Getting into Electronics
I was always fascinated from the early age when i look at the lights, moving toys. As far i remember at the age of 4, my father bought a battery bike toy (wired). It takes a medium size battery with a long wire and it has 2 controls to move forward and backward. The design of the bike is awesome and i was given only few mintes to play with and my father keep them in the locked cupboard.
From then i was excited to play with multiple devices and also much interested to know how these devices work together. Then whenever my parents bought me a new toy i will play with them for few days and unscrew them to see how things are assembled at an early age of 5. Then i will try to re-assemble them perfectly back to the original state with some minor dents here and there. I don;t have any tools and most of the time i used the spoons and knife to remove the screws.
The day which i came to know about the positive and negative terminals of a battery. Even before proper knowledge from the school i realized that every battery has +ve and -ve terminal through which the device get the energy to perform. Out of curiosity, i broke down the mini bullter scooter to see how these wheels running. ?. Then there is a small motor connects those wheels via rubber belt. I went further to open the motor and dissect the inner components.
It had some coils and magnet. I reversed the polarity of the battery to these motor terminals and came to know that the motor spins clockwise and anti-clockwise when i swaped the battery terminals respectively. This explains how the scooter went forward and backward based on the controls. Later in the school when my Physics teacher exaplains about the Magnetic Induction and Electricity it was very simple for me to understand all these concepts
Battery vs Electricity
I didn’t have a formal knowledge about Electricity vs Battery. Whenever there is shortage of battery i simply connected the device terminals direclty to the electricity power in the home assuming both provides energy to the appliance. Either my home power will trip or the device will burnout. This happened to me for couple of devices and i stopped connecting the device terminals to the power. All these happened at the age of 10.
Rechargeable Battery vs Alkaline Battery
All batteries are not the same. Some batteries uses solution like alkaline and some batteries uses different chemical combination. Based on the chemical it uses the batteries can be either use and throw or a rechargeable ones. What happens when you use a Non-Rechargeable Battery to Recharge ?. This has a potential risks which spoils not just the batteries, recharging device circuits, but also create a adverse effects whe you touch or smell. This is the reason in most rechargeable devices, they have mentioned to use only rechargeable devices
Overcharging a Rechargeable battery will also kill the battery. Most of the modern rechargers has a indicator whether the battery is charged or not then it automatically cut off the power.
Having an Electric Shock becomes a normal for Me. Not intentionally but accidentally when i try to troubleshoot some electric applicances or testing the power using a brken tester (a device used to test the power line). Usually the shock creates a minor tremor to the full body and feels like a giddiness for some time. After experiencing multiple shocks, now i have keep myself more careful by using the right tools and be more precautioned.
Electric Prower in Home is usually 230+ volt. If you are aware you have a shock then try to disconnect from the place/wire immediately. This was not the case in DC. The DC may be more dangerous at this level of voltage. Remember metal devices are good conductors through which the electricity passes.
It’s also good practice i heard from professional technicians to use a leather footwear when operating with the electricity as it avoid passing the current through us via the ground.
There are some devices in which a Voltage Regulator is inbuilt so that the device can operate based on the Local region. India, US has different voltage operation levels at home. We had a BOOM BOX Audio Tape recorder which my Gather’s friend brought from China in 1980. At the age of ten without knowing these voltage regulators, i simply moved the knob to 120V setting. Then i tried connecting to the Mains and heard a cracker burning sound. (Transformer Burnt). From the nearby shop, they replaced the transformer and thats the day i came to know about the functionality of a Transformer.
A Transformer is a device which Step Up or Step Down a Voltage. It can also be used both in AC/DC evnironments.
Now a days, most of the electrical devices provides adapter in which it mentioned the voltage it outputs. All these adapaters uses a transformer and does the job of converting a 230V to required volt for the device to operate. Since these transformer uses a metal bundled with coil, the adapater are heavy to carry. In these modern times, they use a electronic based transformer which is light weight and achieve the same functionality.
If an appliance needs 12V, you cannot operate that with a 9V adapater. This means, always don’t try to swap adapaters. Each adpater is designed to operate on a specific voltage and amps. Few years back i tried connecting the Logitech Speaker using my Modem adapter. The circuit board burnt out as the adapter i used has more than 12v. Then i repeaired the speaker by replacing the burinout components.
Breaking the TV Picture Tube
Be a curious kid, i never left anything in my home without unboxing. Now this time i went head and tried unboxing the TV and looked at the components to understand how it operate. There is a small RGB channel controller in most of the color TVs. When i rotate that the TV color changes to Red Tint, then Green and then Blue. It was so interesting to see at that time.
In those days, Cable TV was so popular, We don;t had a cable tv connection in our home, But i used a technique through which we were watching cable tv channels. Just connected a wire in RF Cable Input and took the other part of the wire near the window. To my surprise we were able to get the channels for free. When we shifted our home to a new place, i was trying the same experiment. As it was not working in the new place, i simply opened the tv box and fiddling with the Picture Tube (assuming i am a expert technician at the age of 14). Then a big sound came something like opening a nozzle of a big football. Then i realized i broke the tip of the picturetube of the TV while settling the back cover. The TV technician concluded, the TV is no more worth to repair and asked us to put into a trash.
Before the LCD/LED Tv, Picture tube monitors are so popular and it uses a heavy material which is used for displaying the video signals by converting the RF signals to the corresponding RGB Signals. This picture tube operate on high voltage and has potentail risks if exposed.
Troubleshooting Devices at Home
I learnt at an early age on how to connect Fan, Tubelights with the terminals and even changed power cables for Home appliances for Grinder,Mixie,IronBox etc. This gave me more confidence on repairing things. Gradually, is any of the appliance failed to work, i immediately get my hands on and unbox the device and service them in no time.
Seeing this all my friends, neighbours and relatives come to me if there are any issues in the household devices. I happily accpeted and repaired. If something seems to be complex i will tell them to find a nearby serviceman. This has extended to routers,modem, laptops, refrigerators, washing machines and much more. You’d need to be a Plumber to fix a Broken tap. Just a common science is enough. I even had some experience in which the experts in the respective field failed to provide/repair the device and i was able to jump in and resolve after multiple failed attempts with these experts.
Tools I Regularly Use
- Soldering Stick
- Screw Drivers
- Electric Tapes
- Multimeter - Measuring Voltage