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Video Added - How To Fix Broken Monitor?

Discussion in 'Electronics & Electrics' started by aznpsuazn, May 22, 2013.

  1. aznpsuazn

    aznpsuazn Member

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    Well my monitor was having this problem, on cold power ups it would flicker and flicker for about 30 seconds and then slowly stop. If it was warm it wouldn't happen. I didn't really care about it but I thought to look up repairers on gumtree anyway. Sure enough there was a fresh listing by a Mr Tv Repairman who does this sorta shit and he was offering an introductory special where he would come onsite and repair the monitor and only charge cost of parts. Sweet I thought. I texted him, told him the problem, and he quoted me "Less than a dollar". At this point I'm questioning his business model but whatever. So after a few failed appointments on his behalf and intermittent availability he finally rocks up today.

    Open my door, see this young guy (22) in tracky pants and a shopping bag with his tools inside. Ok fair enough I won't judge. I show him my monitor and he gets to work. He starts by unscrewing the back screws off, and then it comes time to take off the back cover. What does he use in place of a plastic wedge thingy? A flat head screwdriver that he sticks in and twists, as he goes along he leaves these nasty marks on the side of the monitor. In my head I'm laughing like hell and I tell him he's a brute and needs to work on his technique. He looks up at me and says "oh do you mind the marks? I don't". I don't give a shit honestly I've had this monitor for 6 years and that doesn't bother me. At this point I'm really questioning how he's going to build a good customer base like this. When you fix things you should leave no trace behind right? Well not according to him anyway.

    He continues to undo more screws and confesses to me "I might lose some screws". I think you've already lost a few in your head buddy. I give him a saucer to put the screws on. Yea, simple and easy way to keep all the screws right? He takes the back plate off, the metal cover inside, and then it gets to the electronic connectors. To unclip them, what does he use? A flat head again instead of just pressing on it with his finger. He sticks the flat head under, and twists again and the clip snaps and flies across the room. I look at him and say "man you're a monster what are you doing". He says "you're not gonna call me back are ya". Fuck no buddy, but you can keep fixing it because you haven't damaged anything critical that I give a shit about yet.

    Opens up the board, great, identifies the busted capacitors, cool. Tells me not to worry about the capacitors because his cap testing machine is "really expensive" :upset::upset: . Yeop sure enough his little beepy machine says the caps are busted. So he goes to the nearest Jaycar in his 94 Barina to buy new caps because I guess it's too much to ask to expect him to have the parts on hand. That's cool I can wait 30 minutes (really).

    He comes back, takes out his ebay soldering iron with an international adapter on the end. Asks me to plug it in and I'm half scared I'll get electrocuted from the loose adapter. After it's warmed up he starts desoldering the busted caps, heats up the terminals and uses his solder sucker to remove the excess solder. Then uses that copper reel meshy thingy that absorbs solder as well. Nope that didn't work the cap still won't come out. He then takes his pliers and pushes the cap in and out. I didn't even have time to stop him before I realised what he was trying to do, the brute!! I look at the board and in the process of pushing the cap he's lifted the solder off the PCB taking out a good chunk of board with it.

    So at this point I'm just thinking, ok I need to help you do this because you're shit house. I ask him to heat the terminals while I gently pull the caps out. It works, great. That's how its done buddy! Time to solder the new ones in! Wait, where's your solder? Oh you forgot? Right I'm done giving you 'a fair go' you're just shit and need to reassess your business model. I thought about offering him my solder but just wanted him to get the fuck out.

    I truly felt sorry for the guy and I know any other customer would have been in his ear giving him hell for being so shit. I know a lot of young guys start their businesses in this fashion but he just had the wrong work ethic and clearly wasn't switch on about a lot of things. Anyway I paid him his $3 for the caps and he left. I was willing to pay him $20 if he did a decent job of it. Anyway after I reassembled I had 3 screws leftover lol. Like whatever man this isn't my fucking day job!!

    So that's my funny yet horror story.

    THis is a video I took of him to show my friend (who I was frantically texting at the time) how weird this whole story was. Just LOOK at him.

     
    Last edited: May 24, 2013
  2. schmoove

    schmoove Member

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    lol good read.
    I like the way you used the criminally underused 'brute' to describe him :D
    This guy is obviously no good, but it reminds me of how stupidly expensive it is to get anything fixed in Australia, thus encouraging wastefulness and buying a new item, because it's not much more than getting the old item fixed. Very, very sad, and I think that shows there is a gap in the market for guys like this, well guys a bit better than this, but you know what I mean.
     
  3. Acesi7

    Acesi7 Member

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    Great Read,

    I'm afraid I can't help you with the monitor, but I can say.. Awesome story. Can I have his number?

    I've got a few GPU's around I'd like him to have a crack at :D :lol:
     
  4. OP
    OP
    aznpsuazn

    aznpsuazn Member

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  5. goldpenis

    goldpenis Member

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    Really? I would have told him to get the fuck out straight away. It sounds like he has no idea of what he was supposed to be doing/how to do the job properly. Ripped the tracks off the PCB? Dodgy as hell. His education is probably from youtube!

    Fair enough he wants to make money, but get an electronics apprenticeship, learn what/how to do it and THEN go out on your own.

    Was probably replacing the caps with 85 degree rated capacitors too!
     
  6. TERRA Operative

    TERRA Operative Member

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    If you can take the boards out yourself, post them to me (or drop them around if you are in Brisbane). I'll repair them professionally using some of the best caps money can buy (and the correct ones rated to the job, the Jaycar ones will fail when used in that application), and I'll have it posted back to you for a very reasonable price.

    I'll even repair the damage that joker did for free. I just repaired two Samsung LCD TV's last week and they will run for up to 10 years before the caps need replacing again (going by the manufacturers ratings).



    I hate seeing people ruin stuff through ignorance almost as much as seeing something thrown away that could be easily fixed. :)
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2013
  7. mtma

    mtma Member

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    Not really, part of the reason why the consumer product repair industry has been in decline is because products are just made to be non-repairable, or rather repairable in a specific manner only. Sure there are good technicians who could diagnose and repair beyond replacing boards (or cap warriors), but the labour costs alone don't make it worth it.

    It has always been the case that a repairman can't guarantee there's something that's going to die next now that he's extended the life of the part that failed first. (e.g backlight inverter failed, repair inverter, backlight tubes fail)

    You could say, OK, well if you know that the back-light has a limited life why don't you replace that too? Well why not? Oh now the main PSU diodes... oh now the... where do you stop fighting the inbuilt obsolescence?
     
  8. OP
    OP
    aznpsuazn

    aznpsuazn Member

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    Ill take you up on that when this one explodes Terra. Pretty sure he said he couldn't find the exact same caps so he went slightly higher, said something about 750 not available so he went 1000 something. Is it dangerous? It works ok..... lol
     
  9. TERRA Operative

    TERRA Operative Member

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    Generally speaking, larger filter caps aren't too much of an issue. The real problem comes from underrating the voltage. That's when things go pop.
     
  10. TMM

    TMM Member

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    It's the high Equivalent series resistance (ESR) that causes them to fail. The higher the ESR, the larger the voltage drop inside the cap and the more it heats up. Heat is the killer of capacitors. What happens when a capacitor fails is that the ESR rises to an unusable level so it stops being effective. The capacitance of a bad cap may still read 'good' on a multimeter, so don't use that to judge if a cap is bad or not. Most caps bulge at the top when they go bad, but there aren't always visual signs of failure. You really need an ESR meter, and most of the time you will need to remove it from the board to properly test it so you might as well replace it anyway. You should replace it with the same value cap, if not a slightly higher value - going overboard is usually pointless and will just burn a bigger hole in your wallet :p. Going to a higher voltage rating is fine, don't go to a lower voltage. Be mindful that higher value caps (both capacitance and voltage) are physically larger and might not fit.

    If you go to Jaycar you will notice that they sell "low ESR" electrolytic capacitors and they are more expensive. In the scheme of things you can get better caps for the same price but they should still last as long as the cheap caps that were put in the monitor at the factory.

    If you really want it to last, something like a Panasonic FC or FM series is what you want. They are reasonably priced if you get them from a distributor like element14/mouser/digikey.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2013
  11. rainwulf

    rainwulf Member

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    Terra you are in brisbane? hot damn. I want to come see this shit you are working on!!!
     
  12. Neoshroomish

    Neoshroomish Member

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    That was a really amusing story.
     
  13. TERRA Operative

    TERRA Operative Member

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    Yep. Brisbane southside. :)
    I haven't got much to show yet with my project, but once there's something interesting to show, I wouldn't object to the chance to show off a little. :)
     
  14. power

    power Member

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    Good story, would read again!! :)

    I love your super relaxed attitude as some monkey rips your shit apart and tries to destroy it, lol.
     
  15. schmoove

    schmoove Member

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    I agree completely about "because products are just made to be non-repairable, or rather repairable in a specific manner only". Yes you are right, and it's disgusting, and sad. Solely driven by greed for more profits by large corporations. (yes especially you Apple you c*n*s).
    I also agree about the labour costs, that was part of my point. Wages are far too high in Australia, and so fixing a lot of things just doesn't make economic sense for the owner. This is also very sad.

    But I don't agree with the second part about other failing parts.
    Look at Terra's post above. He is offering to do a bit of work for just parts + beer money or something. I also have a mate who has got non-working LCD monitors off the streets, opened them up, changed a few components for just a few dollars, and it's working. He loves it.
    I don't live in Australia. The monitor I'm using now broke last year. Took it to my local second hand pc guy, he opened it up, saw the internal power board was borked, went out the back and found a new one, put it in. While you wait service, took about 10 minutes. Paid equivalent of AU$20. The manufacturer quoted me $50. A new equivalent monitor would cost maybe $150.
    Also I got the power fixed up on an old Sansui amp that I have. That cost me $30.
    I dread to think in Australia how much that would cost to be repaired by a professional business!

    There are quite a few people interested in electronics and such, but who just do it for fun, or a serious hobby anyway. It would be great if they could engage with the market in some way, be it Gumtree or whatever, and for a not extortionate price, fix it up, and fix only the parts that are broken. Not the whole "ahhhh well, it might fail again, this other part might break etc etc bullshit" Just fix it!

    Less e-waste ftw!
     
  16. mtma

    mtma Member

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    Market and goodwill are different things, which is probably the difference between your interpretation and mine. A gap in the market suggests there is enough business to make a living, and goodwill is not good business by itself.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying repairing stuff and reducing waste is a bad thing. In fact I do it quite often between my own stuff and mates as well.

    But the simple fact is, regardless of what can happen in Asia, is that in Australia, there's not many ways someone could make a living out of it (repairing consumer electronics that is). If you were to pay the price for something that could feed someone's mouth, you would definitely not have a nonchalant attitude between how long it might be before you need to have it repaired again.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2013
  17. schmoove

    schmoove Member

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    I definitely understand what you are saying, especially in terms of the difference between market and goodwill.
    But some things just don't add up for me.
    A long time ago in Australia, I had a quote to get a vcr fixed.
    Of course the shop told me it would be $150 (I think) to fix it up.
    This was totally out of the question as you could probably have got a new one for similar, or less at the time. So I let them have it for spares.
    To be fair, I don't know the cost breakdown of that quote in terms of parts etc.

    But for something like a monitor, how much do caps cost? $2?
    How much does a new power board in a monitor cost? $20 on ebay?
    It took my guy (not in Australia) ten minutes to change the powerboard in my busted monitor.
    So in Australia, how about $20 parts, $30 labour (for 10 minutes work) = $50. I would have paid $50 to get this monitor fixed, as that's 1/3 the price of an equivalent replacement monitor.
    Just for some hobby, sideline guy, maybe working from home, advertising on the internet (Gumtree etc.)
    $30 for 10 minutes work sounds like a nice little earner to me. I would do it if I had the skills.
    I am talking sideline here, rather than full time job, although if you could get enough trade, then that wage would be a decent living wage.
    Of course some parts are too expensive to source, and so not worth it, but I'm talking abut the small easy to fix stuff.
    But it's a chicken and egg situation; people don't get things fixed these days (repair prices too high, some stuff too difficult to repair *ahem apple twats ahem*, used to just tossing it and getting new things, can't be arsed getting it fixed as they are too affluent to care), and then there aren't many repair businesses around much now.

    I just think it would be really nice if some of the hobbyists could get a bit of extra cash for doing what they enjoy doing anyway, then perhaps we might see the return of the repair culture.
    I'm not holding my breath though, as people generally don't give a shit these days.
     
  18. OP
    OP
    aznpsuazn

    aznpsuazn Member

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    That's why I rang the guy - i t hought it was a great idea. It would've been foolproof to me if he was a lot more methodical and gentle in his dismantling process. It was like watching a drunk neurosurgeon with a chainsaw and a brick trying to take out a pea-sized tumour. ..

    Anyway, you can't teach that stuff. You either have it or ya don't!!
     
  19. TERRA Operative

    TERRA Operative Member

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    For reference, to replace all the caps on an average LCD TV with top of the range caps, you will be looking at about $25 in parts. Usually a bit less for an LCD monitor (They usually have less caps).
     
  20. Shepete

    Shepete Member

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    As someone who repaired tv's & vcr's for over 20 years, and had my own business for 10 years, it isn't that easy to make money. That is why that industry is finished.
    It's all very well to say that the parts only cost $25.00. But what about admin costs, labour, insurance etc?
    The final nail in the coffin of the repair industry was the relentless advance of technology. When I started, I was repairing TV's that were 20/25 years old. Now, 2 or 3 years & people are wanting a new tv because the tech, has changed.
    Nowadays I am repairing photocopiers worth 20 or 30 grand & it is only a matter of time before that industry is rooted. The product is reliable (for a copier), & parts are being made modular to be replaced by the end user.
    Nah, the repair industry is stuffed.
     

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