Thursday, December 24, 2015

Coming in 2016: Monthly San Diego Fixit Clinics

A few days before Christmas we received an email from Laura Anthony saying that they had scheduled a full year's worth of monthly Fixit Clinics at the New San Diego Central Library. Here's the press release from the city:

We're very excited about Fixit Clinics starting up in San Diego and we're doing all we can to support them. The inaugural San Diego Fixit Clinic is January 9, 2016 and is listed here:

Tell your San Diego-area friends!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Fixit Clinic CXXXII (132) - San Francisco

Saturday Steve, Andrea, and I carpooled over to San Francisco to staff Fixit Clinic CXXXII (132) at the Richmond District Neighborhood Center. We held a Fixit Clinic here in April 2013 so we were familiar with the location; this time we were joined by the Bay Area Bike Mobile crew who set up their tools and bike stands and provided much appreciated bicycle repairs.

Among the things we saw beyond bicycles were a Vornado space heater, a Canon printer, a humidifier, a couple of boomboxes, etc. And we taught this person how to solder a new jack onto her headphones:

More photos from Fixit Clinic CXXXII (132) can be seen here:

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Fixit Clinic CXXVIII (128) Huntington Beach

Another whirlwind Fixit Clinic in Huntington Beach, with a great set of Fixit Coaches and participants. Among the highlights:
This very ornate Disney clock: given that Anaheim / Disneyland is nearby maybe it shouldn't have been a surprise but it was nice to see it.
This plug had extremely old and brittle wiring. A representative from the local Ace Hardware was on hand, we relied on his store for new zip cord for the rewiring job.
Basic antenna theory: a piece of wire a similar length to the broken antenna works just as well (we could've replaced the antenna too.)

More photos from Fixit Clinic CXXVIII in Huntington Beach at

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Fixit Clinic CXXV (125) Fremont Public Library

Fixit Clinic CXXV (125) at the Fremont Public Library was a big success: we saw lots of interesting stuff and helped a bunch of people. We fixed several CD/DVD players including this elderly couple's CD boombox:

More photos from this Fixit Clinic can be found on Google+ here:

Monday, September 21, 2015

Fixit Clinic CXXI (#121): Albany Community Center and Library

Fixit Clinic CXXI (#121) at the Albany Community Center and Library had a "Spotlight on Sewing Machines" theme. It was held in conjunction with the Albany Clothing Swap and Swap-o-rama-rama In addition to sewing machines and sergers we fixed a ton of electronics stuff, mended fabric, altered clothes, etc: a hot time on a hot afternoon!

More photos from Fixit Clinic CXXI (#121) can be seen on Google+ here:

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Clocks Seen At Fixit Clinic

As part of our ongoing outreach and informational services we've assembled this handy photo collage from various Fixit Clinics of examples of clocks and who might have them -- just in case this might be helpful to someone in the future. ‪#‎standwithahmed‬

See the entire collection of clock photos on Google+ at

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Fixit Clinic CXV (#115) Castro Valley Public Library

We had another wonderful day of fixing at the Castro Valley Public Library; among the highlights:

- Roy replaced the thermal fuse in a nut grinder (note the smoldering solder iron)

- Several fixit coaches participated in installing a new, aftermarket switch in a full spectrum lamp
- Castro Valley Environmental Commissioner (and High School student!) Nicole Bagdadlian showed up and we talked about bringing Fixit Clinic to the High School

You can see more photos from Fixit Clinic CXV (#115) Castro Valley Public Library on Google+:

Many thanks again to Michelle Wu from Castro Valley Sanitary District (CVSAN) and Danielle Wilson from the Castro Valley Public Library (link to Fixit Clinic announcement) for hosting us. Danielle is moving on to become the Branch Manager for the new San Lorenzo Public Library, we hope to hold Fixit Clinics there too!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Fixit Clinic CXIi (#112) Huntington Beach, CA

The City of Huntington Beach hosted their inaugural Fixit Clinic Saturday, June 6, 2015. The most unusual item we saw today (and certainly up there in the category of unusual items seen thus far) was a parrot's backpack that allowed the parrot's owners to carry the parrot around with them.

The day's most satisfying repair was a popcorn maker because we got to sample the working popcorn maker's wares once it was working:

More photos from Fixit Clinic CXII (#112) Huntington Beach, CA are available on Google+ here:

Many thanks to the City for hosting and to Debbie Killey who worked tirelessly to pull of the Fixit Clinic. We eagerly await the next Huntington Beach Fixit Clinic!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Quote from Patagonia's Director of Philosophy

“Durability (in the design process) has become more important to us. That’s the value that came out of designing climbing equipment because you don’t want to make equipment that doesn’t last. But it also plays out environmentally because there are very few things that we can make that don’t cost the environment more than what we can pay back. Making something to last for a long time to reduce the need for replacement is an environmental value.”

- Interview with Patagonia's Director of Philosophy:

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Participant Videos: Fixit Clinic CVI (#106): Livermore Public Library

We were fortunate to have Kirk Kunihiro and Roberta Miller from at our recent Fixit Clinic at the Livermore Public Library. They brought along a video camera and captured some of the day's participants talking about their items: their provenance, how they broke, and what we learned by taking them apart. The eight videos are set up as a Youtube playlist here (click "Play All" and they'll play in sequence):

We hope in the future to refine this process and get better at conveying the stories behind the people and the items they bring to Fixit Clinics.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Fixing a Zipper When the Zipper Teeth Separate

Ever have a zipper where the zipper teeth separate behind the zipper slider? Fixit Clinic's Peter Mui shows how to address this issue using a locking pliers:
This video was taken at Yerdle's Repair & Share Earth Party celebrating Patagonia's Worn Wear Tour Fixit Clinic also participated at the Patagonia North Beach Store Worn Wear event a couple of Black Fridays ago:

The basic trick is to use the locking pliers to clamp down just a smidgen on the top and bottom plates of the zipper slider body. Do both sides, work slowly so you don't make the sides too tight.

Here's the step-by-step instructions we created for iFixit's web site:

Fabric items are 8% of landfill waste. How many jackets, tents, backpacks, luggage, and other items with zippers have been discarded when they could've been easily repaired with this simple technique?

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Fixit Clinic CVI (#106) Livermore Public Library

Another grand day of fixing with a bunch of newly-minted Fixit Coaches, mostly from Lawrence Livermore Laboratory.  We saw a higher number of laptops than we normally see and got most of them back into working order. More photos from the Fixit Clinic are on Google+ here:

It's our sincere hope that this great core of new Fixit Coaches in Livermore start a new and sustainable Fixit Clinic satellite there.

Addendum: One of the new Fixit Coaches wrote in later that day:

"Thanks! I had a blast.

"It didn't stop at the clinic. On the way home Ryan and I stopped and helped two guys whose car was at the side of the road. It had been shuddering and emitting smoke. Eventually we determined the reason for their trouble was they'd been driving with the parking brake on! Wish I'd had a bell to ring....


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Fixit Clinic IC (#99) MIT

Heavy snow couldn't keep our cadre of hardy Fixit Coaches from showing up to help with yesterday's Fixit Clinic. We were back again at MIT at a new location: the MIT D-Lab along Mass. Av. It's a great space with lots of tools and tables, and we got a ton of fixing accomplished.

More photos from the event are at this album on Google+:

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Fixit Clinic XCVI (#96) Piedmont Middle School

Who says there's no family-friendly evening activities anymore? Fixit Coach extraordinaire Steve Berl arranged for Fixit Clinic to participate in the Piedmont Makers' Tech Social last night at Piedmont Middle School. It was great seeing so many families come out together to celebrate disassembly, troubleshooting, and repair.

More photos from this Fixit Clinic are here: