Installing home automation for a living

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skribb
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Installing home automation for a living

Post by skribb » Tue May 16, 2017 3:10 pm

I have been given an internship at a company that installs home automation for people. I think it will entail running cables and setting up the software(s). Hopefully it is as amazing as it sounds! :mrgreen:
And hopefully I will get tenure....

My question is, does anyone have any "insider" clues/tips as to what I can expect in terms of noobie pitfalls etc. so that I won't make an ass of myself when I'm in a client's home or similar situations?

Thanks for your assistance. :D
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kgschlosser
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Re: Installing home automation for a living

Post by kgschlosser » Tue May 16, 2017 4:03 pm

always view the RJ45 from the bottom (clip down)

T-568B
w/orange, orange, w/green, blue, w/blue, green, w/brown, brown

T-568A
w/green, green, w/orange, blue, w/blue, orange, w/brown, brown

memorize that
those are the 2 standards for crimping RJ45 connectors

if you use 568A on one and 568B on the other you have made a cross over cable (even tho most wired network devices automatically do this for you)

You meet someone new that you are going to shadow. tell them right off the bat. I have some knowledge. don't know how accurate the information I have is. And I am going to ask some really dumb questions so I apologize for that in advance. and tell them you are here to learn and help. also tell them they will need to provide me with detailed instructions if you want you to do something because you want to make sure that everything through the job is done in your style. this way if there is some kind of an issue you won't have to guess at a problem or try to figure out what is being done. because it will be done the way you would do it.

That right there is going to show the person you are working with a whole shit load of things. but the most important things are that you respect their knowledge. and you respect their time.

and for the love of god... do not hover.. you will drive the person insane. meaning if you finish something don't walk back over to the person and just stand there if they look like they are busy. blurt out... " ya got a sec" if they don't they will tell you and then walk away. go find something else to look at.

better yet.. tell them you do not want to be one of those people that hover.. and tell them that you will ask if they have a second. ask them how they feel about someone watching. and also asking questions while they work. never ever walk up where the person is and just stand there where they can't see you.. because they will get the feeling someone is staring at them it drives ya bonkers. If they are in a conversation with someone else. do not stand next to them waiting. they are concentrating on the person in front of them and have eye contact with that person. you are better off to walk up from the side of the person they are talking to so you can make eye contact. and maybe even give a hand signal. if they feel they can stop the conversation to address you they will.. if not they will continue speaking to that person. and you with no sound say "when you have a minute" they will nod and then walk away and go and pick up a broom.

at any point you are idle pick up a broom. go and organize something. it doesn't matter do something productive. read a manual to a piece of equipment

ALSO there are going to be a lot of shit ass places you are going to have to do things. For instance. a blown in fiberglass insulated attic at noon on the hottest day of the summer. tell them to show you what to do and you will do it. offer to do th shitty work before they try to ask.. these are the things that are going to tell them what kind of person you are.

You have to remember. this may be an internship but if you are good. and you are intent. and you follow every single instruction exactly as they want. the company will make a position for you if there is None. or if there is they will ask you to work for them.

One other note. a lot of times if they are working they will be sitting, kneeling, squatting, if it is OK to watch. DO NOT stand and watch. and never watch from behind unless you ask and they say OK. always try to find position in front of them. the side is only used if the space is limited. but always get into the same position they are in (if they are laying down. it's ok to kneel) when headed to the home. ask what the game plan for the day is. get information about what has to be done and where in the house the work is going to take place. this is the perfect opportunity to find out what the crappy task is and to be able to tell them that you are willing to do it.


ADVISE**** when dealing with fiber glass insulation. you are going to itch. your body will eventually get used to this with time. always wear some kind of a mask if possible. but carry the largest thing of dawn dish liquid you can find. This is the scrub down process DO NOT TAKE A SHOWER. doing that is only going to spread the problem to areas you really don't want them to be LOL. but use the hottest water you can stand. and use a huge amount of the dawn soap a lot a lot a lot a lot. hands first.. then face and neck then arms. after you are done with the hot water turn the water all the way to cold.. let it get ICE cold. rinse and repeat the soap process and rinse again

the reason why this works is because the small glass strands are stuck in your pores and skin. by using the extremely hot water it will force all of the pores to open helping to release the strands. the excessive amount of soap will help to carry the strands and not allow then to stick back into you but the soap will also get into the pores even if they don't come out. and when you use the cold water like that you cause you skin to react in a manner that is not pleasant but it causes the pores to close so fast and almost completely shut. the strands that didn't come out will be pushed out due to the soap. but it will also not allow strands to get stuck again.
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kgschlosser
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Re: Installing home automation for a living

Post by kgschlosser » Tue May 16, 2017 4:08 pm

and go and buy a really good 110 punch tool that cuts the wire. and pick up some wire and some keystone jacks and practice. a good 110 punch tool will make a popping sound when you push it. the tool on the end will be removable and has 2 sides. a side that cuts and a side that doesn't and the popping of the tool will be adjustable. also get a small file to be able to sharpen the cutting edge of the tool. sometimes UTP the 4 pairs are not solid. they can be stranded. I personally hate this but if that tool isn't sharp you can have a strand left hanging out there that can cause an issue.

someone that uses tools every day does not like to let other people use they tools. it is ok once in a while. but if you see something you do not have. go and buy it even if it's a crappy version of the tool. at least it will get you by for the time being. if you have to borrow a tool always. always make sure when you are done it gets directly back to the person. even if it is an inconvenience to you. or put it back where you go it. and then tell the person thanks and that you put it back where you found it. because you sure as hell do not want to have them come looking for it.

And if there is something that is questionable.. question it. you do not want to blow up a 5 thousand dollar AVR or a 40 thousand projector.
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Re: Installing home automation for a living

Post by kgschlosser » Tue May 16, 2017 4:20 pm

also.. if you know how to do something. do not say I know how to do that.. and that you will take care of it instead say... well.. this is what i think i know about that. then explain ask if it is right, wrong and if it is the way that person does it. doesn't matter if you were told/instructed by someone else that works for the same company. everyone has their own style
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Re: Installing home automation for a living

Post by kgschlosser » Tue May 16, 2017 4:38 pm

good 110 punch tool
https://www.grainger.com/product/3AEV5& ... 16162930:s

bad 110 punch tool
https://www.amazon.com/Ideal-35-492-Non ... punch+tool

good wire strippers
https://www.kleintools.com/catalog/klei ... d-cutter-1

bad wire strippers
https://www.amazon.com/Capri-Tools-2001 ... +strippers
https://www.amazon.com/HFS-Self-Adjusti ... +strippers
https://www.amazon.com/ATE-Pro-USA-3011 ... s+crimpers

good crimpers for some types of connectors
https://www.amazon.com/IRWIN-VISE-GRIP- ... s=crimpers

bad crimpers for everything and anything. if you see these throw them away LOL.
https://www.amazon.com/ATE-Pro-USA-3011 ... s+crimpers


now i do want to make a recommendation. there will be times when you might have to make a screw or a small bolt shorter. and this is the tool to do such a thing it's a spendy little thing but well worth the money. i cut steel rod at 1/4" diameter with these things. so most screws since they are made of aluminum are a breeze.

https://www.amazon.com/Knipex-Cobolt-Co ... rew+cutter
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Re: Installing home automation for a living

Post by zian » Tue May 16, 2017 6:49 pm

HOLY COW!
All that knowledge K just dropped... You already deserve a raise skribb
lol

Congrats on the cool new job.
And just by asking that one simple question... Yup... You already deserve a raise.

I believe you'll do great.

My advice... Don't steal or break stuff. Be clean kind and courteous to the homeowners/clients. Those are no brainers of course. Good luck skribb .
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skribb
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Re: Installing home automation for a living

Post by skribb » Mon Jun 19, 2017 2:20 pm

Thanks for all the info KG! and thanks for the kind words zian :)

I've been busy with the internship for 3 weeks now but have not done much manual labor yet, I've been designated to the office/showroom and have been configuring and learning about home automation network setups (and cable mapping). I just now printed your wall of text, because I will be going on my first installation tomorrow. :D
Automation is life.

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Re: Installing home automation for a living

Post by kgschlosser » Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:26 am

sweet. i hope you are learning some new stuff. plus hopefully getting to mess with some pretty good gear.

just remember watch. and listen... and don't be afraid to get your hands dirty.
collect as much in the way of material they are willing to offer ya.. ask them for it. ask them for manuals for things if they have any extra kicking about. any product literature. also ask them about any of the trade shows.. and if they have seen any new technology being developed. this is a good way to possibly get yourself invited to a trade show (sometimes they are closed events).

if there is anything you are unclear on or have more questions about... ask me. If i have the answer I might be able to explain it in a way that it makes sense to ya.

even if this simply ends as just being an internship you keep your head high.. if you paid attention you have gotten the best thing they could give you knowledge.. and that my friend is something you have earned that you will have for the rest of your life, and didn't cost you a penny..only cost a little bit of time.
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Re: Installing home automation for a living

Post by zian » Thu Nov 23, 2017 5:45 pm

How is it going?
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Re: Installing home automation for a living

Post by piert » Fri Nov 24, 2017 6:09 pm

Even though I have nothing to add, I would like to comment that I totally enjoyed reading this entire thread. Brought back some sweet memories :D

Good luck!

skribb
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Re: Installing home automation for a living

Post by skribb » Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:07 pm

The company was not very professional and in the end I did not get any tenure.

I am now working in a service desk as a second liner.
Automation is life.

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