boyoh
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Location: Selby. North Yorkshire .UK

Is the Test / Bench Obsolete

Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:51 am

Is the test/ repair bench becoming obsolete, It is all Plug & Play now.
It is all module Chang and throw away . The day's are gone when
a technician repaired a circuit board, A lot of the younger technician's
have no Idea what is in side the Plug & Play modules they change.
I can speak with experience I'm 86 yrs having worked as a factory
technician for 40yrs Youngsters should have no problems learning
basic electronics today, all the information is on the Web Google

Regards BoyOh Retired Electrical / Electronic Technician
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BoyOh ( Selby, North Yorkshire.UK)
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rpdom
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Re: Is the Test / Bench Obsolete

Sat Jun 02, 2018 10:01 am

Considering the amount of cheap test equipment available on ebay (Small digital storage oscilloscopes, multi meters, component testers, frequency generators etc.), I'd say no.

Heater
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Re: Is the Test / Bench Obsolete

Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:01 pm

boyoh,
Is the test/ repair bench becoming obsolete,
Not quite.

Here is a young man, Louis Rossmann, that fixes Apple Mac laptops in New York. Replacing surface mount devices, BGA chips etc. He has quite a large following of people trying to do the same: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YGCFeZZS6A He started out when he was very young.

There are a lot of people posting electronics construction and or repair videos their youtube channels for example:

Julian Islett: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEDaweL9qYI
The Signal Path: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheSignalPathBlog
Check out the young Mr Carlson's Lab: https://www.youtube.com/user/MrCarlsonsLab
The famous Dave Jones: https://www.youtube.com/user/EEVblog

As far as I can tell these guys have a lot of young followers. You can find many more.

W. H. Heydt
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Re: Is the Test / Bench Obsolete

Sat Jun 02, 2018 11:35 pm

My "go to guy" for electronics repair does replace components on PCBs. He learned electronics skills in the Navy. The Pakistani Navy, as it happens. I suspect they were much less likely to just throw a board or sub-assembly away if it failed, but repair it instead. We may not be developing our own electronics repair people. We may be importing them from places that can't afford to simply dispose of boards with minor defects.

mikerr
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Re: Is the Test / Bench Obsolete

Fri Jun 08, 2018 1:43 pm

boyoh wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:51 am
The day's are gone when a technician repaired a circuit board
The days are gone of circuit boards containing many discrete components which you could easily replace.
IC's are great for cost reduction, but not for fault finding and repair !
Even the few descrete replaceable components used are surface mount. SMT isn't easily done in the homelab.

E.g. kill a Pi's GPIO with 5v and it may have blown a single transistor, but that transistor is inside the SoC chip, so unfixable.
Android app - Raspi Card Imager - download and image SD cards - No PC required !

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Burngate
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Re: Is the Test / Bench Obsolete

Fri Jun 08, 2018 5:59 pm

Recently, one of the key-dongle-things for my Scandinavian car turned up its toes - fortunately I've got a second one.
Tried changing batteries, no go.
So off to the local dealer. But they wanted £130 !!! For a key-fob!!! Then £more to register it with the car !!!

I've tried poking and prodding both the broken one and the known-working one, but no luck, as expected. There's just one multilegged chip on it, and it looks like that's what's broken.
And, of course, no details anywhere as to what that chip is.

I'm still not going to spend that sort of money. It may well be designed as a throw-away replaceable part, but in this case it's not going to be replaced.

Heater
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Re: Is the Test / Bench Obsolete

Sat Jun 09, 2018 1:37 am

In this modern world it's hard to repair a lot of electronics because:

The manufacturers do not provide schematics. (Back in the day you'd likely find the schematic for your new radio glued to the inside of the back cover!)

Even with a schematic you may never know what chips are on there. They have obscured part numbers.

Even with all that you probably cannot buy any custom chips the thing uses.

Often chips require programming, microcontrollers, FPGA etc. The manufactures will not give you that code.

That's before we even think of the difficulty of replacing SMT devices, especially BGAs. Which is perhaps the easy part. Even a small repair shop can afford to acquire hot air rework stations, microscopes etc. As Louis Rossmann demonstrates.

And of course, is it economically worth the bother to put all that time and effort in?

The Raspberry Pi is a typical example of all the above.

Louis Rossmann and others do an amazing job of fixing Mac books. Given all the roadblocks I mention. He has to harvest those unobtainable parts from other dead Mac motherboards. At least there is a little demand to fix Macs as they are such expensive devices.

In the USA there is a "right to repair" campaign going on https://www.popularmechanics.com/techno ... -nebraska/ to try and get the law to prevent manufactures from putting these roadblocks to repair in place.

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mahjongg
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Re: Is the Test / Bench Obsolete

Sat Jun 09, 2018 2:48 pm

Burngate wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 5:59 pm
Recently, one of the key-dongle-things for my Scandinavian car turned up its toes - fortunately I've got a second one.
Tried changing batteries, no go.
So off to the local dealer. But they wanted £130 !!! For a key-fob!!! Then £more to register it with the car !!!

I've tried poking and prodding both the broken one and the known-working one, but no luck, as expected. There's just one multilegged chip on it, and it looks like that's what's broken.
And, of course, no details anywhere as to what that chip is.

I'm still not going to spend that sort of money. It may well be designed as a throw-away replaceable part, but in this case it's not going to be replaced.
If you see many configuration solder pads so that you can tie pins 1 to 8 of this 16-pin chip to either GND or VCC, then its likely a chip in the PT2260 family of remote control encoders, which are very common chinese clones of an HOLTEX encoder chip pair.

still, these are meant for garage openers, and remote weather stations, not for cars, so its more likely a micro controller, with more extensive safety features, so you might be SOL.

boyoh
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Re: Is the Test / Bench Obsolete

Sat Jun 09, 2018 3:41 pm

rpdom wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 10:01 am
Considering the amount of cheap test equipment available on ebay (Small digital storage oscilloscopes, multi meters, component testers, frequency generators etc.), I'd say no.

It all depends on the environment that would warrant a Electronics test/repair bench.
Yes in the hobbyist work shop, but not much need for the bench in a factory workshop.

Plug & Play modules are un repairable and are easy to replace is the answer to keep
production lines working.

Knowing some one who as the skill to attempt to repair modules is not the answer the
The labor cost would out way the module cost, I've worked on both sides of the fence
the repair side and the none repair side, I liked the repair side better , that is because
my interest was there , But production speed come first, down time cost money

Regards BoyOh
BoyOh ( Selby, North Yorkshire.UK)
Some Times Right Some Times Wrong

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