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Old 29th Nov 2023, 1:42 am   #1
Chris55000
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Default Quality of English Service Manuals, Philips in particular?

Can anyone suggest to me why English copies of Service Manuals, Philips in particular, are always appallingly bad scans and yet where Dutch or German copies have been uploaded, the quality is invariably a great deal better?

What's worse is that even good scans always seem to be scanned as "images" and no attempts are ever made to OCR them, making any chance of substituting the foreign text for English text very difficult without enormous hours of work!

Chris Williams
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Old 29th Nov 2023, 2:19 am   #2
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Default Re: Quality of English Service Manuals, Philips in particular?

You said it yourself in the opening paragraph ie. English 'copies' Philips was/is Dutch owned with perhaps more European connections than just the UK
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Old 29th Nov 2023, 9:56 am   #3
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Default Re: Quality of English Service Manuals, Philips in particular?

Surely the copy is only as good as the person who copied it? Might well be a scanned copy of a manual already in circulation as a photocopy. A lot of these manuals through 3rd parties will have been circulated well before digitial documents. When I was regularly fixing tellies, it was easy enough to order an original manual from a parts supplier, the third party copy being a cheaper alternative if the original was discontinued.

Something in my distant memory tells me Philips UK produced their own manuals through a subcontractor, who used to produce English versions of other makers' sets, (Panasonic?) I can't remember the company though, but they were pretty comprehensive, albeit in smallish print. Might be wrong
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Old 29th Nov 2023, 3:59 pm   #4
Chris55000
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Default Re: Quality of English Service Manuals, Philips in particular?

The query referred, in particular to Philips tape recorder and audio manuals generally – whilst Philips TV manuals up to the G11 were UK produced, audio and tape recorder manuals invariably quote "Printed In the Netherlands" on their first page, and are identical in layout to Dutch and German editions except for the language text.

It simply puzzles me whey they all ended up on atrociously bad copiers like Mauritron were notorious for, that's all!

I used to copy manuals myself at Morecambe Library and when I was able to borrow an original, the quality was far, far better than anything I frequently got sent from a distributor – I do remember receiving a photocopy of a Marantz/Philips CD Player manual from a UK distributor that was pretty ropey, but it came in a sealed bag with "DOKUMEMTATION" and the Philips Type Number (4822 727 . . .) on the label, so this was a case of a copy being supplied by the OEM in lieu of a no–longer–available original!

Philips did of course, release documents digitally in PDF form in later years and these are always adequate in quality!

I have begun an exercise to translate the good quality scan of the German S.M. for the N4450 Tape Recorder and replace its text with English, but its a very long process, as both manual PDFs have to be OCR processed so the text can be selected, then the text has to be made directly editable, it's about an hour's work per page from each original PDF!

(The original copyright would have gone west when the paper original was first scanned, so I doubt very much Philips would be interested in these old manuals any more!)

I learnt my trade entirely in one–man and two–man owned local repair shops, so I have never had the direct OEM access to manuals and spares that a great many Members here were more fortunate to have!

Incidentally, anything you get from "World Radio History" has almost always been OCR processed and made editable/convertible to editable by the time it's uploaded!

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Old 29th Nov 2023, 9:09 pm   #5
MotorBikeLes
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Default Re: Quality of English Service Manuals, Philips in particular?

Chris, I have a copy of a Grundig TECHNICAL document. Generally good quality other than a few pages at a few degrees out. To my knowledge it was never available as an English version.
It is in pdf format.
I open it with OKULAR (Mint, but I think there is a Windoze version). I select an area of text, paste it into GIMAGEREADER (but I assume other progs do OCR) and have it converted. I then copy that into a German to English translater (limited to 1000 characters per go) and then get a rather poor English translation.
I next create a fresh document in Libre "Writer", copying across and diagrams etc. as required.
Only about 40 pages of fine print.
But can I understand it? My Satelite 600 needs it.
Les.

Last edited by MotorBikeLes; 29th Nov 2023 at 9:09 pm. Reason: sp.
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Old 30th Nov 2023, 12:28 pm   #6
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Default Re: Quality of English Service Manuals, Philips in particular?

Never had any issue with oem service manuals unless it was a poor quality photocopy due to the original being no longer available.

Philips did print an English version for the N4450 00/15/19/43 reel to reel tape deck. Service manual part code is 4822 726 10863. I know this as I have an original printed copy, which I could scan if that would be of help. There is a German addendum with English translation also included.

Grundig's original service manual for the Satellit 600 was in German but they also produced an English section covering 'alignment and test instruction'. Again I know this because I have an oem printed copy. I can also scan this if it would help.

I would have offered these earlier but have not seen either being requested for on this site.

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Old 30th Nov 2023, 9:09 pm   #7
MotorBikeLes
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Default Re: Quality of English Service Manuals, Philips in particular?

Dave, I have the German manual and English supplementary manual, direct from Grundig "back then".
I am referring to a descriptive technical manual with a full tech explanation of construction through to circuit explanatory detail.
The ICs have internal block diagrams shown etc.
It is in fact 1/2-84. Technical Information. Professional Technology for Reception Professionals. (That is "translated" from the German of course).
As well as Sat 600, it covers Oversampling for their CD players, digital control (?) of the Sat 300, Party Centre 1000 and 2000 HiFi stereo portable radios plus much other stuff.
The Sat 600 translation keeps advancing a bit as I get time. I need it as some faults are a bit beyond me, and am hoping it has the answers.
As an example, I can set and store the time, I can find and store all stations, but I can not enter an "On Time" for auto switch on. Give me time, lots of it.
Les.
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Old 30th Nov 2023, 9:51 pm   #8
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Default Re: Quality of English Service Manuals, Philips in particular?

Commenting from the other shores of the channel: When I need to fix anything of UK origin I prefer reading the English manuals again and again until I understand all of it. This has given much better results than trying to figure out what the hell a machine-translation would really mean. Already have found lots of most funny phrases there!
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Old 1st Dec 2023, 12:20 am   #9
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Default Re: Quality of English Service Manuals, Philips in particular?

Back in the day, we found that even English language manuals direct from European manufacturers were poor, & often required the original language manual to be used to make sense of them.

If they didn't supply one of the latter, you were battling.

Much of the translation was amateurish---Our running joke was that "one of the office girls had an English boyfriend."

The paper quality of even the original language manuals for the "Fernseh" branded equipment was printed on paper that already looked 50 years old.

(At this point, someone will pipe up that "Fernseh" just means "television", but this didn't stop the manufacturer concerned from having large stylised "Fernseh" badges on their gear)
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Old 1st Dec 2023, 1:58 am   #10
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Default Re: Quality of English Service Manuals, Philips in particular?

The "Euras" TV faults database, which I recall was very expensive in its time, and I believe it was subscription as well, had this quaint phrase in one of its entries, that "Television" magazine commented very adversely on in it's review :–

"The swing transistors Q210 and Q210 operate badly with highly distortion inputs!"

. . .so I've certainly seem my share of translation howlers in my time!

PM sent to G6OneDave!

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Old 1st Dec 2023, 10:33 am   #11
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Default Re: Quality of English Service Manuals, Philips in particular?

One small correction to the above – it was actually the printed books that Television reviewed, in the September 1991 issue that my quote came from, but as I've not done consumer stuff for over ten years, apart from my own and friend's personal items I can't comment on Euras's current content, but I certainly thought it was expensive, and none of the one–man repair shops I learned my trade in were prepared to subscribe either – I can only conclude by adding that neither the "Euras Repair Tips" website, nor Aswo mention any pricing, just "contact us for details".

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Old 1st Dec 2023, 1:03 pm   #12
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Default Re: Quality of English Service Manuals, Philips in particular?

Nowadays its 29,95 a month or so, which pays itself if it helps with 1 or 2 repairs a month.
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Old 2nd Dec 2023, 1:28 pm   #13
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Default Re: Quality of English Service Manuals, Philips in particular?

Les, some of what you are looking for would be in the Grundig Technical Bulletin, as supplied to their dealers. There were also technical manuals and training manuals, that would have been supplied their dealers engineers who attended the Grundig training courses. Most manufactures offered training courses to their dealers when a new product came out. Not all manufacturers would supply these manuals to engineers that did not attend the course.

Grundig's Technical Bulletin issue 9 page 7, has an article about increasing the feed resistor values to the display bulbs, to make the bulbs last longer. This is for both the Satellit 600 and 500 models. Other model articles show ic internal block diagrams and explanations, along with why a production change was made.

Getting hold of this info now is like trying to plat sawdust. Most of the then paperwork has long been destroyed, as in land fill. The only way that I've been able to drop on lucky with a lot of out dated service info was to purchase directly from a dealer, when they were having a clearout. Often coming away with an estate car full of it. I don't generally do that now, unless it's an offer that I cannot refuse and that is is a reasonable distance to collect it. Go back 20 years or so and I would travel the country to obtain this info, as back then I was supplying it, as part of my business.

Dave
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Old 2nd Dec 2023, 7:00 pm   #14
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Default Re: Quality of English Service Manuals, Philips in particular?

Dave, just to clarify, I had a spares account with Grundig from about 1980, so I could get any manuals, and I did receive the TBs including the one you cite. Yes, I did that mod, and the "cold start" one which appeared with it.
All normal manuals, Tech Bulletins etc were translated into real English (Errol Caldecourt was the man in charge - I met him once).
I think he had discretion, and suspect this one was never translated, but could be wrong.
Les.
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