Tech Talk Archives | The Master Samurai Tech Academy

Topic: Tech Talk

Master Samurai Tech Radio Episode 19: ASTI 2017 Recap

Posted on February 21, 2017 by - Academy Talk, Business Talk, MST Radio, Tech Talk

 

In this long-awaited episode, the Samurai and Mrs. Samurai recap the recent Annual Service Training Institute. Some of the links referenced in the podcast:

- Photos from ASTI 2017

- MST Ten-Step Tango Troubleshooting Procedure

- Understanding "Loading Down" in Appliance DC Power Supplies

You can listen to just the audio portion of the vodcast in the player below:

Troubleshoot from the Computer Board and Avoid Unnecessary Appliance Disassembly

Posted on July 25, 2016 by - Academy Talk, Career Talk, Tech Talk

True confession time: I am the laziest tech you’ll ever meet. That’s why I LOVE computer-controlled appliances- I can troubleshoot almost any problem from the main computer board with minimal disassembly, using the skills that we teach in our appliance repair training classes.

Using this Samsung electric dryer as an example, I show how use the schematic to troubleshoot and precisely identify the problem in this no-heat dryer all from the control board.

By doing all my troubleshooting from the main computer board and identifying the bad part, I can then check my inventory to see if I have the part on hand at the service call.

If I do, great- I go ahead and disassemble to complete the repair.

If not, then I avoid an unnecessary disassembly on that first call, go order the needed part, then come back and complete the repair with just one disassembly.

Avoiding unnecessary disassembly saves time, money, and liability.

Lazy techs work smarter, not harder, and earn more money!

 

 

Master Samurai Tech Academy students should log in and watch the more advanced video showing how to test even more components from the control board using live tests.

Webinar Recording: Troubleshooting a Samsung Electric Dryer from the Control Board using Live Testing

Master Samurai Tech Radio Episode 18

Posted on July 12, 2016 by - MST Radio, Tech Talk

 

Introducing the mysterious Son of Samurai (yes, the actual spawn of Samurai), the man behind the scenes running Appliantology.org and MasterSamuraiTech.com. He's also a certified Master Samurai Tech and the Samurai's service call partner. In this episode we talked about:

- Son of Samurai, who he is and what he does to keep our websites running
- Behind the scenes at Appliantology
- Common user questions at Appliantology
- What it takes to be a professional appliance repair technician today
- Getting the most out of your Professional Appliantologist membership at Appliantology.org

Subscribe to this podcast at http://mstradio.com
Subscribe to our newsletter at http://mst.buzz

You can listen to just the audio portion of the vodcast in the player below:

Master Samurai Tech Radio Episode 16

Posted on May 26, 2016 by - Academy Talk, MST Radio, Tech Talk

 

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or Android and listen to past episodes at mstradio.com

You can listen to just the audio portion of the vodcast in the player below or subscribe on iTunes/Android:

Circuit Fu – Reviving The Ancient Lost Art of Appliance Repair

Posted on May 23, 2016 by - Academy Talk, Tech Talk

Circuit Fu taught at the Master Samurai Tech Academy
Whoo-WEE, things sure have changed in the 20 short years I’ve been doing appliance repair! The appliances themselves have changed from discrete mechanically-controlled machines to computers that do appliance functions. But the level of skill among technicians has changed, too. Somewhere along the way, essential skills like a working knowledge of basic electric circuits and using schematics to develop troubleshooting strategies have gotten scarce. In other words, there’s a critical shortage of Circuit Fu among appliance techs today.

I have a background in electronics that I learned in the Navy. As a Navy avionics technician, I had solid training in basic electricity, circuits, electronics, and reading schematics. When troubleshooting a problem on a piece of avionics equipment, standard operating procedure (SOP) was to always pull the schematic and analyze it with the problem description in mind. When I started doing appliance repair 20 years ago, I used this same SOP with the much simpler appliance circuits that I troubleshot and it always served me well.

Most of the older techs I met when I first started (many of them also military trained) did things the same way. It was no big deal. When we went to appliance training classes, it was mostly to learn about disassembly because the circuitry was so simple (this was long before the days of Youtube and PDF service manuals that could be downloaded from the Internet).

Then I started noticing a change. The older techs who knew how to troubleshoot started retiring and the many of the newer techs (my age and younger) coming in to take their place didn’t have these troubleshooting skills. The situation deteriorated to the point that today, many techs never even look at the schematic because they don’t have the foggiest idea of how they would use them to troubleshoot. For lots of these guys, “troubleshooting” was reduced to simple pattern recognition, “Oh, yeah, I’ve seen this problem before and you need to replace this part to fix it.” But they have no idea why or how.

The reason for this decline in skill is an interesting topic to speculate about and could fill up a whole ‘nother post. We all know that there are too many young people being diverted to an increasingly expensive and ineffective college track rather than the trades. And maybe that college-track focus in US high schools is part of why our apprenticeship system is weak and even those folks who do go into the trades are often not well-trained.

Many people working in the skilled trades in America today are mathematically illiterate and have poor attention to details, especially important ones pertaining to their jobs. These deficiencies result in low job performance and satisfaction, and, ultimately, lack of achievement and success.

This really is a lamentable situation because the skilled trades offer interesting, mentally-challenging, and, most of all, lucrative work. They also offer the most straightforward way to starting your own business.

Customers also suffer because of the critical shortage of skilled, professional technicians who can come in, troubleshoot a problem, and get it fixed right the first time without guessing and throwing parts at it, increasing the time to repair, customer dissatisfaction, and cost.

The appliance repair trade is probably worse off than most of the other skilled trades because the apprenticeship programs are practically non-existent, there are not many cost-effective training venues left today, and appliances have become increasingly more complex and computer-controlled. So you’re left with a double-whammy: the technical skills have gone down at precisely the time they’re needed the most as appliances have gotten more complex to troubleshoot.

As I mentioned earlier, one of the biggest skill gaps in the appliance repair trade today is a working knowledge of basic electricity, circuits, and using schematics to troubleshoot electrical problems. I call this Circuit Fu. And this is exactly what we teach in the Fundamentals of Appliance Repair online training course at the Master Samurai Tech Academy.

Appliance technicians come to the Master Samurai Tech Academy precisely to learn these lost Circuit Fu skills, even experienced techs with previous appliance repair training.

The Fundamentals of Appliance Repair course is equally effective as a getting-started course for a rookie or a filling-in-the-gaps course for an older appliance tech. Team Samurai helps to get you from where you are to where you want to be!

The appliance repair training at Master Samurai Tech is all done online and is self-paced. Work on your course on your schedule, go as slow or fast as you want, review as often as you need to. The courses are multimedia and rely heavily on videos as a teaching medium. And if you need additional instruction, that’s just a click away in the Student Forums. Or, come to the weekly, live web instruction where you can ask questions real-time.

 

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