Occasionally I do some repairs for others, but I expect these activities to become something of the past.
Why? It proves to be harder and harder to get spare parts for a reasonable price. If you don’t pay attention, replacing a few simple parts exceeds the price of a new device. Now I do this for fun, and I don’t charge hours. I can only guess what a professional would charge.
I had to search for a week to find two rather ordinary FET’s and one even more ordinary NPN transistor for a price that would warrant the repair of an Alinco switching power supply. The downside is that I will have to wait 2 weeks or more for the parts, as they are sent from China and Singapore.
Funny, we’re all brainwashed on a daily basis to be concerned about the environment, but trashing something because repairs are too (artificially?) expensive seems to be totally acceptable.
We have an interesting ham radio mailing list here in NL, properly moderated, but occasionally something slips through which will raise all hairs in the back of my neck. Today it was an e-mail from someone advertising a website called zolmmm.com (yes, with 3 x m in the name), which immediately redirects to zolmm.com (2 m’s). Here’s the original e-mail:
Hi, good luck! Hi,
I am pohnet,here is a good news to tell you, I came accross a
website: http://www.zolmmm.com, they meanly sells electronic
products, they provide good safeguard and accept paypal payment,
it’s very secure. I bought a cellphone from the site and have
received it, very good quality!
The poor English alone should be enough to raise the famous red flag, but in case you’re not so knowledgeable in the field of online scams, here are the other red flags I found within 5 minutes:
- The redirect is odd, trustworthy companies wouldn’t do that. Seems like a poor attempt to hide the origin.
- The website was registered on 02/02/2012, and only for one year (typical for a hit & run scam)
- Payment options are limited to anonymous and/or unsafe systems (Money Union, bank transfer). Ignore the Paypal and CC pics, they’re just there for decoration. Paypal seems to be an option, but only if you accept a 30% price hike.
- Owner’s address in China is cryptic (and probably fake)
- E-mail address resides at hotmail.com
- Phone- and fax numbers are identical
Hans / PD0AC
It took some time, selling off gear and a little of extra money, but my test bench is up an running again. Apart from the obvious tools (soldering iron and such), mine consists the following equipment:
- Digital and analog (FET) multimeters
- LCR meter
- Frequency counters, one bench type, one portable
- Function generator
- Dual-channel DSO (Digital Storage Oscilloscope)
- Wattmeter/Dummyload, calibrated
- Big magnifying glass
- Watchmaker’s loupe
This will do fine for now. If this equipment lasts as long as the old ones, which is about 20 years, I won’t complain. Picture (click for super sized image):
PD0AC's Ham Radio Test Bench