"Tech Techniques, The Rules of Repairing Things"
There are 30 overriding rules of repairing anything. For the repair technician or public, everyone can benefit from these techniques.
What is the project?
My name is Bill Czappa and I am the owner of ARC TV service in Burbank Ca. Now in business for 28 years. I have written a book that I want to get published about my 50 years in the repair industry. I have taught scores of technicians during that time running my business and have now documented some 30 overriding rules that every repair technician must know. I have also found that even seasoned techs know many of the rules but not all of them.
These rules are so true that any error that is made in servicing anything can be traced back to one of these rules being violated.
I want to get this book published and into as many technical repair schools as I can get funding for all across the country. Secondly I want this data well known with anyone who repairs things for themselves or their friends. Whether it be servicing TV sets or aircraft, the techniques outlined in this book can save time, money, frustration and even lives. Many will find it to be enjoyable reading as I have included many actual real life examples some of which are very funny.
They are simple rules that everyone should know and use and a more detailed write-up of what these rules are can be found below.
It will be published through Book Surge. My second goal is to see how much interest there is in this book. If enough people show interest I might be able to get this to a publisher that would back it through their own advertising channels.
Why use Kickstarter for this project even though I own a business? As with many small businesses the economy has hurt our business as well and I cannot fund it myself. If it does not reach its goal it will not be published or distributed and the valuable data contained in it will never be fully known and will be lost forever.
What will the funds be used for?
It has already been written and now needs to be professionally proof read. A cover photo and layout will need to be taken. Then it will go to Book Surge for publication. Depending on how many people want the book on Kick-starter, I expect to order 1000 copies for the first publication.
Extra funds will then go to sending this book to tech schools and the Military Service Centers.
It will also be listed on Amazon.com and some of the money will go for advertising it on their site.
More about the book and techniques
You can’t just pick up an iphone or a remote control for a TV set and not have to know something about technicianing. You are going to have to learn how to use that device. And that is the first rule of technicianing, “Know how it works, know your basics.” More and more people are fixing things themselves these days in order to save money. And with all the videos we now have on the Internet some repairs are getting easier then ever, that is if you know the tech rules. And when you do have to have someone else repair something for you, he may not know them and your input may save you money and time.
This book is about all of the techniques one learns after school, the ones they don’t teach you in school, the ones people learn the hard way or by trial and error. They are not the day to day, how do you check a transistor with an ohmmeter or how to grind valves on an automobile engine. They are the things that underlie all of that.
For instance, say you are working on something and you have one problem to begin with then suddenly you have a second problem come up. What is the underlying tech rule? “Go back over what you just did and find out what new problem you created.”
Lets say you have a TV set that won’t always turn on and you found on the Internet that there are a couple of capacitors that can cause this problem. You solder them in and turn on the set and now the fuse blows. It was not blowing before, but now it is blowing. What do you do? Well, you go back over the area you just worked on and find the solder that you dropped on the circuit board that is now shorting it out. Or you find a pinched wire that is now shorting out the TV set. Or you have a closer look and make sure you installed those parts in the correct direction.
Another tech rule is, “Check the obvious.” So many times people panic and miss the obvious. It is actually one of the first rules. I had a friend working for the district attorney and she had to get a deposition out right away. Going to the copy machine she found it would not print. She hurriedly called the in house tech guy who showed her that it was just out of paper.
“If it is too hard you are using the wrong tool or the wrong technique.” You may recall some years ago engines were falling off commercial aircraft. In studying the cause they had discovered that the mechanics were taking the engines off for service in a new way that they thought was faster, instead of following the procedures that the engineers had provided. Their new way was putting undue stress on the motor mounts causing them to fail.
“Keep common parts on hand,” is another rule. There is nothing worse then driving out to a customer’s home to find you did not restock that common part, the one you now need. That is the longest ride back to the shop or the part supply store you will ever have.
“Don’t think it was designed logically.” This one is going to get you every time. Ever try to find something in a menu on your computer or TV set? You know it should be in the most logical place but it is not there. So knowing this rule, you throw logic out the window, like the engineer did, and start looking in the most un-logical places. This will often lead you to the problem.
On some TV sets they have plugs that connect one board to another, but they are not always marked and even though they may be color-coded, in some TV sets they will put a blue plug in a red socket and not bother marking it. In one set they put a red 6-pin plug all the way to the left in a black 12-pin socket with nothing marked. Now not knowing this rule, you are going to be there for days trying to trace out where that plug actually goes. So knowing this rule you would carefully mark the plugs first.
So these tech rules have an awful lot to do with saving time and not wasting money.
You will see people buying the wrong part because they did not follow the first rule of technicianing, “Know how it works, know your basics.” Look, if your car engine is turning over, it is not going to be the battery or the brakes or the water pump. If you lost the picture on your TV set and you don’t know if it is the TV or the cable box, just press the menu button on the TV’s remote control. If a menu comes up, or you can play a DVD then the TV is probably not going to be the problem. It is probably the cable box or wires from the box to the TV set.
Sometimes the things people think is wrong with something are humorous. One lady called asking for an antenna man. When asked why she wanted an antenna man she said, “Because the top of my picture is coming down so I think my antenna has lowered itself.”
So the more you know about how something works the better you will be at fixing it. And you will be saving time and money. We are lucky today to find out about all kinds of things on the Internet and YouTube.
So these are briefly a few of the 30 tech rules and whether you are a professional, or just starting out, or just fixing your own things, these rules if applied, will help you become the professional you know you are.
I have included real life examples of each rule on different items. Some are just plain funny but when you are done you will be able to cut through the confusions that are so frequent in our technical fields today.
A friend of mine just had a new radiator installed in her car a few months ago. She came to visit me and got stuck at a gas station some 5 miles away because her temperature gauge went too high. After inspecting the car I found a gash in the radiator house. Her tech did not apply a tech rule, “ Be thorough” or, Check for Chronic Troubles.” If she had know a little more about her car and hoses she might have insisted these be changed or at least thoroughly inspected. In fact another rule is, “Keep repair notes.” I have a log on all my vehicles and write down in my computer check register whenever any part is changed including mileage at that time. So I always know when something is old or still in warranty. I have gotten 300,000 miles on one truck and 400,000 on another.
This will also make the next step possible, which is an actual training manual for the military and tech schools since I have found none of them teaching these techniques.
Thank you for you time and consideration.
I have been a service repair technician since I was twelve. My training started in electric shop in junior high school and continued through high school and then Santa Monica College. I was originally taught TV service by RCA Service Company in the late 60’s and I have been working in that industry my entire life. I have now owned my own service center for over 28 years in Burbank Ca. www.arctv.net. I have trained scores of people during that time, some right out of tech school others with no electronic or mechanical background. My company is among the top 5% of companies on Angie's list and has received the Superior Service Award for three years in a row. This year we received the 2012 top service and repair award in Burbank Ca.
I have also been an artist and writer during that time, building complex artworks that utilize my electronic and mechanical skills, which can be seen on my web site, www.czappa.com. Over 70 have been completed to date and I have sold work internationally. The art work that heads this project is one of mine called "Monument to the End of Time."
I have had more then 25 short stores and articles on repair published in the Burbank Leader, Glendale News Press and the Tolucan newspaper. I wrote a column for the Burbank Leader for a short while as well.
I have published two books so far and my book of short stories is on Amazon.com and other web sites. My writing has been applauded by thousands of my customers over the years.
Risks and challenges
There should be no risk in writing this project as it has already been written. A draft will have to be proof read and I have people lined up for that. I don't know how fast the publisher works though. That could tie the book up probably no more then a month.
The biggest challenge I see is getting it into the hands of the right people in the various tech schools. Getting past the gatekeepers and finding out who in a particular school should get a copy will take time. I am still working on finding a publisher that will put up their own advertising dollars to promote the book. If that were to happen I could fill the Kickstarter orders through "Book Surge" so no one would have to wait for a book.
The largest challenge though is that these tough economic times have resulted in my daughter, her husband and their four kids moving in with me. I love my extended family but this has put time and financial stresses on me, while I continue to run one of the few electronic repair shops in Los Angeles that fixes everything from flatscreen LED televisions to antique lamps to microwave ovens.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (33 days)