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The cost of shipping defective engines back to the seller

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The cost of shipping defective engines back to the seller
Posted by the old train man on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 8:27 AM

Just bought a few engines from 2 different companies & had to ship them back because they had problems,one ditchlight didnt work the other had pickup problems. These were both upper end models by different companies. The cost to sernd both back was like almost $40.00. Wouldnt it be nice if they would test run the engines before they shipped them to you? Sure would save the buyers a lot of money.

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Posted by trwroute on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 8:54 AM

This is the reason I don't buy any high end anything.  My high end stuff was made when Kato still made Stewart and Atlas stuff.  Too many electronic items in the newer stuff.  If I want sound or lighting, I'm doing it myself.  Not to mention I save a bunch of bucks!

Chuck - Modeling in N, HO scales and anything narrow gauge

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 9:04 AM

trwroute
 My high end stuff was made when Kato still made Stewart and Atlas stuff.  

Same here. The Kato/Stewart/Atlas locomotives are perfect for my needs. I don't need (literally) all the bells and whistles.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 10:51 AM

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by PRR8259 on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 11:37 AM

What is high end?  Is brass high end?  Or Genesis and comparatively priced  locos?

I recently had four defective returns out of five locos ordered!  That is unusual because otherwise I've returned maybe 5 engines in the last 10 years!  Two of the four recent returns were Rapido Lehigh Valley bright red RS-11's that were very poorly packed by a particular dealer, and the noses were destroyed in shipping due to no cushioning at the end of the Rapido box.  The reputable dealer issued a shipping label so it did not cost me anything to send them back at all.  He also spoke to his shipping person to make sure it doesn't happen again (despite happening a second time with the second unit--they were separate orders).

The third was a defective steam engine off Ebay that had boiler cracks around the smokestack from where it had been forcibly installed (some makes offer multiple smoke stacks). I was able to return the item, but that one cost me.

The fourth was a factory refurbished UP steam engine that also had boiler cracks around a smoke stack, and returning it to the manufacturer was no problem at all.  Again, I was provided a return shipping label.

Honestly, if an item is defective, since some sellers do not offer returns, by the point I have to return an item, the shipping charge is no big deal to me.  I realize that MOST sellers will not knowingly ship out a defective item, though there are a few exceptions to that rule.  The reputable brick and mortar stores will usually either issue a shipping label so that the return, and the entire transaction, cost you nothing but a little aggravation.

If you are dealing with sellers who are NOT that cooperative, then I suggest you find another seller to buy from.

So far as ordering from a local train store, I do now have $2000 in pre-ordered locomotives and freight cars on order from my local store--but there are things I have missed that I ended up buying elsewhere.  They know that and are very understanding about that.  However, I try to buy anything and everything locally that I can.  The service more than makes up for it.  In September I bought a brand new diesel that failed right away.  The local shop got me out of it completely with a full refund of my money.  Normally the buyer would be required to deal with the manufacturer, which could take some time to obtain resolution (either repaired model or replacement or refund).

I sell routinely on Ebay.  If somebody gets a defective item from me, I take care of it for them.  It will cost them nothing.  I also check in great detail anything that goes out not only that it is clean, but also that there are no problems and no damage whatsoever that wasn't disclosed in the listing.  However, I am not a dealer just a private hobbyist who likes to try much of the new stuff that comes out.

John Mock

P.S.  There is one Ebay dealer who hates me because I complained about 1 loco which looked bad/had badly deformed handrails on one side and returned it.  We had a difference of opinion about the condition of the item, and I'm not allowed to buy anything from him ever again.  He sells mostly Intermountain stuff, but always has to get it FROM them.  He does not have it in physical inventory though on Ebay he claims that he does.

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Posted by PRR8259 on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 12:02 PM

So far as older Atlas/Kato are concerned versus "high end", I have now proven on the layout that the newer and perhaps "high end" plastic motive power does indeed run better/more quietly than some Atlas/Kato engines do.  The motors are getting better and quieter.  The electronics are not always fully compatible with the motor and there can be issues that will cause failure (mostly in dcc).  That is "life" these days. 

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Posted by Doughless on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 12:38 PM

The dealers I deal with usually have a policy that anything defective from the factory gets returned to the manufacturer, and not the dealer.

Items damaged during shipping, the return shipping label will be provided.

These dealers also have liberal exchange policies.  But you must pay shipping for an exchange.  And they like to know if the item is defective so they won't resell it.  I guess that means that they will return it to the factory and will get their costs reimbursed.

- Douglas

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Posted by selector on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 1:31 PM

Sometimes a personal request for consideration works.  People mostly have good will, and if they'll pick up the phone and deal with you that way, they'll almost always be reasonable and agree to reasonable requests for individual consideration.  Happened to me.

I had done some research, very early on in my time in the hobby, and decided I wanted one of the increasingly rare Lionel HO Challengers. But, my research had also revealed that there were too many problems with the valve gear interfering with the rods and getting mangled.  I found one for auction on eBay, a Canadian seller, and called them.  I offered to purchase it for the current price, and they said sure.  Then I explained my findings and asked if they wouldn't mind having a tech verify that the valve gear linkages and rods were not a problem with this locomotive.  They agreed.  When I received it a few days later, the invoice had a handwritten note from their tech saying there were no issues with the locomotive.

I have only ever dealth with retailers and one reseller who used to be active here.  Every time, if there was a fault, it was internal.  I have yet to receive an item damaged during shipment for any reason.

BTW, CBC Marketplace aired a show about a month ago where they showed that an astounding number of items returned on amazon never make it back to the shipper.  They end up in the landfill.  There's no money in returns, but a huge markup from the original sale.  If you are the least bit concerned about eco-friendliness and online sales, you'd get the willies at how bad it is with returns, and probably not just amazon.

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Posted by NorthBrit on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 1:41 PM

Here in the UK  any goods bought in a store that is defective money has to be returned provided it was returned in one week.  Some stores try to fob people with a credit note, so they still have the money.

Any goods bought on line  and is faulty and is returned within one month, the cost of the goods plus return postage is refunded to the purchaser.

Simple and effective.

David

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I cannot afford the luxury of a negative thought

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 2:03 PM

the old train man

Just bought a few engines from 2 different companies & had to ship them back because they had problems,one ditchlight didnt work the other had pickup problems. These were both upper end models by different companies. The cost to sernd both back was like almost $40.00. Wouldnt it be nice if they would test run the engines before they shipped them to you? Sure would save the buyers a lot of money.

 

Most damage occurs during shipping I suspect. One reason I shop at my LHS is they will deal with the manufacturer directly for me and they have way more buying power than I do. 

Something to think about if you have a LHS. 

Alyth Yard

Canada

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 2:43 PM

NorthBrit
Here in the UK  any goods bought in a store that is defective money has to be returned provided it was returned in one week

It sounds like UK consumers enjoy a bit more protection than I am afforded over here.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by Doughless on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 4:53 PM

So what's the expectation?

Defective items are returned here in the US too.  The question is who is responsible, the factory or the seller.

When its a mail order item where the seller does not have parts and service, I don't see why a customer should expect the seller to refund money for a defective items.  The factory is what warranties the item, not the seller.

Send it to the factory.  

Otherwise, don't buy online.  Buy locally.  If he has access to parts and service, then the seller can warranty the product he sells.  

If it defective and you send it back to the factory, I'd think the factory owes you the return shipping charge.

If the damage is due to shipping incident, then the item was not factory defective and the seller should refund the money and pay for return shipping.

- Douglas

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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 5:22 PM

 Glad I model an era where a plain headlight was it for lighting on the locos - no ditch lights, no rooftop beacons, not so much as a Mars light to be found.

 I prefer to install my own sound, because I want all my locos to use the same decoders, not have a mixed back. That way I have matching functions, and an easier time getting them to run together.

                                  --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 5:50 PM

selector

 

BTW, CBC Marketplace aired a show about a month ago where they showed that an astounding number of items returned on amazon never make it back to the shipper.  They end up in the landfill.  There's no money in returns, but a huge markup from the original sale.  If you are the least bit concerned about eco-friendliness and online sales, you'd get the willies at how bad it is with returns, and probably not just amazon.

 

There is nothing new about that, they learned it from Radio Shack.

About three decades ago I worked at Radio Shack for a while. In the computer every item had a return code. It told us what things got sent back to the warehouse, what things got sent to the repair station and would be returned to our store to sell at a discount, and what things to destroy and put in the dumpster.

It all had to do with the cost of the item, and the particular arrangement Tandy had with their vendor for a specific item.

And they had a simple customer service policy - "customer service problems don't leave the store". Managers, assistant managers and even shift managers had authority to give full refunds, replace products, or replace products with other products at no additional charge, etc.

I have bought a moderate amount of model trains thru the mail, and I have to say, I have never had a product damaged in shipping. And, in 50 years and 140 locomotives I have only had three or four that were so bad out of the box they had to go back. 

I have had a few with very minor issues I just fixed myself, or the manufacturer sent me the parts for free, etc.

But, I'm not buying $300 diesels with DCC/sound/ditch lights.........

I do have my share of Intermountain, Genesis, Proto2000, Broadway, but they don't have little brains. The ones that did have little brains have been surgically corrected.

Still happy with no sound, no ditch lights (they did not exsist in the era I model), no DCC, and no electrical issues.

My headlights come on full brighness before the loco moves, and go off when the loco is completely shut down. The backup lights come on when they back up. And I don't have to push any buttons for all that magic.

Much happier to live in a simpler world of model trains from days gone by.....

Sheldon 

 

    

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 5:57 PM

Doughless

So what's the expectation?

Defective items are returned here in the US too.  The question is who is responsible, the factory or the seller.

When its a mail order item where the seller does not have parts and service, I don't see why a customer should expect the seller to refund money for a defective items.  The factory is what warranties the item, not the seller.

Send it to the factory.  

Otherwise, don't buy online.  Buy locally.  If he has access to parts and service, then the seller can warranty the product he sells.  

If it defective and you send it back to the factory, I'd think the factory owes you the return shipping charge.

If the damage is due to shipping incident, then the item was not factory defective and the seller should refund the money and pay for return shipping.

 

Completely agreed.

And to that end I have had great service from Bachmann, Intermoutain and Athearn. One other brand, not so much.

People need to get a grip, its a model train, it is not life or death.

Ebay is full of all sorts of sellers, understand their policies before you buy.

For the little bit of "used" stuff I buy (which is virtually always "new old stock") I understand I am taking some risk.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by Doughless on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 6:28 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL

 

 
Doughless

So what's the expectation?

Defective items are returned here in the US too.  The question is who is responsible, the factory or the seller.

When its a mail order item where the seller does not have parts and service, I don't see why a customer should expect the seller to refund money for a defective items.  The factory is what warranties the item, not the seller.

Send it to the factory.  

Otherwise, don't buy online.  Buy locally.  If he has access to parts and service, then the seller can warranty the product he sells.  

If it defective and you send it back to the factory, I'd think the factory owes you the return shipping charge.

If the damage is due to shipping incident, then the item was not factory defective and the seller should refund the money and pay for return shipping.

 

 

 

Completely agreed.

And to that end I have had great service from Bachmann, Intermoutain and Athearn. One other brand, not so much.

People need to get a grip, its a model train, it is not life or death.

Ebay is full of all sorts of sellers, understand their policies before you buy.

For the little bit of "used" stuff I buy (which is virtually always "new old stock") I understand I am taking some risk.

Sheldon

 

Its hard for a seller to determine if a product suffers from a factory defect or if it was shipping damaged, for most of the broken things people complain about.

Most online retailers don't warranty an item, per se, but they have liberal exchange policies.  Return the item for an exchange (or store credit of they don't have an item you want) and a person can pretty much return any defective item for any reason.  In my experience, store credit never expires.

If a buyer can prove to the seller who is at fault, I guess they are owed return shipping by the appropriate party. 

I only buy new DCC Sound locos from reputable dealers, and occasionally ebay private sellers.  After some experience, its not that hard to see which sellers know what they are doing and to see the sellers who don't know.

The one time I did not, I broke my rule and bought a NOS DCC Sound loco from a dealer at a train show.  Of course, the decoder was faulty....one of the capacitor/nodules was actually rattling around under the shell. 

Returned it to InterMountain at my shipping expense.  They installed a new decoder and returned it to me at their shipping expense.  No big deal.  I didn't get into a twist over the shipping expense at my end. Afterall, the item was probably transported to numerous train shows over the past two years, or maybe had been returned by someone else during that time and resold, so how would I know that it was fair for IM to pay for my shipping?

I've never gotten truly ripped off by any seller.  Bad products have always gotten remedied one way or the other.  And of the hundreds of items I've purchased online dealers, ebay private sellers, and locally, I've only had problems with a very small percentage.  And most items I return contain several knick knack items that add up to not meeting my standards, and its an easy exchange anyway.  That one train show item was the worst case as far as product defectiveness.

The process can be a hassle, it can cost some shipping, but its a small price to pay for the opportunity for me to buy something from vendors all over the world instead of the few that are close to where I live.

 

- Douglas

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Posted by Doughless on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 6:40 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL

 

 
selector

 

BTW, CBC Marketplace aired a show about a month ago where they showed that an astounding number of items returned on amazon never make it back to the shipper.  They end up in the landfill.  There's no money in returns, but a huge markup from the original sale.  If you are the least bit concerned about eco-friendliness and online sales, you'd get the willies at how bad it is with returns, and probably not just amazon.

 

 

 

There is nothing new about that, they learned it from Radio Shack.

About three decades ago I worked at Radio Shack for a while. In the computer every item had a return code. It told us what things got sent back to the warehouse, what things got sent to the repair station and would be returned to our store to sell at a discount, and what things to destroy and put in the dumpster.

It all had to do with the cost of the item, and the particular arrangement Tandy had with their vendor for a specific item.

And they had a simple customer service policy - "customer service problems don't leave the store". Managers, assistant managers and even shift managers had authority to give full refunds, replace products, or replace products with other products at no additional charge, etc.

I have bought a moderate amount of model trains thru the mail, and I have to say, I have never had a product damaged in shipping. And, in 50 years and 140 locomotives I have only had three or four that were so bad out of the box they had to go back. 

I have had a few with very minor issues I just fixed myself, or the manufacturer sent me the parts for free, etc.

But, I'm not buying $300 diesels with DCC/sound/ditch lights.........

I do have my share of Intermountain, Genesis, Proto2000, Broadway, but they don't have little brains. The ones that did have little brains have been surgically corrected.

Still happy with no sound, no ditch lights (they did not exsist in the era I model), no DCC, and no electrical issues.

My headlights come on full brighness before the loco moves, and go off when the loco is completely shut down. The backup lights come on when they back up. And I don't have to push any buttons for all that magic.

Much happier to live in a simpler world of model trains from days gone by.....

Sheldon 

 

 

I hope that I don't offend anybody here.  My father was an electronics technician.  He repaired radars for a living.  But also repaired anything electronic back in the day, TVs, radios, stereos...... 

He knew good stuff from not so good stuff, and put all kinds and all brands of consumer goods electronics into the "its just a bunch of junk" category.  The radars and commercial equipment was the quality stuff, in his opinion.

I knew his opinion of model trains.

He could be a bit harsh.  Once he opened up a brand new TYCO locomotive that didn't run.  He looked at its insides, then threw it in the trash.  As a 9 year old, I was devistated until he said that I could get that better Life Like train set I'd been wanting.

- Douglas

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Posted by Doughless on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 7:00 PM

rrinker

 Glad I model an era where a plain headlight was it for lighting on the locos - no ditch lights, no rooftop beacons, not so much as a Mars light to be found.

 I prefer to install my own sound, because I want all my locos to use the same decoders, not have a mixed back. That way I have matching functions, and an easier time getting them to run together.

                                  --Randy

 

 

This Intermoutain GP10 US Army version might drive you nuts.  I own two.

Intermount - Paducah GP10 w/DCC - United States Army (red, yellow) -  85-49816

I assume the lighting functions are maxed out.  F0 controls the headlight, F4 the marker lights, F5 the number board lights, f6 the directional fore and aft ditchlights, and F11 both beacons.  Its a wonderous little loco.

I guess those US Army boys (edit: and girls) kept the marker lights functional on the prototype.  Lots of labor with a bit of down time I suppose.

 

- Douglas

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Posted by NorthBrit on Wednesday, November 18, 2020 5:16 AM

SeeYou190

 

It sounds like UK consumers enjoy a bit more protection than I am afforded over here.

-Kevin

 

It appears so.   Mindst' you, not so long ago it wasn't so.   Shopkeepers did every trick  they could to refuse refund of goods.

Even now they try to give a credit note ,so the buyer has to return to the store to buy goods.  The purchaser has every right to refuse the credit note and demand their money back (by the same way they paid for the item).

By that I mean,  if they paid cash they had to be refunded in cash.  If they had paid by card transaction, the refund has to be by the same card.  The purchaser cannot ask for a cash refund if they paid by card  and vice-versa.

It is only a few months ago that it was realised that it was already a  law that any items returned by post (or any other carrier) and the  purchaser had paid return postage,  that  money had to be refunded to the purchaser.  That law had been in operation for 12 months.  Businesses had to go back the 12 months in their records to refund the money.

David

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, November 18, 2020 7:56 AM

Doughless

 

 
rrinker

 Glad I model an era where a plain headlight was it for lighting on the locos - no ditch lights, no rooftop beacons, not so much as a Mars light to be found.

 I prefer to install my own sound, because I want all my locos to use the same decoders, not have a mixed back. That way I have matching functions, and an easier time getting them to run together.

                                  --Randy

 

 

 

 

This Intermoutain GP10 US Army version might drive you nuts.  I own two.

Intermount - Paducah GP10 w/DCC - United States Army (red, yellow) -  85-49816

I assume the lighting functions are maxed out.  F0 controls the headlight, F4 the marker lights, F5 the number board lights, f6 the directional fore and aft ditchlights, and F11 both beacons.  Its a wonderous little loco.

I guess those US Army boys (edit: and girls) kept the marker lights functional on the prototype.  Lots of labor with a bit of down time I suppose.

 

 

 That's by my guess 8 actual function wires. Some have up to 12 now. The only thing era appropriate for me that would need an insane amount of functions would be if I modeled the SP with those crazy Christmas tree light packages on the locos. Of if I went nuts and added step lights and cab interior lighting.

                                           --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Saturday, November 21, 2020 12:43 PM

The only thing I've ever sent back for my trains was a Tsunami decoder.  I had installed it, but it failed almost immediately and started giving error codes and finally just shorted out.  I swapped e-mails with a tech at Soundtrack, and they said to send it back.  They replaced it.

It took a while, but when I asked about it the tech replied that he had just become a father and things got delayed.  I congratulated him and told him to take care of the baby first.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by jjdamnit on Saturday, November 21, 2020 2:32 PM

Hello All,

Doughless
Once he opened up a brand new TYCO locomotive that didn't run. He looked at its insides, then threw it in the trash. As a 9 year old, I was devastated (SIC) until he said that I could get that better Life Like train set I'd been wanting.

As a former electrician for the entertainment industry the company I worked for manufactured their own robotic lights and other computer-driven special effects lighting equipment.

We also manufactured all our power distribution equipment in house. The dimmers and control consoles were manufactured by other companies. 

I could not only build a power distribution panel rated for 1,200 amps I could also maintain the computer-controlled robotic equipment too.

Not only did I work in the shop but I was also a field technician "roadie" if you will.

I remember getting in heated arguments with the bench technicians in the engineering department when I would test a piece of equipment that was sub-standard and they would tell me, "it's good enough." 

Several times I would, while working in the shop, push a piece of "good enough" equipment to the point of failure, find the fault, and fix it myself, bypassing the engineering department.

Then give them back the component that failed and saying, "well I guess it wasn't 'good enough'."

I recently completely rebuilt a Bachmann HO GE 70-ton locomotive, from the wheels up. I had previously sent this unit in for "factory service" which cost me $45.00 + shipping to them. They covered the return costs.

The solder to the wheel wipers was insufficient for proper conductivity.

I removed the caps and resistors on the motor and installed new wires from the decoder to the motor with NMRA compliant color coding (orange and gray) with the proper polarity.

Now, this unit has no hesitation over the unpowered frogs on my pike and has better slow speed response, crucial for a switcher.

Nothing against the factory bench technicians but, if you have the skills and tools, sometimes you can do a better job yourself.

Hope this helps.

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

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Posted by ctclibby on Sunday, November 22, 2020 7:59 AM

Most factory repair tech's are troubleshooting via computer screen. More or less: If it does this, do that approach. When that does not fix it, then they need to use their noodle. They usually do not know what is in VLSI chips and end up shotgunning parts. I have done component level repair going on 25 years now and know what is in those little black boxes. Have worked both sides, Engineering and Production and have found besides infant failure, most problems are mechanical in nature; bad solder, etching errors or incorrect parts either passive or active. Just like anything else finding those errors sometimes is a pain. MRR's are a creative bunch and most have it in them to figure out stuff themselves. Having the proper tools is the first thing to do. MR stuff is not high frequency so a $40 to $80 digital USB scope is the cats meow. Next is a DMM; last one I got was $20 although I did buy aftermarket probes with the sharp ( needle ) tips. Those will put holes in things so watch out. I don't know how I could live without either. My 25 year old 20Mhz dual channel scope is finally giving up the ghost, so I got a four channel USB scope a couple of months ago for $80 and it came with 4 probes. Note that you probably do not need a 4 channel, as I also do some circuit protyping and it will be handy. Used to be ya spent $100 on a probe if ya bought HP or Fluke.

Smart troubleshooting is not understandable by many because they don't know how to go about it. It is pretty easy if you take a logical approach to it.  What works? Don't screw with that, instead look at what does not work. No brainer right? I have watched tech's go through a working circuit and decide it is indeed working! Back to what does not work. You can look at that part of the circuit for faults. If possible, split it in half and check the half nearest power, that working? If not, focus on that half. If so, focus on the  other half.  Keep splitting in half until you are down to the culprit.

If the widget has ASIC's ( application specific IC's ) there may be an output from that to enable stuff in the nonworking part. This is where it gets more detailed. You can carefully cut the trace or unsolder a wire to separate the ASIC enable line from the circuit. Now you can inject a signal to twiddle the nonworking part by applying a specific voltage, or ground on that line to check. Always apply a voltage through a resistor not going any higher in voltage than expected, and only for a short time.

Note that there are always gotchya's. Those little electrons do what is set up for them to do and they try to fool ya. If you have an identical widget that is working you could use that to aid in finding the culprit in the nonworking one.

If you run into problems, there are many people on this site that are experienced in toubleshooting and usually do not have problems answering questions or figuring out what direction to go when you are stumped.

Enjoy!

Todh

Todd Hackett

 Libby, Montana 59923

 I take only pictures then leave footprints on railroad property that I know is not mine, although I treat it as such...

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