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Old 8th Dec 2019, 2:42 pm   #141
ColinTheAmpMan1
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Default Re: Repair nightmares.

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Originally Posted by rambo1152 View Post
I remember listening to channel 8 and hearing some unknown serial called Crossroads!
Oh, and the Tingha and Tucker club, a strange Australian themed kids programme from Birmingham.
If I remember correctly, there is a commonality here. Noele Gordon was the proprietor of the Crossroads Motel and also the presenter of "The Tingha and Tucker Fan Club". I think they both probably came from Pebble Mill.

Colin (a Brummie).
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Old 11th Dec 2019, 2:28 pm   #142
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Default Re: Repair nightmares.

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Originally Posted by G6Tanuki View Post
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Some cracking stories there... I'd like to slightly expand the theme if I may: what's the best bit of advice as regards repairing/fault finding members have had or whilst fixing something what was a valuable lesson learned?
I have three:

{1} Don't believe the customer's description of the fault - always verify it for yourself. I had several instances over the years where a tech believed the customer's fault-description and began fault-finding only to discover after fruitless hours with the datascope that the customer's original fault-description was rather wide of the mark.
I think some service companies take your admonition a bit too seriously!

Back when I worked at a TV Studio, Management decided to embrace "out sourcing" for the fairly large numbers of "domestic' type TVs which were used as floor monitors & other odd things, whilst keeping repair of specialist Picture Monitors "in house".
It seemed like a good idea, as it was pretty stressful for a (mostly) "one man" department to keep up.

Our first try was a large 27" Sony in a heavy wooden cabinet, with a low emission CRT.

It was sent off to a service company for CRT replacement, & adjustment (convergence, etc).
We provided a "good" CRT, & gave strict instructions to not break the vacuum of the old one, as we would have it "regunned".

On its return, on looking into the tube carton, I found that the tube neck had been smashed just aft of the gun assembly.

I then turned to the TV.
Well, they had replaced the tube, but it looked like they had given up with convergence, & any other adjustments, for that matter.

About 4 hours later, I had properly adjusted it & placed it back into service.
Had I done everything from "scratch" myself, it might have taken 5!

Undeterred, we sent a small Sanyo off to another service company.
It wasn't starting up when the on button was pushed, so we opened it up, checked some "usual suspects", then decided to "outsource" it.

We attached a note, detailing those checks we had already made, & off it went.
They fixed it OK, but when it came back, we could see our note had been roughly torn off.
On their attached job docket, under "customers complaint" they had written "doesn't work"!
Quote:

{2} If you're the Nth person to be investigating a fault, always check any rectification work carried out by the previous (N-1) techies. I've seen what was originally a single fault had become multiple faults after several different people had each made their own attempt at fixing it.
Ohhh, Yeah!!!!
Quote:
{3} Don't crack under pressure: when you've got a major service/piece of equipment down and customers/senior-manager-types/CEOs are continually asking how much longer it will take before normal service is resumed, tell them - politely - that their continual interruptions are actually delaying you from fixing their problem and that it'll be fixed much quicker if they just leave you to get on with it. "When I'm giving you a progress-report I'm not working on the problem!".
This becomes much harder at a TV Station, with various Production type people wailing for, either that monitor back, or a replacement, so you spend half your time "borrowing from Peter to pay Paul", knowing that "Peter" will probably be moaning for his monitor tomorrow!
In the meantime, you try to get on with the problem.
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Old 11th Dec 2019, 5:02 pm   #143
G6Tanuki
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Default Re: Repair nightmares.

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Originally Posted by ColinTheAmpMan1 View Post
If I remember correctly, there is a commonality here. Noele Gordon was the proprietor of the Crossroads Motel and also the presenter of "The Tingha and Tucker Fan Club". I think they both probably came from Pebble Mill.

Colin (a Brummie).
Wasn't Pebble Mill the BBC Midlands studios? If so I doubt they'd have been producing content for ATV!
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Old 11th Dec 2019, 5:21 pm   #144
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Default Re: Repair nightmares.

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{3} Don't crack under pressure: when you've got a major service/piece of equipment down and customers/senior-manager-types/CEOs are continually asking how much longer it will take before normal service is resumed, tell them - politely - that their continual interruptions are actually delaying you from fixing their problem and that it'll be fixed much quicker if they just leave you to get on with it. "When I'm giving you a progress-report I'm not working on the problem!".
This becomes much harder at a TV Station, with various Production type people wailing for, either that monitor back, or a replacement, so you spend half your time "borrowing from Peter to pay Paul", knowing that "Peter" will probably be moaning for his monitor tomorrow!
In the meantime, you try to get on with the problem.
My IT-consultancy gigs included quite a few financial institutions - a 'Production-type wailing" can't be anything like as threatening as the CTO of one of the UK's largest insurance/pensions institutions berating you and telling you just how many millions of pounds of trade they're losing per hour because - as it turns out - 'someone' in their internal finance-department forgot to release the funds to renew their domain-registration [despite my reminding them repeatedly in the preceeding three months] so their customer-facing website/email was down.

To achieve peace I renewed the registration using my personal credit-card and 'normality' was restored - but in the process the domain-ownership also 'conveniently' got transferred into my name...

Another time, a customer had a load of promotuional literature, TV/radio advertising, magazine/newspaper-inserts/flyers printed, website-design/back-end infrastructure and hosting provisioned and scheduled a major campaign to begin in a few days time.

At which point I reminded them that they'd not actually registered the domain in their name.

Cue much panic! Bow-tie-wearing advertising-types running around like headless chickens. Again, I registered the domain in my name, pointed it at my servers-on-three-continents-DNS, and saved their day (they shivered when they saw my invoice, but paid-up nonetheless).
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Old 11th Dec 2019, 5:45 pm   #145
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Default Re: Repair nightmares.

The Tingha and Tucka club was presented by Jean Morton. It came about because she was a local news presenter and on her return from a holiday in Australia she had brought back two toy Koala bears and someone as a joke showed one over her shoulder as she presented the news. It was so popular that she was then asked to do a kids show with the toy bears and they also added Katie kookubura and Willie wombat
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Old 11th Dec 2019, 6:59 pm   #146
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Default Re: Repair nightmares.

Best one that I can remember was some years back when I went to help a friend who had just bought a ramshackle house that needed completely rewiring amongst many other things. His mate a few doors down was a full time sparkie who had done the power circuits and put in the cables for the lighting ones, neatly labelling each one at the ends going to switches and fittings. The guy was having serious relationship issues with his then girlfriend and decided to decamp to Cuba for a few weeks to clear his head. My friend was due to move into the property imminently and needed lights so I went to finish the job off.

What I hadn't bargained for was that my friend had thought the wires sticking out where the switches and fittings would go, and previously neatly labelled by the other guy (another "Robert"), were a bit long and shortened them, at the same time losing all the labels. When I saw this, I excused myself and went outside, down to the bottom of the garden. There I said a few very bad words, quite loudly, and then returned to the job, test meter in hand. Later on, after much crawling round in very grubby lofts and under dusty floors (it was a very old house), it was finally done. I was so grubby I had to have a shower in their newly commissioned bathroom; at least the boiler was working.

Tea was very definitely "on" my friend that night!
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Old 12th Dec 2019, 12:07 am   #147
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Default Re: Repair nightmares.

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The Tingha and Tucka club was presented by Jean Morton. It came about because she was a local news presenter and on her return from a holiday in Australia she had brought back two toy Koala bears and someone as a joke showed one over her shoulder as she presented the news. It was so popular that she was then asked to do a kids show with the toy bears and they also added Katie kookubura and Willie wombat
That's Aunty Jean to you and me!
Uncle Cliff Richard appeared in at least one episode according to surviving footage on Youtube, I believe the show had a moral tone based on Christian ethics, so that might explain why he wanted to be involved.
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Old 12th Dec 2019, 12:46 am   #148
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Default Re: Repair nightmares.

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Originally Posted by Oldmadham View Post

Back when I worked at a TV Studio, Management decided to embrace "out sourcing" for the fairly large numbers of "domestic' type TVs which were used as floor monitors & other odd things, whilst keeping repair of specialist Picture Monitors "in house".
It seemed like a good idea, as it was pretty stressful for a (mostly) "one man" department to keep up.
Granada TV based in Manchester was fortunate in having a TV Rental organisation in the same corporate group, and for several years in the mid 80s I was the one man band looking after all the "domestic" TVs and videos in the Quay Street centre.

I had other duties as will, mainly in hotels, but all in all it was a lot of fun.
I used to get requests from various production people to procure various items or set up presentations in committee rooms etc.
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Old 12th Dec 2019, 1:08 am   #149
kevinaston1
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Default Re: Repair nightmares.

In the early days of musical synthesisers, they were in very short supply, made to order as often as not.

One day, a very expensive polyphonic beast appeared on my bench. Lid up and I think four layers of boards extended outward into their service positions, supported by bog rolls to keep them from touching.

The salesman was on the phone every five minutes asking for a progress report for his customer. Even though I explained that whilst I was speaking to him on the phone, little was being done to find the fault.

At one point, I had numeorous probes attached when the phone went again. As I reached over to pick up the phone, I caught a lead, and the whole lot tumbled; blinding flash, big bang and lots of smoke.

What was that screamed the salesman. I explained that it was his synthesiser blowing up.

His answer was that it will be on the way back to the customer that night.

Nope, not that night not even that month. No such thing as replacement boards, and a new machine was months away.

Very few semiconductors survived, but after a couple of months, it was returned working, having cost us about the same as a new unit in parts, and a lot more in labour.
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Old 12th Dec 2019, 10:09 am   #150
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Default Re: Repair nightmares.

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Originally Posted by G6Tanuki View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldmadham View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by G6Tanuki View Post
{3} Don't crack under pressure: when you've got a major service/piece of equipment down and customers/senior-manager-types/CEOs are continually asking how much longer it will take before normal service is resumed, tell them - politely - that their continual interruptions are actually delaying you from fixing their problem and that it'll be fixed much quicker if they just leave you to get on with it. "When I'm giving you a progress-report I'm not working on the problem!".
This becomes much harder at a TV Station, with various Production type people wailing for, either that monitor back, or a replacement, so you spend half your time "borrowing from Peter to pay Paul", knowing that "Peter" will probably be moaning for his monitor tomorrow!
In the meantime, you try to get on with the problem.
My IT-consultancy gigs included quite a few financial institutions - a 'Production-type wailing" can't be anything like as threatening as the CTO of one of the UK's largest insurance/pensions institutions berating you and telling you just how many millions of pounds of trade they're losing per hour because - as it turns out - 'someone' in their internal finance-department forgot to release the funds to renew their domain-registration [despite my reminding them repeatedly in the preceeding three months] so their customer-facing website/email was down.

To achieve peace I renewed the registration using my personal credit-card and 'normality' was restored - but in the process the domain-ownership also 'conveniently' got transferred into my name...
Ouch!
No, the production people weren't near as scary & high level, but they were persistent.
Remember the old aphorism about "Constant dripping wearing even a stone away"?

The only thing at that sort of level that I was peripherally associated with, was with a previous employer, back in the 1960s, where the Senior Tech in charge of a TV transmitter installation job received a phone call from the Prime Minister of Australia, asking for an update on progress with the installation.

It turns out the PM at the previous election had, unwisely, made a time commitment to provide ABC TV for Kalgoorlie, an important gold mining town in outback WA.

The PM was nice enough, & didn't try any bullying tactics, but I was glad I was just one of the "minions"!
Quote:

Another time, a customer had a load of promotuional literature, TV/radio advertising, magazine/newspaper-inserts/flyers printed, website-design/back-end infrastructure and hosting provisioned and scheduled a major campaign to begin in a few days time.

At which point I reminded them that they'd not actually registered the domain in their name.

Cue much panic! Bow-tie-wearing advertising-types running around like headless chickens. Again, I registered the domain in my name, pointed it at my servers-on-three-continents-DNS, and saved their day (they shivered when they saw my invoice, but paid-up nonetheless).
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Old Yesterday, 11:23 pm   #151
high_vacuum_house
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Smile Re: Repair nightmares.

One of my hobbies is collecting and repairing mechanical clocks. Some of the ones I buy are sold as non working.

One of my pet hates is when someone has tried to repair a clock without understanding how a clock functions. I wish people wouldn't oil clock mechanisms with oil. It would be so much easier to get working. One I had recently was a very nice 60's Smiths floating balance mantel clock and the oil was absolutely everywhere in it. More like being dunked in very old three in one oil.

I have done several which have been lubricated and the volatile part of the oil evaporates leaving an almost varnish like substance stuck to all of the pivots, pinions and wheels and it takes me a long time with cocktail sticks pegging out all of the holes in the plates and getting rid of the well stuck on muck in the pinions. Its a long job... but I enjoy it as I have a working clock at the end of the day!

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