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troubleshooting steps

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Roy, Oct 1, 2007.

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  1. Roy

    Roy Guest

    This is a wide open question and I expect I'll get alot of varying
    opinions, but here goes. What would you consider to be the 4 or 5
    most crucial steps in electronics troubleshooting?
  2. radiosrfun

    radiosrfun Guest

    Not necessarily put exactly as I'd like and certainly not limited to - but
    here are some that come to mind "quickly". I'm sure there are others who
    will repeat and add to - those I've listed.

    1. Having a sound knowledge of electronics to know parts workings and
    2. Having a decent idea of the circuits you're going to be working on - as
    to what to expect
    3. Being able to look at the unit and get an "Educated guess" on the area
    the problem lays in - with respect to it's symptoms
    4. Being able to use equipment and tools - as simple as a VOM and
    screwdrivers - up to the most complex - one can afford or face using.
    5. Being able to "actually" repair the unit with the first 4 involved.

  3. The old Navy way always seemed to work:

    Of course, an understanding of electronics in general and familiarity with
    the equipment you are working on and the test equipment you need to use are
    the key to being able to make these six steps work. There is no magic

    Even if you are not all that familiar with the equipment you are working on,
    electronics and test equipment knowledge will get you there, eventually.
    Forty years ago, as a young Navy tech, I troubleshot an unfamiliar piece of
    equipment for 4 hours, only to discover a switch was in the wrong position,
    Familiarity with system would have gotten me there a whole lot faster. Of
    course, reading the operator's manual would have also helped! Learned
    something from that.

    Good luck.

  4. Bob Myers

    Bob Myers Guest

    1. Describe, as fully as you can, ALL of the symptoms. What
    isn't working, what IS working, when are they working or not,
    when did they stop, etc.. And especially note if anything ELSE
    changed at or about the same time the problem started.

    2. List all the possible causes of the problem you're seeing.

    3. Check your list of possible causes against the list of
    symptoms; see if the information you have rules any out, or
    at least makes some more likely than others. Rank the
    remaining causes in order of likelihood.

    4. Now tackle the likeliest causes in the order of the
    complexity, cost, and/or time required to check them.
    (I.e., if "the framistat modulator IC on circuit board
    B-28 is intermittent" and "the power cord is unplugged"
    are both on the list, you shouldn't be reaching for
    a screwdriver to get at circuit board B-28 FIRST...:))

    5. As you check the possible causes in this order, use
    the information you gain to regularly revise your list
    of symptoms, causes, etc..

    The above can be made quite formal - you can come up
    with forms, checklists, etc., to guide you through the
    process - but more often it's going to simply be the
    way a good troubleshooter organizes his or her thinking.

    Bob M.
  5. Charles

    Charles Guest

    Depends ... is the device stand-alone? Is the device hooked to a network?
    Is the device using any imbedded software? Is the device a high-power unit
    or battery operated?

    Generally, one should ask:

    1/ What changed recently?
    2/ Is it plugged in and turned on and are the cables all connected?
    3/ Was there any anomaly noted before the failure?
    4/ Can the device be reset? If so, try it!
    5/ What have others experienced with this device?

  7. Roy

    Roy Guest

    Thanks guys for all the responses.
  8. neon


    Oct 21, 2006
    Old navy say replace and trow it away. cost effective thatway.
    1] identify your problem first [NEVER FIX IT IF IT IS NOT BROKEN]
    2] Try to isolate the area by logic assumptions
    3] after you find your problem think why was there a problem. bad design overstress what?
    4] finaly unless you understand the circuit totaly you are shotgunning for success.
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