Monthly Archives: July 2016

Electrical Troubleshooting Fundamentals

Posted July 27, 2016 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Blog, Industrial Maintenance

Tags: ,

I was reading an article on electrical troubleshooting fundamentals in Electrical, Construction & Maintenance magazine. In this article they talk about using a “divide and conquer troubleshooting” to save time.

Electrical troubleshooting becomes quicker when using the "half bracketing" technique.

Electrical troubleshooting becomes quicker when using the "half bracketing" technique.

Fellow Marine and Navy vets will recognize this a what we were taught as the “Half-Split Bracketing." This electrical troubleshooting fundamental technique is a very useful and time effective method of troubleshooting.

The basic premise of "divide and conquer" is to check the system at the beginning to determine if a simple breaker or switch needs to be energized. If everything is OK at that point, you split the system in half and check there. If you have voltage or signal there, you know that the problem lies further down the line. If you don’t have the voltage or signal, then you know that the problem lies between here and the disconnect. You keep splitting the remaining portions of the system in half until you locate the problem. This is basic electrical troubleshooting fundamentals.

When I was Maintenance Lead, Supervisor or Manager, I always insisted that the techs utilized the electrical prints and drawings for that particular piece of equipment. Now, as a field service technician in the Memphis area, I have countless times been asked to help troubleshoot a piece of equipment -- and no one has even looked at a print. They say they had been working on this equipment for years and did not need the prints. If the prints were available and used, then the problem could have been found and corrected sooner.

Use the prints when troubleshooting and electrical problem on a piece of equipment. Prints will usually determine which components are "make or break" for a certain function to occur.

Dave Oliver


By using the “Half-Split Bracketing” or the “divide and conquer” approach as mentioned in Mark Lamendola's  EC&M article, your electrical troubleshooting will become more effective.

Dave Oliver grows very, very hot ghost peppers and is a field service technician for Innovative-IDM's Memphis branch. You can reach him at

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Purple Heart, Medal of Honor Plaque Honors Phelps

Posted July 14, 2016 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: IIDM Behind the Scenes

Tags: ,

Marc Phelps was honored by teammate Mark Brewer in an impromptu presentation this morning at the Dallas office.

Phelps, a Purple Heart recipient in Afghanistan, received a commemorative award put together by fellow Navy man Brewer. The framed collectible was personally assembled by Brewer, who is on the board of the Medal of Honor Host City program.

The ensemble includes a first day issue post card of the Purple Heart stamp, postmarked Aug. 7, 2007 in Washington D.C. The card and stamp are surrounded by the signatures of 14 living Medal of Honor recipients.

Included is the signature of the last living MOH recipient from the Battle of Iwo Jima in February 1945. Hershel Williams ,now 92, charged an enemy position of caves and pillboxes with his flamethrower.

Williams returned to the front several times over four hours with recharged flamethrowers and demolition ordinance, all while under heavy small arms fire. He fought the rest of the five-week battle before being wounded and removed from the front line.

About 25% of Innovative-IDM's employees are military veterans. Today, we saw one of those veterans appreciate another.


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Brad Swift Loses Bet, Shaves Head at Work

Posted July 13, 2016 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: IIDM Behind the Scenes

Tags: ,

Our own Brad Swift had to pay up on a bet. He thought he was coming to Dallas from our Houston office to attend a special operations meeting. But what he really found was former Houston employee Jon Dutton had returned to work at IIDM after 8 months at another job -- something Brad told teammate Marc Phelps just wouldn't happen.

Last October, Marc was so sure Jon would return within a year that he offered to wash Brad's car every week for a year if Jon didn't return. Brad said he'd shave his head of Jon came back within 12 months.

Jon Dutton coming back in less than a year = Brad getting his head shaved! Lol.
I love you Brad! You rock. What a good sport. Hope you liked the "Ops" meeting. -- Gene

Getting The Buzz On from Innovative-IDM on Vimeo.

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Live Large, Live Free

Posted July 4, 2016 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Blog

The Spirit of '76 by Archibald Willard

Happy July 4th from Innovative-IDM!

He who drinks a fifth on the 4th may not come forth on the 5th." -- George Washington (not really)

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