Saturday, January 21, 2017

Fixit Clinic CXCIV (194) Castro Valley Library

Wow, we had a hectic but satisfying day at the Castro Valley Library, our fourth event there. Among the highlights:

In solidarity with the womens' marches today we repaired this side view mirror with appropriately-themed duct tape (we and she understand this isn't a permanent fix, just enough to get her to the repair shop.)


This lamp socket has a built in dimmer that went bad (see metal shard at bottom), we sent her to the hardware store for a replacement.
The 3.5mm jack into these headphones had de-soldered from the circuit board inside the earpiece, we were able to re-solder it.

See more photos from Fixit Clinic CXCIV (194) at the Castro Valley Library here: https://goo.gl/photos/1WMnwA3nc5ckqMyj9

Another great event at a great library: always glad to be there!




Monday, December 26, 2016

A Switch, a Switch, my Kingdom for a Switch

High-end Panasonic NB-G110P Quartz Element Toaster Oven: it is well designed for a toaster oven in that the pushbutton power switch is low voltage, indirectly activating a solid state relay that energizes the heating elements. But it occasionally wouldn't energize the heating elements unless you tapped the power switch lightly.
It was an easy disassembly, the circuit board is cleanly laid out, and Panasonic makes parts available (hurray for them). The low quality electro-mechanical pushbutton power switch (SW15) is the one thing wrong, yet is only available by ordering an entire circuit board for about the price of a whole new toaster oven.



In this instance the switch was disassembled, cleaned and adjusted and reassembled, but not without tiny springs and other internal switch parts flying around and several hours of fussing and cussing with surgical tweezers: not for the faint of heart; soldering in a new switch would've taken a fraction of the time. It's working again, but it feels like a Pyrrhic victory. Despite being well designed this toaster oven (like many other things) turned out to be only as good as its weakest link, which in this case turned out to be its low quality pushbutton power switch.



NOTE TO Panasonic (and other manufacturers):
1) have component-level parts available (or provide information on and access to component providers)
2) Use a durable, high quality power switch (after all, that's the switch that's going to be used the most) OR design future devices so the switch is easily serviceable (or even unnecessary.)


Sunday, November 6, 2016

Fixit Clinic CLXXXVI (186) Dublin Public Library


We had four Fixit Clinics in California yesterday: Salinas, Huntington Beach, Newark, and Dublin. Our Dublin Fixit Clinic was held at the Dublin Public Library, graciously hosted by Branch Manager Lee Jouthas. Among the highlights:

This Oster blender needed a $3 part that we ordered from eBay:


We had the outdoor space to work on this almost new lawnmower, we checked fuel and spark but couldn't get it to start.


This vaporizer's motor was corroded and shot.


More photos from Fixit Clinic can be found on Google Photos here: https://goo.gl/photos/zYgvMfGehVsYU2GX6

Monday, October 31, 2016

Fixit Clinic Salinas Saturday!

We're having our inaugural Salinas Fixit Clinic this Saturday Nov 5: please tell your friends in the area! It's one of four California Fixit Clinics we're holding that day: the other locations are: Huntington Beach, Newark, and Dublin.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Fixit Clinic CLXXXII (182) Newark Library

In the second of three monthly Fixit Clinics at the Newark Library we had a full complement of sewers and fixers. The Newark Library already has a sewing program and invited the sewers to participate in the Fixit Clinic. We got a bunch of things repaired:

Getting things ship-shape for the upcoming holiday season:


Everyone's fascinated by this Singer Featherweight sewing machine, it's a classic:


And we accomplished this epic Samsung Galaxy S5 repair!


More photos from Fixit Clinic CLXXXII (182) at the Newark Library can be found here: https://goo.gl/photos/QvaW2FnBC9a9zYjp7

All in all, another great day at the Newark Library!






Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Four California Fixit Clinics November 5th!

It's not uncommon for us to have two Fixit Clinics scheduled for the same day, usually in different states, but to our knowledge this is the first time we've had not two or three but FOUR Fixit Clinics scheduled for the same day, all in California. and nicely distributed throughout the state: Dublin and Newark in Northern California, Salinas in Central California, and Huntington Beach in Southern California:

Dublin: Our inaugural Fixit Clinic in Dublin, hosted by Branch Manager Lee Jouthas at the Dublin Library: http://www.eventkeeper.com/code/events.cfm?curOrg=ACL&curHelp=&curMonth=11&curYear=2016&SelectedDate=11/5/2016#11/5/2016
(The event's on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/events/155439678241653/ and on Google+ here: https://plus.google.com/events/c18bhbqhh5rjvtc2knf6q1dcpm4 )

Newark: Librarian Barbara Telford-Ishida and her crew will be holding yet another monthly event as follow ons to her September and October events; http://www.eventkeeper.com/code/events.cfm?curOrg=ACL&curKey1=Newark%20Branch&curMonth=10&curYear=2016&curHelp=&curMonth=11&curYear=2016&SelectedDate=11/5/2016#11/5/2016
(The event's on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/events/630019443842516/ and on Google+ here: https://plus.google.com/events/ck4ia5h43cj8rc3hojah3f5fvek)



Salinas: Mandy Brooks and Guillermina Gutierrez at Salinas Valley Solid Waste Authority are holding their inaugural Fixit Clinic at the Salinas Recreation Center:
(The event's on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1068995269815656/ and on Google+ here: https://plus.google.com/events/c4cmi5gleja2vifmdfnsectem3c)





Huntington Beach: Debbie Killey and her Fixit Coach crew are back again at the Huntington Beach Library.
(The event's on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1699076833746002/ and on Google+ here: https://plus.google.com/events/ctaro831h4hfsc2l0rhvue43ul0 )

So Nov 5th is going to be one busy Saturday for Fixit Clinics! Hope you can make it to one of these grand events.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Fixit Clinic CLXXX (180) Albany Community Center

Wow, we've reached 180 Fixit Clinics! Saturday's event was held at one of our favorite locations, the City of Albany, California's Library and Community Center. There was a clothing swap going on in conjunction with the Fixit Clinic so a lot of clothes found new life through both repair and new owners.

Among the highlights:

They brought the same scale in different colors, both were fixed.


Tess was determined to get her iron working again, and she did!


Holly pulls out all the stops to repair this sewing machine:


More photos from Fixit Clinic CLXXX (180) at the Albany Community Center can be found on Google photos here: https://goo.gl/photos/CwbcFaeb3WiUWwJ1A

Many thanks to Pam for organizing the clothing swap, to Ryann, Sarah, CC, and the others from Swap-O-Rama-Rama for providing their sewing acumen, to the City of Albany for hosting us, and to www.stopwaste.org for sponsoring us.