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What have you fixed lately?
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Old 17-08-2013, 18:59   #1
Osem
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What have you fixed lately?

I hate chucking away stuff (as my garage and wife will testify) and often justify keeping things on the basis that one day they'll either get fixed, cannibalised or whatever. Whilst I have no specific training, I do understand safety issues and would never tinker with anything potentially dangerous. Anyway I had a favourite digital tyre pressure gauge which gave up the ghost a few years back. As is so common these days it had a sticker on the back saying that the battery was not replaceable so I'd left it in a drawer and forgotten about it until I got so fed up trying to use it's replacement that I decided to try to fix it. Opening it was easy and revealed a small PCB with some components on but no sign of any battery. Removing 4 small screws on the PCB allowed me to free it and on the reverse side was the battery (CR2032). In order to remove it I had to bend the metal cover securing it in place but once I'd done that, putting the new battery in was nothing more than a bit fiddly. Once reassembled I was delighted to find that it bleeped into life on the first push of the button. I supposed I only saved a couple of quid but it's a very satisfying feeling nonetheless.

One thing which dose confuse me is how the 1cmx2cm LCD display panel works. There were no wires or visible connections to it, just a flat black rubberised ? pad of similar size resting on its reverse side. All I could see were some indentations along one edge of this which were left by a couple of soldered joints and a small, shallow black circular dome on the top of the PCB. So my question to HeeroYuy (and others techie) is how is the display powered and how does the required tyre pressure data get fed to it? The LCD panel was not secured or connected to anything, in fact when I opened the unit it fell out along with the flat black rubberised pad which had been resting on it. Eagerly awaiting the answer!

TVM as always.
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Old 17-08-2013, 20:45   #2
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Re: What have you fixed lately?

Lately I've fixed a smashed iphone LCD and screen.
a laptop smashed screen.
and a BMW.
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Old 17-08-2013, 21:42   #3
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Re: What have you fixed lately?

Vauxhall key fobs - replaced battery compartments.
PIR detectors on garden lights, kitchen fluorescent light,my 2003 desktop computer cooling probs.
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Old 17-08-2013, 23:16   #4
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Re: What have you fixed lately?

Another Keybed overhaul on another one of these beasties. This one is 27 years old and still sounds great, well worth keeping them going. Taking this one to rehearsal next week.

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Old 18-08-2013, 00:03   #5
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Re: What have you fixed lately?

Zimbabwean elections...
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Old 18-08-2013, 09:30   #6
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Re: What have you fixed lately?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Osem View Post

One thing which dose confuse me is how the 1cmx2cm LCD display panel works. There were no wires or visible connections to it, just a flat black rubberised ? pad of similar size resting on its reverse side. All I could see were some indentations along one edge of this which were left by a couple of soldered joints and a small, shallow black circular dome on the top of the PCB. So my question to HeeroYuy (and others techie) is how is the display powered and how does the required tyre pressure data get fed to it? The LCD panel was not secured or connected to anything, in fact when I opened the unit it fell out along with the flat black rubberised pad which had been resting on it. Eagerly awaiting the answer!

TVM as always.
The rubber pad is actually a connector. It has alternating layers of conductive rubber and insulating rubber. The transparent pads on the LCD (Actually tin oxide) are aligned with the pads on the PCB and the rubber does the rest.



Called an elastomeric connector.

BTW the "black plastic dome" is actually a chip bonded to the PCB and wired by fine connections. The plastic is a protective cover. Called "chip on board"

HTH
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Old 18-08-2013, 10:13   #7
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Re: What have you fixed lately?

few software issues on computers couple of hardware issues and a table lol
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Old 18-08-2013, 13:18   #8
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Re: What have you fixed lately?

Two laptop software problems.

My PC.

My dad's PC

Natalie's laptop

My mobile

My tablet

All without seeing them

---------- Post added at 13:18 ---------- Previous post was at 13:17 ----------

Peter wants to start doing velleman kits but I'm not sure how to keep an eye on him, although he does use a soldering iron at school.
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Old 18-08-2013, 14:14   #9
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Re: What have you fixed lately?

Quote:
Originally Posted by heero_yuy View Post
The rubber pad is actually a connector. It has alternating layers of conductive rubber and insulating rubber. The transparent pads on the LCD (Actually tin oxide) are aligned with the pads on the PCB and the rubber does the rest.



Called an elastomeric connector.

BTW the "black plastic dome" is actually a chip bonded to the PCB and wired by fine connections. The plastic is a protective cover. Called "chip on board"

HTH
Thanks for an excellent answer!

================================================== =======================

On a separate note, I've just found a fix for a broken sliding wardrobe door roller which was proving to be a real PITB. The nylon roller was fixed to the supporting bracket by a metal rod running through its centre. This had worked loose over time and would have required welding to repair (which I can't do). After studying it a while I managed to find a bolt of similar diameter and managed to tap a suitable thread into the hole in the bracket then screw the bolt into place nice and tight. Job done! (well apart from having to put all the wooden trim I had to remove back in place and make good... lol).
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Old 20-08-2013, 15:57   #10
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Re: What have you fixed lately?

Earlier today I re-attached the head on our tortoise which I had decapitated over the weekend. Good as new now. Perhaps I should say that it was one of the ornamental variety!
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Old 08-09-2013, 11:49   #11
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Re: What have you fixed lately?

Well I'm due some brownie points

I just fixed the heater control in my wife's Focus. Some months ago she was coming home from college, started the car and tried to turn the heater control knob to the cool setting. The control knob was a bit stiff and as she tried to force it around, something gave with the result that the knob would no longer operate properly - we could get cold air but no hot at all. As its been summer I'd forgotten all about it until now so I thought I'd better get on with it before winter sets in. Anyway, the knobs are located immediately below the car's audio system so I got some removal keys and after a lot of fiddling around managed to remove the unit which allowed me to see, just, what was going on behind the heater control knob. It turns out that the knob operates a cable similar to a bicycle brake cable the end of which has a hoop which simply slips over a plastic spigot on the rear of the knob. Turning the knob pulls or pushes the cable which in turn presumably operates (at the other end) a valve or flap which either allows or prevents hot air to enter the car. Anyway, all that had happened is that the metal cable had bent slightly and this had caused it to slip off the back of the knob as it was turned. It was a 2 minute job just to straighten the cable very gently and re attach it. Result! She now has a car with heating in it again, just in time for the colder mornings/evenings...

A simple job but given that I have never been one for tinkering with cars etc. I'm very pleased with myself. Now all I need to concentrate on is getting my wife to be a bit gentler when handling knobs...
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Old 08-09-2013, 14:04   #12
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Re: What have you fixed lately?

Quote:
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Now all I need to concentrate on is getting my wife to be a bit gentler when handling knobs...
You need to show her first, then she'll be ok
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Old 08-09-2013, 14:26   #13
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Re: What have you fixed lately?

Re-soldered the connections which transfer the power from the batteries to the little motherboard? thingy on my grandsons baby walker. I had been told it was impossible to fix as the repair was so fiddly ... well it wasn't, and I did it so there!!!!!!


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Old 08-09-2013, 14:35   #14
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Re: What have you fixed lately?

Quote:
Originally Posted by joglynne View Post
Re-soldered the connections which transfer the power from the batteries to the little motherboard? thingy on my grandsons baby walker. I had been told it was impossible to fix as the repair was so fiddly ... well it wasn't, and I did it so there!!!!!!


Grannies rule the world.
Soldering eh! Well done Jo.

I'm still wondering what the dealer would've done and charged us for the pleasure... "Sorry sir, your wife's car needed an entire new heater control unit and including the labour charge that'll be..... ££kerching!!"...
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Old 08-09-2013, 15:17   #15
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Re: What have you fixed lately?

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Originally Posted by Osem View Post
Soldering eh! Well done Jo.

I'm still wondering what the dealer would've done and charged us for the pleasure... "Sorry sir, your wife's car needed an entire new heater control unit and including the labour charge that'll be..... ££kerching!!"...
I think you are right Osem. We can't win these days. At one time it was the specialist labour charges that made repairs expensive but now it is either scrap the item altogether and buy new, or, swap out a whole system and still be charged the earth for the privilege of trying to be eco friendly.

My toolbox and I are a legend in our family. After years of tinkering with bits and bobs there is nothing much I won't attempt, or many tools and gadgets I don't have. I just hate throwing something away without seeing if I can fix it first. Being told something is unfixable tends to bring out the stubborn streak in me. Saved us a few £s over the years though.
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