It’s common to want to fix your own telecommunications equipment to save money and time. It even looks easy enough. You may be able to teach yourself the ritual movements to complete the tasks, however, you may not employ the smaller steps needed to keep your telecom equipment working optimally. Here are 5 common shortcuts that seem, on the surface, perfectly fine but can make your end result more of a hassle and ultimately more costly.
Mistake #1: Using common tools
A big mistake that we see is the use of common tools on telecom and electronics equipment. Many tabs on your electronics and telecom equipment can be opened with a Philips-slotted screwdriver or a 6 mm nut driver. In the case of Pozidriv screws, you need a special square-tipped Pozidriv or you’ll ruin the screw as well as the equipment inside. The use of a flathead screwdriver, especially the big ones meant for a tighter grip, can also cause damage due to slipping, jabbing and stabbing, not to mention increasing your chances of hurting yourself.
Just because you have tools that will open your electronics or telecom equipment, it doesn’t mean you should open it.
Mistake #2: Overestimating equipment integrity
Never overestimate the integrity of your equipment. Although it’s made of metal and plastic, telecom equipment can be sensitive.
Static electricity is your secret enemy. The human body is naturally bioelectric, conducting and holding an electric charge constantly. Failing to ground yourself or the equipment you’re working on can destroy the chips and surrounding connectors and, if strong enough, can be dangerous to your health.
While most static discharge is very low, you only need 200 Volts to damage the circuit boards. That’s not very much considering the electric shock we know and hate is around 2000 Volts. Without the proper ground equipment, you’re likely doing more harm than you think without even realizing it.
Mistake #3: Using specialized tools from electronics store.
Another mistake people often make is using specialized tools from an electronics store. This is a very common means of putting pieces together or taking them apart that most people employ.
While these tools are useful, they can damage and ruin the metal pins, connectors and leads connecting the interior parts of the equipment. Many times this damage isn’t obvious until it’s too late. It’s best to have a professional or experienced user handle delicate extractions and repairs.
Mistake #4: All upgrades are good
An upgrade is an upgrade, right? Wrong!
A big mistake we often see is the assumption that an upgrade is no big deal that that your system can handle the changes. This isn’t necessarily true, even if the software is up to date.
What happens is the Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) “flashes” when the data from your upgraded equipment is read. If the data is incompatible, the data gets corrupted and things stop working. A full reinstall with the proper data or replacement becomes necessary, even when it works, despite the increased stalls, break-downs and crashes. This problem keeps on giving so talk to a professional when considering an upgrade.
Mistake #5: Underestimating your contribution
One of the most insidious of shortcuts is the shortcut itself. Every time you touch your electronics or telecom equipment, you’re risking damage.
Your hands might be damp or greasy from something you ate, if you’re talking while handling food or saliva may get on the equipment too. You can’t just wipe off the motherboards with your hands or a towel. Even blowing on your equipment or handing it too quickly can damage the sensitive hardware. All of these simple and sometime unnoticeable things can cause hidden damage that may be small yet irreparable.
Fixing or diagnosing telecom equipment
on your own might be tempting, but a seemingly simple “fix” might damage or ruin your equipment. To prevent damage that can cost you more in the long run, get an expert to take a look before trying to fix something yourself.