at multiple locations throughout the year. The IDEA also produces a great lineup of experienced speakers showcased during the annual IDAExpo ® . Residential, commercial, or gate operators Learning about operator products in our industry is long and wide and represents the many curves in the road to expertise. When it comes to learning, it feels like there's so much we don't know, so it's easy to jump around everywhere. This will only lead to wasted time. What you want to do is focus on the one or two things that will drive you forward for what you want to achieve. One thing is for sure- It takes lots of invested time before being completely competent in the many facets of our industry. Residential door operators are the easiest to understand and master. so I always recommend starting out there, then proceed slowly and cautiously by servicing small commercial doors.. The more experience you get will add to your skillset,so plan on getting your hands dirty. You have to get hands on experience, and expect to go long. Go for the touchdown. Never punt! I don't know of a better way to learn something than by doing it! This is not an option! You must be willing to get your hands dirty! Commercial door operator troubleshooting is probably the most difficult topic to master followed by gate operator troubleshooting. Simply put: You cannot become an expert on any operator product line without getting hands on experience. Ask Kyle Hart- Kyle is an IDEA director and has come a long way, but know this-- Kyle started his voyage at age 17 and it took 30 years to get where he is today- Kyle is absolutely One of the best in our industry!. (continued from page 31) TECHNICAL Continued on page 34 "...With (a meter) you can verify voltage, contacts, circuits, and most important operator components. Start small with components like limit switches or push- buttons. Set the tester on the continuity setting (ohms). The sign for Ohms looks like an upside down horseshoe." 32 International Door & Operator Industry™

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