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Old 24th May 2007, 01:40 PM   #11
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Surplus and hamfests aren't what they used to be, but now we have eBay. A lot of us learned troubleshooting by buying various pieces of ailing test equipment, and fixing the stuff. The older Tektronix, Hewlett Packard, General Radio, Fluke and Keithley (and other) equipment is well made and the manuals go deeply into theory and troubleshooting. By fixing up old stuff, you get the equipment you need to do anything else, you get an idea of what failures are common and uncommon, and you get to absorb circuitry and design practices from the best designers of the time. If you can find any of the writings by Jim Williams of Linear Technology (in EDN magazine), he used to talk quite a bit about the benefits of fixing up the old stuff. IMO, the best way to learn to troubleshoot is to do it, and it can't be learned just by reading. It's also good practice to avoid changing parts unless you can prove they are bad- the fun is in making various tests and thinking about the matter until you can say how such-and-such a failure would cause the observed symptoms, and go right to the cause of the problem. It also helps if you can find a mentor and watch them troubleshoot, or work someplace as a technician for a while.
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Old 24th May 2007, 01:55 PM   #12
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Hey Conrad,

Thanks for validating the "doing" vs. just the reading to concretize learning. Recently in one of my other threads you suggeted that I invest in a scope. I do intend on doing that as soon as I get a little further. Right now would be like playing that Milton Bradley game "Operation" with the probes hitting everything they weren't supposed to, buzzing and shorting out circuits all over the place. Or as we said when we were kids playing the game, "You Lose!"

Regards//Keith

PS I can't wait to get "There".
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Old 6th June 2007, 04:55 PM   #13
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In case any other Newbies are looking for instructional web-sites, I also found this one. It is very good for beginners and it has videos and advice on how to get setup. Enjoy!

Regards//Keith

http://tangentsoft.net/audio/new-diyer.html
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Old 7th June 2007, 06:58 PM   #14
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Default Troubleshooting

I find that 98% of repairs do not involve circuit tracing. If you are that far involved, you may already be past the point of just binning the thing.

When I do repairs, almost daily, half are nailed just by visual inspection and maybe a couple quick multimeter checks. That is, of the half that are really broken. A very large number of units brought in for repair have what we call an ID-10-T error. (put the right letters in for the numbers)

Yes, user error.

But of the truly faulty ones a sharp eye and a check with a meter that power is getting through nails 50%. The next 25% usually have blown parts that can be found with DMM checks. The next 20% actually need a bit of talent and maybe a scope to fix. The 5% are the SOBs that require all your skills and knowledge and which take over 50% of your repair time.

To do all of them, the first thing is a good grounding in the basics of electronics. You learn a lot if you go and build something from scratch (not from a kit).

Dan
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Old 12th June 2007, 03:51 AM   #15
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Default FEEE

www.vias.org
Fundamentals of Electrical Engineering and Electronics

simple and easy to understand and very nicely written.

Enjoy
Gajanan phadte
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Old 12th June 2007, 04:02 PM   #16
KP11520 is offline KP11520  United States
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Hi,

Thanks Dan and Gajanan!

Dan, in my case the DAC was bad and i don't have a scope. If I did, it would be a cool conversation piece until I get more experience and understand how to use it! The DAC is a delicate one for a beginner to change out!

Your logic is true and will be useful in my future and is now incorporated into my education, unfortunately mine was on the wrong end of that logic ladder. Thanks!

Gajanan, nice site. It is now added to my favorites too! Thanks!

Regards//Keith
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Old 12th June 2007, 04:43 PM   #17
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" ... the best way to learn to troubleshoot is to do it ..."
" ... the DAC was bad and i don't have a scope ..."
" ... You learn a lot if you go and build something from scratch ..."
" ... A lot of us learned troubleshooting by buying various pieces of ailing test equipment, and fixing the stuff. ..."

The common thread here is: you are just going to have to put your front feet up on the bench top and grab a voltmeter and debugg that surplus 'scope / meter / calibrator / amp /pre-amp / radio / TV / computer / wristwatch ... or what have you and rare back and fix it.
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Old 12th June 2007, 05:11 PM   #18
KP11520 is offline KP11520  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by FastEddy
The common thread here is: you are just going to have to put your front feet up on the bench top and grab a voltmeter and debugg that surplus 'scope / meter / calibrator / amp /pre-amp / radio / TV / computer / wristwatch ... or what have you and rare back and fix it.
Or NOT..... I could destroy it and I don't want to do that with my CD Player. I am however, looking around the house for things I don't care if I destroy and may even resort to having a picnic with other peoples garbage (garbage nights here are Sunday and Wednesday night and it is all at the curb, what a treat)!!!

Eddy, you will be proud, my front feet are already up on the bench AND I have grown opposing thumbs (this will be handy with tweezers, etc.).

My next project is to buy a broken scope and fix it. I can get some old Teks that there are no parts for anymore real cheap! The only problem is I don't have a scope to diagnose my useless scope and don't know how to use it anyway! OK enough of the fun.

You are right, I need to "Just do it" but not with my CD player. I have a Hafler DH500 and a NAD 1020 that might be good victims. But just two months ago I started this all, curious about seeing if I could fix my CD player and I am getting there after no experience. I keep hearing patience is good! Wait a minute, why do you call yourself FastEddy anyway?

All kidding aside, I wish the process went faster, I am looking forward to really having some ability and talent.

Thanks for the encouragement and that "Size ?" kick in the butt!

Regards//Keith
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Old 12th June 2007, 10:36 PM   #19
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" ... I can get some old Teks that there are no parts for anymore real cheap! ..."

I got some parts for 'em ... type RM 33 (w/ dual trace module) and a type 545 (w/ quad trace module) ... I also was able to get manuals via google search / military service schools ... Both worked last I checked, but I'll probably junk 'em for the tubes.
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Old 13th June 2007, 02:04 AM   #20
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The book used in many colleges as a basic/required textbook is "The Art of Electronics".
Read about at tangent's site :

http://tangentsoft.net/elec/reviews/aoe2.html

=FB=
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