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Repair Wins

Posted: Sun Sep 29, 2019 8:57 pm
by JayceSlayn
I couldn't recall or find a recent topic for this, but if someone else knows a better thread to merge it into, please let me know.

This thread is dedicated to all the little things which we've been able to repair rather than simply trash and replace. I think it is sadly a dying skill set (and even mindset in many cases), but here is your chance to post your proud moments of saying "Not today!" to good ol' Murphy's Law.

My most recent accomplishment in this vein is fixing a garage door opener which suddenly refused to open one morning...

Wife was headed to work and goes into the garage after I hand off her morning coffee, as per usual, but then instead of the sound of the garage door going up, I hear a muffled "Oh no". I meet her in the garage and after a brief double-check that the wall switch and car remotes only result in a relay-like clicking noise from the unit and no further movement, I pop the door off the carriage and manually lift the door for her to get out. Now the investigation begins...

LED on the back of the unit is making 5 flashes and then a few three other struggling barely-flashes before starting the sequence over again. Pull up the manual online and find the troubleshooting step for 5 flashes says the unit might be overheated (unlikely - hasn't been used yet today and it is normal temperature in the garage) or the RPM sensor is having a fault. Manual suggests unplugging the machine to reset and try again. Easy enough, but no dice. Last instruction on the 5 flashes troubleshooting matches the description for 6 flashes: Replace the logic board assembly. Sounds fun and/or expensive.

For the sake of thoroughness and funsies, I look up what a logic board assembly costs, and compare that to an entirely new unit as well. Turns out that the logic board surprisingly actually costs less than a whole new unit, at around $75 USD and $200 USD, respectively. Still, I know from experience that oftentimes you can find the failed component with a little work, and it is often a few-cent passive component rather than a proprietary chip or motor etc.

The manual didn't include disassembly instructions, so I faff about for a bit trying to decipher how to pull the cover apart. I've removed all the screws I think hold the cover on, and it still refuses to budge, but ultimately it turns out that some old rubber damping pads inside had sort-of fused it all together and you just have to pull harder than I expected. :P I get down to disconnecting all the wire harnesses from the board and take it upstairs for a proper post-mortem.

First checks: No fuses are blown, and none of the capacitors have spewed their guts, so it won't be quite that easy. Next, scanning for any obvious scorch marks on the board: there are a handful of resistors and a diode that have some brown haze around them, strangely enough. I put each of them to the meter and they seem fine though. I look more closely at the back of the board, and after staring at all the tiny SMDs for a couple minutes, I find that a tiny little SOT-23 has blown half of its lid off. No black marks around it, but I'm pretty sure a culprit has been found. A diode check on the pads confirms that one of the legs is no longer connected at all.

I get out a loupe to inspect what remains of the package, and 75% of the part number is blown off, but luckily a handful of other SOT-23s nearby matching the first two (only remaining) characters of the blown device's part number suggest that it is a "K1G S3"-something. A few datasheets later and it looks like this is a NPN signal transistor (https://www.jameco.com/Jameco/Products/ ... 540800.pdf). I am certain that I don't have any "K1G S3"s laying around, but I do have a handful of "SS8050"s (https://www.mouser.com/ds/2/149/SS8050-117753.pdf), which might fit the bill.*

*Closer examination of the specifics between these parts reveals that my replacement transistor has a lower maximum voltage rating, but a higher overall power rating. I am not actually sure what the nominal voltage is on this particular trace, or what transients it might be exposed to, but I strongly suspect that it is still within the design parameters for the board.

De-solder the destroyed component and dead-bug style solder the replacement TO-92 package onto the old pads and we're ready to plug it all back into the garage door opener again. It works! An hour of work saves me at least $75 - not including what time difference getting the replacement board etc. would have been.

Notably, I have not determined what caused the original transistor to fail, although I suspect a more-or-less random occurrence. If some other undetected failure mechanism still exists then this replacement may not last very long, but it has worked for at least a handful of cycles so far.

Repair Win:
Image
Explanation for non-electronics nerds: The replacement part is the "towering" (only ~5 mm tall) black semi-cylinder component, the two black rectangles directly to the right of it are the same type of component it replaced.

Other nice "Repair Wins" that come to mind (but which I won't bore you with the details as above):
- Fixing a neighbor's laptop charging port which had broken off of the motherboard inside. Value = a new laptop, or at least pricey repair bill?
- Bypassing broken house thermostat "auto"/"on" switch - permanently shorted to "auto" now. Value = new thermostat and/or cost of technician visit.
- Sewing ripped backpack/bag straps etc. Value = new backpack to invaluable if performed on the trail (yes, I keep a sewing kit in my camping gear).

EDIT 1: OK, I remembered another thread which touches on some of the same things as this one (viewtopic.php?f=42&t=121040), but it was a little more specific towards what we keep to repair electronics, and we could leave this more open to all kinds of repair.

EDIT 2: Image added.

Re: Repair Wins

Posted: Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:05 pm
by MPMalloy
Kick-Ass Thread! :D

Re: Repair Wins

Posted: Mon Sep 30, 2019 12:35 am
by taipan821
This could be a beneficial and motivating idea.

I'll add a repair win of my own. My mother had an electrical issue with her trailer and was going to take it to a shop to repair it. I went around, troubleshooted the issue, replaced the faulty plug and tidied up the wiring, $12.50 part instead of $100 bill. Felt good.

Re: Repair Wins

Posted: Mon Sep 30, 2019 6:27 am
by JayceSlayn
taipan821 wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 12:35 am
This could be a beneficial and motivating idea.

I'll add a repair win of my own. My mother had an electrical issue with her trailer and was going to take it to a shop to repair it. I went around, troubleshooted the issue, replaced the faulty plug and tidied up the wiring, $12.50 part instead of $100 bill. Felt good.
Definitely a nice little emotional boost, I agree!

I got around to adding the image to my original post. Brutal functionalist abomination that it is, at least it works for now. One of those things that you almost wish someone else will find in the future and get to wonder at how it got to be. I enjoy occasionally finding the hand-made kluges inside devices I'm working on - it shows you that a real human touched and cared for this artifact. :)

Re: Repair Wins

Posted: Mon Sep 30, 2019 1:58 pm
by eugene
My most recent are my table saw, which had a bad bearing that I had to break/cut off but was able to find a replacement and push it on rather than buying a whole new motor. And my HP48SX calculator I was able to remove the face adhesive with IPA and then get the case open and replace the foam strip which makes the connection between the keyboard and display.

Re: Repair Wins

Posted: Sun Oct 06, 2019 3:35 pm
by Towanda
This is a really small thing, but I'll post it anyway. In my semi-conscious, pre-coffee state this morning, I managed to get maple syrup not only all over the barrel and clip, but inside the click mechanism of my Zebra F-701 pen.

After coffee and contemplation, I used alcohol wipes to clean up the outside of the pen, but the clicker wasn't clicking very well. I removed the nose cone, spring, and ink cartridge. Then I applied hot water to the outside of the clicker. Next, I used half a square of tightly rolled toilet paper inside of the pen barrel to soak up the water on the inside and clicked it a lot on a towel to get all the water out from around the button. Once water stopped coming out both ends of the clicker, I reassembled the pen. Now it clicks even better than when it was new.

Re: Repair Wins

Posted: Sun Oct 06, 2019 3:47 pm
by woodsghost
I have had mold destroy at least $1000 (replacement cost) worth of gear this month. The cost is slowly climbing. And we are moving.

But my wife looked up how to deal with mold using essential oils. I have a Chinese chest rig which I have mixed up 4 parts carrier oil, 1 part tea tree oil, and spread on the chest rig (drizzled & soaked). I'll be doing the same with some of the leather which got hit.

This may or may not destroy said items. I will find out. But I have nothing to lose since otherwise stuff is going in the trash. So far, the chest rig is looking good!

Re: Repair Wins

Posted: Sun Oct 06, 2019 5:35 pm
by MPMalloy
woodsghost wrote:
Sun Oct 06, 2019 3:47 pm
I have had mold destroy at least $1000 (replacement cost) worth of gear this month. The cost is slowly climbing. And we are moving.
:gonk:
woodsghost wrote:
Sun Oct 06, 2019 3:47 pm
But my wife looked up how to deal with mold using essential oils. I have a Chinese chest rig which I have mixed up 4 parts carrier oil, 1 part tea tree oil, and spread on the chest rig (drizzled & soaked). I'll be doing the same with some of the leather which got hit.

This may or may not destroy said items. I will find out. But I have nothing to lose since otherwise stuff is going in the trash. So far, the chest rig is looking good!
I'm crossing my fingers.

Re: Repair Wins

Posted: Sun Oct 06, 2019 7:22 pm
by yossarian
woodsghost wrote:
Sun Oct 06, 2019 3:47 pm
I have had mold destroy at least $1000 (replacement cost) worth of gear this month. The cost is slowly climbing. And we are moving.

But my wife looked up how to deal with mold using essential oils. I have a Chinese chest rig which I have mixed up 4 parts carrier oil, 1 part tea tree oil, and spread on the chest rig (drizzled & soaked). I'll be doing the same with some of the leather which got hit.

This may or may not destroy said items. I will find out. But I have nothing to lose since otherwise stuff is going in the trash. So far, the chest rig is looking good!
Don't screw with that hippy shit. Get a bottle of Concrobium. It will kill the mold, prevent it from coming back and won't damage your gear. It's likely to be cheaper than essential oils too.

ETA: The crunchiest granola crunchin' hippy I know shared this with me. This stuff works.

https://www.concrobium.com/

Re: Repair Wins

Posted: Sun Oct 06, 2019 9:18 pm
by woodsghost
yossarian wrote:
Sun Oct 06, 2019 7:22 pm
woodsghost wrote:
Sun Oct 06, 2019 3:47 pm
I have had mold destroy at least $1000 (replacement cost) worth of gear this month. The cost is slowly climbing. And we are moving.

But my wife looked up how to deal with mold using essential oils. I have a Chinese chest rig which I have mixed up 4 parts carrier oil, 1 part tea tree oil, and spread on the chest rig (drizzled & soaked). I'll be doing the same with some of the leather which got hit.

This may or may not destroy said items. I will find out. But I have nothing to lose since otherwise stuff is going in the trash. So far, the chest rig is looking good!
Don't screw with that hippy shit. Get a bottle of Concrobium. It will kill the mold, prevent it from coming back and won't damage your gear. It's likely to be cheaper than essential oils too.

ETA: The crunchiest granola crunchin' hippy I know shared this with me. This stuff works.

https://www.concrobium.com/
Tea tree oil is cheap and potent. But I'm all for "better" if it's out there. Thank you VERY much for the tip!

FYI everyone, be sure to have backups of your gear. My tier 2 gear is now being pressed into tier 1 status. Stuff can happen unexpectedly. Keep things in different physical locations. And decent enough gear can be very cheap.

Re: Repair Wins

Posted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 11:46 am
by JayceSlayn
Towanda wrote:
Sun Oct 06, 2019 3:35 pm
This is a really small thing, but I'll post it anyway. In my semi-conscious, pre-coffee state this morning, I managed to get maple syrup not only all over the barrel and clip, but inside the click mechanism of my Zebra F-701 pen.

After coffee and contemplation, I used alcohol wipes to clean up the outside of the pen, but the clicker wasn't clicking very well. I removed the nose cone, spring, and ink cartridge. Then I applied hot water to the outside of the clicker. Next, I used half a square of tightly rolled toilet paper inside of the pen barrel to soak up the water on the inside and clicked it a lot on a towel to get all the water out from around the button. Once water stopped coming out both ends of the clicker, I reassembled the pen. Now it clicks even better than when it was new.
No "Repair Win" is too small! :D While the Zebra F-701 is no inexpensive throwaway pen, sometimes just fixing something instead of binning it is for the sake of principle as much as practical. BTW: For sugar-based (e.g. maple syrup) and other water-miscible substances, just straight water is actually the best solvent - soap or alcohol would actually have less cleaning efficiency. Glad to hear about the "better than new" fix!

On the woodsghost mold saga: I don't know what kind of timeline would be required to prove a negative result of no further mold, but I hope your fix works out!

Re: Repair Wins

Posted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 2:05 pm
by MacWa77ace
Saved between $175 and $450+ by fixing a coolant leak myself in my '06 Explorer last Friday.

I usually do all repairs/maint on my cars myself, so don't usually know exactly how much i'm saving, but this time I got quotes. The specific quote request was for fixing a leak under the thermostat housing.

'Tires Plus' quoted $525, which broke down like this: 2 hours labor @ $125/hr, Parts @ $275. When questioned on their price for individual parts [which i already new what they should cost] and how that adds up to $275, they said it included some of that "we don't use just any ol' anti-freeze". [they must use a 1907 Bugatti 50/50, a good year, a bit oakie with a maple finish] This is a repair that is on the top of the engine with easy access and would not require any anti-freeze replacement or new hoses when done correctly.

A second mechanic shop quoted $250 which would be more in line with my retail purchase of a complete thermostat housing and temp sensor which totaled $75 from my local auto store. But I think they would have just replaced the gasket for that price.

Anyhow, fixed the leak myself for about 2 hours of my labor which included a round trip to the auto parts store [and to BestBuy which is on the way to the auto parts store, to pick up my preorder of Ghost Recon Breakpoint,], and the $75 in parts. It would have been the same amount of labor to replace the thermostat housing gasket only, so I replaced everything as preventative maint. [$55 for the thermostat assembly and $16 for the sensor, plus tax]

Oh, BTW, I didn't lose one drop of coolant either, just drained a bucket full before starting and reused it. I don't get why some mechanic shops have to pull that 5#!+, but I bet if I had let TP start the repair they would have come back to me with 'oh, you have to replace all your hoses and waterpump too, extra $1200 please'.

But I'm going to ask for a pair of hose clamp pliers for Christmas to make my life a bit easier next time I think.

Re: Repair Wins

Posted: Wed Nov 27, 2019 12:40 pm
by raptor
Not exactly a repair... I brought my car in for routine service. Among other things they wanted $100 to change the engine and cabin air filters. I asked what the filters cost and were told $35 each. I said no thanks.

Bought replacements on Amazon for $12 each and spent less time to change them out than it took to type this post.

I am looking for a new service provider since I am obviously getting hosed.

Seriously $100 for 2 air filter replacements.:?

Re: Repair Wins

Posted: Wed Nov 27, 2019 1:36 pm
by EBuff75
raptor wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 12:40 pm
Seriously $100 for 2 air filter replacements.:?
That would be a bargain for my car, given that it takes about 90 minutes to do the cabin air filter. You have to remove the glove box, half of the trim on the passenger side, the fuse panel (I wish I were joking), and then deal with stacked air filters which require you to hold one of them up in the air without touching it to get the bottom one in place... Plus, the whole time you're basically upside down in the passenger footwell with your spine bent into an S-shape. I did it myself because I couldn't stomach spending over $200 to have the shop put in a $15 filter, but after doing it, I fully understand why they charge that much!

It's overdue for another replacement, but I've been avoiding it because I remember how bad it was the first time... Worst. Design. Ever.
https://howtune.com/articles/163-changi ... n-a-mazda3

Re: Repair Wins

Posted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:05 am
by taipan821
Ive managed to successfully repair a stair chair a family member had that wasn't working

new switch, new key lock, new batteries, new charger, fixed some wiring.

Re: Repair Wins

Posted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:02 am
by MPMalloy
taipan821 wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:05 am
Ive managed to successfully repair a stair chair a family member had that wasn't working

new switch, new key lock, new batteries, new charger, fixed some wiring.
:clap:

Re: Repair Wins

Posted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 9:33 am
by JayceSlayn
taipan821 wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:05 am
Ive managed to successfully repair a stair chair a family member had that wasn't working

new switch, new key lock, new batteries, new charger, fixed some wiring.
That sounds like a pretty significant undertaking! Bravo from me! :clap:

Re: Repair Wins

Posted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 12:30 pm
by MacWa77ace
Fixed two different issues with one parts replacement.


Last week the masterbath shower faucet started dripping.

Needed a new valve cartridge to fix the leak. So I eyeballed the existing one and went to HomeDepot. I bought two models, right size but slightly differing config on the gaskets. Moen 1200 and 1225.
If you're not sure you should really pull the old cartridge out first and bring it to the store to compare. But you have to turn off your water main to do that.

Even though the cartridge came with the removal [loosener] tool, the old one was really hard to get out. So I had to turn the water back on to the house to 'help' remove it. Comparing the old to the new ones, i got lucky and it was the 1200 cartridge.

Another little tip. There is a small clip that holds the cartridge in. I knew that the clip would fall behind the wall if i messed with it. So I got one of my fishing rods with a snap/swivel on the line and hooked that to the clip when removing and replacing the clip so I wouldn't lose it behind the wall.

Additionally the masterbath shower has never really felt like it got to full HOT temp either, but it is the furthest from the hot water tank, so i thought that distance was the issue.

Anyhow this one part fixed the drip and the temp issue in the shower.

Image

Re: Repair Wins

Posted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 5:04 pm
by JayceSlayn
MacWa77ace wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 12:30 pm
Fixed two different issues with one parts replacement.


Last week the masterbath shower faucet started dripping.

Needed a new valve cartridge to fix the leak. So I eyeballed the existing one and went to HomeDepot. I bought two models, right size but slightly differing config on the gaskets. Moen 1200 and 1225.
If you're not sure you should really pull the old cartridge out first and bring it to the store to compare. But you have to turn off your water main to do that.

Even though the cartridge came with the removal [loosener] tool, the old one was really hard to get out. So I had to turn the water back on to the house to 'help' remove it. Comparing the old to the new ones, i got lucky and it was the 1200 cartridge.

Another little tip. There is a small clip that holds the cartridge in. I knew that the clip would fall behind the wall if i messed with it. So I got one of my fishing rods with a snap/swivel on the line and hooked that to the clip when removing and replacing the clip so I wouldn't lose it behind the wall.

Additionally the masterbath shower has never really felt like it got to full HOT temp either, but it is the furthest from the hot water tank, so i thought that distance was the issue.

Anyhow this one part fixed the drip and the temp issue in the shower.

<snip>[img]</snip>
Was the hot-side port on the old cartridge clogged with scale or something? I had a similar issue once, except that the cold-side port was plugged and the shower would only go full hot! :roll:

EDIT: I like the fishing rod idea...I'll have to keep that in mind for the future. :)

Re: Repair Wins

Posted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 5:29 pm
by MacWa77ace
JayceSlayn wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 5:04 pm
Was the hot-side port on the old cartridge clogged with scale or something? I had a similar issue once, except that the cold-side port was plugged and the shower would only go full hot! :roll:

EDIT: I like the fishing rod idea...I'll have to keep that in mind for the future. :)
No, none of the ports looked clogged. The outer metal [brass?] had some tarnish and a small bit of scale and did look old, the inner chromed piece looked fine, but the rubber gaskets were probably causing the cross temp contamination. I couldn't see where on them was the fault, but that's what i figured failed for the temp issue and the leak to both be solved. One or more of those black rubber gaskets in the photo is probably the culprit in my case.

I have real bad luck with tiny parts like that so I'm paranoid about that kind of stuff and usually look at a job going, 'ok what am I going to break or lose while doing this?'. :lol:

Re: Repair Wins

Posted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 11:17 pm
by taipan821
MacWa77ace wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 5:29 pm
I have real bad luck with tiny parts like that so I'm paranoid about that kind of stuff and usually look at a job going, 'ok what am I going to break or lose while doing this?'. :lol:
I am notorious for this as well, for me its those tiny screws used here and there inside electronics, so tiny.

Re: Repair Wins

Posted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 11:33 pm
by yossarian
taipan821 wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 11:17 pm
MacWa77ace wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 5:29 pm
I have real bad luck with tiny parts like that so I'm paranoid about that kind of stuff and usually look at a job going, 'ok what am I going to break or lose while doing this?'. :lol:
I am notorious for this as well, for me its those tiny screws used here and there inside electronics, so tiny.
Every mechanical device has an appendix. I've fixed countless things over the years by taking them apart and putting them back together with a small pile of left over pieces.

Re: Repair Wins

Posted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 4:02 pm
by MPMalloy
Unfortunately no repairs took place, but I just took my laptop apart, under up just blowing the dust out of it, and successfully re-assembled it correctly.

It even works :ooh:

Why yes, it is the laptop I'm using to post this...Thank you ever so much for noticing!

Re: Repair Wins

Posted: Wed Dec 18, 2019 7:05 pm
by Sun Yeti
My high school robotics students snapped the pins off the connectors for some expensive, proprietary robot motors. I got my high school engineering students, whom I have trained to solder, to solder new pins on and fix them. Win!