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WARNING !!

This series deals with repairs to ELECTRICAL equipment AND therefore ALL of the usual SAFETY necessities APPLY !

If you are a NOVICE lacking basic electrical and mechanical abiities then do NOT attempt these repairs!!

Regardless of how UNSKILLED or SKILLED YOU are - I will NOT be in any way shape or form be held responsible for anyone following my repairs ! YOU do so at your OWN RISK!
Likewise ANY links to webs other than this re purchasing spares regarding quality, guarantees and similar that are shown; they’re for information only, it’s up to YOU to determine if you wish to use their services or buy their products et !

OK A list of sensibilities !

toolkit11 Make sure you have the right tools for the job in question.! Often giving some thought to what you will need and gathering them together will save a lot of time and frustration! It also will forego using the WRONG tools and causing damage to i.e screws, fixings et
You can buy a decent tool kit and I find, SAVE money overall by buying a selection rather than individual tools ! OK, some of the tools you may not use but generally a decent ELECTRICAL toolkit WILL give you your various INSULATED screwdrivers, pliers and et.
One off repairs or your first attempts may not warrant spending out on a kit, but you will be surprised how useful it can be to have one around!
Many simple repairs because you don’t have the tools to repair them et often end up in the item being thrown out or shoved up in the loft to gather dust?!

VMeterAmazon2 TEST gear. A VOLTMETER is an essential piece of kit. For those of you thinking mega bucks THINK AGAIN! An acceptable LCD meter can cost as little as 15 ($10 to $20)
Here’s an example from ‘Amazon’ to prove my point.
DIGIFLEX Volt Testing Digital Multimeter Voltmeter Ammeter AC DC Meter OHM for DIY Price: 8.99  & FREE UK Delivery (Price correct at time of publication) Want to check a fuse?  use the continuity tester. Simple!
I am NOT going to go into how to USE a voltmeter! Go online and read up or watch ‘Youtube vids et!

Let me tell you a story!  When I was a lad my best friends dad was an ex RAF technician. I should add, a very capable individual when it came to repairing electrical equipment. When I spent some of my evenings working with him to learn core basics of electrical safety, various tools and what - how they worked, testing and repairs; he told me this and I’m going to tell you because it’s as applicable now as it was back then!
He had spent hours and hours on a piece of radio equipment trying to find out WHY it would not work. Painstakingly, thoroughly he added, time consuming; he checked stage by stage finding NOTHING wrong? THEN and here is the morale of this story- it suddenly dawned on him that he had stupidly forgotten one of the first golden rules regarding ANY non working piece of equipment. Yes; the FUSES. That dammed fuse in the mains plug
had blown! Replacing it and the radio worked fine.
It can be said that if he hadn’t considered it then you can’t blame the owner of the radio for not checking likewise!!

3. ANY repair starts with a REASON as to WHY you want to do this! Retro equipment such as I show tend to be WORTH the effort involved. It seldom is worthwhile taking time and effort to repair items that are not QUALITY items. A cheap piece of tat ? !!
The items I show are no longer available to buy other than as SECONDHAND items.
HOWEVER IF ! you can get your hands on them in good condition then a repair such as replacing belts or basic repairs where you can source necessary parts to effect a successful repair to bring the item back to as good as or equal to it’s original working performance?

4 Try and identify IF the equipment is not working as it should WHY! Has it stopped working. belts slipping, turntable not turning, tape not turning - rewinding or no fast forward? Incorrect speeds? No sound. Internal lights not working. Controls crackling and distorting the sound et NOT working ?

WARNING ! Most retro TRANSISTOR and or MICRO chip gear have transformers that drop the voltage to much lower than mains in voltage.
HOWEVER for you wanna repair Thermonic VALVE gear such as amps, radios et we are talking some seriously high voltages ! anything from your 240v AC (UK et) to over 400 volts. Some cheap voltmeters won’t handle voltage spikes of 400 volts AC/DC + It’s often worth bearing this in mind when choosing a voltmeter for this type of work.
ALSO, most valve radios from the 40’s to the 60’s have circuit diagrams that show the voltmeter voltages using test gear rated
at 20,000 ohms per volt. IF you choose a voltmeter that does not meet that requirement then you may find your voltage shown results to be wrong!
IF you are working on i.e COMPUTER equipment and SOME transistor - micro chip gear you SHOULD remember the golden rules about STATIC and how it can damage components! Make sure you use an anti static wristband et AND the equipment is well earthed et

I AM NOT going to cover VALVE radios et repairs !! READ the following page I posted a while ago to guess why!!  I’ve no inclination to see some of you with eyes lighting up like the Blackpool illuminations ! An alarming number of cheap, nasty and downright dangerous valve radio gear was produced / sold in the UK et To have the actual chassis as part of the AC mains beggars belief but they got away with it no doubt to line their pockets and of course it’s true to say that you the consumer have to be at fault if you removed the back and got electrocuted ! Most had large very visible warnings on the back covers to tell you NOT to! but to leave it to ‘qualified service personnel.’ Using some of this gear ALSO I should add with a VERY HIGH risk of catching FIRE !

WHAT is, and why when I am working on some gear I use a MAINS ISOLATION transformer?! Go checkout the following on ‘Youtube https://youtu.be/XBsQ3sZ45Fk OR
https://youtu.be/3rvEdHyAd2k I also use CURRENT limiters https://youtu.be/vXlWSKU_lPI AND or
https://youtu.be/kCbx7n4ZghA Whatever gear you work on, there are some components (capacitors / condensers) that can store up to 1000 volts and should your hands come into contact with the terminals that voltage can be discharged through you or your test gear et!

isopropanol5. Safety glasses and similar items are always worth investing in. A mask may seem a little out of it but when you use some chemical cleaners bear it in mind! Likewise remember that FLUX in solder or as a separate is also TOXIC! Let’s not forget the LEAD in the solder unless you use the lead free version; I prefer the lead / flux solder but you do have to watch the fumes!

6. Basics such as cleaning cloths, lint free ! Microfibre and similar. Odd items such as old toothbrushes make cleaning easy. Storage - I take old glass containers and recycle them by putting items such as screws, bolts, fittings, cable ties et in them. Ah yes; freebies!
Using Isopropyl - 80% alcohol DO bear in mind that if you have children et around NOT to leave such items within easy reach! This I use for cleaning tape heads other sundry items and sometimes mix for various reasons with other fluids. 1servisol
A decent SWITCH cleaner AND other solutions/sprays- I’ve always used SERVISOL but there are others available that can provide decent cleaning solutions. Don’t forget basic GREASE such as graphite et !
Metal polishes and not forgetting suitable timber finishes or BAKELITE treatments to prime / final coat, add a sheen to your finished repair.
Ties and other straps, clips et are always a good idea to have to hand.
Bolts / wood screws / metal and into plastic screws not forgetting nuts and washers! You can also buy plastic nuts and bolts?! Slotted, pozi / Phillips and hex types!
 

A compact kit of screw driver / hex / flat / pozi et is a good plus point here and I use a little lithium powered electric driver with them helping me particularly when I’m removing screws et. 1scrbits1Expect to spend around 25 ($30 - $40) Cheap bits and drills et are not recommended!

Sometimes you will need a LONG bladed screwdriver - believe me I’ve been caught out before now re that! so don’t forget to keep a few of those in your kit and for those who think everything is pozi or Phillips star style screw heads?! Think again! Retro gear has a lot of FLAT cut screw heads!

Allen key / Torx screw heads can be found on a lot of gaming equipment / German and foreign gear. Yes it’s wise NOT to forget the basic allen key set as a number of drives / wheels et can have them to secure ie rubber drive wheels or belt driven wheels to shafts e1pocketDM2t

MAGNETIC screwdrivers / non magnetic ?! Great aid for holding screws et in place but do not EVER! USE THEM near the old style computer IDE drives, TAPE heads!! et
IF you are using tools in any of those situations use ALUMINIUM non magnetic and or DEGAUSS - DEMAGNETIZE your tools first! 
You can buy a pocket size unit or pay out a little more for other versions of a magnetizer and OR demagnetizer. Remember though DO NOT use near TAPE HEADS et!! 1demagn

If you are demagnetizing / degaussing tape heads you should use the correct tool! You can buy these online for about 25 ($30 to $40) HOWEVER do watch the YOUTUBE vid on how to use cos if you do it wrong you can end up MAGNETIZING the heads et !!
https://youtu.be/DGXLnPhlSks and OR https://youtu.be/kYK9Y7HMOR4

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