Jeff Urban @JURBJoined on
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That picture was taken long ago.
I started taking things apart at a very early age. Also worked on a few TVs, not with much success. Later, when we went over to Grandpa and Grandma's on the weekends I hung around with Grandpa while my sister hung around with the Womenfolk. He was retired and doing alright, didn't need the money but went scrapping anyway. Rode around in his Pinto at 5 MPH in fourth gear and originally picked up aluminum lawn chairs from the trash. He removed the ripped up straps and rivets and took the aluminum to the scrapyard. Eventually he started picking up TVs. Well eventually we got a few working. In the next week or so I get there and he hands me some money. Not my birthday, not Christmas, what's this ? Told me the TV we fixed he sold and here is my cut. Whoa, I was just having a good time with Grandpa, never thought about money.
Later as a teenager we eventually moved to a neighborhood where there was a TV shop right by the high school. I hung around and pestered them until the boss gave me a job on Saturdays. I did pretty well. Eventually I started cutting school to go to work and started to make actual almost real money. I had a car at 15, but now I had money for gas. Never even thought about a driver's license actually. I remember my first dog, nobody could fix it. Color bars, oscillator out of sync, should have been killed by the color killer but wasn't, the control seemed to operate normally. The track inside the 1.5 meg. control was open not sending the horizontal pulse to the burst amp. Later, I was always the guy who got it when nobody else could fix it. By age 20 I was on my third car and my second job, for more money of course.
I never took any bull from any employer siting down. I had many jobs, quit many and was only out of work as long as I wanted to be. The area factory service center in the area, self described as being like working for Ford hired me over 154 other applicants. I rewrote their electronics test. Well not really, they had a multiple choice question with a partial schematic and voltage reading and asked to number a list of possible faults in order of likelihood. Well they missed one so I wrote it in. I only stayed for eight months because it was too rigid. But then I did fix a few there that were tucked away under the bench, one had an intermittently open diode in the SMPS and I found it with my scope. I let it cook and did something else. I have much experience using scopes, fixing them not so much, but I am getting into it. And then one job they tried their bull, I quit 7 times and got hired back 8 times.
My Uncle was a tech specialist at IBM after working on RADAR equipment in the Air Force. He gave me the elementary books they used to teach electronics. He also gave me my second scope, a Tek 310. The first was this giant Hickok with a tiny little screen. The Tek was triggered and that was new to me. Then I bought the 422 used and it got used more. Much more. Then my Uncle shows up with the 561A which went through hell and is now working with the help of members here. (Thanks)
I bought a 7603 missing the vertical plugin, the shop where I had worked gave me a 7613 in a basket, and I mean bad. The WRONG person tried to fix it. I had to put a couple of filters in the 7603 but then it worked using the plugin from the 7613. Then it failed and in fixing it because of my bad eyesight I fried it good. Two plugs on (IIRC) the Z axis board got interpolated and it sent 130 volts into the 5 volt line taking out the unobtainium horizontal IC. I sold both of them and that's how I met Ted, a scope buff wanting to learn electronics. Eventually I got the 7603 working again but not quite perfectly. That is on the agenda soon, along with his 7834 which I think is a fantastic scope. I can't figure out a function that a dual beam can do that the 7834 can't.
Right now I can't really work because of my eyesight, I am too slow to charge real money. But now maybe I'll get some of my tax money back. My eyes need probably a quarter million worth of work. I need the aqueous humor changed in both eyes and one more cataract removed, and my lenses are practically frozen so that means expensive progressive lenses I'll have to get used to. But for now I made a pair of glasses, the left is about -5 diopters and the right is +3 diopters and that gets me about an inch of depth perception. I am learning to cope with it and getting back into the thick of things, I had been getting lazy in the brain and now I am coming back.
This group has helped me and I appreciate it. I will reciprocate whenever possible. Even without specific experience on a unit, being largely self educated I have a slightly different perspective on things, and it has worked to my advantage for a long time.