I did my first ever repair back in 1983 when I was a twelve year old in grade 6.
It was a rainy day and we all stayed inside for the lunch break. My teacher at the time knew of my affinity for electronics and computers and called mum to ask her if she was ok with me being given an old HMV stereo valve record player to play around with during the lunch break. Mum agreed.
My teacher brought the record player over to me and said it was broken but was mine to do whatever I wanted with. Nobody could erase the smile from my face!
I plugged it in and the turntable was seized up and the audio amp wasn't making any sound.
I had no idea about doing repairs at this age but I took it apart and managed to get the audio amplifier working again. Tapping the tonearm now produced a sound in the speakers so I decided to pull the turntable mechanism apart and see if I could get it spinning.
By the end of the lunch break, I had the whole thing back together and working again. My teacher was somewhat surprised and I was overjoyed!!
I took it home and it became my first stereo record player.
That was my final year of primary school and by the time I left and had started high school, I'd gained the trust of my science teachers and even repaired one of the science lab oscilloscopes that had stopped working. That was in 1984 and I had just become a teenager.
I loved electronics classes and my teacher was very encouraging. He told mum that by the end of year 8, I knew more about electronics than he did!!
In 1985, I got my first after school part time job at Dick Smith Electronics and designed and built my first HiFi amplifier based on the ETI480 amplifier modules that I modified for better performance and higher output. I also designed my own phono preamp, EQ circuit (bass and treble controls) and all the following preamp stages, tape monitoring and duplication controls and hand made my own printed circuit board using a photo resist pen, ferric chloride etchant and a hand drill for the component holes.
I still have that amplifier and it still works. I'll make a separate post about that soon.
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