Electronics - My first repair

I have one of those digital TV recorders.

 Or at least I did.

It's always been a bit flaky with the occasional flicker of the images and a dunk dunk dunk to the sound every now and again. A few weeks ago it broke down completely. I thought I'd put my brand spanking new electronics knowledge to the test, and have a go at fixing it.

I opened the hood, and had a look for any signs of obvious damage. Mainly to me that meant looking for any components that had released their internal magic black smoke out into the world with some sign of burn marks, or melted plastic. I also looked for dust and dirt and anything else that looked out of place.

I was pleasantly surprised and a little excited to find this.

That black goo at the bottom of the large capacitor, was exactly the kind of thing I was looking for.

I did some research.

It turns out that that black goo was probably just something to do with the soldering, but what I did discover is that it's most often than not capacitors that let the team down when it comes to computers and things not working.

They way they let go, is like this.

See that slight swelling at the top. The "X" cut into the top of the component is because they tend to go pop, and the cuts release the pressure when they do.

Or at least that's what I read.

Either way, this cap is bursting at the seams, and all the others were flat.

This meant it was definitely in trouble and almost certainly the culprit.

All that was required was to but a $5 part and replace the bursting one and I should be in business.

If this works, I've just repaired a $300 item for $5 and should therefore be able to bill my household $120 for the repair, and pay back the hypothetical loan that 120 things in 20 years had to make to get started with the aquaponics, with my hypothetical earnings.

Actually I think that loan has been paid back already in salads and strawberries, but it's always good to provide Mrs 120 things in 20 years with some black numbers in the account book. Too many red numbers make my empire building long term hobby look like it might not only use all he buckets and space in the shed, make mess, and create danger zones all over the yard, but it might also be bankrupt.

Bankrupt hobby empires are never a good look.

Actually not a bad job if you ask me.

So, after soldering the new part in place and trimming the component pins, my 20 second repair was ready for a test.

Drumroll please..........

Exciting isn't it.............





  1. Do you owe Mrs 120 $5 more now?


  2. I would, but I just brought in a stack of tomatoes and strawberries :)

    Organic fresh produce fixes everything.


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