Sunday, October 29, 2017

Bi-Coastal Fixit Clinics This Saturday November 4

We've got two Fixit Clinics this Saturday (November 4) on both coasts of the United States.

1) Fixit Clinic CCXXXVII (237) Honan-Allston Branch, Boston Public Library

As shown in the photos: Rob Gogan at Harvard University already has the library tastefully decorated with our logo.



see it on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/events/213316409202549/
and on Google+ https://plus.google.com/events/cdgh77a2gu3vdsk3gsveee87llk

2) Fixit Clinic CCXXXVIII (238) Solano County Library - Springstowne Library, Vallejo, CA

This is our second Fixit Clinic at this library (their inaugural Fixit Clinic was in mid-April.)


First-time Fixit Coaches are always welcome at all events: sign up here http://goo.gl/xS1MRK. And if you’ve got friends who you think might make good Fixit Coaches please encourage them to sign up too or just show up and observe.

Thrilled to have Fixit Clinics happening on both coasts in one day.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Saturday's San Mateo County Fixit Clinic


(We'll be at 455 County Center, 1st floor, Room 101)

We're excited to be holding a Fixit Clinic this Saturday Oct 28 11AM-2PM at the San Mateo County Center in Redwood City. See it on the web here:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1609002885787381/,
https://plus.google.com/events/c430ak01u3b64cs2bm3vgn1pmkk,
http://www.bayareascience.org/calendar/index.php?eID=21221
(and see the text announcement at the bottom)

As always: we're looking for new Fixit Coaches: sign up here: http://goo.gl/xS1MRK ?
Basics on Fixit Coaching are on our web site: http://fixitclinic.blogspot.com/p/coaches-corner.html (let me know if this can be clearer.) And if you've got friends you think might make good Fixit Coaches please encourage them to sign up as well or just show up and observe.

==========================
Fixit Clinic CCXXXVI (236) San Mateo County Center

Celebrating repair by conveying basic troubleshooting skills, Fixit Clinics are do-it-together hands-on STEM-oriented fix-n-learn community-based exploration and discovery workshops where neighbors, friends, and families work collectively to learn about and repair their broken items.

So bring your broken, non-functioning things -- electronics, appliances, computers, toys, sewing machines, bicycles, fabric items, etc.-- for assessment, disassembly, and possible repair. We'll provide 1) workspace 2) specialty tools and 3) volunteer Fixit Coaches to consult with you on the disassembly and troubleshooting of your item.

Whether you fix it or not, you'll learn more about how it was manufactured and how it worked, ready to share your new-found confidence and insight with your friends, neighbors, and the community at large. (Hopefully you’ll be inspired to become a Fixit Coach yourself.)

WHAT: Fixit Clinic CCXXXVI (236) San Mateo County Center
WHEN: Saturday, Oct 28 11AM-2PM
WHERE: San Mateo County Center 455 County Center, 1st floor, Room 101, Redwood City 94063
HOW: Register at http://goo.gl/qTzh9J then
- Bring your broken item with all parts necessary to recreate the symptoms (carry-in only: no oversize items)
- Bring any parts and tools you already own that might be helpful (e.g. hand tools, sewing supplies)
- Come ready to describe what’s wrong and what you’ve tried  (advance web research is helpful)
- Come ready to learn and to share your knowledge with others
WHO: An all-ages family-friendly event: accompanied children are heartily invited!
COST: Free!
WHY: To make friends, learn and teach how to fix things, and have fun!
First-time Fixit Coaches always welcome; sign up here: http://goo.gl/kwVNlv

Sponsored by the San Mateo County Office of Sustainability http://www.smcsustainability.org/

More into on Fixit Clinic at www.fixitclinic.org, https://www.facebook.com/FixitClinic/, https://plus.google.com/+FixitClinic
==========================

Hope to see you there! -Peter

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Fixit Coaches and Autonomous RC Car Racing

Among the things we're most proud of with Fixit Clinic of is the community of Fixit Coaches we've gathered under the banner of teaching repair to the broader community. When you bring wonderful people like this together their interests and passions are bound to manifest in other ways.

Here in Northern California a bunch of the Fixit Coaches have gotten together to form an autonomous RC car racing team: they meet with others in a warehouse in Oakland, California to build, test, and race autonomous RC cars with the intent of developing and refining ideas around collision avoidance, passing, and path optimization that may someday make their way into full-size passenger vehicles.

Here's a professionally-developed video showing what the scene in the Oakland warehouse is like featuring Fixit Coaches Charles Glorioso, Dave Coleman, and Peter Mui.

Learn more about the autonomous RC car events here: https://www.meetup.com/DIYRobocars/

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Fixit Clinic CCXXI 221 San Lorenzo Library


A bright sunny California day and the newly opened San Lorenzo Library hosts a fabulous Fixit Clinic. Among the highlights:

It was a two weed whacker day: one gas and one electric, both fixed:


We've been carrying around a bicycle patch kit for awhile now and finally got to fix a flat:


This Keurig uses the reusable K-cups, we're glad to get it working again:


in the past year we've held Fixit Clinics at these Alameda County Library System Branches: Castro Valley, Fremont, Newark, Union City, and now... San Lorenzo.

More photos from Fixit Clinic CCXXI 221 at the San Lorenzo Library can be found here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/KMevSDxEcYz2tz4B2

All in all, another satisfying day of fixing; we look forward to our next Fixit Clinic here.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Our Name In Tools



Fixit Coach Steve White designed a Fixit Clinic logo out of tools. As he writes in his accompanying email:

The F is a Monkey wrench that I bought in Malaysia in 1979.  These were the first adjustable wrenches made.  They were used by "grease monkeys" - so called because they had to climb all over those big early machines to get to the lubrication points - in the days before oil pumps.  And they got covered in grease in the process.  Later on the Crescent Tool Company realized that if they put the jaws at a 30 degree angle, and you turned the wrench over every 1/12th of a turn, you could tighten a hex head bolt when there was limited clearance.

The first I is a scribe I made in 1962 in an 8th grade shop class.

The X is a pair of needle nose pliers.  I don't remember when/where I got them.

The second I is a 1/4" drive flex handle and socket I got in 1977 when I was a mechanic working for the city of Beverly Hills.

The T is a crate hammer that I got from my dad.

The first C is a clamp - don't remember where/when.

The L is a square - don't remember where/when.

The 3rd I is a hex drive screw driver & bit that I got in the 1980's when I was working at Electrical Appliance Parts Co. in San Francisco - across from the Cal Train station.

The N is a folding rule that I've had since I was a kid in Wisconsin.

The 4th I is a metric box/open end wrench that I bought in 1973 when I was living in Munich, Germany.

The 2nd C is a clamp (one of 6) that I made in a welding class in Santa Monica in 1977.  The body was cut with a torch from 3/4" scrap.  Top "grip" is 1/8" steel plate, arc welded.  Bottom is a pair of 5/8" nuts, arc welded.  Uses 5/8" all thread with a ball ground on the end.  The "pivot grip" is the end of a 5/8" bolt with a hole drilled to fit over the ball on the all thread.  It is held in place by a split/lock washer with a 5/8" OD.  I bent it open/closed to get it around the neck of the ball and then flame welded onto the grip.  The other end of the all thread, not shown, has a 5/8" nut welded in place.  You need to use a wrench to tighten the clamp, but you can also use another wrench on the pivot grip to prevent the clamp from disturbing the alignment of your work while you tighten the clamp.  It was a great welding class - they let you bring in all sorts of projects if you wanted to.

As you can see, there are lots of good memories to go with the tools in the picture.

Steve's even incorporated it into his Fixit Clinic badge:


Thanks Steve for this wonderful design and your enthusiasm for Fixit Clinic.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Fixit Clinic on the PBS Newshour

A news crew from WGBH in Boston attended Fixit Clinic CCVII (207) at MIT; the segment they produced for local coverage was picked up by the nationally broadcast PBS Newshour.

You can watch it on youtube here: https://youtu.be/DarcSxamvE8 or just click on the embedded video below.


National coverage for Fixit Clinic has been great in raising awareness and we've gotten lots of inquiries on how to start a Fixit Clinic. If you'd like to start a Fixit Clinic in your area start here: http://fixitclinic.blogspot.com/p/start-one_13.html

(And Judy Woodruff is welcome at any Fixit Clinic, anytime, with all her broken stuff. ;-))

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Fixit Clinic CCXVII (217) Castro Valley Library

The heat wave moving through Northern California this weekend didn't deter the crowds from making their way to the Castro Valley Library for Fixit Clinic CCXVII (217). Among the highlights:

A bunch of sewing machines were fixed or tuned up:


The Bay Area BikeMobile folks braved the heat and were fixing bicycles outside:

We welcomed our newest Fixit Coach: veteran Fixit Coach extraordinaire Sarah Foster-Peck showed up with her one week old coach-in-training Hazel!





More photos from Fixit Clinic CCXVII (217) at the Castro Valley Library are on Google Photos here: https://goo.gl/photos/TLmNYZd44eJT95xg7

Another great day of fixing! Many thanks to the Castro Valley Library and Jessica Connolly from Castro Valley Sanitary District for hosting us, and to StopWaste.org for their ongoing sponsorship.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Fixit Clinic CCXV (215) Newark Library

One week, two Fixit Clinics in Northern California, both great! Today's Fixit Clinic at the Newark Library was a ton of fun, and included a full sewing complement and lots of new coaches.
Among the highlights:

Love it when these sisters cooperate in taking apart their tablet:

This hair dryer needed a new thermal fuse: a common problem, an easy fix:

I hope the only place this repaired laptop power plug is going is in the laptop:

More photos from Fixit Clinic CCXV (215) at the Newark Library can be seen on Google Photos at https://goo.gl/photos/XqL7P9Ttex3ynWDz9

Another wonderful Fixit Clinic with the wonderful people at the Newark Library. Many thanks for the Library for hosting us and to StopWaste.org for sponsoring us.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Fixit Clinic CCXIV (214) University of San Francisco (USF)

Hi atop San Francisco's famous foggy hills at University of San Francisco (USF) we were fixing again. Among the highlights:

She brought her own tools and parts to replace a three-way light switch:



Her vacuum cleaner came in with two problems and left with none:


There was a loose wire in this hair dryer, a simple fix:


Our host Josh McDermott shared this wonderful photo of the appropriately named Sisters of the Presentation: https://www.presentationsisterssf.org/



More photos from Fixit Clinic CCXIV (214) at University of San Francisco (USF) can be found on Google photos: https://goo.gl/photos/4Zsn5EnyXYqjApgk9

A wonderful location and wonderful people, a great day of fixing once again!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Fixit Clinic CCXII (212) Union City Library

Our inaugural Fixit Clinic at the Union City Library went off swimmingly. We saw a variety of items that were handily handled by our many new Fixit Coaches.



Sewing and sewing machine repair was in full swing, including several luggage and zipper repairs.


Intensive consulting on this vacuum cleaner



More photos from Fixit Clinic CCXII (212) Union City Library can be found in Google Photos here: https://goo.gl/photos/A1V6X7uc62Nputw16

Many thanks to our hosts are Librarian Lili Khalili and Union City Recycling Coordinator Jennifer Cutter, and to StopWaste.org for sponsoring us.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Fixit Clinic CCVI (206) Truckee, CA

Whoo hoo! And, just like that: Truckee, California's on the Fixit Clinic map. Erica Merten, Recycling Coordinator for the Town of Truckee reports: "We had a total of 22 attendees, with 10-12 volunteers (a few stopped by and left early) at our local makerspace. 18 items were repaired, and the only one that didn’t get fixed, but was diagnosed was the food processor that I had brought, ironically ha. Everything from clothing, to lamps, to window sills, to snapped foosball table rod were fixed! Overall it was a great evening, and we had people asking when the next clinic would take place. Hopefully this can become a spring/fall event."

Here are a couple of photos:




See all the photos from the Inaugural Truckee Fixit Clinic CCVI (206) on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/TownofTruckee.KeepTruckeeGreen/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1610899068938105

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Fixit Clinic CCVII (207) MIT


Our fourth Fixit Clinic at MIT was yet another rousing success: among the many highlights:

A classic radio fixed:


He learned how to solder and fixed his LED light:

Another toaster repaired:


See more photos from Fixit Clinic CCVII (207) MIT in Google Photos here: https://goo.gl/photos/eZgeMPmnqReacfih9

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Fixit Clinic CCIV (204) Vista CA

The inaugural Fixit Clinic at the Vista Branch, San Diego County Library http://www.sdcl.org/locations_VS.html was held Saturday April 8.

Among the highlights: Vacuum cleaner fixing:

Sewing machine fixing:


The great Fixit Coach crew:


Librarian Kris Jorgensen shared these and other photos viewable on Google Photos here: https://goo.gl/photos/2jKArUFnyAgMnckW8

Wish we could attend all of the Fixit Clinics around the US in person, this looks like it was a great one!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Fixit Clinic CCII (202) Fremont Library

This well-promoted Fixit Clinic lived up to its hype: according to Fremont Environmental Specialist Lori Marra 91 people signed in -- that's a lot!


And we're always thrilled to see stuff like this going on:


Our sewing machine coach extraordinare CC says she repaired "10-and-a half" sewing machines during the course of the day:

See all the photos from Fixit Clinic CCII (202) here: https://goo.gl/photos/VkLQ4tvm22pQmqdB6

Wow, that was a hectic but satisfying day! Heartfelt thanks to www.StopWaste.Org​ for their support of these events.


Saturday, February 25, 2017

Fixit Clinic CXCVIII (198) Newark Library


Another great day of fixing in Newark with a wonderful group of Fixit Coaches and participants. Among the highlights:


The Fixit Clinic "Brain Trust" works collectively on this Kitchenaid Mixer. These are normally one of our favorite items to see because 1) it's typically an easy fix and 2) repair parts are readily available.



This person had valuable data on this USB thumb drive and we resoldered it so that she could retrieve the data.



This Samsung tablet was wedged in a weird boot loop but Fixit Coach Lovejit Kharod reformatted the data partition and got it working again.

See more photos from Fixit Clinic CXCVIII (198) Newark Library on Google Photos here: https://goo.gl/photos/nVTaYkJGgiWyHH5g7

San Diego Fixit Clinics in the News

Our April 8 Fixit Clinic in San Diego made the local paper: thanks to librarians Kris Jorgensen and JP Baker for their efforts! http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/communities/north-county/sd-no-fixit-clinic-20170219-story.html

Monday, February 20, 2017

Fixit in Fremont: April 1

We held Fixit Clinic CXXV (125) at the frightful Fremont Library on Halloween, 2015 and saw some scary appliances...

Including this terminator-like skeletal sewing machine (pretty scary looking, but we fixed it.)


We're happy to report that we're returning for an encore Fixit Clinic CCII (202) on April 1, where we hope to see many other things "spring" back to life in the spirit of the season.



(See photos of Fixit Clinic CXXV (125) at the Fremont Library here: https://goo.gl/photos/Sp7q1RZmKbWP2DXU6)


Hope to see you there; costume optional. But do follow the instructions below and register so we know you're coming.

Fixit Clinic CCII (202) Fremont Library

Returning to the Fremont Library: we look forward to seeing you at this Fixit Clinic!
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Celebrating repair through do-it-together hands-on STEM-oriented fix-n-learn community-based discovery and disassembly: you actively participate in the disassembly, troubleshooting, and repair of your item so that you leave fully empowered to share your new-found confidence and insight with your friends, neighbors, and the community at large.

So bring your broken, non-functioning things -- electronics, appliances, computers, toys, sewing machines, bicycles, fabric items, etc.-- for assessment, disassembly, and possible repair. We'll provide workspace, specialty tools, and guidance to help you disassemble and troubleshoot your item. Whether we fix it or not, you'll learn more about how it was manufactured and how it worked.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

WHAT: Fixit Clinic CCII (202) Fremont Main Library
WHEN: Saturday, Apr 01 1PM-4PM
WHERE: Fremont Main Library, 2400 Stevenson Blvd, Fremont, CA 94538
HOW: Register at http://goo.gl/qTzh9J then
- Bring your broken item with all parts necessary to recreate the symptoms (carry-in only: no oversize items)
- Bring any parts and tools you already own that might be helpful (e.g. hand tools, sewing supplies)
- Come ready to describe what’s wrong and what you’ve tried
- Come ready to learn and to share your knowledge with others
WHO: All ages welcome: a family-friendly event: accompanied children are heartily invited! 
COST: Free!
WHY: To make friends, learn and teach how to fix things, and have fun!

More into on Fixit Clinic at www.fixitclinic.org

New Fixit Coaches always welcome: are you a handywoman or handyman and handy kid, or wannabe or junior handyperson, tinkerer or sewer? Sign up here: http://goo.gl/xS1MRK

Fixit Clinic at a Brewery?

The San Diego Fixit Clinic will be hosting a series of
Fixit Clinics at the Second Change Beer Company.



Image may contain: one or more people

Are We Going Down The (TV) Tubes?

Here's an excellent exposé on the CRT demanufacturing crisis. Among the many quotes of note: "The CRT mess, the industry says, has been caused by a fundamental refusal by society to acknowledge that recycling is an expensive proposition." and "...newer electronics are more difficult to recycle than CRTs, not easier."

More evidence that repair, coupled with thoughtful manufacturing and consumption, is the most sustainable approach. As consumers: we need to take into consideration that if things we bring into our lives are not designed to be demanufactured there's a long-lasting cost to the environment. To paraphrase Patagonia's Director of Sustainability: "There are very few things that we consume [that is, that manufacturers make for us to consume] that don’t cost the environment more than what we can pay back. Making something last for a long time to reduce the need for replacement is an core environmental value."

I wonder how Europe is handling the recycling of their CRTs?

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 the owner 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 the owner 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!