Talk:Repair center kit

Revision as of 15:55, 23 February 2009 by Nicabod (talk | contribs)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search

Printable template pad

I have been thinking also, would be a handy 8 1/2 x 11 'printable template' pad for putting on the desk/flat surface. Basically, outline circles and shapes to put all the screws and parts as they are dissembled and put to the side. Orderly and clearly marked on the template for each part. (Could actually be a photograph/scan of the part, for those truly motivated. :) )

The 'oversized' parts which don't fit, can be 'cleverly' footprinted by a corner or edge outline of the part. The rest of the piece can extend off the piece of paper.

--Iain Davidson

8.5x11 is only an american format mind you. Other countries when they start getting repair centers will require other formats. And is one sheet enough? (Added by Nicabod: A4 is defined by ISO 216; see Wikipedia: <>.)
--Seth Woodworth
If your goal (or at least if you're keeping in mind) the needs of an overseas deployment repair center, such a mat really needs to be bigger, more durable, and anti-static.
And this has been giving me pause.
Anti-static grounding is easy anywhere AC mains exist, but for a deployment struggling to keep XO's and servers running (possibly with Solar or generators) it could become problematic. A good grounding system is critical (or the anti-static mat buys you little) so it seems most reasonable to have a minimalistic ground loop system which can be deployed for this purpose.
Alternately, an anti-static spray might be a better solution.
I wonder how the Army does field grounding for this type of stuff?
--Steve Holton
As I was considering field grounding when writing the text in "How to set up a repair center" (iirc!), it occurred to me that providing an earth ground in the desert is probably not simple. A long nail driven into the trunk of your nearest friendly palm (or other) tree?
--Nicabod (Nick Bodley)

Starter kit

Alan Claver wrote a suggestion of a package OLPC could offer. This is a proposal, not an actual kit being offered; there are no current plans to offer such a kit at this time.

What many computer vendors do is that they provide a "startup kit" to a service center which would provide the basis for stocking a service center.

Most create kits based on the number of units they would service - for example 1 motherboard for every 1000 units in the "service area"

Of course, our trick is that we don't have historical repair figures which could help centers figure out how many of each part they need but I do recommend we provide at least 1 startup kit as follows:

  • 1 fully functional XO (battery and adapter)
  • 1 motherboard
  • 1 TTL-RS232 programming adapter
  • 5 keyboards
  • 5 trackpads
  • 5 AC adapters (extras for stand alone sales)
  • 5 batteries (extras for stand alone sales)
  • 1 set of plastic parts (XO without electronics)
  • 1 set of metal parts (all mounting hardware and such)
  • 1 set of extra screws (a generous supply)
Mchua notes that the XO comes with a set of extra screws in its handle; still, extra screws are never a bad idea.
alc comments that repair centers should not have to depend on the spare screws in the handle. These should be reserved for the owner. I was also thinking that repair centers should also have some thread lock. Perhaps OLPC can get the specs for the stuff Quanta uses.

This should provide enough spare parts for perhaps 5000 unit coverage assuming we have resolved many of the initial parts issues.

Mchua notes that we don't know how many units this kind of kit would actually cover, but it's not a bad guess.

The operational XO is important so that suspect parts can be tested in a known working environment. I guess this could be optional if the service group already has a working XO.

Spare hardware is also vital - service center should not be forced to cannibalize existing XOs for parts. We could take down M or D stock to the basic parts but it would be nice if OLPC gets a supply of assembly hardware from the vendors directly.

The TTL adapter is very important as all service centers should be able to unbrick D6 issues. This could be one of the most lucrative processes for those centers charging fair value to repairs. Community centers might want to do this for free?

After a service center purchases the kit, then can resupply their stock using whatever system you guys figure out but any "registered" service center must be able to purchase parts at a price lower than retail customers to allow them some small profit margin. A margin of 10% is usually a good figure. It MUST not be based on quantity - 1 or 100 should be the same price.

I just read the advice/comments above, and I think it's really excellent. I've been a repair tech. (incl. some computer work) for much of my life, which gives me some basis for saying this. -- Nicholas Bodley (Nicabod)

Nicholas Bodley (also) adds the following:

When working with screws:

Slotted heads (straight rectangular-profile groove) are low-tech, very easy to make, still in use, but not great. It's easy to make a screwdriver, even one of the proper size and shape. Higher-tech types such as cross-recess (Phillips makes many, but the Japanese (JIS?) make somewhat-different ones) are better; Phillips Pozidriv™ (please don't re-spell it!) is another, and Torx™ even more recent. (Most, if not all hard drives use Torx screws for their metal covers that Must Not be Removed Except In a Clean Room.)

Reason I mention this is that the traditional Phillips (genuine article) screwdrivers don't really properly fit the Japanese standard cross-recess heads, and tend somewhat to chew them up. There are screwdrivers available (or were) for the Japanese standard (likely to be a JIS: Japanese Industrial Standard (symbol is Unicode U+3004) [〄]). However, those are not common in the USA, even though we used to repair Japanese consumer electronics (now, largely Asian...).

I'd suggest that OLPC try to look into this (I know someone who's done a lot of consumer electronic servicing); it might be good to include two or three correct screwdrivers (along with their specifications!) in with spare small parts kits.

alc comments that I've looked at some Phillips screw driver kits and the one I ordered was this - Wiha 3K Cushion Grip Mag/Demag Handle 6 Pc Set Slot/ Phillips. Wiha is a top quality German tool maker. This kit includes #0, #1 and #2 Phillips. This is ideal for the XO because a) the bits are very long and slim to fit into all the tight spaces and b) the handle has a magnetize/demag slot which will will strongly magnetize the bit to hold on to screws and fetch them from tight spaces. $30 from

Should we be recommending Phillips screwdrivers?

I don't think so. This seems to be an oversight; elsewhere, iirc where types of screws are discussed (with an excellent macro photo), or nearby, there's info. about the correct drivers. Regards, Nicabod 19:54, 23 February 2009 (UTC)