Tip for the day


Senior Team Emeritus
Premium Member
Just had a phone call from a distressed friend who has recently stripped down his VCR after getting a tape jammed in there. He managed to remove the tape after pulling the loading mechanism appart and snapped a belt in the process. After waiting (a week or so) for a belt to arrive, he has fitted it and put the VCR back together. What has distressed him is that he has a few spares left over and the eject sequence doesn't work.

Now this is not a major drama as I own a later model VCR made by the same company and it is likely that the mechanisms are similar. If not, then we see what happens when I try to use the spares! I know what you are thinking - "Buy a DVD and move into the digital age"

Ok - onto the tip(s):

If you are servicing or attempting to fix something that you either do not have a service manual for, or have not worked on before (or recently) I would suggest that you either draw diagrams of anything that you dismantle, including plugs/sockets or if you have a digital camera take some pictures (from different sides/angles).

Yes - it does take a little more time but if you make a mess of things like my friend did, you will lose a lot more time and possibly money if you have to pay some one to rescue you.

I have a notebook with lots of drawings in it and I continually add to it. On some things, I will mark wires/plugs/lugs etc with a marker. Especially if they are not colour coded. Some of the more common ones I have spent the time to do on computer and they stay in a file near the tech bench. A very handy resource for both myself and anyone else who has to work on those particular pieces of equipment.

Another thing that helps is to place things in a logical sequence when taking anything apart and always put the screws/nuts/bolts/fuses etc in a container where they won't get lost.

Some things I only need to service once a year and is great to be able to open the file and see a reference to what goes where. I also make notes of what work has been done on each item which is very helpful when trouble shooting in the future.

Another thing to do if you have several (at least two) items that are the same is to not touch one, so that you can refer to it if you make a mistake. Although, I tend to keep the book/pictures as I find it better for repeat work.

I hope that this is helpful and I would like to hear if anyone else has a system that they use.

Good ideas! You can also look on company websites for drawings. I know Altman has drawings for the assembly of almost every fixture on their website.

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