The service manuals of old professional equipment are truly amazing, the schematics are shown in three different abstraction levels, every single connection is shown, waveforms at 100 different test points are drawn, every single component is listed, with step-by-step test and calibration guidelines. You can almost remove everything from the board and put it back together with a service manual.

Something that today's consumers can only dream of...

@niconiconi I’m convinced most people have no idea what’s going on anymore, all the good technical workers are dead now and we’re just grasping at straws by comparison

@redneck_happy Considering those equipment typically costs 10,000+ USD, having good serviceability and documentation is to be expected.

Nowadays, comparable equipment only a fraction of the original price with high integration, is undeniably a true improvement, some serviceability is definitely lost, I think it's fair enough bargain.

However, the only problem is: many manufacturers are going full-Apple style with _negative_ maintainability...

Having grown up around this stuff, not quite so. I've seen this level of documentation for things ranging from toaster ovens all the way up to home computers. The Commodore 64 and 128 programmers reference manuals come with complete schematics for their respective platforms, plus datasheets for all the custom parts inside.

TVs and radios used to even have these details on a sticker *inside* the chassis at one time.

@niconiconi @redneck_happy
Completely agreed on the negative maintainability though. This is a disturbing Trend that I would love to see stop somehow. :-(

@vertigo @redneck_happy Completely agree on what you've said.

I used professional equipment as an example and disregarded customer products, simply because I wanted to compare apple to apple (pun not intented!).

nah, we still exist, just limited by lack of employer foresight and capitalist barriers to mainstream entry for our work.

A lot if makers and open source minds exist in the technically competent paradigm too.


@mmu_man My understanding is, sacrificing some serviceability is an objective outcome of higher integration, also, low reliability or even the lack of basic documentation is argued by some people as the fault of customers.

But I think bottomline that most people can agree is, manufacturers shouldn't actively stop someone from fixing it, or reporting your compatible replacement parts to ICE to seize them as "infringement" , or sending a team of lawyers to you. But unfortunately...

@niconiconi Ever read a Commodore 64 user's guide?

It teaches you EVERYTHING.

E V E R Y T H I N G !

They don't make 'em like they used to!

@rick_777 @niconiconi The manual for my Amiga 500 is similar. :bloblul:

By contrast, the most recent thing I've bought that did have something like that was a cheap-crap screwdriver from B&M a year or two ago, and that actually surprised me. :blobastonished:

@rick_777 @niconiconi Remember, this was in the time before "Let me google that for you."

Yeah but it also reflects the shift in corporate mentality. Like the good ol' Volkswagen, you could modify your C64 as you saw fit. It was YOUR hardware and you could do whatever you wanted with it.

Now, the only people authorized to modify your computer are the official technicians, so there's no need to give you detailed manuals. The OS spies on you, you can't modify it and they can disable it remotely at any time.


@rick_777 @niconiconi LIkely a bit of it all. For example, it's probably partly due to the fact that back then you needed to do much more to get anything done. While today much more is done for you.

To steal a quote I just heard on The Change Log, when cars first came out, the instructions on starting the car was two pages long because you needed to know much more.

@rick_777 @niconiconi I'm not saying there isn't a ton of wanting to sell us things instead of letting us repair. Right to repair is a subject that pushes me over the edge. Just saying there are probably lots of reasons for it.

Don't get me started. Just thought of non user replaceable batteries and blood shot out of my eyes just now.

@niconiconi I was quite impressed by LG - Searched and found a service manual for my monitor - It contained not only the part I was looking for - how to open it without destruction - but also full schematics, block diagrams, description of test points...

@niconiconi There is still one place actually two that this can still happen in high end test equipment and in Ham radio equipment, granted it is not as pretty and is a lot more sterile but does happen on some level.

@hiddensoul Ham radio for sure! These are probably the only remaining area of customer electronics which is not designed with a "DO NOT SERVICE" mindset...

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