"Retro Repair" key electronics skills?

Robert Jarratt robert.jarratt at ntlworld.com
Mon May 9 22:40:30 CDT 2016

> -----Original Message-----
> From: cctalk [mailto:cctalk-bounces at classiccmp.org] On Behalf Of Swift
> Griggs
> Sent: 09 May 2016 22:37
> To: General Discussion: On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts
> <cctalk at classiccmp.org>
> Subject: "Retro Repair" key electronics skills?
> I figure I'm good for about eighty hours or so of reading and fooling
> with electronics before I'll want to move onto a different hobby for a
while (I
> rotate through a whole bunch). That's my normal MO. So, I'm wondering
> what kind of skills I could build with that time, once I get started. I'd
love to
> hear if anyone has suggestions for how to use my time wisely to learn
> that would be most useful for working on older machines (mid 80's to late
> 90's is my focus as far as a hardware bandpass).

You don't list being able to repair power supplies below. I would thoroughly
recommend that as a valuable skill for older machines. I don't have any
great skill there either, what I do know has come from people on this list
very generously helping me out.



> Here's what I (think) I know now:
> - Basics about electricity. Ie.. Ohms law, power vs frequency, etc..
> - I understand basic physics ("A" in 100-level college course and two
>   years of high school physics, too). I actually had an excellent teacher,
>   too!
> - I used to do math to about a 300-400 level, but now I'm at a 100-200
>   level (I can still do most algebra II, some trig, and a few other bits).
> - I understand what most analog components do (resistors, capacitors,
>   diodes, etc..). I can run a volt-meter, and super-basic operations with
>   an analog scope (checking test points and that kind of simple crap) . I
>   also have a rudimentary rig for soldering etc...
> - Since I'm a coder, I understand boolean logic (which I hope would help
>   with ICs).
> - I took a digital electronics course in college. However, it was pathetic
>   and it's all gone now anyway.
> I've spent most of my technical energy learning coding and sysadmin
> not hardware. I'm still interested in it, though. I'm most comfortable
> self-teaching via projects. Any that you folks would recommend (even if
> are for kids, I don't mind, I'm not proud) I'd love to hear about them.
> project kits, etc.. My goal would be able to understand 40% of what is
> happening on an Amiga 500 or that level of machine. If I could do that....
> wow. fun. cool. Plus I bet I could repair many more items/problems than I
> can today.
> -Swift

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