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Thread: How did you get into and learn what you know about tech repair?

  1. #1
    . GhoostWhaat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2018


    How did you get into and learn what you know about tech repair?

    So as a console game collector, I'm increasingly realizing that it is really in my best interest to learn how to work with and repairs electronics. The problem is, I have absolutely no electronics or soldering experience.

    In my search to figure this shit out, my question for you all is... how did you do it? How did you learn techniques, what equipment to buy, and how to complete these types of repairs? I know soldering is a thing in mod chips and may be required in repairs and other wiring components, do you know and how did you learn how to do that?

    On top of this, please share any advice you may have for those looking to gain more knowledge or experience in these fields.

  2. #2
    Ghost Of Captain Kidd
    titchgamer's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    United Kingdom

    In regards to consoles there is only really Soldering and cleaning not much else except for maybe replacing the odd plug or power lead.

    In regards to cabinets well there is significantly more!

    I learnt how to solder at school and furthered it a bit at college.
    My problem is as I got older I cant keep my hands steady enough to do any fine work but I can just about manage a battery replacement or something with a decent size pad.

    Anything that involves more than that I contract out to one of a few guys that do work for me.

    In regards to learning buy a soldering iron and solder etc.
    Dont buy a really shitty one spend a few quid on one you can adjust the temperature on.
    Then practice!

    I started learning to tin wires, Then joining them. After that move onto knackered PCB boards out of old computers etc and try removing parts and putting them back in.

    Youtube has some good videos but its all about practice.

  3. #3
    Galford's Armourer
    NexusX's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Houston, Tx

    Buying my first soldering iron. Starting small like battery replacements. Then moved on to Recapping boards. Eventually I started to do some trace repair and part replacement. Once I got my hot air blower I was able to mess with surface mount repair (with mixed results due to skill). I still am not a fan of surface mount soldering but that is just part of the journey I suppose. It is fun and rewarding when a dead board finally boots for the first time in front of you after your work.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2019

    I have very limited soldering skills and most of what I learned came from hours of watching videos specific to the repairs I am attempting. I solder copper tubing at work, and am familiar with working hot metals, so I assume that I can do anything and everything. I did a lot of "practice" on random dead electronics, removing components and reinstalling them just to get the feel for it. One of the best things I did was purchase a decent soldering station, and it allowed me to do more with my limited knowledge. I don't understand anything about electronics, and only have a basic grasp of the methodology of how hot metal can be used to create quality connections. I have replaced capacitors that failed, and could do more. The most complex thing I have done to date was a PSIO unit for my playstation, and quite honestly after practice and watching videos of it seemed quite simple. I have good vision and a semi-steady hand, which helps as much of this sort of work is very detail oriented and small scale. I will not work on something that I can't live without. I am not that good. Having a multimeter is essential to verify everything you do, as well as a quality soldering iron. I know that IF I intend to keep these older video game systems in working order, there is always the potential for something electrical to fail, which Is why I got into this part of the hobby....and in a way is essential for hardcore collectors. I can't imagine how much basic repairs would cost to have a professional do it, but It can't be cheap, nor should it be. Also, my brother has a degree in electrical engineering, and works small PCBs all day every day. Sure he hates "talking shop", but he has been a wealth of knowledge as well.

    This guy is somewhat corny, but his videos are excellent and very telling of various different processes. He knows what he is doing from what I can tell and does quite a bit that I would never imagine myself attempting.

  5. #5

    Neo Alec's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2000

    I have no educational background in electronics. I started soldering in 2005 with an easy starter training kit and built a supergun. Now I have decent quality soldering and desoldering stations.

    I'm really not sure if I had the opportunity to do it all again if I would even try getting into it. I've probably broken almost as many things as I've fixed/made. I am not a neat person in general when it comes to making or working on things. Just don't have the patience.

    If any of my consoles need a full recap (only did audio on our Duo) then I'll probably have to send it to someone else to do the work neatly.
    Last edited by Neo Alec; 09-16-2019 at 04:34 PM.

  6. #6
    CPS2 Person.
    mainman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Torrance, California, USA

    Taking apart various electronics as a child experimenting. Two years vocational training in electronics during high school, four years of college after, 18 years of employment in the Aerospace industry at Teledyne, Honeywell, Raytheon and currently Northrop. Do I get the job.

    Edit as far as my equipment setup I have everything from the common multi meter to my second hand seldom used VNA

    What you need is a good rework station for both surface mount and through hole IC, a decent multimeter and a rom burner and most importantly the patience to learn which will include failing sometimes. As for soldering techniques, that's something you will have to learn by doing. Troubleshooting, ask for advise and learn as you go.

    The good stuff like Weller, Fluke, Tek, Keysight might be to pricey although those are the brands I buy and use.

    I think this setup will cover all your needs
    Last edited by mainman; 09-16-2019 at 09:27 PM.

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  7. #7
    Kyo's Flame
    DanAdamKOF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Sunnyvale, CA

    I guess I learned from asking friends and taking notes for the most part. Also built a few projects and did some repairs early on, and got a feel for how I best handle the stages of note taking, wiring, stripping, organizing, etc. That and the Search Function on this very site and other forums.

    For soldering in particular I got some junk PC parts (like ISA modems) and practiced on there until I felt confident enough to work on arcade parts. Good prep work, good lighting, and good accessories (helping hands if you can, if not at least tape the thing down so it doesn't scoot) makes a huge difference. For wiring neatness I like to look at photos of nicely made projects and learn from them.

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