why do people think this is going to work?

roy_bates

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it dawned on me over the entire time ive been a member of this site how silly some things seem to me.

ill explain...in general and it goes for everyone.

people who turn on a 20+ year old machine and dont check it first not knowing the condition of any electrical component or how long it hasnt been on for or any history of its working condition and expect the damn machine to work? seriously?
its just ridiculous to me to see these threads opening up asking for help and its clear to me that no-one has inspected anything inside the computers or monitors or there power supply's or ad-dons.

so...

check the hardware internally even if you dont know anything about it it only takes a few minutes most of the time for corrosion damaged components dry joints etc BEFORE powering it on....if it looks bad it normally is...
if it has mains going into it and your worried or dont know what to do,send it to someone who can.

im tired of seeing endless threads asking for help,then having them wonder why it dont work? or why the damn machine exploded in their faces or worse like electric shock plugging in monitor cables and such while its on not knowing its working condition...partly help yourselves first by following some damn common sense.
a faulty machine can go down hill really fast and may even get worse damage wise by not inspecting it first before powering it on.
dont expect it to work if it was done someones shed on a basement or attic...

its bloody simple people,check it first if it looks ok then your chances of repairing it goes up by several hundred percent...i mean it.

if you dont know anything about electronics or cant be bothered or know how to inspect hardware before powering it on...
either dont bother to get the damn machine in first place or send it to someone who can repair it,you cant expect miracles if you know nothing yourself to help the matter all youll be doing is lots of guess work and so will the people who help you in the threads.

some of these machines without maintenance can kill you im bloody serious,some people even get offended when asked if they know anything about electronics.
why ask,if you know nothing about it,im asking people to reason with themselves.
your asking for help,not the people trying to help you.

thats all,i hope people understand why im mentioning this...its for you own good.

its not a rant,this sort of thing gets right up my nose sometimes.inspection is FIRST not second or third down the list after powering it on.
seriously,try it..and please make it second nature.


and this right above the capacitor has gone bad brigade,but thats for another day...
 
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DutchinUSA

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Did one of your capacitors go bad Roy? :D

Just messin' .. I hear ya ! I do usually visually inspect under the hood, not monitors though, I don't usually bother with those, they scare me a bit :run:
 

diskers

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First old hardware is old, people should know that like for old cars it's a hobby and knowing about mechanics helps a lot as well as knowing about electronics in this particular case helps also a lot. Like every hobby it's a pocket drain. Frankly speaking for your daily work what can be usefull in a C64, Amiga, even 486 or Pentium nowdays... Apart other machines I have a 5x86 with 100Mbps Ethernet card , USB extension card, MIDI devices, DVD-ROM a fast ultra66 IDE controler and an overall 137GB in 4 HDDs that are 3 CFs and an IDE SSD drive. Yes sure I used two times Word 95 and printed over network. But how fast it can be and how far it's pushed to it limits all of those are old machine that are bought by people driven by nostalgia and willing to keep those machines alive and to experiment for the only sake of doing it. For a person that wants to only pleasantly revive the old days there's two alternatives starting with emulators and finishing by FPGA machines. Calculating it carefully even a FPGA machine is cheaper than gathering all hardware and keeping it alive. I would encourage all of those who don't know a thing about electronics to learn and if without success to have a big purse or to leave all this, because a nice nostalgia dream can quiet quickly turn into a very expensive and frustrating nightmare... Remember all old computers are in the majority of cases like an unrequited love ;) :D
 
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supaduper

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Wise words Roy, the times I have bought old hardware and before plugging it in I have looked at the PSU and found some horror`s ! I bet you have too, this is one of the reasons if you buy at Antique fares they cut the power cord off.
 
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kenshigros

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Hi
I understand you and I am one of the people who did not go that far at school and I am more of a USER if you know what I mean (a lamer if you prefer).
I agree with you but I have to say that your message goes first for the sellers who are not always nice people (hiding or not respecting the things they are selling).
I have to say because of this website I learned more about electronics thru threads and people's problems.
Nice message and thanks to community.
Godspeed!

Alexandre
 

Bryce

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Hi Roy,
I get your rant point, but the problem is that many users won't know what they are looking for and can't tell a bad capacitor from a good one even if it was staring them in the face. It's a shame to see these computers then being damaged further through lack of knowledge, but that's life. I put it into the same catagory as people who go and buy themselves a brand new Porsche and then plough it into the next decent sized tree because they've never driven a rear wheel drive with that much power.

Bryce.
 

Firthy2002

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Know what you mean mate.
Have been tidying under my bed, have pulled out everything.

Did some basic visual checks before powering anything on to test, a fair bit I knew I could straight bin without needing to go anywhere near a mains supply.

Like most people I am mostly a user and have never really got my hands dirty with electronics.
I've always wanted to gain at least basic electronics skills so I can attempt low level repairs and general maintenance to keep my kit going and perhaps resurrect easily fixable dead kit.
 

fitzsteve

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I've picked up some pretty reasonable skills from fellow users of these boards over the years but I was a novice when I first joined.

I think a lot of new people that come to the scene expect Amiga's (at least the A1200) to be a bit like a console, turn it on and it works sort of thing.

I wouldn't expect novices to open up a machine and start checking the electrical condition though, visual inspection of the power supply for frays in the mains lead for example or any clear damage to the machine externally should suffice, but before that really a complete novice should probably avoid buying something with no history in the first place.
 

roy_bates

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yes,a complete novice shouldn't be going inside a machine as they probably wont know what they are looking at.but here are cases were its ok.
i was thinking more a general inspection of its internal condition,not essentially power supplys but the computers/consoles themselves ive seen some pretty nasty internal condition of some boards over the years as im willing to take risks myself with all sorts of hardware,but i do encourage people i collect hardware off to not power them on as it makes my life a bit harder fixing them sometimes.
especially if its an old monitor that hasnt been used for years its a really bad idea to power them on after a couple of decades under normal conditions if its been in the attic or garage.but i dont expect people to go looking in the back of those.

the point i was making if any,was to open the machine and look inside sometimes if its of dubious/unknown nature the board might have spilled substances, broken or missing parts inside or even lots of corrosion on the boards even rust etc.or even an inch worth of dust and dirt in there.
im not aiming this at sellers themselves most just want to sell them and know nothing about them... im aiming this at buyers as well...its so tempting to get a piece of hardware and just use it.
this is because most people will give the machines an external wipe over,it may look fine externally even quite good.
obviously,if its shown working there isnt much point in going through this most of the time.
although,even if a visual inspection all seems well...if it looks bad it normally is.

sometimes it seems like its harsh saying this,but its better to stay away from hardware no matter how cheap it is if its uncertain as to its working condition no matter how cheap it is.unless your willing to take the risk and fix it yourself or get someone who can.
and by can fix it...i mean really can.
its not necessarily cheaper to fix these machines yourself after buying the tools and components.and you wont learn overnight how to either.
sometimes theres lots of looking for service manuals/schematics and understanding them first,lots of homework before committing to it proper.
if someone knows nothing at all,its wiser to stay away from it or get someone willing to do it for them.

also,as its so tempting at first to get a soldering iron or get a mate down the road to look at it...and the person who can fix it is sometimes third or forth option after someone has looked at it could of made it worse to repair,ive seen this happen so many times even on what is actually a simple repair even if the time spent is long escalate into very difficult to put right after a bad repair.
but,then again its easier said them done...and i do understand how easy and tempting it is to go this way.especially when time is offered free.

im not saying dont buy them,im saying dont try to do it yourself if you dont know how.:) it could be made near impossible to put right after or very difficult.

i dont want people to feel bad about getting an old machine at all,it has its responsibility's in owning one and some of these are and can be high maintenance sometimes but not always.
and,well...they can fail on there own as well its not like there getting any younger.
 

kenshigros

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And who knows - sometimes you even find treasure hidden inside tvset....happened already...
 

freehand

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About a year ago I had a c64 and monitor I was going to sell.

The monitor was stored for many years and unused covered up in the bed room I hooked both of them up and soak tested for a few hours to make sure all was good.

After 3 to 4 hours the c64 went quite I was running uridium at the time the intro was looping as I looked round from my main system the c64 monitor was on fire, I have seen many monitors pop but never seen one on fire.

I run to the mains switch and had trouble reaching the switch because the monitor was in the way but held my breath and reached around the back.

My room stunk of smoke for a week or 2 and seriously scared the **** out of me.

After that I purchased a fire blanket and a power protection plug so I can easily hit the button and cut power and always use when testing gear.

I have had many many old systems over the years but that was a first for me and with in a few seconds I was nearly in serious trouble.

Good thread and should be a sticky of some sort about the dangers of old gear.
 

fitzsteve

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Good points there freehand, fire is one of my main concerns with old kit and I never ever leave it switched on and unattended. I have surge protectors and the main switches are accessible like you say. Never thought about a fire blanket before, it's a really good idea to have one in the house even just for stove top fires.

And, well you don't really want to be throwing a wet towel over an electrical fire for obvious reasons!
 

roy_bates

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thats a good question,how old is old...

the age of it isnt always the problem but its condition at the time is.
systems collect dust and dirt over the years and sometimes it can build to such a state having any problem on the power circuit can ignite it.
crt's are prone to collecting dust anyway and they run hot.
they can get to the state the air vents get blocked etc,joints go bad cables even rot.
computers arnt immune to this either,open an old machine kept in the attic or even a clean dry area...youll find plenty of dust and dirt inside.
unless it was stored in a sealed box like a time capsule theres no way around it.

another hazard is damp areas,which does have the same effect maybe even more in hardware known to get hot in use.

but,with that said.
old for me would anything over ten years old,say ten to thirty years.
for the most part,thats more than enough time for something to go bad just sitting around.

the problem with attics,cellars and even garages.is the variance in temperatures and conditions in them as time goes by.
they can be extreme,just think about it...you wouldnt live in some of them normally.
some get extremely hot and then very cold...and humidity and damp.
let alone the hardware's uncanny ability to collect dust and dirt all on its own.

basically,if anyone puts something in storage in a place like this.the the result after a decade or so is just luck after that it works.
and the more extreme,the luck percentage changes with it and sometimes not for the good.

even then,sometimes there is no way around it,even if you seal it in a bag you can get humidity and it would still be open to the elements temperature wise.

and i really want to say this,its not just old crt's and computers that are prone to this either...take a look in the back of a lcd under normal conditions it might be a eye opener:)
and thats inside your own home...where you live.
so,dont be surprised when a console,led tv or even a new computer fails after five years.


another point of all this,is to make people aware this is a constant.its not to scare people its there all the time every day.
giving it a wipe over dont remove it from the inside.

ive got more than a few monitors,and they all work fine after a service.
fixing them isnt everyone's cup of tea i suppose.they are a bit scary to a point until you understand them.
i think they get a bad name just purely on the way they work alone sometimes,let alone when they go bad.
its understandable the way some think about them,i actually like them along with the computers they were used with.
 
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