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Glossary of terms you will come across during your Phase 2 training.

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Ball pein hammerThis is a hammer used by construction plant fitters. It comes in different weights, usually up to 1kg (2lbs).

From the company website:

The BAM civil logoEstablished in 1958, BAM Civil (formerly Ascon), is the largest civil engineering and public works contractor in Ireland.

BAM Civil prides itself on delivering quality projects safely, on time and within budget. Innovative solutions, engineering ingenuity, adherence to the highest safety and quality standards and professional construction management are the hallmarks of BAM contracts. Read More...

Company Contact: Adrienne Bryan

Apprentices: Kevin Cross (g1cp13a)


A bar is a measure of pressure.

1 bar = 100 kPa, or

1 bar = 100,000 Pascals.

The conversion factor to the Imperial way of measuring pressure is 14.5

In other words to convert bar to psi (pounds per square inch), multiply by 14.5.

Example: Convert 2 bar to psi.
Answer = 2x14.5 =29 psi.

Although bar and atmospheres (atm) are very similar ways to measure pressure, they are not the same:

1 bar = 100 kN/m2 = 14.5 psi

1 atm = 101.3 kN/m2 = 14.7 psi


Company Contact for Reel-Tech

Telephone: 01 8015871; Mobile:087 6388955



A base limiting resistor is inserted into an electronic circuit in order to protect the delicate base/emitter circuit of a transistor. Unlike the more robust collector/emitter, the base/emitter circuit cannot pass large currents, it can only pass small currents. The transistor works by taking the small base/emitter current and amplifying it-allowing a much larger collector emitter current to flow.

In order to limit the current flowing into the base of a transistor, we fit a resistor in series into the circuit. This has the effect of limiting the current flowing into the base/emitter circuit of the transistor.

A base limiting transistor.

Transistors need not always have a base limiting resistor fitted. Sometimes the incoming current (or signal) is so small that there is no danger to the transistor. In these cases, the function of the transistor is usually to amplify the signal so that it can be used by other parts of the electronic system.


HydrometerA hydrometer is an instrument for measuring the density of a liquid relative to that of water.

During your phase 2 course, you will use hydrometers on two occassions:

  1. Measuring the relative density of battery electrolyte, in order to check the state of charge of the battery.
  2. Measuring the relative density of engine coolant, in order to check the concentration of anti-freeze in the coolant.

On the right we can see an actual hydrometer. It is a floating device. The denser the liquid, the higher it will float, and give a reading of the liquid density on its graduated stem.

The instrument is basically a glass tube with lead shot at one end and a graduated scale at the other.

The instrument is used to compare the density of whatever liquid it is immersed in to the density of water. Water is said to have a density of one, so the electrolyte from a fully charged battery would be 28% more dense-1.28.

Functions, Operation and Use of the Hydrometer:

The hydrometer is used in plant vehicle electrics to measure the density of battery electrolyte compared to that of water. Battery electrolyte in a fully charged battery is about 25% more dense than water.

We can use the hydrometer to measure the density of the battery electrolyte compared to that of water. This reading is dependent on the ambient temperature, and the following figures are for a temperature of 250C:

  • Fully charged battery: 1.28
  • Half charged battery: 1.2
  • Discharged battery: 1.1

Hydrometer completely assembled

Exploded view of hydrometer

Hydrometer scale

  • Fully charged battery: 1.28
  • Half charged battery: 1.2
  • Discharged battery: 1.1

Using the hydrometer:

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to use when working with batteries.Always use safety glasses or a full face mask when working with batteries and electrolyte. Make use also of the acid proof gloves and aprons provided. If you get battery acid on your skin or in your eyes, flush immediately with copious amounts of water. If pain and discomfort persist, seek medical assistance. Check here for emergency procedures.

Go to each cell in turn. Agitate the electrolyte in the cell. Then take the electrolyte into the instrument. If any of the battery plate active material has broken away, the electrolyte will be discoloured, so make sure the electrolyte is clear.

Induce enough electrolyte into the instrument to ensure the hydrometer is fully afloat. Be careful not to induce too much electrolyte, as it would cause the hydrometer to rise too much and strike the top of the instrument, giving you a false reading. Make sure the hydrometer is fully and freely afloat.

Read off on the scale provided to see the relative density of the elctrolyte.

During the induction phase of the course, you will be issued (at your own expense) with a battery hydrometer.


Emile BaudotIn telecommunications and electronics, baud means the same thing as symbols per second or pulses per second.

It is the unit of symbol rate, also known as baud rate or modulation rate; the number of distinct symbol changes (signaling events) made to the transmission medium per second in a digitally modulated signal or a line code.

The baud unit is named after Emile Baudot, the inventor of the Baudot code for telegraphy, and is represented as SI units are - the first letter of its symbol is uppercase (Bd), but when the unit is spelled out, it should be written in lowercase (baud) except when it begins a sentence.

Read more about baud on Wikipedia


Engine top dead centre, bottom dead centreBottom Dead Centre: The instant at which the piston in an engine has reached its lowest point within the cylinder. It is called "dead" centre, because the piston has finished its downwards movement, and stops (hence the use of the term "dead") before commencing its upward movement.

At BDC, the small end, big end and main bearings are in one straight line.


Straight cut bevel gear, used to turn drive through 90 degrees.

Bevel gears are used to turn drive through 900.

Brake Horse Power: The amount of power that is available at the flywheel of an engine. Power is generated in the combustion chambers, but due to mechanical inefficiencies and losses, not all the power becomes available at the flywheel. The amount of power at the flywheel is measured by running the engine against some form of absorbtion brake, hence the term BRAKE Horsepower.

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