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 The right to repair
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 Return to top of page · Post #: 1 · Written at 9:10:47 PM on 2 March 2019.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 6005

In the March 2019 issue of Silicon Chip, its editor Nick Vinen discusses new legislation introduced by the EU giving consumers and business the right to repair the goods that they purchase. He says several US states have similar laws.

This legislation is in reaction to the common practice these days whereby manufacturers go to great lengths to make goods difficult or impossible to repair by the owners via such means as using parts with restricted supply and/or refusing to supply service manuals.

Nick argues that manufacturers should release all proprietary information – including schematics and firmware – relating to electronic and mechanical devices once they no longer offer a repair service on the basis that, if they are no longer supporting the product, they have effectively abandoned it.

He ends by saying that he hopes Australia may get a similar “right to repair” sometime soon.

I say “bring it on!”


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 2 · Written at 10:11:55 PM on 2 March 2019.
Vintage Pete's avatar
 Location: Albury, NSW
 Member since 1 May 2016
 Member #: 1919
 Postcount: 1993

Chinese schematics!!! Thats one mountain I'm not taking on!
What a thought ! I wouldn't want to work on modern junk anyway the interest is not there. Thats one reason I'm not a mechanic anymore,, modern cars are not enjoyable to work on at all.
One good aspect I can see in this though is it may help recycle some of the terrible waste in newish products that you see in the streets on throw out day. TVs ,washing machines , fridges, That are only a year old fill our streets and Tips.
Very wasteful society now...... particularly around where I live .

Pete


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 3 · Written at 10:22:01 PM on 2 March 2019.
Tallar Carl's avatar
 Location: Latham, ACT
 Member since 21 February 2015
 Member #: 1705
 Postcount: 1574

Pete
My mother bought a new fridge when I was 15. It was still in service when I turned 55. She bought a new fridge and it's trash now.
I'm now 57


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 4 · Written at 10:27:08 PM on 2 March 2019.
Vintage Pete's avatar
 Location: Albury, NSW
 Member since 1 May 2016
 Member #: 1919
 Postcount: 1993

Carl my fridge which is my every day fridge is a 1955 Crosley!
Bright pink on the inside and still running fine!
Its my only fridge!
The only bad part is the freezer is small and in the summer I have to defrost it once per month! But pretty good for a 65 year old fridge! Visitors love it!

Pete


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 5 · Written at 11:22:09 PM on 2 March 2019.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 6005

it may help recycle some of the terrible waste in newish products that you see in the streets

Case in point. Dyson, you may be aware, regularly reinvents the wheel and sells it for a premium to yuppies who think it's absolutely fabulous. As I discovered when I took on the repair of a Dyson fan, spare parts for Dyson products are very few and there is zero technical documentation available. Dyson requires you to return the product to them for repair, and their charges usually make the repair uneconomical -- so they offer you a discount on a new model instead.

modern cars are not enjoyable to work on at all.

Another case in point. Vehicle manufacturers these days make if difficult and expensive for independent mechanics to work on their computerised cars. The dealerships have access to whatever information they need. Others are either denied it or have to pay a king's ransom to obtain it, sometimes having to pay on a per use (i.e. per vehicle) basis.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 6 · Written at 5:46:25 AM on 3 March 2019.
Fred Lever's Gravatar
 Location: Toongabbie, NSW
 Member since 19 November 2015
 Member #: 1828
 Postcount: 879

We usually go for a walk around the suburb each morning and I notice more and more a house will suddenly have a huge pile of goods outside. Did not happen 10 years ago but now quite normal. The thing that strikes me is most of the stuff is only a few years old and in perfect working order!
I was given the reason for this upon asking one guy stacking stuff outside his house

When moving its cheaper to dump all that stuff and as they move into the next house take only personal belongings and buy another batch of stuff. By stuff I mean all the big pieces like washing machine, fridge, freezer, wardrobe, beds, sofa etc etc.
Thus you don't have to pay a removalist to ship all the stuff, just get into your cars and move on. If it does not fit in the cars it does not go!
When they get to the next house they then start with brand new stuff either on time payment or the modern equivalent, or, its so cheap who cares? The joint you buy the new stuff with your forever card then delivers it for nothing and muscles it into the house.
Asked the same guy if he fixes anything if it fails, all I got was stupid look, no you just go and buy a new one.

My house is now full of other peoples cast offs.
Can you imagine throwing out items still in their. original shipping boxes?
Yes they do, maybe used for one season.
I brought home both a powered Victa lawnmower and a edger dumped outside one guys house.
I just serviced the 2 strokes and there we are fully operational.
Ditto grillers, clocks, TV sets, tables, chairs.

I have realised now that very few people have a home workshop.
In the 1960's every guy had a garage full of tools and we were always upending a washing machine or car changing a belt or gearbox or something to keep them going.

Am I a sad case?!!

Fred.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 7 · Written at 6:26:19 AM on 3 March 2019.
Vintage Pete's avatar
 Location: Albury, NSW
 Member since 1 May 2016
 Member #: 1919
 Postcount: 1993

Im X generation and I'm 50, most of you guys are boomers.
The Generation after X and boomers do not work with tools generally.
That is a general attitude in the western world any way ,but its not like that in other places.
Ive been repairing things since I was 14 ,both for a job and to survive as I'm old school and live that way.
But financially its not paid off!
Hell Australia is soooo expensive now I wouldn't know where to start to be financially better off! I would have to be born again.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 8 · Written at 7:06:13 AM on 3 March 2019.
Robbbert's avatar
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 18 September 2015
 Member #: 1801
 Postcount: 1378

Back in the 70s/80s, when I used to buy lots of new electronic equipment, most of it came with schematics, and you could buy service manuals and parts without a problem. Compare that to now, where there's no support at all.

In America, there's been a long-running battle between rich companies and those who want to repair or modify their own possessions.

Does Apple ever supply anything? No. You'd be lucky if you could even get any of their stuff open without breaking it.

American companies abuse the DMCA to stop customers servicing their own stuff.

Here's an example in the farm industry: https://www.wired.com/story/john-deere-farmers-right-to-repair/


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 9 · Written at 11:24:13 AM on 3 March 2019.
Brad's avatar
 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 6345

Car manufacturers/importers that trade in Australia must store sufficient parts for models to last for a minimum of ten years after the last car in a given model is sold, or at least that is my understanding of such laws. It's true that this doesn't apply to other industries but it's probably time it did. It would (or at least should) mean that model lifecycles are longer and people can still buy things such as OEM remote controls if they wish.

There is far too much going to the tip after a very short service life and it is because of poor quality and all this BS about reserving the right to make changes to improve a product when all the improvement means is that the shape, size or firmware in a part is different rather than better.

Here's longevity for you - Holden used the same engine in its six cylinder cars between 1964 and 1986. The only 'upgrades' were larger cylinder sizes and increasing levels of emissions control over that time. After a brief period using a supplied engine, they then went on to use much the same engine between 1988 and the present day. Again, the only significant changes were cylinder size and the material used to make the engine blocks.

Designing new engines from the ground up is a false economy and does little to assist the aftermarket when parts are being sourced.

Am I for the right to repair? Yes I am.


‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾
A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 10 · Written at 12:00:26 PM on 3 March 2019.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 6005

Car manufacturers/importers that trade in Australia must store sufficient parts for models to last for a minimum of ten years after the last car in a given model is sold

Parts are one thing. Try getting access installation/service/programming information unless you're a dealer. Mate of mine does electrical/electronic repair work on so-called prestige cars, often trade-ins from used car dealers which need problems fixed before they can offer them for resale. He frequently has to use his network of friends within dealership service departments to get information as a favour via the back door. Many times that information is just determining the part number. Sometimes, if he's lucky, someone in Europe or the USA will have made a YouTube video on the issue.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 11 · Written at 12:02:42 PM on 3 March 2019.
Irext's avatar
 Location: Werribee South, VIC
 Member since 30 September 2016
 Member #: 1981
 Postcount: 399

I too lament the state of our "throw away" society.
Part of the problem is the desireability of the latest features of a given product.
The average person is just looking for an excuse to toss out an item in order to get a new one with the latest features (gimmicks ?).
During the 80s and 90s my house was full of items obtained from lawn shopping.
All our TV's were from discarded ones found on the nature strip and repaired by yours truly. Usually with nothing more than the odd crook electrolytic.
I always said that if it was out in front of my place for collection, it had every ounce of useabillity sucked out of it.
Sadly these days I have been forced to buy new items for the reasons others have mentioned WRT lack of any info and the cost of parts to repair said items.
We will pay for this eventually I fear.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 12 · Written at 12:09:29 PM on 3 March 2019.
Vintage Pete's avatar
 Location: Albury, NSW
 Member since 1 May 2016
 Member #: 1919
 Postcount: 1993

Well ya going to laugh, but I was mechanic in the sports and Racing car industry and then I got a government job as Diesel mechanic on Trucks for the health department.
And Through it all away to become a Garbo!!!
No regrets ! At that time of life. I use to start at 4.30 am and by 9.30 I was on my way home!..... boy wish I had that job still!


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 13 · Written at 12:14:08 PM on 3 March 2019.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 6005

Does Apple ever supply anything? No. You'd be lucky if you could even get any of their stuff open without breaking it

Dave Thompson, who writes the Serviceman's Log in Silicon Chip, is regular testament to the difficulties repairing such devices. Apple, etc, are massive contributors to e-waste.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 14 · Written at 12:24:21 PM on 3 March 2019.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 6005

ABC News must be reading this thread. Smile

This article just popped up: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-03-03/does-australia-need-a-right-to-repair/10864852


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 15 · Written at 2:50:26 PM on 3 March 2019.
Robbbert's avatar
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 18 September 2015
 Member #: 1801
 Postcount: 1378

The situation with computer consoles is pretty bad too. The current manufacturers are Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo. All of them roll out the equivalent of "windows updates". Hackers are continually looking for ways to open up the consoles to play homebrew games and whatever you want. When a hack is announced, it gets closed off at the next update. If you don't update, then mysteriously the thing stops working after a while.

Apple are even worse. When a new model of iPhone is released, they push updates to the older models to make them run slower, to force you to upgrade to the current grossly-overpriced one. I'd call that criminal.

My car is over 20 years old. Apart from the odd dead battery, the thing has never broken down, and today works as well as it ever did, with the original motor and 300,000km on the clock. I take it to the original dealer for service. The only time they didn't have the correct replacement part, it was a piece of exhaust pipe. So I went to an exhaust shop and they made a new part at reasonable cost. And, guess what, it's not an Australian car, it's Japanese. That's why it's so reliable.

Are there any TV repair shops left? I haven't seen any for a long time.


 
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