Why “Old Electronics” Are Better

Yet another argument only this time from someone to me.
He had taken his 13 month old CB in for repair.
Actually taken it to their service center in the UK, a drive of about 40 miles for him.

Arrived, nice crowd of guys apparently, and it took them precisely two minutes to locate the fault. The main microprocessor had a crack across it where something had gone wrong and fried the chip.

tti770Cost to fix? £60 ($90 US) plus taxes.
Cost to buy a new radio, RRP, £45 ($67 US) inc taxes.

Here’s the thing.
The processor chip costs £12 ($18 US) trade but the rest was labor.
He steps outside and phones me and asks if I will replace the chip if he buys one and I say NO (knowing what that entails) but how much are they estimating for them to repair it. He tells me and I replied “sounds reasonable!”

My now new “ex-friend” flips!
Only he doesn’t understand the complexities of changing a surface mounted component and that it’ll take the guys the best part of an hour to strip, fix, reassemble, and test.

Now here we have the problem with all you high-tech loving idiots. YES I did write IDIOTS as you just don’t think about what happens when it all goes wrong!

Modern electronics are very clever, no argument about that , but a lot of it is controlled by a dedicated microprocessor (mini computer). When that goes wrong or even one of its support LSI (large scale integration) circuits fails, it’s usually BER (Beyond Economical Repair)! Or you are left with swapping out the board, buy a new unit, or pay loads to get it fixed!


Now let’s go grid down. Industry is KAPUT, spares? What spares?
Good “old school engineers” will also be thin on the ground.

(Personally I recommend adopting one like me ’cause we’re useful to have around).

So where am I going here?
Old CB’s, radio’s, and just about anything pre-microprocessor age is usually dead easy to fix using cannibalized parts from old TV’s and the like. Tooling is minimal and if you adopt an old school engineer like me (not that I’m plugging that idea at all LOL), they’ll be able to use basic equipment to fault find as well.

One other thing for you to think about.
Whatever you buy, if it is precious to your plans, either buy two and store one or at least get the service manual for it!

Even then when the “old school” engineer slowly shakes his tired old head and says there is no way he can find the parts to fix your shiny new “gizmo”, don’t shoot him, it’s not actually his fault IT’S YOUR FAULT FOR BUYING RUBBISH!


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8 Responses to Why “Old Electronics” Are Better

  1. I’ll adopt you!!

  2. conelrad says:

    have 2 old guys in my group. I will be using this on my radio show as it demonstrates a good point! thx conelrad

  3. Amen to that, adopt an engineer, I adopted two and am looking for a third.

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