Restauro Technika Cauter RTC 2F | Art Restoration Heated Tacking Tool, Unable to Hold Temperature/Adjust Temperature

Ok, so this seems like it’s become more of a daily thing to post about so I can’t go with what I’ve said the last couple days about us mostly working on smartphones and computers. Probably half of what I worked on today ended up being general circuit board troubleshooting and/or repair. It seems like Portland is a relatively underserved community in terms of electronics repair, or maybe we just have good SEO who knows. Anyway, today’s repair is a “Hot Tool” that would normally be used during restoration of works of art. It seems to be made by a company in Warsaw Poland and I sent them an email requesting schematics just for reference (it’s a simple enough circuit that they should not be needed).


So there’s a 1K Linear Potentiometer on the front along with the main power switch. Main power switch is clearly working because the unit does turn on without any issues, but the LED above the switch does flash or stay dark when I think it should either be flashing or solid (while heating or maintaining temperature) like most soldering irons that share a similar design language. I probed out the potentiometer after disconnecting it from the circuit and it checked out. Since it was previously cleaned I went ahead and replaced it just incase and confirmed that the same failure to achieve set temperature or hold temperature symptom persisted.

Photo Oct 02, 8 28 29 PM.jpg

Moving on to the main board and we see that this is actually fairly built-out with quite a few passive components to test. For reference, incase anyone ends up needing them, I noted all of the component markings for transistors, voltage regulators, etc below ::


U1 : Linear Voltage Regulator : L7805CV G40UU VW CH 137

U2 : Linear Voltage Regulator : LM723CN 64208023 G VW G4 CHN

U3 : Operational Amplifier : 42N206 UA741CN CHN

U4 : Optocoupler : EL 3063 217

Q1 : Switching Triac : BT137 600E RJD1119 D2 0125

T1 : Transistor : C02 BD140-16

T2 : Transistor : BC 547B HD E

T3 : Transistor : BC 547B HD E

T4 : Transistor : BC 557B G7 E

T5 : Transistor : BC 547B HD E


Photo Oct 02, 8 28 42 PM.jpg

No components on the rear of the board and no obviously cracked solder joints so no big concerns here for the time being.


Here is the board that has the segment display and A/D Converter mounted along with some more passive components. Since it seems to be working properly I’m not terribly worried about it either for the time being.


At long last all components have been tested on the main control board and there are a large amount of failures. Although not visibly failing both electrolytic capacitors on the board are not reading anywhere near their marked values when tested out of circuit. Tons of resistor failures as well where they are 30% - 50% off their marked values as well.

These projects are fun, but can get pretty time intensive and mentally taxing to resolve. Someone has to do it though! Just make sure you bring in your smartphone for a display replacement and your laptop for a solid-state drive installation and/or memory upgrade to increase performance so that we can keep repairing this weirder stuff since it’s basically break-even and done after hours at the moment!

Edgewise Tools Lasercutter Control Board Repair, Intermittent Logic Failure | Intermittent Power Failure

Most of the devices that end up on our bench are smartphones from major brands like Apple, Samsung, LG, and Motorola with issues like cracked screens, swollen failing batteries, or damaged charging ports. If not a phone then you’ll most likely see a laptop or desktop computer for a hard-drive replacement, memory upgrade, or malicious software removal being repaired. Recently we’ve been seeing more speciality, legacy, antique, and out of production circuit boards coming in for repair though. This is one of those boards!


This top-down view of the board shows the general component layout. Pretty old-school traces that are not protected directly but they are beefy enough to compensate for any oxidation that might take place over time. Testing a controller board like this is way different than something like an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy Logic Board. For starters, this board is only one of multiple boards that are installed in the laser-cutter and since it’s all I had to work with the best place to start was a visual inspection. The visual inspection did not turn up any burned or otherwise visually damaged components so I moved on to testing resistors, capacitors, the voltage regulator, the switching transistor, and cleaning the socket for the control chip.


Since a few solder joints didn’t have quite enough solder for me to be comfortable with it going out the door I reflowed them all by hand with a soldering iron. Mass reflows by hand like this one are almost never something that would be practical or advisable with the more compact circuit boards found in smartphones from Apple, Samsung, and Motorola due to component density. I can’t imagine trying to reflow even a small section of an iPhone logic board by hand joint by joint…

I’m leaving my hand-drawn board layout here along with marked values for components. The components that tested as failed are marked with a red “X“ and in this case amounted to a very out of spec resistor (R20) a slightly out of spec resistor (R38) and two capacitors that pretty much fell apart when a small amount of heat was applied the legs (C23, C24). The Voltage Regulator (VR1) and the general purpose switching transistor (Q3) are also being replaced due to the age of the board even though they are both passing manual testing.


Magnavox DVR Repair, No Power | Intermittent Power

Although we primarily repair smartphones (Apple iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, Motorola Moto, Sony Xperia, etc) and computers (Apple MacBook Pro, MacBook Pro Retina, MacBook Air, MacBook, iMac, Mac Mini, Dell Latitude, Inspiron, HP, Lenovo ThinkPad, IdeaPad, Flex, Yoga) sometimes we end up taking on a project that doesn’t fall cleanly into those categories. In this case, we were graced with this magnificent beast.


We checked in this Magnavox MDR515H/F7 that was manufactured in 2011. After about eight years of near constant uptime it started to intermittently power on and then about a month later it stopped powering on entirely. Unfortunately, for this type of appliance there is not a readily available trustworthy replacement unit available now that most broadcast services have moved to streaming and digital delivery. Fortunately, this type of issue and others with DVRs are commonly resolved by replacing capacitors on the Power Board and/or Main Logic Board.

Photo Sep 30, 8 49 02 PM.jpg

We ended up replacing around ten capacitors which brought the unit back to life. Failing capacitors commonly have leaking electrolyte and bulging of the top of the component. For reference, here are the capacitors that needed to be replaced in this case. The primary failed components were the 1000uF 6.3V capacitors with most of the others functioning as expected. The 3300uF capacitors on the Power Board were replaced to restore power as well.

Photo Sep 30, 8 49 41 PM.jpg

If you need your DVR Repaired for a No Power | Intermittent Power Symptom please reach out by email or use our Mail-In Form so that we can figure out the best way for us to service your equipment.

Apple - iPhone 6 - 820-3486-A - Back Camera Connector

~ Tool Information ~

These diode mode measurements were taken with a calibrated FLUKE 115 True RMS Digital Multimeter.

~ Donor Device Information ~

Device was checked in for a display assembly replacement. Apart from that repair no additional information was present and no other symptoms were associated.

iPhone 6 Diode Measurement - Back Camera Connector J2321.JPG
3 430
5 430
6 310 1.8V
8 310 1.8V
9 430
10 GND
11 430
12 420
13 GND
14 420
15 430
16 GND
17 430
18 270 1.2V
19 GND
20 270 1.2V
21 430
22 270 1.2V
23 430
24 410 1.8V
25 GND
26 430
27 430
28 460
29 430
30 540
31 GND
32 GND
33 GND
34 500 2.85V
35 GND
36 GND
37 GND
38 GND

Motorola - Moto X - 2nd Generation - XT1575 - Display Connector Diode Measurements

~ Tool Information ~

These diode mode measurements were taken with a calibrated FLUKE 115 True RMS Digital Multimeter.

~ Donor Device Information ~

Device was checked in for a damaged display assembly and was intermittently ghost touching. After testing with a known good display assembly those ghost touching issues were entirely resolved so it is unlikely that the measurements on lines associated with touch would be impacted. Apart from the damaged display there were no other known issues with the device.

~ Diode Readings ~

2 .657
3 .692
4 .482
5 .476
6 .481
7 .481
8 .481
9 .481
10 .481
11 .481
12 .481
13 .481
14 GND
15 .536
16 .601
17 .913
18 GND
19 .703
20 NC
21 GND
22 .656
23 GND
24 GND
25 .456
26 .481
27 .457
28 .480
29 .481
30 .481
31 .481
32 .480
33 .480
34 .536
35 .718
36 GND
37 .914
38 GND
39 .702
40 NC

Apple Support Question #2


I have an external hard drive that I have partitioned into two pieces; one for time machine backup and the other for a carbon copy cloner backup. I would like to unify these 2 pieces back into 1. How do I do it in Disk Utility? I am going to delete thafterwarderwards, but it can be deleted first if faster. Please help!


Assuming your external hard-drive is currently formatted as an HFS+ Volume the following steps should allow you to remove one partition and resize the remaining partition so that it fills the full disk. Keep in mind that removing a partition will delete all of the data contained within a file-system located on that partition.

[1] Open Disk Utility

[2] Select the Disk you would like to repartition in the left-hand pane

[3] Click the "Partition" button at the top of the window

[4] Select the partition that you would like to remove

[5] Click the ' - ' or minus-button under the pie chart depicting the current partitions on the disk

[6] Click 'Apply' and Disk Utility will remove the partition

Apple Support Question #1

Question :: 

Do you recommend using cleanmymac3?


Answer :: 

I would strongly recommend not using third-party utilities like CleanMyMac or MacKeeper on your computer. Although they do in some cases allow you to trigger specific maintenance type actions like clearing inactive processes from your system's active memory most versions of macOS take care of that type of maintenance all on their own.

Regarding anti-malware applications specifically, it's important to understand that even Macs are impacted by malicious software. Although Apple does go out of their way to make sure that security vulnerabilities are addressed as quickly as possible sometimes attackers are able to get an exploit into the wild fast enough to infect un-patched devices.

In some cases a third-party anti-malware application would be able to catch an infection like this, but in addition to this type of protection many of these pieces of software take over or modify other parts of your system that could actually make you MORE vulnerable to some types of attacks.

My general policy is to leave security and optimization to Apple and make sure that my devices are fully up to date. Safe browsing habits like not navigating to websites you do not recognize and using an ad-blocker are the most impactful steps that you can take without making compromises elsewhere.

What quality of part is being installed in your phone?

Why Talk About This?

There are many considerations when looking at getting your phone repaired. First and foremost is the price of the repair itself. We frequently price check our competitors locally and nationally and have found that there is a wide range of pricing for the same repair but no explanation offered for it in most cases. Well, since we repair phones all day we know what the difference is... the quality of the part that is being used. There are many bad actors in the the third-party repair space and we think customers deserve to have at least an abbreviated break-down of why there is such a large pricing discrepancy between some repair businesses.

Do We Know What We're Talking About?

As a repair service provider there are about ten vendors that we purchase parts from on a regular basis. Our vendors are screened and all of our parts are tested when received, before installation, and after installation to ensure that we have as low of a defect rate as possible. Whenever possible we buy either new original parts or refurbished original parts that are as close to what you'd be getting in a new device as possible. That leads to slightly higher prices, but a higher quality and longer lasting repair.

We've been repairing electronics for about a decade and smartphones for most of that time in a professional capacity. In that time we have watched the marketplace for replacement parts grow from a few small websites to some quite large companies that are now investing in component production and infrastructure around the world. This gives us a unique perspective on that supply chain and those vendors. We've learned the hard way that it's very easy to get a crappy part. If it's too good to be true it probably isn't.

New Original ("OEM")

Most expensive option, but this is the same part you'd be getting from Apple/Samsung. These parts are typically in short supply as Apple does not sell parts to third-parties.

Original Refurbished ("A")

These displays are what we typically purchase and are all original Apple/Samsung Components (LCD, Backlight, Digitizer) with replacement glass that matches the original specifications of New Original Displays. Using this quality of part allows us to balance quality and cost to provide the best part for the most reasonable price to our customers.

Aftermarket Premium/Prime ("AAA")

This is the highest quality of aftermarket display that is currently available to repair service providers. Typically none of the components (LCD, Backlight, Digitizer) are Original Apple/Samsung or come from an Apple/Samsung contracted manufacturer. That being said, the manufacturers of these parts are typically able to put together a display that functions and is very similar to what you'd be getting with an Original Apple/Samsung Part. A good part supplier will indicate what manufacturer produced the display (AUO, TIANMA, etc) which can be an indicator of what will be different from an Original Apple/Samsung Part. In most cases departures from the original specifications to save on production costs will cause the backlight to be dimmer or the LCD to skew towards blue/purple which is particularly noticeable when editing photos or when looking at the display with a blank white background.

Aftermarket Select ("AA/AAA")

These displays typically do not try to conform to the original design specifications. The specific cost saving measures that are taken with these parts is making the display glass thinner or lower quality and increasing the thickness of the plastic frame. This leads to your phone being about a millimeter thicker in most cases following installation. If you have a case it's not really noticeable, but the hand-feel of the device is definitely different without one. We don't buy this quality level because the defect rate through some vendors can reach 30% within the first few months following installation. We offer a limited lifetime warranty covering defects on iPhone Displays so that doesn't work for us. Keep an eye out for repair service providers who only offer 30 or 90 warranties. In many cases even within that time period warranty service will be denied even if it's for an obvious defect.

Aftermarket Basic ("A")

The lowest quality part and thus the cheapest part. These parts suffer from the same issues that Aftermarket Select do, but to a greater degree in most cases. Most vendors will not bother stocking this quality level of part as repair service providers do not typically purchase it due to the high defect rates. That being said, this or Aftermarket Select are almost always what you'd be receiving if going through Amazon or eBay and purchasing an Aftermarket part.

iPhone Headphone Jack Not Working

So you're unable to hear anything through your headphones when they are plugged into your iPhone. That sucks, lets do some troubleshooting.


Is there anything stuck in the jack?

If there is it's probably lint and you could carefully remove it using a small set of tweezers. Keep in mind that most repair shops would be happy to do this for free and they will probably take care of it for free. We end up doing this and resolving charging problems upwards of four or five times a day!

Does the Loudspeaker Work?

If the loudspeaker is not working this typically indicates that the headphone jack is registering something inserted. This could be anything from defective soldering on the jack to damage to one of the conductors. In most cases replacing the jack entirely is the best course of action in this situation.

Try a DFU Restore

Last step before replacing the charging port would be to perform a full backup of your iPhone using the following instructions [1] provided by Apple and then following these instructions [2] to perform a DFU Restore of your phone and ensure that there is known good new firmware installed. The firmware facilitates communication between software and hardware and if it's not working properly in some cases it can cause strange symptoms like this.



Next Steps

If none of that helped then the Charging Port/Headphone Jack Assembly likely needs to be replaced. Feel free to get in touch with us using the contact information at the bottom of the page if you're in Oregon. If you are outside of Oregon we'd still be happy to perform any necessary repairs for you, but you'd need to fill out the mail-in repair form at the following link ::

VW Keyless Entry Module Repair (3D0909135M 5WK47026)

The automotive electronics repair community is familiar with failures of this particular module and have identified two primary root causes  ::

- Liquid Damaged Components

- Failing Components (Resistors, MOSFETS)

In this post we will be focusing on replacement of the most commonly failed components for this model using common tools available on an electronics workbench.

Setting System Date via Terminal (OSX, Recovery, Install)

Changing system date from Terminal – OS X recovery

When you’re booting your Mac from the recovery partition and are planning to reinstall OS X, you might be met by the following message:

An error occurred while preparing the installation. Try running again

Now, if you haven’t used your Mac for a while, the error might be caused by an incorrect system date setting. You can check this by going to utilities and opening the terminal. Once in the terminal enter the following command and hit return/enter:


The result of this command will be the date that the system currently has been set to. For some reason, it might have been reset to 2001, in which case we need to set it to the right date. To do this, we enter a new command. This command will be entered as follows:

date {month}{day}{hour}{minute}{year}

Every bracket should be replaced with a two-digit number. For example, March 18th 2013 12:50 would become the following command:

date 0318125013

Enter the command and hit return. You can then check if it was set correctly by running the first command again. If the date was wrong, it was likely that which caused the error, and after you quit the terminal it should be able to install OS X just fine.

Smartphone No Power Troubleshooting

If your iPhone is not turning on there are a few things that could be going on. Luckily, there are some steps that you can take before bringing it in for repair. If none of the below steps work feel free to give us a shout using the contact information at the bottom of this page.

Liquid Damage

The first thing that we need to determine is if your iPhone has been liquid damaged. Liquid Damage doesn't necessarily mean that the phone was dropped in a lake or had something spilled on it (although both of those definitely do count). We run into lots of people who like to play music when they are in the shower and even that ambient moisture can damage components like the earpiece speaker that are delicate and exposed.

Liquid Damage typically only gets worse the longer you wait to have the device disassembled and professionally cleaned. No, rice is not a way to resolve liquid damage. The liquid may dry up but anything that was suspended in that liquid will be left behind to cause corrosion and other mischief (maybe not at that moment but at some point). We fully disassemble liquid damaged devices and put them through an ultrasonic cleaner with an electronics cleaning solution to remove any of that corrosion and all liquid. We then displace the cleaning solution with 99% Isopropyl Alcohol which entirely evaporates without leaving a residue.

Battery Problems

Second thing to be suspicious of when your device is not power on would be the internal battery. If you have an older Android Smartphone or a newer budget smartphone from ZTE/BLU or similar your battery may be removable by popping off the rear battery cover (there's typically a small pry point on the edge of the device that you can lift away). Removing your battery and re-inserting it will force your device to fully power off and may resolve some instances of the No Power symptom.

General Drum Sander Power Board Repair

Customer pulled this board from their General Drum Sander after the whole unit stopped working. The circuit is pretty simple and after initial testing quite a few resistors were found to be operating outside of their specifications. Additionally, failed diodes and a suspect OP AMP were found. Electrolytic capacitors were pulled from the board and tested with one being found faulty.

Samsung LN46A630M1F :: Power Board Troubleshooting

Repair Summary

This device came in failing to power on as expected. When the power button was pressed the device would sometimes power on with no issues, and other times it would seem to loop between powering on and powering off until it finally would remain on and function as expected.

These symptoms are commonly associated with capacitor failure on the power board. I removed the back cover and stand then inspected the electrolytic capacitors on the board, but did not discover any visible failures. After some research into this specific model I identified seven suspect electrolytic capacitors on the Power Board near the Main Board Connector.

Fortunately, I had all of the capacitors I needed in stock so I swapped them in which seems to have resolved the issue entirely! I've included photos of both sides of the board below and some close-ups of the failing components along with replacements for reference. If you're having the same symptoms replacing the capacitors in the general area is a good place to start when attempting to repair the Power Board. I used replacement capacitors that are rated for a higher voltage than the originals because Samsung did not use appropriately rated capacitors on this board and that is why they have such a high failure rate. A replacement with the same voltage rating would likely also fail is short-order (under a year).

Original Parts

  • 4 x 1000uf 15V Electrolytic Radial Can Capacitors
  • 2 x 470uf 15V Electrolytic Radial Can Capacitors
  • 1 x 47uf 10V Electrolytic Radial Can Capacitor

Replacement Parts

  • 4 x 1000uf 35V Electrolytic Radial Can Capacitors
  • 2 x 470uf 35V Electrolytic Radial Can Capacitors
  • 1 x 47uf 50V Electrolytic Radial Can Capacitor

BOSS Equalizer GE-7 :: Troubleshooting

This device came in to the shop with undefined symptoms so I went ahead and did a full tear-down. Four screws out of the bottom plate, remove the plastic shielding that prevents the board from grounding out to the device housing, and one screw out of the bottom board which flips out with the ribbon-cable as the pivot point.

There were some terrible looking solder joints at wire connection points 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 that I was able to clean up without any issues using Amtech Flux and our shop Hakko FX-888D Soldering Iron set to maximum heat. Additionally, a couple other solder joints on the bottom of the PCB needed to be cleaned up and I did so for the sake of being thorough.

Since this was an initial investigation of the issue I went ahead and created a rough board layout and component listing for Resistors, Capacitors, and Diodes that can be used in future testing if the customer decides to go forward with paid diagnostics. Assuming that happens I'll go ahead and include both a marked and measured value for each component so that others have it as a resource and possible shortcut when troubleshooting.

Ferrari Digitek ECU SMT Measurements and Component Layout

Recently replaced a number of surface-mount components on this Digitek ECU from a Ferrari for a customer. Figured that my resistance and capacitance measurements might help someone else troubleshooting the same board. Since the board does not have silk-screened component identifiers I went ahead and used my own with traditional (Left -> Right) (Top -> Bottom) coding.


Added my own reference designations and associated reading with them. Reference the top-left section of the page for a visual of the components and general component layout.

Added my own reference designations and associated reading with them. Reference the top-left section of the page for a visual of the components and general component layout.

JTAGULATOR :: Bill of Materials

Hello Internet,

Over the next couple weeks we're going to be putting together a JTAGULATOR that will be used for diagnosis of advanced hardware issues and reverse engineering of device firmware. Since an initial search didn't produce a DigiKey Cart that already had a Bill of Materials added to it that's where we're going to start. Feel free to download the provided CSV from the link below and use the BOM Manager on the DigiKey Website to order the necessary parts!

DFU Restore Tutorial (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch)


Entering DFU Mode on iPhone, iPad or iPod touch

  1. Plug your device into a computer with iTunes installed using an MFi certified cable.
  2. Hold the power button for three seconds and swipe to shutdown.
  3. Hold the Home and Power buttons for ten seconds.
  4. Stop holding the power button but continue holding Home.
  5. If you have followed the instructions above iTunes should notify you that there is a device in 'Recovery Mode' connected within about fifteen seconds.

Your device should auto-magically exit DFU Mode once a restore has been successfully completed, but if the restore fails or you want to return to a normal boot just hold down Power and Home for five seconds to Hard Reset your device.

HP Stream (Unexpected Blue-Screens)

Initial Description

Device is able to boot and operate as expected for about ten to fifteen minutes. If the user attempts to run any programs that time period shrinks drastically.


Possible software corruption, failing storage media, or failing memory.


- Attempted to verify integrity of the filesystem but device blue-screens too quickly.

- Device passes integrated quick-tests for storage media.

- Device passes integrated quick tests for RAM.

- MemTest full run confirms that there is failing RAM.


- Disassembled device and reflowed RAM.

- Verified Full Functionality via MemTest.

- Verified Full Functionality via in OS Testing.

Donate Your Electronics - Help Us Create Repair Guides!

So, here's the deal. We recently repaired a crockpot for one of our customers and realized that there is almost no repair documentation for this type of device which is readily available to consumers or repair shops like us. By donating your old, weird, or broken electronics to us you will be helping us create repair guides, or at the very least disassembly guides, that we will share directly with the public.

We have the first of many teardown documentation projects underway and will be posting the results to iFixit as a repair guide that anyone with an Internet Connection can access. Who knows, we might be able to get your supposed eWaste running better than something new off the shelf!