On a mission to 'Reduce, Re-Use, Repair' electrical items in Weston-Super-Mare and surrounding areas, I give away a number of FREE repairs every month. More details on Free Repair of Electrical Equipment (FREE), see below.
I work on all kinds of consumer electronics including power on / boot issues with consoles, laptops or desktops. I do common fixes such as HDMI port replacements and repairing liquid damaged circuit boards but also am able to diagnose and repair complex problems such as motherboard or power faults.
Note: I don't provide IT support such as data recovery or installing operation systems but if your computer has a hardware problem and appears 'dead', I'm happy to get it up and running again. I also don't work on tablets and phones. Many of the common issues for these devices are screen or battery replacements and there are a lot of places that do this kind of work faster and cheaper with parts from stock.
Repairing televisions including component level repairs of power supplies and other PCBs. There are a number of common faults that occur in televisions and screens, many of these are fixable. These include power problems, backlights, audio faults, and some screen issues. Smashed screens are generally not economically fixable as it is difficult to source, transport, and fit the panels which are also very expensive - if even available.
I also repair hi-fi and other home entertainment products including CD players, amplifiers, and speaker systems. There has been a renewed interest in vinyl too, judging by the number of record player turntables now appearing on my bench.
Some faults include:
I play several instruments including guitar and bass and also repair electrical and electronic musical items like this, including guitar amps, effects units and vintage pedals. This can be anything from straightforward pickup or jack sockets, all the way up to some really quite weird and wonderful vintage instruments. I recently repaired several Elka 77 Electronic Accordian tone generators from the '70s, rare instruments from the origins of 'electronica' music!
Some example repairs:
There is very little in the world of home electronic or electrical items I have not fixed, so I won't list them all here. Computers and laptops, through to toasters and Hoovers, have all been on the bench.
I also specialise in repairing Switch Mode Power Supplies (SMPS - nearly every piece of modern equipment has this type of power supply inside it). A lot of my day to day repairs are things that just won't turn on and the reason for this in modern equipment is a failure in the complex power supply. If you have something that seems completely dead and just won't turn on I can probably get it going again. I recently fixed an Inverting Arc Welder (which is basically a large complex SMPS) that the owner had thought would never work again.
A lot of the free fixes that I do each month fall into the 'home appliance' category, and is also the kind of thing we see a lot of at local Repair Cafes. Things like kettles that have stopped working, kitchen appliances that need a new power cable etc.
I enjoy fixing anything, but my real specialism is at Printed Circuit Board (PCB) component level diagnosis and repair. Being able to quickly identify the tiny cause that is stopping a whole PCB from working correctly is beyond the training of many repair techs these days. In some cases I assess and diagnose the PCB in-situ as part of the wider system, but in others people will send me the PCB on its own to work on. The important factors for successfully repairing single PCBs are:
If that all sounds a bit complex, I just mention it because I am sometimes sent a 'faulty' board that works fine and also I get asked about repairing boiler control PCBs. I can repair the latter, but not without information. Otherwise, you don't need to worry about all this if you just give me, for example, a television that won't stay on. In this case, I still do component level diagnosis and repair - you just don't have to hear about it!
I have strong skills in bench soldering techniques, both through-hole and SMD components using hot air rework. This allows me to restore faulty PCBs back to health.
I have nearly 40 years of experience in electronics and electrical engineering. When not working on domestic items, I work in the entertainment industry maintaining and repairing specialist lighting and sound equipment for concerts and other shows. I specialise in fixing things at component level, meaning diagnosis and replacement of individual faulty parts on a printed cicuit board (PCB). Often working without schematics, I trace faults using a range of diagnostic techniques and use soldering and rework methods to replace all kinds of electronic components.
My main goal is to promote a repair and re-use culture and give people the opportunity to have their electronic and electrical items repaired rather than having to throw good things away. Because of this, I give away a number of FREE fixes every month and also volunteer as a repairer at a local Repair Cafe in Weston-Super-Mare.
For a lot of electrical and electronic problems, it's difficult to say without seeing it. Some repair centres charge an 'evaluation fee' which is basically a cost to look at a faulty item even if they then tell you it's unfixable or too expensive. I totally understand why they do this but I don't do that because it goes against the mission to promote repair as a viable alternative to replacement. So, I look at stuff with no obligation and then can give you an idea of a cost. If it's likely to be a FREE fix, I'll tell you when you get in touch.
I don't deal in items or have storage for stuff. I don't take donated items or buy faulty equipment for spares or repair but if you want something working again then I can help.
One common situation is when a potential customer hopes that the lovely old bit of kit they were given or picked up at a car boot sale will be working once again with a few tweaks. Chances are that there are a whole bunch of things that need tweaking/replacing on an item of this age and that the job is not a cheap fix.
Yes. The FREE fixes are a part of the 'Reduce, Re-Use, Repair' mission. Don't get me wrong, people pay me to fix stuff too! Even my paid work on domestic items is priced to encourage repair. WSMFix is just a part of my business that also involves other income streams. As a rule, the FREE fixes are fast repairs on items with low values that would make a paid repair unattractive to the user.