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jgharris, P.E.

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About jgharris, P.E.

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  • Engineering Field
    Protection & Control/Relay
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  • Calculator
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    Ocala, FL
  • Interests
    Traditional archery/traditionalbowhunting , kayaking/kayakfishing, gardening, cooking.

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  1. The last paragraph. Read it carefully! That's why I passed.
  2. You're a PE with electrical background and design experience. If they can afford you then you are a shoe-in. You're learning curve should be much lower and easier than a new hire out of college. I have worked as a field protection and control engineer for 8 years now but my first job out of college was as a substation design engineer for a utility. You're biggest hurdle will be learning what each component does inside the fence such as phase/neutral reactors, wavetraps, PTs/CCVTs, tuning units, power transformers, autotransformers, GSU transformers, SF6-gas/oil breaker differences and just the different types of bus work [IWCB, L, pipe,etc. different types of switches, ground grids, ground mats, etc. In a big company we used a set of design standards to do our projects. We then handed our marked up prints to a drafter to draft. Once drafted we had to do a review to verify all of the major issues and coordination with transmission line/relay engineering/etc all agreed and then it was released to the field for construction. If you're working for a small consulting company you'll probably do the engineering and the drafting. I would think that you'd get design/drafting standards from your customer right?
  3. I took the SOPE course last year and passed. It was 6 weeks of HELL working fulltime and doing the course from 1900-2200 hrs 4 days per week. It was time consuming and taxing. I wish I had access to the material before the class began because the reading and homework assignments were quite severe but doable if you spent the time. All that being said, I took the course with the hopes that it would plug any holes in my theory knowledge and problem solving. I would spend all day at work then stay in my office doing homework and reading until class began. Then after a few cups of coffee/mountain dew, finally driving home 16 hours after I got to work. You know what? It was worth it! If you take that course without already being somewhat prepared for the exam you will drown the first week. I was probably 65%-75% prepared and it definitely sharpened my skills.
  4. Yes, the FBPE typically licenses you for two year intervals. I was licensed June 2016 and my fiance was licensed December 2015. Both her and my license (and every other PE in Florida) is schedule to expire 2/28/2017. Just FYI the Current, Active date is the expiration date... When you do a license search under your name what date does it display? If that date is 2/28/2017 you need to renew or you will have pay a late fee. I renewed about 2 weeks ago and within an hour of paying my license expiration date changed to 2019. Hope this helps and congrats!!
  5. Owism, I'd recommend a review course such as GT or School of PE. I think both are good. The Graffeo book is an excellent resource for the exam. There is some good information inside and I would tab all of the tables, charts, etc. Work EVERY PROBLEM in that book including the examples and the practice tests in the back. The Graffeo book doesn't do any amount of training for the NEC/NESC but grab a book and the NCEES practice exam to get an idea along with the Complex Imaginary code book and practice exams. I went through the entire graffeo book including the practice exams before the 6 week online course started and that was a big help. The online course moves fast and there is homework issued. I would have been lost if I hadn't already put in lots of time studying. About calculators.... I brought two to the exam, an HP35s (primary) and a Casio fx-115ES (backup) along with a new set of spare batteries. I used an HP scientific through my engineering courses at Uni (HP33S) so I had a lot of exposure to doing calculations with my HP. The best thing about the HP35S is that it has a robust algebraic solver and the ability to store formulas. This is great for doing relatively straightforward calculations that can be error prone (like calculating the +, - and zero sequence currents). One of the best features of the Casio fx-115ES is the excellent complex number menu it has that allows for rapid conversions between rectangular and polar formats. You can even enter polar and rectangular numbers as part of a calculation (and the display looks exactly like what you have on your paper) which is sweet. The best advice I can give on exam day is bring your own lunch (don't leave the test location property) and don't get flustered. Keep calm, cool and collected. The minute you start thinking you've lost the battle close your eyes, look at the pretty woman across the room, think of how that beer will taste later tonight when you're out of the exam. Find something to escape to for 10 seconds then open your eyes, re-read that problem slowly and attack it. No amount of studying for this test will help more than the ability to not give up and to keep going when you first read that problem and panic because you have no clue how to solve it.
  6. Bode plots and Op Amps? You're studying for the Power PE right? You should have been concentrating on the subject list that NCEES puts out for this exam and not worry about tangential stuff that isn't even really in the exam scope...
  7. If you got 79/80 right without looking at solutions and erased problems OR GUESSING then I think you're there. I would try some additional tests like Complex Imaginary or AlexGraffeo's refence book and study guide. I created my reference formula sheets as I solved problems using Graffeos's book equation sheets as a start. If you can look at a problem, understand exactly what they are asking for and know exactly where you need to go to find an equation for different problems (Including NEC ) you should relax. Take a deep breath, get your references and your formula sheets all bounded up so they are legal and pack a cooler full of food for lunch (trust me, bring your lunch.... I'd recommend some fruit, water, sub/sandwiches, soda/coffee, etc.), bring some earplugs, a sweater and keep calm cool and collected. You got this.
  8. Hey, I saw your post where you recommended creating a formula sheet based on Graffeo's and SOPE (I'm currently taking SOPE), as well as one for your calculator to help with solving symmetrical components.  Would you mind sharing them, please, or at least a snapshot, to see what you mean regarding the calculator equations?  I've got the ubiquitous Casio FX-115ES Plus, and would love to learn some ways to save time / prevent errors using it.

    Thank you very much!

    1. jgharris, P.E.

      jgharris, P.E.

      Sorry, i never saw this note until now.  


      The HP 35s has a pretty robust equation solver.  I can enter an equation description on one line and the next line is the actual equation.  I can solve for any variable in the equation.  The only limiting element is that the calculator has only the 26 alphabet characters to use as variables so I typically modify the formula in the calculator.  To help minimize mistakes I made a calculator formula sheet with the equation number, title and both the true equation.


      In the attached picture is my separate calculator list of formulas and a picture of my calculator showing the matching number, how I titled the equation.  Solve for the variable I need and viola!


      My apologies for being tardy in the response if you're taking the exam tomorrow.  If you are going into battle then keep calm, cool and collected!!!


  9. Like iwire and others have said it is all over the place: NEC, 3 phase circuit analysis, power electronics, symmetrical components, lighting, economics, protective relaying, NESC, etc. all randomly shuffled. It pays to have your formula sheets and reference materials well organized and labeled so you can bounce around to the relevant pages in a hurry.
  10. JRM_CA, I gave this list of things I did that I believe helped me pass. I would recommend a class like School of PE. I did the weeknight class versus the weekend and it was brutal. Basically a lecture every night M-Th from 1900-2200 hrs for 6 weeks with plenty of homework. I used Graffeo's book (EE guide to passing the power PE exam) ALOT during the exam as a reference. I'd tab all of the pages regarding battery types, arc flash, electronics, and anything with tables. I carried my trusty HP 35s and a backup Casio fx-115 ES. I love the HP since I can store equations in my calculator and it has a nice built in solver that can handle complex numbers. I used stored equations probably 5 times during the exam. Go back and if you have copy of the FE manual I would put the entire Economics section in a 3 ring binder. There will be some econ questions... I'd recommend a copy of the NESC, NOT THE HANDBOOK which does not have tables. I spent lots of time studying balanced 3 phase calculations with delta/wye sources and loads and with different rotations (ABC & ACB). I knew that was a weak spot and I over studied it. My entire career I have worked inside of Powerplant or substation fences (P&C/relay field engineer) therefore I have never held a job that involves the NEC. Depending on your line of work the NEC portion of the exam may be easy for you. It isn't for me. Once again the SOPE class really did a good job of covering this area. Use your past exam results to get an idea of where you're lacking and take a course to help fix the deficiencies. Make sure to keep Calm, Cool and Collected. You got this.
  11. Hey man, I feel your pain. Let me tell you what got me through. Just passed the Power PE in Florida on the 3rd time. What I did differently from the first 2 attempts. 1. School of PE was very helpful since it put some magnification on what I didn't know. 2. Do lots of practice problems. Understand why you are doing what you're doing while solving the problem. Don't just jump into doing calculations without analyzing first. 3. This is what made me pass. I kept Calm Cool and Collected. I think I got that from a Youtube video about how to pass the PE. There were problems on the exam I had no clue how to solve. Take a breath, drink some water and keep calm, cool and collected. Relax, read the problem again and typically on the PE exam you'll find that what they really are asking isn't nearly as hard as the problem initially reads. That happened to me on several problems. 4. I made my own formula sheets using Graffeo's book and using data from the SOPE classes. I also made a formula sheet for equations in my calculator (HP 35S) which is really helpful for solving tedious problems such as symmetrical components where the problem is easy but the calculations are error prone. Keep your head up man, you'll get it and when you do the victory will be sweet.
  12. On Cloud 9!!!!! Florida Electrial Power PE: PASS!!!!
  13. This specific problem it doesn't matter because we have no reference voltage to begin with (since we're solving for V given S and I). If the problem gave us voltage (such as given V solve for i) and then and you chose a positive current angle that would be incorrect if the problem stated a lagging pf... This is a good problem because it really works on the fundamentals. Keep studying!
  14. First let me apologize. The statement about the voltage was incorrect. Review the attached PDF. I worked the problem in two ways. First I worked it how I the video did and how I would have if I was doing this problem for the first time. The second time was with the positive 33.9 degrees instead of the current angle of -33.9 just to show you that it doesn't matter. Hope this helps. pf relation problem.pdf
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