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Tips, Tricks & Gadgets
This page includes "Secret Tips, Tricks and Gadgets" from our associated electronic repair technician network. Most ofthese have been submitted by members of our ELREPAIR-L email discussion groups. but are available to all.
If you have a favorite TIP, a TRICK or a GADGET that you would like to share with others, just send it to Ken and he willadd it to our collection.
Electronic equipment contains dangerous voltages and can be hazardous to unqualified service personnel. Only thosewith adequate training, equipment, facilities and experience should attempt to repair any electronic equipment. Theinformation offered on these pages is intended for electronic repair professionals only. Anyone not qualified or lackingthe equipment, facilities or experience for proper and safe electronic repair should consult with a electronic repairprofessional.
Test Instruments, Jigs and other GadgetsSpray Can Tube KeeperSync ProblemCom Port TesterTesting Power SuppliesTest JigHomemade CRT RestorerSMPS Test JigAn adapter to operate an Apple monitor from a PC10 amp Power SupplyHigh-Current TransformerG2 Pot BypassPC Repair as a future
Troubleshooting Techniques, TipsA Universal Convergence TechniqueRepairing LCD'sTesting TV/Stereo/VCR infrared remote controlTesting remote control using ordinary AM radio receiverRemove IC's with tiny PC runs and clearancesRepairing speaker ampsCapacitor AlertReplacing a tyr for cassette playersRepair plastic cracks and rebuild any surfaceInfrared Remote Control TestRepairing VCR'sClearing CRT shortsCapacitor LeakageHow to determine a zener diode's voltageService tip on Philips 9" portable TVQuick CRT TestTroubleshooting a unit that blows fusesHow to quiet noisy transformersHow to clear CRT shortsChecking resistorsLocating the component that is causing the fuse to blowLooking for bad connectionsCircuit Transistor Test
TricksSoldering a flat pack ICReplacing the HOTTemporarily repair a worn down pinch rollerCustom build a VCR beltHK shorts in CRT'sRepairing leaky flybacksDepopulating old circuit boardsRiveted mode switches for VCR'sReplacing EEprom's in RCA'sCleaning capstan shafts and rubber pinch rollersRemoving labels to reuseRemoving labelsSolder wick for FBT and rivitsCleaning capstan spindleCapstan roller refurbishingPlastic repairWhat is DAS and why do I need it?Cleaning tape drivesKeeping track of screwsCleaning Video HeadsScope ESREliminating cockroaches
Test Instruments, Jigs and other Gadgets
Keep losing the plastic tubing?This extra wire should help.
Sync problem - submitted by John Peters.
If you suspect that a monitor is missing a sync signal resulting in it going into power saving try connecting an external6 volt supply to the crt filament. Turn on the supply first to heat the filament. Then turn the monitor on. You can then seeif you have sync, one color missing etc.
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Com Port Tester - submitted by Greg Stark
A simple com port tester for PC's and other DTE/DCE equipment. Verifies port activity, confirms 1488/1489 line driversreceivers are functioning ok. The reason for the led's on pin 2 and 3 is whether your connected to DTE or DCEequipment. Terminal/PC/MODEM/PLC anything. The jumpering satisfies every handshake known to RS232communications.DB25FM connectorPin numberframe ground PIN 1 ---- n/c or attach to shield at one end only, not needed for short runsTxd 2-- 1 kohm ----------- + [) red led, anode to 7 groundRxd 3-- 1 kohm --- + [) green led, anode to 7 groundRts/Cts 4--5 jumper 4 to 5Dsr/Dcd/Dtr 6--8--20 Jumper 6 to 8 to 20Ground 7 -- ground -- solder to anode of ledsI built a couple of these with db25fm and db9fm connectors and attached a 2 foot cable to the leds, heat shrunk it alltogether so I could see what was happening when working on PC's in tight places and other comm devices. This thinghas never let me down when testing any COM port. It tells me everything I need to know about the com ports hardwareor if its a software problem. If I see activity sending to the port, the port is OK.
Testing Power Supplies - submitted by Corey Ross
If you are having trouble with a Power Supply blowing fuses and are not sure if you got the problem fixed, here is a tip.Get a lamp socket with 2 extending leads and a light bulb. Solder alligator clips on the leads. Put the clips in place ofthe fuse. Power up the PS and turn on the bulb. If the bulb goes extremely bright on power up, the short is still present.If it goes dim more than likely the Power Supply will start working properly. It may take a few seconds or flicker if thepower supply is a Switching Power Supply. This will save you time and money!
Test Jig - submitted by Woodie Morris
For NAP (Magnavox, Sylvania, Philco, Phillips) console TV sets, a spare 25"or 26" table model set whose chassis hasbeen destroyed by lightning, makes a very good test jig. Just remove the customer's chassis along with the front panelcontrol from any console model from the c5 chassis (15 years old) up to the present models and it will operate in thistest jig. The only connection to connect/disconnect are vert yoke, hor yoke, speakers, degauss and dag to crt boardand chassis. Two types of vert yoke connectors are used so test jig should have both vert yoke connector types. Do nottry to operate this test jig with 31" or larger as the yoke mismatch as well as pinc components will cause problems.
Homemade CRT Restorer - submitted by Bruno De March.
All CRT restorers, including the most expensive, are based on the same principle appliyng discharges between RGBcathodes and G1 inside the tube to remove from the cathodes microscopical particles deposed on them during theCRT lifetime. Those particles diminish the electron emission, and by removing them the tube may be restored. Thehomemade device pictured here is good enough to do this work and gives a good service to the TV and monitorrepairer in all cases when the tube is not totally unrecoverable (all vacuum electron emitters have a limit). I have testedit with many types of tubes and found it useful except in Samsung and some EMC tubes, in monitors. I guess Samsungtubes are the worst. I have never tested it with Trinitron tubes, but I do not see any reason for not trying it, only that Ihave not yet met any exhausted tube of these. The circuit is very simple, and you can make it recovering old materials.The isolation transformer is not essential, it only provides a means for more security. You can use an old tube socket tomake the connections described in the picture (you must of course disconnect the tube from the rest of the monitorcircuits), then apply the 6 to 9 volts to heat up the filaments for some minutes, then switch off and immediatly push andrelease rapidly several times the pusher switch that applies the 220 AC discharge through the light bulb, while thefilaments are still hot. Do it first to one of the three cathodes, then repeat the whole procedure with the other two. Youwill see that when you apply the discharge, the bulb lights up and a little spark can be seen inside the tube. As thefilaments get cold, the bulb flashes get dimmer as you go pushing the switch. When the light does not light anymore,
the discharge cannot be made. Turn on again the filament supply and proceed with another cathode. Caution! Do notpush the discharge switch while the filaments are under voltage, you could damage the cathode. For more security,you can use a double-circuit pusher switch that automatically turns off the filament supply. When the three cathodesare treated this way, test the monitor if it is still dim, repeat the procedure the times necessary, but if you do not see anyimprovement, let it be, the tube is unrecoverable. Note the device described, as you see, is intended for use in thecountries where a 220 v. AC supply is available commonly. In USA and other countries where they have 120 volts (orother), you have to experiment if the procedure is directly applicable this way. I suppose a 120 volts discharge woulddo too.
SMPS Test Jig - submitted by Ron Reyn
Here is a little item that I use all the time to test power supplies. Most supplies will not start without a load. I use anautomotive brake light bulb. The bulb has two filaments, one I connect to the 5Volt line (Brake filament) and the otherto the 12 volt line (running light filament). This bulb is connected to a standard connector. I used an extender cable cutthe male end off and soldered the bulb to the Yellow and red wires. Both blacks are attached to the sleeve if the bulb. Ifthe supply is good, both filaments will light up almost the same brilliance. I found it great for debugging supplies.Make sure all the other lines to the computer and hardware are disconnected for this test.
An adapter to operate an Apple monitor from a PC - submitted by Glenn Wilson. Glen is a member of our emaildiscussion groups.. All subscribers have access to his, as well as over one hundred other technician's comments andexpertise.
Its connections are:
IBM 15 pin 3 row to Apple 15 pin 2 rowIBM 3 row Apple 2 row Signal Name--------------------------------------------------1 2 Red Video2 5 Green Video3 9 Blue Video4 nc5 nc6 1 Red Video Return7 6 Green Video Return8 13 Blue Video Return9 nc10 11 & 14 Grounds11 nc12 nc13 3 & 15 3=Composite Sync, 15=H Sync14 12 V Sync15 ncnc 4 Monitor ID #1nc 7 Monitor ID