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Right To Repair

Discussion in 'audio' started by Tony L, Dec 15, 2020.

  1. djftw

    djftw Heterodox Member

    Better implementation of a circuit Naim copied out of an electronics magazine? :D:D:D
    Nytechy likes this.
  2. russel

    russel ./_dazed_and_confused

    djftw likes this.
  3. Darren L

    Darren L pfm Member

    Anything over 40 years old(on a rolling format ) or even if the V5c states that it's over 40 years old, so pre 1979 at present and pre 1980 in a couple of weeks time does not require either MOT or Tax.

    But far more important than any legal requirement is your responsibility for your own safety and that of other road users.
  4. flatpopely

    flatpopely Prog Rock/Moderator

    I don’t know about other brands but JVC, up-to the amps I have, supplied service manuals with full schematics, board layouts and parts list. I’m talking AX Z1010 and AX 1...4. Think 1990.
  5. davidsrsb

    davidsrsb pfm Member

    russel and MartinC like this.
  6. RustyB

    RustyB Registered Ginga

    Given that trouble-shooting/repairing some electronics, eg SMD, can be difficult/costly, surely there's an argument, from both a practical and green perspective to mandate products to be built from easily replaceable boards/modules. So, for example, a small board/module ends up in landfill, rather than the whole component.
  7. wd40addict

    wd40addict pfm Member

    The 90s was where the rot set in and not just in Hi-Fi. Companies like HP who had once produced excellent service manuals for their test gear stopped releasing circuit diagrams etc. Presumably an accountant said "what are we doing this for? If the equipment goes wrong either we fix it or sell them a new one!"

    Naim never released circuits, but the amount of gear out there meant it eventually got reversed engineered.

    In Naim's defence in their pre venture capital days their service costs were reasonable and they will still fix older equipment (unlike Linn).

    Basically the West's model of economies based on consumer spending means it's in the government's interest for the time from leaving the shop to being landfill to be as short as possible.
  8. awkwardbydesign

    awkwardbydesign Officially Awesome

    Apparently you didn't look at the context of my post.
  9. Timcat

    Timcat pfm Member

    In the UK, the owner of a patented article is entitled to repair it by replacing parts etc., without risking infringing a patent for the whole article, so long as the repair work does not amount to making the article afresh. The lead case concerned a bulk container that comprised a plastic bottle housed within a metal cage. The bottles wear out but the cages tends not to do so. The Supreme Court (UK) held that replacing the original bottle with a third party manufactured bottle did not amount to making the whole container and, thus, did not infringe a patent for the container. If anyone is interested, here's a link to the judgement:

    The most relevant part of the judgement is in para. 66.
  10. Jim Audiomisc

    Jim Audiomisc pfm Member

    If you are that puzzled by the lack og details I can happily add it was a 'Philips' badged DVD videorecorder. And many years ago when rather less information was available on the net. Although I think I did raise it at the time on usenet.

    It was unrepairable because Philips no longer provided the special parts. Their 'solution' to the EU requirement was simply to tell me that they'd sell me a new - different and less capable - recorder at its wholesale price.

    Hope that helps. :)
  11. flatpopely

    flatpopely Prog Rock/Moderator

    That would be ideal but the components required to provide the features sets demanded by people today pretty much mandated the use of SMD.
  12. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    SMD really isn’t a deal-breaker. I’ve watched hours and hours of folk working on computers and, other than being small, it is not hard. You need a steady hand, a £200 microscope, a £200 hot air station, the correct amount of flux*, and a steady hand. The reason it is viewed as ‘hard’ is because people who haven’t done it think it is impossible! I was certainly guilty of this before spending some very considerable time researching. The key requirement is documentation, schematics, test procedures etc, just as for any complex electronics. Sure you can’t just look at it and see a familiar circuit topology like a Mullard 5/10 or whatever, but that does not make it landfill material.

    *Any viewers of Louis Rossmann’s channel will know what this is!

    PS We have a couple of people here on pfm who can do this stuff to my knowledge, i.e. there will be far more lurking. It is possible.
    e53 likes this.
  13. djftw

    djftw Heterodox Member

    Of course not, this is the internet! :rolleyes:;)
  14. djftw

    djftw Heterodox Member

    I don't have anything like Jez's level of expertise, but I have fixed a few iPhones in the same way an Apple Shop would, i.e. you replace the whole board or assembly where the fault is, and that is bloody fiddly enough. Apple do not make getting parts easy through them though, which in the vein of this thread I think they could use some encouragement to. I sort of understand their thinking with their 3rd party repairer certification scheme, but in practice I'm not sure it achieves what they intend. And the parts mysteriously show up on eBay anyway, but you run the risk of getting a non-genuine part or non-working part going that route...
  15. djftw

    djftw Heterodox Member

    Can you point me in the direction of the directive you are referring to? Sad act PIR graduate that I am I'm on the Commission website reading up about "sustainable product policy and ecodesign" and can't actually find this requirement? Not trying to argue with you just curious! It looks like some fairly robust requirements are coming into force for various categories of white goods in 2021 including for spares to be available for 10 years, which is surely good news whatever the hell happens with Brexit? However they get here, UK versions are still going to be basically the same products made for the EU market, we might just have to pay taxes, duties and tariffs to bring in spares from the mainland!
  16. djftw

    djftw Heterodox Member

    Absolutely, I was agreeing with you Jez. I was just saying that that is fiddly enough when you're talking about tech on that scale! It's worth doing on newer iPhones that are expensive to replace, but a three year old iPhone SE is worth what, £50? I'm not sure I'd bother except maybe out of poverty or boredom!
    Arkless Electronics likes this.
  17. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    The simple fact is SMD can be reworked. This is absolutely indisputable. There is little in a typical modern hi-fi component more complex than you’d find in a 30 year old Amiga yet there are independent repair techs working on cutting edge modern laptop, smartphone and tablet technology right across the planet. I have no idea why this in even being debated here, a simple search on YouTube will find quite literally thousands of hours of visual evidence of people, including many amateurs, fixing stuff with hot-air rework stations.

    Please do not allow this thread to be derailed by agendas. The facts are clear. The core issue is parts, schematics, documentation, test and diagnosis procedures etc. With these repair is possible. Without it is not.

    This is an important topic and whilst I’m obviously a vintage audio advocate myself the core issue is way, way bigger than that. SMD does not have to equal landfill!
    e53, russel, Jono_13 and 3 others like this.
  18. gints

    gints pfm Member

    With modern electronics trouble is that part prices going down, work price up. Also there are software related issues. Many perfectly good electronics is not needed anymore because they cannot run modern software. For example my perfectly good phone already can be put on slow motion occasionally by bloody heavy adverts on web pages. What idiots are making them, I do not know, and if my phone breaks down, I will have to make decision which even not related to repair cost. The same can happen to streamers or everything in audio with computing involved. Look at AV receivers, does it worth to repair them? Every other year some next big thing happens. Same about TV, eh. Digital amplifiers, on which generation we are now? Dacs, same people changing them every six months.
    It is good to have rights to repair, but first you have to be attached to things to want them to be repaired. It is becoming more and more difficult nowadays.
  19. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I think we are at least at some point at cross-purposes. When I say I am arguing for ‘right to repair’ I am arguing for precisely that. That means parts as well as schematics and procedural documentation. A situation where you can scope the board, establish the likely fault condition and obtain the part to fix it. That means manufacturers and suppliers maintaining stocks, and anything requiring firmware coming pre-flashed or being possible to flash in situ (e.g. via USB).

    There will obviously be some scenarios that are not economically repairable, and there are many examples of that on traditional kit (e.g. re-winding output transformers or voice-coils on kit without high value), and some LSI BGA would clearly come under this. The majority of SMD repairs are however of bad capacitors etc, and that is very easily doable. Chips are pretty long lasting on the whole. As stated many times I’m also a vintage computer geek and know that whole area very well and get to see a lot of it, know the issues etc, and the vast majority comes back to life after replacing capacitors, either through-hole on the really ancient stuff, or SMD on Amiga-generation onwards.

    Here’s an appropriate rant from Louis Rossmann on the viability of BGA rework. He is someone who can even re-ball huge CPUs etc, so is speaking from a position of real knowledge, though as he says in his area the issue is mainly that you can not buy the chips so end up wasting hours on a repair where you don’t even know whether the replacement is a functioning chip as Apple will not sell them so you are cannibalising used parts boards etc.

    PS I do agree with you in considering bespoke display panels to be a weakness and I do avoid them wherever possible, especially LCDs which seem far less durable than LED. I have a few 1970s LED calculators that still work perfectly, plus most 1st generation CD players are still fine in this regard (even if they won’t play a disc due to a sticky transport or shot laser!) and they are getting on for 40 years old now. This is not inherently bad technology, but obviously impossible to replace unless you can find the specific bespoke component.
  20. Mick P

    Mick P Retired and content

    I tend to agree with Tony (rare occurrence) but I cannot see it ever happening. Back in the days of 1979 - 1982 I was the Deputy Purchasing Manager for Massey Ferguson's European Parts Operation. The job was mainly trying to buy new things that kept the Marketing Dept happy but which usually totally pissed off suppliers who thought we were being unrealistic on specs etc.

    On of my biggest problems was Citizen Band Radio. The Marketing Dept identified a reasonable market where farmers would take their CB radio out with them in the fields and on tractors etc and could be in constant touch with their wives back at the farm. The marketing department reckoned that we should buy a CB radio with the Massey Fergus logo imprinted it and it should be to military standard and totally waterproof, ie it should stand up to heavy rain and being dropped in puddles etc. Also it had to be dirt cheap.

    I eventually identified a maker who could supply such a unit and have the MF image branded on it. Now here comes the rub. The CB unit was bash proof and totally waterproof but in order to achieve this the case of very thick plastic was all but impossible to open up and therefore unrepairable. We then investigated the possibility of employing a specialist repairer who could open up the case to carry out repairs. The next problem was that the CB supplier would only guarantee supply of the parts for 7 years on the condition that we paid for the parts in advance and allowed them to store them which was a bit of a no no. The main problem was that specs were changing fast and becoming obsolete in just a few years. Any further purchases would become enormously expensive due to the low and unpredictable quantities. If old things become expensive, they are usually just dumped and a new replacement bought.

    This was 35/38 years ago and technology has moved on and demand for those parts today is probably zilch. I cannot see how anyone could source those parts at any sort of realistic price. Perhaps some sort of non original modification could be allowed but if it were made law, the EU would almost certainly insist that only licensed repairers could do the work on anything electrical. The UK would certainly do the same Brexit or no Brexit.
    timpy likes this.

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