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ludi
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Fri Nov 16, 2018 4:27 am

Homeowner fables, the never-ending story: a 90-minute dishwasher replacement goes sideways into a six-hour ordeal when I discover:

1 - A pair of vent pipes from the basement laundry pass through the subfloor and into the exterior wall behind the dishwasher, leaving gaps in the drywall. This is the same wall that previously had a mouse admittance problem. The evidence is irrefutable. An expanded-metal patch is needed around those pipes. Also, Lysol and a shop-vac.

2 - Consequent of the above, the mice had chewed partway through the type-NM feeder serving the dishwasher.

3 - The feeder was wired wrong anyway. What maroon, having decided to relocate the dishwasher during a kitchen upgrade, runs loose type-NM cable behind the kitchen cabinets and then taps into the original feeder using an in-wall box that is screwed into the cabinet floor on the opposite side of the sink?

I guess I should count my blessings, at least the previous maroon was smart enough to actually use a J-box instead of just hiding the entire mess under the cabinet. I replaced the j-box with a surface-mount type and ran armored cable through the basement joists below, brought it back up behind the dishwasher, and then installed a new surface-mount j-box and GFCI outlet just inside the sink cabinet where both it and the plug for the new dishwasher are humanly accessible.

The old dishwasher (a 15-20yo Kenmore) wasn't quite dead; in fact, the pump and solenoids were working fine. But there were at least five things wrong with it and about $300 in required parts, so it just made sense to replace it.
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setaG_lliB
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Sun Nov 18, 2018 9:50 pm

I replaced the blown line filter capacitor in my IIe's power supply today. Fortunately, it didn't kill the motherboard when it let the magic smoke out!
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Mon Nov 19, 2018 12:05 pm

setaG_lliB wrote:
I replaced the blown line filter capacitor in my IIe's power supply today. Fortunately, it didn't kill the motherboard when it let the magic smoke out!
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I think you win a cookie for the most interesting repair I have seen in this thread. :lol:

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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Fri Nov 23, 2018 11:06 pm

Stupid rusted license plate bolts.

Chapter 1: State of IL sent me new plates this year for our '02 Camry. Went to remove the old ones, bolts were rusted tight. Stripped the Phillips head on the first one... then tried to get it out with vice-grip pliers. Head of the bolt twisted right off. Plate hanging by a single bolt.

Chapter 2: Attempted removal of busted bolt with a screw extractor! Bolt still won't budge, and screw extractor appears to be permanently embedded... it won't come back out either, despite best efforts. Needless to say, this is not an improvement!

Chapter 3: OK, we're just shifting the plate over an inch or so and drilling new holes. But now there's a stuck screw extractor in the way! Went to the local Ace Hardware to get a cutoff disc for the Dremel (so I can shear off the useless screw extractor), and some stainless bolts and nuts (really don't want to deal with this issue again, IMO that's $4 well spent).

Chapter 4: Figure out how to remove the liner on the inside of the trunk lid so the nuts can be installed on the inside after I drill the holes. Removal of inside emergency trunk release handle (necessary to remove the liner) is very non-obvious... waste a bunch of time Googling (and wading through clueless threads on Toyota forums) figuring that out. Crap, the sun's gone down... I could rig a light, or work via flashlight... but this is pissing me off, and I'd rather just go have a beer.

Too bad the garage is packed to the gills with crap, forcing this to all take place outside in the driveway. In November.

To be continued tomorrow (there's rain in the forecast for the AM, so probably not until mid-day)...
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Fri Nov 23, 2018 11:09 pm

On the bright side, replacing the entire driver side tail light assembly (got busted up in a recent fender-bender my wife was in) went without a hitch. Figures that the task I thought might turn into a nightmare took all of 10 minutes, and the one I expected to take 10 minutes has turned into a multi-day odyssey. :roll:

I hate working on cars. But I also hate paying ridiculous amounts of money for stuff I can do myself...
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Sat Nov 24, 2018 1:43 pm

Got the old plate off. Cut off the stuck screw extractor with the Dremel and ground down the stump. Other bolt was frozen too, ended up just drilling the head off and grinding the stump down. Drilled two new holes slightly offset from the old ones, and got the damn plate mounted.

Of course AFTER I got the liner for the underside of the trunk lid back on I discovered that the license plate bulb is burnt out. So I get to take the liner off again to change the bulb... :roll:

Front plate was just screwed into the plastic bumper cover, so no issues there...
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Sat Nov 24, 2018 9:38 pm

I use stainless for all low-torque applications. The price difference, while high as a percentage, is tiny at my low volumes.
 
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Sat Nov 24, 2018 10:33 pm

Trunk lid liner removed (again), license plate bulbs replaced (both were burned out), and everything put back together again...

I thought about using LED bulbs given how much of a PITA it is to get at these, so I don't ever need to deal with it again; but all the LED versions of that bulb at the local auto parts store were labeled "For Off Road Use Only". I assume this is due to some sort of DOT/NHTSA regulation? Too bright, perhaps?
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ludi
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Sun Nov 25, 2018 2:04 am

just brew it! wrote:
I thought about using LED bulbs given how much of a PITA it is to get at these, so I don't ever need to deal with it again; but all the LED versions of that bulb at the local auto parts store were labeled "For Off Road Use Only". I assume this is due to some sort of DOT/NHTSA regulation? Too bright, perhaps?

If not DOT certified, then technically not legal for road use.

That being said, if your replacement functions equal to the OEM part and you don't live in a state where a mandatory safety inspection will flag these items, you can probably do it without problems. I've been tinkering with LED replacements for years, although it helps that Colorado is pretty generous on everything except emissions and illegal lamp colors (e.g. blue or red lights shining forward).
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Sun Nov 25, 2018 2:12 am

ludi wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
I thought about using LED bulbs given how much of a PITA it is to get at these, so I don't ever need to deal with it again; but all the LED versions of that bulb at the local auto parts store were labeled "For Off Road Use Only". I assume this is due to some sort of DOT/NHTSA regulation? Too bright, perhaps?

If not DOT certified, then technically not legal for road use.

That being said, if your replacement functions equal to the OEM part and you don't live in a state where a mandatory safety inspection will flag these items, you can probably do it without problems. I've been tinkering with LED replacements for years, although it helps that Colorado is pretty generous on everything except emissions and illegal lamp colors (e.g. blue or red lights shining forward).

After doing a little more poking around online, it seems that there are potential insurance/liability issues in the event that there's an accident involving your vehicle, and use of non-approved bulbs is subsequently discovered during the accident investigation.

I'd already opted to go with the traditional incandescents anyway, given the combination of the "Off Road" marking on the LED package and cost.
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derFunkenstein
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Tue Nov 27, 2018 12:40 pm

Not exactly finished repairs, but I've got some stuff I'd *like* to repair. My love for old game consoles is well-documented here, and a friend gave me his old NES that works but sometimes acts weird. I popped the lid and there are a handful of leaking capacitors. As it turns out, I could fix that for like $8 after shipping, or at the very least practice some newly-acquired skills.

So my question is, what are some resources you all with much more experience than I have that you'd recommend to a novice solder-er? And what about equipment? I have in the past soldered guitar pickups, but I wouldn't say I'm good at it, and I'm more or less a beginner when it comes to electronics. The soldering iron I have is super old and I'm not sure that it's good for electronics since the plug doesn't even have a third pin.

I've done a little internet research and found this video (and the product it references). The guy who made the video is well known in the retro console modding scene and seems to know what he's talking about (other than pronouncing the L in solder...:lol: ). $50 and waiting a couple weeks sounds like an acceptable price, since I wouldn't be able to really dive into it until late December anyway.

If you'd rather I asked this elsewhere, let me know, otherwise I think this is a fun topic that I want to learn more about.
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ludi
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Tue Nov 27, 2018 1:22 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:
So my question is, what are some resources you all with much more experience than I have that you'd recommend to a novice solder-er? And what about equipment? I have in the past soldered guitar pickups, but I wouldn't say I'm good at it, and I'm more or less a beginner when it comes to electronics. The soldering iron I have is super old and I'm not sure that it's good for electronics since the plug doesn't even have a third pin.

Do yourself a favor and at least buy this:

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Weller-5-Wa ... /100130478

Currently out of stock online but it's usually on the shelf at any medium-to-large Home Depot. $40 is about the cheapest you will find a soldering station with any sort of temperature control. If you want to spoil yourself, triple your budget and get the WES51 instead. Also try Parts Express as another option for soldering tools and supplies.

For desoldering, a small spool of desoldering braid and container of paste flux are really helpful. A bulb or vaccuum tool can also be useful. The other thing you will want to do is order yourself a small supply of 60/40 solder (i.e. not RoHS lead-free) and make sure it is electrical-rated flux core type. Plumbers' solder and glaziers' solder won't work.

If you need a temporary worksurface, one trick I've used is to buy the biggest sand tile I can find (18-24" square is about right) and glue a few felt chair feet on the bottom. Reasonably heat-safe and keeps a nicer table surface underneath from getting damaged.
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:36 pm

My NES needs to have the component video port replaced. My son accidentally tripped on the cable somehow and broke the connector. Playing Mario Audio Only isn't as easy as one might think.
 
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:53 pm

Usacomp2k3 wrote:
My NES needs to have the component video port replaced. My son accidentally tripped on the cable somehow and broke the connector. Playing Mario Audio Only isn't as easy as one might think.

You can use RF, if you can find a TV with an analog tuner. :lol:

So I've been half-watching videos on this playlist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYz5nIH ... 3631A5C1AA

The second video in the series (which I think is the one that will play) talks about through-hole soldering. And right away I see what I was doing wrong when I was working on my guitar. I need to heat BOTH "sides" of the joint together and apply the solder directly to the pin. I was heating only the conductor wire which I'd try to wrap around the other end, and I had a really hard time. What I built worked fine and sounds good, but I now see that it's not magic, I was just doing it wrong.

ludi wrote:
Do yourself a favor and at least buy this:

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Weller-5-Wa ... /100130478

Currently out of stock online but it's usually on the shelf at any medium-to-large Home Depot. $40 is about the cheapest you will find a soldering station with any sort of temperature control. If you want to spoil yourself, triple your budget and get the WES51 instead. Also try Parts Express as another option for soldering tools and supplies.

For desoldering, a small spool of desoldering braid and container of paste flux are really helpful. A bulb or vaccuum tool can also be useful. The other thing you will want to do is order yourself a small supply of 60/40 solder (i.e. not RoHS lead-free) and make sure it is electrical-rated flux core type. Plumbers' solder and glaziers' solder won't work.

If you need a temporary worksurface, one trick I've used is to buy the biggest sand tile I can find (18-24" square is about right) and glue a few felt chair feet on the bottom. Reasonably heat-safe and keeps a nicer table surface underneath from getting damaged.


Thanks for all this. What I have isn't temperature controlled and from what I can tell I really need to at least have that much. I don't want to go hog wild, but I want to do it well. Or well enough, anyway. :lol:

So the list of things to have appears to be the station itself, some 60/40 or 63/37 small-diameter solder, some wick, maybe a flux pen, and a fan so I'm not breathing lead fumes. The tile is a really good idea, too, because my garage isn't heated and it's getting kind of cold to be doing too much out there that requires fine motor skills. :lol:
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:56 pm

@derFunk - I strongly recommend practicing desoldering/soldering on a piece of junk equipment you don't care about first. This will give you a good feel for how the process works, without risking anything. Some components (e.g. LEDs) are also more temperature-sensitive than others; and the right amount of heat to apply to get a good joint without damaging certain components is going to probably be a bit trial-and-error at first.
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:58 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:
Usacomp2k3 wrote:
My NES needs to have the component video port replaced. My son accidentally tripped on the cable somehow and broke the connector. Playing Mario Audio Only isn't as easy as one might think.

You can use RF, if you can find a TV with an analog tuner. :lol:

I meant to say composite. I don’t have any RF tuners actually, not even ATSC. This project was moved to the back-Burner after getting the NES classic though. HDMI is so much more convenient. What’s your go-to site for parts?
 
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Tue Nov 27, 2018 5:40 pm

Usacomp2k3 wrote:
I meant to say composite. I don’t have any RF tuners actually, not even ATSC. This project was moved to the back-Burner after getting the NES classic though. HDMI is so much more convenient. What’s your go-to site for parts?

I've had an NES Mini for a while but I don't play it much. Whether it's real or imagined, it feels like audio lags behind the video, and despite its (much!) cleaner video, it just put me off the thing. The SNES Classic does not seem to have this problem. The guys doing mods on AtariAge swear by Console5 for anything on an old console.

Their store has basically anything you could need: https://console5.com/store/

And their Wiki has all the diagrams: https://console5.com/wiki
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:37 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:
ludi wrote:
Do yourself a favor and at least buy this:

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Weller-5-Wa ... /100130478

Thanks for all this. What I have isn't temperature controlled and from what I can tell I really need to at least have that much. I don't want to go hog wild, but I want to do it well. Or well enough, anyway. :lol:

The Weller soldering station that ludi suggested is the one I've been using for the past 10 years. It isn't temperature controlled, just a dial from 1 to 5 to control wattage, but I rapidly got a good feel for what was required for different types of work. It's cheap but it's well-made. If I were to replace it, I'd go for something with proper temperature control, but I'm in no rush.
 
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Tue Nov 27, 2018 11:51 pm

Chuckaluphagus wrote:
The Weller soldering station that ludi suggested is the one I've been using for the past 10 years. It isn't temperature controlled, just a dial from 1 to 5 to control wattage, but I rapidly got a good feel for what was required for different types of work. It's cheap but it's well-made. If I were to replace it, I'd go for something with proper temperature control, but I'm in no rush.

Even what he linked is more adjustable than what I have, which is just a pen that plugs straight into the wall. :lol:
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Wed Nov 28, 2018 1:20 am

This looks like the successor to what I use (AT-SS-50), and for $30 it (or at least the older version) is great. I've used it for everything from QFP-44's and 0603 resistors up to soldering to the cases of guitar potentiometers, and while I've botched a couple of those due to my own skills being insufficient, the iron has performed flawlessly. Proper temperature regulation is definitely handy, and I'd miss it regularly with that Weller.
 
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Wed Nov 28, 2018 7:20 am

derFunkenstein wrote:
Chuckaluphagus wrote:
The Weller soldering station that ludi suggested is the one I've been using for the past 10 years. It isn't temperature controlled, just a dial from 1 to 5 to control wattage, but I rapidly got a good feel for what was required for different types of work. It's cheap but it's well-made. If I were to replace it, I'd go for something with proper temperature control, but I'm in no rush.

Even what he linked is more adjustable than what I have, which is just a pen that plugs straight into the wall. :lol:

You could do what I did: Keep buying different wattages of the cheap pen style irons over the years, every time you encounter a task that needs a bigger/smaller one. This is partly due to the "Radio Shack Effect" of days gone by, when every neighborhood had one; very easy to just head over and pick one up. These days you'd probably need to wait 2 days for Prime shipping. :lol:

Keep meaning to buy a decent soldering station, but at this point (40+ years in), it may never happen...
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Wed Nov 28, 2018 7:53 am

derFunkenstein wrote:
Usacomp2k3 wrote:
I meant to say composite. I don’t have any RF tuners actually, not even ATSC. This project was moved to the back-Burner after getting the NES classic though. HDMI is so much more convenient. What’s your go-to site for parts?

I've had an NES Mini for a while but I don't play it much. Whether it's real or imagined, it feels like audio lags behind the video, and despite its (much!) cleaner video, it just put me off the thing. The SNES Classic does not seem to have this problem. The guys doing mods on AtariAge swear by Console5 for anything on an old console.

Their store has basically anything you could need: https://console5.com/store/

And their Wiki has all the diagrams: https://console5.com/wiki

Thanks!
 
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Wed Nov 28, 2018 7:56 am

Becky and I found a 1994 MTD Garden Tractor (18hp, 46" deck) in *really good* condition and for a good price.
Needs a little bit of work on the engine since it runs rough when not under stress. (mowing etc.)
I suspect the governor is fine but the idle and choke need adjustment.

Trouble is, it also came with a 4' snow plow and I was able to find manuals for the snow blower, mower deck, and all kind of attachments but not the blade.
I was able to figure out how to get the mower deck off and the snow plow mounted in a couple of hours.
It works quite well!

The tractor has wheel weights but no snow chains so that is the next order of business.

Also the blade has three positions but the cable from the pin to the handle is broken.
I'm just gonna put a short piece of pipe on the pin so I can move it by hand from the front of the tractor rather than doing it from the seat.
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Wed Nov 28, 2018 8:02 am

just brew it! wrote:
You could do what I did: Keep buying different wattages of the cheap pen style irons over the years, every time you encounter a task that needs a bigger/smaller one. This is partly due to the "Radio Shack Effect" of days gone by, when every neighborhood had one; very easy to just head over and pick one up. These days you'd probably need to wait 2 days for Prime shipping. :lol:

Keep meaning to buy a decent soldering station, but at this point (40+ years in), it may never happen...

I guess I could just make one from a 9v battery (excuse the horrible music). :lol:

I did see your message earlier about practicing on something junk. I've got an old boombox where both the CD player and the FM tuner went out that I can practice on. And who knows, maybe even resurrect it. No idea what it looks like on the inside yet but I can't imagine it's good.
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Wed Nov 28, 2018 8:13 am

derFunkenstein wrote:
I did see your message earlier about practicing on something junk. I've got an old boombox where both the CD player and the FM tuner went out that I can practice on. And who knows, maybe even resurrect it. No idea what it looks like on the inside yet but I can't imagine it's good.

A few years ago, I opened up a 1970's era oscilloscope to see if it was fixable. I took one look at the innards (a maze of random wires, circuit boards, and components, some of which were at non-orthogonal angles), closed it back up, and put it back in the crawlspace.

Being designed for high-volume mass production, I imagine a boombox would be a lot more sane inside. And being older, maybe the percentage of surface-mount components (massive PITA for DIY) is lower, or even zero. The sweet spot for ease of DIY repair is probably 1970s-1980s -- 1 and 2 layer PCBs were the norm, but SMT wasn't a thing yet, and "rat's nest" point-to-point designs with discrete wires had completely died out for consumer stuff. I remember tearing into a 1960s era TV when I was a kid, and it looked kind of like the insides of that oscilloscope.
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Wed Nov 28, 2018 9:31 am

just brew it! wrote:
Stupid rusted license plate bolts.


If you're using stainless steel fasteners, make sure you put some sort of anti-sieze paste on the threads because stainless steel has a tendency to cold-weld, leaving you in the same position as before.
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:54 am

just brew it! wrote:
Keep meaning to buy a decent soldering station, but at this point (40+ years in), it may never happen...

How about a WES51, ordered online and shipped to your home or nearest Home Depot for pickup? $85 is the lowest price I've ever seen for it:

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Weller-Anal ... 51%7D%3Aqu

I have two already or I would have jumped on that.
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Wed Nov 28, 2018 12:44 pm

Fixed the office water cooler today. Someone mashed the button so hard that the plunger cracked off its mount and was floating free. There was absolutely nowhere to mount zipties inside, so I ended up wedging a wood shim behind the plunger to hold it in place. It'll never budge again. Unfortunately the shim now blocks the hot-water plunger from activating, but it was never used anyway.
 
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Wed Nov 28, 2018 4:39 pm

Installed a new stove hood to replace a Brady Bunch era stove hood that should have been replaced years ago. Turns out those edges on the Stainless steel are friggin sharp. Bled like a stuck pig. Oh, and aligning the screws to the bottom of a cabinet with a recessed panel was fun. I had to shim the whole works just to get some screws in there. It looks great though once I got the blood off of it.
 
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:03 am

liquidsquid wrote:
It looks great though once I got the blood off of it.

This describes way too many of my home projects.
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