I don’t normally take on microwave repairs. I don’t have reasonable means of testing, even if I managed to get something working. However, a friend asked me to look at this one to see if ‘something simple’ had failed. This particular model also fitted nicely in her kitchen on existing wall brackets and the thought of refitting all the brackets for another machine seemed daunting!
The microwave was doing something strange: With microwave plugged in, the turntable turned slowly on its own, the display and control buttons completely unresponsive. Disconnecting the power first, it was time to completely ignore the ‘do not remove cover’ sticker and remove the cover. Hey, someone must have assembled it to start with?
A quick look at the control board revealed no obvious faults and all the thermistors and micro-switches seemed to work OK. Since there was no other item controlling the components in the oven, it was off with the control panel PCB. After basic testing of the surface components, I decided to run the soldering iron over the connections, in the hope that I might clear a dry joint.
This was not to be. With the PCB reconnected, the oven powered up, the same thing happened, the turntable operated by itself. The board was duff!
Sadly, this microwave is heading for the great scrapyard in the sky since control boards for these ovens are outrageously expensive with the cost of replacement far outweighing the cost of a complete machine. This is such a great shame.
I doubt that many parts vendors sell many of these PCBs as most owners wouldn’t bother to order at the prices I’ve seen.
I enjoy repairing stuff. Anything within reason. Even if I don’t fully understand how something works when it comes in to the workshop, I enjoy the learning process, getting to know how and why something works. Am I the only one? No.
There are existing groups that meet around the UK with the aim of promoting the ‘art of repair’, re-kindling the idea that things can be mended. This ultimately enriches skills while getting more life and enjoyment from every day items we often take for granted.
I’ll bet that 70% of vacuum cleaners alone that get dumped at Worthing’s Amenity Tip could be repaired and therefore saved from landfill. I have no actual evidence for this statistic, I just made it up based only on my experience of the things I see for repair with minor faults.
Organisations like the Restart Project https://therestartproject.org hold meetings to promote electrical repair and waste reduction at various locations around the country. I haven’t met the organisers yet, but it looks like a great scheme that’s doing really well.
Do you think a regular ‘FixIt’ meeting in Worthing would work? Perhaps a ‘pub meet’ where people can share knowledge, tools and a drink over an appliance repair. That probably sounds like a weird idea, but many households have items that need repair or fettling every week, so there must be a demand of some sorts.
Could this work? If you think I’m mad, get in touch. If you think it’s a good idea, definately get in touch!
A frustrated customer brought this ‘stationary’ mobile golf trolley in to the workshop recently. He’d replaced the control unit along with the hand controller. The battery was also new, but the trolley wouldn’t respond to the controls.
A systematic test of the wiring revealed no problems and power was getting to the motor OK. However, with the unit switched on, every now and then, the motor would make a noise, a faint hum.
This indicated that the motor, a Lemac 65178-101, was trying to do something. A few searches online revealed that the Hillbilly Compact is no longer made and parts, including the motor, are hard to obtain for reasonable money, this is a shame as the unit is only just over 10 years old.
The customer likes this particular model due to its lightweight and compact folding ability. New ones are several hundred pounds and usually heavier.
Since the rest of this trolley is serviceable, it seemed sensible to have a go at a repair. With the motor removed, the cause of the fault became clear. The commutator was heavily blackened and scored and one of the brushes had burned away, probably due to the heavy weight the trolley had lugged around a golf course.
Being realistic about spend on parts, I thought it would be a good idea to order some replacement brushes from Amazon. These brushes will come from Hong Kong via Sourcingmap (an excellent source of hard to get parts) and I will let you all know how I get on with the repair. The motor’s back-plate is available online for just over £15 plus P&P, but I like to repair the problem, rather than waste components that still work.
More to come… I expect you can’t wait.
LemacFixItWorkshop, Worthing Aug’17 Model 65178-101 motor
This cheap and quite frankly nasty DVD player came in as a dud unit. No lights on, nothing. To be frank, not even I thought it would cost in to repair it, since the owner told me it didn’t cost more than £20 in the first place.
Never mind, off with the cover and a quick poke around with the multi-meter revealed no power coming from the transformer within the unit. This converts high voltage from the mains to lower, safer voltages for the player. On this DVD player and many others I’m sure, the internal processes are broken up in to ‘cards’. On this unit, there’s a power card, a logic card for the motor drive and a video card for the picture. Closer inspection of the (cheap and horrible) power card revealed several faulty components, which had failed catastrophically. At first glance, I suspected that the cost of replacing individual components wouldn’t cost in and that sadly, this DVD player might be headed for the bin.
Fear not! With the power of Amazon, I was able to find a generic suitable DVD power card via China that fitted, with a small amount of wiring for £5, delivered. Job done.
This asthmatic car tyre pump came in to the workshop with little going for it. The owner had been very close to throwing it away when he came across my website.
This AirMan pump is designed to be plugged in to a car’s cigarette lighter socket and provide quick and convenient car tyre inflation. This one was dead.
On first inspection, the fuse was OK, the switch seemed to work and all connections seemed sound, when tested with a multi-meter.
Off with the cover…
When the motor was removed from the cam driving the piston, the bit that drives the pump, it spun freely when power was applied, using a battery in the workshop.
Seemingly, the centre spindle was protruding far beyond it’s specified reach, causing the pump connection rod to it it during rotation. Why? To be frank, I wasn’t sure. I can only surmise that the vibration and heat had caused the flywheel/ toothed drive to slide outside of specification.
There appeared to be room for a small washer to take up the excess space, so I fitted one I had lying around.
The washer, once fitted, allowed the flywheel/ toothed drive to sit ‘square’ in-line with the pump.
Once resembled, the pump ran freely and was ready to inflate, once more.
Cost of a new pump, circa £20. Cost of the washer, circa 5p.
This Kenwood Chef developed a nasty little problem. The failure smelled expensive and the Chef even puffed out some smoke when it began to fail, it would operate, but noisily and badly, so it to the workshop it had to go.
It was in decent overall condition and has loads of accessories, so definitely worth saving since a new one is over £300 new.
Since the speed control circuitry is a common failure on models of this age, it seemed sensible to start there. On this unit, access wasn’t a problem and the issue was quickly diagnosed. Both capacitors had failed (spectacularly) and one of the resistors had become weak by about 20 Ohms or so. Repair kits are readily available online for those who are willing to save these excellent machines, so after removing the faulty components, new items were fitted.
Another little annoying problem with the Chef, was the main drive belt. It was intermittently rubbing the main plastic body of the unit, making a horrible sound and melting some of the casing (only cosmetic). The motor mounting spacer had compressed on one side causing the belt to not run correctly. This was fixed with a small washer to correct the belt’s alignment.
With a little bit of grease, WD40, Brasso, contact cleaner, repair kit and washer, the whole job took a couple of hours (including fettling time) and cost me under £8. Definitely worth the effort considering the price of a replacement Chef.
Here’s a picture of the new components fitted in situ…