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Right to Repair - Deere, Trimble, Leica

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hpalmer
(@hpalmer)
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Need to get my GNSS fixed.  Sent off to certified repair facility (parts changer) only to tell me two parts need replacing and maybe more - rabbit hole.  OK, I probably broke my agreements and warranty notifications by taking this apart but it is Sunday morning listening to Townes Van Zandt and friends and I have little to lose and much to gain.  After hesitating, I decided to post these pictures and request for help.

Anyone know where I can send in 3 of the boards to test?

Anyone know where I can purchase these boards and how much?

Do I have a right to repair my own instrument?

Or are they going to put me in jail for disassembling?

 
Posted : October 2, 2022 6:52 am
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OleManRiver
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Lol Just make sure you have yourself grounded not even static electricity or you can do a lot of damage to the boards fyi. When I worked for a Trimble dealer I learned some things from our repair guy and he taught me some things but I have not touched anything earlier than a 5800 and R8 and it has been years. He had a static mat on the table and where he stood. A huge magnifying glass and voltage meters.    I had a cheat sheet for each item that was dumbed down for me so I could try and isolate an issue for him while he was doing something else.  You are braver than I to attempt this. 

 
Posted : October 2, 2022 8:46 am
BStrand
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How much is this thing worth?  Hopefully you aren't spending thousands to save hundreds...

 
Posted : October 2, 2022 9:36 am

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FL/GA
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Posted by: @hpalmer

Townes Van Zandt

Pancho & Lefty one of the songs wrote.... sorry for the hijack 😎 

And then Merle, Willie and Toby got ahold of it.

 

 
Posted : October 2, 2022 10:09 am
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hpalmer
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@bstrand worth nothing if not working.  >$17k if hitting on all cylinders.

 
Posted : October 2, 2022 11:51 am
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hpalmer
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@flga-2-2  lots of good times at Waterloo Ice House and Austin Outhouse with Townes and Blaze Foley - sometimes sober but mostly not.

 
Posted : October 2, 2022 11:55 am
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Jitterboogie
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the warranty is only a year.  Unless it's under one of there contracts for software and hardware support.

I Long ago repaired the 5700s, GeoXTs, screens, etc, and even got a phone number to their on call engineering group. whom asked me how I got their number and I told him, we worked 7 days a week and for the money we lose daily waiting for their crazy controlled responses and lack of support, I'm fixing it. To which he said "you'll void your warranty" and I laughed and hung up.

The dealers are bound to a rigid and highly enforced contract, but if you're in good with them they can provide parts for some things if you're capable of fixing the problem.

it's yours, have at it, but if you go in and can't fix or create another situation, expect them to refuse to repair or charge twice as much because you "touched" it first. we did that when we opened up tube amps and sound systems that people "tried" to fix and troubleshoot, because they generally let out the magic white smoke that never goes back into the device once released.

 

what exactly are you trying to replace?

 
Posted : October 2, 2022 11:57 am
hpalmer
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@jitterboogie fix a GR30 that was hit by lightening. Visible damage to a connector board.  Was under support one month prior but doubt it would have covered lightening.

Our GNSS is up and running but want to get the damaged unit back up and running.  Appears two smart boards, one being a Novatel 729 and the other a processor board.  The board replacement should be easy once I determine which board is damaged and IF I can get a replacement.

just fyi, last time we had a sensor go south and sent in for repair, they replaced the boards and sent back with an invoice for more than we could purchase a new sensor.  I doubt the manufacture will allow their repair facilities to repair boards and warranty repair, only to replace same.

If you can get the parts to fix your John Deere tractor, I would think you can get the parts to fix your survey instrument.

 
Posted : October 2, 2022 12:55 pm
Jitterboogie
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@hpalmer 

yeehaw!

Lightning is a whole other thing entirely. 

Parts for the board or the entire assembly if you can get them, aif they're surface mount are repairable, and if you're working with the Oscope and other accessories to check signal path and the like you're doing ok.

But there's so many variables/parts that can be burned or fused and not even appear to be because of the immense surge of energy is hard to assess easily.

good luck and take photos and tell us how it goes.

what solder system do you use? I'm a Metcal guy myself.

 
Posted : October 2, 2022 2:11 pm

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hpalmer
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Not sure what solder system (cost maybe $80) as out in the shop but saved me $400 first time used on a dashboard module in my Volvo and maybe $200 on a Schonstedt.  The GNSS boards are multi layer and soldering will not help except for items populated on same - this is why I asked about testing the boards.

FYI, the signals appear to be routed from the antenna to the Novatel 729 and then the processing board.  The 729 has a (24) pin-out.  If someone has an adapter, I should be able to connect board to my computer and, with software I have, test most/many of the capabilities of the 729.  If the 729 is good, then the rest of the sensor is worth salvaging.

I have no intention of testing incoming signals with a scope.  I have no intention of replacing chips on a board.  I will/have replaced a capacitor or battery.

good to hear someone else drills down in these boxes.

 
Posted : October 2, 2022 3:35 pm
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fenugrec
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Posted by: @hpalmer

FYI, the signals appear to be routed from the antenna to the Novatel 729 and then the processing board.  The 729 has a (24) pin-out.  If someone has an adapter, I should be able to connect board to my computer

Probably this pinout, then -

https://docs.novatel.com/OEM7/Content/Technical_Specs_Receiver/OEM729_Interface_Connectors.htm?tocpath=Specifications%7COEM729%20Technical%20Specifications%7C_____6

shouldn't be too hard to wire the handful of required signals for basic comms. Might even get USB to work.

 

Wonder how much a 729 board costs, new ?

 
Posted : October 15, 2022 9:50 am
hpalmer
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@fenugrec 

thanks for the link - just need an adapter from the 24pin to a usb or something similar.  I have the Novatel Convert and Connect software to connect to the board.  I was able to connect a 719 board but used a Leica GEV234 lemo to usb.

You are right, I should be able to test once I make the connection.

Anyone know where I can purchase a 24pin (1" long x 2 rows wide) to USB cable?

 
Posted : October 16, 2022 6:58 am

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