Before I came to work at UTM, I fixed VCRs and TVs. Don't go into this line of work if you like to eat. There's nothing like plugging something in and watching 4 hours of work literally go up in smoke. Electronics has always been my hobby, and I love building things from scratch far more than fixing something for myself or someone else. Most of the time it's better to go and buy something new and get a warranty than pay to get the old one fixed. A service manual for your TV, VCR, CD player or stereo costs a repairman around $35-50 , and by the time he figures out what is wrong with the thing he has it fixed, so free estimates have gone the way of free air and water. Thus, (1.) the fee for the estimate is added to the repair, or (2.) you pay for the estimate and take your broken item back, or (3.) you abandon it at the poor guy's shop and he goes on and fixes it and tries to sell it to get some of his time and money back.
If you're even remotely interested in electronics and have no background whatsoever, go to Radio Shack and pick up a copy of Forest Mimms' "Getting Started in Electronics". I still refer to this book at times. He also wrote the Radio Shack "Engineer's Mini Notebooks" that are filled with circut "building blocks" for projects. The Shack has all the parts to get you started, but click on the company logos below and request a catalog and you'll see you can save money on the same parts and more if you don't mind waiting 2-3 days.
THESE COMPANIES HAVE NOT GIVEN ME PERMISSION TO USE THEIR LOGOS OR LINK TO THEIR SITES, BUT THEY SHOULDN'T GRIPE ABOUT FREE ADVERTISING. THESE ARE THE PLACES THAT HAVE GIVEN ME SUPERIOR SERVICE, SOME FOR OVER 10 YEARS.
Here are some neat sites, if the links are still valid:
Here's saying it better than I ever could
Fixing antique radios
TV repair FAQ
Schematics for Guitar and/or audio equipment
Homepage of a guy who saved my bacon when I asked a question in sci.electronics.misc.
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