Tips for Teaching Basic Electricity.

July 2015  
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Rob Thompson's Automotive Technology Education Newsletter

Welcome to my newsletter.

This newsletter is to share teaching ideas for auto tech instructors and to provide informational updates on what is happening in CT education around the country. 

Teaching basic electricity  - part 3. 

The last two issues have discussed ideas to help teach basic electrical concepts. This month's edition continues the theme and highlights some more examples of using a scope to teach electricity. 

When I teach basic electricity, my students build and test circuits as discussed in last month's issue. Figure 1 shows a three-bulb series circuit like that shown last month with a PICO scope connected to show each voltage drop and the current flow. While not earth-shattering, this set up does provide a good visual of how current remains constant in the circuit relative to the voltage drops.

Figure 2 shows a turn signal circuit using an old 552 flasher unit connected to an 1157 and a 194 bulb wired in an alternating-flash circuit found on many older GM products. In both figures 1 and 2, it is clearly visible that the bulbs require a small amount of time to heat up, which affects the current flow in the circuit. 

Figures 3 and 4 show the current flow through two different types of windings. Figure 3 shows current flow through a generator field coil that has been removed from a generator. This type of demonstration is great when discussing electromagnetism and CEMF. Also, it's fun to toss small tools at a charged field coil to impress students with the strength of the magnetic field that is created. Figure 4 shows current flow through a fuel injector. This type of image is nice because it shows how the movement of the core affects the magnetic field.

Figures 5 and 6 show two different power window circuits. Figure 5 is a passenger window, and Figure 6 is the driver's side window with the auto up and down feature.

Figure 7 shows battery voltage and current during cranking and starting on a known-good vehicle. With this one capture, you can show battery, cranking motor, and generator condition. Figure 8 shows the same vehicle during extended cranking to perform a relative compression test.
More to come next month.
Stay Tuned!
Figure 1
Figure 2
Figures 3 and 4
Figures 5 and 6
Figures 7 and 8

What's going on in auto tech and in education.

3D Printing in Automotive Applications to be $1.1 Billion Annual Market by 2019

Mexico magnet for auto investment, jobs

Auto Industry Moving Steadily to Solve IoT Privacy Issues

U.S. report finds fuel-economy targets can be met -- at a cost

Highland Park couple's death highlights poison risk of keyless cars

Fisker is staging a comeback with a new factory in California

Can Apple Take a Big Bite Out of the Auto Industry?

US auto industry braces for labor talks

Ride-sharing forces automakers to rethink how they sell cars

Head to my website for PowerPoints, waveform images, and photos that are available for download for instructional use. Check back often as I add more images and additional instructor resources. 

If you want to use resources shown in this newsletter, links to the lab activities and images can be downloaded and used for instruction from here.

Proud member of the North American Council of Automotive Teachers (NACAT).

NACAT is devoted
to automotive education and to the teachers and trainers of automotive technology. 

Join us at the NACAT conference in Joliet, IL, July 20-24, 2015.
Comments, questions, complaints, criticisms? Email me!

Visit my website to check out my automotive textbooks available through Cengage Learning.  

Past issues of this newsletter are available from the bottom of the home page.
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