Repair

The ‘slap method’ for through-hole rework

Soldering is an art. With practice, one can learn to easily assemble complex circuits. When you make mistakes you need to do rework, which is usually quite time consuming with through-hole parts. The solder must be completely removed pin-by-pin and the vias cleared of solder before a new part can be installed. The ‘slap method’

How One Teacher Built a Computer Lab for Free

iFixit.org article How One Teacher Built a Computer Lab for Free tells an interesting story. The problem? An underfunded school needed computers for the classroom. Budget? $0. How One Teacher Built a Computer Lab for Free article tells how just one sixth-grade teacher got those computers at that budget. In 2007, Robert acquired 18 donated

War on DIY Electronics

Is electronics heading to be less and less hackable? DIY site iFixit has been keeping tabs on the tech world whilst providing handy self-repair guides for popular electronics. Now the site maintainers have seen trend that electronics products seem to become intentionally harder and harder to fix in recent years. The New MacBook Pro: Unfixable,

About Things We Build and Fix

When I was last night again fixing old Nokia N73 cellular phone (needed a touch of soldering iron to make volume button to work again) I remember this article I saw few days ago. Are engineers early adopters? article claims that engineers aren’t early adopters of the latest technology. They are more like past the

Bad electrolytics now in my PC

Why modern high tech electronics fail? Too often the reason for that is electrolytic capacitor failure. I have had a quite high number of electronics that has failed by this reason after few years of service. I have had a quite number of devices failed by capacitor: PC motherboard, PC graphics card, set-top-box, DVD player.

Mobile phone repair tips

I had to do some repairing for Nokia N73 mobile phone. The problems were on some buttons and charging connector. Mobile phones can be tricky to open and often use special component, which can make repairing sometime hard unless you know exactly what you do. A real goldmine for anyone attempting to star repairing a

Electrolytic capacitor failures

The most common reasons that modern digital electronics devices fail seem to be a bad electrolytic capacitors. Bad electrolytic capacitors cause frequent failures of switch mode power supplies. It seems power supplies are often the weakest link in many modern electronics devices. Since there is tremendous price pressure on PC’s and other consumer electronics devices,

DIY fiber optic microscope

Fiber optic microscopes are used to inspect connectors to check the quality of the termination procedure and diagnose problems. A well made connector will have a clean, smooth, polished and scratch free finish. There is not be any signs ofcracks, chips or fiber not even with the ferrule front. The magnification for viewing connectors can

Fiber optic testing ideas

When working with fiber optics, you need some special tools to check fiber connections. Continuity checking makes certain the fibers are not broken and to trace a path of a fiber from one end to another through many connections. You can use a visible light “fiber optic tracer” or “pocket visual fault locator“. It looks