Bad design on a Megger MIT220

I had a Megger MIT220 meter come in for repair from Dells Appliances, our related company.  It was not giving a reading.  It was an easy fix.

The wire broke!

The wire had broken of the test lead terminal inside the meter. After taking it apart it was obvious what actually caused the fault. The metal contact of the terminal could rotate inside the terminal housing by about a millimetre either way. With usage the solid core wire eventually broke due to metal fatigue.

I did a permanent fix by gluing the contact in place.

This is a case of poor design.  They did a nice job with tying down the two wires so I don’t think it is something that could have been overlooked.  Also design engineers should realise that solid core wires should not be used where there is any possibility of movement.

Bad USB cables

It is really annoying that manufacturers cut their production costs by leaving out two of the wires.  A USB cable is supposed to carry power AND data.

Another accurate observation from xkcd.

New address

Due to the growth of Ecotech Services and because of the acquisition of Dells Appliances we have moved to new premises at 139B Wordsworth St in Sydenham, Christchurch.
Our telephone number has also changed.  It is now 03 3770773.

We apologise for any delays in our services that may be due to the efforts needed to move our operation.


Acquisition of Dells Appliance Service Centre

Megan Hieatt and Alan Liefting, owners of Ecotech Services, have as of today acquired Dells Appliance Service Centre.  Alan is the Managing Director of both companies.

Dells Appliances logo

Dells Appliances is a long established whiteware servicing company and is a warranty service agency for a number of major manufacturers.

Microwave oven and induction cooktop repairs will no longer be done by Ecotech Services but can be done by Dells Appliances.  Ecotech Services will still supply microwave oven spare parts and recycling.

We would like to apologise to the customers of Ecotech Services that may have experienced delays in recent weeks while we worked through the purchase of Dells Appliances.



This week is Techweek, an annual talkfest here in New Zealand about the future of technology.  But there is something that they are not talking about.  I’ll jabber on a bit before making my point.

I like technology. Especially electronics. I have been playing with it and fixing it for a long time.  I find it all really interesting.

Unfortunately most technology has a dark side.  In the case of e-technology one of the problems is getting the stuff recycled.  It is changing at a great rate of knots and so the older stuff gets chucked out.  It is not surprising that it is a big part of the rubbish going to the landfill.

There are some interesting things happening in labs around the world that may fix the e-waste problem but that it going to take a while.  In the meantime we have to process all of the e-junk in an environmentally friendly way.

So I would like to ask the Techweek organisers why they have not included any items on e-waste in their programme?

Maybe next year?

Spare parts suppliers

The electronics repair industry in New Zealand has been in decline for the past two or three decades for various reasons including  the flood of cheap commodity goods, poor support from the manufacturers, and rapidly changing technology.

One indication of the decline of the repair industry is the plight of component suppliers.  The company that I first worked for, TESA (an abbreviation of Television Engineers and Supplies Associates), has been subsumed into Lacklands.  And now, as of last month, Trade Tech, one of the other large component suppliers, has gone into liquidation.

The annoying thing is that I placed an order for some parts with them not knowing that they were in liquidation.  Only three parts out of an order of ten turned up.  I am still waiting for the remaining seven after about three weeks.  I might not see the rest of the parts.

In Hong Kong they have electronics repair shops next to the footpath.  Here in New Zealand most of suburban radio and television repair shops closed down years ago.
Image: Wikimedia Commons.



TiVo recycling

The TiVo service is shutting down as of 31 October 2017.  It is unfortunate that that TiVo has only been in New Zealand for such a short time making the set top boxes redundant.

If you have a CASPA wallet go to to organise what to do with the remaining balance.

Ecotech Services is able to recycle the redundant set top boxes, remotes, and related items.


Battery recycling in Lincoln

In what may be a first for a supermarket in New Zealand, the Lincoln New World now offers a battery recycling service.  The scheme is an initiative of Lincoln Envirotown and has funding from the Sustainable Initiatives Fund (SIFT).  Dave Fitzjohn, the project manager at Lincoln Envirotown, has been the driving force behind this worthwhile scheme.

Ecotech Services is proud to be associated with this battery recycling initiative. 

Battery collection centre at Lincoln New World.
Photo supplied




Moore’s Law for corporate computer repair

xkcd tells it like it is.

Given the amount of stuff coming through for recycling from our corporate clients this pretty much sums it up.



Sustainable Business Network membership

Ecotech Services has now joined the Sustainable Business Network.  As a company that is  addressing the environmental effects of e-technology we want be a part of a network of like minded businesses.  SBN gives us this opportunity along with a number of other benefits.

As part of the membership package of SBN we were offered an online sustainability assessment at getsustonline.  It establishes a baseline measurement of sustainability for our company. Our ranking was given as 17 out of 30, classed as good.