VSO IT Do It With Masking Tape

Gaffer tape (Duct tape to our colonial brethren) is wonderful stuff. As are staples, paperclips and PVC tape.

But so is masking tape.

HP Laptop Power Supply

Recently my HP power supply started making odd sparking noises and (more importantly) stopped providing power to my laptop.

As the next week my variable laptop supply started getting iffy on 19V (ok of course on all the other voltages) I had to hack my HP supply apart. It turns out that two years of hard Opuwo living had pulled the output wires out of their sheath and into contact with each other.

Judicious cutting of plastic, popping of catches and forcing open of glued bits followed by generous application of masking tape and voila a fully functional supply. Sort of. Don’t pull on anything too hard. If it starts to smoke then run.

HP Laptop Power Supply Masking Tape Repair (VSO IT)

The finished article - as new but with some extreme custom mods

TB CRT in CDC

On deploying to an emergency callout for the Tuberculosis Programme monitoring PC monitor in the Primary Health Care (PHC) clinic Center for Communicable Diseases (CDC) [phew] I found that someone had managed to punch in the power button for their 17″ HP Cathode Ray Tube (CRT – not flat screen) monitor.

IT monkeys like me approach CRT repairs with a little trepidation and a current will. Of all the things we poke screwdrivers into few can kill you quite as quickly and spectacularly as a CRT monitor.

The bits inside (technically known as the magic gubbins) uses all sorts of ridiculous high voltages in excess of 10,000 for some components. With lots of lovely capacitors to keep plenty of current handy to earth through your unwitting hand.

A full-on mains belt is nothing compared to a CRT discharging through you (and actually the opportunities for mains electrocution are less and less these days as most stuff operates at boring low voltages with a well protected transformer).

So I waited the requisite 48 hours and then another 24 for good measure before opening it up.

CRT Opened Awaiting Repair

I was sadly unable to find any children to poke around inside just to be certain everything was discharged so I had to hope that was the case and dive in.

Luckily I found the switch assembly and missing bit fairly easily. With a bit of caressing into place, superglue on stuff held with pliers and of course masking tape it was good to go.

CRT Power Switch Masking Tape Repair (VSO IT)

In fact I was so confident in my work I was able to plug it in at Anika‘s office and after failing to convince her to turn it on did so myself. With a stick. From behind a desk (well from under a desk actually). Covering my eyes and praying to Zeus.

It worked though, much to my amazement, and is now back in the TB office recording data.

After finding the plug in their office had tripped out and playing hunt-the-circuit-breaker that is (eventually found in the operating theatre, obviously).

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