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Looking To Get Started Repairing


I'm new around here and I realize this question is going to be a lot different than normal questions in the forums so, I apologize if it isn't the right place to do so. I'm currently a college student and I have a deep interest in electronics, how they work, and fixing things. I'm trying to start getting into repairing my own items and putting myself out to repair peoples' broken electronics or salvage electronics to try and repair/teardown. It'd be all the better if I could make a little money along the way (college does that to you).

My question is if anyone has any tips on how to start such an endeavor, whether that be basic tools that I need, places to look for electronics, how advertise myself, best way to maximize profit/loss margins, etc. Any advice would be helpful. The tools I currently have are as follows: basic tool kit for your larger items with hammer, larger screw bits, ratchet, and the sort, soldering iron set with iron, extra tips, flux, solder, desoldering pump, different scrapers and tools for PCB, magnifying glass with helping hands, good wire cutters, and a good knife for many applications. I plan on getting a set of precision screwdrivers for smaller electronics but don't currently have the funds so that will have to wait. If there are any tools you consider basics/need to have I'll put them on the list to get next.

Thanks again and I hope this question isn't too out of place.

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@ozoriah ifixitmeta is a better forum for this question

But to start you off a heat station is a better choice to a soldering iron something like thiswith heat control. If your going to work on phones [product|IF145-307|this kit]is wonderful. Do a little research on the proper flux (resin ) and solder . Dont make the beginners mistake of using an acid based flux or plumbing solder. A good multi meter goes a long way and a good magnifing system for those small boards is an asset. An ultrasonic bath with proper cleaning solution can be helpful when repairing water damaged electronics . At very least get yourself a bottle of IP alcohol at a 90%+ dont use watered down 70% stuff and a soft toothbrush for cleaning corrosion from the curcuit boards. Soldering wick may be more preferable to the pump and remember google is your friend

Hope this helps

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To add to @jimfixer good answer here are a couple more suggestions.

If you want to get a bit more experience regarding soldering, component recognition etc etc build your own own ultra sonic bath. They are a great asset as people will always get their devices wet. Use it with distilled water or IPA 90%+ as the 'bath'


@ozoriah One more thing NEVER use rice to dry out electronics . Desiccant like Silica gel can be used but the starch in the rice will make your job of cleaning that much harder


@jayeff ... I have been searching for months to find a guide on how to make an ultrasonic cleaner... Thanks jayeff!


Hi @gigabit87898



@jimfixer @jayeff Thanks both of you for the help! It's greatly appreciated. I'm starting on a very limited budget so it will probably be a fair amount of time before I'm able to get any of the more expensive equipment. But I definitely plan on trying to build up what I have over time to have more applications. I'll take your advice to heart.

Also, would you have any general tips on the front of where I would start to get items in which I could tinker with to get a better understanding of the systems or perhaps repair for a profit magin? Currently all I have is a pair of cheap headphones with no jack that I can repair, but I'm unsure where to look for items to repair in hopes of funding my equipment expansion and beyond.


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As far as getting your business going, we've developed a boatload of resources to help make that easy for you—check out the Pro Tech Network page to get started. You might also want to check out the Starting Up forum on Pro Talk—lots of helpful folks in there.

Best of luck!

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Ozoriah will be eternally grateful.
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