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 seem to be having a run of failed repairs at the moment and while it’s disappointing to write-up a repair that didn’t succeed, it’s important to learn from failure.
A colleague asked me to look at a Parrot camera drone recently as one of the drone’s motors wasn’t running correctly. The fault developed after a visit to a lake where it got a little wet. It turns out that this model isn’t water-proof, despite the £300.00 price tag!
After drying out, when powered back up, one of the four motors wouldn’t spin at full speed. These motors seem to operate in several phased windings and it would appear that one of the motor’s phases was missing.
Upon opening up the drone, I discovered that the PCB had indeed suffered water damage along its main processor. However, three of the motors were fine and camera was working OK.
The double-sided printed circuit board (PCB) presented me with a dilemma. This PCB was fitted with extra tiny components and multi-layered board technology, presumably to save weight and cost, so a repair using conventional soldering techniques was unlikely to get good results as the excessive heat would more than likely damage other components. Located near the wiring connector that connects to the motor that wasn’t working properly, were several tiny surface mount fuses, one of which appeared to have failed. Assuming I could locate the right component, attempting a repair on a PCB like this would more than likely yield a molten mess! At this stage I could have used a conductive glue to bond in a new component or temporarily bridge the fuse, but on the basis that I couldn’t guarantee a repair and the fact that there seemed to be water ingress to the whole PCB, I decided that a complete PCB replacement was probably needed. Sadly, I had to return the drone back to the owner with the bad news.