Author Topic: Off topic but food for thought ;) + my Gofundme  (Read 6735 times)

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Offline globoy

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Re: Off topic but food for thought ;) + my Gofundme
« Reply #25 on: November 23, 2021, 10:00:30 pm »
Fraser, I'm mostly a lurker here and you and I have only had one [pleasant] exchange but I appreciate your contributions to this forum and your expertise.  Hopefully the few american bucks I threw over the pond are still accepted in the UK :-)

Your slight lament is shared by contributors to the internet and developers of open-source software across the world.  IMHO the advertisement supported web is to blame.  People expect things they find online to be free.  What I say isn't a complaint because I think the internet of today is truly amazing and useful, despite some ugly aspects.  Alan Kay's Dynabook became a reality...  I'm an engineer who has shared quite a number of my personal designs as open-source (including several thermal imaging camera designs) and I've come be believe that unless one puts a price on things a-priori, one shouldn't expect to be compensated.  It's just the nature of the beast.  We do it for the love of the thing or maybe fame.  I guess sites like Patreon and youtube (and gofundme) are ways to monetize knowledge but then - I think - you have to become and entertainer as well and create an entertaining experience for those you are trying to reach.  Maybe your future is on youtube.  At least thermal imaging cameras make pretty pictures!

Anyway, I hope you won't become discouraged.  This forum is a treasure, thanks to you and many others.
 
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Offline CatalinaWOW

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Re: Off topic but food for thought ;) + my Gofundme
« Reply #26 on: November 24, 2021, 12:32:00 am »
There is much of interest in your millionaire repair story.  One thing that hasn't been mentioned is the value you received from the time invested in that camera.  It added to your store of expertise, and obviously from all of your various activities you get value from the mere act of working on these problems.  Much the same way that less talented people get value from the pointless activity of assembling jig-saw puzzles.

These kind of issues arise anytime an attempt is made to reduce human activity to a purely economic exercise.  And most of the tension comes from people on both ends of the economic extremes.  People on the low end because of a true need to get value for their time and people on the high end because of a perceived need to get more value out of every interaction than is felt by most people.  Winning as our ex-president would say.  And as is the case with our ex-president, absolutely no understanding that winning in their terms was losing big time in other dimensions.
 
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Online Fraser

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Re: Off topic but food for thought ;) + my Gofundme
« Reply #27 on: November 24, 2021, 12:41:44 am »
CatalinaWOW,

I certainly did learn something from the time I spent working on that camera….. never to buy any product made by that well known manufacturer  :-DD The unit was basically a ULIS development board design crammed into a camera body. A truly terrible piece of junk that still cost £3K to buy in the UK. I also learnt a valuable lesson from that experience. Do not expect others to reward your efforts as I would theirs  ;) It is also worth remembering that I do not advertise doing commercial repair work and this person sought me out to help them. I did not invite their approach or the work that they were requesting that I undertake. Sadly with thermal cameras there is often a lot of reverse engineering of parts of the design so they can be time gobblers if you have a challenging fault. That is why I do not offer to do commercial work and do not repair cheap camera dongles …. There is no profit in it for me. I now do repairs for friends and myself and that works for me on many levels   :-+

Fraser
« Last Edit: November 24, 2021, 01:33:34 am by Fraser »
 

Online Bill W

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Re: Off topic but food for thought ;) + my Gofundme
« Reply #28 on: November 24, 2021, 11:11:03 am »
Sadly with thermal cameras there is often a lot of reverse engineering of parts of the design so they can be time gobblers if you have a challenging fault. That is why I do not offer to do commercial work and do not repair cheap camera dongles ….
Fraser

Indeed, and why I am not repairing cameras that need reverse engineering.  I stick to the ones where I did the FORWARD engineering  :-DD



Bill

Online Fraser

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Re: Off topic but food for thought ;) + my Gofundme
« Reply #29 on: November 24, 2021, 11:29:33 am »
Bill-W,

Ah yes but I bet those Raytheon Core kits still caused you angst ! I hate knowing a fault exists on a PCB yet I cannot track it down due to a lack of a schematic diagram. I realise that in the case of the Raytheon core based cameras, the solution would be to fit a new core…..but I would still wonder whether the actual fault was a simple fix or something much more challenging  ;D

It must be very interesting to work on your own ‘children’ when they suffer failures. If a particular component, such as a certain Tantalum capacitor commonly failed, it must make you want to delve into the root cause of such a failure in your ‘baby’. As you have highlighted in the past, a designer can only do so much in the selection of component specifications….components can still let you down in the real World due to unexpected circumstances. I would love to be in your position of seeing the birth, use and repair of a piece of equipment that I designed. It would be fascinating to me. On the reverse engineering front….. your designs are so well thought out, labelling so helpful,and topology so logical, that I love working on your cameras  :-+ I wish All thermal camera designs were so easy to work on !

Fraser
« Last Edit: November 24, 2021, 11:31:21 am by Fraser »
 

Online Fraser

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Re: Off topic but food for thought ;) + my Gofundme
« Reply #30 on: November 24, 2021, 03:21:46 pm »
S******, thank you so much for the extremely generous donation  :-+
 

Online Bill W

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Re: Off topic but food for thought ;) + my Gofundme
« Reply #31 on: November 24, 2021, 06:24:40 pm »
Bill-W,

Ah yes but I bet those Raytheon Core kits still caused you angst ! I hate knowing a fault exists on a PCB yet I cannot track it down due to a lack of a schematic diagram. I realise that in the case of the Raytheon core based cameras, the solution would be to fit a new core…..but I would still wonder whether the actual fault was a simple fix or something much more challenging  ;D

At the end user level, and with 'technicial' repaoir yes that was a core swap, but might be for a refurbished one.  The Raytheon BST is a lot more accessible than a modern cube core or a 2000AS for that matter, and so are more repairable.
The newer 'digital' core (205D) had more documentation for the OEM than with the 'analogue' 200 series.  The 205D also have access by software that allows fixing a number of faults (calibration lost, sensor to air, settings lost, dead pixels) and several other common faults are easy component fixable (the cracked ferrites).

However, yes I have a few 'burnt tant' that did not return to life with new tants, some that vapoursied the tracks, and some that are some kind of data bus fault so those are bin fodder.  Gives me a float of (probably) working sensors to cover any damaged sensors in working 205D core sets.

Bill

Online mnementh

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Re: Off topic but food for thought ;) + my Gofundme
« Reply #32 on: November 24, 2021, 06:40:39 pm »
A question for you all…….. when a Millionaire sees that you have spent a lot of time working on his faulty thermal camera and declared it beyond economic repair through quality diagnostics…. How much do you think the Millionaire pays the tech who spent that time on his equipment ? I will let you guess :)

It was my fault for not sending a diagnostic time bill for payment as that might have pricked the chaps conscience.

You put these events to the back of your mind and move forward. They hurt at the time but life goes on :)

I don't know your millionaire, but look at it from his possible point of view.  Some repair shops charge for their time, as if they are consultants.  If that is the game, everyone needs to know up front.  Others charge if they are successful and can offer the customer some value, otherwise they view the cost of their time as a preliminary expense for which they bear the risk.  I typically have chosen the latter principle.  That doesn't mean I wouldn't charge for diagnostic time if that were discussed up front, but I would only charge for that time if either a) the customer was offered a repair solution and declined  b) they had the repair done, in which case the charge is a combination of diagnosis and repair (note that often it is 99% diagnosis and 1% repair since for some things the 'repair' part is very simple) or c) the customer has an unusual or difficult issue that they want determined and they understand the possibility that at the end of the process there might not be a repair option and they are OK with that.  What I have never done is take a job in with only an agreed upon diagnostic fee and then return it saying "I can't fix this and you owe me $xxx.xx. 

So if your millionaire presumes that you operate like that and you didn't ask for money, he may not be such a terrible person.  Myself, if I knew that you spent two days on it, I might offer to pay you even if you didn't ask.  But in my (former) circles that would be seen as almost disrespectful on the customer's part--the presumption is that a business owner sets their own rates and the customer's obligation is to pay the bill promptly without complaining.  Tips are for the lowest economic classes, waitstaff and parking valets. 

In my case I won't accept money for repairing stuff, simply because I don't want that end of the business and I'm mostly a buy/fix/sell hobby anyway, not trying to earn a living.  I will accept wine, single-malt (although I'm not offended by the uneducated that might bring me a blend) and interesting junk electronics as payment.  You should set rates and stick to them--people that balk at paying you, including friends that know you are trying to earn a living, aren't people who you need to be working for.
There is another consideration to your story; the fact you were dealing with said rich person's PA, not that person directly. PA might have found you as result of a random Gurrgle search after failing to get any desired response from the MFR, then all this went down without said millionaire even knowing that someone who actually knows something spent days on it, and said PA was either unwilling to take responsibility or not authorized to pay anything for said work.

You never know.  :-//

Having spent 40 years on/off "in the repair game", in a number of different disciplines, one thing I've learned is to be firm with the customer in one thing: "Diag work takes as long as it takes, period."

My usual approach is to quote a minimum charge up front... explaining that my time has value (time is, IMHO, the only currency worth considering, as it is nearly the only cost which cannot be fixed with money), and that x dollars will buy y amount of my time. If I'm able to diag and repair the DUT in that time then Yay! you got out of here for just that minimum plus parts. If I reach the end of that time and I still don't have a answer then we can revisit the deal for more diag time.

Make sure you quote a number that if it is paid in a reasonable time without assache you will not feel taken advantage of, and stick to your guns. Don't fall for every "but I'm just a poor boy..." story that comes along unless you really want to; but realize that you are responsible for that lost time, not the client. If it makes you feel better about charging for your time, pick a ticket every once in a while to do pro-bono. I've done it.

But never feel guilty about asking for money for your time. You're worth it.

mnem
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Online Fraser

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Re: Off topic but food for thought ;) + my Gofundme
« Reply #33 on: November 24, 2021, 09:32:08 pm »
Mnementh,

Very wise words. Thank you  :-+

I am definitely guilty of feeling embarrassed about asking for money for labour time. It stems from me originally repairing equipment for free in order to increase my knowledge. I moved on from that stage in my life but I have never really charged sensible rates for my time. It is totally my fault and I realise that now.

Regarding the Millionaire job… I was in direct communication with the Gentleman whilst reporting progress on the diagnostics. I agree that the PA could have initially done the running to find a repairer for the kit and how I was represented to him is not known so he could have thought I was a commercial repair centre of some sort. All in the dim and distant past though and a valuable lesson was learnt :)

Fraser
« Last Edit: November 24, 2021, 09:37:41 pm by Fraser »
 
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Offline dl6lr

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Re: Off topic but food for thought ;) + my Gofundme
« Reply #34 on: November 25, 2021, 08:23:23 am »
Fraser,

I read a lot of your posts in EEVBlog and I always was astonished how much information you gave. I want to say thank you for sharing your knowledge. Even though I do not have a thermal camera.
Keep up your head, I hope you'll get better soon.

Regards, Bernd
 

Online Fraser

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Re: Off topic but food for thought ;) + my Gofundme
« Reply #35 on: November 25, 2021, 11:48:28 am »
Dear Bernd,

Thank you for the extremely generous donation and kind words.

Life has a habit of throwing curve balls at us now and again and I am just trying to get back on the path to move forwards with life. I will admit to having been like a ship in the Doldrums due to my illness but, with some luck, family support and the kindness of members of this forum I will hopefully return to my pre-illness state of mind and abilities :)

The kindness of others can be a very real tonic  :-+

Best Wishes

Fraser
 

Online Fraser

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Re: Off topic but food for thought ;) + my Gofundme
« Reply #36 on: November 26, 2021, 10:54:51 pm »
My thanks to Michael who approched me for the manual and software for a rare thermal camera. He was new to this forum but made a donation to my GoFundMe account  :-+

Fraser
 

Online Fraser

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Re: Off topic but food for thought ;) + my Gofundme
« Reply #37 on: November 29, 2021, 02:24:46 pm »
Well I am feeling amazed and very grateful for the generosity of some people on this forum. My GoFundMe account balance is £450 !

I had quite expected a few donations of a $1 or so but have been left speechless by the size of donations given by individuals who do not know me in the real World and only see my posts etc.
I have tried to help as many people as possible via this forum over the years and asked nothing in return. This GoFundMe campaign was created as life has been somewhat challenging for me of recent and I wondered if anyone cared enough about me to donate a few Dollars to help. Well 19 people did care and did donate significant sums of money. Some do not even own a thermal imaging camera !

To those 19 individuals, I say thank you. Be assured that you have helped me greatly, both in financial terms and with my morale. I have been a ‘giver’ all of my adult life and it was wonderful to receive some recognition of that via the donations. This thread has over 1600 views but not all of those viewers will know of me and I totally understand that. I just hope that the topic of this thread has made people think a little about us “givers” who often hold large amounts of valuable information and share it freely despite it having taken many years and much effort to accumulate.

I have added my GoFundMe page link to my posts footer in case anyone in the future wishes to show appreciation for my contributions to this wonderful forum. Any Millionaire Philanthropists reading this I wonder ?  ;D

Best Wishes to all and stay safe  :-+

Fraser
« Last Edit: November 29, 2021, 03:31:44 pm by Fraser »
 

Online Fraser

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Re: Off topic but food for thought ;) + my Gofundme
« Reply #38 on: December 06, 2021, 08:59:02 am »
The donations keep coming in :) Thank you all for your kindness. I will respond to thank you individually via the GoFundMe page  :-+

Best Wishes to all and stay safe  :-+

Fraser
 

Online Fraser

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Re: Off topic but food for thought ;) + my Gofundme
« Reply #39 on: December 20, 2021, 04:02:34 pm »
A big THANK YOU and Merry Christmas Wishes from me to all of those kind and very generous forum members who donated to my GoFundMe page to help get me back on my feet after suffering from M.E. It is in my time of need that I have realised who my friends are and I am touched by the amazing generosity shown by you all :-+  Life continues to be a struggle (our cat Billy had to have surgery last week and had most of his teeth removed) but your generosity has helped in more ways than you can know. It is not just the money, it is the kindness behind the act of making a donation to a 'stranger'. Thank you  :)

Have a very Merry Christmas and a Wonderful New Year/. May 2022 be kinder to us all than 2021  :-+

Fraser
« Last Edit: December 20, 2021, 05:19:20 pm by Fraser »
 
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Offline kaz911

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Re: Off topic but food for thought ;) + my Gofundme
« Reply #40 on: December 21, 2021, 08:22:59 am »
Hi Fraser,

I wish you Happy Christmas & the best for the rest of 2021 and all of the years to come.

You are always generous with your time and patience with everybody - so thank you.

I don't know where you are located - but if you are anywhere close to Brighton - just let me know if there is anything "physical" I can help you with.

/kaz
 

Online Fraser

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Re: Off topic but food for thought ;) + my Gofundme
« Reply #41 on: January 01, 2022, 02:11:47 pm »
Dear All,

2022 has arrived ! :-+ :-+

May I wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous year ahead  :-+

My sincerest thanks to everyone who has donated to my GoFundMe account. I continue to receive donations and every one, no matter the amount, is greatly appreciated. I intend to continue with my efforts to assist others on this forum but expect no payment for such. If people read my story of ill health and wish to donate, then bless them for their kindness  :)

Best Wishes for 2022 to you all  :-+

Fraser
 

Online Fraser

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Re: Off topic but food for thought ;) + my Gofundme
« Reply #42 on: January 15, 2022, 03:26:07 pm »
Another lovely event that I would like to share here as it shows how kind members of this forum truly are.

I was contacted by a fellow forum member the other day who explained that he does not have much spare money at the moment but still wanted to do somethong for me. I will not name him as that may cause embarassment, but he knows who he is and how appreciative I am of his very kind donation. This lovely guy asked if I could make good use of three thermal imaging lenses that he had, but for which he did not have a use. I am always looking for nice thermal imaging lenses as such are hard to find at reasonable cost and I can no longer afford to 'splurge' on such luxuries :( I received a picture of the lenses and they are beauties  :-+ Perfect for my needs and one is destined to be mounted onto one of my 'Box' thermal cameras that needs a good size lens  :)

This is just another example of how generous people are on this forum.

I have also been asked to look at the design of the Hikvision DS-2TP31B Fever Detection camera and assess whether its configuration may be changed. This little task keeps me active on camera investigations and I have permission to share the teardown of the camera so the forum benefits as well  :-+

Thank you to all who have helped me via donations and to anyone who chooses to donate to my GoFundMe in the future  :)

A forum is only as good as its membership and this forum is simply excellent  :-+

Fraser
« Last Edit: January 15, 2022, 03:28:50 pm by Fraser »
 
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Online Fraser

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Re: Off topic but food for thought ;) + my Gofundme
« Reply #43 on: August 07, 2022, 10:00:15 am »
I just received a huge donation to my Go Fund Me page and have tried to log-in to thank the anonymous donor. Sadly Go Fund Me seems to be having some log-in issues at the moment :(

If the person who donated £300 reads this. Thank you so much for your kindness and generosity  :-+

Best Wishes

Fraser
 


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