Should I learn electronic repair given my current situation in life? where do I start? do I buy Arduino kits and stuff?

Thread Starter

john5220

Joined Dec 26, 2019
6
Hey guys I am 34 yrs old and from the Caribbean, Trinidad and I made some poor decisions in life that led me doing a very low end job but recently I saved up my money and paid in full cash $2000 USD at the most reputable HVAC school I could find where I then completed a full 1 year HVACR course and am waiting on my certificate so I could get work in a company, while I don't have money for a vehicle I do have some cash to buy some stuff on Amazon I am trying to recover from some poorly made decisions in life that has led me to doing a crappy job and a job that I really hate. I am wondering perhaps learning some electronic repair would be good as my new job will involve a lot of electrical because my teacher said 90% of issues in a AC system is electrical these days and I am thinking maybe it will help me with inverter AC systems?

I used to build websites using CMS until that business died and I built and fixed desktop PC for many years until that died and everybody switched to tablets now, don't want to waste my time and investment on something like that again, I heard electronics nowadays are built to throw away and many can't be repaired. Not sure if this is true or not but where I live in my country most people look to get things repaired rather than throw away. The issue is its very hard to find electronic repair people to do the job in this country. Probably because people just bring old shit and leave it by you and never return for it when they hear the price to repair said items.

I can invest about $130 USD on Amazon so the first thing I bought is a Multi Meter with capacitance readings and clamp for $22 it got good reviews, the other thing I am putting in my cart is a soldering iron but not sure which is a good one I found one for $10 maybe its good for a beginner. Not sure how to go about doing this, do I buy a Arduino kit? do I buy a book? do I instead download a free book?
Will this allow me to fix Lasco Fan Motors and stuff? I think I could make money fixing fans, I learned in my HVAC course how to wire capacitors to fan motors finding common start and run wires etc. I don't want my recently acquired knowledge to diminish, would like to expand and become very competitive and impressive for future employers etc

Am hoping I am not too old for this field I might probably learn a second language "Spanish" since we have a mass influx of Venezuelans in this country as they are fleeing Venezuela right now. I am trying to turn around my life since finding employment these days is pretty hard and low skilled jobs are very very bad in my experience and not something I want to do for long.

I guess TLDR I am just trying to find the best way to utilize my money wisely and continue furthering myself with what is going to benefit me the most so I won't ever reach to this situation again where I end up working the lowest job for the smallest money trying to get back on my feet.
 

Thread Starter

john5220

Joined Dec 26, 2019
6
I did some research and electronic repair is considered a pipe dream unless you are very good at it.

However in my case since I won't be repairing TV, my line I can only assume would be more into Refrigeration systems which would mostly include relays, capacitors etc. So definitely I will need a soldering iron kit and a multi meter, I don't think an Arduino would be of use to me.

But perhaps something that allows me to make test circuits to play around with and get familiar with electricity would be most beneficial, let me know what you guys think.
 

BobTPH

Joined Jun 5, 2013
2,260
Arduino is for hobbyists, it would not help you with repairing commercial products.

I don't know what to tell you. There seem to be thriving small (1 person) businesses here in the U.S. repairing cell phones, mostly replacing cracked screens and replacing batteries I think. Have you considered that?

Bob
 

Thread Starter

john5220

Joined Dec 26, 2019
6
Arduino is for hobbyists, it would not help you with repairing commercial products.

I don't know what to tell you. There seem to be thriving small (1 person) businesses here in the U.S. repairing cell phones, mostly replacing cracked screens and replacing batteries I think. Have you considered that?

Bob
Well I am from the Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago. And there is a huge market for repairing cell phones here aswell.

But since I completed my HVAC course it doesn't seem like I will be doing anything cellphone related.

However with the help of a friend I have found out what I need to do, the next logical step for me he says is my wireman license

This here is what I have to do

http://www.sbcs.edu.tt/programme/nec-ei-level1/

What do you recommend I purchase on Amazon that would help me peruse this course? I have the multi meter in my cart, is there something you recommend I can buy where I can make test circuits and stuff to play around with low voltage circuits? that mimic real life scenarios?

https://nesc.edu.tt/programmes/all-programmes/school/view/course/29/electrician-at-the-national-energy-skills-center-nesc

What are your thoughts?
 

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
1,818
In HVAC you will be dealing with a lot of relays, solenoids, and sensors. All interfaced with some controller/thermostat. Some of that carries over to Arduino but in addition, there is learning to program in C for a microcontroller. Not a bad thing to adjunct with what you learned in HVAC school.
 

Thread Starter

john5220

Joined Dec 26, 2019
6
IF you really want to play with Arduino, do not spend a lot of money on it to start. Here is a very basic kit that would be all you would want to start with along with a multimeter. https://www.amazon.com/ELEGOO-Starter-Tutorial-Compatible-Official/dp/B01DGD2GAO/ref=sr_1_5?keywords=basic+arduino+kit&qid=1577371612&sr=8-5

Amazon is not the cheapest but does have global coverage.
Thanks very much

I assume this will allow me to better understand electricity and electronics in a practical environment? understand circuits?
 

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
1,818
I think it helps and the "Book" is on the PDF that comes with it. It is actually a copy of the print book "Arduino Workshop" or "Arduino Cookbook", can't remember which. Arduino and Microcontrollers is a very broad area and covers a lot more than just the basics but is a way to become familiar with basic relay and indicator logic and interfacing with temp and humidity sensors.
 

crutschow

Joined Mar 14, 2008
24,351
Some of that carries over to Arduino but in addition, there is learning to program in C for a microcontroller. Not a bad thing to adjunct with what you learned in HVAC school.
Sorry, I don't see how learning C is anything but a complete waste of time if you involved in HVAC maintenance and repair.
Learning the basics of electronics is, however, worthwhile.
 

rsjsouza

Joined Apr 21, 2014
214
Sorry, I don't see how learning C is anything but a complete waste of time if you involved in HVAC maintenance and repair.
Learning the basics of electronics is, however, worthwhile.
I agree. If Trinidad is anything like Brasil, you will be dealing mostly with wall mounted HVAC units with On/Off control, relays and contactors - not a microprocessor such as an Arduino.

A good set of tools such as nose pliers, cutting pliers, a crimping tool (for fast-on terminals), a variety of screwdrivers and the multimeter you already have will be more useful than the Arduino. Another piece of equipment that may be very useful is a current clamp meter - usually you can diagnose problems on motor or compressor windings by measuring the current on its wires. Doing a course on electricity is beneficial for the HVAC job.

In Brasil the market for electronics repair is also plagued with people that leave equipment behind without payment.

Good luck!
 

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
1,818
And for HVAC a good set of gauges to measure system pressures. I would assume that he got the electrical basics as part of HVAC.
 

Thread Starter

john5220

Joined Dec 26, 2019
6
I agree. If Trinidad is anything like Brasil, you will be dealing mostly with wall mounted HVAC units with On/Off control, relays and contactors - not a microprocessor such as an Arduino.

A good set of tools such as nose pliers, cutting pliers, a crimping tool (for fast-on terminals), a variety of screwdrivers and the multimeter you already have will be more useful than the Arduino. Another piece of equipment that may be very useful is a current clamp meter - usually you can diagnose problems on motor or compressor windings by measuring the current on its wires. Doing a course on electricity is beneficial for the HVAC job.

In Brasil the market for electronics repair is also plagued with people that leave equipment behind without payment.

Good luck!
wow thanks so much and yes Trinidad is 95% Mini Split Wall AC units.

While I don't yet have a vehicle I figured I could still buy my tools and put them down, maybe get some stuff useful enough to practice with

I will take ur advice and buy the tools you recommended.
 
Top