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ubermick
22nd July 2012, 22:35
Well, my A1200 has a cap that's starting to leak, and two more that are getting bulgey, so they need to get replaced.

I can't seem to find any local repair places though. There is a local Amiga club where one of the members can (apparently) do it, but I dropped him a line a while back, but haven't heard back from him. Which means my choices at the moment seem to be sending the board to Amigakit for their recapping service. Problem with that is $40 US for the recapping service, but another $25 shipping to get it sent back, plus probably the same/similar to send it to them. So it gets pretty expensive - I've seen recapped PAL motherboards going for less than that would cost shipped to the USA - plus the issue of being without it for the best part of a month.

Any of the American users have any suggestions?

drwho
23rd July 2012, 00:14
There is someone here on Amibay that sells re-cap kits at a fairly cheap price if I recall. If you had the caps do you know anyone with the skill to solder them on for you?

Another option is trying to get another 1200 from the other bay. Sometimes people get rid of them cheap because they don't know how popular they are to the legacy community.

I know it sounds like I am reaching a bit here with these suggestions, but, unfortunately, there are no places left to do this sort of thing here in the US, or elsewhere for that matter. I do all of the repair work to my 2000 & 3000T myself since I have some soldering skills but I would be uncomfortable messing with someone else's computer. It's one thing if I break my own, but ... one that's not mine? :picard

desiv
23rd July 2012, 00:15
I'd love to know this also...
I've played around with soldering and such.
And I think I'm OK with soldering cables. ;-)
But caps, and SMT caps concern me..
I also have a Vectrex that needs it...

So I'll be watching this thread too.. ;-)

desiv

SkydivinGirl
23rd July 2012, 01:06
I'll be re-capping on of my A4000D systems once I get a cap kit. I've got good soldering skills so I don't think it will be a problem. Does anyone know who, other than AmigaKit is currently selling cap kits? If not, I'll order the list of caps that Rogerio posted (http://www.amibay.com/showthread.php?t=32611) from eBay. :)

If I do it with no problem then I'll be happy to help others.

Heather

ubermick
23rd July 2012, 01:32
I haven't seen cap kits other than Amigakit and Cosmos, a guy in France (who also does the replacement if you send him your board but... again, shipping and transit times for owners in the US make that prohibitive, or at least not really worth it.) I do remember r0jaws saying that our very own Amibay was going to start selling them, but dunno if anything ever came of that?

I've actually asked around all over my local area. There's a tiny computer recyclery shop that I asked about, and they flat out refused to work on it. There's also a REALLY good electronics shop that carries everything in stock that you can think of, and I asked there if any of the employees would be willing to take it on for a few bucks, but no takers there either. Last chance was a small repair shop that would do it, but they charge $100 an hour, and told me it'd be at LEAST an hour and a half labour, plus the cost of the caps, so with tax said about $200 (cheeky bastards), despite me pointing out that it's actually more like a half hour job (for someone who knows what they're doing) and that places in Europe charge just $40 for it. Errr, no thanks there.


If I do it with no problem then I'll be happy to help others.

Heather, you might just have called down the thunder, there! http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tonofbricks.gif

quarkx
23rd July 2012, 02:23
The big problem is that now a days, NOBODY wants to touch Hardware. I just got into a big debate about this with some guys from Microsoft about this. I can't think of one local university course or adult learning course that will teach electronics, never mind basic soldering skills. Other than MIT and such.
These days, there are literally thousands of "angel investor funds" to pay for you to write software. Coding is literally everywhere. Microsoft has the bing fund, Google will GIVE you phones and tablets if you write software, BUT NOBODY wants to teach the basic electronics or soldering skills in North America anymore, nevermind Chip making or layout.
The real sad thing is that even Bill Gates pointed this out a few years back and nobody cared. Apple DESIGNS things in California, but then gets a bunch of Chinese to figure out how to cram all the electronics in its fancy looking cases.

Hense, the guys that can solder, don't want to be bothered, and will charge hundreds an hour, because they can.
I shudder what the next 20 years will be like in hardware, when Nobody wants to touch it here, depending on the slaves in china to produce it.:double

desiv
23rd July 2012, 03:01
Tell me about it...
We had a remote server that went down (this was maybe 4 years ago).
Me and 2 other techs went out..
Turns out, there was a fan that was showing it was missing, but it was there spinning.

So I checked and there was a microswitch that was broken.

They were talking about the server being down while we got a spare..
So I grabbed the soldering iron and just placed a drop of solder on it so it would register that it was in.
It was ugly, but it worked..

The weird thing was, the other 2 guys with me were amazed...

These are advanced server admins, and they were talking about that for weeks..
Personally, I was embarrassed that it was such a sloppy solder job. ;-)

There are SO MANY software only guys.. And so many of them know how to run a server, but not what it's actually doing....

It also makes me feel old.. ;-)

Of course, on a modern server they'd just look at the monitoring tool and see how many RPMs the fan was spinning at (or not spinning) and call the vendor..

Just makes me feel old again.. ;-)

To be fair tho, it's a cost issue too..
If it takes a tech an hour or more to fix it (no, it didn't take me that long to solder one part :-) , but it can frequently take longer to repair electronics) and the part costs less that an hour of the techs time...
From a business standpoint, it makes sense..

And hardware is cheap nowadays...

Sad, but a sign of the times..

desiv

Balooga
23rd July 2012, 03:51
Does Ray Carlsen still do repairs? I know he specializes in 8-bit CBM machines, but it doesn't hurt to ask.

http://personalpages.tds.net/~rcarlsen/

drwho
23rd July 2012, 04:18
When your motherboard dies in your PC, you don't (cant might even be a more apt term) sit there and try to fix it. The complexity level requires a skill set and tool set that is beyond most people. To be perfectly frank, it's the reason that I keep coming back to Amiga's, C64's, S-100 systems, etc. I wish it was just nostalgia, but, it's not.

My Amiga can be "known". I have a scope, a soldering iron, a usb logic probe and some ancient knowledge about electronics. If something goes wrong, I can probably figure it out.

I agree with quarkx, no one wants to bother with hardware anymore. And Desiv is right, it is a cost problem. We've become lazy, so, we don't want to do anything ourselves anymore, but, we also want everything cheap too. It's our own fault really, you cant even blame big, greedy businesses, since they are just delivering what we are asking for.

I guess if I do have any nostalgia about this stuff it's because I miss a time when we built stuff just because we wanted to know how.

If that makes me sound like an old fart then fine. I'll be at my kitchen table late at night then, fixing my Amiga's and having a great time while everyone else just keeps buying iPads from China. :cool:

ubermick
23rd July 2012, 06:32
/begin grumpy rant

Yep, back when I was a lad (and all this was fields, and I had to walk 100 miles each way to school, barefoot in the snow) there were plenty of little trade schools in Ireland where you could take a course in this. This was when China was still an unknown quantity, and the big computer giants like Apple, Microsoft, Dell, Gateway, IBM and more saw Ireland as the best place for their Euro HQs, since it had an unending supply of cheap but educated labour. Nowadays though, like everything else, jobs have been outsourced to the countries that can do it cheaper than anyone else. Manufacturing really doesn't exist in America (or Europe, that I can see anymore), preferring to not get our hands dirty, and let other countries pollute their environments while we sit back and reap the profits. The saying used to be that if you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day, but if you teach a man to fish, you feed him for life. Now it's more teach a man to fish, he breaks a nail, so let's just outsource the fishing to someone for a few pennies a day.

So annoyed have I gotten about being unable to find someone to do what's (again, led to believe!) is a bloody basic job, that I downloaded the local community college's catalogue, to see if I can take a course in PCB repair. Nothing in there. So I did a global search for just "soldering" and... nothing.

But there are DOZENS of courses in programming, from C++ through HTML, JAVA, CSS, and everything in between. Jut like quarkx, desi, and drwho are saying. Even if people WANT to learn, they have to dig and dig and dig, and even then might not come up with anything.

/end grumpy rant


Does Ray Carlsen still do repairs? I know he specializes in 8-bit CBM machines, but it doesn't hurt to ask.

http://personalpages.tds.net/~rcarlsen/

Thought about him, but right on his home page it says:


I retired from my job as a repair tech at the University of Washington in Seattle back in 2009 and likewise don't do repairs at home any longer... except for Commodore and related 8 bit hardware such as the C64 and C128 series and their peripherals. However, I don't repair the Amiga line or the PETs.

hooverphonique
23rd July 2012, 10:48
Learning the soldering process itself is not the hard part here.. You can do that by buying a few basic tools and then tinker at your kitchen table.. Performing repairs often involve electronics (sometimes combined with programming) knowledge to figure out what/where the problem is, and learning that from scratch might not be easy or possible for the average person..

I myself got into the basics as a kid, tinkering with all sorts of electrics and electronics, which basically is where I got my soldering skills from - today I hold a masters degree in CS/EE, but that only tought me how the stuff works, not how to actually put the stuff together myself physically ;-)

ptp170
23rd July 2012, 11:30
I do solder repairs all the time for clients... broken headers and replacing internal PSU fans is a common one as they tend to wear out... everybody seems intrigued when the solder station, 'helping hands', flux etc comes out... At the end of the day they're more glad that it can be up and running again in half and hour instead of having to wait for a replacement PSU to turn up.

Word of mouth means I end up repairing a lot of things on Lotus's and Nobles as well etc.

My argument is you wouldn't replace your car if you had a puncture so why would you throw away equipment that's easy (for me at least) to repair!

BLTCON0
23rd July 2012, 20:56
I guess if I do have any nostalgia about this stuff it's because I miss a time when we built stuff just because we wanted to know how.

If that makes me sound like an old fart then fine. I'll be at my kitchen table late at night then, fixing my Amiga's and having a great time while everyone else just keeps buying iPads from China. :cool:

Wise words.

bdb
23rd July 2012, 21:26
There is a set of jokes that applies here:

How many Microsoft Engineers does it take to change a light bulb? None, that's a hardware problem.

How many IBM Engineers does it take to change a light bulb? Just one, he just redefines the definition of darkness and then upgrades the customer.
===============================================
Try Ed Jefferys, Video Labs, Mission, KS (913)403-0045

unclemat
30th August 2012, 07:46
I am also looking to recap my trusty A4000 I just pulled out of storage as well as an A1000 I just bought. I would rather not ship the boards to the UK.

I found this guy: http://www.badcaps.net/

He does not advertise any Amiga experience. I just sent him an email.

Also an audio-ethusiast buddy of mine suggested audio shops. Apparently recapping is frequently done on vintage audio equipment (makes sense).

NJRoadfan
30th August 2012, 13:57
Heh, I'm on the same boat. I have been trying to find someone to recap my Macintosh Portable for a few years. No takers so far. Now I have an Amiga 4000 that could use it too (no leaking yet, just preventive maintenance).

Don't know if the badcaps guy is a viable option. All the motherboard failures from the past few years were large, easy to solder, through hole capacitors, not the tiny SMD parts. Same goes for old audio equipment.

TheMaster
30th August 2012, 14:38
I can do any repairs needed, I've been an electronics Technician for more than 25 years.
I have an hot air soldering station to replace SMD, SOIC, CHIP, QFP, PLCC, BGA components, and started to repair some Xbox 360 I have here, and already fixed 2, those are mine, so no rush, I have 3 more to go, but no time for my own stuff(always), and some Plasma and lcd boards for customers.
In the beginning we didn't replace boards, everything was at component level, not like today , a person who say's a tech, and doesn't know how to hand a soldering station !

Recently joined the community, after start to rebuilt my old computers collection, had repaired all I got , can replace all cap's, IC soquets, and anything else, I'm a MA registered Radio and TV master electronics Technician License MA9958, located in Somerville, MA.

Any questions send me a PM, I'll be glad to help.

NJRoadfan
30th August 2012, 15:54
I can do any repairs needed, I've been an electronics Technician for more than 25 years.
I have an hot air soldering station to replace SMD, SOIC, CHIP, QFP, PLCC, BGA components

You can do BGA reworks? Hmm, I have a Dell notebook here with one of those infamous defective nvidia video cards. Don't know if its against the rules here, but some pricing info would be nice.

unclemat
30th August 2012, 16:03
I can do any repairs needed, I've been an electronics Technician for more than 25 years.
I have an hot air soldering station to replace SMD, SOIC, CHIP, QFP, PLCC, BGA components, and started to repair some Xbox 360 I have here, and already fixed 2, those are mine, so no rush, I have 3 more to go, but no time for my own stuff(always), and some Plasma and lcd boards for customers.
In the beginning we didn't replace boards, everything was at component level, not like today , a person who say's a tech, and doesn't know how to hand a soldering station !

Recently joined the community, after start to rebuilt my old computers collection, had repaired all I got , can replace all cap's, IC soquets, and anything else, I'm a MA registered Radio and TV master electronics Technician License MA9958, located in Somerville, MA.

Any questions send me a PM, I'll be glad to help.

Man, you are local to me! Can't be more awesome! Sending pm right away.

Balooga
30th August 2012, 16:38
Cool

Syfo-Dyas
26th October 2013, 15:53
The master, are you still doing these repairs? I'd PM you, but I have to make a few posts here first before I can.


I can do any repairs needed, I've been an electronics Technician for more than 25 years.
I have an hot air soldering station to replace SMD, SOIC, CHIP, QFP, PLCC, BGA components, and started to repair some Xbox 360 I have here, and already fixed 2, those are mine, so no rush, I have 3 more to go, but no time for my own stuff(always), and some Plasma and lcd boards for customers.
In the beginning we didn't replace boards, everything was at component level, not like today , a person who say's a tech, and doesn't know how to hand a soldering station !

Recently joined the community, after start to rebuilt my old computers collection, had repaired all I got , can replace all cap's, IC soquets, and anything else, I'm a MA registered Radio and TV master electronics Technician License MA9958, located in Somerville, MA.

Any questions send me a PM, I'll be glad to help.

unclemat
26th October 2013, 19:17
TheMaster has never responded to my pms :(

TjLaZer
24th September 2015, 07:03
Bump, anyone that can repair Amiga's in the USA? I have an A1200 that needs repair and re-cap.

RuneRider
29th September 2015, 22:23
Bump, anyone that can repair Amiga's in the USA? I have an A1200 that needs repair and re-cap.

I can't help, but will certainly be watching and I'll let you know if I find anything in the lower 48 or Western Canada.

portarinos
30th September 2015, 05:29
What about Kipper2k? He is competent enough but where is he located in Canada? Too far for both of you?

RuneRider
30th September 2015, 15:55
What about Kipper2k? He is competent enough but where is he located in Canada? Too far for both of you?

I've been to his page and he doesn't offer recap services, but I guess it won't hurt to ask.

TjLaZer
30th September 2015, 20:05
I sent him a few emails and no reply

SirRush
1st May 2016, 20:55
I've been looking for someone to do some repairs to my CSPPC, and Picasso 4 and we as perhaps my Amiga 4000 Desktop in the US since I'm in Salem, OR. I'm in discussion with someone from the U.K. but the prices for a round trip seem to be really high. As I decided to look around, I came across this thread. I used to do soldering with Commodore 64 boards, and some other electronics. No degree, so as I'm in chats..I keep looking at my Amiga 4000 Desktop and wondering, "Hmmm...I could get back into soldering. I have very steady hands, but that's the extent of my ability. I don't have the Meter tools...but and this is something I'm pondering again and again. As I read and re-read the messages here from the others who are very skilled.
Why not more of us in the U.S. ask questions and start practicing? I'm in the later 40's, and I know there's always something to learn. In turn, we make a passionate business from it. I have deep, deep passion for Amiga. I don't only see electronic parts. I see well made games, utilities, and I personally know the fun times I have had and want to continue having with these machines. The appreciation from others, I smile every time I see that come across in some of the threads here and other foras. So, I'm pondering...there's a lot of possibility for passionate enthusiasts. I'd personally only do stuff for Amigas....but I'm also slightly nervous about goofing something. But that's the lack of not going further and building the skill.

Experienced people.. Do you REALLY need to go to School for this stuff? Here are some questions for me to start with and perhaps encourage myself to get into re-capping....

What kind of alcohol is going for cleaning boards? My Mother used to clean Boards for the Air Force, and she remembers rubbing alcohol being used. Is that the best way or is there something better? I'm thinking about giving my Picasso 4 a GOOD cleaning with Que-Tips and hoping that'll solve the challenges I've noticed with it. Would that discolor the board? Would that cause a problem later with the Circuits connections?

I know there's a Good business to be made from doing this stuff, if I CAN get into it...but I think if the labor prices are kept decent, and I can make a decent profit from it and enough to buy parts then the passion doesn't have to become high priced for U.S. "Customers"....I do jobs for. As you can tell, I'm considering a business model. I don't like that a lot of "Mom and Pop" shops are gone because of big business. This isn't an angry statement about Big Business, everyone wants to make money. I have 0 challenges with that. But I miss the passion...and don't like being treated like a number or a part number.

I have an Apple iPad 2 and it's still using iOS 6.1.3 because I love the Cool Colors and Boldness of iOS 6. iOS 7 to 9+, look like junk, ugly and bland. iOS 6 plays all the games I want. Some of the are Classic Amiga games, but the interface isn't as sweet as the Atari joystick. I see zero reason to upgrade to iOS 9+ now. I built my Windows 7 rig and it has a GeForce GTX and 16GB of RAM, and I mostly use it all for WinUAE and some other newer but older games. Half-Life 2, and so on as well as newer stuff. So, that's awesome..as well as running my own Hackintosh (Mavericks, and won't go past because they're making the new updates as ugly and bland as iOS 9+).

All in all, the Amiga is still my favorite. I though Apple would start to shine more once Mac OS X with it's multiple screens was made..and it's cool, but...ah well, Amiga is still the best.

Meanwhile, while I learn..I, too, am seeking U.S. repairs. Or some kind of kind of lower shipping rates.