Susan Brown | The Master Samurai Tech Academy

Posts By: Susan Brown

Get Ready for Refrigerator Season with Cutting Edge Online Refrigerator Training

Posted on May 16, 2017 by - Academy Talk

You know the story: a technician is called in to repair a computer-controlled refrigerator but doesn't understand how these systems work. Too often, they guess the expensive main control board is the problem and replace it only to see they still have the same problem. D'oh!

It’s time to stop guessing and start knowing what you’re doing!

Today's computer-controlled refrigerators are more complicated to troubleshoot and require technicians who have both analog and digital skills.

Instead of simple mechanical switches controlling the compressor and defrost system, modern high-tech refrigerators use thermistors to report temperature information to a single board computer which, in turn, makes programmed decisions about how long and how fast to make the compressor run, which evaporator coils to send the refrigerant to, evaporator fan motor speed, and frequency and duration of the defrost cycles.

These systems fail far more frequently than the sealed system and comprise the vast majority of service calls.

Although the basic thermodynamics of the refrigeration system itself are the same, today we’re often troubleshooting dual evaporator systems using three-way valves. Here again, most of the problems are control-related and not the sealed system itself.

In fact, if you can effectively troubleshoot the computer controls in a modern refrigerator, this will cover over 90% of your service calls on these units.

This is exactly what the Refrigerator Repair course at the Master Samurai Tech Academy teaches you to do.

You will learn:

  • The principles of how refrigerators operate
  • The common refrigerator problems you’ll see on the job
  • Specialized troubleshooting and repair of single and dual evaporator refrigerators, split-phase and inverter-driven compressors
  • A systems approach to troubleshooting modern refrigerators
  • How the computer uses thermistors to read temperature and uses that information to control the refrigerator
  • How inverters work and how the computer communicates to the inverter to control compressor operation

This course will make you a master troubleshooter of today’s computer-controlled refrigerators, and teach you the skills needed to repair the majority of repair scenarios. You’ll learn at your own pace and at your convenience with our online, video-based training.

Check out the complete syllabus of the 5-star Refrigerator Repair Training Course at the Master Samurai Tech Academy and enroll today.

You can lead a tech to training…

Posted on September 30, 2016 by - Academy Talk, Business Talk, Career Talk

Your Future is Defined By What You Do Today written on chalkboardIt’s time for a little straight talk and tough love about training at the Master Samurai Tech Academy.

We get feedback every week from students and/or their employers about how our courses have impacted their lives. We’ve been told we were literally an answer to prayers, that we turned a tech from zero to hero at their shop, that we’ve reinvigorated a 20+ year career in the trade, that we’ve increased business profits.

The thing is, we didn’t do all of that.

Sure, we provided the training itself, and we’re very pleased with what we created at the Academy.

But it’s the students who take ownership of their training, who listen to and heed our advice on how to learn this stuff, who put a priority on learning, who put aside their egos and get help when they need it … they are the ones who really made all of the good stuff happen in their careers.

Team Samurai built an awesome tool. But you’ve got to wield it with focus and intention to get the stellar results that are possible.

We get loads of positive feedback, and we are grateful to be part of that success.

But we also have students who aren’t taking ownership of their training, who are going through the units getting low scores and not doing anything about it. Who obviously aren’t getting certain concepts but never ask us questions in the forums. Who give up partway through the course.

There are points in the course where we will notice low scores and email with the student about them. But that really shouldn’t be Team Samurai’s responsibility. The student knows what the Certification requirements are. They know how they should approach the coursework. All of that is spelled out in the Orientation lesson.

This is training for grown-ups who want to not just survive but THRIVE in an uncertain economy. For anyone to invest money and time into a training program and not really take advantage of it is foolish.

If you are a tech, we hope you will recognize the value that will come to your career and thus your whole life by taking ownership of your training and doing what it takes to up your game with our courses.

If you are an employer, then we urge you to take your role as training supervisor seriously and don’t let it slip through the cracks. At the outset, make sure your tech is a willing participant in the Academy. (And if they aren’t, why would you want them as an employee?) Clearly communicate your expectations and goals for their coursework. And put it in your weekly schedule to check on their progress and communicate with them on any low scores. It only takes minutes per week to do this, yet the benefits are huge.

If you aren’t sure how to supervise your techs as they go through the Academy, please read this page at our site. And feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Team Samurai is rooting for you! We want every one of our students to be one of our success stories. We know how to train techs. If you bring a good attitude and intention to the Academy, we’ll help you get where you want to be.

Not yet a student at the Academy? Read more about our online appliance repair training courses.

The Samurai Tech Check: a free online quiz to assess a tech’s training needs

Posted on June 3, 2016 by - Academy Talk, Business Talk, Career Talk

Samurai Tech Check smallerWe’ve just added another FREE resource at Master Samurai Tech - available to anyone! You don’t have to be enrolled as a student to use this online assessment tool.

The Samurai Tech Check is a free online quiz designed to help you determine how much you (or a tech-employee) would benefit from the MST Academy's online appliance repair training course Fundamentals of Appliance Repair .

The results can help to identify work readiness for a new hire, and training needs for new or existing techs.

Techs with Experience

Our experience at the MST Academy is that the material taught in the Fundamentals course is a huge boost for most techs - even those with many years of experience - because the vast majority never got adequate training in Basic Electricity, circuits, and reading schematics. Even a thorough understanding of electric motors is often missing.

However, some experienced techs aren’t sure if the Fundamentals course is right for them.

The questions on the Tech Check are drawn from the material taught in the Fundamentals course at the Academy, so the results can give you a good indication of how useful that course would be in filling in any knowledge or skill gaps.

Since we don’t teach “fluff” in the Academy, any result less than 90% indicates that there is room for filling in some knowledge and skill gaps!

New Hires

For new or prospective hires, with little to no appliance repair experience, you can see what, if any, foundational knowledge they bring to the table which will help shape your expectations of their training needs and how long it might take to get them up to speed.

The Tech Check has questions in the following categories:

  • Aptitude (math questions based on the types of calculations needed for the course)
  • Basic Electricity
  • Basic Electronics
  • Basic Gas
  • Appliance Parts
  • Appliance Motors

The results are reported (via email) as a percentage of correct answers in each category.

See the Samurai Tech Check page for even more info and to take the test yourself! If you aren’t yet an Academy student, all you need is a free student account, which you can get at the Enroll page here at the site.

Webinar Sample: Troubleshooting Appliances with Tech Sheets

Posted on April 14, 2016 by - Academy Talk, Tech Talk

MST Academy students have real-time access to the Samurai every Monday evening at our live webinar "Office Hours." Sometimes it is just an open Q & A, other times it's a presentation that dives deeper into an appliance technology topic.

One of our most popular webinar formats is Troubleshooting with Tech Sheets, where the Samurai simulates troubleshooting scenarios using actual tech sheets from several real appliances to show how to kick appliance bootay the Samurai Way!

Attendees get to interact along the way, offering up possible answers to the problem scenarios and asking questions of their own.When possible, we make a recording of the webinar available to those unlucky few who can't attend live.

We call these live training webinars Office Hours and they're held every Monday evening-- details on this page.

If you're curious about what goes on during Office Hours, here's a 16-minute sample from last Monday. It shows just one of the five tech sheets that were covered in the full webinar. But this is a good peek into the teachings of the Samurai and the life of a master appliance tech.

 

 

Is Online Appliance Repair Training Right For You?

Posted on March 10, 2016 by - Academy Talk, Business Talk, Career Talk, Tech Talk

Online appliance repair training at Master Samurai TechOnline learning may seem like the new kid on the block, but it is really just a new and improved delivery format of the old “correspondence course school” model for training that has been around for over 100 years.

Online appliance repair training is a proven and effective way to improve technical skills for the right kind of student. How do you know what the right kind of student is? That's exactly what I'm going to explain in this post!

The strengths of the online training model are many:

  • on-demand
  • self-paced
  • affordable (few if any hard copies of material to produce)
  • easily updatable
  • interactive
  • multimedia

However, there is one component that is critical to the success of online learning that cannot be provided by the online school: student motivation.

Of course, student motivation is a necessary ingredient for any type of education to be effective, but at a traditional brick-and-mortar school there is a regular face-to-face interaction with the instructor that can help to keep the student accountable.

At the Master Samurai Tech Academy, we do everything we can to encourage our students, to provide accountability via quizzes and exams, and to give them help when they need it. However, we are not there with the student day in and day out.

To achieve a successful outcome with the MST Academy, a student must have one of these two characteristics:

  1. Self-motivation with a strong desire to learn (gets help when needed, works to improve test scores), or
  2. A supervisor who is keeping a close eye on the student’s progress (more on how to do that here).

When one of these two factors are in place, then the results of learning appliance repair in an MST Academy online training course can be spectacular! When neither are in place, then the results are something less than that.

So, before investing in any online training, evaluate your situation honestly. If you are signing yourself up, evaluate your commitment and motivation to doing what it takes to achieve the results you want. If you are signing up techs who are under your supervision, set up a system where you will monitor their progress closely and intervene when necessary.

Team Samurai is dedicated to excellence in appliance repair training. Our online training courses are a comprehensive and cost-effective way to improve technical skills. And we offer several powerful interactive teaching resources to help you understand the material:

  1. Interactive question and answer help in the Student Forums where students post questions about their coursework and we reply with additional instructional explanations. This can go back and forth quickly as many times as it takes until the student grasps the concepts they’re trying to understand. But it requires the student to have the initiative to ask a question. If the student doesn’t ask, we can’t help!
  2. Regular, live webinar meetings with the Samurai. We call these meetings Office Hours. Think of the webinars like Office Hours at a regular school where students can drop by for extra instruction and ask questions about their course work, live and in real-time.
  3. Manually-graded open answer questions on the Midterm and Final Exams in the Fundamentals course. These open-answer questions allow us to see inside the student’s head so-to-speak and identify more clearly how a student is misunderstanding a particular concept. We can then work with the student to resolve this misunderstanding.

If you bring your effort, energies, and motivations to the table, we have the tools in place to ensure that you WILL learn how to be a better technician!

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