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How to Diagnose and Fix Everything Electronic by Michael Jay Geier | PDF Free Download.
Michael Jay Geier has been an electronics technician, designer, and inventor since age six. He took apart everything he could get his hands on and soon discovered that learning to put it back together was even more fun.
By age eight, he operated a neighborhood electronics repair service that was profiled in The Miami News. He went on to work in numerous service centers in Miami, Boston, and Seattle, frequently serving as the “tough dog” tech who solved the cases other techs couldn’t.
At the same time, Michael was a pioneer in the field of augmentative communications systems, helping a noted Boston clinic develop computer speech systems for children with cerebral palsy.
He also invented and sold an amateur radio device while writing and marketing software in the early years of personal computing.
Michael holds an FCC Extra-class amateur radio license. His involvement in ham radio led to his writing career, first with articles for ham radio magazines and then with general technology features in Electronic Engineering Times, Desktop Engineering, IEEE Spectrum, and The Envisioneering Newsletter.
His work on digital rights management has been cited in several patents. Michael earned a Boston Conservatory of Music degree in composition, was trained as a conductor and is an accomplished classical, jazz and pop pianist and a published songwriter.
Along with building and repairing electronic circuitry, he enjoys table tennis, restoring antique mopeds, ice skating, bicycling, and banging out a jazz tune on his harpsichord.
I Foreword f you want to enjoy the detective’s process of figuring out why your electronic gadget stopped working right and the rush you’ll get when you finally fix it, smile along with Michael, your kindred spirit, as you read this book.
I met Michael in 1977 in a moped shop in Boston. In the course of our very first conversation, his sleuthing instinct showed itself when he said, in classic Columbo fashion, “You’re a physics guy.
There’s something I have always wanted to know, and nobody has been able to explain. Why is it that when you slowly angle a pitcher to pour out the water, first it dribbles back down the outside and then at some critical angle finally pours out in a stream?
What determines that critical angle?” The little voice inside me said, “This is a curious guy who looks at things differently, digs deep, and has a passion for keeping after the questions until he really understands. If he’s asking about this, what the hell else is he into?”
As it turned out, quite a lot! There was music (Michael was and is a professional-level composer and performer), inventive electronics (fixing and building a wide range of unusual things), mechanics (not just mopeds, but all the little hinges, switches, battery clips, and so on that inhabit enclosures and bedevil us), figure skating, computer programming (Apple II, IBM, and databases) and natural philosophy what people used to call physics, but entailing a little more wonder on the part of the philosopher.
My electronics experience was merely in support of physics experiments and hobbies. Michael’s was in making consumer electronics devices—stereos, ham radios, video equipment, you name it—either come to life when broken or work much better than originally designed by implementing some ingenious, simple improvement.
He is exceptional at diagnosing these complex electronic products because he has taken the time to truly understand exactly how the whole was created from the parts.
Time after time he would explain enthusiastically how some really weird interaction of parts would lead to quirky behavior or failure in something he was designing or repairing, and I just ate it up.
When he talked, his “renaissance man” way of understanding the world around him came right through. This book reads just like Michael talks. It approaches electronics and its repair from multiple angles, like a big puzzle to be solved, with a significant dose of wonder and enjoyment of the process.
Just to give you a sense of the guy, here are some things Michael created 30 years ago, in the early 1980s, way ahead of his time: first, the CD player with a vacuum tube amplifier on the back end that was older than Michael himself and made a magnificent sound.
Now you can buy expensive, audiophile-grade players built exactly the same way. Then there was the ham radio in a motorcycle helmet with the antenna sticking out the top that he’d talk all over Boston on while riding his moped to my office.
He may have been the first to develop a combination amplifier and regulated power converter so you could play your own high-quality music source through the car stereo—essentially what now comes standard for smartphones.
My favorite was a $10 circuit he developed for my company that could reliably detect 10-femtofarad shifts in capacitance. That’s a hundredth of a picofarad! It’s such a ridiculously tiny amount that it took an exotic lab instrument to find it at all.
I doubted it could be done, but he delivered a relatively simple circuit that worked like a charm, even in the presence of stray capacitance thousands of times greater than what we were trying to measure. His approach was unlike anything I’d ever seen.
He wound up developing numerous circuits for us. And from there he just kept going. While doing projects for us, Michael also worked with a clinic in Boston to create a wheelchair-mounted, computer-based speech system for children who couldn’t talk, several years before something similar was developed for Stephen Hawking.
He also created computerized training aids for medical students, with a humorous question-and-answer format that kept them entertained while they learned.
They were the precursor to today’s game-based learning software. A few years back, he converted ten of those funny wall-mounted singing bass fish into a programmable ensemble to accompany his original music on stage!
He had them flapping their tails in rhythm and mouthing the backup vocals in perfect sync. He has continued to develop new circuits and repair and modify old ones, making them work like new or perform tricks they were never meant to do.
If you’re ready to learn the essence of the thinking, the approach, the mindset that goes into tackling the gremlins lurking in those intimidating-looking circuit boards, this book is the one that can deliver those elements along with enough specific examples, tips, and information to give you a really good chance at a successful repair.
Get reading, and get ready to have a great time!
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