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Thread: Right to Repair

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    Right to Repair

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    This seems singularly appropriate in this section?

    I have read that here the EU are in the process of formulating a Right to Repair law to reduce the vast wastage of equipments and the consequent energy and natural resources neede to replace them.

    I also understand that some US states have, or are in the process of enacting similar laws?

    Bit of good news for the Planet but all the laws in the world won't work unless industries TRAIN technicians. Over here it will just spawn a gaggle of "cowboys" (no offence Tex!).

    Dave.

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    I’m not familiar with any of that...what does the proposed law state? I mean...nothing has prevented me from rescuing complete electronic garbage and either repurposing or refurbishing...what does the law sanction or require?

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    Yes, as if we don't have it already.
    But, part of the problem -likely, is a lot of modern stuff isn't worth or able to be repaired!
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    Denmark already has something in place. Equipment that has low repairability, requires higher VAT.

    There's a thing being prepared by the EU, but I don't know the details.

    And in the USA, the "right to repair" movement is being carried by people like Louis Rossman, who runs a company that not only repairs Apple computers, but also supplies materials and training for other repair people. Look on youtube, he's got a lot of vids.

    I think it is very necessary that our governments act. There is far too much gear being produced where the manufacturer goes out of their way to make repair hard.

    China is no longer accepting our junk, so it needs to go to Africa. In other cases, it's just being dumped into the ocean. That needs to stop immediately.

    And by giving our gear a longer life, it will make the junk pile a little less high.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweetbeats View Post
    I’m not familiar with any of that...what does the proposed law state? I mean...nothing has prevented me from rescuing complete electronic garbage and either repurposing or refurbishing...what does the law sanction or require?
    From what I read of you "here" Sweatbeats, you spend an inordinate amount of time fixing up good, old kit? I don't know but I doubt you could make a living at it? I know nothing of the proposed legislation but I think it will outlaw or punish some of the practices mentioned in this thread? Making cases next to impossible to get into, not supplying spares. For certain it will make some equipment more expensive but then that is a good thing IMHO to combat "flooding" with cheap ***t.

    BTW, take a gander at SoS page 68 Feb issue? Studer to make you drool or do you draw the line at valve tape machines?

    Dave.

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    I’m totally not following you, Dave...from what I’m reading Right to Repair should promote compliant products being easier to repair, or at least improve accessibility to repair information and spare parts...can you clarify?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sweetbeats View Post
    I’m totally not following you, Dave...
    Ditto...speak more plainly, Dave, without the leaving half the though of what you want to say...still in your head.

    I don't understand who would benefit and how...if according to what you are saying, that "Right to Repair" is meant to *prevent* people from repairing old gear, which is EXACLTY what keeps that gear out of the landfills and recycle piles...?
    That was/is the great thing about analog gear, especially the earlier stuff...everything was laid out and accessible...most of it was made from readily available parts....there was not "code" that was no longer available...and you needed some basic electronic skills to fix a lot of issues.

    What it wrong today, is that no one wants to fix anything. Just throw it out, buy a new one....and it's no secret that "planned obsolescence" part of many designs.
    They don't want it to last forever, and they want you to not be able to fix it easily...so you are forces to toss it and buy a new one. That's what is the problem.

    Maybe you got that twisted around, and "Right to Repair" is actually looking to force more things to be repaired rather than tossed.

    Recent story...

    My 50" Samsung plasma TV shit the bed this summer. Now I considered the fact that it was already about 5 years old, and figured it was time for a new one maybe, which kinda pissed me off, since I have small old-school CRT Sony color TV in my studio...which is great for when I want to just chill there or I'm working of non-music stuff, like REPAIRING some piece of gear...and that damn little Sony must be 30 years old, yet here I was think that after only 5 years, it was normal for an expensive 50" plasma to crap out and get replace.

    Anyway...I loved the plasma for movies, which is the majority of my TV time...but when I went to look for a replacement, I was shocked to find out that they stopped making plasma TVs, and now EVERYONE only offer the LED crap, which I HATE for movie viewing. Everything looks like it's been shot with high-contrast digital video, instead of 35mm film. Yeah...the LEDs are good for sports, where people like the high contrast and razor edges on everything, but I don't need or want to see the blackheads and nose hairs on the players...so a little less contrast is fine with me. I mean, nothing looks real. If you were at a game with your eyes, you would not see that kind of sharp contrast or color saturation...but whatever...some people like that, and suddenly all the TVs were LED.

    OK...cut to the chase...so I decided to see what was wrong with my Samsung, and with a bit of testing and some trial and error, it ended up being the "X" board...which I was able to find online, replace, and the TV was (and still is) back in biz....but it was THAT close to ended up in a landfill, and for most people, it would have, because they wouldn't want to be bothered trying to repair it or hauling off to a TV shop, where they too would probably just tell you to get a new TV.

    THAT...is the world we have created with equipment of most any kind. Just toss it out when it doesn't work. So if government is going to prevent when little repairs can be done...it's only going to make things worse....unless this is just coming down from manufacturers who are lobbying so they can sell more product rather than have people fix things.
    I don't think that's what this "Right to Repair" is about...but it's on Dave to maybe get the right info since he already said "I know nothing of the proposed legislation"...which he should have, before starting the thread.

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    I don't know enough about these bills, but it seems that legislation is always the opposite of it's title.
    Examples; 'affordable' health care act, or 'patriot' act.
    Now something outlawing planned obsolescence or plain garbage products I could get behind. * maybe.
    But I don't see much prospect of that. Sadly the world economy is partially based on constant growth. Products that can last don't fit in too well with that agenda.
    * the "maybe" is based on anything the gov't gets involved in gets screwed up.
    Red tape, regulations, licensing, permitting, fees ect.

    They could take over the Mustang Ranch and bankrupt it The worlds oldest proffession.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sweetbeats View Post
    I’m totally not following you, Dave...from what I’m reading Right to Repair should promote compliant products being easier to repair, or at least improve accessibility to repair information and spare parts...can you clarify?
    Or not following me totally Beats? I hope I am making SOME sense! As I said, I have no more information than "some sort of law is in process" I have no idea of even the vaugest details but let me give you my experience in the domestic Radio&TV trade?

    When I started in 1961 aged 16 There were maybe 6-10 small family R&TV businesses in the town (pop' then 60,000?) plus a couple of the Big Boys, Currys. Stones. I don't think the TV rental mkt had taken off and we were still B&W! I was taken on as apprentice in a workshop of 2 qualified guys and 3 iirc, "field" engineers. This was typical in small shops about the town.

    Kit was repairable in that you could get into it and spares, valves, caps, pots, transformers etc were readily available from local electrical wholesalers and specific manufacturers and the latter, in most cases had an excellent technical backup just a phone call away which became vital as technology progressed with Colour, RCs, teletex and the Transistor and the explosion of modest home audio systems (music centres!) FM stereo and more.

    There was no compulsion on the manufacturers to provide these services (oh, missed free training courses 1,2,3 days away) but they saw them I suppose as an ethical necessity? They needed to support the dealer and hence the punter of they would not sell product.

    Then The Government abolished Retail Price Maintenance, result? The growth of the Magnet stores. "Pile 'em high and sell 'em cheap". People would come into the shop, get adavice then piss off to Magnet to buy. The result was a gradual stopping of mnfctr support until now it is practically non existant. If you can't get the maps and you can't get the bits you can't fix the kit!

    Now, if I buy a broken amp and cannot get any help then yes, I can trawl the net for spares. I am also experienced enough that I could probably modify a circuit to work with other parts (e,g, bin complex discrete regulators and fit 7XXX) I can spend time working out the schematic, but! Nobody is going to pay me for all that effort except for THE most rare and precious piece of obsolete gear and I am not going to find enough of those and people that want it fixed to pay the bills.

    So "I" would like a law that required schematics to be available to legitimate businesses and spares held for at least 5 years and the costs of such to be reasonable. A "worked example".

    About 5 years ago the old boy next house to me had an electric 3 wheeler, in his 80s. He aske me if I could fix the charger. Pop riverted mesh metal box about 1foot by 4"x4". Mains cable one end, 80mm fan the other and a small 2"x2" PCB mostly SMT components. Neat 10mm hole burnt in PCB. So, email to address on the tin..."We do not supply spares for this charger. Customer must purchase a repalcement". So I took hIm to the Mobility shop. £110! I would guess that PCB would cost $1.00 to make and as a spare $5.00 +p&p would be fair. As it was he had to fork out £100 and I had to bin a 1kg transformer, fan and casing.

    Said it at the time "There Ortta be A LAW!"

    Dave.

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    "Ditto...speak more plainly, Dave, without the leaving half the though of what you want to say...still in your head. ..Well I don't want to just ramble on Mir'! That is what forums are for surely? Someone starts a thread (hopefully succinctly and with paras) then others come in with their 2p'oths. THAT starts another train of thought..di-da..

    I may be a bit old fashioned but "back in the day" kit was built to a specc' to do a job and then priced to make a few bob all round. These day SO much shit is just made as cheaply as possible and with the idea of maximizing profits. Eff the consumer if it fails outside warranty.

    I do understand the resistance in some minds to legislation, often coloured by ideaology. However, it is not the laws that are "bad" but often the lack of proper enforcement. In this country we would not have a safe electrical system were it not for laws. You cannot rely on business to look after employee's health and safety. Again, here in UK most of the privatized companies are doing an apallingly bad job compared to the original state owned ones. Rail transport is a joke. The few trials they have done in our NHS*, ambulance services e.g. have lasted barely 12 months and had to be brought back under local control. The taxpayer of course then foots the bill for the eff up.

    *VERY carefully and sneakily! "They" know that any obvious privatization of our health service would result in riots.

    See Miroslav! Give me HALF a chance and I go on and on.....Bottom line: GOOD laws, properly enforced might save the planet.

    Dave.

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