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   Home   Help Search  
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Author Topic: Radio Repair Classes  (Read 10600 times)

Posts: 5

« on: November 01, 2012, 07:21:10 AM »

I have been scouring local and internet sources trying to find someone to teach me how to repair, build, and service radios. I can't find anything except some local clubs that are not particularly active on that end of things. I could use some help. Is their a school that offers online classes or someone local that would be willing to get together once a week to teach me the fundamentals? I live in Southern York County, PA and travel from York to Baltimore regularly.

Any help would be appreciated. I am finding that doing things out of books without the hands on experience is a bit harder than I had expected.



Posts: 7718

« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2012, 07:32:03 AM »

I suggest studying for and getting a General Radio Telephone license. Doing so will give you the fundamentals needed.

And building some kits would be a good start. And a 60 MHz oscilloscope is a must. There are some from China that look like good buys or get a used Tektronix such as the TDS-210.

Posts: 1211

« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2012, 07:46:09 AM »

I second that motion..   If you really want to  learn radio,,   then  correspondence  course from  
Cleveland Institute..    I think  CIRE is there newest  Logo.
I took that master course in   radio electroinics starting in  1955.
Passed second phone the first try..
at that time  about  120 lessons.  At the time    about  $365 for the course,,  Time payment option.. I suspect that has at least doubled by know..  they have a web site.

each lesson about  17  pages     8.5 x 11.
I took about  8 to 10 hours a lesson..   (about 4 days  of evening study.)
some where much faster as they are just  math, and I was just out of  High School.
The time I took was to  REALLY  learn the stuff,,  not just get thru the next  test..........

Fifty years later I  still know the stuff.  

Its all about  what you really want to do..  
Cire..     no kits...

National radio schools had kits.

some others at the time  too..

« Last Edit: November 01, 2012, 07:48:19 AM by K9YLI » Logged

Posts: 6578

« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2012, 09:32:15 AM »

WUR:  I second the correspondence course suggestion.  However, they do require dedication and you must understand this from the start.

Check you area for schools that has night classes at their Vocational Technical schools.  I was fortunate to have this experience.  Most of the Tech schools have night classes for adults in electronics, air conditioning, auto mechanics and welding.

A correspondence course is invaluable because they cover the basics in detail for the simple things, which are needed to understand the more complex things.

It helps to know the language!! 

A Pessimist is Never Disappointed!

Posts: 2054

« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2012, 10:08:28 AM »

if you were in the Twin cities, the Pavek Broadcasting Museum regularly has classes on restoring the old stuff of the 20s and 30s.

Posts: 2409

« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2012, 12:12:01 PM »

So in other words you want to do aerobatics and have no idea of how to fly.

First thing to do for you is to actually get a profound knowledge of how electronics work. Start with building simple circuits. There are lots of YouTube videos around. Improve your knowledge, acquire measuring equipment like a Meter to measure voltage, current, resistance. Build a power supply for your circuits. All this will give you the necessary knowledge to track down malfunctions.
Repairing is the high art of electronics, at least sometimes. So be prepared to invest some time, lots of time.

Posts: 159

« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2012, 04:41:29 PM »

There are a number of OLD correspondence courses available on eBay on CD. These are courses from like the 1940s that someone has scanned onto a CD. They are very inexpensive. The company selling them sells all kinds of books scanned onto CDs.

Here we go:
I found this company on eBay originally, but I bought a number of their CDs and after the inital purchase I just went to their website and bypassed eBay. They seem to be a good company to do business with. I bought a CD from them, it arrived broken in half. I emailed them and they offered to send another one right out. I asked if there was any way they could just send me the file as an email instead of mailing the CD and they did.

If you are interested in tube gear, the courses I bought are terrific. As far as modern solid state equipment, no idea.  I recently retired (very young) and had thought about going to the local community college for a 2 year electronics degree solely for use in my hobby of ham radio. When I first got out of high school, I attended this same school for one year and then quit. When I looked into it recently, it didn't look to me like the electronic course they have today would do me much good for ham radio purposes. Since a lot of my interest in ham radio is vintage gear, the above mentioned course along with a few other similar classes (that some company sells others) fullfills my needs. I really have no thought of working on a modern ham radio transceiver.

I thought you said this was a weak signal mode ? I HAVE a weak signal and he still didn't hear me.

FWIW: My callsign is AB8KT

Posts: 5

« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2012, 08:59:44 PM »

thanks guys for the ideas. I will look into them and see what will work best for my needs.

Posts: 7718

« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2012, 08:09:14 AM »

The Ameco Commercial Radio Operator Theory Course is excellent. It is out of print but has one copy used for $10.50.

Posts: 4439

« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2012, 08:21:10 AM »

'BUR mentioned that books haven't done the trick for him so far, which is a real shame because there are some dandies to be found here:

Yeah, it's all vintage stuff but the basic theory of the stages within a superhet receiver remain true today. 'BUR may have a different situation, but it has been my experience that once you learn how to read the sub-circuits within a schematic the process of troubleshooting becomes much easier. Bugging out an IF strip is much simpler than bugging out the whole damn thing......  Wink

First step should be an understanding of basic electrical theory, next step should be understanding the major component classes and their application, final step should be an understanding of how stuff works.

Section by section, step by step, logical progression toward a goal.

Have you considered how many wireless devices are in simultaneous use near PyeongChang, South Korea?  The TV coverage alone requires thousands.  Then add in the cell phones.  Talk about a pileup......!     

Posts: 14422

« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2012, 08:46:24 AM »

Learning the basic electronics theory is really important, if you want to become really good at troubleshooting. Back in the day when radio/tv repair shops were all around, I found that quite a number of technicians (some were my boss) didn't really understand the theory. They became pretty fair (and efficient) at fixing things because they had seen the symptoms before. For example, if the radio is producing hum with the volume all the way down then one or more electrolytic filter capacitors is the most likely problem. However, if the caps didn't fix it then things often deteriorated to what we used to call "gun-decking" in the Navy - replace stuff until it starts working. Cheesy Sometimes the customer would wonder why his radio suddenly quit working but required 15 separate components to fix it.

I'd suggest perhaps starting with one of the on-line or community college courses to get a good understanding of the basic theory.

Bob  AA4PB
Garrisonville, VA

Posts: 38

« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2012, 08:57:49 AM »

the real swine to find is a bad solder join on a  through hole PCB. Sometimes, it's faster to 'shotgun' by resoldering all the joints on the board.

I've no experience of fault finding on PCBs with surface mount:  thick film hybrids weren't too big so it wasn't too much of a job.

Posts: 51

« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2012, 10:47:18 AM »

The best way is to find a good book and learn radio electronic theory.  You have to know how each stage of a synthesized radio works in order to be able to troubleshoot failures.  Getting to that point is about acquiring technical knowledge from classroom and book work.  

This book used to be the bible for radio techs:

« Last Edit: November 02, 2012, 10:53:32 AM by AJ4WC » Logged

Posts: 933

« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2012, 09:18:01 AM »

Apart from learning the theory you could always do what I did as a kid.

1) Grab some old radios and TV sets.

2) Break them.

3) Note what does or doesn't happen.

4) Rectify the fault then go back to step (2).

After they're really broken you can strip them for parts then move on to the next one.


Posts: 3508

« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2012, 09:47:02 AM »

In the early 1960s, Navy Radiomen still did a lot of maintenance on "their" equipment that the Electronics Techs didn't bother with.  In RM "A" school, a good amount of class time was devoted to troubleshooting and repair.  We'd work in groups of two, inserting what was supposed to be a difficult problem into an audio amplifier.  Then we'd pass it to the next group for them to work on and hopefully fix.

I pushed back the insulation on a piece of wire and snipped about 1/16" of conductor off.  Then replaced the insulation.  It took them half an hour to find it, and this was after the instructor had stepped in to "help"!

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