Fixit Log

What skills to learn, what tools to get
SavingWithBabies
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Location: Midwest, USA

Re: Fixit Log

Post by SavingWithBabies »

That's beautiful. I use an AeroPress for coffee and while I enjoy the coffee, the experience isn't that satisfying. That machine looks satisfying to use. That was quite a find!

davtheram12
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Joined: Mon May 28, 2018 6:02 pm

Re: Fixit Log

Post by davtheram12 »

My damn car battery was dead after having installed a new one three weeks prior. I didn't have access to my good tools and without a proper diagnosis I made the wrong assumption on what needed to be changed. I spent the better part of 4 hours removing the serpentine belt, unbolting the alternator, breaking a few sockets, buying new sockets, removing the alternator, getting the alternator tested, finding out the alternator was still good, reinstalling the alternator, spending way too much time reinstalling the serpentine belt and ultimately jumping my car battery using my wife's car :x

After a little more research I learned my aftermarket water temperature gauge (which plugs into the OBD2 plug) continues to draw power from the battery even after the car in turned off. It's equivalent to keeping the dome light on indefinitely :| I ended up replacing the battery, under warranty, and called it a day. It wasn't the worst thing I've had to deal with but boy was my patience tested.

RealPerson
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Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:33 pm

Re: Fixit Log

Post by RealPerson »

That is an awesome espresso machine! Great purchase. Making good espresso takes a lot of practice. They say to start with cheaper beans because you will be wasting a lot. Next step: roasting your green coffee beans. Enjoy the journey!

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Sclass
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Location: Orange County, CA

Re: Fixit Log

Post by Sclass »

Reminds me of a great fix. To make espresso reliably I use a burr grinder. I cheat and use an electric pump machine by Krups, but it still requires a very consistent grain sorting that I found I can only achieve with a burr grinder.

So I wore out a burr grinder from a garage sale. It was unfixable...after twelve years the windings melted together. Braun brand. I saw another Braun burr grinder at a yard sale for $2 about thriteen years ago. That’s what I use now. It’s stupid wind up timer switch failed so I opened it up and just soldered the switch on and then plugged it into one of those mini ikea plug strips with three sockets and a switch. We’ve been manually switching it with the plug strip for the last five years.

Both units were quite durable since we use them daily.

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davtheram12
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by davtheram12 »

Sclass wrote:
Sat Feb 13, 2021 11:52 pm
To make espresso reliably I use a burr grinder. I cheat and use an electric pump machine by Krups, but it still requires a very consistent grain sorting that I found I can only achieve with a burr grinder.
I agree with the burr grinder. I was gifted one for Christmas by my wife and it was a complete game changer. Roasting your own green coffee beans also elevates the experience. That was something I learned through C40's journal and I'm very happy I discovered it. Takes some getting used to but an inexpensive electric popcorn popper is all someone needs to roast their own beans.

SavingWithBabies
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Location: Midwest, USA

Re: Fixit Log

Post by SavingWithBabies »

@davtheram12 I ran into this too a couple weeks ago when it got really cold here! I didn't replace the battery but it was driving me nuts. When it's warm, the discharge amount isn't enough to make it go dead but during the winter... Mine was either the ODB2 bluetooth reader gadget or the trailer brake controller (which is supposed to auto shutoff but it stays on a while so hard to be certain). I'm guessing it was the ODB2 reader in the end. For now, I unplugged them both.

By the way, next time, definitely do a test of the battery voltage before starting it, then have someone sit in the car and rev it while you hold the voltmeter leads on the battery (or rig it up if you have to do it all by yourself) and observe if the voltage goes up and down with the engine RPM and what the voltage is. Always exceptions but typically it's pretty easy to check if an alternator is charging assuming it's not in some state where it partially works (that would be aggravating and time consuming). If you don't have a voltmeter, the cheapest one at Harbor Freight will work fine for this kind of stuff. If you already know all that, my apologies!

davtheram12
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Joined: Mon May 28, 2018 6:02 pm

Re: Fixit Log

Post by davtheram12 »

@SavingWithBabies
Glad someone else hear has dealt with a similar issue. It's extremely frustrating because I have everything a home mechanic could ask for at my dad's place. But living an hour away and in an apartment (without a garage) makes otherwise simple repairs a huge pain. And it doesn't help that I can be extremely cheap when it comes to buying certain tools. A voltmeter would have saved me a lot of time but since I already had one at my dad's place I didn't want to buy another from Harbor Freights to properly diagnose it myself. Oh well. I'm just glad it's over. It still doesn't compare to fixing a punctured transmission casing on the side of the road after the axle decided to fall off. But that's another story for another time. :lol:

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Alphaville
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Location: Quarantined

Re: Fixit Log

Post by Alphaville »

this is brilliant and i wish i had some patience to make these kinds of sales

im currently sitting on a pile of good unwanteds but as the english say "i can't be arsed"

what is the most expedient/least bureaucratic way to get rid of stuff other than placing it on the curb with a "free to a good home" sign on it? call the boys and girls club/salvation army for a pickup?

i wish i could make money off this stuff but since it's not in my web of goals it really is a bother.

thing like
-a room humidifier $100 new (but needs a new wick)
-a refurbished electric burr coffee grinder (i use manual) $100 new
-a cheapo treadmill that didnt work, out too late to return under $200 new
-a stationary bike that i don't know (under $200 new)

assuming 50% off on whole items and $20 on the humidifier that's $270 i could collect but ooof! the bother.

im trying to motivate myself by writing this but it's not working. selling stuff seems to always be a bunch of running around, which is annoying under covid of pandemic.

also have:
swiss ball
exercise bands (want to upgrade)
2012 macbook pro (need to update)
201...3 ipad air

i'm like "yo, look at all this cash!" but have zero ganas to sell it.

maybe i've got long covid :lol:

Loner
Posts: 211
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2017 2:26 pm

Re: Fixit Log

Post by Loner »

I was fed up at having all my pens and pencils laying around pell-mell in my "random stuff" drawer, so I made a pencil case.

I used some thin-as-hell chrome tanned leather that I salvaged from a pair of (ski-?)pants found in the trash. I made a quick pattern with paper, marked it on the leather, and cut it out. I then sewed it all together and installed the rivets. I don't have a rivet punch, so I hammered them in with a hammer and a (round-headed) screw (as the punch) on a towel to avoid damaging the rounded bit too much. Unfortunately, it's not veg tan, so I can't easily burnish the edges. There's also scratches here and there.

Not going to win an award, I'll tell you what, but it was free and fun. Yay.

https://ibb.co/5h4C2zY

ertyu
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Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:31 am

Re: Fixit Log

Post by ertyu »

i really like this pencil case. good work. Aesthetically, I would definitely buy and use this plus it looks sturdy and like it will last you a long time.

Loner
Posts: 211
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2017 2:26 pm

Re: Fixit Log

Post by Loner »

Thanks Ertyu. This is probably the best compliment one can make on this forum: I would buy this!

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Sclass
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Location: Orange County, CA

Re: Fixit Log

Post by Sclass »

Love the leather pencil case!

horsewoman
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by horsewoman »

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The USB port of my mp3 player is no longer working very well. The cable won't stay in the port, and the player doesn't charge properly.
After being annoyed with it for a while I've hit on the idea of using a spiral plastic hair tie to keep the cable in place. Works like a charm!

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Ego
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by Ego »

Found a Dometic / Waeco 12-24V DC/110V AC refrigerator-freezer at the swap meet. The vendor got it in a storage locker and didn't know if it worked. It came with a DC cigarette lighter plug but no AC plug. I took a chance and paid $75. They sell for $650 new. Later while walking around the swap meet I found what I believe to be the correct AC plug. Paid $1 for it.

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Got it home, plugged it in. Nada. No lights. No action. Most obvious problem.... I checked the fuse.

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It looks okay.

Next, I removed the control panel. Found corrosion and a bit of dampness.

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Dried it and cleaned it carefully with an old toothbrush. Not bad.

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Put it back together and tried the AC power. Nada. Tried the DC power. Viola. It worked. Compressor started. I had to disassemble and reassemble the control panel to get the buttons to match up.

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I am not sure what the problem is with the AC. It could be the plug. It seems to plug in just fine but maybe not. I don't know.

Next step is to dig out the multimeter buried under a pile of camping gear five feet high. I can pull off the access panel. I figured I would start by checking he fuse first. Then what?

CDR
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Location: Canada

Re: Fixit Log

Post by CDR »

Can you follow where it goes from the fuse onwards? I would check that path way to ensure there is no break in continuity. If you can figure out where the DC path goes, you might be able to figure out if there is a particular chip it is giving power to, and working from that chip figure out where the AC power should be going and if it is getting there.

If you can't follow a path, if there are some chips on the main board, you can try to google the codes on them (if any) to get the datasheets and see if those have any hints.

Not 100% but it still looks like there is still corrosion/rust on the board. You can neutralize the corrosion with vinegar, I did this with a roku remote that got water on it. But sometimes the corrosion might be too intense, I've seen people use 'the works' toilet bowel cleaner for a stronger treatment https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOWDv2Yyjgg

I wouldn't recommend washing the board with water like he did, it's just going to be a PITA to dry it properly.

EDIT: You could probably confirm the plug is okay if you do a continuity from the plug to the fuse, unless it is expecting a fancy plug with some chip inside of it that communicates a special "I'm not a third party plug" message?

davtheram12
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Joined: Mon May 28, 2018 6:02 pm

Re: Fixit Log

Post by davtheram12 »

My DW and I live in an old apartment. The floors creak, the windows leak air, every door squeaks, the pipes get clogged, the paint has been failing, etc. So I decided to start fixing a few things. Removed every pin on the door hinges, cleaned them and lubricated them with bike chain oil (btw this is a killer way to eliminate squeaks). The bathroom sink never quite drained properly so I disconnected all of the pipes from the sink exiting to the wall, cleand them out and reassembled everything. Found two toothbrushes in there. Wtf were the previous tenants thinking?! Removed the excess paint surrounding the casement windows so they can close properly. The hard water here destroyed our shower head so I swapped it out with a water efficient one (found in the trash still sealed in the package). Removed the bedroom door from it's hinges because it was previously installed the wrong way. I may swap the hinges over to the correct side but at this point I just put the door in the closet :lol:

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Ego
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by Ego »

CDR wrote:
Sun Mar 07, 2021 9:14 pm
Can you follow where it goes from the fuse onwards? I would check that path way to ensure there is no break in continuity.
Got it pulled apart and tried to test it but my multimeter is malfunctioning (I believe). It shows no change from the "1" when I touch the + and - probes. Probably needs a new battery or fuse. Ugh. One step forward....

When I looked over the wiring everything looks clean. Next step, I will see if the meter works to measure voltage.

Thank you for the advice!

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Sclass
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by Sclass »

Use the meter to check the fuse. Something looks fishy about it.

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Ego
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by Ego »

Sclass wrote:
Mon Mar 08, 2021 10:36 pm
Use the meter to check the fuse. Something looks fishy about it.
The meter wasn't working so I announced this morning that I was going to Sears to exchange it because... Craftsman. I asked her where the closest Sears was. She laughed. I bought a new one for about 1/4 the price I paid for the craftsman in 1990-something.

It was the fuse and it wasn't the fuse. I changed the fuse and now have power past the fuse but still not working. I pulled the main board and checked the fuses as this thread suggests. All have continuity.

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Gave up for lunch. Next I will check to see if I can figure out where the power stops....????

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Sclass
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by Sclass »

Sounds like a systematic plan. Somewhere between the power entry and the compressor your are getting cut off. The fact that you get nothing means that even the low voltage circuitry for the indicator lights and buttons is dead.

Sounds like some kind of circuit breaker. Is there a thermal safety fuse in there someplace? Often a motor will have a bimetallic switch or a wax switch that melts and open when it overheats. It may have something like this.

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