We tinker with computers for a living—which means, we’ve seen more circuit boards and electronics kits than you can shake a spudger at. But we’ve never seen a printed circuit board quite like this before. Delightfully old school by design, Circuit Classics was engineered by Star Simpson and inspired by the work of tinkering legend and author Forrest M. Mims, III. Circuit Classics brings Mims’ beginning electronics projects off the page and into a real-life electronics kit.
If you want to start mastering the basics, look no further than our ongoing YouTube series on repair skills. In our most recent installment, iFixit’s resident tinkerer—Gwendolyn Gay—teaches you how to use a multimeter, which has a million uses for testing electronics and circuits (seriously, keep one in your work bag at all times). Here’s Gwendolyn’s multimeter 101 lesson—which goes over testing continuity, voltage, and resistance.
We take a lot of pictures at iFixit. The place is crawling with camera junkies—including me. I’ve loved taking pictures since I was little, and I’m so grateful it’s part of what I get to do for my job. My skills have definitely improved over the years. But up until recently, one thing had not: my camera. But now that my skills are outpacing my nearly 10-year-old camera—what do I do with something that means so much to me?
We recently went to the Palo Alto Repair Café and spent some time with its founder Peter Skinner. Back in 2012, Peter read an article in the New York Times about Repair Cafés in the the Netherlands. There was nothing similar in United States at the time, and Peter was interested in starting a grassroots organization that addressed the global problem of waste. A local Repair Café was just the fix to facilitate the idea of repair over replacement.
In our ongoing YouTube series Fixers in Focus, our video team profiles very cool, local-to-us repair experts in different fields. In the past, we’ve talked to computer techs, parts experts, and even guitar repair masters. This time, we chatted with Chris Mathis, the lead mechanic for Luna’s pro women mountain bike team. Chris has been fixing bikes for almost 15 years. It’s his job to make sure that team bikes can stand up to a serious beating on the trail. Check out his workshop on our blog.
Just yesterday, The Verge did a great profile on The Fixers’ Collective in New York City. Founded in 2008, the Fixers’ Collective is staffed by volunteers who help members of the local community resurrect all kinds of things. They fix busted phones, sew ripped sweaters, and rewire lamps. With every thing they fix, the group also helps to rewire the relationship patrons have with broken stuff—giving them a more powerful alternative than just the landfill.
Meet Dallas-area teen Adrian Mayberry. Until recently, he was just a regular kid who liked to tinker with robots. Now, he’s the Duncanville Police Department’s personal repair whiz kid—after he successfully fixed the department’s new search and rescue robot.
Recently, one of our personal repair heroes stopped by iFixit’s California office. And we couldn’t resist the urge to talk shop. Janet Gunter is the co-founder of The Restart Project—an amazing UK-based repair organization. Gunter and her fellow Restarters aim to redefine the relationship people have with their stuff—especially their broken stuff. Our co-founder Kyle Wiens sat down with Janet to chat about the group’s mission.
In India, cycling isn’t a pastime; it’s a necessity. On the streets of Mumbai, you’ll see hawkers and farmers alike, peddling modified transport bikes (think pallets, rope, and training wheels)—going to and from the bazaar and customers’ homes. On a recent trip to India, I witnessed a new level of ingenuity: the knife sharpener. And no, I don’t mean a foot-long whetstone.
In New York City, a student at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School stuck his head through the doorframe and gave Jeannie Crowley an inquisitive look. “I heard you guys are fixing phones,” the student said. “No,” Crowley replied. “You’re fixing the phone—but we provide parts and support.” The student’s face lit up. “Really? I’ve always wanted to be able to do that,” he said. “But I’ve been too nervous to do it on my own.” Now students at the campus can learn to fix their phones on their own.
You cringe as you hear it—the horrendous crack as the iPad slips from a pint-sized hand and falls to the floor. The children gasp; the lamentations begin. The iPad is dead! They’ll never get to play Angry Birds again! Holiday road trips will be torture! Then the inevitable question: “Can we get a new one?!” We all hate when our devices break, but instead of instantly replacing a dead product—why not take the opportunity to teach your kid about repair?