Saturday, April 14, 2012

Multiple ways of wiring lights in a home...

Today at Pickett and Son TV...

I decided to research various ways of wiring lights into a home. I discovered that there are many ways, as well as websites with diagrams that I did not want to have any copyright infringement issues with, so here are a few links to those sites:

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Akai PT5492 and Samsung HLS4666

An Akai PT5492 was recently brought in with some convergence problems.
Convergence is how the colors that are reflected onto the television screen appear to the viewer. In these televisions there are three tubes, red, blue and green. Sometimes you can fix the convergence with the remote and the manual.This one in particular needed the television fluid replaced and a new blue tube.

Generally speaking, these sets have issues with convergence because they are older projection televisions and will need the ethylene glycol (television fluid) that cools the tubes within, changed. Often times, they may need their convergence chips changed as well. 

In electronics, it's important to understand that designers are constantly trying to find ways to make their products lighter, with better quality and with the ability to minimize heat exposure to the parts inside of the product. Heat warps things, causing the product to stop working.   Heat can be caused by lamps, capacitors, outside components such as heat vents, shorted circuits or general functioning.

Consequently, we also have a Samsung HLS4666 in the shop that needs a color wheel and a lamp replaced. In my previous article about the Sony DLP's I explained how the color wheel is a superior design to the Sony light engine because the color "wheel" acts not only as a color device but also as a cooling element.

This was another attempt to reduce heat and improve product quality. It is cheaper to fix than the tube-style designs and clearly a better design than the Sony light engine because it acts as a built-in cooling element.

The interesting part of this article is that they both have distributors in Australia. The Anyware Corporation has offices located in both Australia and New Zealand, as well as Australasian PC Distributors, Brightpoint Australia and Synnex Australia.

Further research into these companies is necessary for a broad spectrum report on how the laws about production operate in Australia. For more info regarding these companies, visit

Monday, March 19, 2012

How to build a door bell

Building a door bell is a relatively simple concept for a beginning electronics technician.

“You can pick up a door bell kit at any hardware store or Home Depot,” said Leon Pickett, electronics technician and television repairman for Pickett and Son TV. 

A Heath Zenith Wired Door Chime Kit with Mixed Push Buttons from Home Depot, per cost $9.97. That‘s without shipping. Whereas Http:// showed various kits ranging from $25.86 to $50.00, with free shipping. This site featured door bells that were basic to very elaborate. 

Pickett said you could also purchase the materials individually, in case you want to customize the style or tone used for the chime. Make sure when you buy your material you ask for door bell wire if you don’t buy a kit because wire comes in different gages, he explained. 

If you are looking to cut costs, buying a kit seems to be the least expensive way to go.

“I would collect my material,” he said. “Door bell, a step-down transformer that goes from 120 volts to 18 volts, momentary switch, screws and wire. That’s all you need for a doorbell.”

As for tools, you don't need very many.

“You can use black or any other colored electrical tape, a cordless drill and a cordless screwdriver,” said Pickett. 

“Make sure to have everything charged or at least keep a few back-up tools on hand, so you don't have to stop in the middle of your project,” he said.

Obviously, the door bell is what chimes when you press down on the button outside a house or building, explained Pickett.

“A step-down transformer takes the electricity from a power source, like a wall socket or the wiring in a house and transforms it into a voltage that a small appliance, such as a door bell, can handle,” said Pickett.
“It has to be at least a 120 volt power source for the door bell to work,” he said.

You will need a momentary switch so that when you press down on the button, it only rings as you hold down the button. Pickett explained that if you don’t get a momentary switch, you could end up with a constantly ringing buzzer, like in the case of a light switch, that stays on until you flip it back off.

“You will need screws to mount the door bell and the momentary switch,” said Pickett.

The first thing he said to do is to mount the buzzer on an inside wall, so it can be heard. Then, run your wires, he explained. 

He said you will need five pieces of wire. Measure them to fit the distances you are working with, such as if you are wiring the door bell into the wall.

“Run one wire from the door bell to the transformer,“ said Pickett. “The next wire needs to go from the transformer to one side of the momentary switch and another piece of wire to the other side of the switch.”

“On the side of the transformer that connects to the wall, you will have two pieces of wire connected to a white wire, also called a neutral wire, and a black wire, referred to as a hot wire,” said Pickett. “Make sure you turn off the breaker running to that section of the wall so you don’t get electrocuted.”

“Be sure to get the right size screws and be careful when mounting the switches to the outside of the door, so as not to damage the materials or your doors and walls,” he explained. “ Also, take care to make sure when you make all of the connections that you tape the ends up nice and sturdy, so you don't have any connectivity issues down the road.”

For more information regarding electrical questions or problems you might be having with your doorbell, you can contact Mr. Pickett on the company blog The blog is updated weekly and features different things from complications with electronics and television sets, to items he works on, to products he has refurbished and has put up for sale.
This is a Craftmade C105 Door Bell Kit, listed on  Http:// .

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Wall up. Window in.

The wall as we left it Tuesday night.
Today was a great day for us.

We got a new front window and have the wall most of the way up for the new office area.

I didn't really see the point in taking a photo of the new window, as it looks exactly like the old one did, just no sharp edges. I did take some photos of Mr. Pickett putting up the new wall for the office.

We are still hauling out old items. I am still putting together donations for the preschool if anyone is interested in throwing in a few odd electronics and old, dull, and I emphasize DULL, tools for the kids to practice with.

The shop is open. We are taking clients by appointment only at this time due to all of the construction. If you have a tv or appliance that needs to be brought in, call and we will make arrangements to meet with you in between remodeling.

The frame is up, next, drywall and paint.
Thank-you for your interest and business!!!                              

              Pickett and Son TV

Mr. Pickett marking the
 next spot to build onto.


Friday, February 24, 2012

Remodel update

We have most of the work benches up now. There are still a lot of things that need to go out the back door.

The plan is to get a lot of the televisions that belong to the shop and have not been fixed yet, to get them ready for the flea market in the spring. If there is any particular type of television, flatscreen, big screen, etc., that someone is looking for, let us know. We will put you into the calendar.

We have our new bumper stickers in and can't wait to distribute them. :)

Today, Mr. Pickett is logging in some hours working on television sets to move out while the storm is raging outside. This is not good weather for sawing or hauling wood, so we're still putting our time to good use.

Be careful driving in the snow and be sure and keep warm!

              Pickett and Son TV

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Although we are still remodeling, we are open for business.

Call us between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. at 989.401.550 for service calls or to bring in your TV or appliance.

Again, any washers and dryers you want to sell, give us a call and we can discuss it.

Thank-you for your patience.

              Pickett and Son TV

Saturday, February 18, 2012

New advertising campaigns

Recently, we have been working on some new advertising campaigns, which is why there haven't been a ton of posts on the blog. Most of my time has been spent learning the ins and outs of new sites and advertising schemes. I have been designing new ads and filling out a lot of forms.

Please be patient as we continue to remodel the shop and get our new campaigns up and running.  We are still looking for washers and dryers if anyone is interested in selling them.

Thank-you once again,

Pickett and Son TV

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Preschool accepts donations of electronic equipment

Pickett and Son TV has been known for doing community work throughout its' history.

This month we donated a box of electronics that for some reason or another were sitting around the shop untouched and unused.

Adam's Avenue of the Saginaw ISD Head Start recently sent out a letter requesting donations of different types of things their students could use and so we at Pickett and Son TV decided that items we would have thrown out during our remodel would be put to better use by inquisitive little minds in their preschool.

We donated old cameras, hair dryers, Vonage devices, among other small appliances that the children could tinker with in order to get an understanding of how electronics work. Our hopes are to get them interested in how things work at an early age, just like our own children.

For more information about how to donate to Saginaw ISD Head Start, visit or call 989.752.2193.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Wheeler Dealer | Home of Mike Brewer

Come visit us at
Wheeler Dealer Home of Mike Brewer

New things for the shop

For our revamp we are getting all new business cards, new bumper stickers, soon a new flyer will be out for the public and all sorts of new things in the shop.

Today we are waiting for our friends at Empire to come with samples for the new carpet we are installing in the front room and along the work benches to ensure safe passage of our TVs. Our business cards and bumper stickers haven't come in yet but according to VistaPrint, it is in progess.

If you haven't yet seen them, we have a few ads running on The one I am most proud of is the Valentine's Day ad where I posted a picture of a heart made out of capacitors. We often post ads in the bargain section about TVs, so if you're ever looking for a great deal on a TV, check the bargain section of that website or you can just call us directly at 989.401.5550. Don't panic if you don't get an answer right away. Sometimes we are on service calls or dealing with clients and cannot answer the phone if we are dealing with people directly. Many people still find it rude to take a call over a human conversation, especially if you are at their house doing work.

A heart made out of capacitors for our Valentine's Day ad.
I will be posting photos once we get the front room carpeted and totally redone. Thank-you to all of our clients who are being patient while we remodel and get their parts in. Have a great week !!!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Refurbished VCRs

We picked up some VCRs to refurbish and sell to a few clients.
They are easy to find when they don't work
but they are also easy to fix.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Two work benches taking over again!!!!

A work bench by the office wall...and a tv has found a home...

Another work bench and a home for more tvs!!!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Parts on order

As you all know, we have been remodeling at Pickett and Son TV.

This week has been hectic due to the shop being under construction and we are still going on service calls as well as trying to get our sets out to our customers. I wanted to inform our clients that we did put in a huge parts order this weekend.

I was able to find a few of the lamps that we needed and a whole bucket load of capacitors. Our capacitors are on the way, however, there were a few that were on back order with the company. As mentioned before, this is a problem we run into with this industry. Parts go on back order, clients have to wait. So please, if you are a client with a part on back order, know that we are doing our best to get these parts in and have your best interests at heart.

As for our lamps, I just got off the phone with the customer service department and we are waiting to hear back about their shipping discrepancy. Thank-you for your time and patience.

            Pickett and Son TV

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Electronics Repair Costs

One day we became a little curious as to what our competitors were charging clients for repairs and service calls.

I started calling around to compare prices and this is what I found:

To repair a flatscreen TV most places in the Saginaw area told me I would have to bring the TV into their shop. Here is a list of their prices as we found out.

Company                                                               Service Call                              Labor
BTV                                                            $88.50                                       Bring in;Free Estimate
BE                                                               $75.00                                       $50 to check;apply
                                                                                                                                 toward repair
STV                                                            $89.00                                       $50 to check;  
                                                                                                                                 General repair
PTV                                                            Couldn't get an answer
GE                                                              No clear answer                          $50 to check, apply
                                                                                                                                 toward repair

Many electronics stores don't repair televisions and there were even situations where they would not do a service call to even look at the TV.  We do offer service calls to come and check your TVs and appliances. Sometimes we do end up having to take the hardware back to the shop but not always. For an initial service call to come to your house and check your TV we charge $69.95. We base labor prices on what exactly needs to be done and cost of the parts. For an estimate, call 989.401.5550.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Where in the world is Mis-ter Pick-ett???

In case any of the clients have been wondering, "Where is Mister Pickett?"...

I can tell you.

We have been seriously running our tails all over Saginaw.

Listen, we have one distributor in the tri-city area and they are in Bay City. When we want to order parts we have to go online, search the other TV places that we do business with or drive to Bay City for them. Often times we do have the parts but when we are talking about entire boards or lamps, that's when it gets complicated.

Or for instance, we are having all of these stereo systems going cupoot on our clients. Aiwas tend to be coming through the door like it's the Macy's Day Parade. However, these systems are so old that the parts are almost impossible to come by. I can't even find the part on the Panasonic website for my very own six-CD changer and I even called the company!!!

So, if anybody is wondering, we are around. We are scouring the different dimensions in hopes of finding every part for every person that passes into our TV world.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Working smart

Mr. Pickett has a catch phrase that he consistently uses, called, "working smart."

It actually used to irritate me...but I think he's got something here.

As you glance around the shop you will see TVs upon TVs sitting one atop another and you start to think to yourself, "If Mr. Pickett is the only one that was here this afternoon, how in the heck did that 60" DLP get on top of that other DLP?"

I know for sure I could not lift that thing. It would come crashing down right on top of my head. No questions asked. One time I came in and found a similar situation, only he had put a TV on top of one of our work tables by himself.

Now let me tell you a little bit about Mr. Pickett. He might be 180 pounds soaking wet. He's not a body builder. Sure, he's got muscle but if you look at these TVs and you see his tall, medium build, you would agree that to lift these TVs seems like a small miracle.

So as I sit here today, he is once again moving TVs around to find sets to toss to the TV gods in the sky. Then he says to me, in his quirky little way that he does, "Now see what I mean about 'working smart'?"

I turn around and he's got a 60" DLP and carefully sliding it from atop one TV set to the next moving it across the room.

That is one of the pitfalls of this business. There is extreme heavy lifting. You have to find ways to maneuver large, awkward objects in a way that gets them where they need to be without hurting yourself or damaging the product.

What it comes down to is simple mechanics. In third grade science we learn about levers, pulleys and inclined planes. We use these simple mechanics everyday to keep from injuring ourselves.

For example, we have push-carts, a dolly, bath towels, boards and other maneuvering devices around the shop that help us to work with TV sets and other large appliances.

When I first met Mr. Pickett, I would have to say within the first week I was tired of the catch phrase "working smart" but inside this shop, it is starting to make sense.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Revamping the shop

Previously, we posted photos of the tv-chop-shop out back. Now for the reason.

Pickett and Son TV is currently undergoing some renovations that will ultimately help the shop continue to flourish. The first thing we have to do is clear out any sets that are not of any use to us. Second, we need to install some new work benches, a new door, some shelves and turn our show-room into something snazzy.

In the future, we intend to get some new office furniture to make it a little more comfortable for us when we are on breaks or for clients when we are discussing business. What we have right now is functional but we want our tv shop to be the best tv shop around. We have the skills to make the grade, now we just want to be able to present that to the world.

Thank-you to all of the people who are making this possible. Thank-you for your business. Thank-you for your patience and most of all, thank-you for choosing Pickett and Son TV!!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Once upon a service call...

Today we finished working on a Mitsubishi big screen that was having issues turning on but was displaying a blue screen.

Mitsubishi big screen television that was showing a blue screen.
Mr. Pickett had initially taken the video board out and replaced a few capacitors but as it turns out, that was not the end of the problem. Once the video board was re-installed, it continued doing the same thing. So we had to pull the board back out again, recheck all of the caps and also check to see if the picture tubes were leaking any fluid. Finally, it was determined that we had to replace the RF Module, a video chip and the caps. Luckily, there weren't any leaks but we did mention to the customer that if there were any further problems we would be pulling those picture tubes out refilling them with CRT Fluid (coolant), at no charge, of course.
Mr. Pickett adjusting the board.

A look at the picture tubes for leaks.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Cleaning house

As mentioned before, we do keep televisions in stock for parts. Some of them have become so banged up and gutted that we just don't have any use for them anymore.

Welcome to the Pickett TV Graveyard...


Monday, January 16, 2012

The issue of schematics

Mitsubishi. Toshiba. Sony. Hitachi. Deawoo. Syntax. Samsung. Vizio. Panasonic. RCA. LG. Magnavox. Phillips. We could go on for days.

Then you have different types of televisions: flatscreens, big screens, digital light processing, plasma, liquid crystal display, projection, old-school tube televisions, color, black and white...

Each company breaks it down to a model number and serial number. Every television has a unique design based on the technology available, the economics driving the company along with supply and demand.Thus, establishing a need for a schematics data-base the size of a small factory.

Sometimes fixing a television comes down to simple electronics. Other times you spend hours and hours checking capacitors,diodes, resistors, fuses, etc, trouble-shooting to save your life.

Occasionally, we are lucky enough to find the schematics we need to fix a television online. Once in a while we find a diagram close enough to the original due to the time and model of the set. However, when we do have to order a schematic, it often comes with a hefty price.

On one Panasonic manual was listed at selling for $145.65, another for $6.52. When you tell a client a price on your labor and then have to call them with the bad news that the schematics are going to cost them just about as much, it creates problems. So we have been spending time researching sites that offer free or inexpensive schematics to help solve this issue.

One site we discovered was . This site features several different types of electronics and even vehicle manuals to download for free. The problem, we of course ran into, was that not all of our schematics were listed. However, they do reference other schematic websites and the odds of finding a schematic similar to your model are somewhat good due to the amount of them available on this site.

Even if we never solve the issue of the schematics, we would like our clients to know the process of trouble-shooting that we go through and that their best interest is in mind. We welcome any suggestions as to where we can find legit manuals.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Sony technology at its worst

This is a Sony light engine. It showcases the liquid crystal display panels discussed here.

This a traditional color wheel.
A warped lcd panel.

Most light engines use a color wheel but Sony developed colored liquid crystal display panels that did not aim to please. Here is why.

Digital Light Processing technology was invented in 1987 by Dr. Hornbeck of Texas Instruments, Inc. He invented the Digital Micromirror Device (DMD), which is a semiconductor that can accurately direct photons like nothing known to man.

The DMD is used in DLP televisions in congruence with a lamp, a prism, a projection lense, a light funnel and initially, a color wheel to project a picture on a screen.  Here is where the problem lies. 

Sony replaced the color wheel with six colored lcd panels. Sony chose to be different.

Sometimes different isn't a good thing. Not in this particular case.

"Sony is always ahead," said Mr. Pickett.

However, by leaving out the "wheel" part, it left out the option of having a fan. The idea behind the color "wheel" was to have a cooling device to deter the amount of heat produced by the ultra violet rays and polarized blue light. Without the fan, the light engine overheats.

Once the light engine has overheated the lcd panels become warped and this is reflected across the television screen as large multi-colored blobs.

Due to the defects caused by Sony, there was a class-action lawsuit. It was eventually settled  October 23, 2007 but we are still seeing the effects of their poor technology to this day.

Today if one of these light engines fail the extended warranty has expired but we are still able to order the lcd panels from different distributors.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Problem Child: Sony DLP 60 inch, Model KDF-60xs955

Since July 2011 we have experienced an influx of what we would like to call our "problem child," the Sony 60" DLP, model number KDF-60xs955.

Fifteen of these sets have been repaired or are in the process of being repaired.

The most common problem?

According to Mr. Pickett, "a faded picture with specks all over it."

The only way to fix it is to replace the light engine. The light engine basically provides the light, color and projection of the image onto the screen.

There have been some very simple solutions to the various problems that consumers have encountered. Often times simply adjusting the convergence or the red, green and blue tints is all that is necessary.

For more information regarding this product visit

Friday, January 6, 2012

Refurbished Samsung

This Samsung needs two resistors changed on the power supply board shown below.

Recently, a local motel requested us to fix several televisions. This was one that they saw while they were at the shop and decided to purchase it once we finished working on it.

Part of our job is to not only fix televisions for our clients but to take in other televisions and appliances to refurbish them for resale. Often times it is more affordable for clients to purchase a refurbished television than a brand new one of the same quality.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Sony DLP TV, KDF 50E2000

This television came to us after a voltage surge and initially the lamp, a 480 micro farad capacitor and a power supply board needed to be replaced. That was done, it was turned on and it worked. The very next day we turned on the television and viola! we took another look and found that the heat from the surge had warped the inside of the door panel where the switch to the lamp is. Now we have to fix that.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Allow me to welcome you all into 2012!!!

I added a new feature that will allow you to see what is currently being worked on.

As you know, we are a small staff...with a LOT of work to do. If you look farther down the page you will see a short list of items that are on "the board". These are items that are currently being worked on. Of course, these are not ALL of the items that have come through the door but we fix them based on what parts we have in stock and first come, first serve.

If you have any questions about whether your parts are in, etc., just drop us a line.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012