Recalibrate.IT – Eagnas Plus 8000 Electronic Tension Head

In the past months, I have been receiving some comments about the calibration of the Eagnas Plus 8000 Electronic Tension Head, and I realize that I may not have given any details about this procedure since it is documented in the user manual.  It appears that many users do not have the user manual, so when I mention the calibration, the users are still in the dark.

To help out, I have found my photocopy of the instructions and referred to section 7 which details the steps for calibration and will describe them here.  The content is straight from the instructions with slight grammar changes and I have added a couple of notes in blue.

7 – Calibration

  1. Calibrate the Eagnas electronic tension head when the Eagnas Plus 8000 stringing machine does not perform properly.  NOTE: It is recommended to wear safety glasses during the calibration.
  2. Unplug the power cord from the wall outlet. eagnas1
  3. If your model has the VR1 and VR2 on the back panel, please skip steps 4 through 11.  [My note: The earlier models had the two potentiometers mounted on a circuit board inside the machine.  If you are lucky enough to have a newer version, then they are mounted on a small board that is accessible via the back panel.]
  4. Use a screwdriver to loosen two screws that hold the side cover to the string gripper.eagnas2
  5. Remove the side cover from the string gripper.
  6. Place a small stick against the dowel pin and use a hammer to apply a light force to the dowel pin as shown.  Push the dowel pin out of the string gripper housing.
  7. Carefully lift up the string gripper from the string gripper housing.
  8. Use the 5mm Allen wrench to loosen two screws that hold the string gripper housing to the electronic tension head.
  9. Carefully lift up the string gripper housing from the electronic tension head.  [My note: most of them have a pair of wires that attach to the switch using a small connector.  This usually has glue on it, and it needs to be disconnected before the cover can come off.  During final re-assembly, if you have a hot melt glue gun, use some glue to ensure that the connectors don’t come loose.]
  10. Use a screwdriver to loosen four screws that hold the cover to the electronic tension head.  Carefully lift up the cover from the electronic tension head and put it on the side of the electronic tension head.  Make sure the cables are still connected to the tension controller printed circuit board.
  11. Re-assemble the string gripper housing back to the electronic tension head.  [My note: don’t forget to plug the connector back in for this step, otherwise the electronic tension head may give an error on the display.]
  12. Plug the power cord into a properly grounded wall outlet.  Turn the power on.
  13. Set the tension setting to 60-pound position. eagnas3
  14. Use the Eagnas string clamp to secure the string on one end of the Eagnas TCG-100 tension calibrator and place the string that is attached to the other end of the Eagnas TCG-100 tension calibrator into the string gripper.
  15. Press the pushbutton tension switch to activate the tension pulling.  Check whether the tension indicated by the Eagnas TCG-100 tension calibrator is the same as the tension setting of the electronic tension head.
  16. Press the pushbutton tension switch again to release the tension pulling.
  17. Repeat steps 15 through 16 four or five times to have the correct tension indication on the Eagnas TCG-100 tension calibrator to avoid poor calibration due to string stretch.
  18. If the tension indicated by the calibrator does not match the tension setting of the electronic tension head, adjust the potentiometers “VR1” and “VR2” on the back panel slightly.  Or adjust the potentiometers “VR1” and “VR2” on the tension controller printed circuit board slightly.  NOTE: There will be a range of tension from the maximum tension at which the electronic tension head stops pulling, to the minimum tension at which the electronic tension head starts pulling again.  The difference between the minimum and maximum could vary 2 – 4 pounds depending on the string and the tension calibrator used to calibrate the electronic tension head.  Therefore, it is recommended that the tension setting of the electronic tension head should be calibrated on the maximum reading to ensure the consistency in the calibration procedure. eagnas4
  19. Turn off the power.  Press the “+10” key and hold down.  Then turn the power on.  The display should read in between 34 – 39.  If it does not, then turn the potentiometer VR1 to increase or reduce the number into the correct range.
  20. Use a small screwdriver to adjust the potentiometer “VR1” slightly.  To achieve a higher number, turn this potentiometer “VR1” clockwise.  To reduce the number, turn it counterclockwise.  NOTE: Do not apply excessive force; this will damage the potentiometer.
  21. After making the adjustment, press the “+” key and the machine will run the normal program.
  22. Set the tension setting to the 60-pound position.
  23. Press the pushbutton tension switch to activate the tension pulling.  Check whether the tension indicated by the Eagnas TCG-100 tension calibrator is the same as the tension setting of the electronic tension head.  If not, press the pushbutton tension switch again to release the tension pulling.
  24. Use a small screwdriver to adjust the potentiometer “VR2” slightly.  To achieve a higher tension, turn this potentiometer “VR2” clockwise.  To reduce the number, turn it counterclockwise.  NOTE: Do not apply excessive force; this will damage the potentiometer.
  25. Repeat steps 23 through 24 until the tension calibrator reaches the 60-pound position.
  26. Repeat steps 19 through 25 four or five times to reach the right tension.
  27. After calibration, turn off the power.  Unplug the power cord from the wall outlet.
  28. If your model has the VR1 and VR2 on the back panel, please skip step 29.
  29. Disassemble the string gripper from the electronic tension head.  Carefully install the cover back to the electronic tension head.  Use a screwdriver to tighten four screws to hold the cover to the electronic tension head.  Re-assemble the string gripper back to the Eagnas Plus 8000 electronic tension head.

Ok, so there you have it, or is that it?

As you can see, it is an iterative process to do the calibration.  VR1 and VR2 obviously affect each other.  The aim is to have VR2 set so that the tension will be pulled correctly while VR1 keeps the zero balance to read between 34 and 39 – does this make sense?

Another comment I would make is that you should calibrate it so that it is correct for the maximum tension that you would ever use.  I.e. if you only ever string at 50-55 lbs, then calibrate it at 55 lbs.  If you are stringing badminton racquets, then I would suggest calibrating at 26 to 30 lbs, whatever the maximum your clients ask for.

The tensioning is non-linear, so ideally, you would create a calibration chart.  What do I mean by this?  Make a chart of set tensions and read what the calibrator shows the actual tension to be.  45 lbs on the tension head gives ?? lbs on the calibrator, do this every 3 or 5 lbs up to the maximum that you string at.  Then you can extrapolate so that if you actually want 50 lbs, you can set the correct number on the tension head to get the 50 lbs.

Next question is that the Eagnas TCG-100 tension calibrator is a spring calibrator which itself might need also need calibrating so what should we use?  Ever see those electronic or digital luggage scales?  Those are quite handy and they are available to read in both lbs and kgs.multi-purpose-pocket-weighing-scale-smiley-500x500

I bought a couple of different ones, so that I could use them to compare each other – if they both read the same, then generally that is the right tension.  I use it check the calibration on my Wise 2086 tension head – and I found that these luggage scales are quite good.  I prefer the ones like the one above which has a ring which is handy to attach string to.

So there you go, the calibration procedure, if you don’t have your instructions.


Repair.IT – Kleenmaid TO500X Oven door hinges replacement

The other day, my son heard a cracking sound when he opened the oven door, and it wouldn’t close properly anymore.  It seems that the oven door hinges spring wasn’t working to hold the weight of the door and when closed, the door would sit ajar.

On further inspection, the pin that would connect to the springs was broken, so there was no choice except to remove the door from the oven so that I could have a better look at the problem.  Fortunately the manual showed how to remove the door, which in this case was very easy, lift it, and then pull outwards while tilting back towards the oven.  If the springs were working, we would have to normally open the door, then engage the hinge latch which would allow the door hinge to stay in the open position for the door to be removed.

I found that the part number was GN166667 and after a quick check on eBay found a supplier that had a pair of these original hinges for around AU$64 after an eBay discount was applied.  If I order this from the spare parts warehouse, I would be paying AU$55 plus delivery for each hinge, so I ordered from eBay and saved a bit of money.

On my Kleenmaid oven door, there are two screws that hold the inner door from the outer glass door.  Also around the top and sides of the inner door is a sealant that has also deteriorated.  I found by at Bunnings, a Sika 300g Black Sikaseal Appliance Sealant for AU$14.78 that has a high temperature resistance, up to 250°C which appears to be the right sealant for the job.

Next step was scraping off as much of the old sealant as I could – a razor blade would have been handy, but who has one of these nowadays with electric shavers.


A few days after I had ordered the hinges, they arrived.  The hinges are held to the inner door by three screws, two on the base, and one screw that is at the top of the hinge, only accessible when the inner door has been separated from the outer door.



The inner door, by the way had two sheets of glass – one that is facing the inside of the oven.  This means that the door assembly has three sheets of glass, so good insulation of preventing the heat from radiating through the door.


Here is a picture of the two hinges after removing from the door.  The top one should not be able to stay like that since the spring should be pulling back, except of course it is broken.  From recollection, a while ago, the door didn’t seem to be closing properly which could mean that one hinge had already failed at that time.  Also I didn’t find any broken bits of the pin, so no idea how it broke unless it had just kept wearing away, due to the door being opened and eventually there was not much left of it.  The oven is 12 years old – and I have worked on this in the past, with various electrical issues, but this was the first mechanical issue.

After the replacement hinges were installed, I then applied the sealant – it was difficult to squeeze the trigger and move the tip at the same time, to get the sealant into a good straight line with the correct thickness.  Of course, if I did this over and over again, like the appliance repairers do, I could then do a good job each time, but for my first, I did an adequate job.  Once the sealant was on, the inner door was mounted and screwed up.

I did have a bit of sealant squeeze out, so used a cloth to wipe around the edge of the inner door, and got most of the excess sealant off and cleaned up well enough.  The sealant generally takes 24 hours to cure, so it was left in the garage to do this (also the sealant smells, and wife doesn’t take kindly to stinky things in the kitchen).

The next day, I wipe the door over, since the garage is dusty – then needed to extend the hinges and lock them in the open position.  I used an adjustable spanner, to hold the tip of the hinge, then cranked it open – then moved the latch, and released the hinge.  Both hinges were done eventually.  I did slip with the spanner a couple of times, without breaking my fingers, but one was a little sore afterwards.


This picture shows the door removal and installation process – showing the movable lock that I call the latch.

Then it was a matter of getting the hinges into the slots in the oven frame, then letting it settle downwards and latch, then open the door fully, release the latches then the door can close – actually they closed very well – looked better than new, no gaps at all.

Now I have most of a tube of appliance sealant left over, who needs some?  By the way, if I got an appliance repairer to do this job, I wouldn’t need the sealant since they would have it, but it would cost AU$250 for the callout, and then plus parts and whatever additional labour is needed – so likely to be around AU$400 or so, but this has cost me AU$75 to do it myself.  There it is – another repair done, and the wife is happy!

Replace.IT – Power plug on workshop light

Sometime early this year, I was given a workshop fluorescent light which I thought would be good to improve lighting for my metal lathe in my garage workshop.  The light hangs from a couple of hooks that I placed on the support rail that my garage door rolls on.

Anyway, this is not really about the light as it could apply to any appliance.  I noted at the time that the power cord had a plug on the end which did not have the cord grip nut which clamps the cord to the plug so that pulling on the cord does not pull the wires out of the plug.  I had bought a replacement Deta 10A Grey Plug Top from the local Bunnings to replace it at a time of my leisure.

That time happened this afternoon, so on removing the plug cover – I noticed something which unfortunately is all too common.  The wires had been damaged, so it was a good thing that I was replacing it.

Screen Shot 07-23-19 at 07.31 PM

The insulation on theground and neutral wire appeared to have been cut.

Screen Shot 07-23-19 at 07.31 PM 001

Turning it over (although a bit out of focus in this photo – I should retake the photo but my camera battery needed charging), shows that similarly, the active wire insulation is also damaged.  This happens if a Stanley knife or common box cutter is used to cut the outside insulation which if cut too deep ends up cutting into the wire insulation, thereby exposing the conductors.

I cut the end off the cord so that I could show you what it looked like, then fitted the Deta replacement plug wired according to the instructions and firmly fitted with the cord grip nut.  The motto is – if possible, always check appliances that you are given in case they have been modified – or have someone do this for you.


Rectify.IT or maybe not – Microsoft Word 2007 error on Windows 10

This came up recently for a client.  When they open a Microsoft Word document, they get this popup message:

Screen Shot 06-18-19 at 05.25 PM

Now the funny thing is that there is no dialog boxes open, but if they click on OK, then the document comes up fine.  The annoying thing is that it happens all the time.  A google search on the internet shows a lot of people having encountered this problem, with just as many fixes like removing templates, etc.  One thing that does work is to open Microsoft Word and then open the document – which is an extra step.  Most people just want to open the document because they have browsed through windows explorer, found the file and double-click to open.

Now, it turns out that it is Microsoft Word 2007 which is really not supported anymore but still appears to work with Windows 10.  After a bit of investigation, I determined that it must be something to do with antivirus, in this case McAfee.  If I turn off the Real-Time Scanning for a short time, like 15 minutes, then this problem doesn’t happen at all.  But turn it back on, and – yeap, you guessed it, the popup box is back again.  We can’t really go without antivirus, so maybe the option is to look at alternatives for antivirus.

Then I checked to see if there was an update from McAfee and found that they already know about this.  To see what they say, you can do a search for:

mcafee TS102841

I suppose that if it gets fixed, maybe that document might be updated.  For now, accept it as it is, or use a different antivirus is really all I could suggest – apart from upgrading to perhaps Office 365.

Re-adjust.IT – Garage Door opener

Not sure if re-adjusting is a real word – please let me know if there is a better word.

Most of us who live in houses, often have a garage.  The garage door can be either manually operated or remote-controlled.  My garage door had a problem some time ago, which I thought I had written about, but can’t seem to find it.  It had a broken spring, which meant that with only one working spring, the door could not be opened fully and would only raise about half way.  Ok, this is a different story – where the remote control would work, the mechanism would make a noise and the door would … not open.

This happened a couple of years ago, and a couple of years earlier as well, and I had never really thought about writing an article on it, but as it turned out, on Monday night – my kids came home with the car, and the garage door would not open.  I opened the internal door and could see that the garage door opener light came on, but the motor did not spin and the door would not open.

This afternoon, I removed the two light bulbs that are on the garage door opener mechanism and then removed the cover.  I decided to have a look at the entire mechanism, which is relatively simple – in terms of parts.  A remote control receiver, gets it power from the opener, and in turn, activates by way on an internal relay, the input contacts of the opener.  The opener contains some power circuitry, like a transformer to reduce the line voltage to 24V, and a relay, some lever switches, and a motor with a separate gearbox, and a couple of limit switches.


Rear of Garage Door Opener, with cover off, and the cam wheel adjusted until it is working.

Importantly, it also had a ratcheting type of arrangement that would turn a special four sided cam wheel which is part of a ratchet relay marked with SR-35B.  Now this four sided cam wheel is usually what I moved previously to fix the problem.  The cam wheel only turns one way, and lever of a switch rests on this wheel in the fully down position.  A bit hard to explain, anyway, I turned the wheel clockwise (from my perspective) until the lever switch engaged and suddenly the mechanism kicked into life and the garage door started opening and continued to open until it was fully open.


Closeup of cam wheel – the silver lever was on the flat section when not working. You can see the white ratchet gear just behind it.

This is when I decided to take a photo of what it looks like.  Behind it is what appears to be an actuator on a solenoid that has this weird toothed hook, that pushes a ratchet gear that I could see in another photo.  It looks like it pushes the ratchet gear, one quarter turn each time.  So there is was, a re-adjustment of the cam wheel and the garage door opener works again.


Oh dear! The V Belt looks like it is a little torn, and you can just make out cracks on the inside of the V – bottom right at the edge of the metal wheel.

While I was at it, I had a look at the motor and can see that the rubber belt is starting to come apart, and has some cracks in it, so might need replacement in the near future.  Now might be the time to get a replacement belt, don’t you think?

In any case, the garage is back to working order – until next time this happens, I suppose.


Repair.IT – New Year’s resolutions

Happy New Year! to all readers. This Christmas and New Year period has been very hot in the Sydney area, so what resolutions have you made this time?  One of mine was not to leave things too long that need repairing, and also to write about it, if it is worth writing about – not to leave that too long either.  I remember a saying that if you thought of something (or an idea) and didn’t write it down, it is as if you had never thought of it.  How many times has someone come up with a new product or service, and you said “I thought of that a long time ago!”

To come to today’s subject, is not really IT related but here goes.  We have a built-in wardrobe in our main bedroom where the doors would not shut properly, would blow open on a whim – you know the ones, you close one door and another one opens.  I had already repaired one door a year ago (or was it two) by replacing the hinge.  At the time, I had noticed that the wooden frame to which the hinge attached, had a crack in it.

After a number of windy (read “stormy”) days recently, this particularly door was blown open which was causing the crack to get larger.  I could wait until the door fell off, but that would be a bigger job to fix.  Also my dear wife had something to say about that the night before, however on New Year day, I decided to remove both doors attached to that frame to fix the crack.

I did this by using a small screwdriver to open up the crack, then squeezed PVA glue into the crack and helped it by using a knife to coat the glue onto the inside surfaces.  Once that was done, I used a number of clamps to close the crack and left it to set overnight.  Of course, I did have to use a soft cloth and wipe up the excess glue that squeezed out.


You can see from the photo above that it is quite a long crack.  So what does this have to do with IT or recycling – it does have repair though, but here it comes.

While removing the door on the side that the photo shows, I noticed that each hinge was held by two bolts with a nut on the other side, which had embedded into the wooden frame by tightening each time the previous owner noticed that the door was loose.  The wood is quite soft, so I can’t keep doing this so decided to come up with a proper solution.

After scratching my head a little bit, I came up with an idea – I needed something with a screw thread, like a nut but with a flange on the other side, that would not dig into the frame like the nut did.  I quickly did a few measurements and drew up something on a small piece of paper.  The original screws were 3/16″, but I decided to use M4 screws since I had almost a box full of M4 x 25mm stainless steel countersunk screws left over from another repair.


As the photo shows, a metric 4mm internal thread, so making the outside about 5.2mm diameter would give a wall thickness of 0.6mm which should quite sufficient.  The flange could be about 18mm in diameter with a thickness similar to the hinge on the other side, so about 1.5mm.  So this is where my metal working equipment came into play.

I had some 20mm mild steel bar left over from another repair job – almost 2m of it, so cut off about 12cm with a hacksaw.  I could have used the bandsaw, and on hindsight should have, but what are muscles for if you used them from time to time.  The inside bore of my lathe is 20mm so this means that I could put longer pieces into the lathe chuck, but cutting a smaller piece means that the lathe has less work to do.

I made the first part with about 1cm of thread – cutting metal can be fun, but since my lathe is a small one, I had to take a number of small cuts – like 0.5mm at a time.  I see some Youtuber’s taking 2-3mm cuts of steel at a time, but that would be using a more powerful or larger lathe.  Some of you may be wondering about the process of doing this?

  1. Mount the mild steel bar in the lathe chuck, enough for the machining needs – around 2cm.
  2. Take 1mm or so off the bar diameter, for the total length of the part, plus 3mm for the parting off and a bit more.  This meant about 18mm.
  3. Spot drill the center hole with a center drill first, then with a 3.3mm drillbit to full depth.  For the next piece, I won’t need the center drill which is used to start the hole.
  4. Turn off the lathe (and unplug the power) and attach my homemade hand crank/turner for the spindle, to tap the M4 thread by hand.  Using some cutting fluid /lubricant on the tap, use the starter/taper tap, then the intermediate tap, and finally the bottoming/plug tap.  Remove the spindle crank.
  5. Power up again, and turn the shaft to the right length and diameter of about 5.2mm – I made the first one 10mm long, but decided to do the remaining pieces shorter – around 5-6mm, less work involved.
  6. Use a parting tool to cut the piece off the bar leaving a flange of about 1.5mm thick.  When it is almost cut through, I used a plastic pipe held next to the parting tool so that the part falls inside when it gets cut through.  This avoids the part spinning around at 900 rpm falling and running off somewhere off the lathe.
  7. Repeat the process another three times.

My wife asked – couldn’t I have just gone out and bought something like this?  Yes, if I knew who might have it but on January 1, 2019 – Bunnings was open, but I had the tools and the material.  How much was this worth?  I used about $3000 of equipment to make these four parts.  When getting into metal turning and milling, it doesn’t look expensive, but once you get a few upgrades like quick change tool post, 12mm turning tool sets, etc – it all adds up.

As an example, the parting tool, is from Hare & Forbes, and buying one now as a kit would be for $198.  The quick change tool post that I have is – another $198.


Once the glue was set, I used a 50mm long wood screw, after drilling a pilot hole, to screw into the frame – this should help keep the crack from opening up again, since just relying on the glue is not a good idea.  Then it was a matter of cutting the M4 screws to be a little shorter, like 17mm in length overall – then placing the wardrobe door on some spacers to get the height correct – then fastening it.

The photo shows where the old hinge on the next door was replaced with a proper door hinge a bit lower down – that door was next on the list to remount.

Some of you might comment on the finish of the part – I can see turning marks/grooves on the part.  This is due to the material of the mild steel bar that I used.  It is not a free machining steel, so it doesn’t cut cleaning in the lathe – it feels a little gummy.  But then carbide tools are not very sharp, so using high speed steel cutting tools should improve the finish – but nobody is really going to look at it since it spends most of its time covered by the doors – so here this is, my first repair job of 2019.

I did actually work on a second repair, but that one was machining a piece of nylon with a 4.5mm spigot sticking out and then riveting it to a piece of plastic that is part of a paper towel holder but I didn’t take any photos of it.


Repair.IT – Sony RM-GD001 Remote Control for Sony Bravia KDL46X2000 LCD Digital Colour TV

Here is another job that was sitting there for some time, having put up with the inconvenience patiently until it was time to look at it.  This remote control for a Sony colour TV had been playing up – first it was unable to turn on the TV – but that was ok, since we use the side power button anyway.  Then we couldn’t adjust the volume, again the side buttons still worked.  How tolerant we are?

Then the input source selector stopped working, so we had to use the side buttons again, to access the menu so that we could choose a different HDMI input when we wanted to play Blu-ray movies.  We went through the same hassle to switch back to the Google Chromecast, etc, until it happened that it was time to do something about.  Maybe the wife complaining also helped to bump up the priority.


This remote control RM-GD001 was relatively easy to open up.  By opening the battery compartment, I could see two screws that needed removing – this is usually a sign that the job will not be difficult.  The ones where there are no visible means of fastening are usually the harder ones.


I needed the smallest precision Philips screwdriver since the screw slots were so small and thin.  After removing the screws and the battery, I turned my attention to the bottom where there were two visible holes.  By inserting an angled pair of tweezers into the two holes and pulling upwards, the bottom started to come apart.


Then once the opening was sufficient, I then use an old plastic card to slide into the opening then around the corner and with a click, the housing started to unlatch.  You could use an old credit card, or used gift card (flybuys etc), since they are all a similar size and great for this purpose.


Once the two pieces of the housing were separated


This it was a matter of cleaning the contacts.  I used an alcohol wipe that I had previously bought from Officeworks.  Similar products are available from chemists, pharmacies, computer stores etc.  You have seen them before – nurses use them to clean the skin before giving you a needle.  The good thing is that when it dries there is no residue, unlike methylated spirits.

If you are quick, you can use the same wipe to clean both the black circuit board contacts and wipe down the black rubber buttons which press down onto the circuit board.  Once these were clean, I was able to put the batteries in, lay the rubber button overlay onto the board and try pressing some buttons and confirm that they do work.


Now was also a good time to clean the top surface of the remote control as the buttons are not going to get in the way.


Now that this is relatively clean, I clipped the two housings back together, put the screws back in, and I have a functional remote control again.  Another successful repair.

[Note 1]  It can happen that with use, the conductive coating on the buttons are worn out.  We can get a conductive paint and just paint onto the buttons again.  This is available as a remote control repair kit, that I have seen on eBay but not used.  Others have reported gluing thin pieces of aluminium foil onto the buttons.

[Note 2]  What if you want to test the buttons, but the appliance is not available?  I will explain how to do this with a common webcam attached to a computer.  I have this webcam that I put onto the table, and aimed it where I was working.  With the display on the monitor, I could press a button and confirm that the infrared led lights up.  This is possible because unlike the human eye, webcams can still see infrared light even though they may have infrared blocking filters in place.  I could also use a multimeter set to the current range, and activate the remote by putting the probes on either side of the black contacts – I did this to verify that the microcontroller was sensing the contacts currently.

Now this reminds me, the Samsung TV remote control in the lounge room was also playing up.  I had a universal remote control lying around that I reprogrammed for the Samsung TV, maybe I should look at the failing remote control!  Oh well, I will leave it for another rainy day.