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    Simple Electronic Repairs

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    Three First Place Winners Earn a Shopping Cart of $100 (from element14 sites)!

    This month's theme is Simple Electronic Repairs and comes from fvan .  The idea is to repair a device that is malfunctioning instead of throwing it away or buying a replacement. Simple electronic repairs is good first step before tackling a full blown electronic projects on your own.  This is a good opportunity to start tinkering with an electronic gadget you love but might be missing because its no longer working.For example, want to make that discontinued ipod classic that stopped working more than just a collectors item?  You could not only repair it but give it a larger storage capacity, maybe even replace the spinning hard drive with solid state drive. Another discontinued you could repair is the Pebble watch.  The front of the glass isn't fused to the display and it includes a replaceable battery.


    You can also give new life to laptops, smartphones, or tablets that are sitting there collecting dust but you've never gotten around to getting rid of.  Many old Dell laptops, for instance,  label their screws and connectors for easy assembly with end user self-repair in mind.  Even when its a little trickier, such as with Apple products, many people have saved themselves a lot of money, not to mention long waits in line, by replacing batteries, screens, or hard drives that Apple would have you believe you couldn't fix yourself.


    As fvan points out simple electronic repairs doesn't need to be complicated, such as repairing a faulty switch and will give you insights into some troubleshooting techniques.  He uses a malfunctioning Xbox guitar (pictured right) as an example. One of the buttons would only allow you to go up instead of up or down, seriously limiting your options of what you could rock to. Rather then throwing the guitar away and getting a new one he opened it up to discover a reed switch was used for each position. One of these switches was constantly "ON", even in idle position, due to the magnet and switch being too close to each other. By gently bending the legs of the reed switch a little further away, it created enough distance to move set it as "OFF" in the idle position.  guitar.gif


    Perhaps you picked up a really cool piece of vintage tech from a garage that needs a little work before its restored to its former glory. A lot of older tech has a larger and more modular design which allows defective modules or subassemblies to be quickly identified and easily replaced. This is in stark comparison to a lot of modern electronics, with a smaller footprint and necessitating more compact, specialized components and package assembly, it can be difficult to fix anything yourself without special desoldering equipment, tweezers, magnifying glass, or dealing with the manufacturer.


    Simple electronic repairs is an opportunity learn about how your favorite electronic devices work. In the process you can bring to life amplifiers, video devices, game consoles, musical instruments, music players, speakers, cameras, phones, computers, laptops, tablets, and more.


    How to Win

    Come Up With a Clever Name
    Stick to the Theme
    • A clever name can make your project memorable.
    • The right name can distinguish your project from others and help create buzz around your project.
    • This project is your baby! Part of the fun of bringing something new into the world is coming up with a name.
    • If you have an idea for a project that doesn't fit the current theme then submit your idea in the comments section of the monthly poll.
    Be Original
    Submit Video Proof
    • Providing the steps you took to complete your project (text, video, or images) and providing video proof should be sufficient in most cases.
    • If your project introduces something new or something that is not commercially available or affordable then that counts!
    • If it doesn't work that's fine, this program is more about the journey than the end product.
    • A short video is all that is required but you can shoot as much video as you like.
    • You are encouraged to be creative and have as much fun as possible!

    Your Project Examples

    Monthly Theme: Simple Electronic Repairs

    Worklog : Repair of 20-year old precision multimeter, HP 3458A



    The Monthly Theme You Voted for: Simple Electronic Repairs



    Ben Heck's Xbox Laptop Repair


    Your Project, Your Ideas!

    About Project14

    Every month you'll have a new poll where you'll get to decide an upcoming project competition, based on your interests, that will take place a couple of months in advance. Themes are broad in scope so that everyone can participate regardless of skill set.


    What are Monthly Themes?

    • Every month (around the 14th of each month) a new theme will be posted on Project14.
    • Submit your ideas (proposals) for your projects to get feedback from the rest of the community.
    • Submit a project entry in the Theme space once you start working on it.


    What are Monthly Theme Polls?

    • Every month (around the 14th of each month) there is a project theme poll.
    • Vote on which project competition you want to see for the following upcoming theme.
      • The themes voted on during the previous poll decided the upcoming theme.
      • If you submit an idea for a theme that is not used then it can still be used in a future poll.
    • Themes comments and ideas from the comments section of the project theme poll.

    Step 1: Log in or register on element14, it's easy and free.

    Step 2: Post in the comments section below to begin a discussion on your idea. Videos, pictures and text are all welcomed forms of submission.

    Step 3: Submit a blog post of your progress on your project by the end of the month.  You are free to submit as many blog entries as you like until the beginning of the next theme.


    Be sure to include video proof of your project!


    Visit: Simple Electronic Repairs




    You have until December 14th, 12:00 AM CDT to submit your completed project!


    A jury consisting of your peers will judge project submissions!


    Let us know your ideas for a Simple Electronic Repair Project in the comments below!


    You have until December 14th, 12:00 AM CDT to submit your completed project!