ELECTRICAL REBUILDERS ASSOCIATION
FORUM USER’S GUIDE
Note: if you want to print this article click here and a printable pdf file will open on your computer.
Getting on the Website
First: The web address to the website is: www.electricalrebuilders.org
Getting on the Forums
The Forums is a website-within-a-website. Although the program was designed to be a stand-alone website, it has been incorporated into the ERA site to provide a fundamental communications tool for sharing information. Don’t let the separate log-in confuse you. The tools you’ll have at your disposal are more than worth the effort.
First: After you have logged in on the ERA website, you’ll see your username in the middle of the green bar at the top of the page. It will say, “You are logged in as (your username)”. If you don’t see this, you are not logged in. Log in using the log-in box just below the ERA Banner.
Second: In the same green bar at the top of the page, on the left hand side, you will see the word Forums. Click it and you will be taken to the ERA Forums.
About the Forums
Once you are at the Forums, you will need to log in again, if you get a screen message that says you are not “logged in”. Use the same username and password that you used to log in to the ERA website home page.
Once you reach the Forums Main Page (see photo below) you’ll see there are 11 different forums divided into four basic categories. Here’s a short description of what you’ll find in each forum:
Technical Help Forum – This is where rebuilders can ask technical questions about specific rebuilding problems.
Quality Concerns – If there’s a quality problem with a specific part, you can learn all about it on this forum.
It Worked For Me! - Rebuilder's Tips, Tricks and Shortcuts
Wanted – Looking for a hard to find part? List it here and get answers from suppliers and other rebuilders. An example thread from this forum is shown at the end of this article.
ERA Announcements – Find out what’s happening inside the ERA, and all the latest details of upcoming events.
Business and Industry News – Current events and happenings in the rebuilding world.
ERA Discussions – Talk about ERA matters.
Small Business Issues – Here’s where rebuilders can share tips on common business problems.
Off Topic Forum – Discuss anything not connected to rebuilding here.
Forum Help & Suggestions:
Help/Suggestions Forum – Need help or have a question about using the Forums? Ask here and get a prompt response from the all volunteer ERA website team.
How to Search the Forums
In order to see all of the Forums available, you will have to “scroll” down the page, using the slide-bar on the right side of the screen. There are three ways to move this bar. You can put your cursor on the slide-bar, hold down the left mouse button and move the mouse up or down. You may put the cursor on the arrow at the top or bottom of the slide-bar and hold down the left mouse button. Finally, you may use the “mouse-wheel” if you have one.
When you have chosen a Forum, move your cursor over the heading of that Forum and click on it. Now you will see a list of “threads”…or “topics of conversation” that are being discussed in that Forum. Scroll up or down on the list of “threads” using the slide-bar on the right of the screen again or your mouse-wheel. When you see a “thread” that interests you, put your cursor on that topic and click on it. You will now see the “ongoing conversation” about that thread topic. Use the slide-bar or mouse-wheel to see all of the messages.
How to Respond to a Thread
If you want to respond to a message in a thread, simply click on the “Post Reply” button at the lower left side of the screen. A text box will appear, in which you can type your reply. When you are done, click on the “Submit Reply” button at the bottom of the screen.
If you want to go back to a previous screen, you may click on the left green arrow at the top left side of the screen. You may “go back” a screen or “go forward” a screen as many times as you want, using the two green arrows at the top left of the screen.
At any time, you may return to the main Forums screen or the Home Page, by clicking on the word Forums or Home found at the top right side of the screen.
How to Post a Question
If you have a question you’d like to ask or a comment you’d like to make for other members, you can start a new thread. Here’s how to do it:
1 – Pick the right forum! Use the guide above to help decide which forum will be best for your message. From Forums homepage, click on the forum you decide to use.
2 - Once your selected forum page opens, you’ll see a “New Thread” button on the left side near the top. Click on it and open a new thread page.
3 – This page is where you create your message. Don’t let all the choices scare you.
Your first task is to choose a title. Pick one that is short, yet let’s others know what your looking for or asking about.
4 – Type your message in the large box. Be sure to include unit numbers, application and as much information as you can.
5 – Read it over before you submit the new thread. If you would like to include a picture, it can be uploaded from a file on your computer using the “Manage Attachments” button in the box below the “Submit Thread” button. (See the next section for more about posting pictures).
6 – In addition, below the “Manage Attachment” button, you’ll see you have a choice to be notified by email when there is a response to your message.
7 –Finally, you’ll find an assortment of ‘smilies” to the right of the message box that can be placed on your message. If you’ve been reading the messages posted by other members, you’ve already seen what they look like. The post icons shown below the message box can be used to draw attention to your message, and let others know the nature of your request. If used, the post icons will appear in front of your message title.
How to Attach Photos to Your Posts
Sometimes, when “one picture is worth a thousand words”, you may want to include a photo in your message to show more clearly, what you are referring to. This can be done easily if you have your desired photo on your computer.
When you are at the screen with the text box, where you are typing in your message, scroll down farther and see a box titled “Additional Options”. One of those options is called “Attach Files”.
on “Manage Attachments” (under the title “Attach Files”).
This will reveal a screen that has 4 boxes with the word “Browse” by each one.
Click on the “Browse” button to browse your own computer and find the copy of the photo that you wish to attach. When you find that photo, double-click it, and the name of it will appear in the box. When you have chosen your photo or document, click the “Upload” button.
When you have successfully uploaded your photo, its name will appear in the area titled “Current Attachments”. You also may remove attachments in this area.
You may attach a limit of 4 photos or documents to your message. Attachments are limited to certain dimensions and file size/type, which are defined in the “Manage Attachments” Box. (Be sure that your photo or document complies with these limits before trying to attach them.)
If you click on the “Preview Post” button, your photo will not be seen yet. It will appear only after you click the “Submit New Thread” button.
We hope you find this information useful,
Your ERA Website team
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