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Success Stories If you have successfully repaired or restored a piece of equipment, why not write up what you did and post details here. Particularly if it was interesting, unusual or challenging. PLEASE DO NOT POST REQUESTS FOR HELP HERE!

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Old 2nd May 2019, 1:42 pm   #21
Richard_FM
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Default Re: Mrs Spittal's jumping records

I remember at school one teacher was struggling to get a video playing, and after a minute or two asked if anyone in the class could help.

I volunteered & simply pressed the power button followed by play & it started playing, I returned to my seat with a smug expression on my face.

Due to the VCR showing a lot of things while on standby it wasn't obvious what state it was in. This was in the early 1990s when most people would have been familar with using a VCR.
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Old 14th May 2019, 11:42 pm   #22
Phil G4SPZ
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Default Re: Mrs Spittal's jumping records

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Originally Posted by Heatercathodeshort View Post
...she insisted that I promised not to play any 'Rolling Stones' records on it as they would damage her 'Stylo.'... The older generation had a hatred of groups such as The Who and the Rolling Stones that even in this case extended to them 'damaging' their record playing equipment!
It’s true that some records can damage the needle. As a lad I owned and treasured a Fullotone wind-up gramophone, and one of my favourite records was a Bill Haley 78 of “The Paper Boy”. The modulation of the instrumental break in the middle of the record was so loud that it would wear out the steel needle before the end of the record.
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Old 19th Jul 2019, 1:37 pm   #23
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Default Re: Mrs Spittal's jumping records

A few years ago a friend had been asked by an old couple if she wanted to clean their house up at 'Boot Hill', the old folks complex. She didn't but asked if we would. We said no but then thought we would have a look. The couple were in their late 80s, and lived a long time as rubber planters in Malaya. They were very posh and we thought that they were entertaining.
They had not dusted the house or done any house work at all for 8 years. As you can imagine it was unbelievably grubby and dusty.
We said that we would do 2 hours in the living room as a trial, so returned later.
Now, the wise person who said that one should never work with dogs or children should also have added 'Old Buffers' too.
It was a real mess, but we did two hours, and also installed a new printer for her and fiddled with a few other things, then said that she should call later to see if we felt as if we could return to do the bedrooms. They were heaped up with papers and junk everywhere, and we pointed out the dozens of 'Redback' spiders living under the marital bed.
As soon as we got home the phone rang and it was the husband in a panic. I could hear a loud hissing in the background like an FM radio not tuned to a station. He said that he had turned on the record player and a loud noise was coming out of his speakers. I told him to press the 'Phono' or 'PU' button on his amplifier. He huffed and puffed and the noise stopped. Then he informed me that the TV wouldn't come on. I asked if he had plugged it in and he reckoned that he had. I got in the car and drove back to Boot Hill. I said that the TV must be switched off on the On button, but he said that it didn't have one.
A quick run of the hand around the edge of the TV and 'Click' on it came.
When we phoned later to ask if they wanted us to return to finish, Mrs Malaya said "Well I'm not sure after this fiasco with the TV..." My girlfriend was furious.
Any way to cut a long story longer- we went back to shovel out the bedrooms and all the antique Chinese Malay furniture. When we had finished she informed me that the wireless headphones for the TV had not worked since we had cleaned the first time. I had a look- they were plugged into the TV but the power lead was lying on the floor. I plugged it back in.
"Oh, and that loudspeaker hasn't worked since you came before".
"Let me listen" I said with despair setting in.
She put on an old LP of Acker Bilk and there was nothing from one speaker. I determined that it wasn't the amp so had a look- One wire was hanging out the back. I connected it up and a horrible scratching noise, a bit like 'Stranger on the Shore' played on a washboard, issued from it.
I popped off the front grill and burst out laughing- the rubber suspension surround for the bass unit was not there anymore, and had been replaced by a big bodged mass of electrical tape. The smaller speaker had no surround at all. I laughed so much and wanted to take a photo but didn't have a camera with me. I don't think she was impressed. She insisted that it had been alright until I had disturbed it while cleaning !!
I asked if she or her husband had put the tape there and she said 'No'.
They had bought the speakers about 5 years ago, so I wanted to know from whom so that I could go round and break their arms. I don't like that sort of thing.
I made the output of the amp mono and left them with just one big floor standing speaker blaring out 'Boodle Am Shake'.
I pointed them in the direction of the tip shop where there is a whole row of big old speakers for sale, but they didn't seem keen on visiting.
We haven't heard from them since, so I suppose they think that Acker sounds OK in mono, or that they could not possibly lower themselves to visiting somewhere as proletarian as the tip-shop.
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Old 19th Jul 2019, 3:32 pm   #24
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Default Re: Mrs Spittal's jumping records

BC- Marvellous isn't it. The next thing you fear hearing in a situation like that is something treasured has gone missing and they want to know 'have you seen it' which is sometimes an old school euphemism for 'you've stolen it'. The other classic is the accusation of taking a good item and replacing it with an inferior one. Sadly often an indicator of declining mental faculties.
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Old 20th Jul 2019, 10:50 am   #25
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Default Re: Mrs Spittal's jumping records

Many years ago, repairing TVs and the like as a sideline whilst working with Telemetry and instrumentation, I learned that once I had performed a repair I was expected, nay- contracted- to repair any other faults on the piece of equipment for the rest of its living days because "You were the last one who touched it..." The fee for this contract was included in the price of the original repair.
Some years ago my neighbour asked me to look at her leaking antediluvian washing machine that lived in the coal house (UK). The vitreous coated outer drum had rotted through so I said it was BER. She snarled at me "You'd fix it if it was yours..." I said "Probably" as I retreated, just to annoy her.
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Old 20th Jul 2019, 2:52 pm   #26
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Default Re: Mrs Spittal's jumping records

I have a Flanders & Swan LP that has warped. While one side plays OK, the stylus jumps on the first tracks of the other side. I tried a weight on the cartridge, but to no effect. Must try gentle heat followed by pressing.
When mum was a home help, I sometimes fixed the odd electrical faults for her old ladies, foc. One was a transistor radio whose volume control had got so noisy as to make the radio unusable. I tried the method used by my dad of squirting in some 3 in 1 oil. This provided a complete cure. When I gave it back, the old lady asked how much and I said nothing, it just needed oiling! She thought I was pulling her leg.
Re the washing machine, when we first got married we were using the circa 1953 upright washing machine (with mangle) left in the house by the previous owner. This had an aluminium alloy drum that had developed pitting corrosion around about 75% of the perimeter of the boss of the electric heater. I applied a good layer of Dow Corning Mil Spec silicone rubber sealant that I still had from my Plessey days. It withstood frequent boil washes and was still good when we were able to afford a new machine a couple of years later.

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Old Yesterday, 8:57 am   #27
G4YVM David
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Default Re: Mrs Spittal's jumping records

This is a true story which was told to my brother by the man to whom it happened, I'm guessing in the late 1980s.

Said man was a video and TV engineer and he was called to one particular house wherein lived a lady and her dog. The house, he said, was filthy, foul and kept shut up and hot. As soon as he went it he felt ill...the smell and the heat promised to overcome him.

He went to the video while the lady carried on smoking in the kitchen but as he knelt down the sight and smell of dog poo really did its worst and he was sick, poor chap. Sheepishly he called the lady and, explaining that he was not well at all, apologised for being sick. Upon asking for the requisite materials to clean up his own mess the lady said "no need, the dog will eat that" and duly called Fido to sort it out.

The engineer left as fast as he could pack his tools.
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Old Yesterday, 9:29 am   #28
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Default Re: Mrs Spittal's jumping records

Quote:
Originally Posted by BulgingCap View Post
Many years ago, repairing TVs and the like as a sideline whilst working with Telemetry and instrumentation, I learned that once I had performed a repair I was expected, nay- contracted- to repair any other faults on the piece of equipment for the rest of its living days because "You were the last one who touched it..." The fee for this contract was included in the price of the original repair.
Some years ago my neighbour asked me to look at her leaking antediluvian washing machine that lived in the coal house (UK). The vitreous coated outer drum had rotted through so I said it was BER. She snarled at me "You'd fix it if it was yours..." I said "Probably" as I retreated, just to annoy her.
BC
I have been there a PC I rebuilt went "faulty" a week later turns out the mains lead on the screen had come loose ( I only had the base unit in the workshop ) but constant switching off and on via the mains had the OS on the hard drive and needed a complete reload

Dave

PS I no longer repair or reload PC for this reason
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Old Yesterday, 12:29 pm   #29
Richard_FM
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Default Re: Mrs Spittal's jumping records

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Originally Posted by nutteronthebus View Post
I have been there a PC I rebuilt went "faulty" a week later turns out the mains lead on the screen had come loose ( I only had the base unit in the workshop ) but constant switching off and on via the mains had the OS on the hard drive and needed a complete reload

Dave

PS I no longer repair or reload PC for this reason
It sounds like a friend of mine who used to be clueless about technology & managed to destrory a few laptops over the years.

Pulling out the battery during a big update because she thought it needed a hard reset was probably the daftest thing she did.
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Old Yesterday, 5:07 pm   #30
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Default Re: Mrs Spittal's jumping records

It says prominently "Do not turn off your computer". Doesn't say anything about ripping out the battery, so it's clearly "their" fault. They walk amongst us...
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Old Yesterday, 5:28 pm   #31
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I've heard of people taping coins to the tonearms of Dansettes to stop them from jumping, old pennies being common.
Many years ago the attractive young lady who lived down the road asked if I could mend her record player. It kept jumping and she had discovered that putting an old penny on top of the tonearm cured it. I told her that that wasn't a very good idea as it would wear out the records very quickly but I was sure I could fix it. I assumed a bit of oil and/or a quick twiddle with a screw driver was all that was necessary.

Try as I might I couldn't get it to track correctly. Not wanting to lose face, I wrote to the manufacturer explaining the problem. A couple of weeks later I got a reply. It was apparently a design error but there was a fix. They sent me a metal plate about the weight of an old penny which had to be installed between the cartridge and the end of the tonearm.
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