Archive for repair

Washer Repair – September 2016

Posted in house tech, household appliances with tags , , on September 16, 2016 by marksun
Screen Shot 2016-09-16 at 12.18.39 AM.pngThe washer stopped working on a  Frigidaire Model GLEH1642FS1 Washer Drier combo unit in the rental unit we call the Round House.  When I get there, there is  water in tub that won’t pump out.  The timer dial does not work.  “Door Lock” light is on.
I was introduced to a website called Parts Select with good troubleshooting and repair information for this specific model.
Ordered the part below  and installed it.  It is possible to shop around – and I suppose that the buyer be best aware of the possibility of cheap knockoffs.
Screen Shot 2016-09-15 at 11.50.27 PM.png
In testing I note that the “door lock” light stays lit through the whole cycle – makes sense, the door is locked.

Hot but no cold water wash

I also found out (after ordering the door lock/switch)  that for some time, the washer can only wash with hot water.  Cold water does not flow into washer.
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Indication is that the main water valve is bad and should be replaced.

This repair is pending
partselect information link this video

9/22/16  Sourced
Other items to put the washer back online:
1) REPLACE THE RUBBER HOSE WITH BRAID or STEEL – (bursting hazard so it will protect the house in the long run – hoses are already kind of old)
2) put the cover back on the back ( big spinning drum should be protected )
This unit has required maintenance over the years, mainly do it yourself, but fortunately, parts are readily available.  Frigidaire, and other brands use the same OEM parts, so underneath all the branding, there is some convergence of common parts.  I wouldn’t go so far as to call this standardization, but it is a good thing.  This particular washer drier OEM says Electrolux on the label inside the door.
We thought about replacing the unit but after seeing the ready availability of parts, it seems worthwhile to just keep repairing this thing.  It is space saving and a good size for a rental.  The dual unit does have obvious drawbacks and makes replacement problematic down the line as it is likely only the washer OR drier will fail, so you’d end up chucking a working unit.  I did note that the washer is a one size load – no small medium large as I am accustomed to with a normal full size washer.

Tivoli PAL won’t run on batteries unless you plug it in first…

Posted in Electronics with tags , on August 31, 2016 by marksun


This is a seasoned Tivoli PAL AM/FM radio which I love for its retro simplicity, great sound, versatility, and clean build.  These things don’t last forever and the years take their toll. For example, when I first got it (lightly used) I had to replace the battery pack with a home build 4-pack of NiMH AA cells soldered together. I removed deteriorating tacky blue rubber finish.   Now, recently, after considerable usage, even if the battery is charged, the radio won’t turn on until the power supply is plugged in. Once it is on, I can unplug the power supply and the radio will play from the batteries.  ???


I opened it up and found I can jump start the radio without the power supply plugged in by shorting two points on the Tivoli circuit board which I found by following the 7.3 V of the battery B+ and 13.8V of the external power brick. Without a schematic or desire to trace out the circuit I decided on a hack  with a miniature momentary switch that are becoming easy to get and widely used.  Turn the radio to FM (or AM) , short press the switch, and the radio turns on.

A not pretty solution but the radio works on batteries now, and life goes on.


Soldered #28 wirewrap leads to the two contact points  to and threaded the wires out the hole used for the external power supply.  The two wires were attached to the miniature switch. I borrowed one of the recessed screw tunnels for the switch seat.  Used BONDIC to hold the switch and wires in place.   Done.

Technical note.   I don’t know the underlying cause and did not isolate the bad component.  I suspected the big 2200 uF electrolytic near the  power input jack. One of the  shorting points is connectected to the positive lead of this cap.  Later experiments to replace the cap did not fix the problem.

Below, a better shot of the two leads for jump starting the PAL.  The lead on the right is soldered directly to the + pin of the C11, the 2200 uF cap.  The other lead is soldered to a trace which carries 7.2V from the B+ battery lead.


B+ and B- connect here (below)…  That 9 pin row above it are the pins from U5 – which so far is unidentified.




Above – top view of the board.  C11 is the 2200uF cap.

Update 1/23/17 : I unsoldered the 2200 and substituted a new 5500uF low ESR cap using jumpers to the solder pads, but that did not fix the problem.  I reinserted the 2200 to get back to square one.   1/31/17 – another experimenter tried replacement of the 2200 with a new one without result.

Status: no fix yet.

Miscellaneous :  The 7.2v batter pack connects directly to U5, a mystery component.  Some circuit seems to switch in the battery pack when the power switch comes on if there is not charger or external power applied.  The PAL has a fast charging circuit, and a trickle charging circuit which switch in automatically to charge the battery pack from a 12V source.  We’ll have to think about how that circuit works.

Here is a really good site: harrysradios.  Harry did a lot of work and had a serious go at reverse engineering the radio to produce schematics.  The schematic does not include U5 which would solve the mystery of the 7.2V battery circuit.
Unfortunately, no contact information.  Harry are you out there?

Please contact me if you have an idea or solution fix this problem on this very cool radio.

Repairing a Sony DVD Player Remote Control

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on July 13, 2014 by marksun

This is an OLD DVD player but it still works. The remote however … at best it is intermittent but basically does not power up the player, eject disks, play or work at all.

I fixed mine.  You may be able to as well.  No guarantees however because we’re talking five years plus.

A flathead screwdriver is needed to pry apart the top and bottom halves of the remote – there is a groove less than 1/16″ wide marking the separation. Rotate the blade gently and work your way around to separate the lock tabs. This is all plastic and this procedure will mar the plastic — but it’s better than a broken remote is all I can say. Work your way around gently. You will see the front and back pieces separate as you move past the points of attachment. The two halves will separate.  If you really hacked at the plastic and there are ugly scars, try sanding them off with emory paper or an emory board to get it at least smooth.

I use “Corrosion Block” as a solvent to clean the black traces on the circuit board.  I suppose rubbing alcohol or WD-40 will work too.  If you see any blue crystals from battery acid (all alkaline batteries leak !), gently scrub it off.   Everything snaps back together.

Replace the batteries if they are old.  Alkaline batteries destroy remotes (and anything else they are in) so I don’t recommend salvaging old batteries.  Batteries seem to do more damage if they have a constant drain on them – TV or DVD remotes are not apparently in this category.

See if it worked – good luck!


Kenmore Dishwasher Blinking Lights – Won’t wash the dishes.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on April 28, 2013 by marksun

The Kenmore dishwasher is on the fritz and there are blinking lights on the front panel, including  the (2 4 6) hour delay  lights.  I have never used the delay feature.  Does anybody?  Tried the full reset by 1) removing power at the breaker box – some people on the internet say 30 minutes!, then doing a reset by pressing the following button sequence to reset.

heated drying, normal wash, heated drying, normal wash, heated drying, normal wash

This procedure does indeed do something but in the end the dishwasher is still broken.

Obviously, the computer is messed up. I decided to open it up since at this point there was nothing to lose, the warranty is long gone.  Maybe it will be easy to fix?

Turn off the electrical breaker to the dishwasher!  On my panel this is circuit #1, dedicated to the dishwasher.

You can get at the computer – maybe it is more properly called a controller circuit board, by opening the door and removing the  torx screws which are fairly hefty, over an inch long and maybe 1/8″ or so in diameter.  I don’t have the right torx driver but I used a 3 (or maybe its 3.5) mm hex driver and it gripped the screw heads adequately.  The screws hold sheet metal to plastic and screw into plastic, so they came out without undue difficulty or damage.  The top six screws hold in the controller unit.  It may be possible to do the job removing only those six screws instead of removing the entire panel – not sure about that. Try that first, then remove more if necessary

Once you have the door apart the controller is accessible under a plastic cover.  This is held in place by plastic press tabs which are designed to allow access – there’s three of them to press in.  I started at the right and worked around and the cover came free easily.   Now you can see the board.   It would be good to pull the whole board out – I didn’t do this because it would involve removing all the connectors – a task I really distrust.   On the board I did see that some roaches had found a way in and died.  There was an egg case attached to the board – that could do it (i.e.short out the controller circuit board).  There was also various stain material of insect origin on the board too.  I used alcohol to swab the board clean, a toothbrush to remove any junk on the board, and then sprayed it down with “corrosion block” which is great for corroded connectors, radios, potentiometers etc as a cleaner and corrosion prevention.

Put back together.  Do the top controller housing first.  Remember you are screwing into plastic and don’t overtighten.

Put the power back on.


It works!  Saves buying a $90 part and a repair bill!   I think I got lucky but it is good to keep in mind that insects getting into the electronics can short out printed circuit boards, and if you’re lucky, just cleaning up the mess can restore operation.