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Serviceman's Log

Jim Hacker in the British TV comedy series "Yes Minister" faced many moral dilemmas in his never-ending battle with the wily Sir Humphrey Appleby. I recently faced a moral dilemma of my own when I wrongly diagnosed a fault in a customer's LCD TV.

Items Covered This Month

  • Conia CLCD3278 LCD TV
  • Sony SLV-D985PAZ VCR/DVD Combo
  • Lost computer password
  • Freeplay 3360 (FPR3 360) radio

  • I was recently phoned by the owner of a local retail shop, asking that I urgently repair an LCD TV which they used (in conjunction with a DVD player) to display one of their products.

    When I subsequently arrived at the shop, I found that the set was attached to a wall bracket and they had neither the remote control nor the original stand. That meant that I was behind the eight-ball before I even started.

    Click for larger image

    The TV was a late-model Conia CLCD3278, which is an 82cm LCD set with an internal analog cable tuner. I asked whether it was still under warranty and was assured it wasn’t but in any event, they couldn’t find the paperwork.

    The owner demanded a concrete quotation almost immediately which I said I just couldn’t do. Instead, I told him that it would have to go back to the workshop and then I could provide a quote after I had examined it. However, I did say that I thought the problem was due to the power supply and that it could be rather expensive.

    After some hesitation, they eventually agreed to let me take the set away. When I got it back to the workshop, I immediately removed the covers and took a look at the dual switchmode power supply. It was completely dead, with no output voltages from either the main or standby supply units.

    Subsequent checks showed that the 240V AC supply was available all the way to the bridge rectifier. In addition, none of the parts showed any signs of stress and there were no measurable shorts or open circuits in critical supply paths. By rights, this power supply should have been showing some signs of life.

    Next, I tracked down the agents for Conia and was informed that there were no circuits for the set. They also confirmed that this particular set was no longer under warranty and quoted $400 for the MLT666 power supply.

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