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What dumb little tech repair have you done recently that felt good anyways?

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#26 Lendorien OFFLINE  

Lendorien

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Posted Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:06 AM

I have one of those external garage door opener panels. Well, after several years, it stopped working.  I figured the contacts were just dirty, just like the Atari 5200 controller contacts get dirty. The case was glued shut and was no easy way to get into it to fix it. I ended up having to cut it open in the back with a remodel and utility knife. Messy job. Once it was open, I used deoxit to clean the contacts and reassembled it. I had to hold the dang thing together with electrical tape, but it works now. Seriously. Why would you seal something like that and not allow it to be serviced?

 

To force people to spend 80 bucks on a new one. So wasteful.

 

 

Video game related?

 

I recently picked up a super cheap NES at goodwill. 6 bucks. That NEVER happens these days. Anyway, the connector was shot. So I disassembled it and tried the boiling trick. It worked. I wasn't really sure it would, but it did. Thing has worked like a charm for several months now.


Edited by Lendorien, Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:08 AM.


#27 Tanooki OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:28 PM

You want dumb repair, a few years back I tried to fix something using tape, and it worked until I learned to solder.  I had this Konami Gradius handheld where the wire popped free for the power on one of the two, and I was able to get it to stick and it held for the year until I got into being up for real repairs.  Dumb, effective, but dumb.


Edited by Tanooki, Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:29 PM.


#28 GoldenWheels OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:33 PM

Bit ago but I found a beat as hell 80s Scart TV with composite inputs.

 

Cleaned it up as best I could, but composite connection was flickery (bad solder joints). So I redid the connections. Voila!

 

Of course I got into it trying to fix one of the hold knobs, which wasn't working right, and even though I was careful, I still probably got lucky not catching a shock. I didn't respect CRTs holding charges as much then as I do now!



#29 newtmonkey OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 18, 2019 6:21 AM

Not sure if this counts as a "repair"...

 

I got a new old stock XEGS a short while ago, but it was acting bizarre.  It would work fine for 30 mins straight one day, next day couldn't even get it to turn on.  Sometimes it would work fine for just a few minutes and then freeze.

 

Turned out *something* leaked into it and the entire underside of the mainboard was covered in this clear substance that had hardened, spreading out form the center mounting hole.  I couldn't believe it would even turn on at all, it was so bad.

 

I was able to scrub all of it off with a toothbrush and some rubbing alcohol (it took forever), let it dry out, and now it works 100%. *whew*



#30 Punisher5.0 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 18, 2019 7:53 AM

This thread reminded me that I need to make a new PSU for my X68000. I have all the parts but havent gotten around to dedicate time to it.

#31 newtmonkey OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 1, 2019 9:35 PM

Another "not really a repair but whatever" post:

 

I finally got around to adjusting the color pot on my 7800.  Browns were basically green, but it wasn't so bad on most of the games I played, so I didn't consider it a priority to fix it.  This morning, I put One-on-One Basketball in, adjusted the pot ever so slightly, and now the court is brown like it should be. :)



#32 newtmonkey OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 3, 2019 2:41 AM

"Not really a repair but whatever" post, part three:

 

I finally got around to installing the buzzer option to my Atari ST Gotek drive (I also updated the firmware of the drive while I was at it).  Works great so far!



#33 x=usr(1536) OFFLINE  

x=usr(1536)

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Posted Sun Feb 3, 2019 8:46 AM

I modified the hazard flasher relay on the Jeep to allow the use of LED bulbs for the indicators without having them hyperflash or require resistors to be spliced in at each light.  All it involved was the desoldering of one resistor and its replacement with another of a different resistance.

 

Totally unrelated to anything gaming- or computer-related, but it was definitely a dumb little tech mod that was extremely satisfying.  I hate splicing into automotive wiring, and this sidestepped that nicely.



#34 TheCoolDave OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 3, 2019 4:21 PM

One that was not too long ago....

 

My nicest looking 2600 had this issue... I even put it on youtube to see if anyone knew...

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=WHtqJYbxXsY

 

I went on ebay found a 2600 A/V mod kit for $10. I installed it, it fixed the issue and I was shocked on how well my solder joints came out (watching way too much youtube), so I will be tackling a NESRGB kit next....

 

I'm fairly new at this soldering thing...but, know some people with some big tools that could help if I need it.



#35 CatPix ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 8, 2019 1:27 PM

Nice idea.

I have this problem where I delay small fixes because the time top dissasemble a console is way, way longer than the fix itself, so I... Dunno, hope of something else to fail so I have a good reason to open it? *shrugs*

 

Still, recently, I finally took on myself to replace the DIN plug on my Super Cassette Vision.The DIN plug itself was okay, but the video cable was broken and only made contact if folded and maintained with a wire. Unfortunately the DIN was molded so I had to completely discard it and replace it with a generic one, but it's not a big deal.

 

I also opened and cleaned 3 PC-Engine pads, which isn't really a fix; or maybe it is since one had barely-working Run button.

 

With some kicks I mgiht decide to go again on my Mega-CD to fix it, but I know it's the CD drive that is busted and require endless tuning... bleh.



#36 christo930 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 9, 2019 2:07 PM

Got a dishrag caught in the disposal last night.  Got out the allen wrenches and turned it counter clockwise until it came out.  I've officially dealt with disposals more than I would like to, but the knowledge gained in those experiences has been useful.

 

I had to rebuild a 25yo shower faucet. So I pop off the decorative piece with the red and blue marks and try unscrewing the little screw that holds the knob on. Well, that was a shit-show.  The screw was impossible to remove, even with speciality removal bits for damaged screws that were $25 for like 3 bits.  So, with the faucet dripping, I drilled all around that screw through the plastic shower knob, thinking I could just replace it with a new one. NEVER assume these companies are not trying to screw you.  There were no knobs which fit on the damn faucet. Even the little cover with the red and blue was a different size. So I buy a new screw and a rebuilding kit for the particular faucet I have.

So I rebuild the faucet  thinking I at least needed to stop the 24 hour dripping. So I get all back together and there is my faucet working perfectly, only there is no knob.  I had basically hollowed out the center of the knob to get it off the faucet. So I'm looking at it and I think, man, nothing is ever this easy... I grab a washer and glue it to the knob and it worked. Popped the little cover on and you can't even tell I ever touched it.

 

Every time I have to fix something in the bathroom, I hate doing it, but I am always so satisfied when it's over.



#37 christo930 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 9, 2019 2:13 PM

One that was not too long ago....

 

My nicest looking 2600 had this issue... I even put it on youtube to see if anyone knew...

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=WHtqJYbxXsY

 

I went on ebay found a 2600 A/V mod kit for $10. I installed it, it fixed the issue and I was shocked on how well my solder joints came out (watching way too much youtube), so I will be tackling a NESRGB kit next....

 

I'm fairly new at this soldering thing...but, know some people with some big tools that could help if I need it.

 

Having the right tools makes all the difference.  Having a decent soldering iron, especially one with a decent amount of mass and which gets hot enough will make all the difference too.

Paradoxically, if your iron is not hot enough or doesn't have enough mass, you will overheat everything when trying to solder.



#38 John Stamos Mullet ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 9, 2019 6:05 PM

Old school tech repair:

I just changed the motor on my 1970's era Kenmore electric Dryer. Took less than 2 hours!

#39 CatPix ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:52 AM

 

Having the right tools makes all the difference.  Having a decent soldering iron, especially one with a decent amount of mass and which gets hot enough will make all the difference too.

Paradoxically, if your iron is not hot enough or doesn't have enough mass, you will overheat everything when trying to solder.

Not sure about the mass, but I sure agree on the right tool.

And it doesn't even have to be good tools (although having good ones helps you for maintaining them).

I use a cheap 10$ iron tip from Dealextreme :

sku_504741_1.jpg

 

I mean sure, it isn't a great tool, but for a beginner, it does the job better than most of the cheap stuff you find in DIY shops that sell for 25$.

The temperature dial does works (tho I can't check if it really heat up to 450°C as promised ). The tip is thin enough to do soldering on our old systems. I managed to resold a broken fuse on a Nintendo DS and do a basic switch mode on a SNES, so with patience you can use it for such applications, even if the tip isn't really made to solder such small spots.

 

But that kind of tool is still better than the usual clumsy "one heat temp/heavy cord pulling down" iron tip I usually see being sold for beginners :

F0683116-03.jpg

Avoid those if you can. They are usually clumsy to use, and they are more than often not powerful enough, especially if you need to solder on large surfaces.

 

And if you get a iron tip.... Advices are divided on this, but get something to clean your tip.

Most soldering iron come with a stand that come with a sponge. Personnal opinion : it's a bad idea. It need to get wet to really work, so each time you clean your tip, you lose heat; if the sponge is dry, when you clean, it will burn and stick to your tip.

300px-Loetstation_Weller_WTCP-S.jpg

 

So I use the "metallic sponge" :

support-compact-pour-fer-a-souder-avec-e

it doesn't need much care, it can't burn, it doesn't require anything to work.

On the other hand, on thinner tips and fragile ones, it might damage the plating and cause corrosion so...

For a beginner, the metallic spong is better IMO, but someone using more precise and precious tips might want to use the wet sponge.


Edited by CatPix, Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:53 AM.


#40 Master Phruby OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:42 AM

Replaced the battery and fan on my Dreamcast. Put new batteries in the VMU. I'm waiting for my gdemu to come before removing the voltage regulator.

#41 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:44 PM

Dropped AT&T for T-Mobile. Same coverage, much less money, many more features, better speed. They pay for Netflix and will give me a free taco every Tuesday until further notice. It was surprisingly easy and I wish I had done it long ago. 



#42 DJ Clae OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:04 AM

I thought the caps had gone out on a lot of my arcade boards over the years while I kept most of them in storage. Now that I have time to work on them again, it turns out the majority of the boards are fine. I noticed most of the ones that had problems were just missing green. Turns out the jamma pin for green on my supergun just wasn't making a good connection for some of the boards. Bent it back and all is well again with most of my games.

#43 scrummy OFFLINE  

scrummy

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Posted Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:23 AM

My Xbox One power supply was making the annoying fan noises that are a known issue.  I took the power supply apart and tore all of the fan assembly out, I then drilled ventilation holes all around the power supply box.  Now it is silent.  Interestingly, I've never even felt much warmth from the unit. 


Edited by scrummy, Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:24 AM.


#44 SiberianSpForces OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 13, 2019 12:15 PM

Resoldering my 2600's power jack was a good fix. I also fixed a couple broken wires for a SNES controller.

#45 x=usr(1536) OFFLINE  

x=usr(1536)

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Posted Fri Feb 15, 2019 12:09 AM



Dropped AT&T for T-Mobile. Same coverage, much less money, many more features, better speed. They pay for Netflix and will give me a free taco every Tuesday until further notice. It was surprisingly easy and I wish I had done it long ago. 

 

One hidden benefit of T-Mobile being a part of Deutsche Telekom: they are the only phone carrier in the US that understands international roaming.

 

I grew up with GSM after ETACS went away and very quickly got used to being able to land in another country, turn on your phone, and have service, even if it was expensive.  Moving to America in 1998 and finding out that there were no fewer than seven incompatible cellular standards in competition and none of them were compatible with my phone was a bit of culture shock.

 

After five years with Sprint PCS (who can burn in hell as far as I'm concerned), moving over to T-Mobile and having a working phone pretty much wherever I went was freaking awesome.



#46 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 15, 2019 7:03 AM

Yes, that was a big side benefit. I don't travel as much as I once did, so the occasional AT&T international package deal was OK (they've become more competitive in response) but I like that t-mobile shows what is possible.

I'm consuming as much data in a weekend than I did all month on the old plan. It's nice not worrying about overages or throttling.

#47 CatPix ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 15, 2019 7:16 AM

It's nice that here in France, even the cheapest plan possible (2€ a month for 2 hours of call and unlimited SMS + 100 Mo of internet data) have international roaming without overcharge now.That's one less worry now :P

 

I mean sure with GSM being the standard since 1991, you could use your phone anywhere but, French carriers at least provided punishing fees, especially back when most suscribtions were "pay for what you use" rather than "X hours included then pay X per minute". The roaming fees were sometime up to 10 time the normal rate, so it wasn't all nice and shiny either :D

This caused lots of people angry at their providers because most phones came with roaming activated, didn't warned about the roaming, and lots of people at the borders, especially on the German border, were picking up German antennas while on the French territory, so they were paying crazy amounts (like over 1000$).

 

But since the 2010, roaming is pretty much included or you only pay a small fee (like 50 cents an hour) depending on the country.



#48 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 15, 2019 9:31 AM

Been watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, which is set in 1959. Human-operated telephone switchboards and long distance tolls often come up. It's nice we don't have to worry about those, either. I remember fondly reading AC Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey when he was rhapsodizing about how in the future, every call would be a local call. Almost there. 

 

Back on topic ("dumb little tech repairs"), I'm going to spray some cooking oil on the bird feeder to see if it foils the squirrels. 

 



#49 newtmonkey OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 16, 2019 11:45 PM

I had bought a frontlit Game Boy Color ("GBC2") last week, and while the frontlight was installed very nicely, the "pro sound" upgrade was terrible; the modder didn't cut away enough material from the plastic case, so the two halves of the case would not even close properly.  This caused poor contact between the buttons and contacts on the board, so the B and Right Direction buttons needed a lot of force to make contact.

 

I had an unmodded GB Color ("GBC1") sitting in a drawer, so I went to work swapping parts so I could have one perfectly working frontlit GB Color:

 

- Desoldered the frontlight from the GBC2 board and soldered it to the GBC1 board

- Desoldered the higher quality speaker from the GBC2 board and soldered it to the GBC1 board (I left the "pro sound" jack etc on the GBC2 board, because I didn't want to mod the plastic case; I don't care if I hear some hissing on headphones)

- Finally, I swapped the (green) rear half of the plastic case from GBC2 with the (clear) rear half of the plastic case from GBC1, just to give it a unique touch :)

 

So now I have a great looking frontlit GBC with perfect button response and a plastic case that shuts properly :) (plus a bunch of parts for future GBC projects)



#50 atarian1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 17, 2019 12:36 AM

I replaced the fan and hard drive in my Atari Mega/STE with a quiet fan and a SCSI2SD drive. So much quieter now.

 

During this procedure, I found out the HD Busy LED light was missing. I thought, "Simple, I'll just go down to the electronics surplus store and find an old power/busy/turbo LED that attaches to a 2 pole plug on a PC motherboard." They strip these things out of old PCs for recycling, so it must be easy to find. Nope. The electronics surplus store shut down. :(  I ended up going to Frys and buying a 2.5" to 3.5" hard drive adapter that happen to have the 2 pole plug with LED on it, so I bought it, stripped it, and used it for my HD busy LED light. Anyone want a 2.5" to 3.5" hard drive adapter without a busy LED? :P







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