Customers' Repairs

 

Most of these repairs have been left in place for historical interest. CRT TV repairs and VCR repairs are now (thank goodness) never seen

Digital TV is now a fact and Analogue TV gone for ever except in enthusiasts workshops...

The old TV broadcast bands are about to be chopped up and sold off in order to inflate the Chancellor's coffers... starting in 2013

More recent repairs have lots of detail and photographs

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Click on anything underlined...

See below for sets included...

Bush Repairs

 Hacker repairs

 Decca Repairs

 Marconi repairs

 HMV Repairs

 McMichael repairs

 Murphy Repairs

 Pilot repairs

 Philips Repairs

 RAP repairs

 Pye Repairs

 Communications Receivers

 Roberts repairs

 Portable Receivers

 GEC repairs

 Old Receivers

 Grundig repairs

 Miscellaneous

 GEC repairs

 Quad 44

 Philips Superinductance

 Hiwatt Amplifier

 VM1120 Amplifier

 Quad II

This is a sample list of repairs and refurbishments carried out over the past decade or so

Communications Receivers & Transmitters

 HRO

 Heathkit SB220 Linear Amplifier

 AR88

 RA17

 Sailor Transmitter/Receiver

 Murphy 62B Receiver

 BC342 Receiver

 Eddystone 770R

 Yaesu FT2200

 Trio TS940

Portable Receivers

 Bush VTR103

Philips D2225

 Roberts R200

 Roberts R700

 Decca CR1000

 Philips D7032

Roberts R309

 Roberts RC15

 Decca PR209

 Philips L4X95T #1

 Roberts R404

 Roberts RC45

 Grundig 700

 Philips L4X95T #2

 Roberts R500

 Roberts RRM20

 Hacker RP18

 Philips L5W34T/15

Roberts R505 #1

 Roberts RT1

 Marconiphone

 Pye TR2820

 Roberts R505 #2

 Roberts RT1

 Murphy A689 Transistor 10 #1

 Roberts R600 #1

 Roberts RT24

 Murphy A689 Transistor 10#2

 

 Roberts R600 #2

 

Old Receivers

 Bush DAC2

 HMV Model 1121 #2

 Philips 681A

 Bush DAC90A

 HMV Model 1375

 Philips 2514

 Bush DAC90A

 HMV Model 1643

 Philips P341

 Ferguson 213RG

 KB LR10

 Pilot Little Maestro

 GEC BC5441

 Marconi 219

 Pye Model MP/C

 Goblin Timespot Radio

 McMichael 851U

 Pye Model P93U

Grundig 2035 Hastings

 McMichael FM55

 RAP

 HMV Model 1121 #1

 Murphy A682SR

Rolland 511

Miscellaneous

 Grundig TK5 Tape Recorder

 Alba R16 Tape Recorder

Grundig TK141 

Zapping faults

 Hitachi VT130 VCR

 Marconi Test Equipment

 Goodmans 28" TV

Car Radios

 Circuit boards

 Marine Radio

 Old Ammeter

 Old Voltmeter

Useful information or unusual repairs

 Peugeot 206 locking problem

 Bosch Dishwasher problem

 Peugeot 206 stalling?

 DM465 Digital Mixing Module

 

New TVs & the Battle for Viewers (click to read more)

I've left this in place for its historic value.. written when On-Digital had been going for a couple of years in 2000......

 People seem to be dreadfully poorly informed about digital TV. At least those who do not receive Satellite TV who presumably are badgered by Sky to swap over from analogue. I see now that On-Digital are going to spend some money on informing the public. Hopefully the information will be assimilated and acted upon before the analogue transmitters are turned off! Now that On-Digital will be called ITV-Digital how is BBC going to fare and how will this affect the appearance or otherwise of ITV on satellite? It's starting to look more and more like the battle between the two satellite providers Sky and BSB and then the battle for viewers time on Astra. Does anyone remember the time when we had three satellite sports channels? Screensport was taken over by Sky and closed down. "There isn't room for that many channels dedicated to sport". Having got rid of the competition they expanded the number of Sky Sports channels. Eurosport and Bloomberg are still free on analogue but you have to pay for them on digital. S4C is free on terrestrial analogue but you have to pay for it on digital satellite. Discovery used to be free, Children's Channel used to be free....

Now I hear that ITV is losing revenue. Not surprising as the lion's share of digital viewers are told to revert to steam TV to receive ITV. As most viewers don't understand how to use their TV sets they will now skip trying to watch ITV and instead, look at an alternative. Although ITV are leasing satellite space for ITV1 & 2 these won't materialise until Christmas, I hear. They are caught between a rock and a hard place... if they broadcast on "Sky", as it would appear to most people, there's no chance of existing viewers subscribing to On-Digital or now "ITV Digital". All they can do now is wait until the terrestrial digital bandwagon inexorably rolls towards analogue switch off and capture the few remaining viewers who would NEVER switch to satellite. Loads of people can't receive terrestrial digital yet and anyway the satellite option is adding more and more channels, not only through Sky, but also through new Eutelsat satellites that were originally guaranteed that orbital slot at 28-odd degrees East. It seems to me there are currently only a smallish group of viewers who might take up the terrestrial option... viz. those that haven't heard about the "free"satellite option; those who have a tree in the way of 28 East; those who haven't got a telephone point available; and those who will respond to On-Digital's advertising without checking on their options.

What's going to happen to terrestrial digital? One option is to give the whole show to BBC. If they were then to then pull out of satellite TV taking with them their TV and radio channels together with any other channels they could persuade to leave, and maybe also ITV even, then terrestrial digital would be in with a good chance of survival. The real pull towards BBC is the absence of advertising and the real pain with Sky is their boring, distracting advertising together with their unwanted loss of program coverage when relaying say golf from a US broadcaster (when they add their own huge amount of advertising).

All-in-all the organisation of digital TV broadcasting, I believe, is abysmal. It's even worse than the start of satellite broadcasting when government assurances weren't worth the paper they were printed on. Remember the "squarial". Faced with absolutely overwhelming opposition, the government "sponsored" D2MAC "official" satellite broadcasters ended up pushing the shape of their dish because that was all they had left. "I've got a SQUARE dish and 6 channels"... "I don't really know what shape my dish is but we've got 36 channels". BSB had no competitive channels, too few channels, too specialised an equipment, and a rotten orbital slot (over South America would you believe!). They went bust, were swallowed up by Sky, closed down, and their satellite was sold off to a Spanish concern at a knockdown price.

It's about time a professional was put in charge of the whole thing and politicians wheeled out to the sidelines before big business brings about their own plan to the detriment of all but themselves. The slippery slope is already under our feet. Sky have now introduced huge price increases (175% that's one hundred and seventy five percent) for their set top box "installation" for subscribers because, presumably they see little opposition in the competition. Next we may see price increases and restructuring of how channels are paid for as they capitalise on their approaching near monopoly.

Since I wrote the above ITV digital took over DTT, and after a short while went bust due to inept management leaving FA Football Clubs reeling from a budget shortfall.

BBC have taken over the helm and because of their existing avenues for broadcasting commercials for their own products, with the help of manufacturers like Pace who made a set-top box at an economic price, telling sort of big fibs by not mentioning the possible need for an (expensive) new aerial, cranking up the power of digital transmissions against the advice of the experts and changing the mode of transmission... should make a go of things. Many people though are being hoodwinked into paying nearly as much for "special cables" as the box itself by big-name retailers, anxious to make money from the opportunity.

Post script... it's now some years later (October 2006) and "Freeview" is now commonplace, although a good few people still haven't heard of it. "HD" or High Definition TV is next on the horizon. This is basically 1000 odd lines instead of interlaced 625 (really 300 odd). I haven't seen any examples myself, but I guess it goes well with flat screen TV, which is quite capable of really good results as it's been weaned on computers. Flat screen HD TVs are generally very expensive, although some models are available at a third or a quarter the price of the dearer models. Because HD uses a lot more bandwidth it's a lot more expensive than ordinary digital channels when it comes to subscribing.

Incidentally when it comes to "lines", some viewers of new TV sets will profess that they can't see any. Very large screen TVs employ a method of scanning that shifts the position of successive frames so that lines are effectively invisible. This is all very well but the loss of lines results in picture definition way below what is technically feasible, hence the need for something better ie. HD. If only 300 different lines are used in a standard TV, then on a screen 30 inches in height, the picture is viewed in tenth-inch stripes (2.5mm) . Compare this to the pixel spacing on a good quality computer screen, CRT or flat panel, and technically you can resolve down to 0.15mm. In other words the screen can accommodate a TV line scan of 5,000 lines. A 30 inch high flat screen would need a pixel spacing of around 0.4mm for this scan rate, or for 1300 lines for HD TV, around 0.6mm spacing.

Looking in the other direction... I bought some new boxed VCR's for £10 the other day and DVD/Hard drive recorders are available around £100 and prices will continue to fall until old stocks are exhausted. This is because these models use analogue TV tuners. Good bargains as a digital set top box is £25 and can be used as front end to both an old VCR or DVD recorder. There are two drawbacks, first is the set of three remote controls needed to make timer recordings, and secondly the technical expertise needed to understand how to use the system !

PPS... 2013 and analogue TV broadcasts are no more. Digital TV rules.

Once again politicians are looking for ways of remaining in power and seeking further ways of making money.

Sell off the TV broadcast spectrum was in vogue. Now its back in vogue and the digital broadcast bands are being compressed yet again.

Not only in the UK but everywhere.

Sadly it looks as if HD TV without satellite or cable will be confined to just 4 or 5 channels, that is until the next leap forward in technology.

The problem with disposing of Band V and stuffing everything into a truncated Band IV sounds sort of plausible, but on the continent in areas demanding multi-lingual broadcasting, the squeeze in spectrum seems not to be able to provide enough space.

Thankfully CRT TV sets are no more, although I don't admit to fixing domestic stuff any longer.

Who would have thought a 32" TV could be lifted with one hand. The last 32" CRT set I had in the workshop took three of us struggling to lift it onto the bench.

A couple of up-to-date repairs. Well, they're up-to-date in 2015 anyway.

A Mercedes electronic controller. This operates the electric windows and sunroof but sadly it did neither, which was even sadder because at the precise time it failed both windows and sunroof were wide open and it was about to rain. So it was then, that the owner took his car to our local garage, and being kind souls they sheltered it under cover whilst they diagnosed the fault. I was presented with a plastic-cased circuit board which I'd previously repaired for a similar fault when the case got full of water and despite it having been re-sealed more water had got in five years later.

Patches of grey once cleaned away revealed a 7- legged chip. This had started life with 8 legs but water and electrolytic action had eaten one completely. On the case under a strong magnifier could be seen the numbers 290301, which after at least 40 minutes of puzzlement worked out to be shorthand for LM2903AVQPWR, a tiny device some 3mm x 4mm with 8 legs. After detaching the 7 legged chip and replacing with the 8 legged chip the windows and sunroof worked a treat. How many types of LM2903 are there? Looking at the manufacturer's datasheet (click the number above) reveals there are 30 different codes of this one chip. Choosing the correct one is important because some are four times bigger than the one I needed!

The next day a faulty computer power supply was on the bench. Not an ordinary PSU, but a 200watt slimline job that cost nearly 4 times the price of a standard version. The answer was to fit the computer into a standard case with a standard PSU and dispense with the slimline computer case and expensive PSU. I'd decided to check the old PSU. Capacitors all OK even though I swapped some likely candidates. Under test it just twitched and only the 5 volt standby output was present. Inadvertently I connected the minus 5 volts to the power switch input and oddly the thing came to life. Everything was present but low voltagewise and in particular the 3.3 volt output which read 0.168 volts.

I removed the 3.3 volt rectifier having measured an anomaly then, after this tested OK, removed the switch-mode transformer. This had a 5 volt winding and a 3.3 volt winding, but the later was open circuit. After breaking away the ferrite core and removing the outer high voltage winding of 14 turns I removed the few turns of 5 volt winding and discovered the 3.3 volt winding. This was copper tape and one connection to the tape was fused open circuit. Sadly the transformer was half the size of the normal type and the space insufficient to mount the latter. Hence the decision to change the case.

 

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