We used to love going to the movies but now that we have kids it's harder to organise to go out for date nights. Luckily our home theatre is so good it almost feels like we are in the cinema. We have the latest audio visual equipment and we get to choose who else is in the movie theatre with us - which you don't get to do in a normal theatre! We even put the kid's movies on the big screen and they love feeling like they are really playing with their favourite characters. With the technology getting more and more lifelike maybe they really will be able to one day!
Many people build up quite an extensive knowledge about the workings of audio equipment, and how to go about repairing them. The knowledge, in many cases, comes from experience when repairing a fault, gained over a period of time. The other important factor when it comes to repairing equipment is the tools. This article serves as a checklist for some of these tools, as well as offering a brief description of what they are used for.
Assorted Hand Tools
You will need to obtain a good range of hand tools, including flat head and cross headed screwdrivers. This should also include jewelers screwdrivers, which are ideal for removing screws with mechanical precision, but with minimum effort. Additionally, miniature screwdrivers are deal for extracting very small screws. Start with the regular screwdrivers, and build up as you gain experience.
This piece of kit is invaluable when repairing certain audio equipment. Solder is a metal alloy, usually of lead or tin, and is commonly used in audio equipment. A soldering iron is electrically powered, and will allow you to melt and join different types of alloys within a piece of equipment.
Dim Bulb Tester
This tool is used to test amps safely. It is a series of bulbs with a specified outlet, which allows a limited current to reach the amp, if the state and the health of the amp is not known. The current limiting capacity can also be changed to allow more or less of the current to reach the amp, depending on your specific needs.
This is a great piece of kit, and can help you to determine, through a visual graph displayed on the oscilloscope, the wavelength and frequency of a signal, the maximum and minimum voltages, as well as the average voltage. It also records the duty cycle, or the length that a signal is 'on' compared to the length it is 'off'. The graph displayed can also be read as a timed function, showing you when a signal is on or off. Oscilloscopes can vary greatly in price; if you can't afford a new one, look to purchase a good second hand one.
Audio Signal Generator
Typically, this piece of equipment is used to measure acoustics related to a piece of audio equipment, and can be used in conjunction with an oscilloscope. Pitch generators are also available, and these allow the user to measure tone and distortion levels. While a pitch generator is something you may wish to add to your kit later on, an audio generator should be acquired first.
If you, or a friend or family member, replaces an old audio system, take it off their hands and practice on it using your tools. For more information, contact Fordtronic Video & Sound Pty Ltd.