If your Kenwood Chef A901 starts to smell of burning, don’t despair, it can usually be saved.
I had an enquiry via this site from a fisherman who was very upset that his trusty Kenwood Chef A901 had given up the ghost. Rather than using the Chef to make Victoria sponges, it had been used to prepare fishing bait. It just demonstrates how versatile these machines are.
Whilst it was in use, the owner witnessed a bang then the smell of burning before the machine came to a halt. The plug was quickly pulled!
Whilst discussing the fault on the phone, I suspected that the fault was probably due to the failure of the motor speed control circuitry, which is known to fail with age. I had carried out similar repairs to other machines, including my own (in this blog) so agreed to take a look.
I received the machine quickly and upon inspection, the machine had obviously been cared for and considering its age, was in good condition. The smell of burned-out components was clear, lifting it out of the box.
Dismantling the machine and removing the motor on the A901 is fairly straightforward, providing you allow time and make notes on where things go. The components that need to be replaced are very accessible and anyone with moderate soldering skills would be OK with this task.
Luckily, the Chef is very well supported by long-term aftermarket suppliers and I bought an off-the-shelf spares kit at £14.10 delivered, from KAParts (www.kaparts.co.uk) via eBay, featuring upgraded components. This kit is a little dearer, but component technology has moved on since this machine was first on the market, so fitting anything else is a false economy in my opinion.
With the old components removed and replacements fitted, the motor ran smoothly and fully reassembled, the machine is now ready to mix bait mixtures once again. Lovely.
Cost of a new machine: Circa £300 and up. Cost of repair: £44.10 (kit plus my time).
I’ve never replaced a phone screen before, but since there’s a wide range of spares at reasonable prices available out there, I decided to take on this repair for a friend. The screens on these and other smart phones are fragile. They are made of finely machined glass, made to extremely high tolerances and therefore susceptible to damage from knocks and scrapes. At this point usually, I might whinge on about how manufacturers do this deliberately to some extent, to bolster built-in obsolescence, but on this occasion, the break was due to the owner falling off his bike (off-road) and the phone hitting the deck, while in his pocket. I’m amazed the damage wasn’t worse. No hospital treatment for the owner on this occasion, just bruising and a dent to his pride.
The repair kit for such damage came in at a reasonable £8.99 and the eBay vendor promises to have the kit within a couple of days. I’m sure you’ll all be waiting with baited breath to know how the repair goes. I will of course keep you all updated.
The repair kit has arrived and there are lots of components in the box. After watching a few (very good) YouTube videos on the S4, I think I’ll need a clear evening to repair the phone…
Opening up the phone’s back, just a plastic over, only 1 small screws held the phone together as ‘layers’ sandwiched together.
After separating the screen from the main body of the phone, it quickly became clear that the screen was in fact OK and it was the digitiser (digitizer in the U.S.) that has cracked and failed. This meant that a new one was required, but after a conversation with the owner, we decided that the phone was now beyond economical repair. New digitisers are available for the S4 at the time of writing. The phone will be disposed of using an electronic recycling scheme.