SPG - Repair Cafe

Post date: Mar 18, 2017

repair cafe ad poster

Today we went to the first Repair Cafe in Stanthorpe. There were 4 repairers plus 2 more available to either fix bicycles or musical instruments. We set up inside because it was raining and wet outside. The first items arrived promptly! An alarm clock with no sound and a child's talking soft toy. Soon after an old fan presented with buttons not staying down i.e. one has to hold the button down for it to work! everyone soon busy...

The fan was old, made in Taiwan, but easy to take apart. A good clean of the mechanical button switches and it worked again! Good for another 20 years perhaps!? Satisfying to repair old things built to last as that means not having to replace it with the designed obsolescence of cheap Chinese made appliances of nowadays...

The alarm clock was very difficult to take apart, with one hexagonal screw along with normal phillips ones. This had to be drilled out as the head was stripped by a previous repair attempt. It then had to be pulled apart as it had also been glued. Obviously made not to be repaired! Anyhow, it seems the speaker still worked (tested with a battery voltage applied across it), and so presumed that something on the electronic circuit board was at fault in not outputting the sounds to the speaker. Disappointing.

The soft toy had lots of thin wires inside the stuffing and then an integrated circuit board controlling the functionality. Again, nothing obviously repairable, so disappointing to give it back 'talkingless'. On the positive side, a rice cooker was brought in by a Taiwanese woman that was not switching on. On opening up and testing at various points with a meter, we quickly deduced where the problem was - a blown thermal fuse! Again, poor design - it should be a resettable fuse:

fault finding

So, after a quick visit to Top Beat, a new one was purchased for $3.50 and installed. 1 rice cooker averted from the tip and a very very happy lady who won't be burning her rice on the stovetop anymore ;)

Two chairs easily repaired and safer to use:

fixing chair
chair repair

A stick blender was brought in late in the session and after much difficulty in opening it up - again NOT designed to be fixed - it turns out a blown fuse on the circuit board was to blame (again, why not a resettable fuse!?). Destined for the dump (and re-purchase) due to a $1 fuse weak point!! A sad world capitalism has caused...

And to finish off, a repair for the cafe's kitchen - a lid's handle glued back in place!!

Thanks to Yvette and the cafe for hosting us all and providing sustenance as needed - yummy! A second Repair Cafe is on the cards in a few months time. Look out for it and save your repair items!

Thank you to all the helpers for coming, giving up their time, and sharing their skills :)