Old & Busted: The Repair + Tinkering Thread

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Corycm, May 19, 2016.

  1. Corycm

    Corycm Well-Known Member

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    This was top-of-mind this morning, thought I'd chuck the thought out to you gearheads and electrical wizards.

    I finally have the space for a proper workshop and wanted to work on my turntable repair skills. But I need test subjects.

    You all have any tips on best hunting grounds for busted but salvageable turntables?

    I'm not talking about rehabbing high-end vintage units or bringing a VPI back from the dead, just brushing up on things. So less-desirable units, etc.

    And as long as I'm asking, what do you do-it-yourselfers and fix-it folks consider imperative to a workbench/shop? Tools, parts, how many tons of blu tack to keep on hand, etc.

    Let's talk about fixin' shit.
     
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  2. Chupacabra

    Chupacabra Well-Known Member

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    Electronics recycling events. I get more TT's than I could ever have a use for.

    Edit: That sentence about workbenches is actually a doozy; let me think a little on it.
     
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  3. Corycm

    Corycm Well-Known Member

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    I figured we had enough tinkerers that this sort of thread was overdue.
     
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  4. teee

    teee Well-Known Member

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    Interested myself. I have 2 old turntables that I want to fix. One works - the motor is just really loud. I forget what is wrong with the other.

    And my bro in law has 3 tt's that he and I are going to work on together. So hit me!
     
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  5. Chupacabra

    Chupacabra Well-Known Member

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    So. The tools I think you really need are as follows:

    1) Two screwdriver sets, one for electronics, one standard.

    Electronics screwdrivers don't have any sort of chrome plating around the blade to chip off and fall into your electronics. This is more important than I think it really gets credit for. Also, avoid anything with rubber or soft handles; metal bits get caught in them and can either cut up your hand or fall into your work.

    2) Pliers and cutters.

    You can probably get away with a single diagonal cutter and a pair of chain-nose. I believe you should have a set of chain, round, and flat nose electronics pliers with smooth jaws. And two cutters, one flush cut and one diagonal.

    3) A set of jewellers screwdrivers.

    I like the old school metal type from Moody, but the new style you can get from Wiha are fine, too. My set is huge, but you really only need 000 - 1 in Phillips and slotted from around .05 - .12 to get started.

    4) Small nut drivers.

    Preferably hollow shaft, follow the same rules as for screwdrivers. Start with Imperial, get Metric when you can (or opposite, depending on your country).

    5) Wire strippers.

    Klein makes my favorite. Get a pair of red stripe and yellow stripe. They aren't expensive, but are a buy once/cry once item. You can go cheaper, but you won't be happy.

    6) A soldering iron.

    Get one with adjustable temperature. I'm militantly Weller, but just make sure you can adjust the temp and get it reliably to 700.

    7) Multimeter.

    Goes without saying. You almost can't spend too much money on one. But you can start with the little cheap-o ones from Harbor Freight.

    8) Knick-knacks

    60/40 solder, lots of electrical tape in many colors, friction tape, zip ties. Spools of wire in many colors. Start with braided 14 gauge, but collect them all. You can't stock all the parts, so when you need some parts, buy a few extras. Before you know it, you'll have most of the common usage stuff.

    9) An Xacto knife

    10) Multi-bit tool set.

    Eventually you should have fixed shaft stuff too, as it's better for getting your torque right, but buy something non-magnetic. I buy Chapman tool sets, and have been using them for decades.


    This is off the top of my head, but I think you can do at least 90%+ of identifying and fixing problems, once you have the parts, with that stuff. I'll look at my bench tonight and see if I need to update that.
     
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  6. BeerCanChicken

    BeerCanChicken Well-Known Member

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    Have you tried their scissors? Oh, baby...
     
  7. Corycm

    Corycm Well-Known Member

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    That's good stuff right there, @Chupacabra . I own a lot of that stuff for computer work already, but there's some stuff out there I wouldn't have thought of.
     
  8. Corycm

    Corycm Well-Known Member

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    For those playing the at-home game, when he says red-stripe/yellow-stripe wire strippers, he means one for solid/one for stranded wires (but I can't recall which is which, off the top of my head).
     
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  9. Chupacabra

    Chupacabra Well-Known Member

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    I haven't. Will have to check them out.
     
  10. Chupacabra

    Chupacabra Well-Known Member

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    With the Klein's, the yellow's are 10-20 gauge, the red are 20 - 32 gauge. When stripping stranded you just go one gauge higher. Should have been clearer, sorry.
     
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  11. Corycm

    Corycm Well-Known Member

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    Your answer was clearer than mine anyway. But those will last a long time (unless you run cable/wire for a living), so it's a good $20 investment (less if you catch a Home Depot coupon).
     
  12. BeerCanChicken

    BeerCanChicken Well-Known Member

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    I'm a buy once, buy right guy. The Kleins will last forever. Everyone should have 20-32 gauge anyway as part of an essential home tool kit. 10-20 will probably barely get used but definitely nice to have.

    EDIT: But if youre repairing TTs frequently, 10-20 will get used frequently...
     
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  13. Chupacabra

    Chupacabra Well-Known Member

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    This is where I do all my electronics work:

    image.jpeg

    It's a drafting desk from a high school that got torn down in New York. If space is at a premium, try something like this. I have a full toolchest spread across those drawers and it has a tiny footprint.
     
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  14. teee

    teee Well-Known Member

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    So..... what I'm hearing is.... I should just bring all my stuff over to your place. Great! Glad we talked. I'll PM you for your address.
     
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  15. NoCo_Dave

    NoCo_Dave Well-Known Member

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    I'd suggest not using 60/40 from the excellent list @Chupacabra provided but 63/37 if you're buying solder (Amazon sells Kester 44 in the standard mixtures). It's easier for new soldering iron operators to use because there is no plastic region in it's temperature curve, so immediately liquid to solid and back. It's almost impossible to end up with a cold solder joint. With 60/40 there's a small plastic region of about 10 degrees where you can crack the solder joint if it moves. But it's really a very fine distinction.

    Oh, I'd also consider adding some insulated screwdrivers (Google them) if you intend to work on power amps and tube gear. One hiccup or moment of inattention and zap! With tube gear that zap could easily be lethal.

    FWIW, I'd suggest a Hakko iron for the home dude. I've had a number of irons over the years and they are IMHO the best value (I have a 936 in full disclosure and I like it quite a lot). Nothing wrong with Weller, it's easily one of the better, along with JBC, Goot, Pace and Ersa. All of them have their fans. I'm just very pleased with my Hakko.

    I've also have a dead (er, "salvaged") Metcal PS2E (everywhere I've ever worked used Metcal, of course). I highly recommend using one but they are not for the cost conscious. You can get a brand new Hakko 888 for what a couple of Metcal tips cost. And you have to buy different tips for different temps with the Metcal, so it gets very expensive in a hurry. But since everything professionally done is lead-free and usually qualified there's really no choice but Metcals.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2016
  16. NoCo_Dave

    NoCo_Dave Well-Known Member

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    My rework stations. ;-)

    IMG_0625.JPG

    IMG_0626.JPG
     
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  17. sahomerrocks

    sahomerrocks Well-Known Member

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    Always spring for the Starret punches
     
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  18. Corycm

    Corycm Well-Known Member

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    ITT: we confirm @NoCo_Dave is actually a mad scientist.

    Good note about the solder though - a solder newbie like me wouldn't have picked that one up.
     
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  19. Chupacabra

    Chupacabra Well-Known Member

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    I have faith in you. Follow your fundamentals and 60/40's fine.
     
  20. NoCo_Dave

    NoCo_Dave Well-Known Member

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    @Chupacabra, did you happen to go through electronics tech school in the military? Just curious.
     

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