I charge $85/hr for electronics, phone systems, network systems, access
control, computer repair, alarm systems, etc. Any low voltage is that
rate. The more mundane and simpler stuff is $65/hr. But for good
customers, the rate is flexible and someone who spends a lot of money
with me in a year gets a lot of favors. Besides, if they own a
restaurant, I never go hungry. I do a lot of national contract
installation and repairs too. Tomorrow, I'll be with some other guys on
a scissors lift pulling in 500 feet of MC cable to run two circuits up
in a 20 foot ceiling. I hope I can breath OK tomorrow.
Yes caps in switching power supplies are common problems. Usually from
ESR (equivalent series resistance) which shows up with high frequencies,
like in switching power supplies. Many common replacement caps will
already be failing that test but work for a while. They make special
caps for circuits sensitive to ESR.
One particular monitor with cap problems had 2 caps parallel. I think
the one was 100uf and the other 220uf. I'd find them on my bench where
they had been replaced with one 330uf cap. Sometimes they worked, and
sometimes they didn't. I don't claim to know why but I always guessed
it had something to do with ESR.
On Mon, 17 Jan 2011 04:06:37 -0600, The Daring Dufas wrote:
In a CRT TV environment, yes, not too bad - it does get pretty toasty
inside a TV, and heat's a real killer. I've got many computers that are
30 years old and still working without any capacitor issues though; a lot
of it depends on the environment and how close the working voltage is to
the limit of the capacitor.
At the place where I used to work, we had a computer from the early 60s
and that was still running with many of the original capacitors in the
power supplies (although some of them had been replaced over the years as
they went bad). Not bad for electronics that was pushing 50 years old,
The modern stuff really doesn't seem to be built as well, that much is
true. And the less said about modern-era PCs and "capacitor plague" the
I have an original IBM PC or two somewhere that still worked the last
time it/they was/were turned on. The originals were built like tanks
with high quality components that were of at least commercial grade
specs. The 4 to 5 thousand dollar price tag of the computers was not
really that far out of line considering the low production volume and
build quality. The quality of PC's didn't really slip until they became
commodity items and were produced in massive quantities. A good example
is the Delco 8-track tape players that were installed in GM vehicles
years ago. The Delco player was a substantially robust unit built with
very high quality components. When the market became flooded with tons
of cheaply made imported tape players, no one wanted to pay the price
for the expensive Delco units. It's like anything else, you can buy an
electronic item that will last and last but it will cost a whole lot
more than your typical consumer electronic unit.
On Tue, 18 Jan 2011 09:38:18 -0600, The Daring Dufas wrote:
If you ever feel like parting with them, shout - although I suspect
shipping costs might be phenominal, even within the US :-)
I had an original PC (the 5150) and also an XT (5160) but got rid of them
before moving over to the US as I was trying to cut down on weight of
things to ship over - I've always regretted losing them, though. It took
me a while to get hold of them as they were down on the insurance policy
of the original owners as still being worth several thousand bucks,
despite my getting them in the early 90s - so I know exactly what you
mean about the price tag ;-)
My pair had a (very) minor claim to fame in that they were used for
photos in Gordon Laing's "Digital Retro" book - I remember running around
like a nut on the morning of the shooting trying to find a full
complement of case screws, as they'd all gone walkabout over the years :-)
true, although IBM's design and choice of CPU was always a bit
questionable, and sales relied on marketing pressure more than anything.
"mechanically" they were very good, though.
I've never had an 8-track - I should really get one for the old truck.
They weren't particularly common back in the UK; older vehicles had
radios only, and later made the jump to compact cassette.
I'm not sure it's always true, though. There comes a point where you just
can't throw money at the problem because no company is able to make a
quality product and still survive in the marketplace, so the product that
you want doesn't exist; the only solution is to keep existing better-
engineered products going, or to completely make from scratch (but good
luck with doing something like that with a PC, say :-)
Maybe it's always been like that, but it seems more true in these times
of low-quality products on short replacement cycles.
It's interesting to note that cheap electronics can be reliable because
of integrated circuits. If a cheaply made item were made from discrete
components, the MTBF of the individual cheap components would be horrid.
On Tue, 18 Jan 2011 21:32:56 +0000 (UTC), Jules Richardson
I still have my "first day purchase" 5150, both monochrome and color monitors,
and an expansion unit and 10MB hard disk. The single-sided drive is long gone
(I think). It's also got 704K of memory in it.
It was a business decision (Intel vs. Motorola), not marketing.
You can't have high quality and high prices and billions sold (see:
McDonalds). There *will* be a race to the bottom. Particularly in this case,
I don't see that as a problem.
To be accurate, the problem is low voltage in the horizontal
deflection circuit. MOST likely capacitor related, but there are
numerous other components that can cause it - some of which are more
temperature sensitive than capacitors - and bad solder joints do fit
On 1/17/2011 8:17 AM, email@example.com wrote:
In my findings 99.9% of the time it was a bad cap, and while at it I
changed other caps that had a history of failing. I've also found caps,
especially ones that suffer from ESR are very temperature sensitive.
This looks like a problem with the automatic degaussing circuit.
Electromagnets are energized when power is first applied to remove any
stray magnetic fields from the CRT. The degausser should be deactivated
by the time the CRT warms up. Usually a thermistor (a fairly
inexpensive component) is the culprit. If you have service information
(e.g. a schematic) you may be able to fix it inexpensively.
But, as others have pointed out, it's not economically practical to put
much effort into repairing such a technologically obsolete device.
It's more like a problem with the 'pincushion' correction circuit (if
the set has one). This allows you to set the edges of the picture so
they are vertical (and horizontal), and not bowed inwards or outwards.
The adjustment control could be a small preset potentiometer, which has
a dirty (intermittent) contact. A quick twiddle might clear the problem.
However, the problem might be any of the components or soldered joints
in that part of the circuit. I recall that, when it was 6 months old, my
18" Sony suddenly developed pincushion distortion, and this turned out
to be a small, faulty 10 microfarad capacitor. Diagnosis was only an
'inspired guess', but replacement fixed it.
But, as others have said, unless you're really into electronics, maybe
it's time to treat yourself to a new, flat-screen set. If you spend some
time carefully setting up the picture, you'll quickly become accustomed
to the 'different' picture quality - and maybe eventually learn to like
Probably a tube is getting weak. Remove the back, label all the tubes
for location on the chassis, so you can put them back in the same
socket. Pull out all tubes and take them to your local drugstore or
hardware store and test them in their tube tester. Replace any bad
ones and you should have a good working tv for several more years.
I haven't seen a tube tester in a drugstore or hardware store in
years, nor have I seen a television made in the last 15 years that
had more than a picture tube. The remaining circuitry was solid
~~ If there's a nit to pick, some nitwit will pick it. ~~
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