Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Faith Fixing

Last week I fixed an amp for the band.
Opened it up, poked around inside touching this and that, made sure the connections were secure, bent a few wires around...
Never found a clear cause for it's failure to function, but after I screwed the lid back on and hooked it up it worked perfectly.
I think I've mentioned before that this happens a lot.
I call it "Faith Fixing" because whenever I lay my hands on the inside guts of electronic things, they come back from the dead.
Now, I'm also good at finding real problems and fixing them--don't get me wrong--but the unexplainable repairs probably account for 50% of my successes.

When our Honda's air conditioner suddenly stopped blowing air last night, we feared for the worst but tried to be brave.
After all the fuses checked out fine (don't forget the ones under the hood!) it started looking like a lot of money was going to be the only solution. Bummer.
Still, with nothing better to do after shop hours I turned to the Google and within only a minute or two found a chart that explained how to make the AC diagnose itself--COOL!
Hold these 2 buttons down, turn the key, release the buttons, count the blinking lights.
12 blinks means the blower motor or it's transistor are bad--now we're getting somewhere! And since an electric motor will almost always warn you of impending failure through loss of efficiency, weird noises, and bad smells, I figured it was this mysterious transistor.
I tried to "sleep on it".
Early this morning after dropping Honda Girl off, I returned to Mr. Google instead of dropping the car at a repair shop--the water pump cornholing we got on my truck was still too fresh in my mind.

Found a YouTube video on how to replace the blower motor, which showed me just how easy and cheap THAT repair would be, if needed.
Don't even have to take the dashboard apart? So where's this darn "transistor" then? Must be close by...

Within an hour I've returned from Radio Shack (+HEB) and soldered a 1 ohm resistor across 2 poles on the offending module to simulate the correct load, then re-installed it to check the blower...which works fine! Looking good...
An hour after that and I've returned from O'Reilly's with a replacement module and am driving around the block in bare feet enjoying cold cold air.

The broken part on the left ended up costing $60 to replace, which was a surprise after the $90 I was seeing on the web and the $180+ it would've been had I gone straight to a repair shop instead of mousing and typing and wrenching and soldering.

It was also nice to successfully use my knowledge and skills on a job where I knew exactly what I was doing for a change.
The internet is a wonderful thing, especially when it not only saves you money but also makes you feel better about yourself.


Albatross said...

Nice repair job. Better than anything I could have ever accomplished.

By the way, is that a rotary cutting mat you've displayed those parts on?

Keith Alan K said...

Thanks. It's a self-sealing cutting mat, which I assume can be used in a rotary fashion if you're so inclined (or are a member of that organization).

Albatross said...

Ah, our expreiences show through in the words we use.

My wife does a lot of sewing, and she uses a cutting mat that looks a lot like that. When cutting fabric, sewers and quilters use a tool called a rotary cutter (which is pretty much like a fancy pizza wheel but razor sharp and incredibly dangerous), so the mats sold for this purpose are called "rotary cutting mats" because of the blade used.

No word from my wife yet on whether hers is self-sealing.

Keith Alan K said...

Ahhh--thought that might be it. I use mine with ExActo knives, and it does indeed heal itself. Wish I'd known about these things decades ago, as getting a blade caught in a rut can be disastrous and balsawood ain't free.