Jack of all trades

Today I proved to myself that I am an electronics technician.

These are the guys who fix electronic devices and since I successfully fixed my wife’s portable CD player, I am obviously an Electronics Technician.

Rebecca has a small portable CD player that she uses in her classroom. Last week she brought it home saying it would not work. Last night she opened up the CD bay and after poking at it for a few moments with her fingernail file she declared it Dead. “Can you fix it for me,” she asked. “Yes I can babe,” was my reply.

I told her I would look at it later, when I had time. I had to finish watching Night of the Living Dead. A great movie originally from 1968, first remade in 1990. Turns out the movie I was watching was the 1968 version. I like the original best anyway.

So this morning I went to my workshop and got all of the tools that I figured would be needed.

28oz Hammer
Electric Drill with various screwdriver heads
Duct tape
VizeGrip pliers
Needle nose pliers
Supper glue
Razor knife

Back upstairs, I turned on my iTunes, picking a Meatloaf album, walking thru the kitchen, grabbed a beer as I passed the fridge and back to the living room to sit down with the defective high quality electronic device.

I put all of my tools on the floor near me. You have to make sure they are easily reachable, but not so close as to get in the way. I plugged the appliance in, placed a CD in the drive, closed the door and nothing. It appeared dead. Any other technician would have given up, but I knew there was still hope.

I put a small screwdriver tip in the electric drill (DeWalt 18v) and commenced removing screws from the back. There are 16 screws of various lengths holding this thing together. It took about 10 minutes and 1/2 of my beer to get them all out. I began prying the case open with no success. I picked up the hammer and almost used a Man’s method, but then I thought of something else. I removed the battery case cover and found 1 more screw. 17 total.

With all the screws out and scattered along the floor in front of me, the case came apart easily. Time to celebrate that accomplishment with a sip of my beer.

There were a bunch of wires connecting the 2 halves together. I unhooked them, trying to remember where the red, green, blue, baby blue, aqua, grey, white and somewhat red ones came from so I could reconnect them later.

All of this done, the halves were completely disconnected. Reward time again.

I had to remove one printed circuit board to get to the motor for the CD player. It’s always the motor. Every electronics technician knows this.

With unobstructed access to the motor, I twisted the spindle and it seemed to move properly. I poked at some of the other wires in the system, rubbed my finger over some of the diodes, capacitors, semiconductors and transistors. I did not see any vacuum tubes to lick, so, I considered this repair task complete.

There is nothing else that can be done.

I reconnected the wires, paying close attention to where I put the grey wire so as not connect it where the white wire belonged. I am sure that I got them back where they all belonged.

I put the two halves back together and then commenced to put the 12 screws back in. There is no practical reason to put the other 5 in, so I threw in the trash. If my wife saw them she would fret about them not being replaced. We all know that electronics manufacturers use extra screws just so they can jack up the price.

I plugged the player back in, inserted a CD and hit the play button. Nothing, not even the slightest whirl noise.

My wife walked in at that moment and asked, “were you able to fix it?” “Not yet,” was my reply.

Taking another sip out of my second beer, I thought for a moment and realized, I forgot to use the fast pressure technique.

“WHACK”, I slapped my hand down on the top of the player.
“WHACK, WHACK”, I repeated the therapy.

I pressed the play button and, Bim Bam Boom! It started to play.

I tested on, off, CD out, CD back in and each time it worked fine.

My wife walked back into the room “Is that my CD player I hear?”

“Yes, babe, it took little more work, but it works fine now.”

I got a big hug and kiss followed with, “You are fabulous!”

I’m sure I can pass the test and become a certified Electronics Technician now.

Tomorrow I’m going to work on the car. It has a slight ticking in the motor. I’m sure I can fix it.