Thursday, December 1, 2011
I don't know how many of you have had trouble with earbuds that only have one functional side, but I am very annoyed by them. I have figured out how to fix them, but it is difficult and definitely requires precision. In order to fix them, you need an X-acto knife, a soldering iron with solder and something to hold the wire in place(i.e. clamps). I say it's difficult because I have already ruined at least one pair of earbuds. Well, technically I didn't ruin them, but I ended up completely cutting off one earbud(the one that wasn't working in the first place), so it wasn't devastating. You can start by testing your earbuds to see what part of the wire is causing them to mess up. You can just plug them into your iPod and flex the wire 'til they start messing up. when you figure out where the wire is broken, you can use the X-acto knife to split the insulation so that you can get to the wire. when you find the break just solder it together. It is definitely not as easy as it sounds, especially if the break is near one end. Hope it works for you though.

P.S. I made the picture in Blender :)

Graphics Card Fixed!!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Well, surprisingly (at least for me) heating the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit worked!!! I am so excited! I was really just expecting the computer screen to start showing artifacts and when it didn't I tested it in COD 4 on full graphics and it ran fine. If you're graphics card isn't working right, definitely try baking it, but if you are going to heat the card to the temp I had it, I would recommend clamping the GPU and the memory down so that they don't fall off when the solder melts. I used clothespins, so you don't have to buy really sophisticated clamps or anything. This is the first time I have ever tried a solder reflow technique, but the results are amazing!!!

Project update #1

Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Hello World!
I apologize for not posting sooner, but I have been busy with school and I didn't feel like I had anything to talk about. I will start off with the projector. I recently did some research (after adjusting the mirror repeatedly) and found out that between the main mirror housing and the lamp there is a small rectangle box that is composed of four mirrors (one on each side) that is called the light box. Some of the info that I found suggested that the mirrors may have shifted, thereby causing part of the display to be darkened. From what I gathered, it is possible to fix the light box if you are very careful in removing it so that it doesn't break. So far I haven't actually taken a look at the light box in my projector.

As for the Radeon X1800 XT, I have tried heating it several times, but nothing has worked. I have just about given up on fixing it, but because it is a fairly powerful graphics card, I think I will try one last ditch effort. My plan is to clamp the memory chips and the GPU to the board so that when the solder melts, they don't fall off. I will then place the card with the GPU pointing down on a cookie sheet, supporting the card with three small aluminum foil balls. If all goes well up to this point, I plan to heat the oven to around 450 degrees Fahrenheit, maybe higher. (You can find many tutorials on how to re-flow the solder on a graphics card on YouTube)

Now, on to the steamer. I cleaned out the water line that ran from the base, to the iron, but that didn't seem to be clogged. I also found a small tube in the basin that you fill up with water when you start. the tube appeared to be clogged and I assumed that was the problem so I removed it, but when I tried to clean it out I discovered that it was not clogged but it was actually a filter. It was very difficult to replace the filter in the basin but I managed it. The I never actually fixed it because the person to whom it belonged needed it and decided that he would try to send it to the manufacturer.

I hope to post about more projects soon, so stay tuned, thanks for reading.

P.S. For those who are interested in 3D modeling, Blender version 2.60 was just released. you can download it here

Also, if you are a student you can get AutoDesk Inventor and other AutoDesk software for free by clicking here and signing up(its not a 30-day trial, its the real thing).

Rowenta Steamer/Iron

Tuesday, August 30, 2011
I apologize for posting this so late but here is another project that I am working on. It is a Rowenta steamer/iron and the problem is that when you click the button on the iron, no steam comes out. I took the iron apart and there seems to be no problem with it so I took the base apart and so far I haven't found the problem. I tested the pump (right hand side of picture) by removing it from the base and connecting it directly to a wall outlet. I made sure it had a water source to pump from so as not to ruin the pump. It seems to work just fine so I think the next thing I will try is simply cleaning out the lines that transport the steam and cleaning out the silver metal piece in the center which actually creates the steam. If that doesn't work then I will test the switch which allows the steam through the lines.

InFocus Projector

Tuesday, August 9, 2011
This projector is my brother's and, as you can see, it has issues. the sides are darkened and I think it is because one of the mirrors needs adjusted. I have been working on this projector for a while and it is very time-consuming. In order to adjust the mirror, you have to remove a number of screws so that you can remove the casing that the mirror is in. Then there are two hex-head screws which must be adjusted (these adjust the mirror). The hard part is that you have to replace everything before turning the projector back on to see if you got it right. You get the picture.

Below you can see the pictures I took of the projector. The top one is a zoomed-out view of the projector and the bottom one is of the mirror casing. I have become quite familiar with it as I have had to remove it and replace it several times. I have made some progress but I am still not sure if I will be able to fix it or not. In the bottom picture it is the mirror on the top right of the casing that I have been adjusting and it has mad a visible difference but I still have not been able to get the display to where I want it. I will be updating you on the projector as soon as I am done working on it.


Artifacting Video Card

Monday, August 8, 2011
This is a project I have been working on for about a month and so far I have been unsuccessful. It is a radeon X1800 XT that displays pink lines across the screen and the screen goes black soon after booting up the computer. A friend of mine, an electrical engineer and a pc gaming enthusiast, suggested that it might be the memory on the board. I have been trying to heat up the memory in hopes that it will reflow the solder, but so far I have gotten zero results. Below are pictures of the video card and the artifacting that is occurring.

I originally tried heating it in the oven at approximately 380 degrees Fahrenheit, and then letting it cool for a while. Achieving no results with this approach, I contemplated using a heat gun but could not think of a suitable way to insulate the rest of the board. At this point I was ready to give up on the project altogether, but I acquired a butane-fueled torch/heat gun/soldering iron that was the perfect size for what I needed it for. I am not sure how hot it gets but I am sure it is far beyond 200 degrees, even on low. I originally attempted heating the memory(pictured below) on medium-to-low for 3 minutes. That approach did not work and now I am going to try heating it on high for   3 minutes. I am planning on increasing the heat and time until either the video card is ruined or it is fixed. I will update you when either happens.

Welcome to my blog!

Saturday, July 30, 2011
This is the first post of my first blog, so here goes nothing! I am very excited to be starting this blog and I am going to be blogging about the different projects I am working on. Currently I am trying to repair a video card that keeps artifacting, a projector that is dark on part of the display, a wireless keyboard that I am converting into a wired one, and a camera flash circuit board that I am converting into an electric shocker.

I hope that through this blog you will be able to learn from my mistakes and avoid them. You may be able to fix your own electronics from reading this blog. I love fixing electronics and I learn so much every time I try to fix something. Please comment or possibly make suggestions on how I could do something better. I look forward to the projects I will be working on and sharing with you