Motor control board repair

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Bernie D, Feb 7, 2010.

  1. Bernie D

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 1, 2010
    5
    0
    Hi, I im a fitness equipment repair tech. 90% of what I see is treadmills. 60% of those treadmills have motor control board failure. I always just replace the board, which can cost the customer between $85-$ 300 for the part. My questions are, can I learn to repair these boards by taking an online electronics tech coarse? The coarse im looking at send you manuals, cd's and electronic kit projects to help you learn. What im hoping is to be able to repair a board in under a couple hours and then charge the customer for a repaired board. Does this sound like something worth pursuing ? or does it make more sense just replacing faulty boards. Thanks.
     
  2. hgmjr

    Moderator

    Jan 28, 2005
    9,030
    214
    The course you are considering sounds like a basic electronics course. The question that you need to answer is "What is the emphasis of the course?". In other words, what is the "skill set" that the course is constructed to give you once you have successfully completed it. I would think a course that supplied you with basic electronics theory with an emphasis on troubleshooting rather than design would give you the skill set needed to make you more efficient at diagnosing/repairing the equipment in your line of business.

    In the end, I imagine you would like to maximize your income. At the present, I imagine that the tools you need are minimal since all you need to do is establish that the fault is in the controller board, swap it out and go to the next repair job. To diagnose the problem down to the component level is going to require not only the electronic troubleshooting skills but is going to mean an investment into more sophisticated diagnostic tools.

    If your interest in electronics is more than just a job then sharpening your skills in this area is bound to make you a more efficient repair technician. It is bound to be infinitely more satisfying to repair a board than to simply replace it.

    I say that if you see this as a career then by all means I would recommend that you take the course (if it truly provides the skill set you seek). The added knowledge will make you a better repair technician and that will give you that all important job satisfaction we all crave.

    hgmjr
     
  3. Bernie D

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 1, 2010
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    0
    Thanks for the reply. Yes your right, I would like to maximize my income plus the rewards of repairing. The course im looking at is through Gibson tech. It is a 10 part course covering basic electronics to programing. Part 7 is titled troubleshooting and repair. Looks like a decent online course , says 300 hours to complete. I dont know if I can just take course 7( $249 ). I will check that out , plus google a few more that may just offer troubleshooting and repair.

    What would you say the minimum amount of money would be needed to invest in new tools? As far as electronics go, all I have is a good muitimeter, an Analog Meter and an adjustable solder gun. The course says I need an Function Generator, RF Generator, and a dual trace Oscilloscope.
     
  4. hgmjr

    Moderator

    Jan 28, 2005
    9,030
    214
    I can see all of the equipment being of value once you complete the course with the exception of the RF Generator. Are these piecces of equipment being sold to you by the course provider?

    The cost of equipment is difficult to quantify since it hinges on the features, condition, and age of the equipment.

    hgmjr
     
  5. Bernie D

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 1, 2010
    5
    0
    They are available from the course provider, but I dont think its mandatory that students buy from them. I will look into the pricing of the essential tools needed, and if not to extreme, I think I will take a shot at this. Thanks again.
     
  6. tvmanjon

    New Member

    Feb 5, 2010
    5
    1
    Bernie Ive been a tech for many years and the best gift to you after you take the course would be to have a mentor. Going it alone would be very challenging.There are many skills necessary to enable a tech to do a good job. Soldering alone is a skill that needs practice and the right equiptment. Chip and surface mount devices require more than a soldering pencil from Radio Shack. The course cost is just the beginning. Where is your shop? I know that guy on ebay who does the board repairs
     
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