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Right to Repair

Does what it says on the tin
bungeejumper
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Right to Repair

#192680

Postby bungeejumper » January 11th, 2019, 11:11 am

Am I the only person who worries that the current demand for a citizen's right to repair electrical goods (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-46797396) might end up by over-estimating the average amateur's abilities?

Yes, I can see the ecological logic in requiring manufacturers to make it easier for an owner to fix his broken machines. And I still take the personal view that (nearly) everything is worth one attempt at a repair. But I can also see that the dominant trends of the last 20 years have been (1) a move toward sophisticated microprocessor control and (2) a tendency to use smaller and more efficiently laid-out layouts which have resulted in tidier, better-presented products.

Have you ever tried dismantling the gazillions of tiny bushes, brushes and bearings in an electric jigsaw? Or sorting out the siphon system inside a dishwasher? (Physically simple, but functionally a nightmare balance of complementary suctions which you'd never guess from looking at it.)

I agree that manufacturers have fought back, sometimes unfairly, by using torx screws etc. "If you ain't got a torx socket set you probably don't know enough to be messing inside this thing" seems to be the message. But heck, some of those torxes are there to save lives. I wonder what the household insurance companies will do when dad accidentally turns the washing machine into a live device? ;)

BJ

Slarti
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Re: Right to Repair

#192696

Postby Slarti » January 11th, 2019, 11:48 am

I suspect this is more aimed at a resurgence of repair shops.

There was an interesting bit on the TV last night about a repair club who would try and fix bits and pieces and their complaint was that there was a distinct shortage of repair manuals, matched by a shortage of parts.

And many things have gone to a silly extreme, eg soldered in batteries in mobile phones. Battery fails? Buy a new phone! :roll:
Also things like Apple phones where nobody but Apple is allowed to do repairs, so if you break the screen you have to go to them, and their repair cost is as much as buying a new phone.

And the volume of stuff glued or welded shut to totally discourage repairs.

Slarti

bungeejumper
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Re: Right to Repair

#192709

Postby bungeejumper » January 11th, 2019, 12:46 pm

Slarti wrote:I suspect this is more aimed at a resurgence of repair shops.

I'm fairly sure that you're right. Mind you, at £30-50 an hour, I'd doubt that many would be worthwhile. People will take he repairs into their own hands, and probably bodge the bits they can't get.

Also things like Apple phones where nobody but Apple is allowed to do repairs, so if you break the screen you have to go to them, and their repair cost is as much as buying a new phone.

Oh, indeed, I had that with my TomTom satnav when its battery died. £120 to send it away, or £18 if you bought the battery and looked up the repair procedure on YouTube. :D

Even then, they'd made it hard to do. The snap tabs around the case had been deliberately made invisible, and the front and the back of the thing had been joined together with a delicate and wafer-thin data bus that would have defied anybody to work it out before they accidentally killed the machine. No glue, though!

BJ

wilbobob
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Re: Right to Repair

#192715

Postby wilbobob » January 11th, 2019, 12:57 pm

This post seems to have anticipated the thread

viewtopic.php?f=64&t=14558

Watis
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Re: Right to Repair

#192737

Postby Watis » January 11th, 2019, 2:00 pm

I have had some success repairing gadgets in recent years.

For simpler things like satnavs and computer mice there is a wealth of YouTube videos showing how to get into and fix these devices.

For more complex devices such as laptops, complement the videos with a copy of the workshop manual, which you'll hopefully be able to download from the manufacturer's website.

A set of the correct screwdrivers and spudgers are the main prerequisites for these repairs.

Watis

jfgw
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Re: Right to Repair

#192818

Postby jfgw » January 11th, 2019, 5:13 pm

bungeejumper wrote:...a move toward sophisticated microprocessor control

Circuit boards, even ones which incorporate sophisticated microprocessor control, are usually very cheap to manufacture. The price you have to pay for a replacement is highly disproportionate to the actual cost.
bungeejumper wrote:Have you ever tried dismantling the gazillions of tiny bushes, brushes and bearings in an electric jigsaw? Or sorting out the siphon system inside a dishwasher? (Physically simple, but functionally a nightmare balance of complementary suctions which you'd never guess from looking at it.)

Not yet but, if I needed to, I would.
Slarti wrote:There was an interesting bit on the TV last night about a repair club who would try and fix bits and pieces and their complaint was that there was a distinct shortage of repair manuals, matched by a shortage of parts.

Which I think definitely needs addressing. There is also the cost of parts (if they are available at all) and the unavailability of individual components such as having to buy and whole pump assembly when it is just the impeller that needs replacing.
Slarti wrote:And many things have gone to a silly extreme, eg soldered in batteries in mobile phones. Battery fails? Buy a new phone! :roll:

Learn to solder? In some cases, though, I understand that the battery cannot be replaced without removing (and, in doing so, breaking) the screen.

Julian F. G. W.

johnstevens77
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Re: Right to Repair

#192903

Postby johnstevens77 » January 11th, 2019, 10:33 pm

Just like my printer,, the ink absorber pads are full and need cleaning but I would have to take the thing apart to do that! It could be so easy if the job had been designed in. Looks like I will have to buy a new one and throw this one out, what a waste of resources.

viewtopic.php?f=39&t=15553

john

ten0rman
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Re: Right to Repair

#192963

Postby ten0rman » January 12th, 2019, 10:15 am

Just like my printer,, the ink absorber pads are full and need cleaning but I would have to take the thing apart to do that! It could be so easy if the job had been designed in. Looks like I will have to buy a new one and throw this one out, what a waste of resources.


I kept an old HP 880C printer running for 15 years. As you say the absorber pads initially were full and washable, but eventually I replaced them with some plastic foam. Seemed to work ok. I scrapped the printer when I found that under Linux it didn't want to work properly, something to do with a driver.
That was replaced by a DJ6122 which works fine. It did have a broken plastic part which I successfully repaired. I think I used something like an Milliput. Or was it a homemade metal bracket - can't remember. Anyway it worked and the printer is still working.

In both instances I was able to dismantle the printer. Fortunately it was a lot of clip together parts.

In years gone by I have repaired various items, but strangely, I'm finding that a lot of household equipment is much more reliable and long lasting - talking decades here.

ten0rman

csearle
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Re: Right to Repair

#192980

Postby csearle » January 12th, 2019, 11:57 am

I bought a Jura machine in 2001 (beans and water in; coffee out). Cost more than EUR2000. Every few years a gasket goes, or a pulse-pump starts leaking etc. With a EUR25 PDF file explaining the dismantling order, a special tool, U-ring gaskets, and spare parts I attend to whatever the fault is.

The thing was so very expensive and I've kept it alive so long that I would be extremely reluctant to just throw it away. It is very, very satisfying doing this.

Chris

Slarti
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Re: Right to Repair

#193053

Postby Slarti » January 12th, 2019, 4:37 pm

jfgw wrote:
Slarti wrote:And many things have gone to a silly extreme, eg soldered in batteries in mobile phones. Battery fails? Buy a new phone! :roll:

Learn to solder? In some cases, though, I understand that the battery cannot be replaced without removing (and, in doing so, breaking) the screen


Also, some batteries are so positioned that soldering around them will break other parts that should not have the heat applied.

Slarti

johnstevens77
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Re: Right to Repair

#193538

Postby johnstevens77 » January 14th, 2019, 8:28 pm

In 1966 I bought a 1950's Triumph Tiger 110, using only the maintenance and repair manual sold with the original machine, I completly rebuilt it over a few years and I had no technical knowledge at all. The instructions even went so far as to explain how to do the job without the special tools quoted in the text. Now that was DYI!

john

Urbandreamer
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Re: Right to Repair

#193607

Postby Urbandreamer » January 15th, 2019, 8:53 am

Slarti wrote:Also, some batteries are so positioned that soldering around them will break other parts that should not have the heat applied.

Slarti


I think that logically you can't initially solder the battery and the parts near it without applying heat.

The answer is of course that they are not soldered in using a soldering iron but by applying heat and allowing the solder paste to melt and re-flow. This also drags "most" components into the best position, though in the early days there were problems with surface mount resistors "tombstoning". That is where the surface tension on one end is enough to pull the resistor into a vertical orientation, looking like a tombstone and failing to contact at both ends.

If you do a search for "hot air rework tutorial" You will find lots of video examples.

That said, the equipment isn't cheap and IMHO the work best left to people who regularly do it (ie phone repair shops) or electronic hobyists (who now find that they often have to work with surface mount components).

Back in the days of through hole components, you STILL often had problems using a soldering iron and wick or sucker to remove components. Often applying too much heat and damaging the PCB. Back then desoldering stations conatining not only temperature control but also a vaccume through the bit were the answer. I have changed batteries soldered to PCB's, but haven't seen one in years. The modern trend is a small jumper or socket and a flying lead to the battery, or where space allows battery clips.


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