Author Topic: Help wanted, Small Co/freelance Near Macclesfield, Manchester UK  (Read 221 times)

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Offline WheatElec

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Help wanted, Small Co/freelance Near Macclesfield, Manchester UK
« on: February 14, 2017, 10:52:15 PM »

I am an electrician that happens to work on a few outdated & obsolete machines in the South Manchester, UK area. I am great at fixing control panels and I even fix some PCBs however I do not have enough time or knowledge to fix everything.

I would like to make contact with a small company / freelance electronics engineer that I can refer to/ give work to as needed. Preferably near to me. Can you help?

Generally I get called into work on a temperamental/failed machine. All the electrical engineering side I can fix. But where the wires turn into PCB traces I struggle, I just don't have the knowledge, or enough time to cram it into my head fast enough to solve the problem. Times I have identified a fault as relating to the PCB I refer it back to my customer, they then find a few companies to pass it onto for repair. Unfortunately most of them don't even promise to look at the board for 2-4 weeks. So the PCB ends up back on my lap. As I tend to fix what ever gets thrown at me, I battle my way through to repair it. Essentially what might take me 3-7 days to repair may only take an electronics engineer with a proper scope & knowledge a few hours. but my 3-7 days is still much better than it being sat on a shelf for 2 weeks. Its mostly through hole stuff from the 90's.

If you think you could help, and are relatively near by I would like to hear from you. I have so far worked on Print controllers, CNC's, Plotters, High Voltage power supplies. Pretty much everything I get to fix is obsolete & has no documentation. And despite me enjoying the occasional PCB repair challenge. In am much much better with a control panel full of wires! If this sounds like something you can help me with please get in touch! [email protected]



Few examples of the type of stuff..

Ahh, and just as I am about to click send I have had a phone call about the machine with the above board in. Which may be at fault again. replaced a few unhappy Tantelums on it last year.

« Last Edit: February 14, 2017, 10:54:15 PM by WheatElec »

Online Ian.M

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Re: Help wanted, Small Co/freelance Near Macclesfield, Manchester UK
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2017, 11:52:39 PM »
I've been on the repair shop end of this game.  Unfortunately there's not a lot one can do cold checking this sort of board unless there is obvious damage or parts that are generally suspect with age, so all one can fix is the low hanging fruit.  To do a better job one needs documentation and a test jig, or access to the whole machine + someone who actually knows what normal operation looks like in detail.  Building a test jig isn't cost effective unless you are going to specialise in repairing a particular board, so IMHO you should be looking to recruit a part-timer or subcontractor with component level repair experience from before everything went SMD, who is willing to come on-site with you and also do bench work at your base.  Its probably a good fit for a retired TV repair shop tech with time on their hands.

Offline artag

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Re: Help wanted, Small Co/freelance Near Macclesfield, Manchester UK
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2017, 11:57:25 PM »
I agree with Ian. If I repaired something like this, how would I be able to test it before returning it ?

Offline WheatElec

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Re: Help wanted, Small Co/freelance Near Macclesfield, Manchester UK
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2017, 04:56:51 AM »
Thanks for the advice.

I thought I might get a reply something along those lines, but then you don't know if you don't ask!
I took the plunge and got a proper scope, well a Rigol DS1054. I've been pondering about it for a while mainly for hobby use, but occasional work use. Now seems as good a time as any. Hopefully by the time I've sorted this thing I'll have learnt to properly use most of it as well. My fluke Power Quality analyser has a 20Mhz scope function built in, but it's Auto everything so it's been great for tracing trough clear and easy signals to follow, or electrical fault diagnosis (why I bought it) but it's a bit rubbish for this.

Anyway, thanks very much, and my request still stands, as today I would have preferred working with my apprentice, rather than stuck in a dingy cupboard with this old machine! No leg or elbow room.



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