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Do You Repair Your Own Equipment?

Discussion in 'Survey Center' started by KK4NSF, Jul 2, 2020.


Do you repair your own equipment?

  1. Yes.... I fix my own radios and accessories.

  2. yes and no. I fix stuff like antenna tuners, connectors and speakers... but not my radios

  3. mostly no. I send most of my repair jobs to a service tech or back to the factory

  4. No. While I am very smart, I let the experts do it for me.

  5. No... not ever. If I try to fix it, it may never work again.

  6. None of the above- see my answer below

Results are only viewable after voting.
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  1. KK4NSF

    KK4NSF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Just a few minutes ago, a friend of mine wondered out loud "how many hams repair their own equipment nowadays?" That's a good question. I have no clue how many of us work on our own radios and accessories.

    While I fix my own equipment, I know a lot who don't for a variety of reasons. So.... that's the question: Do you work on your own equipment when it breaks down or starts acting freaky?

    Remember, in this case there is no right or wrong, and I respect everyone's opinion. It's your radio, you can fix it if you want... or send it away. Neither is it an indicator of the "State of Ham Radio" or anything like that. It's just a question, and friendly discussion.

    By the way, you might not see an answer that matches your opinion. I just made up the mulitple choices on the fly. In that case, answer "none of the above" and let us know what you think.
  2. W7UUU

    W7UUU Principal Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    I voted "None" because I fix the stuff within my skill set - and that in fact includes radios. I can fix an SB-301, Globe Scout 680 transmitter, Hallicrafters S-53, etc. But I would never try to fix an IC-7300 outside of the very basics. Or a Modern Yaesu HT. So your second answer is pretty close to how I roll but not quite since I do in fact often fix actual radios. Just "simpler ones" :)

    N8ZL, AH7I, K3CDY and 1 other person like this.
  3. KJ5T

    KJ5T Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I am not the most mechanically or electronically knowledgeable, I can replace a fuse and and do basic troubleshooting but I would leave anything real repairs to the experts. I have spent countless hours watching YouTube videos of guys doing restorations and repairs of radios and stereo equipment and maybe one day I will give something a go, probably something cheap and not valuable in case I mess it up too much. I often joke about being an appliance operator, and the truth is that it is very easy to become one.

    I do have serious respect for those who can repair equipment, be it modern day rigs (my friend with the microscope for SMT work comes to mind) or those who restore vintage gear. My dad had studied electronics (incidentally at the same tech college that I went to) and was very good with such things, he tried to teach me but I regretfully was too lazy to focus, all I wanted to do was get on the air.
    KK4NSF likes this.
  4. NN4RH

    NN4RH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    If you try to repair and but mess it up enough, you can always put it on EBay with the description "Lights Up but I have no way to test it. No returns due to parts swappers." ;)
    PU2OZT and KK4NSF like this.
  5. KB2SUJ

    KB2SUJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Depends. Unfortunately, as I have gotten older, while more experienced, it seems I am not as mentally sharp as I was 20 years ago. Also, my vision plain stinks for fine, detailed work. A man has to know his limitations. I'll re-cap, solder wires, make cables, do near anything mechanical. But I stop short of SMT and replacing chips. I also am no electronic technician, never was. I can sort of read and understand schematics. Broad strokes. Though I have learned that no man can know everything. I do know where my socks are.
    K5EMG and KK4NSF like this.
  6. NN4RH

    NN4RH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    But seriously ... I can troubleshoot and repair most of the ascessory equipment, and of course anything I built from a kit or homebrew. But modern commercial transceivers are too difficult for me.

    Fortunately, I've only had one transceiver failure in the past 20 years. A Kenwood TS480SAT that took a static electric shock* to the key jack and lost the keying circuits. I did enough troubleshooting and research to identify that the whole main board would have had to be replaced that would have cost quite a lot.

    It still worked on other modes, though. Which didn't do me much good because I was strictly a CW person at that point.

    I put it on eBay, listed "for parts only", but explained what was wrong with it and had no reserve and a very low starting bid. I was shocked that it got bid up to over $500.

    *I relearned that it was a bad idea to wear leather mocassins and drag my feet across a hard vinyl floor mat on a dry winter day ...
    KK4NSF likes this.
  7. KK4NSF

    KK4NSF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Interesting discussion so far. It's funny that nobody who has answered so far sends their radios to a tech. BUT the day is young....
  8. N1OOQ

    N1OOQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes, I fix things, but often get in over my head. Which results in some piece of equipment going on the shelf until I either try it again or give up and get rid of it.

    Much easier with the stuff I built myself.
    KK4NSF likes this.
  9. AC0GT

    AC0GT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Do you know where your towel is? Every hoopy frood does.

    I didn't see a need to so far. My radios haven't had a need for repair, except my well (ab)used Icom IC-T81A. I've had the thing for years and the battery won't hold a charge, it's speaker sounds weak and muffled (which happened after being dropped one too many times), and it's generally in bad shape. It's crossed my mind to open it up to see if I can fix the speaker but since I'm unlikely to ever find parts for this at any price I'll consider reasonable I simply keep it as a (half working) spare, intending to plug it into a wall wart or something for power and use an external speaker of some kind.

    Just generally I'm not about to try to fix many kinds of modern electronics. The parts are often very small so it would take special equipment to repair. If I find a burned out resistor or something then I know that I could replace it but then find it's burned out because some other part failed elsewhere. Then if I can fix it then I'm still using something old and unreliable when a replacement is often inexpensive and more capable. I don't like to toss out gear but there's a point at which it's just not worth the effort to keep running.

    I've swapped parts on old computers for a very long time. If it's something that's under warranty then I'll send it in for repair, which I did for a cracked hinge on a Apple PowerBook long ago. I've replaced bad drives. I replaced bad memory. For many new computing devices this might not even be possible for anyone but the most determined consumer of personal electronic devices.

    It seems to me that modern electronics rarely break down, and when they do it's for obvious reasons and to the point it's beyond repair. I'm thinking of devices that are dropped and vital components shatter, something hit by a power surge and blows out numerous and/or mysterious parts, or was soaked in water (or worse) and left plenty of connections corroded.

    I can and have repaired a number of my electronic devices, but I do so rarely because it's often more sensible to send it to be repaired or to toss it and buy something new to replace it.
    KK4NSF and KB2SUJ like this.
  10. N2HUN

    N2HUN Ham Member QRZ Page

    I enjoy repairing older radios although sometimes the patient does not make it hihi. I've learned a lot and it's enjoyable.
    KK4NSF likes this.

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