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Nigel, the local hairdresser, brought his receiver for repair.
"Blue screen" he announced, flapping his hands effeminately and looking flustered. However, I suggested that it was a Pigment of his imagination because the receiver was completely dead. Maybe he had been drinking the blue rinse?
Nigel looks disgusted by my frivolity and minced out of the door.
"I need it by five. Don't want to miss Captain Kirk!"
Only the BUT11AF, the 1R8 fusible resistor and fuse had failed. I replaced the 1R8 with a 2R2 fusible because that's what the circuit diagram says it is and I had this value in stock. The receiver worked perfectly.
In common with many people, I have invested in one of those "Caller Display" units that shows the telephone number of the person calling. Over the months I have kept a mental record of the "time wasters" and, surprise surprise, every one of them had withheld his number. So now whenever the display says "withheld" I ignore the call. This saves me about half an hour a day.
Definition of a "time waster": someone who calls you for expert advice then spends the next twenty minutes telling you why you are wrong.
(picture on disc)
The original version of the SAT1700 had a T400mA fuse soldered into the board to protect the power supply against mains surges. However, it seems to me that Nokia bowed to public concern about the "unreliability" of this fuse because the Mk2 receiver has a T1.25A fuse. I have never known one of these to fail - the power supply surface-mount parts go off like fire crackers in their haste to protect the fuse! The customers no longer complain and seem happy to pay me lots of money to fit "Satkit 23".
Today I had a Mk2 SAT1700 for repair but the complaint was not "went bang with lots of smoke" but "won't decode Sky channels". The customer was quite right since there were no decoder messages on the screen. I had visions of replacing expensive (or unavailable) "PTV" decoder I.C.s but I thought I would first replace the 1uF electrolytic next to the PTV111 sync separator since this is known to cause problems in other receivers. To my delight, the replacement capacitor did the trick.
For my own peace of mind, I replaced the fuse with a T500mA since this is an excellent compromise between the original T400mA and the "improved" T1.25A version.
I had an interesting email from David Needham:
"On installation all was well with my MSS500-IP until for no apparent reason the display went haywire and the receiver "locked up" - couldn't do anything except switch off to reset. I had a Multilink remote extender working with my old Nokia which worked perfectly. However it was a Phone call to Pace Technical that informed me that this type of extender does not work with the Pace as it is too sensitive and picks up the inherent radiation from them. On reading about the Handylink Coax type extender in "Wot Sat" magazine I installed one of those and all is OK."
I passed this information to a number of satellite enthusiasts and Patrick Hannon came up trumps:
"There is a little pot on the back of the multilink transmitter. Turn it down until the red light in the front of it goes out and the problem goes away."
Another email on a similar subject came from Tony Daly who reports:
"The reason the UHF remote wasn't responding was interference from a UPS (Uninterruptible power supply) which I was using to protect all my Video/Audio equipment from power surges/outages etc. When we disconnected the UPS the UHF remote worked fine. The Echostar 8700 only responds to an infra red remote control if you remove the little UHF Aerial which is screwed on the back. I am now using an infra red remote control, which means I can still use the UPS."
Window cleaners seem to chuck the job in favour of "installing" dishes - a case of "have ladder, will climb", I think. I've seen some of their work and I'm not impressed. However, Harry, my local glass polisher, has kept his business running and I let him clean my windows more out of pity than because they need it. Anyway, last week, Harry brought me his Matsui RD600 "to have a look at".
Based on the Grundig base models, this receiver occasionally seems to kill the ASIC or damages it so it won't pass the video from the decoder section. I thought this was the case with this one because it had no decoder messages.
However, the channel names were "hopping" sideways every second or so. It looked like a sync problem so I chased my tail for half an hour before
replacing the PTV115 - which cured the fault. Note that it's more common
for the PTV110 to fail. If you can't rob one from a scrap receiver, try Wilf at Calder Components on (01924) 411089.
Harry was so happy with his receiver that he volunteered to clean my gutters - something he'd previously refused to do, even for money!