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!
From a chap who’s repaired his Athlet using my video.
Just a thank you. I went looking for a solution to the intermittent cut-out on my Bosch Athlet and found your solution. It took all of about 2 minutes once I’d found a suitable length screw and works perfectly. Like it was designed that way.
In your video you thought maybe the handle was removable to allow the attachment of some accessory. It isn’t. It’s just a way of making the box smaller for shipping.
Which means if Bosch put the hole in, and supplied a screw, it would be a much better product. (But of course, then they could sell it as no assembly required:)
But seriously, thank you. I love the Athlet, but that bloody intermittent cutting-out was really beginning to bug me. If I’m ever in Worthing I’ll buy you a pint.
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
Not strictly a FixItWorkshop blog article really, but hey! It’s a cheap fix.
My beloved 2003 Boxster developed puddles in the umbrella holder on the passenger side (RHD car) when it rained hard.
The window was adjusted correctly and the door aligned properly, but when it rained, water ran down near the door mirror, under the seal, down the door card and in to the umbrella holder area. Water leaks like this, especially on the passenger side (RHD car) are a real problem on the Boxster, since the cars’ ECU is mounted on the floor on that side and is big £££ to replace/ repair if it fails.
Seemingly, the door seal rubber on the car adjacent to the door mirror area had worn and become slightly porous and was allowing water to get in between the glass and seal.
New door seals are very expensive and to prove the issue, I applied a small trace of tap (faucet) silicone grease to the area to restore the wax-like finish, the seal should have to seal properly.
This has fixed the problem for now. The door seal is worn and will need replacing in the long-term, but for now, this is a very cheap fix.
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.
I quite like the idea of this vacuum cleaner in that it’s lightweight, easy to use, highly portable and easy to maintain. All things that make a great product.
The particular vacuum cleaner came in to the workshop, just outside of its warranty period and had been looked after well. However, it had developed a nasty intermittent cutting-out problem when in use. I also noticed that the charger’s flex had also cracked near the wall plug, making it dangerous while charging.
First things first and it was off with the rollers and filters to clean any obstructions that might make a device like this overheat. Nothing obvious there, but all items cleaned and washed as a precaution to allow the roller to move freely and the vacuum to breathe easily.
Closer inspection of the handle area revealed a weakness in the design which had meant that the quick-release mechanism had caused an electrical connection to degrade, causing the cutting out.
The only remedy was to address the handle’s weak point with a mechanical fix and make good the electrical contact.
I hope Bosch take note and make an improvement in this area on an otherwise nicely engineered item.
I also did a small repair to the damaged flex on the charger.
Cost of a new vacuum cleaner, circa £250. Cost of screw… less than 50p (without my time of course!)
This Dyson presented with a pretty terminal case of ‘no go’. The owner had run this relatively new machine in to the ground with little maintenance so it was little wonder what happened next.
Whilst in use, the machine spectacularly went bang and tripped the main fuse board of the house. The noise and following smell was quite something I was told.
The owner had nearly rushed out and bought a new machine and was budgeting between £300 and £400 for a replacement.
I was glad I could help since I was fairly certain I knew what the problem was without seeing it. After giving the cable, switches and casing a visual inspection, it was time to delve deeper. The filters were in poor condition and the general smell of it indicated that overheating had been an issue, probably leading to premature wear on the motor.
With the motor out, the true extent of the damage became apparent. Both motor bushes had worn away to nothing and part of the brush holder had broken up inside the motor, probably while it was running, causing the noise.
I suspect that the owner had ignored the warning signs of burning smells and occasional cutting out (as the thermal overload circuitry performed its fail-safe role).
Being only a few years old, the owner had a couple of options; either replacing the faulty part with a genuine Dyson replacement (a very reasonable £40) or pattern motor kit with filter pack for under £25. The owner chose the latter on the basis of the machine’s age and the fact that both filters in the machine were also ruined.
The job took an hour, including testing before the machine was back performing its cleaning duties once more.
A note to all vacuum cleaner owners (that don’t take bags): Keep your filters cleaned every couple of months or so. Your machine will last much longer if you do.